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BEST OF FEBRUARY


IN THIS ISSUE

NEWS

NEWS

NEWS

FEATURES

Tightening up House Bill 3653: police reform in Illinois Former police chief and COD’s SLEA program manager helps break down House Bill 3653.

How you ended up with too much stuff and how to fix it. It’s 2021 and we still get manipulated into getting so much stuff. What do we do now?

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Lincoln Laureate Award Goes to COD Student As an active member of the COD community, Samiha Syed decided to apply for the award and won.

Realistic Cops and Robbers Ever wanna play a serious game of cops and robbers? Well the online RP server might be the place for you.

THE TEAM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF·············································· Sadie Romeo MANAGING EDITOR········································· Nicole Littlefield ENTERTAINMENT WRITER···························· Cody Wagner STAFF WRITER···················································· Kevin Ashley STAFF WRITER···················································· Gabriella Gallardo MULTIMEDIA EDITOR······································ Danny Olivares GRAPHICS EDITOR··········································· Jessica Tapia PUBLICATIONS EDITOR································· Brenton Russo ADVISER································································· Jim Fuller

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The Courier (SRC 1220) 425 Fawell Blvd. Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

@codcourier

editor@cod.edu • (630) 942-2679 • codcouier.org The Courier is published every Tuesday during the fall and spring semesters, except for the first and last Wednesday of each semester and the week of spring break as a public forum with content chosen by student editors. The Courier does not knowingly accept advertisement that discriminate on the basis of sex, creed, religion, color, handicapped status, veteran or sexual orientation, nor does it knowingly print ads that violate local, state or federal law.


NEWS LINCOLN LAUREATE AWARD GOES TO COD STUDENT Nicole Littlefield, Managing Editor • February 2, 2021 The Lincoln Laureate is awarded to students who have shown the qualities of President Abraham Lincoln: excellence, service and honor. As an active member of the COD community, Samiha Syed decided to apply for the award and won. When the COD campus was still open, Syed saw a poster on the wall by the Office of Student Life about the Lincoln Laureate. Syed is a member of the Student Leadership Council, the elected Student Trustee and the president of BioTech club. The Illinois Governor bestows the Lincoln Laureate to students who have shown their leadership and service to the community. Each year one student from each four-year university in Illinois and one student from the 49 community colleges is chosen. To apply, applicants must write an autobiography and a 272-word “Legacy Letter.” The letter is 272 words because that is the length of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Syed explained the application as an “expanded resume.” In the autobiography, applicants explain what extracurriculars and research they completed at their college. Syed said the Legacy Letter explains your “civic-minded life and how do you exemplify that.” Syed was informed by Office of Student Life Manager Chuck Steele that she was the COD representative. Steele reviewed Syed’s application and together they prepared to submit her application. Steele said, “Once she was chosen to represent COD, I helped her with the essay and gave her feedback. She put together a very strong application because of all of the ways she is involved.” Syed wrote about being a member of the Board of Trustees, creating the ChapsUnite initiative and being the president of the Biotech club. She is working to make a support system at COD as well as a sense of unity and coalition.

Syed said, “I created Chaps Unite to empower student success and provide a support system, a sense of unity and coalition within the College of DuPage community to support students academically, socially, emotionally, psychologically and physically through student-led leadership initiatives, demonstrations and advocacy.” Although COD remains online for the spring semester, ChapsUnite hopes to make the online community a better place. Their goal is to provide a support system where members can “process emotions, make connections and build relationships.” Syed said, “Networking with peers, speaking with peers, and developing those relationships is what college is all about. What is unique about COD is we are one big family. I hope everyone that goes to COD experiences what COD is. So, that’s why you should get involved.”

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NEWS REALISTIC COPS AND ROBBERS Kevin Ashley, Staff Writer • February 9, 2021 Does anyone remember playing cops and robbers as a kid? The thrill of running from and chasing down your friends in a more elaborate version of tag. Now, take that thought, apply it to Grand theft Auto 5 (GTA5), and add the rules and restrictions of Illinois state law. Now you have one of the most realistic games of cops and robbers one could ever play. GTA 5 and an online roleplay community that has started around a heavily modified version of the game. The United States Role-Playing Community is a strong online grouping of friends who like to game and play as law enforcement. There are three factions on the server, and everyone in it can switch among the three. There are the police officers, whose members are organized like an actual police department. There are criminals, who can be either organized or random lone wolves. And there are the citizens, who play as the randoms in the game who can do whatever. How the police in the game work is inspired by the state of Illinois legal code. They use the procedure and protocols followed by the police offices in Illinois. That includes all regulations and code of conduct from how to train new people to what to do at a traffic stop and writing up reports of what you did. All of it is done for the sake of realism. By doing this, the Creator of the server Novak was trying to simulate how policing in the real world would be done. In the past year, the laws of our nation and the officers that

Join this community on Discord. discord.gg/ueJs59HHJr

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enforce them have been under heavy criticism. From the protests during the summer of 2020 following the police killing of George Floyd to the nation’s continued push for police reform. Now there is a virtual way to reproduce some of the difficult situations that have seen police officers run afoul of the law. This focus on realism and proper policing has attracted a lot of people who want to either be a police officer or join law enforcement in some capacity. It has even inspired many young people on the server to want to join law enforcement. The general age of participants is between 17- 20 years old, although, some members are older. This roleplay server has created a welcoming community where people can learn their roles and character and express themselves openly. Currently, over 1,400 people are active on the server, and all of these people are spread out upon the different roles. Jonathan Bresser and Jame Valentine are two active members of the community. They are a part of the team responsible for keeping everything together. Bresser is a police commissioner in the online community. “Our community is a law enforcement based community. We create different roleplay scenes where we act out different emergency responses,” said Bresser. “We are a state police department. We have a county sheriff’s office. We have medical services and a fire department. There are even a couple of people inside the staff team that are senior

and act as state marshalls. There are times in the past where the server has taken different directions, and we had judicial systems, and it was more complicated than it is now, but really anything and ever you would want to do within the concept of law and order we try to accommodate.” The people who join want to know what it is like in some way to be a cop, Valentine said. “For people who came here as law enforcement, the realism is exactly why they came here,” said Valentine. “They are pursuing law enforcement. Some are in law enforcement currently, and others who have gotten out of it still want to do it in some capacity but can’t in real life. If we are able to make it as realistic as possible then that gives them a reason why they came here. We are doing our job as leaders to fulfill our job as a community.” The server has a focus on trying to show people how to be a good cop and how to follow procedure and understand what you can and can not do within the legal framework of Illinois state law. However, even in an online environment with a lot less stress than in real life, mistakes in high-stakes situations still happen. They are dealt with as they are in real-life policing.


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NEWS TIGHTENING UP HOUSE BILL 3653: POLICE REFORM IN ILLINOIS Sadie Romero, Editor-In-Chief • February 9, 2021 The Illinois General Assembly was under the gun. Working until almost 3 a.m. to ensure full completion by its dissolve at noon later that day, Jan. 13th, they created a bill that would set a new precedent for police reform in the state. It was a now-or-never situation, Tom Ross, program manager of College of DuPage’s Suburban Law Enforcement Academy (SLEA), said. “They cobbled it together, and they told the legislatures: ‘You are either voting for it or not. What are you going to do?’ Of course, a lot of people said, ‘I really like it. I would vote for it if it had this, this, and this.’ Well, it didn’t matter because they had to get it out. They were running out of runway. It was now or never. So, they passed it.” House Bill 3653 would bring long awaited police reform, addressing areas of police misconduct such as chokeholds, escape and training. It passed in the Senate early that morning with a 32-23 vote, and later in the House with a 60-50 vote. The legislation has yet to be signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has expressed support and openness in changing laws that do not correctly serve the state of Illinois and its people. “This criminal justice package carries with it the opportunity to shape our state into a lesson in true justice for the nation,” the governor said in a statement taken to Twitter. Working in internal affairs as former police chief of Bolingbrook and as a law enforcement trainer for 25 years, Ross has seen “bad apples,” which the bill aims to remove. “Usually, internal affairs issues fall under one of two things. Either, conduct that is illegal – illegal for you to do, illegal for anybody to do, and illegal for a police officer to do. And then policy violations, which are only wrong because they are a police officer and they broke a policy,” Ross said. These issues and policy violations are oftentimes addressed through retraining, punishment and, in some cases, dismissal. However, the new bill would grant the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) overarching regulation and the ability to certify police officers to work

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or revoke certification. The training and standards board is also responsible for the creation of police academy curriculum and training across the state. While working to remove these “bad apples,” lawmakers also included an expanded definition of a chokehold, giving less leniency to officers in the case of police misconduct. Ross says that he did not learn chokeholds at the academy in 1987, and he assures that they certainly do not exist within SLEA’s curriculum at COD. Now, however, the bill tightens up what constitutes a chokehold. It would prohibit any contact above the neck and, specifically, anything that would lead to the restriction of airflow. While protecting suspects against police misconduct, specifically chokeholds, critics of the proposed legislation suggest that some areas of the bill favor suspects rather than victims. One example of this is “Escape” Sec. 5-8A4.1. Kane County State’s Attorney Jamie L. Mosser outlined the section’s problematic language in an address to Illinois State Senators and Representatives. The section says a person who escapes from home monitoring (an ankle bracelet) cannot and will not be charged with escape until 48 hours following the escape. Skeptics say this gives the suspect a 48-hour window to potentially commit another crime or serve as a further threat to the victim or to the public. Mosser gave the example of a defendant charged with Aggravated Domestic Battery for strangling his wife: “This defendant cuts off his bracelet and sits outside of his wife’s home. The defendant comes back to his home 47 hours later. Nothing can be done to this defendant, and the trauma to the victim is immeasurable. Since there appears to be no purpose to this law and the consequences to the safety of victims and our community greatly, I urge you to remove this language.” Since then, no changes have been made to this language. There are some provisions within the bill prosecutors, both liberal and conservative alike, have trouble supporting. Ross said, however,

it is more so in the way certain sections are written and the uncertainty surrounding their execution that causes skepticism. “The law is the law, the way it is written. But, some of that language needs to be cleaned up.” Ross said, “There are issues with some of the language that is going to make it very difficult for prosecutors to protect victims. I think what we are going to see is a series of trailer bills to clean up some of that language from unintended consequences, which is a good thing.” This language is seen in the section of pretrial release and cash bail, Ross said. While in support of eliminating cash bail, he points out the necessity for safeguards in this section. This would, instead, allow judges the decision to deny pre-trial release based on a suspect’s threat to society and the likelihood that they would show up in court. In his 30-plus years working in the field, Ross cannot recall a time he has seen police unions, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Illinois Sheriff’s Association get together to agree on remotely anything. These three groups make up The Illinois Law Enforcement Coalition, a major opponent of the bill. In a group statement to the press, the Coalition said: “We had been working in good faith with the Attorney General on a bill that would make great strides to modernize law enforcement, but that legislation was dumped into this monster bill and the result is a betrayal of the


Everyone needs a little positivity in their life, but the news can be such a bummer. Join Danny, Kevin and Nicole as they talk about current topics but always leave you with a silver lining.

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FEATURES HOW YOU ENDED UP WITH TOO MUCH STUFF AND HOW TO FIX IT. Gabriella Gallardo • February 2, 2021

After nearly a year of being cooped up in our houses, and with the vaccination being distributed, now is the perfect time to start cleaning your home. However, what is the best way to clean so things stay clean? Minimalism or ‘Minginmalism’ originated in China during the early Ming Dynasty (10th to 13th century). During this time living with balanced aesthetics and intellectual pursuits were valued over material enrichment. So began the concept of Feng Shui, making sure the order of a room and building creates the desired energy flow. According to this concept, one misplaced object creates an unwanted mess, both materially and emotionally. Netflix’s Documentary, “The Minimalists: Less Is Now,” shares how the accumulation of stuff became popular. Executive Director of Greenpeace USA Annie Leonard tells viewers, “Corporations and the drive for corporate profit are absolutely behind the addiction to stuff that we have in this country. Corporations structured in this country need to keep growing. A corporation is primarily committed to its shareholders and keeps delivering increased revenue, which is the foundation of capitalism, growth.” Nearly 70% of digital ad spending goes through just Google, Amazon, and Facebook. These institutions have artificial monopolies and even the manipulation of our interests. The author of “Total Money Makeover,” Dave Ramsey, shares, “Marketers are clever in their ability to manipulate the mind. Their ability to create a need or perceived need out of something that was wanted is apparent. We live in the most advertised-to culture in the history of the world. Hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising telling us we need this, and it affects (us).” Over $5 billion was spent on advertising in the United States during the 1950s. Now companies spend $240 billion a year today. People unconsciously give reverence to the stuff they desire to buy. If we have the mentality and say to ourselves, “If I just had that car, phone, house, or more, then I would be happy.” This mentality even becomes a spiritual matter because it competes with the things that matter.

Although the Bible talks about the LORD giving blessings by giving many things like family, homes, and businesses. President Cristina Rossier shares that the Bible also says about giving thanks for what we already have. Melchizedek Bible Study Club President Cristina Rossier shares her solution stating, “There are many teachings in the Bible about being thankful. Studying the Bible answers many questions bringing positivity to my life. For example, I now realize the value of just being grateful for what I have now. Since then, I made minimalism a habit by regarding the things I already have as important by giving thanks to perspective. I encourage anybody to contact me if anyone is interested in studying the Bible in-depth.” The feeling, ‘I will not be adequate if I do not have this,’ is unhealthy. We should not misplace our desire for belonging and satisfaction by buying more and not being grateful for what we already have. Instead of waiting for another January to start a New Year’s resolution or waiting for the spring cleaning, now is the time to start. COD student, Rachel Walker, even shared her experience after starting the habit of minimalism, “I ended up volunteering at a group called ASEZ (Save the Earth from A to Z). Most of the activities we do involve reducing crime by reducing clutter in neighborhoods. After practicing minimalism I want to continue that vision on the rest of the world and inspiring others to simplify their life as well. It just makes sense to clean the world.” The minimalist lifestyle is all about living with less in your homes. Not only the concept encourages owning fewer possessions, a person’s mentality changes by having less stress over small things in life. A clutterless existence is far happier than those obsessed with possessions over more substantial priorities, such as quality time and relationships by helping others. Similar to the minimalist lifestyle, ASEZ aims to bring about changes in people’s behaviors and build a society where everyone protects each other from crime starting with cleaning around their homes and working towards buildings and parks. They organize

and conduct activities for students to work with other local university students. Additionally, carry out crime-free and clean up school campaigns to help younger students cultivate a sense of value in global ethics rights and duties. Doing so can put the mindset of simple living into practice as they continue to grow. Society needs a booming economy. An aspiration to sell products for a living is acceptable. However, people should not lose sight of how shopping habits can become compulsive. For those who do not know me, I am an owner of seven cats, a student, a full-time worker, a position holder, and a cardio junkie. In other words, I am VERY busy. I have been sharing minimalism since I was sixteen. Growing up, I could not keep up with trends nor did I have the money to fund a glamorous lifestyle. Even now, I only made enough money to get by. Yet I became this natural organizer that thrives on creating systems. I realize a lot of my gratitude to my family, country, and the many people in my life started off because of the concept of Minimalism. I want those who are struggling to see the benefits as well. Nothing makes me happier than to see a community being united and the first step is to clean our homes to have a clear mindset. Another month of the saying, ‘New Year, new me,’ has passed. It is February. Now what? There is no way around the fact your space is still a mess. Living a minimalist lifestyle is the best style to keep up with your clutter.

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