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JANUARY 8, 2019


UChicago to Open Expanded Center in Paris in 2022

By MATTHEW LEE news reporter


Construction on the Woodlawn Residential Commons, located south of the Midway, has begun.

VOL. 130, ISSUE 20

The University will open an expanded center in Paris in 2022 to replace the current facility. The UChicago Center in Paris, which opened in 2003, was UChicago’s first global facility and is now one of four centers abroad. The center will include a theater, laboratory, café, and green spaces, and will be connected to a mixed-use space not owned or

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The site of the new center is part of a civic project to develop former industrial sections of Paris’s Left Bank, led by the French National Library and including various higher education institutions. “The 13th arrondissement is a key district for higher education in Paris and the University of Chicago’s increased presence strengthens our strategy of maintaining universities and student facilities inside Paris,” said Jean-Louis

District Committee Appoints Robert Peters to Replace Raoul as State Senator By ALISON GILL news reporter

Amid community residents’ calls for an election, political consultant Robert Peters was appointed to be the next state senator of Illinois’s 13th District, which includes Hyde Park. Peters was a former aide to several officials who sit on the committee that appointed him. The senate seat of the 13th District was previously occupied by now Illinois Attorney General–elect Kwame Raoul. Though residents wanted a say in choosing Raoul’s successor, the process mandated by Illinois law is to fill vacancies through appointment rather than elections. The 13th Democratic Legislative District Committee selected Peters at a meeting held at the Fourth Ward Democratic Organization Office on 53rd Street, where he was immediately sworn into the office by Judge Robert F. Harris. The announcement came after a closed-door executive session of committee members that included Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board president and a mayoral candidate. Peters previously worked closely with Preckwinkle as a field deputy director on her campaign for Cook County Board president and as a paid political consultant with her office. Several people in the room believed that this relationship ultimately played a large role in Peters’s appointment. Peters has also worked for Fifth Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston, who also sits on the committee. Hairston said there was no connection between Peters’s selection and previous work with Preckwinkle or herself. The seat, once held by former president Barack Obama, was left

Individual Environmentalism Just Isn’t Enough By MAYA HOLT page 5

vacant after Raoul was elected to be attorney general in November. Raoul had first been appointed to the seat in 2004 after Obama’s election to the United States Senate. The next election of state senators will occur in November 2020. In the state of Illinois, all vacancies that occur fewer than 28 months before the end of the term are filled by appointment; if greater than 28 months remain, a special election is held. The committee that chose his successor consisted of Preckwinkle and Democratic committeemen whose wards are included in the 13th District, including those who oversee parts of Hyde Park: Hairston of the Fifth Ward and Kevin Bailey of the 20th Ward. Prior to the meeting, dozens of residents gathered outside of office to protest the appointment process and call for a special election. Gabriel Piemonte, an aldermanic candidate challenging Hairston in the Fifth Ward, said to a crowd of protestors and journalists that he and a group of community residents want a special election—even an advisory one—instead of an appointment. “What neighbors did not want, what residents did not want was that this be an appointed process, a process where in a closed room ward committeemen made a decision about who was going to represent us,” he said. Fourth Ward aldermanic candidate Ebony Lucas said, “As we stand out here right now, we have no idea who the candidates are, and, if these are people who are going to be representing us and the community, we deserve to know at a minimum who are you considering and why are you considering them.”

While the appointment process is mandated by Illinois law, the protesters expressed frustration with a lack of clarity and communication that resident Cassie Creswell said “is really disappointing to me as a voter and a taxpayer.” The protestors referenced the city’s history of political corruption and obscurity. “That’s our history, and it’s continuing now…. It’s unbelievable that in the [seat] of Barack Obama [and Harold Washington] and in supposedly progressive places, things haven’t changed,” resident Michele Beaulieux said. Resident Hannah Hayes said that her phone calls, e-mails, and social media outreach to Preckwinkle concerning the appointment had gone unanswered. She also noted that her senator, state representative (Christian Mitchell), and alderman (Sophia King) are all appointed officials. “So my vote didn’t matter and now I feel like my voice doesn’t matter…. As a voting Democrat, I call on my elected officials to delay this appointment until there is more dialogue, more scrutiny. As the very least, do not claim to be progressive and wear the mantle of a progressive, when that is nothing but hypocrisy.” “We are asking for a pause to the process…. Going forward there should be a change so that this isn’t the process,” Piemonte concluded. The committee also considered Adrienne Irmer, Flynn Rush, and Kenneth Sawyer. Irmer and Rush both lost their races for state representative of the 25th District in November 2018, while Sawyer lost his 2004 race for Fourth Ward alderman. Each candidate was given five minutes to address the committee in continued on pg.


Rendering of the expanded center in Paris. operated by UChicago. It is being designed by the Chicago-based architecture firm Studio Gang in collaboration with Parisian architecture firm PARC Architectes. The selection of the center’s architect was a competitive process conducted by SEMAPA, the government agency responsible for developing the Rive Gauche neighborhood, where the center is located.

Missika, the deputy mayor of Paris, in a statement. Studio Gang previously collaborated with the University to design Campus North and Baker Dining Commons, which opened in 2016. The firm is also responsible for Hyde Park residential high-rises City Hyde Park and Solstice on the Park, completed in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

UChicago President Robert Zimmer Voted in the 2016 Republican Primary By EUIRIM CHOI editor-in-chief University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer voted in Illinois’s Republican primary in the 2016 election, according to public voting histories. Illinois requires voters at the state, congressional, and presidential levels to declare their affiliation with a political party at the polling place before voting in that party’s primary. Such declarations are recorded and made public. Zimmer has long been coy about his politics, declining to


Second-Year Singer-Songwriter, Jakob Leventhal By WAHID AL MAMUM

courtesy of studio gang

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answer a question on the subject in a 2016 interview with The Maroon. In recent years, however, he has become somewhat of a celebrity in conservative circles, earning praise from commentators for publications like the National Review and The Federalist for attacking “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” as the public face of the University of Chicago’s purportedly pro-free speech stance. Under Zimmer’s leadership, the University has taken a strong anti-union position with respect to graduate student workers, recontinued on pg.


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Events 1/8-1/10

Mayor Appoints Booth Professor to Chicago’s School Board By ELAINE CHEN

Tuesday Chicago Mayoral Candidate Forum: Public Housing and Housing Insecurity The National Public Housing Museum, 6 p.m. Mayoral candidates including Dorothy Brown, Amara Eniya, Bob Fioretti, and Lori Lightfoot will discuss public housing in Chicago, ranging from initiatives to lift the ban on rent control to a call for equitable development in gentrifying neighborhoods to increased pressure to address homelessness. Wednesday The Mismeasure of Health Care - Eric Schneider Billings Auditorium, 12 p.m. Dr. Schneider is senior vice president for policy and research at The Commonwealth Fund, a national philanthropy engaged in independent research on health and social policy issues. He will discuss whether measurement, improvement, and cost reduction in medical care can be united. Thursday Project Reproductive Freedom Open Mic Hallowed Grounds, 7 p.m. Project Reproductive Freedom is hosting its first open mic night at Hallowed Grounds coffee shop. The theme is Resilience, and the open mic will emphasize the topic of reproductive justice. Geoffrey Stone on The Free Speech Century The Seminary Co-Op Bookstore, 6 p.m. Law School Professor Geoffrey R. Stone will discuss his book, The Free Speech Century. He will be joined in conversation by David Strauss. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion. Poetry Reading: Lynn Xu, Geoffrey G. O’Brien, Simone White Swift Hall, 6 p.m. As a complement to the Renaissance Society’s exhibition Let me consider it from here, poets Geoffrey G. O’Brien, Simone White, and Lynn Xu will read from new work, written for the occasion. Embodying the concerns of the exhibition in their own ways, their poems offer rich viewpoints on how a private or personal space can open on to larger social and political realities.

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Mayor R a h m Ema nuel appoi nted University of Chicago Booth School of Business professor Austan Goolsbee to the Chicago Board of Education, the governing body that oversees Chicago Public Schools, last week. Goolsbee, who was an economic adviser to former president Barack Obama, completes the mayor-appointed board of seven members, filling the seat left open by Michael Garanzini’s resignation last year. In January, he was asked to debate Steve Bannon were Bannon to come to campus. Goolsbee joins the board as it slowly recovers from a budget crisis and now oversees an $8 billion budget. Aside from deciding what areas and in which schools the district spends its money on, the board approves the opening of charter schools, district-wide school policies, employee actions, among other responsibilities. While Emanuel stressed Goolsbee’s experience as a professor and adviser as proof of his capability for the position, the Chicago Teachers Union denounced the appointment, citing it as another reason Chicago should switch to an elected school board. In 2010, Barack Obama nominated Goolsbee to serve as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, the body that advises the president on economic policy. In his time at the W hite House, during which he was voted funniest person in Washington, D.C., Goolsbee often crossed paths with Emanuel, who was serving as Obama’s chief of staff. When Emanuel left the White House to run for mayor in 2010, Goolsbee gave Emanuel a dead fish as a parting gift. Ema nuel sa id in a statement that Goolsbee “has a lifetime of knowledge and leadership as an educator in Chicago,” making him “inimitably qualified to further strengthen the Board of Education.” The Chicago Teachers Union, however, does not see Goolsbee as suitable for

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the position. The Union’s statement reads, “The mayor had an opportunity for once to show that he at least marginally valued the voice of educators and school communities.” “Instead,” the statement continues, “he appointed a proponent of the kind of public-private ‘partnerships’ that are rich in returns for corporate investors, and poor on public oversight and accountability for the Black, Brown and working class families who are forced to bankroll the privatization of public services.” A s C h a l k b e at C h ic a go r ep or t e d , Goolsbee has limited personal experience with traditional public schools. He graduated high school from Milton Academy, a private college preparatory school in Massachusetts, and his children attend the UChicago Lab Schools. He has expressed opinions on issues in public education, however. Goolsbee said in a 2015 survey of economists that allowing parents to use publicly funded vouchers to pay for their children to attend private schools can harm public schools. The Union stressed that Goolsbee’s

appointment “sharpens the need to give Chicagoans what they have demanded for years: an elected, representative school board.” The Chicago mayor has held control of the school board since 1995, although Chicagoans have long opposed mayoral appointment. In 2011 and 2015 city elections, most voters expressed support of an elected school board in non-binding referendums. Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker has said he would support an elected school board, as have many mayoral candidates, including Toni Preckwinkle and Lori Lightfoot. If city and state legislators do approve an elected school board, Goolsbee’s term on the board may be short-lived. It’s possible that even if an elected school board doesn’t pass in leg islat ure, Goolsbee could be replaced when the new mayor comes into office. W hen Emanuel first became mayor in 2011, he replaced the entire school board. Goolsbee did not respond to The Maroon’s request for comment.

UC Med Study Could Lead to First FDA-Approved Food Allergy Treatment By GUSTAVO DELGADO news reporter

A recent study conducted at UChicago Medicine shows that exposing patients to escalating doses of peanut protein may reduce the severity of peanut allergies. The treatment used in the study, a peanut protein-derived immunotherapy dr ug known as AR101, will be reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2019; if approved, it will become the first FDA-backed food allergy treatment. The study, led by interim Chief of Allergy and Immunology Christina Ciaccio, involved 554 European and North American participants between the ages of 4 and 55, who ingested varying amounts of peanut protein while taking AR101. The study’s participants received an ImmunoCAP blood test prior to participation in the study to ensure they were allergic to peanuts. Researchers only accepted patients with peanut-specific Immunoglobulin E levels of at least 0.35 kUA per liter. Once a participant’s immune system adjusted, the dosage was increased until he or she could ingest one peanut with lit-

tle to no allergic reaction. “We believe at this level of ingestion, one will be protected from most accidental ingestions,” Ciaccio wrote in an e-mail to The Maroon. A lthough a tolerance build-up approach like the one used in this study has been the traditional treatment for pollen allergies for years, the standard of care for peanut allergies thus far has typically been a strict elimination diet and the use of rescue medications if peanuts are accidentally consumed. With supplementation of AR101, 62.7 percent of participants could eat the equivalent of about two peanuts without having an allergic reaction by the end of the study. This does not mean, however, that participants can consume peanuts continuously, Ciaccio said. Rather, the intent behind the immunotherapy treatment trial is to reduce fatal allergic reactions and develop a safety net to improve the quality of life for those affected by this disease. This landmark trial is the product of many years of deliberation and research. The first-noted instance of using such a method was in 1908, but clinical trials did not start until the 1990s. However, the trials conducted did not produce conclusive

results, leaving the food allergy field with an unmet need for research. “In 2011 a critical meeting with food allerg y stakeholders took place which resulted in a consensus that OIT (oral immunotherapy) needed to be standardized,” Ciaccio told The Maroon. “As no pharmaceutical company was interested, the food allergy community started a company, now called Aimmune.” A immune led the second and third trials for AR101. With their funding, UC Medicine has been able to work on using desensitization to reduce allergic reactions to various foods, not just peanuts. “In fact, clinical trials are in the works for [allergies to] milk, eggs, and tree nuts, to name a few. We anticipate this to be just the beginning for food allerg[ies],” Ciaccio said. “We have several additional approaches in clinical trial currently and are very hopeful that we will see equally exciting results with others as well.”



Non-stop study sesh? Aced. From Monster Energy to Archer Farms coffee, shop and save close to campus.

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Peters Appointed to IL Senate Seat continued from front

a public meeting, before committee members followed up with questions. There was no explanation of how the candidates were selected, beyond Sawyer stating that he had only found out about the appointment a week earlier because “there was no announcement.” In his speech, Peters recalled the struggles of his early life—he was “born deaf with a massive speech impediment” to a mother addicted to drugs and alcohol before being adopted. After college and through unemployment, he relied on the welfare system which “provided very little for me in a time of need.” Although he has never before run for political office, Peters claimed that “[these] experiences I went through are similar to many experiences of residents in the district. It’s knowing this that drives me in this work.” Peters, who described himself as “a proud South Sider and an even prouder Chicagoan,” highlighted his work with Reclaim Chicago. He said that he, in conjunction with Preckwinkle, raised the Cook County minimum wage to $13 an hour and organized more than 300,000 doors and dials for Kim Foxx in the 2016 State

Attorney’s victory. He also pointed to his work with Preckwinkle in July 2017 that pushed judges to set affordable bails for defendants. As state senator, Peters pledged to “bring fair and equitable investment into our wards and communities” and “to fight to bring fairness and equality to our justice system” through expanded bail reform and marijuana legalization. Additionally, he promised to “bring radical transparency” to the position—a fixture many district residents felt was lacking in the appointment process. After being sworn in, Peters said to the crowd, “This isn’t an appointment to become a state senator. It’s to finish out a term. I understand that I’ve got to run for election; I’ve got to earn the vote and the support of the residents of the 13th District, and I promise to do that. And I promise to work with the folks in this room. “I want to make sure I’m a champion for everyone in this district, especially the working class folks. I’m Hyde Park born and raised. This is my home, and I want folks to know that any time they need anything, though I don’t have an office number yet, you can call. I’m hoping to have some radical transparency, and I’m hoping to do a new kind of politics.”

Under Zimmer’s Leadership, the University Has Adopted a Stridently Anti-Union Stance continued from front

fusing to negotiate following a decisive vote in favor of unionization in 2017, even as other universities like Harvard have done the opposite. Zimmer has also led the University as it sent several letters to the Donald Trump administration in opposition to its immigration policies, though at times UChicago has responded to the current administration more moderately than other colleges, opting not to declare itself a “sanctuary campus” and declining to join hundreds of universities in endorsing the Paris climate agreement. Zimmer voted in a primary election in only one other year since 2000 according to public voting histories, voting in the Democratic primary in 2008. Other well-know n campus figures found in public voting histories include economics lecturer Allen Sanderson (voted in the 2010 Democratic primary), law school professor and philosopher Martha Nussbaum (voted in the 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2010,

and 2016 Democratic primaries), and Nobel laureate and Booth professor Eugene Fama (voted in the 2010 and 2014 Republican primaries). Provost Daniel Diermeier did not vote in a recent primary, according to the voting histories. The voting histories were aggregated and made easily accessible by the mobile application

VoteWithMe, a project run by the New Data Project, a progressive nonprofit founded by former Google engineer and Barack Obama administration alumnus Mikey Dickerson. Data for the most recent election cycle was not yet available at the time of publication.

President Robert Zimmer meets with parents at a reception during O-Week. euirim choi

VIEWPOINTS Reconsidering Idols in the Era of #MeToo We Should Strenuously Condemn Celebrities Who Abuse Their Power. But How Far Do We Have To Go?

SOHAM MALL The freight train of the #MeToo movement has brought issues that had been eclipsed for far too long to the forefront, oftentimes coming in the form of assault allegations made against high-profile celebrities, typically household names. Casual fans have beg un to confront their own complicity in these abuses, and thus consider what needs to change to prevent more people from misusing their fame and power. The a nswers to these questions are often frustratingly gray, but confronting them can be a productive means toward navigating the boundaries of acceptability. I explored one such quandary during a lunchtime debate with my friends about the greatest basketball players of all time. We wondered whether Kobe Bryant’s assault allegations should affect his perceived legacy as a basketball player. Bryant was accused of sexual assault in 2003 by a hotel employee on a charge that was dropped after the accuser refused to testify. She then filed a civil lawsuit that was ultimately settled by the parties involved.

While Bryant evaded legal reprimand, his public apology belied his claimed innocence. He said, “A lthough I tr uly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did. A fter months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter.” Here, he relegates the accuser’s claim of lack of consent to a matter of “feel[ing],” while somehow maintaining his belief that the incident was consensual. Despite sidestepping responsibility, Bryant kept his multimillion-dollar NBA contract, and while Nike stopped promoting his bra nd for two years, he still retained his sponsorship. It is difficult to reconcile my suspicions of such w rongdoi ng w it h t he mu rk y legal conclusions that absolve such people of blame. Derrick Rose, my favorite NBA player growing up, was cleared in 2016 from rape charges against him and two of his friends. All three

defendants claimed that the encounter was consensual, despite Rose’s admission that he did not understand consent. To this day, I believe that Br y a nt a nd Rose b ot h wer e guilty. For one, the possibility of false allegations is slim. According to a US study, an estimated 2–10 percent of rape accusations are proven to be false, while the number of assault cases that go unreported is around 65 percent according to the Department of Justice. Nevertheless, making the leap from doubting someone’s innocence to a ssuming their guilt can be a dangerous one, and I struggle to dispassionately consider merely the facts of the case and not their personalities. Without hav ing ex perienced these incidents firsthand, and having only complicated verdicts on which to base our opinions, it’s exasperating to accept the bleak idea that we may never know what really happened. Assessing someone’s guilt is one thing; questions of separating the art from the guilty artist are more contentious. I don’t think that appreciating Kobe’s game ma kes one an apologist for his actions off the court. I’ve never seen anyone stop dancing when R. Kelly’s “Ignition” comes on at a party. We also cannot retroactively change our opinions that existed prior to abuse allegations. We can’t unlisten to songs, unwatch movies, or unbuy Derrick Rose jerseys. Even if we

could, I don’t know whether that would be the right thing to do. I do not consider such people to be role models and no matter how well they can sing, write, or play basketball, nothing will ever excuse what they have done. The moral stain on the artist makes separating their art from their actions a questionable and probably chimerical endeavor. To buy their products and give them continued limelight is to fuel their ability to abuse their power. But I do not think that mora l policing is the a nswer. Spotify earlier in the year implemented a short-lived “hateful conduct ” policy wherein it stopped promoting the music of artists who were accused of sex crimes, a move that was rolled back a f ter industr y back lash. Today, X X XTentacion’s music rema ins on some of Spotif y ’s of ficia l playlists, and a “This is X X XTentacion” playlist was created after the artist’s death in June. Spotify has even promoted the November album of rapper 6ix9ine, convicted of sex crimes against a child. That’s not the answer either. Gr appl i ng w it h t he se i s sues means taking nothing for g ra nted a nd rev isiting those we pardon and those we don’t. It ’s perfectly fine to be unsure and uneasy—the easy answers to these problems are often the wrong ones. I don’t know what the solutions are, but I do know that it is wrong to idolize and

glorif y abusers. There may be no silver bullet, but as the movement continues to out abusers, we need to figure out what to do with what remains. We can hope that those we look up to steer clear of such vile behavior, but when they don’t, we need to be prepared to cut the cord (and figure out what that means). Maybe it means that we don’t buy the Kobe sneakers that Nike will inevitably continue to produce. Maybe it means avoiding 6i x 9ine’s music (which is a lready terrible) and petitioning Spotify and other media companies to stop promoting abusers and their products. Maybe we need to consider whether we can watch Derrick Rose play without rooting for him. Even though we know that any celebrity could be exposed as a predator, it’s impossible to be on our guard against all the people we look up to. Even if we can’t, we need to decide how we can interact with celebrities in a more detached way. Regardless, when it comes to those who are known or suspected predators, the one thing we cannot do is continue to engage with them as if nothing happened. We cannot let our attachment to them be a suture for their misconduct. Soham Mall is a second-year in the College.



Beyond the Shorter Shower: Individual Environmentalism Just Isn’t Enough We Need National Organization To Truly Tackle Climate Change

MAYA HOLT “ I don’t believe it.” Th is w a s t he respon se P resident Donald Trump had to the National Climate Assessment released Thanksgiving weekend. The document, drafted by 13 of Trump’s own governmental agencies, is scientists’ latest, hoarse-throated warning cry: If significant changes aren’t made to address climate change, there w ill be severe consequences. This isn’t a matter of belief; it’s a matter of fact. Tr ump isn’t the only one plugging his ea rs to science, however. A 2017 study found that 13 percent of A mericans don’t believe the earth is warming at all, and a staggering 87 percent a ren’t awa re of t he overwhelming scientific consensus that mankind is the main cause of global warming. So what does this mean for those of us who do believe in climate change? At a time when the effects of global warming are becoming visible in the U.S. (see California, which recently had its deadliest fire in recorded history), there is a pervasive feeling of hopelessness. The weight of this makes complacency easy—it is tempting to simply try lessen our own environmental impact (when con-

venient), and pretend we aren’t participating in an inherently un-eco-friendly system. However, if we are to believe the scientists ( please do), this is no longer an option. If climate change is to be slowed, we need a seismic restructuring of society—and for this, we have to get organized. When I was in third grade, I remember being shown an environmentalist video for Earth Day. It was an inter view with Nobel laureate and environmentalist Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement. In the animated v ideo, Maathai tells an Ecuadorian fable about a forest fire: The animals of the forest watch it burn from afar, transfixed by the flames engulfing their home, but do not act— all except for the hummingbird. Despite its diminutive size, the hummingbird f lies back a nd forth from the fire to a nearby river, heroically trying to put out the f lames drop by drop. “I’m doing the best that I can!” it exclaims. “I’m doing the best that I can!” Back in 2009, this was an inspiring video to watch. Env i ron ment a l ism wa s f ra med as an individualistic task, one that could be achieved by simply

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lessening your carbon footprint. Recycle at home! Take shorter showers! Buy a Prius! Surely, we thought, if enough of us hummingbirds filled our beaks with water, the forest fire of global warming could be subdued. Fast for ward almost a decade, and we are only fanning the flames. Among the National Climate A ssessment ’s predictions: Our nation’s coasts will flood with increasing frequency, agricultural output may decline to 1980s levels by mid-century, and the West Coast ’s destructive fires will only continue to intensify and expand eastward. The study a lso prov ided ev idence that the U.S. GDP could take a significant cut by the end of the century if current trends continue—painfully ironic, given that Trump has consistently claimed his pro-fossil fuel policies would stimulate the economy. E ven hy p ot het ic a l ly, it ’s hard to grapple w ith the implications these changes would have. Homes would inevitably be destroyed and families forced to relocate; food prices would rise and jobs would be likely be lost. Dismaying though it may be, now that the U.S. has withdrawn from the Paris climate agreement our future could very well be this grim. Anything else will require a serious national about-face, which seems unlikely under an administration that actively supports the fossil fuel industry. In response to this seemingly immutable reality, many have embraced eco-friendliness on a

personal level. The subculture of thrifting has ballooned, the number of vegans in the U.S. has grown by 600 percent over the last three years alone, and reusable straws have become the new ca nvas g rocer y bag. All this, I would argue, is just a symptom of the helplessness people feel in the face of an incredibly nearsighted government. Being “green” is empowering; like the hummingbird in the Ecuadorian fable, you feel li ke you’re doing your pa r t. Unfortunately, there is a complacency latent in this feeling. If you’re already “doing your part,” what moral obligation is there to do more? In the context of today’s political-scientific divide, I look at the hummingbird fable in a much different light than I did a decade ago. It ’s all well and good that the hummingbird is doing its best to help, but there’s an urgency that 9-year-old me didn’t recog nize: Un less the other animals pitch in, the forest is still going to burn down. It would be easy to blame the other animals for the forest ’s fate. Certainly, had they joined the hummingbird rather than stood motionlessly by, the forest could have been saved. The elephants in particular we might hold accountable, because for decades their whole party has successfully convinced other animals that there’s a raging debate over whether the forest is actually on fire at all. Yet it was the hummingbird who knew how to respond; it was the hummingbird that in

this life or death situation could have tried to educate or organize the masses. Instead, it just “did its best,” while the forest burned down around it. There is something to be said for doing the best that you can in a broken system. If everyone makes an effort to lessen their own carbon footprint, our collective footprint will indisputably be smaller. There is inherent value in this, but it simply isn’t enough. In a world where 70 percent of carbon emissions come from just 100 companies, “going green” on a personal level is a hummingbird-sized drop in the bucket. W hat we need is organization on a nationa l sca le, and rallying cries to ref lect it. Help educate climate change skept ics! Ca mpa ig n for env i ronmentalist candidates! Protest corporations that refuse to limit the use of fossil fuels! If we want a chance at avoiding the future laid out by the National Climate Assessment, we must do more than profess the ideals of environmentalism—we must demand reform, reusable straws clenched in our raised fists. Maya Holt is a first-year in the College.



ARTS Jakob Leventhal on Forging His Own Identity, Confronting Depression and More By WAHID AL MAMUM arts reporter

For many of us, the prospect of becoming a singer-songwriter will never amount to anything more than an idle fantasy, but for second-year Jakob Leventhal, it has become a fully functional reality, complete with a Spotify page and PR agents. His debut single, “This Love Is Sarcastic,” has already accumulated over 30,000 streams since its release in November, and his debut album Oh, So Bittersweet! is expected for release early next year. Though Leventhal comes from a lineage of musicians, he is eager to shrug off the chip on his shoulder and to carve out his own path to success. The Maroon spoke with Leventhal in his apartment, which he has converted into a part-time workstation complete with guitars, mics, a keyboard and a recording interface. Chicago Maroon: First of all, we wanted to talk about your single “This Love Is Sarcastic”—it’s had over 20,000 streams on Spotify [at the time of the interview]. How does that feel? Jakob Leventhal: It feels pretty weird—I was at my friend’s party last night, and someone put it on his playlist and it came on and most people in the room were singing along— it was pretty surreal. Sometimes it’s weird in a good way. I got a new message the other day from someone from Jakarta, saying he’s a new fan, so that’s great. CM: And what is the rest of the album going to look like? JL: The album is done—it’s actually been done for many months now. The rest of the album is in a similar vein to “This Love Is Sarcastic”—singer-songwriter, indie rock, folk rock…. I don’t know what you would want to call it. It definitely hits a wider range of marks than “This Love Is Sarcastic,” though. CM: Your Spotify bio and your website both mention how you picked up a lot of instruments by yourself from a young age. What first got you into music? JL: I’m from a family of musicians, which you would think would help, but I would say I was resentful about that. I wanted to do stuff on my own, and I didn’t want anyone to show me how to do it, so I actually didn’t take any lessons from anyone as a way to rebel. When I was five, I started learning the guitar and piano, and when I was 10 or 11 I started learning the bass and the drums. When I started recording the album, I wanted to record something where I was basically playing every instrument, which is more or less what happens on the album. I don’t play the bass on it, even though I’m an okay bass player, but I don’t think I’m good enough for that. CM: Was there a specific moment in your life where you knew that you wanted to become a musician? JL: I always played a lot of music—I always wrote songs. I always took it seriously, but for a long time I didn’t want to be a musician just because both my parents were musicians. I always pursued different artistic endeavors—I drew a lot, I used to write screenplays in high school. And then pretty

Student musician Jakob Leventhal dicusses the making of his debut single and upcoming EP. recently, like a year ago, I was busy working contracting over the summer, and I decided that I wanted to make a record and so I did it. And I was like, okay this is what I want to do. At the end of the day, it was important to me—it is important to me—that whatever success I get from music has nothing to do with my parents, and is entirely my own version. If I make a song and record it and release it and nobody likes it, that’s fine. I just don’t want anything to come from someone else’s success. CM: Let’s talk about “This Love Is Sarcastic.” It has an interesting Father John Misty energy where it ostensibly sounds like a really sad song, but there are moments and lyrics which come across as very tonguein-cheek. What sort of influences does your music have? JL: That’s a very big question. Father John Misty, of course. Elliott Smith, Conor Oberst, Bright Eyes, and so on. The Beatles obviously are huge to me—not even in terms of their songs—just in terms of their production. The Beach Boys, as well. Also, a lot of classical music and jazz—it’s easy to take from a lot of places. When I started to record the album, Father John Misty had just dropped his new album [God’s Favorite Customer] and I was really consciously making a point that I can’t just mimic this. I have to find my own style. It’s okay to utilize some of the artists, but I really made a point in the record about the sound. And I had a moment where I was recording the record when I listened to one of the songs and I was like, this doesn’t really sound like anyone but me. That was cool. CM: Could you walk us through the production of your album? Was it a self-produced effort? JL: It was co-produced up in New York. My father is a producer—and a very, very good producer at that—and I came in wanting to make this record. In the same vein of how I had to decide whether I’m going to play

courtesy of jakob leventhal

the bass or whether someone else is going to. And at that point, I decided I wanted it to be the highest quality I could, so I co-produced the record with my dad, John Leventhal. He’s also the one playing the bass. It can be a very interesting experience. It was a real pushand-pull. He would come and say something, and I would maybe disagree. We would get into it for a while just because he got very invested, as you will. CM: And how does the song-writing process work for you? Does the melody come before the lyrics, or vice versa? And how do you choose which songs end up in your record? JL: I can really be all over the place. A lot of times, the lyrics will come first just because I have nothing better to do. On one of the songs on the record—it might be one of my favorite tracks on the record, it’s called “Golden Glass”—I wrote the lyrics when I was on the plane to go over to my sister’s place in Nashville. As I was on the plane, my phone died and I had an idea for a song so I wrote it down. When I got to Nashville, one of my sisters had a piano and I figured out the melody and the chords. But there are many other times where the guitar riff comes first—“This Love Is Sarcastic,” for example. I try to write songs at a very high volume. The record only has eight songs but there are at least 40 songs that I’ve written for it. I recorded maybe 20 demos, and at that point I cut it to 12. And after I recorded eight songs, I felt like the record was done. It felt like a complete thing—in a narrative sense, it told a complete story. CM: And what is the narrative that we’re expecting? JL: It hits a lot of marks, but part of it is about growing up in New York in general. Part of it is childhood trauma and grappling with depression and relationships, and how these relationships interact with all the depression and emotions. I guess it’s about the

oddities of being alive at all. CM: You mentioned depression and childhood trauma—how faithfully do you think you can transcribe that into your music? JL: That’s interesting—I don’t know! A lot of times when I write a song it’s not even a really conscious attempt at targeting a certain emotion. Sometimes I’ll just start writing something, and I’ll finish a line and I’ll be like, that’s what this is about. I wouldn’t have really thought of that, but it came out. I never go in being like, “this is going to be a song about my depression,” because that’s kind of sad—but sometimes it just comes out that way. CM: Do you think your audience will relate and appreciate the fact that you write candidly about these themes? JL: If they are my audience, then I guess. But other songs like “This Love Is Sarcastic” are not necessarily about that. I try really hard not to be on one note all the time, because that emotion can be a very consuming one—for a lot of people it is. I try really actively on this record not to put out eight songs about how sad I am all the time. CM: How do you balance your career as a musician with schoolwork? How do you find time? JL: It’s increasingly hard. When I was recording the album it was fine because it was over the summer. And the beginning of the year was fine, but then I released the single, and it very much picked up steam. It requires a fair amount of attention. I keep talking to blogs, my manager, labels, stuff like that. It starts to take a lot of time, and it’s hard. I’ve definitely let some stuff slip, which is to be expected. The dream would be to not let anything slip. I’m a philosophy major, and I very much still enjoy philosophy. I’m definitely not going to drop out—that’s not even a question. It’s just a whole extra amount of time that I have to dedicate to music, which requires some level of discipline.



Art Institute Soars With Paintings of the Floating World By ALINA KIM arts reporter

One of the first things that comes to mind when reflecting on Japanese culture is its love of aesthetics, evident in beautiful anime like Kimi no Na wa (Your Name), delicately arranged bento lunches, and the Pokémon plushies that line my window ledge. The Art Institute’s special exhibition, Painting the Floating World, proves to be no exception, revealing that this love for exquisite beauty is something Japan has cherished for centuries. The ukiyo-e paintings, literally “paintings of the f loating world,” f lourished in the 17th through 19th centuries of modern Japan, particularly in Edo and Kamigata. The term “ukiyo” originated in Buddhism, describing the transience of life. However, as the paintings were popularized, the term evolved to define the urbanization and boom in the entertainment empire, specifically with the Kabuki actors, celebrities, and courtesans of pleasure quarters. In a time during which the shogunate implemented class distinction and political manipulation, these paintings—either in the form of a commission or a replicable print—fostered a sense of free expression. They make a viewer wonder whether ukiyo-e actually acted as a facade for the harsh political tension during the shogunate reign. On the lower levels of the Art Institute, a sample of the vast gallery overhead is positioned close to the permanent Japanese exhibit, with hanging commissioned woodblocks depicting the dramatic stance of a Kabuki actor or a seductive glance of a beautiful woman, or bijin-ga. A gallery attendant at this section was quick to point out the imaginative designs of the kimono—often, the decorations on the women’s kimonos had exaggerated patterns, possibly to accentuate the ethereal beauty of the

bijin-ga. When I walked up to the second floor and into the main gallery, I was instantly touched by the traditional Japanese music softly thrumming at the entrance of the labyrinthine exhibit. Long scrolls of portraiture, landscapes, and poetry brimmed from the walls, some even sloping across an entire gallery, stained with vivid reds and paint made of melted gold. The exhibit was designed in a circular fashion, with the first part concentrating on the earliest forms of the ukiyo-e. The famed bird’s-eye view sketch of Tokyo boldly introduced the attendees to the artworks, meticulously drawn such that not even the paper windows on the tiny houses were forgotten or glazed over, with beautiful patterns bordering the edges of the scroll. Quite jarring in this section, however, were the showcases of explicit sexuality, both in Kabuki performances and in private life. In the paintings of Kabuki performances, young, handsome male actors, wakashū, were portrayed with delicate features and strong stances. With a spark of curiosity, I snuck into a hidden area in the exhibit, wondering why it was closed off from the rest. The reason became clear upon first sight: Within discreet scrolls that spanned several feet, the “spring pictures,” or shunga, showcased explicit scenes of passionate sex between members of different social classes. Many of the shunga were kept as family heirlooms, or used as guides for a virgin bride on her wedding night. Although an amusing and uncomfortable concept now, these scrolls were actually guardians against natural disasters, including fire, and were to be respected as works of high honor. The next parts of the exhibit explored the evolution of beauty standards in Japan, usually through the forms of female courtesans and geishas. When I inquired about the differences in poses among the portraits, a gallery attendant informed me

The ukiyo-e style explored Japanese female beauty standards. courtesy of the art institute of chicago

that a lifted skirt suggests walking, a folding fan or an instrument hints at the woman in the painting or print being a geisha, and a glance over the shoulder is, in modern terms, “bedroom eyes.” Perhaps the most popular part of the exhibit was that concerned with the golden age in the 18th century; attendees crowded over the prints in the Hundred Beauties gallery, which depicted women spanning multiple statuses, from ladies of the court to the lowly streetwalkers. Although beautifully embroidered, like the rest of the scrolls within the entirety of the exhibit, the scenes within each painting were sometimes grotesque, such as the imagery of a group of prostitutes disgustingly eating meat off of bones, with gleeful expressions pasted on their faces. The last gallery, at the end of the circular exhibit, showed off the transformed standards of beauty, with the elongated

face, large nose, and eccentric, lopsided poses. With the restoration of the emperor and disintegration of shogunate power, tales of nostalgia loomed within some of the ukiyo-e, which pictured legendary ancient heroes, famous celebrities, or even poetry written in cursive, swooning over the beauty of a geisha. A fter parting with the ukiyo-e, as I faced the adjacent “Hairy Who?” Exhibit, I was left with my curiosity for Japanese aesthetic both heightened and satisfied. Was it this chronology of transforming beauty that inspired the still-sensual contemporary anime? Were these continued after photography was introduced to the modern era? Perhaps so, but one thing does remain clear: This admiration for glamor and elegance still impacts our views on beauty today, which we continue to value, question, and modify as do the beauty standards of the past.

Joffrey Ballet Restages The Nutcracker in 1893 Chicago By JESSICA JIWON CHOE arts reporter

In the spirit of Jane Austen’s eternal words, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single child in possession of two doting parents must have been dragged off to unwillingly watch The Nutcracker on Christmas eve and walked away entranced by the performance. Most of these children probably even entertained budding dreams of becoming ballerinas only to have those hopes mercilessly crushed at an after-school gymnastics program. Stemming from that needlessly specific flashback, the Joffrey Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker last Saturday was infused with nostalgia and marbled with contemporary twists that humorously adapted the traditional performance to a 21st century audience. Choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, The Nutcracker was set during the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, a decision I thought was fantastic. It directly touched local audience members who felt kinship over the familiar setting—their own Windy City. The newspaper backdrop with headlines proudly announcing the Chicago World’s Fair not only excited the children in attendance with flashy lights around a recognizable name but also appealed to adults as an interesting rework of a classic. Naturally, choosing a different setting for the ballet also involved changing the characters and their socioeconomic statuses. Instead of keeping Marie’s (originally Clara’s) family in an elite upper class, Wheeldon

transformed them into a working class, immigrant family in order to demonstrate the crucial role immigrants played in building Chicago. In this way, the friendly picture of hardworking friends and relatives sharing genuine kinship and the American dream around a merry hearth fire made its way into this late 1800s classic. In addition, the political implication did not pass over the crowd’s head but was well received. Moreover, Wheeldon’s Nutcracker was child-friendly both behind the curtains and on stage. The delighted squealing of children in the crowd was audible after several of the funnier scenes, such as ones including the tricky walnuts or the comically crazy Buffalo Bill. Onstage, the production itself shined a spotlight on child ballerinas. The walnuts drew laughs from young and old alike as pea sized soldiers cut pea-sized walnuts apart in cute synchronization. One walnut and soldier pair especially pleased the crowd with their Tom and Jerry antics that eventually ended with the walnut running away from its mini soldier counterpart. Junior snowflake dances were synchronized in funny and captivating sequences, which couldn’t help but make me wonder how difficult it must have been for kids of such age to exhibit such disciplined performance. It was simultaneously impressive and adorable. The only aspect of Wheeldon’s Nutcracker that failed to impress me were the cultural scenes when Marie is exposed to the world outside of Chicago through several exotic exhibits. In the past, The Nutcracker has faced accusations of cultural appropriation for such scenes. Stereotypical portrayals of

courtesy of the auditorium theatre

Arabian, Spanish, and Chinese culture that were acceptable in the late 1800s have not aged well in the politically correct culture of the 21st century. I was disappointed to find that there wasn’t much change in these areas, with some blatant stereotypes still parading across the stage as a means of representing a culture. Keeping the time frame of this adaptation in mind, I would have appreciated a little less leaning on clichés and some more attention to depth. Speaking to my Asian background, the representative props on stage for the Asian pavilion seemed rather superficial and flamboyant. It might have helped to have an Asian dancer performing the Asian pavilion.

Besides that, The Nutcracker still accomplishes its ultimate goal: to communicate “the value of love, the need for hope and the comfort of family, no matter where you are from, or what type of family you have,” as expressed by Brian Selznick, story adaptation author and illustrator of children’s books including The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Through its unique background that hits close to home, the humor and wit intertwined in the fusion of history and tradition, as well as the trust and discipline of its ballerinas, Wheeldon’s Nutcracker is a force to be reckoned with. It is a must-see for the Christmas holiday—maybe you’ll walk out with a budding dream, too?



SPORTS Maroons Crush Beloit, Fall to Wash U in Holiday Games WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

By JOSHUA PARKS sports reporter

After an electric start, with their only blemish coming courtesy of No. 2 Thomas More, the Maroons took their 8–1 record on the road to Nashville over the holiday break to compete in the Music City Classic at Trevecca Nazarene University. In their first test in 11 days, the Maroons squared off against Midwest foe Beloit on Saturday, December 29. Controlling the game from the opening tip, the women pulled away with a stellar second half, outscoring the Buccaneers 74–49 in the final 20 minutes of play. Third-year Mia Farrell led the Maroons offensively with 14 points that night. Fourth-year Olariche Obi recorded another double-double, adding 12 points and 11 rebounds. Third-year Miranda Burt also chipped in 10 points for Chicago. In a quick turnaround, the South Siders were back on the hardwood on Sunday, December 30 to face Husson University of Bangor, ME. In a defensive struggle, the Eagles held off a late-game push from Chicago, handing the No. 8 Maroons their second loss

Fourth-year Olariche Obi looks to pass between Wash U opponents. courtesy of uchicago athletics of the season by a score of 64–59. Mia Farrell continued her production, pouring in 18 points in the loss. Fourthyear Jamie Kockenmeister added 13 points and seven rebounds, six of which came on the offensive glass. Anchored by nine steals and eight blocked shots, the Maroon defense forced 16 turnovers in the contest. Returning to Ratner to ring in the New Year, the South Siders were back in action on Saturday, January 5, to open UAA play

against rival Wash U. Dropping consecutive games for the first time in two seasons, the Maroons were outmatched by the visiting Bears, falling in convincing fashion, 85–66. After establishing a commanding 28–15 lead at the end of the first, the Bears weathered the counterpunches from Chicago in the second quarter. The lead proved to be insurmountable as Wash U won a hard-fought second half, handing the Maroons their first UAA loss in two seasons. Obi led the way for

a stagnant Chicago offense, finishing with 17 points and eight rebounds. First-year Klaire Steffens added nine points and seven boards of her own. “The loss over break was a tough one, but I think it really exposed some issues that we’ve been able to talk about and work on in practice, [among those being better shot selection and bringing more energy in the first half],” Kockenmeister said after returning to campus. Despite the disappointing start, Kockenmeister was excited to get back on the court in conference action. “UAA should be fun this year because every team is talented and should make the conference very competitive. Hopefully we’ll start picking up like we did last year and have some statement wins under our belt in the coming weeks.” The South Siders (9–3, 0–1 UAA) will kick-off a busy weekend Friday night, hosting the Rochester Yellow Jackets (6–6, 0–1 UAA) at Ratner Athletics Center before welcoming first-place Emory (10–2, 1–0 UAA) on Sunday. With little room left for forgiveness, the weekend’s conference matchups are pivotal for the Maroons. Friday’s tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Men Compete Through Break Wrestlers “Dual” to the Death MEN’S BASKETBALL

By CAMILLE AGUILAR sports reporter

Over the break, the men’s basketball team met t wo formidable foes. On December 30 the team met with Millikin, and on Januar y 5 the Maroons played longtime athletic rival Wash U. Heading into the game w ith a w inning record of 7 a nd 3, the Ma roons were hungr y. Though hungr y, the Milli k in Big Blue proved to be hung r ier. Ser v ing pivota l three-pointers at the onset a nd of fset of the ga me, the Big Blue edged out the Maroons 84–78 for the w in. In the beginning, five of the v isiting tea m’s f irst eig ht f ield goa ls were three-pointers. Then in the paint, the Maroons were out-rebounded for the first time in their season. Throughout t he ga me, it felt t hat just a s t he Maroons would progress for a bit, the Big Blue would catch right back up and stif le all for ward advances. Second-year Dominic Laravie scored a career high of 20 points as the Maroons fell short by six points. Bet ween the Millik in a nd Wash U games, the Maroons had vacation time. Determined not to let the holidays impair their ability to defeat Wash U, the


M a r o on s m ade su r e t o e at wel l a nd maintain their exercise regimen. Coming back right after the new year, the Ma roons focu sed on t hei r upcom i ng competition. The game served as a conference opener for both teams, leaving the Maroons with a 1–0 UA A claim and the Bears w ith nothing to claim, save a loss. UChicago defeated Wash U with a final score of 88–80. From the onset of the ga me, four th-yea r Justin Jackson scored three long f ield goa ls a nd slammed a dunk to account for 11 of the Maroon’s first 19 points. Larav ie a lso put up a strong showing once again for the Maroons. W hile setting his career high in Millikin, he reset the ba r scoring 24 points in total, with 16 occurring at a pivotal time in the second half. With some sources going so far as to call him a leader of the half, Larav ie had an 11-point run as soon as his teammates were beginning to slow. While the game certainly was one of runs, Laravie and Jackson’s performances gave fuel to the fire of the basketball team.



Women’s Basketball


Men’s Basketball




By MIRANDA BURT sports reporter

The University of Chicago men’s wrestling team opened 2019 at the National Division III Duals in Louisville, Kentucky. The matches took place on Friday, January 4, and saw the Maroons go 2–2 to bring their record to 6–3 overall in dual matches. The South Siders opened against Centenary University, winning 23–15. Fourth-year Louis DeMarco (133 pounds), first-year Cole Riemer (149 pounds), third-year Steve Bonsall (157 pounds), third-year Kyle Peisker (174 pounds), first-year Ben Sarasin (184 pounds), and fourthyear Patrick Mulkerin (285 pounds) all won matches against Centenary. DeMarco said, “We wrestled tough, and definitely made a good impression on teams around the country.” DeMarco won a match 20–3 on a technical fall victory against Centenary University. The Maroons dropped the next match 36–3 against No. 1 Augsburg University. Riemer won the only match for the Maroons on a 7–5 decision. The team forfeited the 184-pound class. UChicago then won their third match of the day, 23–21 against No. 20 Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Bonsall, Sarasin, Riemer, third-year Kahlan Lee-Lermer (165 pounds), and fourth-year John Jayne (197 pounds) all

won matches. Bonsall was a big factor for the Maroons this weekend, going undefeated in his matches and holding up his No. 3 weight class ranking. UChicago’s final match resulted in a loss to No. 9 York College. Second-year Alec Gleason (141 pounds), second-year Jason Crary (157 pounds), Will Britain (165 pounds), Sarasin, and Mulkerin all won matches for the Maroons. The Maroons forfeited two matches, resulting in the loss, but went 5–5 in the matches they competed in. Third-year Matt Shoub said of the team’s weekend, “We had a lot of guys get experience. Many younger guys had their biggest matches of their careers and were able to help out the team. We have a lot of confidence in our team, but it was good to see so many step up when it counts. It was great to get this experience, especially before NCAA regionals in February. Coming out of this weekend, we now have a lot of things we know [we] need to improve [on], and we have the time to work hard and get better.” The Maroons wrestle next at Elmhurst in the Elmhurst Invitational this Saturday at 9 a.m. The Maroons follow that with a match at home against Elmhurst, then away at the Wheaton Pete Wilson Invitational. In February, the Maroons have one home match against Augusta before the UAA championship and NCAA regional.




Wash U


Wash U


Division III Duals




Women’s Basketball



Men’s Basketball



Elmhurst Invite


Phoenix Invite


Wrestling Track & Field


TIME 6 p.m.

8 p.m. 9 a.m. 11:30 a.m.