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The Daily Northwestern Thursday, February 25, 2016
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Asian-American studies major created after faculty passes proposal
Daily file photos by Vincent Laforet, Chris Lee and Chris Ward
MORE THAN 20 YEARS IN THE MAKING Protesters (left) demonstrate in front of Rebecca Crown Center in 1995 demanding an Asian-American studies major. Charles Chun (center) fasted for 12 days in 1995 during a hunger strike protesting the lack of a major. Students (right) rally at The Rock in 1998 in favor of the major’s creation.
By FATHMA RAHMAN
the daily northwestern @fathma_rahman
The proposal for an Asian-American studies major was approved at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences faculty meeting Wednesday afternoon, officially making the major an option for all students at the start of the 2016-17 academic year. Presented by three core faculty members from the
Asian American Studies Program, Professors Ji-Yeon Yuh, Nitasha Sharma and Shalini Shankar, the proposal came in light of recent student demand for the major as well as 20 years of campus activism pushing for its addition. The proposal for the Asian-American studies major was voted on and passed with an overwhelming majority in the span of five minutes, Sharma said. “After we voted it in, I started to clap and the room followed,” Sharma said. “But then when the legal studies major was passed right after, people clapped again.
People didn’t understand that I was thinking of the hunger strike, I was thinking of student activism — I was thinking that this is momentous.” Weinberg’s major proposal guidelines include a two-part process to officially add a major to the school. The first part requires a reading of the proposal at a faculty meeting, which took place Jan. 13. Sharma told The Daily last month that there was no negative sentiment toward the proposal at the January meeting and surmised it was likely to be passed at the next meeting.
The second part of the major proposal requires a vote at the next faculty meeting, which took place Wednesday afternoon, at which time the major was officially added to the list of Weinberg majors. The proposal included the official contents of the major, providing the general overview of the major’s necessity, as well as the specific courses that students will take and the list of requirements they will have to meet. » See MAJOR, page 6
Council approves Divvy bikes Medill gives laptops By NORA SHELLY
the daily northwestern @noracshelly
Divvy bike-sharing stations will officially come to Evanston this summer after City Council approved their
installation in a 5-4 vote Monday. The vote allows for the city to engage in an intergovernmental agreement with Chicago to expand the bike-sharing program to Evanston. Eight stations with ten bikes each will be purchased in part using a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation and will be installed by
July 1 of this year, along with two additional stations to be placed on Northwestern’s campus. Evanston, in conjunction with nearby suburb Oak Park, received the grant as part of a larger effort to expand the Divvy » See DIVVY, page 6
Unshackle NU presents ASG bill By ERICA SNOW
the daily northwestern @ericasnoww
Unshackle NU introduced legislation Wednesday at Associated Student Government Senate to pressure the University to divest from companies the group says promote the prison-industrial complex and to create a socially responsible investment committee. The proposal comes one year after a Northwestern Divest resolution narrowly passed Senate, calling for the university to cease investment in companies the group said violate Palestinian human rights. Unshackle NU members presented the resolution after a protest at The Rock on Tuesday. Currently, NU has less than $1 million invested in G4S, the largest security corporation in the world, and also likely has indirect investments in Caterpillar, William McLean, NU’s chief investment officer, told The Daily. The resolution names other corporations Unshackle NU believes the University
Katie Pach/The Daily Northwestern
DIVESTMENT RESOLUTION Members of Unshackle NU present legislation Wednesday night at Associated Student Government Senate that would call on the University to divest from corporations they say benefit from the mass incarceration of people of color.
may be invested in, such as the Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group. McLean said NU has no investments in the other companies named. “Northwestern’s importance and proximity to Chicago is something that needs to be one of the main focuses of the reality of why Northwestern really should
Serving the University and Evanston since 1881
not be involved in violations that occur in private prisons and correction centers,” For Members Only senator Gwendolyn Gissendanner said. The SESP sophomore added that the prison-industrial complex and mass incarceration disproportionately affects » See SENATE, page 6
to students for SES By CHRISTINE FAROLAN
daily senior staffer @crfarolan
A donation of 13 laptops from the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications is the latest in a series of efforts by Student Enrichment Services to provide resources to students on campus. Dorina Rasmussen, director of student life at Medill, said she serves on a faculty advisory board for SES and learned that students often come to the office when their equipment has failed and they can’t immediately afford to replace it. The donated computers will be loaned out to low-income and first-generation students. “Especially knowing that a lot of our students utilize their laptops and software, we know what it’s like to have that need,” she said. “We want to make sure that students don’t lack the access to technology needed to be successful here.” The laptop loan program started last year in response to student need, SES director Kourtney Cockrell said. SES and NU Information Technology began with five laptops. About 10 more were donated by the School of Education and Social Policy and a subsequent handful were given by Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, she said. “As I was interacting with students … laptop access was a big issue,” she said. “We started really small and we’ve grown
now with this new gift from Medill.” Cockrell said students request laptop loans at least two to three times a month. The laptop is given to them for a quarter, then returned to NUIT over break to wipe them and check for viruses. Students can then “re-check out” the laptop the following quarter if needed, she said. Laptops are the most in-demand item for low-income and first-generation students, followed closely by general academic supplies and textbooks, Cockrell said. The office also offers new winter gear to these students. “If we’re not able to provide basic needs to all students from the beginning, how can we expect to create a truly inclusive environment?” she said. SES is the product of organizing by students from Quest Scholars Network in response to student need. The office was created in October 2014 after Quest Scholars shared their experiences and struggles as low-income or first-generation students with administrators. SES regularly meets with Quest Scholars to discuss student needs and how students can become more involved with the administration, Cockrell said. Amanda Walsh, president of NU’s chapter of the Quest Scholars Network, stressed the continued close relationship between the Quest Scholars and SES, noting that any gift to SES directly benefits students who need it. “This service in particular is hugely » See SES, page 6
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