PSA PROJECT SPOTLIGHTS ART BY SURVIVORS
MAY 26, 2021 NINTH WEEK VOL. 133 ISSUE 27
University Requires Students to Be Fully Vaccinated by Fall Quarter By RYAN OWYANG Senior News Reporter In an email to members of the University community sent Tuesday afternoon, Provost Ka Yee Lee announced that the University of Chicago will require all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by fall 2021. Absent religious or medical exemptions, any students participating in in-person classes, research, or other activities in
the U.S. will be subject to the requirement. The email did not specify whether students studying abroad would be subject to the requirement. In March, the University committed to a full resumption of in-person campus activities by autumn quarter. Vaccines approved by the FDA or WHO (including Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Covishield, AstraZeneca, and Sinopharm, as of May 13) will meet the University requirement. The email
did not specify whether other vaccinations in use abroad such as Russia’s Sputnik vaccine would also be considered satisfactory. Proof of immunization either through medical records or through presentation of a vaccination card will also be necessary to prove fully vaccinated status. The announcement comes hours after the director of the Chicago Department of Public Health updated citywide guidelines for fully vaccinated individu-
als. Fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks outdoors or for most indoor activities, although the department recommended that businesses continue to require their customers to wear masks. Dean Boyer previously announced on Friday, May 21 that all University masking and distancing requirements will remain in place due to uncertainty regarding the number of fully vaccinated individuals involved in campus activities.
GREY CITY: Students with learning disabilities speak out
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THE CHICAGO MAROON — MAY 26, 2021
University To Allow Up to Two Guests per Graduate at Diploma Ceremonies By LUKIAN KLING & MATTHEW LEE Senior News Reporter and Editor-in-Chief In an email sent to fourth-years in the College Tuesday afternoon, the University announced that graduating students will be allowed to invite up to two guests to attend diploma ceremonies in person. Graduates and parents will be expected to wear face coverings and maintain six feet of distance in all seating areas while on campus.
Attendees will be required to register in advance, and all guests attending on-campus activities are required to obtain tickets via a forthcoming online ticketing site. The University strongly recommends that guests be vaccinated and over the age of 18. They will also need to follow the terms laid out in the University’s visitor attestation. Domestic guests traveling from outside Illinois are required to follow the City of Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order guidelines, and interna-
tional travelers will need to follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s guidelines. Prior to the announcement, graduates were still set to receive diplomas at in-person ceremonies, but guests were not allowed to be in attendance. “We strongly discourage families and guests from traveling to campus as we will be unable to accommodate their presence at the diploma ceremonies,” President Robert Zimmer wrote to the campus community on February 1.
Tuesday’s change in policy came after administrators cited “updated guidance from the CDC and the State of Illinois.” Convocation and Class Day, however, will remain fully virtual with no physical attendance of any kind. In accordance with the original plan, the ceremonies will be broadcast on the University’s Convocation website. Students will have the opportunity to receive individual recordings of the event for on-demand viewing at an unspecified date after the ceremony.
College Council Elects Vice Presidents for 2021-22 USG By YIWEN LU News Editor College Council elected new Undergraduate Student Government (USG) leadership for the 2021-2022 academic year. Allen Abbott (’22), Tyler Okeke (’23), Connor Lee (’24), and Summer Long (’23) will serve as Executive Vice
President for Internal Affairs, Vice President of Advocacy, Vice President of Campus & Student Life, and Vice President of Student Organizations, respectively. The vote follows the passage of the referendum that splits the student government into a separate USG and Graduate Council, which the student body approved during elections last month.
Once inaugurated on June 13, Abbott will manage internal administrative affairs within USG alongside Thrive, the student-elected executive slate. Okeke, Lee, and Long will each become part of a three-person cabinet that oversees committees and specializes in passing resolutions on their respective issue areas. The final make-up of USG will com-
Allen Abbott (‘22), Connor Lee (‘24), Tyler Okeke (‘23), and Summer Long (‘23). COURTESY OF UCHICAGO COLLEGE COUNCIL
prise three executive leadership positions and four vice presidents who make up the cabinet. However, due to the transition occurring after Student Government elections, for 2021-22, executive leadership consists of four individuals, including three members from the Thrive slate and an Executive Vice President for Internal Affairs, while the cabinet consists of three. The additional role on the executive leadership this year is Executive Vice President for External Affairs. Natalie Wang, who ran for Vice President for Student Affairs as part of the Thrive slate, will assume this role. She will fulfill the same tasks as the Vice President of Communications, a position that will become part of the four-person cabinet in future years. The Executive Vice President for External Affairs, which Abbott will assume, will formally become Executive Vice President in the future as part of executive leadership. “I’m excited to serve as the first senior SG leader dedicated to ensuring our successful internal operations. The Executive Vice President is here to ensure that the work of the past is not lost or done in vein [sic], to augment the efforts of the present with consistent policymaking resources, and provide a wealth of knowledge for the projects of the future,” Abbott wrote to The Maroon. Abbott previously served as the ColCONTINUED ON PG. 3
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lege Council representative for the Class of 2022 and is currently the chair of the Transition Committee, who drafts the constitution of USG and facilitates this year’s transition. The transition into the USG, he said, allows members to transcend “archaic and Byzantine governing documents” and develop sustainable long-term relationships with the administration that are necessary to making progress on its initiatives. In the cabinet, the Vice President of Advocacy will oversee USG operations including Committee on Marginalized Student Affairs (COMSA), Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Com-
mittee (SA AP), Community Service Fund, and the Emergency Fund. “I’m looking forward to leveraging my relationships and institutional knowledge to support the visions of the committee chairs for COMSA, SAAP, and the Emergency Fund. I am also excited to work closely with the chairs of COMSA to strengthen the committee’s solidarity with first-generation, low-income students and pilot a subcommittee structure that will allow the committee to more aptly represent the diversity of our University,” Okeke wrote in a statement to The Maroon. This year, Okeke served as the College Council representative for the Class of 2023.
The Vice President of Student and Campus Services will oversee the Committee on Campus Sustainability, Health and Wellness Committee, and other committees that propose resolutions on campus life and student experiences, such as dining, housing, career, and academics. “I would like to encourage cross-committee collaboration to tackle largescale issues like campus sustainability and access to mental health resources. In addition, since academics is central to student life, I plan on prioritizing leveling the academic playing field by continuing to advocate for academic accommodations for students with disabil-
ities,” Lee wrote to The Maroon. Lee spearheaded the College Council resolution seeking to reinstate part-time status for students with disabilities during winter quarter. “I also want to make it a priority of mine to build upon and maintain strong relationships with administrators, especially in the areas of housing and dining, since housing and dining are integral to students’ campus experience. I am hopeful that Student Government can work in tandem with administrators to implement positive changes on campus,” he wrote.
Clothesline Project Showcases Voices of Survivors of Sexual Assault and Violence at UChicago By MICHAEL MCCLURE Senior News Reporter Content warning: This article discusses sexual assault and violence. Earlier this week, 16 T-shirts in various colors hung in the courtyard outside Hutchinson Commons as part of The Clothesline Project. Each T-shirt, decorated by a member of the UChicago community, reflects the voice of someone who has experienced sexual assault, violence, or abuse. “It really puts something that is insidious but incredibly common in plain view of a lot of people. It takes a truth that people don’t want to acknowledge, and it makes it so that you can’t help but see it. That comes from pain, but it also comes from survival,” said incoming Phoenix Survivors Alliance (PSA) co-president Kelly Lo, who helped organize the installation. The Clothesline Project at UChicago is a collaboration between PSA and Student Government’s Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention (SAAP) Com-
mittee. The installation was displayed on Tuesday, May 18 and Thursday, May 20; and it will also be displayed on Monday, May 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Photos of each T-shirt are also posted on PSA’s Instagram page. The Clothesline Project started in 1990 when a group of women, many of whom were survivors of violence themselves, organized an installation on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to pay homage to those who had survived violence and those who were lost to it. Each woman decorated a T-shirt to reflect her stories and experiences and hung it on a clothesline—traditionally a place where women worked and talked with one another—for public viewing. Since then, the project has spread across the United States and to several other countries, and a number of colleges and universities have held installations. UChicago students organized multiple Clothesline Project installations between 2012 and 2018 through a now-defunct RSO called the UChicago Clothesline Project. When PSA and SA AP members
brought up the idea of reviving The Clothesline Project on campus, they received an enthusiastic response from the student body. Many artists signed up to contribute T-shirts, and other student volunteers helped to table and prepare materials. “The artist solicitation process this year was mainly just publicizing on social networks,” Lo said. “We didn’t go and ask anyone personally to do it.” Each T-shirt color for The Clothesline Project corresponds to a specific form of violence. Of the 16 shirts on display at UChicago this year, many are orange, a color which represents survivors of rape or sexual assault. There are also blue T-shirts to represent survivors of incest or childhood sexual abuse; gray T-shirts for survivors of emotional, spiritual, or verbal abuse; and white T-shirts to commemorate those who died as a result of violence. “Clothing is a very relevant item to sexual assault, but it is also relevant to other forms of violence. When it is aired out like that, you can’t help but look at it,” Lo said. “When a group has lacked power
and voice for so long and they, through their own trauma, are forced to do this to get attention, I think there’s a power to that, even though it is fueled by trauma and pain.” In February 2020, PSA put on the Lost, Not Found art installation, a concept developed by Lo and newly elected Student Government President Parul Kumar, another incoming PSA co-president. Like The Clothesline Project, Lost, Not Found also included both physical and virtual displays. “It was kind of nice to have a precursor project like that that went so successfully. That made it possible for The Clothesline Project to adopt a similar medium,” said Anne Havlik, the chair of SAAP and PSA’s co-president for the last two years. Lo believes there are similar takeaways from both installations. “When we did Lost, Not Found, it was a very painful experience for all of us involved, but through the project, we got a lot of messages from survivors who finally felt heard, who felt that it was okay to speak up, who felt that it was okay CONTINUED ON PG. 4
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to have experienced things that they thought were disgusting or their own fault or [that] they didn’t know how to handle. And that is part of what we’re trying to go for for The Clothesline Project,” they said. T-shirts at The Clothesline Project feature personal reflections as well as poems, quotes, and messages to other survivors. “I was blamed for what YOU did to me. I was seen as DISGUSTING and TAINTED for years. You might not remember, but I can’t forget,” a blue T-shirt reads. An orange T-shirt reads “Consent 101: You are not obligated to have sex
with your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner,” with “Dating Consent” written below and outlined in red marker. Next to it, a white T-shirt features a poem titled “The Red Ant,” written by a survivor who later took his own life. The Clothesline Project also features art by Zain Jamshaid, a former Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies who was dismissed from his program in 2020. Jamshaid filed a Title IX complaint against the University, alleging sexual assault and a pattern of harassment by a professor in his department, but it was rejected by the University’s Panel on Unlawful Harassment in August. According to Lo,
Jamshaid had been in contact with both PSA and SAAP prior to publicizing the allegations over the winter. “We are trying to make a physical installation and a physical impression on a place that has systematically denied a lot of us what we need and what we deserve. It is an act of speaking out against the University specifically as well as an act of solidarity with other survivors of violence on campus,” Lo said about The Clothesline Project’s impact at UChicago. Havlik hopes that the installation can combat the stigma against survivors of violence and the dehumanization they face.
“When we go through all of these trainings every single year for sexual violence on campus, we’re bombarded with statistics and things that are sort of dehumanizing…. You forget that there’s a broader impact than just a statistic of one in three [women experiencing violence],” she said. “This is one of the ways that people can share their own voice and create that human factor that goes into the suffering of survivors of sexual violence and also the strength that goes into honoring survivors’ lives and their ability to continue.”
University to Extend Move-Out Deadline After Initially Denying Lease Renewal for Former Employee Subject to Online Allegations of Inappropriate Behavior By WHISKEY LIAO News Reporter The University has extended the moveout deadline for Sidney Colton (A.B. ’89), a former University employee who was recently denied lease renewal in University housing, after Colton appealed the earlier decision on the grounds that the University’s non-renewal notice missed the filing deadline set by a new city ordinance. An employee of the University for 46 consecutive years until he was laid off in January 2021, Colton has been a source of controversy since at least June 2020, when students on Twitter and Facebook accused him of “inappropriate and predatory behavior,” and for allegedly “using his position as a local alum to take advantage of” UChicago students. Colton, age 70, received a non-renewal letter last month, in which the University informed him that because he is no longer affiliated with the University, he is ineligible to further live in his current University-owned, affiliate-only apartment after
his current lease expires at the end of June. According to Colton, he was laid off in January 2021 when his latest job as a fourhour-per-week part-time receptionist at the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice was terminated due to school closures led by the pandemic. A University statement from April 2021 reads that “Mr. Colton was given a notice that the University would not be renewing his lease for this apartment, which was done more than 60 days prior to the expiration of his current lease, in compliance with Chicago city ordinance.” In emails obtained by The Maroon, the University sent Colton a non-renewal notice on April 7, 2021, 84 days before his lease expires. But according to a new pandemic-era ordinance passed by the Chicago City Council in July 2020, a landlord is obligated to notify their tenant 120 days prior to the non-renewal or termination of the lease if the tenant has lived in the apartment for more than 3 years—a condition Colton meets by having been an occupant of his current apartment since May 2015.
Based on this, Colton filed and won an informal appeal to the University, which agreed to extend his move-out date to September 2, 2021, as required by the new city ordinance. In a reply to Colton “apologiz[ing] for the oversight,” the University also offered to cover two months of rent for Colton during July and August 2021—should he sign and return the vacancy notice by May 14, 2021. The offer is a one-month increase from the amount of rent relief agreed in a prior arrangement in which the University also promised at most $250 for moving supplies, according to emails obtained by The Maroon. Another COVID-era order, the Illinois eviction moratorium, which bans expulsion of tenants for nonpayment of rents in most cases during the pandemic, does not apply in Colton’s case, which concerns nonrenewal of an expiring lease rather than a termination of a current lease usually due to default on rent. It remains unclear whether Colton is the only former University affiliate affected by this form of relocation, a result of pan-
demic-led layoff and disqualification from University-owned housing. In a statement to The Maroon, the University said it was “not aware of other similar employee non-renewal cases recently.” An active alumnus who frequented Facebook groups of current UChicago students and was previously featured in both The Maroon and The University of Chicago Magazine for his light-hearted involvement, Colton’s reputation among UChicago undergraduates has been checkered by reported sexual advances towards students. According to a tweet by Joseph W., an alum of the College who asked his full name not be associated with this incident, “Sid Colton [...] propositioned [him] for an orgy.” In a screenshot Joseph W. shared on Twitter, a Grindr user named “UChicagoOrgy:)” reached out to him on three different days from mid-May to early June 2020, greeting and initiating sexual invitations. One of the messages dated back to May 18, 2020 read “Threesome with my friend? :)” Another, on June 4, 2020, says “Party comCONTINUED ON PG. 5
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ing up :) Graduation Orgy :),” along with an Apple Maps plug-in program that shows the location of a house southwest of the “Social Service Administration” building, one that appears to match the current address of Colton. Before Joseph W. blocked the user, according to a following tweet, he received a “face picture” from the user that Joseph W. identified as “for sure him,” referring to Colton. Colton has since confirmed in an interview with The Maroon that the user propositioning Joseph W. in the screenshot is indeed himself. Two days later after the initial tweet, a public service announcement post appeared in UChicago Mutual Aid, an open-access Facebook group of about 5,700 members, warning students about Colton’s “predatory behavior.” The post also recommended for the removal and blacklisting of Colton from members’ Facebook contacts as well as other UChicago-related Facebook groups. According to Joseph W., the screenshot he shared was only one of the “over 30 times during college” Colton propositioned him on Grindr. Despite his many attempts to block Colton on the app, Colton “was always mak-
ing new account[s] and messaging again.” “He would usually share a photo [of his face or his body], but even if not[,] he was easily recognizable by his profile descriptions which usually said something along the lines of wanting to give “massages” to UChicago students,” Joseph W. wrote in correspondence with The Maroon. After his initial tweet, Joseph W. said, a total of “at least 20 people in some way” shared with him, either through replying to his tweet, commenting on Facebook posts, or private messaging that “they had a similar experience” with Colton. Joseph W. later added that about half of these “at least 20 people” echoed his experience with Colton on Grindr, while the rest shared their discomfort with the frequent Facebook friend requests Colton sent their way. Writing in correspondence with The Maroon, a source who requested to remain anonymous out of privacy concerns echoed Joseph W.’s experience with Colton’s frequent sexual propositions sent from multiple Grindr accounts, where Colton “usually covers his face or only puts pictures of him and his dog from a really long time ago” while mentioning UChicago “most of the time” in
the profile. At the most frequent, the anonymous source said, Colton messaged him “at least once a day” and did not stop after he made clear his disinterest and later blocked Colton “3-4 times.” Luke M., a current undergraduate student who asked his last name not be identified for privacy reasons, also wrote in correspondence with The Maroon that Colton “very actively” messaged him on Grindr, “sending nudes unsolicited and trying to convince [Luke M.] to hook up with him.” In interviews and emails with The Maroon, Colton acknowledged his alleged activities on Grindr, including repeated sexual propositions, change of Grindr accounts, and offers to give “massages” to UChicago students, but disagreed with the characterization of them as “predatory.” He said he operated under the assumption that people on the app could have blocked him if uninterested in his proposals and defended his behavior as justified due to his lack of intention to target or harass. Colton also said that his creation of multiple accounts on Grindr were not attempts at block evasion but rather the result of a technical issue. “So to me, the ‘predatory’ word [in the student allegations] or the things that they
complained about was just their misinterpretation of what I was doing and my misinterpretation of what they were maybe not doing,” Colton said in an interview with The Maroon. “The non-response by them is what created the problem, as far as I can tell.” In an email to The Maroon, Colton indicated his intention to apologize “for completely misinterpreting people’s ‘non-response’ on Grindr” since “day-one” of learning students’ complaints, but argued that he “happened to never have an opportunity to directly apologize to anyone,” since he was not aware of “a single name of any person who was upset about [their] direct interactions on Grindr.” Reached for comment on the allegations against Colton, University spokesperson Gerald McSwiggan wrote in an email to The Maroon that “the University is committed to preventing, correcting, and disciplining incidents of sexual misconduct.” McSwiggan declined to directly comment on whether the University was or is aware of the allegations, noting that “in light of federal laws protecting privacy and other privacy considerations,” the University does not “release details about individual cases.”
UCM Reports Increased Community Investment During COVID-19 Pandemic By ROSHINI BALAN Senior News Reporter UChicago Medicine (UCM) invested nearly 10 percent more in benefits and services to the South Side community during the 2020 fiscal year, according to its recently released 2020 Community Benefit Report. This increase in investment is part of UCM’s effort to address systemic racism and health disparities within the city of Chicago. The $567.1 million investment in benefits and services marks a 9.2 percent increase over the corresponding value from 2019. Of the $567.1 million, $405.6 million went to Medicaid and Medicare program losses, $66.3 million went to unrecoverable patient debt, and $41.5 million went to charity care. Notably, $4.3 million went
towards uncategorized community benefit, a direct response to the pandemic. The report detailed measures taken to combat health inequity in relation to COVID-19, particularly through supplying personal protective equipment, food, masks, and other financial donations. “Our Black and Brown communities bore the heaviest burden of the COVID-19 pandemic, through illness, loss of life and economic hardship. These disparities demonstrate how racism is a public health crisis,” the report reads. From March through December 2020, UCM conducted more than 250,000 COVID-19 tests, of which 57,278 were conducted for community partners, such as federally qualified health centers, nursing homes, and community hospitals. Additionally, UCM’s South Side Health Transformation Project also aims to ad-
dress health inequity. The project is a partnership between UCM, St. Bernard Hospital, and Advocate Trinity Hospital, who together are seeking funding for this plan. UCM also allocated $22 million to local hiring since 2019, which has led to 76 local hires. 24 percent of UCM’s total hires live on the South Side, and 24 percent of the total workforce live in the UCM service area, which includes 12 South Side zip codes and 13 Southland zip codes across 17 municipalities. UCM has allocated $20.8 million in construction contracts to certified minority- and women-owned firms and $4.3 million in wages to minority and female construction workers. The report also included statistics from UCM’s Level 1 Trauma Center, which was created after years of concerted activ-
ism led by Hyde Park and Woodlawn community members. The Violence Recovery Program served 1,500 patients and 586 families, and the Southland Resilience Initiative to Strengthen and Empower awarded $100,000 to 14 grassroots organizations for summer violence prevention programs. UCM merged with community hospital Ingalls Memorial in 2016 and launched the joint Community Advisory Council, a representative group of volunteer members who live or work in UCM’s service area, in 2017. The council detailed health priorities for the next year, including preventing and managing chronic diseases, increasing access to maternal health services, and promoting cancer awareness within the community.
THE CHICAGO MAROON — MAY 26, 2021
A Look Back at the Green Fund’s First Six Months of Operation By TESS CHANG Deputy News Editor The end of spring quarter will mark six months since the creation of the Green Fund, a pool of grant money dedicated to student-led campus sustainability projects and research. The fund has provided grants to six projects in total, ranging from off-campus composting to energy reduction initiatives. The University first announced the Green Fund in spring 2020. It consists of at least $50,000, renewed annually, along with any additional funds donated by alumni through the University’s annual giving campaign. Management of the fund is a joint effort by faculty members and the University of Chicago Environmental Alliance (UCEA), a partnership of student-run organizations that includes the Phoenix Sustainability Initiative (PSI), the Environmental Research Group, Student Government’s Committee on Campus Sustainability, the Environmental Justice Task Force, and the Paul Douglas Institute. During the fall and winter application cycles, students and faculty met over Zoom to review proposals and pick the ones that were most feasible and impactful. The criteria for the proposals included significance of impact, plan for implementation, feasibility of budget, and measurability of outcomes. Alison Anastasio, an environmental and urban studies professor, is one of the faculty members involved in the judging process. In an interview with The Maroon, she emphasized that the judging process was highly interdisciplinary, involving close collaboration between undergraduate students and faculty members. “I think that is a rare thing on campus,” she said. “It was very nice. It was like we were all colleagues.… Sustainability is a thing that requires people from lots of different fields and with different perspectives, and the Green Fund takes that into account. I think it’s really reflective of the way that sustainability work is done.” Terra Baer, a third-year and a copresident of PSI, has worked to create the Green Fund since her first year. She agreed with Anastasio that the review
board considered input from all members and made changes to the review system during the winter application process in order to ensure that everyone’s opinions were taken into account. “The goal is never to give out money just to spend it,” Baer said. “We only want to fund projects that we are highly confident will be successful and that meet our rubric and our criteria.… We were not able to award the majority of applicants grants this year.” According to Baer, the COVID-19 pandemic affected multiple aspects of the Green Fund’s planning. “One aspect of the application that we had to add at the last minute was a ‘COVID implementation plan’ section. This year, we definitely took the pandemic into account and tried to encourage distance collaboration.” The only project to receive a Green Fund grant during the fall application cycle was a composting initiative organized by PSI. The group used the grant funding to subsidize composting services for 106 students living off campus via The Urban Canopy, a Chicago-area urban farm. Second-year Chloe Brettmann, who led the project, reported that 35 residences and 106 individuals participated in the program, higher numbers than she had expected. Second-, third-, and fourth-years participated in roughly equal amounts. “We were super thrilled by the reach of the program. It seemed like most people didn’t have any major problems, but people were excited about it and surprised by how easy it was,” she said. More participants joined the initiative during spring quarter, and it has earned approval to continue this summer and in the following years. The success of PSI’s composting project inspired a group of medical students at the University of Chicago Medical Center to apply for a grant to start a similar program for medical students living off campus. The Sustainable Pritzker Residential Composting Project received approval from the Green Fund this winter to begin during spring quarter. Both composting initiatives also seek to educate the campus community about food waste and proper
waste-sorting practices. For instance, PSI’s Off-Campus Composting Subsidy Initiative hosted webinars explaining how to compost and produced informational handouts to help residents remember what they could and couldn’t compost. The Green Fund also supported the implementation of a new algorithm within the UChicago Data Center that reduces energy consumption. The algorithm minimizes the number of power-intensive operations the computers must perform. It also reduces energy costs by automatically scheduling power-intensive jobs for times when the cost of electricity is lower. Battle of the Buildings, an annual dorm competition to reduce environmental impact, also received funding this spring. Battle of the Buildings is a collaboration between Facilities Services and Housing and Residence Life. The first competition was held throughout April. The theme was “energy vampires,” which are devices such as refrigerators and TVs that use considerable energy even when they are not in use. I-House won in the water reduction category, and Max P won in the electricity reduction category. Two waste-related projects also gained funding. The DivaCup initiative provided free menstrual cups to students on campus in order to reduce the waste caused by disposable period products. The DivaCup initiative was previously funded through the Health and Wellness Committee budget of Student Government. Lastly, the Cummings Life Science Center set up large recycling bins on each floor to collect and recycle used pipette tips. Next year, Baer expects to see more Green Fund project applications and a greater proportion of accepted proposals. “I anticipate that we’re going to be receiving a lot more applications because even between the first cycle and the second cycle, we received more than double the number of applicants. It’s really exciting because so many people have ideas,” she said. The Green Fund also plans to update its website and publish additional resources for students in order to help guide them during the application process.
Baer expects the reopening of campus to lead to more collaborative projects and in-person proposals. “I anticipate more projects that have more of an in-person collaborative element to them, as well as more projects that target on-campus…sustainability issues,” she said. Brettmann and Baer both expressed hope that on-campus composting, a long-term goal of PSI, may be implemented next year with the help of the Green Fund. “On campus, composting has been a bit of a touchy subject,” Baer said, citing the long history of the initiative. (Baer said that Housing and Residence Life has raised the issue of the compost-collecting bins’ smell and tendency to attract pests, among other concerns.) “It’s been something that has been unequivocally denied by Housing for a very long time, but now we’re starting to break those barriers and have those conversations with them.” PSI’s leadership recently met with administrators to work on a plan that would introduce composting on campus. “Dean [Richard] Mason in particular has been super helpful in facilitating conversation,” Brettmann said. “He’s met with us multiple times and has been really supportive in helping us put forth a proposal that meets the needs of Housing.” According to Brettmann, the next step would be a pilot program based on composting systems at other universities. She described a program in which students living on campus would receive a compost bucket and drop off their compost once a week at a central location on campus. In PSI’s proposal to Housing and Residence Life, the pilot program would begin at Campus North Residential Commons in partnership with The Urban Canopy. “We’re trying to put forth a proposal that will mitigate any possible risks,” Brettmann said. “But again, we’ll take what they’re willing to approve for now and go from there. I’m really optimistic that we will get there, but we’ll have to see.”
THE CHICAGO MAROON — MAY 26, 2021
Planned Parenthood Ex-President Talks About Partisanship and Reproductive Rights at UC Dems Event By ROSHINI BALAN Senior News Reporter Cecile Richards, the former President of Planned Parenthood, talked about her career path, partisanship around abortion, and reproductive rights on a state and national scale during a Q&A hosted by UC Dems on May 3. Before joining Planned Parenthood, Richards served as deputy Chief of Staff for Nancy Pelosi, where she worked to secure coverage for birth control under the Affordable Care Act. “I’ve had a million jobs,” Richards said of her long career. “However, I’ve always been committed to progressive politics, and I think this is probably the most interesting political time.” Richards found that politicians have become increasingly partisan when it comes to
issues around reproductive rights in recent years. “When I came to Planned Parenthood, you all were in grade school. It was interesting because there were more moderate Republicans and anti-choice Democrats in Congress. We really set in the Democratic Party that being in favor of reproductive rights was actually politically a smart thing to do.” When asked how she moved her party’s position on the issue, Richards replied that “it was really to convince people that being in favor of personal autonomy and people making really private decisions was a good thing.” Richards also said that as the Democratic Party’s support for the pro-choice position grew, Republicans struck out a pro-life stance. “The Democratic Party now has a more progressive view on all [reproductive] issues, but the GOP has gone a diametrically opposite way,” said Richards.
Richards then spoke to why politics needs to be involved in reproductive access, particularly given her experiences with patients not understanding the role of politics in their healthcare. She emphasized that “the restrictions on reproductive access, for birth control and abortion, disproportionately affect people with low incomes.” Richards also discussed how state-level policies and demographics also affect the availability of reproductive health services. She mentioned how in the last election, a woman in her late twenties won a judgeship in Harris County, the largest county in Texas. “Texas is a microcosm of what’s happening across the country and an indication of what’s happening in a lot of other states as well,” she said. “What happens in Texas is really interesting. It’s reflective also of this massive partisan divide.” Richards also cited Georgia as another
example of deep partisanship between rural and urban areas, which leads to divided opinions about reproductive rights in the state. Richards mentions that these states— “Georgia, Texas, states where they’re trying to pass more restrictions”—come as a result of this partisanship and urban-rural divide. Richards concluded the session by encouraging young voters to reach out to their national representatives and get involved with local efforts to make reproductive health services more accessible. “We have a long way to go and we need a new generation of people thinking about reproductive rights in a less paternalistic way and a more empowering way. I believe in grassroots organizing and that’s how people change the world. We’re only as good as our power to vote, hold them accountable, and support them in doing the right thing.”
Preliminary Construction in Jackson Park Concerns Activist Groups By KHALID GORAISH News Reporter On April 14, preliminary construction on the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) began in Chicago’s Jackson Park ahead of the scheduled groundbreaking at the South Side site in the fall. After five years of activism, community concern, and court battles, the developers of the $500 million project are finally beginning preconstruction work ahead of progress on the OPC campus, major transportation renovations in the area, and planned public space improvements in the near future. Since the announcement of the OPC’s construction in 2015, activist groups on the South Side have voiced concerns regarding how the decision to build the 20-acre campus in Jackson Park will affect South Side residents and the precedent for future construction in historic sites. But after a fouryear federal review of the plans for the OPC, the beginning of construction comes as a cause for disappointment for activist groups who fiercely oppose any development in the historic park—the largest of its kind on the South Side—and who fear the development
may displace residents nearby. Activist groups like the Chicago-based nonprofit Protect Our Parks (POP) have been at the forefront of this issue, filing lawsuits, the likes of which have been backed by the Reva and David Logan Foundation, and appeals that have been dismissed or gone unheard before the Supreme Court. Likewise, ordinances like the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) and the Woodlawn Housing Preservation Ordinance have been seen as a step to curb the consequences of construction by preserving affordable housing and protecting residences from gentrification that is already on the rise in the area. Yet now, with preliminary construction underway and groundbreaking set to begin, activist groups have been as determined as ever to halt the OPC’s construction and voice concerns that they feel still haven’t been addressed or heard. In an interview with The Maroon, POP President Herb Caplan said that his organization’s legitimate complaints went unheard. “I thought the law was so clear that as soon as we presented that to the judge, he’d rule in our favor, and that would be the end of it…. Three years later, we’re still arguing
over those same legal issues,” Caplan said. “We base our case on actual state statutes, the park district statutes, and public trust provisions that said you can’t do what they’re doing.” Caplan also highlighted that he believed that the people responsible for overseeing the public park system and protecting the interests of the public did not want to get involved with the case for political reasons, “suspending their belief in the laws and regulations that apply to other people” in favor of former president Barack Obama. “I think [the courts] felt that it had political implications. They were looking for a way to avoid ruling on the merits in the case, and that’s why they ruled on a technicality.” Nonetheless, Caplan reaffirmed POP’s commitment to the cause despite the legal hurdles. “I think [the Obama Foundation, its partners, and the City of Chicago] thought that they would be able to grind this down [and] exhaust all our resources until we were unable to proceed. Except it’s gone the other way. The longer we proceed, the more support we get in, and we’re never going to lay down. We’re not going to stop until we’ve exhausted every resource to protect the park.”
Caplan also believed that the efforts to curb consequences like gentrification were insufficient when it comes to the ordinances that aim to preserve affordable housing and prevent displacement and the effects of gentrification. “I think that it’s too little. In the end, it’s not really going to remedy the harm that the local residents are experiencing,” Caplan said. “There’s absolutely nothing to ensure that the interests in the local residences are going to be respected, much less protected in any way,” given the “lack of credible study to support [the claims of economic benefits].” “The net effect of what you’re doing is essentially too little and too late,” he explained, noting that the benefits of a public park being taken away and the lack of outreach from the Obama Foundation to members of the community were causes for concern. Caplan believes that the biggest consequences of construction and development for South Side residents were immediate and serious. “The net effect has been to drive up the price of rentals and properties in Woodlawn and South Shore. It’s also encouraged land speculators to come in and acquire properCONTINUED ON PG. 8
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ties and convert rental units into expensive condominiums,” he said. “[This] results in gentrification driving out the existing residents and bringing in richer people.” Caplan suggested that this gentrification may have been “part of the motivation for the University of Chicago supporting the Obama Center in Jackson Park.” The University of Chicago has been involved in the OPC since the planning stages, when its bid was selected and it was announced that the project would be built in partnership with the University. In a statement to The Maroon regarding Caplan’s suggestion, a University spokesperson wrote, “The proposal led by the University of Chicago presented two primary
options for the Center – one in Jackson Park, and one using a combination of city-owned land in Washington Park and adjacent property owned by the University. There was widespread support from community leaders and local residents for both locations and their potential to bring economic and cultural opportunities to the South Side.” “The POP does not oppose an Obama Presidential Center. We oppose an OPC in Jackson Park,” Caplan clarified. “They could have started building this years ago. But instead, they made up their mind that they had to be in just this one location.… If it were built in one of the underserved South Side neighborhoods, like Washington Park, it would actually create the kind of economic
opportunities that the Obama Foundation was saying would result from its construction.” Caplan insisted that approval for the Obama Center sets a threatening precedent for future construction on historic sites and parks. “That’s one of the most terrible things that resulted from [the most recent decision permitting the OPC’s construction]. It not only permits the construction of the OPC in Jackson Park, but it removes all the obstacles, all the legal prohibitions, against exploiting public park land for private purposes.” “Tomorrow, Donald Trump could build a hotel on the lakefront, and there’d be no legal protection against it—on lakefront public
land, which is priceless and irreplaceable,” he said. POP plans on continuing to take action. Caplan said that, in addition to the ongoing lawsuit, the organization is preparing another lawsuit that will show its standing to sue, and it has contracted an architect to prepare a plan for the development of the OPC in an “alternative location.” Indeed, with these smart choices, Caplan sees the OPC as a potential for opportunity. “Everybody wanted to honor Obama, but they also wanted their park to remain undamaged and their benefit from the park to remain unremoved,” expressing that if Obama and his foundation were to reconsider their decisions, “He could be a hero.”
Positivity Rate Down to 0, University Eliminates Mask Mandate Outdoors By ROSHINI BALAN Senior News Reporter The University reported 3 new cases of COVID-19 this week, according to a UChicago Forward email sent to the University community on Friday. The email reiterated the campus-wide vaccination requirement for fall 2021 and lifted the requirement
that masks be worn outdoors on campus grounds. None of the 2,228 off-campus surveillance tests came back positive, down from 6 positive tests in this population last week. Currently, no students on or off-campus are isolating due to a positive test result. Of the 3 positive cases from this week, only 1 close contact was reported. Per guid-
ance from the Chicago Department of Public Health, the University is no longer requiring people to wear masks when outdoors, a change from last week. Individuals on campus grounds are permitted not to wear masks even when within 6 feet of one another. However, masks may still be required at certain outdoor events and programming. The University also reminded students
that students will have to be fully vaccinated beginning the autumn quarter of 2021. Anyone engaging in on-campus activities at this time is required to be fully vaccinated prior to coming to campus. Earlier this week, the University sent out an anonymous survey to assess vaccination levels among students and faculty.
Neurodivergence at an Atypical School UChicago has an extensive infrastructure devoted to meeting the needs of students with learning disabilities. But many of these students say it’s falling short. By LAURA GERSONY
Grey City Editor By design and by law, the University of Chicago aspires to be responsive to the needs of students with disabilities. This is the sole purpose of several institutions on campus. The University’s Student Disability Services
(SDS) office is tasked with arranging accommodations for students who need them. The University’s ongoing “Access UChicago Now” campaign, launched in 2019, is an extensive initiative to solicit feedback on the issue. To this end, the two-year-old Accessibility Student Advisory Board is set up to relay
concerns from UChicago students with disabilities to the Office of the Provost. But many students with disabilities told me a different story about the state of accommodations on campus. One student I spoke with described how the lack of a part-time status accommodation isolated her social-
ly and set her back in academics. Another student, who was recently diagnosed with ADHD, is struggling to secure accommodations because SDS requires documentation that discusses the “childhood onset” of the condition. Yet another dropped a major beCONTINUED ON PG. 9
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cause her chronic illness made it impossible for her to balance a full course load. And then there are the students whose stories this article does not tell. Several refused to share information with me on the record, sincerely convinced that to publicly criticize SDS would put their accommodations in jeopardy: that individual staffers, in other words, would retaliate against them. Surely, a process that leaves this many students behind is not functioning at its best. How is it that UChicago’s robust and well-meaning infrastructure can leave so many students behind? And, perhaps more importantly, what can be done to improve it? The answer starts with SDS—but it doesn’t end there. Student Disability Services Fourth-year Gabby Birzh was diagnosed with a chronic illness two weeks before she arrived at UChicago. Until partway through her second year, she had to fly to and from New York every quarter for treatment, which often caused her to miss class and exams. But, not knowing that her condition qualified as a disability, she did not initially seek accommodations. “I suffered through a lot of my first year and a half at college,” Birzh said. “I relied on the generosity of my professors, if they were willing to be generous.” During this time, on the advice of her academic advisor, Birzh studiously avoided professors who had poor reputations among students with disabilities for not being accommodating. Birzh’s difficulties peaked during the winter quarter of her second year, when a flare-up of her condition landed her in the emergency room. She emailed a professor at four in the morning asking to make up a quiz that was scheduled for later in the week. The professor refused, even after Birzh’s academic advisor emailed him to corroborate her account. “‘I don’t know if my condition is going to continue to deteriorate. This is not sustainable. I can’t keep going,’” she recalled thinking to herself. “And so I looked into whether or not I could receive accommodations.” But in the process of getting her own accommodations, Birzh started hearing horror stories from other students. “‘You should talk to SDS, but, be warned, I haven’t had a good experience with them,’” she heard again and
again. In the end, Birzh secured accommodations through SDS. But she was so shaken by the experience and other students’ testimony that, upon encouragement from one of her professors, she wrote her public policy senior thesis about the experience of UChicago students with disabilities. She conducted interviews with 19 students with disabilities. Her main finding was that SDS’ documentation requirements present a barrier to many students seeking accommodations. While disability discrimination is outlawed under the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), institutions have leeway to determine what constitutes a disability, so long as their examination procedures are offered “in a place and manner accessible to persons with disabilities.” UChicago does this by requiring students seeking accommodations to provide certain medical documentation and tests. The requirements vary according to the disability, with specifics on the office’s website. Per SDS’ guidelines, this documentation must come from a specific time frame. For example, students with ADHD are required to provide both “current” documentation, as well as a clinical summary of “childhood onset,” detailing symptoms that the individual had as a child to prove a long-term history of the disability. The documentation requirements often mean that students must get additional testing, beyond what they have on hand, to obtain accommodations. Birzh said that this creates a time burden for many students, sometimes in the face of urgent academic responsibilities. SDS’ website warns students that the documentation may take several weeks, urging them to give the office plenty of advance notice. “Some students don’t know how long this process takes, so they’ll do it when fall quarter starts, and it will take weeks for them to actually get this paperwork,” she said. “Usually, within a 10 week quarter, that’s bad; now, with a nine-week quarter, it’s worse.” But for others, the stakes are higher. One student Birzh spoke with was unable to secure accommodations because the tests cost too much. “They couldn’t afford it, so they just never ended up applying for it,” Birzh said. Generally, she said, “students from a lower socioeconomic status struggle the most. This documentation can be really expensive,
and if people have lesser access to health care, and insurance in general, it can cause a big problem.” Third-year Cassidy Medina, a member of Students for Disability Justice (SDJ) and the University’s Accessibility Student Advisory Board, agreed. “You need a lot of proof to prove that you are disabled, which is not fair for students who are lower-income or first-gen, who don’t have the financial resources for that or don’t have insurance that covers that,” Medina said. According to University spokesperson Gerald McSwiggan, UChicago’s Student Health Insurance Plan (U-SHIP) covers some, but not all, of these tests. McSwiggan also noted that students who cannot afford the necessary testing can also apply to the University’s emergency assistance programs, which offer between $500 and $3,000 for “unanticipated medical expenses.” If a student’s request for accommodations is granted, they receive a letter from SDS that they may present to their instructors. Students have several options, both informal and formal, if instructors do not respect their accommodations. Informally, as outlined on SDS’ website, students can raise the issue with their instructor directly, or with the Director of SDS, Charnessa Warren. Asked for more details about this process, McSwiggan wrote that the Director of SDS “hears the student’s grievance and meets with the instructor, as appropriate.” If a student disagrees with the outcome of this informal process or would prefer to go directly to the Equal Opportunity Programs (EOP) office, which deals with matters of discimination and accessibility on campus, they can utilize formal grievance procedures. To file a formal complaint, the student may turn in a written and signed grievance to the Associate Provost for EOP. McSwiggan wrote that the EOP may review the accommodation at this point, “which may result in changes to the accommodation determination.” Additionally, if students believe a faculty member is discriminating against them on the basis of a disability, they have the option to file an anonymous complaint via EOP’s website. Ultimate power to enforce accommodations can only be tapped through these administrative avenues, not through SDS itself. Many students with disabilities felt that this inability to enforce accommodations seri-
ously limited what SDS could do for students, naming it as a key structural deficiency in the office’s operations. “SDS can’t force a professor to implement an accommodation. And that’s a big issue, because some professors don’t understand,” said fourth-year Sadie Morriss. “SDS, even if they wanted to advocate for students, they can’t.” What’s On The Table? SDS is also limited in the accommodations it has permission to grant. Recently, the issue of allowing part-time status for disabled students has garnered attention from the student body. Several student organizations on campus have taken up the cause in recent months. Earlier this year, College Council (CC) passed a resolution calling on Dean of Students Jay Ellison to permit part-time status for students with disabilities. Morriss, speaking on behalf of SDJ, also mentioned the issue at a recent rally organized by the UChicago Student Activist Network, a coalition of campus activist groups. Morriss told me that it is her mission to re-implement part-time status at UChicago due to her personal background: She is bipolar and had to take two leaves of absence to get treated for depression. “The leaves I had to take disrupted my life completely,” she said. “I had to move home, I had very little contact with my friends, I lost my identity as a student—all things that would have been hugely helpful and [would have] prevented the eventual depths of depression that I fell [to] because I was cut off from my community.” “If part-time status had been an option for me, I could have gotten intensive treatment while also staying in school. That would have been a lot better for my health and recovery in general,” she said. Part-time status was an option for all students until 2015, at which point it was only available by petition for students with health issues and fourth-years. Announcing the change, Ellison cited students graduating in a timely manner and University financial concerns as rationale. In January 2021, SDS administrators told members of UChicago College Council that part-time status was not an available accommodation for disabled students. When asked for comment about the CONTINUED ON PG. 10
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University’s decision not to offer part-time status, McSwiggan wrote in an email that “full-time status in the College ensures all students have the same opportunities. If full-time participation in the College is not possible, the College’s leave of absence policy enables students to take time away and return when they are ready.” Currently, this policy permits students to take up to eight cumulative quarters of absence. Students with chronic illnesses face a unique host of difficulties that the current accommodations often cannot account for. Medina, who has an autoimmune disease, missed lots of class due to doctor’s appointments during her second year. Several of her instructors were unsympathetic. “They were like, ‘If you don’t attend class, your participation grade is going to go down. You should just take a W[ithdrawal], or take a medical leave of absence.’” The dominant message, she said, was “boo-hoo”: “just don’t take this class anymore.” Medina requested attendance flexibility from SDS, which would have excused her unpredictable absences. But an SDS staffer told her that the only thing they could do was create a “contract” for Medina and her instructor to sign, which agrees on a fixed number of absences, and penalizes her when she exceeds that prearranged number. Medina described this as “a lousy accommodation that doesn’t help me.” “I have a chronic illness—which means ongoing—and it’s super random. So I can’t just be like, ‘oh yeah, I’ll miss four days,’” she said. In sum, “the contract does not function well for people with chronic illnesses.” Indeed, some students, and even faculty members, find it easier to simply work around SDS. Third-year Kelsey Gilchrist, who has a learning disability, said that she has had negative experiences with SDS’ testing requirements. The handful of times that she arranged an alternative testing location through SDS, they gave her “poor testing conditions,” once arranging for her to take a test next to a noisy construction site. Put off by these experiences, she has since sought informal accommodations from the physics department—which they have been happy to grant. “The professors hate dealing with them. They’re like, ‘Are you good just testing in this room?’ and I’m like, ‘Yup,’” she said. “I prefer not to go through them for anything. They
make everything very formalized.” The Accessibility Student Advisory Board The good news is that there’s a way for students to communicate these and other issues to the University’s administration: through a body called the Accessibility Advisory Board. The Provost’s Office created the Board in 2019 to relay student feedback on disability-related issues and to identify ways to increase awareness of existing services and programs. It consists of student representatives from UChicago ‘s College, graduate, and professional schools, liaising between students and the Office of the Provost. But Kristen Busch, who served on the board for one year, and Medina, who has served on the board since its inception, both said that it has proven largely ineffective. Asked what the board’s accomplishments had been, Busch could not think of anything; Medina went so far as to say that “I don’t know what we do.” Medina and Busch said that their primary goal as student representatives last year was to implement a training curriculum that would inform instructors about their responsibilities under the ADA and how best to accommodate students with disabilities. But this project didn’t gain traction. The issue, they said, was that the administrators they were working with placed the onus of making change back onto the students. “Their response is, ‘OK, you want to have a training for faculty about what accommodations are and why they need to grant accommodations? Then you develop a training; you provide it for faculty members and staff. Great, go do it,’” Busch said. “That work shouldn’t have to fall on students. That should be led by University staff who can spend time, and money, in developing these trainings.” This inertia has led her to view the board as “performative.” “Yes, we’re coming up with great ideas; but if the University was truly listening, why aren’t they running with them? Why does the onus fall back on students?” she said. Since students lack the authority to make the training mandatory, they can only offer it as a voluntary opportunity. As a result, Busch suspects that the only instructors who will attend are already sensitive to disability issues.
Busch pointed to the SG resolution advocating for part-time status, which the body unanimously passed in April, as evidence that the University is not in touch with the voiced needs of students with disabilities. “Even if you have mass and unanimous student support for something, the University still won’t do anything,” she said. Still, disability activists on campus have seen progress in other areas. SDS conducted a student survey in July 2020 and made changes that activists praised in our conversations, such as adding step-by-step instructions for how to apply for accommodations on their website. Morriss has also been working with Student Government and University administrators to add disability-related questions to course evaluations, and she’s been heartened by the response she’s received. “I’ve been impressed with specific administrators’ willingness to listen to us. They’re really excited to help, and I’m hopeful that that might actually be a change that happens.”
A Cultural Issue
When beginning this project, I set out to report on the structural reasons why so many students’ needs were not being met. But numerous students with disabilities emphasized that the issue is not just structural: It’s cultural as well. UChicago is a notoriously difficult and competitive environment. And from our school’s well-documented culture of high performance has risen an obsession with creating a level playing field—one that’s quick
to dismiss disability accommodations as an unfair leg up. Birzh told me that the issue “goes past the documentation requirements: Why this difference occurs is an attitude problem at UChicago. There’s a skepticism around accommodations being real.” “I do think this comes from UChicago’s attitude of academic rigor and their whole, like, ‘life of the mind, yadda yadda, you have to suffer because there’s no fun here whatsoever.’ While we all laugh about it, there’s truth to it, and I think that that really impacts a lot of students from getting accommodations,” she said. Recently, SDJ has been working to build support networks among both prospective students and UChicago alumni with disabilities. “I know of students who have gone back to their high schools and told disabled students, ‘Do not apply. Do not come to UChicago. This place will not be for you,’” Busch said. “Before, during, and after, at every step of the way, we need to be supporting students with disabilities; and I don’t think we are right now.” Others pointed to UChicago’s notoriously difficult classes—the words “Gen Chem” came up in multiple interviews—as examples of a teaching environment oriented around rigor at the expense of inclusivity and accommodation. “The goal should be to teach and not to punish,” Gilchrist said. “There’s no way you can ever perfectly level the playing field for everyone, but reducing the things that are set up to make students fail is one way of going about that.”
Many students with disabilities identified gaps in UChicago’s accessibility infrastructure. COURTESY OF
THE CHICAGO MAROON — MAY 26, 2021
VIEWPOINTS The Future of Education “Elite” universities must turn away from exclusionary practices if they hope to stay relevant and truly educate. By SOHAM MALL It is common to feel some variant of impostor syndrome at UChicago. It might bring you solace to reassure yourself or your friends that you belong here, that you deserve to be here. I understand using the d-word as a coping mechanism, but those who do not question their presence at the University are as deluded as they think they are deserving. Elite universities are luxury brands that thrive on exclusivity while touting lofty ideals of merit.
Unless UChicago and other “elite” universities reexamine their commitment to expanding access to education, they will remain nothing more than signals of affluence, poorly veiled under the guise of inclusivity. I went to a private international high school in the Philippines, sharing classrooms with the children of aristocrats who ran half the country through their business and politics. No one at my school could escape the obsession that came with the U.S. universi-
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ty admissions process; our school prided itself on its university pipeline, going as far as to take an annual photo, published in a national newspaper, of the 10-plus seniors who were accepted into Ivy League schools. If that’s not enough to leave a bad taste, there were also profiles of these students in luxury magazines. We had extremely capable teachers who were well-attuned to the college process—some had sign-up sheets for recommendation letters because they were inevitably inundated with requests each year—and several guidance counselors who had an intimate knowledge of the application review process. Our resources were endless, but they also fostered a hypercompetitive environment. My school’s stated core values were integrity, service, and merit. There was a valedictorian-type who said they would “safety apply” to someone’s “reach” school just to take their spot (integrity). Students jockeyed for leadership positions across community service clubs, sometimes earning up to four or five positions while showing up to one of those five (service). I knew students who went to their teachers and cried and begged for better grades that would eventually be included in their university applications (merit). I’d be happy to take bets on the percentage of students that wrote their own college application essays. And of course, we were competing with the legacy kids, a few of whom did have daddy’s name slapped on some building(s) at a top school. The years when we didn’t get students into at least six of the Ivies were considered drought years. This was a
place where top university placements were a matter of certainty, not surprise. While these data points come from my personal experience, it will come as no surprise that the admissions process favors the wealthy. A 2017 study found that some colleges have more students from the top one percent of the income distribution than from the bottom 60 percent. While UChicago was not one of these schools (10 percent from the top one percent, 24.5 percent from the bottom 60 percent), fares better than most of the Ivies in terms of share of students from lower income brackets, and has also led the way in going test-optional, 58 percent of students still do come from the top fifth of the nationwide income distribution. The scale moves even further when we consider that most Americans rank high up on the global income scale, with many people considered poor in the U.S. but middle-income globally. It’s no huge leap to assume that most UChicago students are well-off. Blake Smith, an assistant professor at UChicago, states it perfectly: “Parents, teachers, and classmates pushed them to make the most of their cognitive abilities…and to develop the sort of personality most congenial to teachers and future employers. None of this was their own doing.” If merit means the ability to game the admissions process by crafting a somewhat disingenuous personal narrative about overcoming great odds while claiming full commitment to academics and several extracurriculars, then yes, we are here on merit. If merit means be-
ing born in the right country to the right family, being able to afford your New England feeder school, and having a spot at an elite university served to you on a platter, resurrect both Merriam and Webster because they really messed up that one. Sure, you’re a smart kid, and you worked harder than Brad from math class whose family net worth has eight zeros instead of your seven, but the menu of life options you’ve had at your fingertips is more expansive than most can dream of. Elite universities have become vessels to transport intergenerational wealth. Advertised as a place for inquiry and boundless learning, which it can be, UChicago is also a means of securing future wealth. I do value everything I have learned during my time here, but I doubt I will be doing Lagrangians in the future (I hope not). As much as UChicago students like to scoff at other, more “pre-professional” schools, we are not very different. As many jokes as we make about the school’s perceived lack of recognition compared to other elite schools, a degree from this university is a signal to employers, and one of the main draws to this form of education is the connections we make during our time here and the large alumni network into which we are embedded for the rest of our lives. Wealth begets education begets wealth. I struggle to understand what role universities like ours have to play in improving educational and financial outcomes for those who are not served by their current form. Increasing the proportion CONTINUED ON PG. 8
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of students that come from underrepresented backgrounds is a step in the right direction, but is that enough? Some have suggested randomizing admission to college through a lottery after screening students based on some metrics in order to reduce bias—this idea is valuable, but it poses its own issues in terms of selecting the metrics and the accompanying biases that would inevitably play into the final decisions.
Another solution would be expanding access to a UChicago education. With applications far exceeding acceptances, there is certainly pent-up demand for higher education. With a multibillion-dollar endowment, the University could build more campuses in other cities or countries. It’s unlikely that the University has any incentive to do so, since building more campuses may harm the perceived exclusivity of the school and hamper its position in the U.S. News & World Report rank-
ings, which we know is anathema to Bob Zimmer & Co. It is also a large financial and logistical commitment, but one that should not be ruled out for the future. An easier mode of expansion would be to offer dual or online degrees. Having attended online school for more than a year now, we know that it, though not a one-to-one replacement for in-person studies, is more than possible. The University could offer courses, sequences, or entire degrees at a reduced cost to students who prefer to study
off-campus. The future of education does not rely entirely on the transformation and centrality of elite universities. It may be more effective to push for greater funding for public universities and community colleges. We need to address the student debt crisis and ease the burden on students while also exploring alternatives to a traditional university education that still improve financial outcomes. With the extensive availability of online educational resources, many
of which are low-cost or even free, the university system, soaked in its credentialism, may eventually lose its place to a path that is cheaper and less fundamentally broken. What remains to be seen is how far universities like UChicago are willing to go to truly expand and improve access to education and whether they can ever be more than products of conspicuous consumption, the Guccis and Diors of education and nothing more. Soham Mall is a fourth-year in the College.
Hybrid Learning Helps UChicago should retain options for hybrid schooling even after the pandemic is over. By REED FORRESTER Physical classrooms don’t work for me, and I don’t think I am alone. As a 16-year-old applying to college, I thought I was choosing a school and a city that I could live in for the next four-plus years of my life. I was well aware that the elite college experience requires overworked teens to commit to uprooting our lives and relocating thousands of miles from home. As I learned, not every qualified young person can make and keep that commitment. Now that we know that classrooms can be recreated virtually, academically capable students who are unable to succeed in a traditional university environment should be given virtual options. When I started at UChicago in the fall of 2017, I hoped that the increase in mental health problems I was experiencing was an issue with the dorms, not with the campus environment itself. I tried living off-campus for my second quarter, engaging in social life outside of the school. Despite doing well in my classes, the time I spent on campus was extremely
uncomfortable, and I soon stopped completing my assignments and went on leave. Following this, I gave up on graduating and left Chicago. In the real world, I was happy working various jobs on my feet, but I could never keep myself in a white-collar job where I had to sit in an office every day and drive home through traffic. Given the pandemic job market and my limited options as a college dropout who is bad with people and can’t sit still, I enrolled in virtual class at UChicago two quarters ago. I expected the experience to be as miserable as my time attending in-person classes, but to my surprise, it wasn’t. Nobody at this school lives stressfree, but I feel like the amount of stress I experience now is much closer to the average among my peers than before. When I can’t focus in class, I turn off my camera and do some jumping jacks. No need to use the special hand signal worked out with the professor ahead of time, find an abandoned hallway where no one will see me, and miss five minutes of class. No one is distracted by my inability to sit still, and I use my notebooks to
take notes rather than to tick off the minutes until I can go home. Between classes, instead of wandering aimlessly around campus or hiding in an empty classroom, I work on homework, tend my garden, or write. My ideal college experience does not involve hanging around a campus all day or immersing myself in college social life. I am curious whether there are others who feel similarly. Accommodations allowing disabled students to attend class on virtual platforms predate the pandemic at some schools, and they will likely increase in prevalence in the coming months. There are a lot of reasons why students might prefer to attend class virtually, from physical disabilities to mental health issues to home and family obligations. People who know they will be unable to travel to an elite campus never apply, and students who find that the experience is not for them often drop out, sacrificing tuition money and future opportunities. For some students, the idea of moving away from home is appealing but cost prohibitive. It’s also relevant to point out here that treatable
mental health issues alone form a significant portion of the mortalities among our student body. Our campus culture might work for some students, but others find it oppressive and alienating. As the special circumstances surrounding the pandemic resolve, I think it is worth considering whether in-person class really offers a significantly more meaningful academic experience than virtual learning. While I don’t expect the majority of students to fa-
vor virtual classrooms, retaining a hybridized learning environment for those who do would have distinct advantages. Even limited virtual offerings could support individual physical and psychological needs and could offer elite educational opportunities to a more geographically and economically diverse group of students. Reed Forrester is a second-year in the College. He initially enrolled in 2017.
THE CHICAGO MAROON — MAY 26, 2021
ARTS Crying in H Mart: A Tale of Food, Love, and Identity By YIWEN LU
Arts Contributor How do people feel when their mother passes away? “It felt like the world had divided into two different types of people, those who had felt pain and those who had yet to.” In her memoir Crying in H Mart, Michelle Zauner answers this question by sharing how a sudden sense of compassion flourished within herself, in a way that was hard to imagine for those who haven’t experienced the death of a parent. As an only child, Zauner said, she had been in tremendous fear of her parents dying since a young age—or experiencing the gradual deterioration of their health when she had to care for them. Crying in H Mart extracts the facts from the human memory’s self-protective mechanism in the face of grief and gives the reader a chance to process the pain with Zauner. “I was so angry that no one had warned me in this way, that I felt like so much of this book was this real warning, that I have to tell other people this is what happens and this is what it looks like,” she said during her conversation with New Yorker staff writer Jia Tolentino at a Chicago Humanities Festival event on May 5. This memoir is not the first time Zauner has shared the impact of her mother’s death on her. In her musical alter-ego as Japanese Breakfast, Zauner’s first two studio albums—Psychopomp and Soft Sounds From Another Planet—were, in fact, solely dedicated to the theme of grief. “I had no real clue what I was feeling or what had just happened, and I [had] almost impressionistic feelings, like vague feelings, about what had happened,” Zauner spoke of the time she wrote Psychopomp. “[In] Soft Sounds, I had wanted to never talk about grief again, and have this heavy-handed scifi concept record, but then I realized that I was not ready to not write about my mom who had just died a year ago…. I felt this real sense of urgency to air my grievances about what had happened and to bear the wounds.” If Japanese Breakfast connected listeners to the immediate, strong influx of emotions, Crying in H Mart conversely allows readers to gradually unpack where these
feelings come from, through the unique lens of food. For those who haven’t been to H Mart, Zauner describes in her words: “H Mart is where parachute kids go to get the exact brand of instant noodles that reminds them of home. It’s where Korean families buy rice cakes to make tteokguk, a beef soup that brings in the new year. It’s the only place where you can find a giant vat of peeled garlic, because it’s the only place that truly understands how much garlic you’ll need for the kind of food your people eat.” H Mart is the temporary flight from the single ethnic aisle in Trader Joe’s and the Asian fusion dishes for immigrant kids like Zauner, who has a Korean mother and a white father. As a child, she came to H Mart for snacks that her mother would pick up and say, “Those were what I ate at your age in South Korea.” As an adult, she came to H Mart searching for memories. “I’m collecting the evidence that the Korean half of my identity didn’t die when they did,” she wrote in the last paragraph of the first chapter. “They,” she said, were her aunt and her mother, whom she relied on to grasp the Korean part of her heritage. “Am I even Korean anymore if there’s no one left in my life to call and ask which brand of seaweed we used to buy?” She asks. Zauner had wanted to write a story connecting food and heritage for a while. In early 2016, she moved to New York City, mixing for Psychopomp while working as a sales assistant at an advertising company. “I was that woman that was working from eight to seven with the Sweetgreen salad at the desk, and I would just go home and I would feel like I just accomplished nothing,” Zauner said, so she decided to write something. That was when she wrote her first essay, “Love, Loss, and Kimchi,” a story of heartbreak and healing from the kitchen. In that essay, she described the struggle as a Korean American who did not speak Korean or have Asian friends, while the only thing that made her feel Korean was food. In December 2017, Japanese Breakfast went on a world tour in Asia, and Zauner stayed in Korea for six weeks. That was when she started to write Crying in H Mart, the first chapter of the memoir which was later published in The New Yorker.
Michelle Zauner branches out with a poignant memoir. COURTESY BARBORA MRAZKOVA However, non-fiction writing has never resonated with Zauner before then. She writes in the memoir that she had taken every single creative writing course that was offered in college except for nonfiction, because, as she told Tolentino, “There’s no way I could ever write about someone that looks like me.” Writing about one’s own experience is demanding, since it requires constant explanation of the role that identity plays in shaping a story, to a degree that shadows the genuineness and beauty of the story itself. Especially with her experience of yellow fever growing up, Zauner never thought that she would be open to present her life blatantly in a book. That all changed “in a very authentic way” when her mother passed away. That was the moment that Zauner began to become curious about figuring out what it meant to be half-Korean, precisely because she lost the venue that was once there for her to access that part of her heritage. She attempted to navigate that through writing,
and started to learn Korean and cook Korean dishes, describing them as “rituals that I had constructed for myself to feel like I was honoring my mom,” and beyond that, “preserving this part of myself.” That is the conversation Zauner wanted to have with her reader. “I was most concerned with the Asian American reader when I wrote this book,” she said, “I wanted to describe things like I was describing it to a Korean American friend.” She brought them around for black bean noodles, and she even dropped hints that specifically resonate with Korean American readers that she didn’t offer further explanation—such as when her mother said, “Did you shave your boji tul?” She laughed when she mentioned that scene. “I know that a Korean American reader would read that and be like, ‘Oh my god, she went there.’” “Now I have to talk about identity all the time,” Zauner said, holding Crying in H Mart, “Why is everyone asking me about this? Well, you did write a book about it.”
THE CHICAGO MAROON — MAY 26, 2021
Jupiter’s Legacy Raises a Million Questions, but It Doesn’t By KAYLA MARTINEZ Arts Contributor
CW: Police brutality, suicide Based on the eponymous comic books by Mark Millar, Frank Quitely, and Peter Doherty, Jupiter’s Legacy is a gritty superhero drama that cast members are quick to describe as “human.” The show, directed by Steven DeKnight, jumps between the lives of a number of superheroes (and other individuals with superpowers, whether or not they use them for good). It focuses largely on the Superman-like character of The Utopian and his family, serving as an MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) of sorts for mature audiences. This aged-up superhero story is something we’ve seen before. Both the Watchmen movie and television series, alongside The Boys, fill similar spaces, and I’d be lying if I said that Jupiter’s Legacy was more attention-grabbing than other similar shows. In the five episodes I was able to preview, the show felt like it was grappling with too much: it’s family drama, but it’s the ethics of policing, but it’s superheroes, but it’s a half-hearted critique of capitalism. At the same time, it jumps between the late 1920s and the modern day while simultaneously hopping across the country from one episode to the next. The show has so many interesting plots and characters, but it’s difficult to feel strongly connected to any of them because at any given time, it feels like six different storylines are occurring simultaneously. This is even more overwhelming because viewers are being introduced to an entirely new universe. While shows like WandaVision can get away with assuming that audiences already know a good bit about the Marvel universe, Jupiter’s Legacy is stuck with the arduous, though exciting, task of creating something from scratch. Perhaps the most important thing about the world of Jupiter’s Legacy—more important than knowing how powers came to be or remembering the names and roles of the laundry list of characters that appear in any given episode—is that The Utopian leads a collective of heroes called The Union, who operate strictly under The Code. Created by The Utopian, The Code requires that all members of The Union follow certain rules, including not becoming involved in politics (as it would be “the end of free will”) and, most importantly, never killing anyone. This
rule is broken expeditiously by Brandon, son of The Utopian, in an out-of-nowhere fullscale fight scene featuring a slew of heroes, some of which are introduced only to be immediately killed. Presumably, if Brandon hadn’t killed Blackstar, the attacking creature, then Blackstar would have killed The Utopian, along with other heroes. This naturally leads to debate about The Code, with the public largely agreeing that Brandon’s actions were correct, despite his father’s unambiguous condemnation. If you’ve ever seen the beginning of Sky High, then you already understand the relationship between Brandon (also known as Paragon) and his father Sheldon (The Utopian). Sheldon sees Brandon as a hero more than as a person and expects him to carry on the family legacy, eventually leading The Union himself. However, he doesn’t feel that Brandon is at all capable of handling this responsibility, and much of the actual parenting is left to his mother, Grace (Lady Liberty). Chloe, Brandon’s sister, rejects her father and The Union, as she thinks he is so caught up in being a symbol that he doesn’t know how to be a person. She’s right, of course, but she also serves as a symbol by way of a successful modeling career. Chloe’s storyline is one of the more interesting ones. She clearly cares about her family, but her struggle with addiction and the feeling that she’ll never be accepted by her father, along with her direct opposition to The Union, prevent any kind of resolution. She’s also involved with Hutch, the dashing bad-boy son of a supervillain who used to be The Utopian’s best friend. While some of this seems a little overdone (daughter of celebrity rebels and dates an edgy older man), it’s still entertaining and exciting, perhaps because Chloe and Hutch’s characters seem far more human than the other characters. The combination of Chloe and Hutch is clearly anti-establishment, but again, it’s difficult to read the show’s social commentary. The opening sequence features men shadowed by American flags, and the heroes are distinctly American (Lady Liberty, for example), but there is so much explicit commentary on the crises in America at the same time. It does feel sometimes like the show is trying too hard to make a point without doing anything new—ultimately, we are watching a wealthy White nuclear family (descended from a steel baron, in fact) serve as the face of America. The second episode
takes place prior to the existence of superheroes and at the beginning of the Great Depression. We’re shown a newspaper headline proclaiming the “Death of Capitalism” that informs Sheldon that his father, who died by suicide after the stock market crashed, wasn’t actually a magnanimous, kind-hearted steel baron and instead had lost the pensions of all his employees. Sheldon assumes the article is false and declares journalists “rotten little Marxists” before delivering a monologue about the importance of capitalism. Of course, later he learns that it was all true, and although it’s unclear if his political opinions have changed, he decides that superheroes ought not involve themselves in political domains. It almost seems like the show is trying to divorce the paragon (ha ha) of American values from any tangible reality, beyond some vague support for benevolence and goodwill. Yet, The Utopian’s character is intentionally flawed. He’s not a great parent, but he also can’t seem to remember the non-superhero names of his teammates, whom he considers family. Chloe is quick to point out that this is unacceptable, but The Utopian takes all of her opinions with a grain of salt. (This is understandable, as she’s been
known to throw men through walls or cars at people she doesn’t like). Still, I have trouble understanding what the show is trying to say. It explicitly (and not particularly tactfully) speaks about police brutality, showing a moment where an officer commiserates with Paragon about the loss of life before claiming that they “oughta shoot all the bad guys.” Paragon is paralleled with police, specifically murderous police, but at the same time is painted as someone we ought to sympathize with, at least in the beginning of the series. I understand that the show is attempting to offer a nuanced perspective on the gamut of “American” issues, talking about sexism and racism in the 1920s, class distinctions, police brutality, the death penalty, and a number of other issues. But it seems like it’s biting off way more than it can chew, leaving us to try to figure out a moral that they obviously want us to grasp but that feels just out of reach. So there’s a lot going on. On top of that, the show is interspersed with Sheldon’s 1920s hallucinations, which will eventually lead him to somehow acquire powers. This bit of mystery is interesting, but it’s yet another element to juggle. Still, Sheldon’s ’20s mania is useful as a tool for introducing CONTINUED ON PG. 16
“Jupiter’s Legacy” bites off more than it can chew.. COURTESY OF NETFLIX
THE CHICAGO MAROON — MAY 26, 2021
“With that said, I do believe the show has potential.” CONTINUED FROM PG. 15
George, later known as Skyfox, the ex-bestfriend-turned-bad-guy and Hutch’s father. I was particularly invested in this storyline; George is fun to watch and at the same time, it’s hinted at throughout the show that the acquisition of powers was a painful experience and possibly an accident. I imagine that near the final episode, the “how” will be revealed, and I expect it will be exciting and likely politically charged.
Ultimately, Jupiter’s Legacy is doing the most. It scratches the superhero itch and I have no doubt that it’ll do well, because everyone loves watching people in capes try to save the world while barely getting by in their own home lives. But Jupiter’s Legacy occasionally feels preachy or propaganda-esque, as if the writers knew they needed to say something, but they weren’t sure what it was. Some of its tropes are clich é d, and I often felt like my hands were full trying to manage the
names of the characters, let alone the plots. With that said, I do believe the show has potential. The world the creators have built is interesting, and Hutch and his band of misfit, anti-establishment people with powers (who don’t receive much screen time at all) felt ambiguous and interesting and fresh. I do want to finish the series, and I’m curious to see if the final few episodes clear up my questions about what I’m supposed to be focusing on, if anything, and exactly what the creators
are trying to say. The show does a great job steering clear of painting morality in a blackand-white fashion, though it sometimes does so in a stagey manner. Still, what superhero world isn’t a little bit morally charged? Jupiter’s Legacy has spent the first half of their first season raising question after question and I’m excited to see which ones, if any, they begin to answer. I have a feeling that the quality of the last few episodes will make or break the show.
SPORTS Graduating Student-Athletes Reflect on End of Athletic Careers By FINN HARTNETT
Sports Reporter The UChicago Class of 2021 has had a senior year unlike any class before them. The pandemic has affected all facets of University life, from academics to frat parties. But one of the most dramatic changes the pandemic caused was the cancellation of fall and winter sports this academic year. Student-athletes trying to cap off their careers with a great senior season were left at home, frustrated at the lack of games, matches, and meets. When asked the best thing about being a student-athlete at UChicago, the most common answer from the graduating class was that sports gave them a family. Being set up with a group the moment you arrive on campus means that there is immediately a community for student-athletes, and it’s a community that lasts throughout the years. “We’ve all been through thick and thin with each other,” said Nadia Redza, a fourth-year on the women’s swimming and diving team. Chloe Maciolek, one of the captains of the women’s soccer team, said that playing soccer through college helped her academically, as strange as strange as that may sound. The exercise she got on the field was good for decompressing after long days of class. In addition, Maciolek noted that because the sports teams are made up of people with all kinds of academic inclinations, there are a lot of people to turn to for questions about classes. “When I was looking for a major, and when I was trying to get through academically at UChicago, sports…helped a ton with
that,” she said. Dominic Laravie, who plays on the men’s basketball team, shared a similar sentiment about the different people he has met through sports teams. “People aren’t going to be the same as you, and that’s a good thing,” he said. One morning last August, Maciolek had gotten a text from her coach, asking her if she could hop on a Zoom call. On the call, the coach broke the news: Their soccer season was canceled. The team would be lucky if they could get a few practices in. Every fall and winter sport received similar news last summer, and it came as a surprise to few Maroons. After the spring quarter had turned remote in March 2020, the athletes in the graduating class had more than four months to watch the pandemic worsen and accept the harsh truth that for most of them, there would be no senior season. Laravie said that when it was announced that the basketball season would be canceled, the news was received with little emotion by the team. “I think the amount of time that we had to dwell on it…really helped us brace for impact,” he said. “It wasn’t a fresh wound.” Maciolek’s cleats are now hung up for good at UChicago. Her last official game for the Maroons was in the fall of 2019, when the soccer players in the Class of 2020 also played their last game. The team is beginning to practice again, but according to Maciolek, “the only people that are playing right now are the people playing in the fall.” Laravie is in the same spot. He said that joining the scrimmages, however fun, “would be prac-
ticing with no means to an end.” Still, though, he and the two other fourth-years on the team still join the weekly Zoom calls, both to catch up with old teammates and to introduce themselves to new ones. This lackluster year has been enough to bring even the most positive student-athlete down. But the graduating class has come to the conclusion that the best way to deal with it is with resigned laughter. “I knew that it was going to come to an end at some point. That’s sort of just the reality of not being an NBA player,” Laravie said. Though admitting there had been “some tears behind the scenes” during the year, Maciolek shared a similar sentiment. Sports in college, especially at a DIII college, is really just what one makes of it. Maciolek is grateful for the few matches she got from this season as well. “We were able to play some in fall, which was more than I could have asked for. I do think I got some closure from that.” What the fourth-years didn’t get in real games, Maciolek says they are hoping to make up for with their legacy. “In years to come, I like to hope [other student-athletes will say], ‘You know what, we’re running this fitness test today because two years ago those seniors didn’t get to,’” she said. Redza has a similar mindset. “We just knew that the last year was going to be about us and how we chose to close out our careers,” she said. The swim team was able to practice in small groups a few times in November and in slightly larger contingents in the winter. In
March, the team held an intrasquad meet to honor the fourth-years. Some members of the team used the meet to try to put up a good time in their preferred event; Redza decided to try an event she’d never done before just for the fun of it. She appreciated the lack of pressure. The senior meet was a great time, Redza said. The entire 65-person squad came out to cheer for the fourth-years by the poolside as they swam their events. Masks on, of course. I had wondered whether the graduating class, resigned as they were, planned to continue their sports after university. The answer I received most often was a hesitant yes. Maciolek, who is going straight from UChicago to grad school, said that after she settles into her new surroundings, she plans to play “in a little club or indoor league or something.” Laravie is planning to play in men’s basketball leagues when he can, and he still watches both the NBA and college basketball on TV. He still loves his sport dearly. “It doesn’t go away,” he said. Redza, who initially struggled to transition to other forms of exercise when the swimming season was canceled, has gotten so used to running and doing gym work in her apartment that she plans for that to be her main form of exercise after leaving UChicago, at least for the first few years. For four years (give or take one pandemic), she was an athlete at UChicago. Now, she’s doing “what normal people do, I guess.”
The Chicago Maroon's April 26th, 2021 issue.