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MAY 18, 2018


VOL. 129, ISSUE 49

Jury Sides With Cop “Scapegoated” by UCPD University owes $150k to an ex-UCPD commander who was fired after a 2013 incident when one of his officers infiltrated a trauma protest. BY LEE HARRIS NEWS EDITOR

A jury has sided with a former University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) commander, Milton Owens, who filed suit in 2015, alleging he was wrongly fired. The University is now contesting the jury’s decision. Owens claims he was made a “scapegoat” by the University following a high-profile incident in February 2013 when a plainclothes officer under his command disguised herself as a protester to get intel on the activists who were pushing for a trauma center. Detective Janelle Marcellis, who is still employed by the UCPD, carried a protest sign and marched alongside activists. Owens, as commander, was found responsible for UCPD’s conduct; Marcellis was let off with a warning for exercising “poor judgment.” She was instructed to be in plain clothes, but she

took it upon herself to carry a sign and wear a sticker. Shortly after the UCPD infiltrated the protest, a source provided photos of Marcellis to The Maroon, including incriminating pictures of her cell phone that showed texts to Owens: “In crowd w[ith] sign. All is well,” one read. After The Maroon published an article detailing Marcellis’s actions, President Robert Zimmer issued a statement condemning the infiltration of the protest. The University hired a law firm, Schiff Hardin, to review the events. Meanwhile, UCPD launched its own investigation, led by department official Eric Heath, who is now the University’s Associate Vice President for Safety & Security. Owens was dismissed from his job in March 2013 under a rule forbidding any action that “brings discredit upon the department.” Owens sued the University alContinued on page 3


UCPD officer Janelle Marcellis holds a sign and wears tape over her mouth at a trauma center protest in 2013. She infiltrated the protest to “gather intelligence.”

Plan Commission Approves Obama Center Proposal BY ELAINE CHEN LOCAL POLITICS EDITOR

A man protests for a community benefits agreement (left), and a supporter of the presidential center raises a sign (right).

The Chicago Plan Commission voted unanimously for six proposals important to the construction of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) on Thursday afternoon. The vote came after hours of testimony from both supporters and opponents of the proposals, many of whom had been demonstrating outside City Hall since 5 a.m. The proposals centered around modifying boundaries of the Center and in particular closing Cornell Drive, a busy six-lane highway that runs through Jackson Park, where the OPC will be located. While this vote was a major victory for the Obama Foundation, the non-profit organization that

UChicago’s Architecture: Space for Diversity

Div School Must Openly Confront Its Challenges

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Alexandra Nisenoff

oversees the creation of the OPC, there remains a long process before the OPC can break ground. The plans will be presented to the city’s Zoning Committee next week, and then to City Council, which will vote on approving a formal long-term lease of city land to the Obama Foundation. The project is also still undergoing federal review to determine whether the Foundation is taking legitimate efforts to minimize harmful effects to the surrounding parkland, as Jackson Park is included on the National Register of Historic Places. A group of public park activists opposed to the presidential center filed a federal lawsuit Monday trying to block the development. “We are heartened by the outpouring of enthusiasm and support for the OPC,” said David Simas,

Senior Spotlight: Natalie DeMuro Natalie DeMuro has been an integral part of the University of Chicago women’s swim and dive team for the past four years.

Op-ed: The University of Chicago’s built environment betrays its lack of commitment to campus inclusivity.

Op-ed: The Divinity School has engendered a burdensome and harmful academic environment for students.

CEO of the Obama Foundation. “We look forward to continuing to work with our neighbors, the City Council and the Chicago community more broadly to make the vision and mission of the OPC into reality.” Hours before the meeting started, both supporters and opponents of the proposals gathered outside City Hall, where they passionately chanted in favor of their respective sides. The Obama Foundation gave its supporters T-shirts with the Foundation’s logo and pins that read “OPC” and “I was there.” Many of the opponents of the proposal gathered outside City Hall were members of the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) Coalition, a group of community organizations that have been callContinued on page 2

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Events 5/18 – 5/21 Friday IPP: The Impact of Violence in Afghanistan and Beyond Institute of Politics, 12:30–1:30 p.m. The IPP hosts a conversation with Professor Austin Wright on the complexities of conf lict in war zones, particularly Afghanistan. Students only, lunch provided.

Saturday UChicago Medicine 16th Annual Day of Service and Reflection Friend Family Health Center, 8:00 a.m.– 2:00 p.m. UChicago Medecine hosts its 16th Annual Day of Service and Reflection (DOSA R). Participants will be bussed to work sites to perform community service tasks such as painting and gardening. Breakfast and lunch provided.

Deep South Side Sustainability Bike Tour Regenstein Library, 10:00 a.m.– 3:30 p.m. Dean Boyer and Professor Mark Hansen lead a bike tour exploring the ways that faith, commerce, transportation, and the natural environment have sustained the deep South Side. Participants must provide their own bikes. Summer Breeze and Summer Breeze Carnival Hutchinson Courtyard The Major Activities Board’s flagship event features an all-female lineup this year, with artists Empress Of, Princess Nokia, and headliner Carly Rae Jepsen set to perform for a crowd. A warm-up courtyard carnival with free food begins at noon.


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Alexandra Nisenoff

A demonstrator holds up a sign that says “No CBA No Vote” at a May 17 Plan Commission meeting.

CBA Protesters Show Up in Numbers at City Hall Continued from front

ing for an ordinance that would ensure the Foundation, UChicago, and the City work to guarantee that local residents benefit from employment, housing, and other opportunities linked to the Center. The Foundation has refused to sign a CBA, but two weeks ago, it released a Community Commitments document outlining employment opportunities and promises tied to the OPC’s development. Michael Strautmanis, the Foundation’s vice president of civic engagement, addressed CBA concerns in the meeting. “For those who have talked about the CBA issue that has been brought up, I just want to thank them for the way they’ve sharpened our thinking…. We will continue to meet with them, because we have no monopoly on great ideas.” Shortly after the meeting began, members of the CBA coalition disrupted the meeting, and then were led out by security while chanting “No CBA, no vote.” In last month’s Plan Commission meeting, which did not concern any plans regarding the OPC, members of the CBA Coalition also disrupted proceedings to demand to the Commission: “do not approve the Obama Center.” Fifth Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston, whose ward includes the site of the OPC, called several of the organizers who came to City Hall “professional protesters,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times. She said that “some people just don’t know when they’ve

got a win,” referencing the Community Commitments document. She said that the OPC is an asset for the city and explained that she is working on a neighborhood stabilization plan for local residents. After statements by aldermen and other city officials, the Plan Commissioners opened the floor to public testimony. Over a hundred residents and activists spoke, with many focusing on the proposal to close Cornell Drive. In February, the Chicago Park District approved plans to turn parts of South Cornell Drive into parkland—specifically a pedestrian and bike path. In turn, the Park District would give six acres of its own parkland to widen parts of roads around Jackson Park. Last week, a non-profit group called Jackson Park Watch sent a request to the Plan Commission to reject the proposals. The group cited a road study that suggests that closing Cornell Drive is not necessary. At the meeting, Jackson Park Watch President Margaret Schmid said that while she welcomes the center, there are still urgent questions about the feasibility of the road closures that have not been addressed. On the other hand, many residents spoke in favor of closing Cornell Drive. Erin Adams, a biology professor at the University of Chicago, said that from driving daily on Cornell Drive, she knows that it is a “dangerous highway,” where “cars there exceed the speed limit by 20, 30 miles per hour.” Adams added that many of her col-

leagues also support the closing of Cornell Drive. She submitted for the public record a letter that was signed by 440 University affiliates and community members. As the time for the vote neared, supporters of the OPC came to give final testimonies. A representative from the DuSable Museum of African American History, which the Obama Foundation identifies as a partner in its Community Commitments document, said that “without the OPC and the economic and social impact it will bring, our institution would likely continue to be under-resourced.” “The long overdue attention to [the DuSable Museum’s] accomplishments and the application of our story in the context of President Obama’s story is something so strong, so essential, that we ought to let nothing stand in the way of its success,” the representative said. Many commissioners also spoke in favor of the OPC. Commissioner Leslie Bond said that “as a conscious Black man, I have struggled and been frustrated by the lack of inclusion and diversity in some of the larger and more impactful projects presented to this commission. Today’s presentation is the best plan for inclusion and diversity that I have seen in five years.” Once final results of the vote were announced, the remaining community members at the meeting, most of whom supported the OPC, broke out in cheers and applause.

Zimmer in the Wild: President Talks Speech on Nat Geo BY LEE HARRIS NEWS REPORTER

University President Robert J. Zimmer discussed free speech in an episode of Katie Couric’s new National Geographic TV series that aired Wednesday night. The episode, titled “The Age of Outrage,” is part of Couric’s new documentary series, America Inside Out. The series is marketed as addressing issues of “political correctness” that divide Americans. It defines terms like “microaggression” and “safe space.” In an early shot, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains the buzzword “snowflake.” “You wonder whether we’re raising kids that, any time they hear a question or they encounter a viewpoint that doesn’t dovetail perfectly with what they want the world to

be…that just sends them into a fetal position,” Bruni said. Couric also spoke to Morton Schapiro, president of Northwestern University, about his encouragement of “safe spaces” at Northwestern. “It’s when you feel safe that you have some of the most important transformative discussions—at least, I do, when I’m in my safe spaces,” Schapiro said. When she sat down with Zimmer, Couric pointed out the sharp divergence in free speech philosophies at UChicago and Northwestern, whose campuses sit only a few miles apart. “Morty Schapiro would probably say to you, ‘You have to be comfortable to engage in uncomfortable learning,’” Couric said. Zimmer said that the job of educators—to teach students how to think and deal with

challenge—inevitably makes students uncomfortable. “What’s actually happening on the ground?” Zimmer asked. “Do students feel free to have unpopular positions? Do they feel free to argue with the faculty? Do the faculty feel free to challenge the students? Taking that [freedom] away erodes the quality of education and erodes the quality of our national discourse.” Fourth-year Matthew Foldi, former president of College Republicans, was also interviewed for the episode. Foldi defended Zimmer’s views on free speech. “If you spend four years in a college just hearing things that you agree with, what have you actually gotten out of the experience?” Foldi asked.



Jury Sides With Cop Allegedly Scapegoated by UCPD’s “Old Boys’ Club”

Court documents show a text exchange between Janelle Marcellis, who went undercover at a trauma center protest in 2013, and Milton Owens, who was her supersvisor. Owens’s suit claims that he was scapegoated for a decision made by higher-ups. illustration by helen chen Continued from front

leging he was wrongfully terminated, claiming higher leadership was actually responsible for the protest infiltration. Owens thinks the blame fell on him because he was not part of an “old boys’ club” of UCPD officials from elite universities, who all knew each other. Heath’s report and the report published by Schiff Hardin said that Owens defied the UCPD leadership’s plan by giving Marcellis orders to “blend in” with the protesters. His instructions to Marcellis are referred to as a “counter-order.” Yet, court documents obtained by The Maroon suggest that, rather than acting unilaterally to defy leadership, Owens was following orders of which he was initially skeptical. Before the protest, Owens had questioned why they were using plainclothes officers at all, voicing his doubts to then– Chief of Police Marlon Lynch. The defense claims that such extreme police measures were taken in part because they had intelligence that gang-affiliated groups who wanted to target Chicago Police Department (CPD) officers might join the protest, which proved not to be true. The UCPD was also on edge because the trauma center protests had brought a new intensity of activism to campus. Owens’s lawsuit brought charges against the University, Lynch, Zimmer, Assistant Chief Gloria Graham, and Deputy Chief Kevin Booker, with allegations of fraud, breach of contract, intentional and reckless infliction of emotional distress, and intentional and reckless spoliation of evidence. The suit went to trial in January. In March, the jury found in favor of Owens on his claim of infliction of emotional distress. Following this finding, the University and Booker, who is now Chief of Police at the University of Illinois at Chicago Police Department, jointly owe $150,000 in damages to Owens. The University has filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, asking Cook County Circuit Court Judge Joan Powell to overrule the jury’s finding in favor of Owens. In a statement, a University spokesperson said the administration respects the jury’s verdict, but believes it was unsupported by the facts and the law. The University will

challenge the outcome via post-trial motions, and the spokesperson said they could potentially appeal the case. UCPD’s protest plan: 35 cops A month before the infiltration incident, UCPD had come under fire for its handling of another trauma center protest, where four protesters were arrested. A video showed officers forcefully restraining protesters and bringing them to the ground. There was no investigation of the officers involved, the University said, because it saw no misconduct and there were no complaints. Owens was off duty during the January 27 protest, but was called in as the situation escalated. Owens would later describe being shocked at the chaotic scene and at officers’

the time, to be at the “ground floor,” building a robust operation. This was part of the backdrop to the department’s decision, when command staff learned of another trauma center protest scheduled for February 23, to draw up a comprehensive plan to monitor, videotape, and “gather intelligence” from protesters. Owens stressed that the UCPD developed its plan for the February 23 protest as a direct response to the negative press in January. Normally, Incident Command System (ICS) plans are reserved for dignitaries’ visits and other high-profile events. But when activists posted flyers advertising the march, command staff decided to use ICS protocols to plan for the event. Although he was part of senior depart-

A plainclothes officer doesn’t make the crowd as hyper or aggressive. violations of protocols, including neglecting evidence–collection standards such as photographing injuries and interviewing witnesses. “When I arrived there, what I discovered is that there were people under arrest that had not been Mirandized, that juveniles hadn’t been processed properly, that [officers] who had arrested people were gone and [we] did not know who arrested this person under arrest,” he told The Maroon. According to Owens, when he was brought on in 2009, the UCPD was acting more like a “security agency” than a fully–fledged police department. Owens was originally recruited from CPD when UCPD was making a broad push to develop more consistent standards, including a set of General Orders (the rules governing a police department), as it strived for Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) accreditation, which it got in 2014. He said it felt good, at

ment leadership, Owens said he was not included in talks about the development of the ICS plan. At the time, Owens was deputy chief of Investigative Services, and he was scheduled for promotion March 1. At a February 18 command staff meeting, Booker delivered a PowerPoint presentation of the ICS plan. It was at this meeting that Owens first learned the department intended to use plainclothes officers. Owens was assigned to monitor 32–35 people on the day of the trauma center protest. Of those officers, a unit of three detectives—Janelle Marcellis, Eric James, and Carlton Hughes —were instructed to wear plainclothes. Their tasks were to “gather intelligence” and videotape the protest. Uniform or plainclothes? Court documents from both the plaintiff and defendants agree that when Booker presented the plan at the February 18 meeting,

Owens suggested that Marcellis, James, and Hughes be in uniform and act as an “arrest processing team.” However, Graham insisted that the detectives be in plainclothes. Owens was concerned because, at the time, UCPD had no policies and procedures regarding the use of undercover operations. The assignment raised “red flags” for Owens because the detectives had less than two or three years on the job and had never been trained in dealing with protests or demonstrations, Owens testified. At the conclusion of the meeting, Owens restated his concerns to Booker, in the presence of Lynch, again asking if he could have his officers in uniform rather than in plainclothes. According to documents, including the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, Booker told Owens to stick with the ICS plan for plainclothes officers, saying, “Gloria [Graham] wants it that way.” In the same conversation, for which Chief Lynch and Commander Celeste D’Addabbo were also present, Owens asked Booker to clarify what was meant by the vague instruction in the ICS plan to “gather intelligence.” Booker told Owens his officers should “mingle and join in” with the protesters, according to Owens and to the University and Booker’s motion for judgment notwithstanding verdict. In his statement for the UCPD investigation, Booker told Heath uniformed officers can agitate protesters, whereas “a plainclothes officer doesn’t make the crowd as hyper or aggressive.” Owens communicated the plainclothes instructions to Marcellis, but she took it a step further by actively participating in the protest with the sign and the tape. “Based on [Owens’] instruction, Det. Marcellis stated as she entered the protest group, she voluntarily took a sign and stickers in an effort to either ‘blend in’ or ‘be a protestor’ [sic]. Det. Marcellis’ voluntary decision to actively engage in the protest by taking a sign and stickers ultimately resulted in the embarrassment and discredit of the University of Chicago and its Police Department,” Heath’s report reads. Lynch met personally with protest group leaders on the day before the event to coordiContinued on page 4



Jury Says U of C Owes Ex-UCPD Officer $150,000 , Appeal Expected Continued from page 3

nate plans and identify liaisons, but did not inform the activists that there would be plainclothes officers. In court proceedings, officers cited intelligence that gang-affiliated groups might join the protest as one reason why UCPD took the unusual measure of developing an ICS plan for the protest. In testimony, the defendants said they had thought the date of the protest was selected because it was the anniversary of a CPD shooting of a civilian. “There was intel out there that they wanted retaliation on CPD,” Booker told Heath in his statement for the internal investigation. Owens’s attorney, Alexander Vroustouris, doesn’t buy that explanation. “Booker, when the shit hit the fan, had to justify why they had an ICS plan. The real reason is, they didn’t want to screw up like they did on January 27. But they can’t say that because that sounds terrible. So one of the ways around it is to say ‘we got some intelligence that there might be some violence,’” Owens told The Maroon. They all thought it was funny On the day of the protest, which was organized by local activist groups including Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY) and Students for Health Equity (SHE), Marcellis entered the crowd and marched alongside activists, carrying a sign and wearing a sticker over her mouth that read “TRAUMA CENTER NOW.” Both were handed to her by an activist who was distributing protest materials. In Heath’s initial investigation—and while testifying on the stand—Marcellis admitted that she took the sign and sticker on her own accord, but she insisted that she did so because Owens had instructed her to “be with the protesters.” Owens did not dispute that he directed Marcellis to gather intelligence by blending in, but testified that he was merely relaying the ICS plan as it was communicated to him by Booker. During the protest, Owens texted Marcellis that he copied her updates, and he told her to “keep them coming” in a message sent 17 minutes after she said she was holding a sign. In testimony, however, Owens claimed that he did not know Marcellis had taken the sign and stickers until after the protest was over. He said he kept his phone in his pocket for most of the time, to keep his battery charged in the extreme cold, and he said he did not read all of Marcellis’s messages due to the weather. Either way, it appears that Owens was comfortable with the protest infiltration once he had clarity that it was what leadership wanted. In her statement to Heath, Marcellis said that Owens had directed her to participate in the demonstration “as a protester.” “When I got back into the car with Deputy Chief Owens he said, ‘great job,’” Marcellis’s statement reads. “He knew I had the sign, he knew exactly what I was doing because I told him, and he even said that this was how we are going to handle protests from now on. He said, ‘I think this is excellent, this is what we did at CPD.’” After the protest, Owens received e-mails from Booker, Lynch, and Graham telling him what a great job he did. “Observing you and your supervisors interacting with our officers was impressive... Nothing like proving the haters wrong,” Lynch’s e-mail reads. And for a while, no one seemed alarmed at Marcellis’s conduct. At a command staff meeting two days after the protest on February 25, Owens said officers were amused by D’Addabbo’s description of how Marcellis carried a sign and marched alongside the protesters. That all changed after The Maroon report and Zimmer’s subsequent letter to campus. Owens says that letter caused his life to

Sidney Combs

Protesters covered their mouths with tape as they called for a trauma center on February 23, 2013. “[spiral] out of control.” “Prior to that [letter], the command staff laughed when they were told that Marcellis had stood with a sign and had some sticky mess on her lips,” Owens testified at trial. “Nothing occurred until [Zimmer’s] letter was released.” On March 1, The Maroon published photos and conversations with protest organizers documenting Marcellis’s actions. Zimmer testified that he first became aware of Marcellis’s conduct from the Maroon article, although he threw some shade at the credibility of The Maroon’s reporting. “I would ordinarily not view The Maroon as a dispositive source of information and consequently would certainly have discussed its veracity with people internally,” Zimmer said at trial. Following the Maroon report, Zimmer and then-Provost Thomas Rosenbaum sent an e-mail to the University community stating that Marcellis’s conduct was “totally antithetical to our values” and that such activity would “not be tolerated.” On March 4, the day after Zimmer and Rosenbaum’s letter, Heath initiated an investigation into the February protest, placing Owens and Marcellis on paid administrative leave. The investigation took only 10 days. On March 14, the summary report found Marcellis and Owens guilty of bringing “discredit upon the Department.” Zimmer and Rosenbaum’s letter had also promised to appoint an independent reviewer to investigate the incident. The University retained Chicago law firm Schiff Hardin. In May 2013, the firm published a report favorable to UCPD leadership, reviewing UCPD responses to protests on January 27 and February 23. It concluded that no officers had behaved illegally, and blamed Owens for Marcellis’s actions, repeatedly citing Owens’s order for her to “blend in and get intel.” The report said there was no evidence that specific order was sanctioned by any commanding officer besides Owens. However, Owens sought clarification prior to the protest on the vague instruction to “gather intelligence,” confirming with Booker that the goal was indeed to have Marcellis “mingle” with the protesters, according to testimony, and, eventually, to the defendants’ own court documents. The most recent documents submitted by the defendants—post-trial motions for judgment notwithstanding verdict by Booker and the University—do not contest that Booker told Owens to have his officers “mingle and join in” with protesters. This is a shift in

narrative from the story told in Heath’s report, which characterized Owens as having unilaterally decided that Marcellis should go undercover, while glossing over the reason for Owens’s instruction—direct orders from his superiors. The Schiff Hardin report stressed the distinction between plainclothes and undercover officers, alleging that Owens was responsible for confusing the two. “It was the intent of the officer who originated the demonstration plan that the term ‘plain clothes’ would mean detectives in the ordinary course walking alongside the protestors [sic] for safety and concern, but with all identifiers indicating that they were police officials, as had been done with protests in the past,” it read. “However, the commanding officer [Owens] in charge of the detectives’ assignment interpreted the term ‘plain clothes’ to be synonymous with an ‘undercover’ or ‘covert’ operation wherein the detective’s true identity would not be revealed.” The University told The Maroon that the UCPD developed a protest and demonstration policy in 2013 as a response to the incident, so there were no specific guidelines in place regarding protests at the time. According to UCPD Records Manager Connie Tsao, the plainclothes and undercover policy falls under General Order 604, Covert Operations/Vice Drug and Organized Crime Investigations, which is not available for citizen review “as it could disclose unique or specialized investigative techniques.” Unlike the CPD and other departments, the UCPD does not make its General Orders available online. The “old boys’ club” The Maroon asked Owens why he thinks his former co-workers fired him and portrayed him as uniquely responsible for Marcellis’s actions. Owens believes it’s in part because he wasn’t “part of the clique.” “I’m not a part of the good old boys’ club. All of them know each other. All of them came from universities. Lynch and Eric Heath came from Vanderbilt together,” he said. “I didn’t know any of these guys. Gloria Graham also knew them and I truly believe that it made it very easy, because I wasn’t part of that, to throw me under the bus.” Of the senior UCPD officers involved in the Owens case, only D’Addobbo and Heath remain at the University of Chicago. Booker is now Police Chief at University of Illinois at Chicago, while Lynch is Vice President of Safety at New York University. Graham left the University of Chicago

in September 2015, only a few months after Owens filed suit in May, to become assistant vice president and deputy chief of police at Northwestern. Just last week, Graham left Northwestern for University of Virginia. On October 24, 2017, Judge Moira Johnson granted Zimmer summary judgment on all counts, and granted all defendants summary judgment on fraud, breach of contract, and promissory estoppel, which means violation of a promise enforceable by law. Summary judgment means that the judge thinks that there are no facts at issue and therefore issues a favorable ruling to the motioner, rather than having the claim go before a jury. The court denied summary judgment to Lynch, Graham, Booker, and the University on the counts of infliction of emotional distress and spoliation of evidence. Johnson subsequently granted the defendants’ motion for directed verdict on spoliation claims, so only Owens’s claim of infliction of emotional distress was left standing for the jury to review at trial in January. At trial in January, the jury found in favor of Owens on his claim of reckless and intentional infliction of emotional distress. On February 26, 2018, the defendants (the University and Booker) filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, arguing that Owens’s claim of extreme infliction of emotional distress is insufficient as a matter of law. Such motions are rarely granted, but the University told The Maroon it intends to appeal the case, if necessary. Owens now works in the security department at City Colleges of Chicago. He told The Maroon he regrets not staying at CPD, where he would have risen in the ranks and enjoyed union and pension benefits. He is grateful to have the job at City Colleges, which has kept him afloat financially and mentally, he said. Still, word of his firing has followed him, which is one reason it was so important to him to clear his name in court. “I am not a very emotional person, but I actually lost control on the stand [and cried,] and they had to stop…after being in policing for a length of time, seeing the things that I’ve seen, you just learn to kind of separate your emotions from things,” he said. “But I was really embarrassed, to be honest. It just finally hit me—the betrayal.” Marcellis, Heath, the lawyers for the defense at Franczek Radelet P.C., and attorneys Patricia Brown Holmes and Kelly M. Warner, who authored the Schiff Hardin report, declined or did not respond to The Maroon’s request for comment.



VIEWPOINTS UChicago’s Architecture: Space For Diversity The University’s Built Environment Betrays Its Lack of Commitment to Campus Inclusivity Just south of the Midway, Farr Associates—a Chicago-based architecture firm known for green buildings and neighborhood plans—is renovating and converting what was New Grad into the new Harris School of Public Policy. This project is benign enough; it turns a closed dorm into an open, glass-paneled center for the public policy school. No harm, no foul. The firm’s founder, Doug Farr, speaks fondly of the project and his other work; as a professor for the Chicago Studies Calumet quarter, he takes the students to see his affordable housing projects in northern Indiana. The University of Chicago demonstrated its vow to environmentally conscious architecture and sustainability by assigning the conversion to him and his team. It speaks to the University’s commitment to the values of New Urbanism, a school of which Farr is a prominent member, alongside University professor of urbanism Emily Talen. Yet given that Farr is also the designer of Harper Court, it also speaks to UChicago’s commitment to the architect behind major gentrifying forces. This prompts questions about future projects on campus, especially for the new dorm located a block further east along the Midway: Who should build them? Our campus is known for its Collegiate Gothic architecture; tours spout off infor-

mation about how John D. Rockefeller chose limestone because it ages quickly and would resemble the famed European universities in its design as well as materiality. There is the Reg—Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s striking example of brutalist thinking—and its appendix, Helmut Jahn’s innovative Mansueto glass shell. South of the Midway is Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s School of Social Service Administration (a personal favorite), and right next door is Todd William and Billie Tsien’s Logan Center. As visually and architecturally striking as these buildings are, there is something even more shocking about them: how white their designers are. Architecture and urbanism are exceptionally white and Eurocentric, and our campus—along with the New Urbanism our professors and campus architects espouse—is no exception. Almost all of our buildings were designed by white men, save for Billy Tsien, Jeanne Gang (a white woman, my issues with whom could fill up a dissertation), and Ricardo Legorreta (the architect behind Max P). Despite its gray limestone and concrete, our campus, from a building perspective, is exceptionally white. Even if the architects behind our campus remain unknown, what is salient is that it looks like any other top-tier academic institution: places founded by, in-

tended for, and based on the wishes of white, European men. This sends the message to the student body, as well as the campus’s observers, that the University is intended for white people, especially men. An institution’s built environment puts its values and ideals into physical form in a way that is impossible to ignore or avoid, and UChicago is no exception. In choosing to enlist Doug Farr, the University is effectively saying that the only environmentally friendly architecture worth considering is done by white men with degrees from the top architecture schools in the country. Awareness of architecture’s expressive intent (be it conscious or not) is only growing here, what with the new architectural studies minor and the growing number of architectural historians on faculty. Before making the architecturally inclined feel welcome, the University should ensure that its own architecture makes a diverse student body feel welcome and represented. This is no herculean task; there are tens, if not hundreds, of male, female, non binary architects of color from around the world who specialize in environmentally conscious architecture. This year’s Pritzker Architecture Prize (the Nobel of architecture) was awarded to one such individual: Balkrishna Doshi was born and raised in India, studied under the father of

modern architecture, Le Corbusier, and has designed multiple campuses around the world known for their commitment to collaborative learning, diversity, and sustainability—three issues which the University holds close and should hold even closer. The fact that Doshi was awarded the prize and not someone else, like the ever problematic and frankly overrated Jeanne Gang, who was on their shortlist, shows that the greater architectural world is advancing toward greater diversity (further proven by the Pritzker’s winners from the last 10 years). Why should our campus be any different? The University is at a critical point: It can choose to remain in its bubble of Eurocentric architecture (and the overarching Eurocentrism it conveys), or it can concretize its commitment to diversity—of thought, of identity, of form. This is not a call for the campus to be demolished; rather, it is a plea for the administration to recognize the expressive ideological importance of the built environment and to conduct itself in a way that shows a commitment to the diversity it claims to have in ways beyond demography. Isaac Tannenbaum is a student in the College.

The Div School Must Openly Confront Its Challenges The UChicago Divinity School Has Engendered a Burdensome and Harmful Academic Environment For Students Everyone knows that the University of Chicago Divinity School is facing major institutional challenges. Even apart from the University-wide budget crisis due to overbuilding and administrative self-enrichment, the Div School has been experiencing a quiet crisis of confidence, perhaps most visibly reflected in its unusually high leadership turnover. Since the deanship of Margaret Mitchell ended after a single term, the school has seen an interim appointee, then a failed search, then the external hire of Laurie Zoloth, who has now left that position after a little less than a year, entrusting her place to new interim appointee David Nirenberg. If the Div School wishes to regroup and effect positive change, its faculty and administrators must engage students and alumni in open and honest conversation about the major underlying problems of the A.M./Ph.D. programs’ professionalization value and the division’s academic culture.

Graduate study in religion can and should be undertaken for purely intellectual and personal reasons, but the professionalization value of the A.M./Ph.D. has frequently been overstated due to both academia-wide trends and dynamics specific to the Div School. As is widely known in the professoriate, administrators have increasingly relied upon graduate student and contingent labor in the humanities and social sciences, severely reducing the number of tenure-track jobs. Between increased competition and the increased unpredictability of search committee standards, no known strategy exists for having a decent chance of securing one. The default outcome is contingent employment at one or many institutions, often for volatile wages hovering somewhere around the poverty line. At the Div School, many faculty have furthermore not kept abreast of the current professionalization terrain, nor has the school published job openings per area of study or its


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job placement record. Additionally, entrance barriers are growing for those seeking to turn their professorial training to other careers or even secure “make-do” subsistence jobs. The phenomenon of severely reduced job training for any given position is economy-wide, as is the contingency phenomenon. Thus, the “transferrable skills” advertised by career advisers do not compete favorably with more directly applicable degrees and experience, while quickly attaining steady full-time work at minimum wage “as a fallback” is not assured. While career prospects have worsened, the Div School and the larger University are not neutral bodies when they encourage matriculation. By advertising prioritized Ph.D. admission, the Div School attracts a large population of A.M. students who provide it with substantial revenues. In turn, Ph.D. and A.M. students become a relatively cheap labor force to staff classrooms, offices, and libraries. With both, faculty can teach higher-level classes that are more interesting to themselves, providing motivation to ignore or minimize students’ ethically troubling debt and career trajectories. In terms of academic culture, although neglect and even bullying are present in many departments, their extent and degree appear to make the Div School an outlier. The overall professional culture of academia is already strongly hierarchical and lacks the basic accountability found in other lines of work. Yet, not uncommon professorial behaviors at the Div School range from long periods of silence, forgetfulness of past interactions, and non performance of core duties, such as reading work or following the stated curriculum, to the creation of situations in which failure is ensured—“moving goalposts”—and the public humiliation of students, including through sarcasm and derision. Faculty responses include avoidance of criticizing peers or imitation of troubling behaviors (mobbing). Administrators at best listen, while at worst they excuse these behaviors, treat them as an im-

age problem, or do not respond to attempts at contact. Often, both blame students for what are clearly faculty and administrative failures. Some of the factors creating the present situation include an excessively large graduate student body and an internal environment of scarcity (e.g. financial support, professorial time, stable division-internal teaching positions). Moreover, the Div School went without anyone performing director of graduate studies duties for over a decade, a lack of standard checks-and-balances that has permitted the development and normalization of an authoritarian culture wherein professors can act without regard for student outcomes or gain self-worth through the arbitrary treatment of students. On occasion, this behavior has attracted the notice of faculty outside of the division, and those with whom students have shared anecdotes and documentation have used words such as “unacceptable” and “egregious.” Clearly, the faculty who behave in these ways are not engaging in any meaningful or sustained dialogue with student work. Since this faculty behavior seems to primarily occur in the dissertation phase of some curricular areas but not necessarily others, it is often invisible to entering graduate students and forces tough choices on those who eventually encounter it, since at that point they have already invested years in their program, and a shortage of faculty in their area may leave them with few options. Given the sectoral transformation and the multilayered, institution-specific circumstances, no single solution exists, but positive steps can be taken. At the national level, a more consistently effective oversight mechanism than the current accreditation process should be established for private universities, since basic fulfillment of mission should be necessary in order to receive public funds like student loans and research grants. At the institutional level, options are more plentiful. In terms of professionalization, these options include the maintenance and publication of area job Continued on page 6



“Only a forthright communal reckoning...can restore its institutional vitality” Continued from page 5

placement records, as well as the thoroughgoing integration of non professoriate career experiences and credentials such as high school teaching certifications. With academic culture, these options include faculty training in project management, pedagogy, and civility and collegiality, the creation of faculty accountability through processes of correction that incorporate proportionate penalties, and the imposition of external auditing. Possible, too, are the reduction in size of the A.M. stu-

dent body, the establishment of clearer and more typical boundaries between the A.M. and Ph.D. tracks, and the movement of the Divinity School away from graduate education and toward instruction of undergraduates in the Core Curriculum. In contrast, the Div School’s current course seems unsustainable. Its problems have been aired in a variety of internal fora for a number of years and frequently reach prospective students and religious studies colleagues in private conversations. In fact,

originally constituting an open letter, this analysis found much sympathy among over 20 people, although many were hesitant to sign; current students feared increased problems with advisers, while recent alumni working in academia worried about reprisals such as denied recommendation letters or retaliation against their own doctoral students entering the tenure-track job market. Amid such a slow hemorrhage of whispers, deflection and inertia only worsen the situation. The Div School has much to offer, but

change is necessary. The future never looks like the past, and now less than ever. Only a forthright communal reckoning and very likely something a bit more than “tinkering around the edges” can restore its institutional vitality . David Mihalyfy (Ph.D. ’17) studied in the Divinity School’s History of Christianity program.

ARTS “Eighth Grade” and Bo Burnham Come to Doc Films BY DEBLINA MUKHERJEE MAROON CONTRIBUTOR

Bo Burnham is more famous than he thinks he is. That is to say, a lot of people— University students and community members alike—packed into the Max Palevsky Cinema last Friday to see the comedian, musician, and writer describe himself as an “E-list celebrity.” Burnham’s way with words has landed him roles in Parks and Recreation and Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous, a poetry book deal, and three stand-up specials (most recently Make Happy, released exclusively on Netflix). All these projects have in turn served to bring Burnham out of the early-YouTube-to-NYU niche his early career occupied and into a truer collective consciousness. Eighth Grade, which Burnham wrote and directed, is his first feature film. The movie follows 13-year-old Kayla (Elsie Fisher) through the last few weeks of her eighth-grade year. The film’s overall feel, its cinematography and content, is noticeably Burnham. Synthetic music (Burnham’s stand-up staple, guided by the classical training of Anna Meredith, the movie’s composer) fills the negative space of Kayla’s life while close, grainy zooms convey the caged, low production value of an eighth-grade vlog. Dense and tight camera work capture her scrolling down Instagram, searching for videos on YouTube, and playing with Snapchat filters. It is rare to see such a naturalistic depiction of social media; Burnham’s directorial clarity is used not to condescend, but merely to present. As Kayla’s inner life and the one she aspires toward, the Internet becomes the movie’s lifeblood. The Internet has been the lifeblood of Burnham’s career, too. He is one of the early-2000s YouTubers, of the same generation as Justin Bieber, the ones who skipped

the stairway to fame and launched into sought-after careers because of videos made in their teens. Now 27, Burnham has some distance from those roots. “GEICO commercials feel like the Simpsons,” he said in the Q&A that followed the screening. Art, by extension, seems condensed in time and space, rendering the “usual comedic tools of irony and cynicism… toothless.” Eighth Grade, accordingly, finds its teeth in what might crudely be called authenticity. Burnham said in the Q&A that he aimed to create a “small, human, naturalistic” movie, and a set where the actors (mostly children) could feel comfortable being themselves. “I wanted them to be comfortable on set. If you’re weird, be weird; if you’re bored, be bored, you know. And kids are so naturally and unselfconsciously funny—I asked all the kids to tell me a special talent they had if they wanted to and one came up and I was like ‘What’s your special talent?’ and she shrugged and went ‘I have eczema.’” Burnham’s attention to the younger members of his cast is necessary in a film like this, and it pays off. In the Q&A, Burnham noted his own distance from the contemporary suburban adolescence depicted, and also the gendered nature of the experience: “I was doing research for this movie…[by] watching eighth graders’ homemade YouTube videos for hours.… The guys would talk about video games and the girls would talk about their souls. We figured souls would make a more interesting movie than, like, 10 hours of Minecraft, so, Kayla.” Hence the need for listening: Kayla’s vlog sign-off (a tragicomic “Gucci!” manipulated with directorial finesse to incur a different audience reaction every time) is apparently an actor original. The movie tries to be the antithesis of the

Photo by Brooke Nagler

Fourth-year and former Doc Films president Hasti Soltani (left) leads a Q&A with Bo Burnham (right). “IV-drip of entertainment,” as Burnham has called it before. It is unprocessed, tense and uncomfortable—what millennials need, not necessarily want. No one will be ripping this movie into a GEICO ad. Its depictions of awkwardness and loneliness in relationships also feel different; there was misplaced laughter where I felt there should have been heartbreak. Moments such as Kayla losing the “Most Quiet” award, an old school administrator dabbing as parody, and Kayla searching how to give a blowjob on YouTube all felt uncomfortable and proximate, as if made specifically for me, or specifically for UChicago. Burnham’s cleverness, anxiety, disassociation, and, to some extent, his self-deprecation all make him poised to be successful at UChicago. But some moments are not funny, even if the film wants them to be: For example, when an older boy forces Kayla to play

“Truth or Dare” with him in the backseat of a car, the scene glorifies for too long a terrible power dynamic, a nearly-but-not-quite depiction of sexual violence. Burnham seemed aware of the scene’s controversial nature, assuring the audience of the steps taken to make sure Fisher felt comfortable while filming. But on the big screen, the scene remains ambiguous; there are some aspects about female sexuality that Burnham, maybe in his anxiety or simply in his maleness, seems unable to nail. Even the awkward boy Kayla meets at the end throws up red flags that are all-too-familiar to anyone who’s tried to date a man at UChicago. In summary, Eighth Grade is good, but it is not a comedy. Rather, it is an exercise in what Joan Didion might call “making peace with your past selves.” “Comedy,” as Burnham himself once said, “dies when it gets into bed with celebrity.”

Arctic Monkeys Aim for the Stars—and Nearly Hit BY MATTHEW HERSKOWITZ MAROON CONTRIBUTOR

The first lines of the Arctic Monkeys’ sixth full-length LP make the album’s concept seem almost too obvious: “I just wanted to be one of the Strokes/ Now look at the mess you made me make/ Hitchhiking with a monogrammed suitcase/ Miles away from any half-useful imaginary highway.” After releasing the wildly successful Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not and the equally successful AM, frontman Alex Turner is desperate not to be typified, warning his audience off the bat that Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is not a typical Arctic Monkeys record. Whereas Julian Casablancas of The Strokes happily endorsed himself as the torchbearer of new wave punk and garage after the universally acclaimed Is This It, Turner is keen to warm up listeners to a new sound.

Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is the Arctic Monkeys’ first concept album. It sounds as though the band is far from Earth, recording space music on a distant planet. The album’s structure and design hearken back to David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust. During their last five quiet years, the Monkeys were trading guitars for synthesizers and pianos and abandoning their traditional “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” fare. The album’s title track cues us into Turner’s lyrical and conceptual ambition. Synthesizers and smooth bass provide a smooth jazz backing to Turner’s attempt at psychedelia and displacement. Invoking certain “magical thinking” and “technological advances” absent from previous records, Turner recovers and resurrects ’70s space rock in a really unique way. Not only do they bring back a familiar orchestral sound present in many Pink Floyd albums and Rush’s 2112, but

Turner also retains his characteristic British punk baritone vocals. “Four Out of Five” and “The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip” also evoke the band’s new sound. Both use a simple drum beat paired against orchestral guitar work to great effect, and sound unlike anything in the Arctic Monkeys’ previous discography. These songs are also heavy on smooth bass, which underlines most of the songs on the album. The centerpiece of the album is the final track, “The Ultracheese.” Their most overtly Bowie-esque number, the song sounds like a traditional piano ballad but is inextricable from the album’s characteristic ambient sound. Turner’s voice has never sounded better or clearer, and he has the lyrical wit to match. He sings, in an amazing moment of wordplay: “What a death I died writing that song/ From start to finish, with you looking on/ It stays between us, Steinway, and his

sons.” Turner describes his intimate relationship with his grand piano, apparently one of his most prized possessions since his childhood. Far from being sappy, this is Turner at his most revelatory and poetic. But what makes a concept album truly great is transformation: a band’s transcendence into something greater and more artistic. On Sgt. Pepper or Pet Sounds, for instance, this transformation feels effortless; new and exciting sounds ask us to listen to a “new band” with open ears. Arctic Monkeys’ conceptual album, on the other hand, sounds contrived. The self-aware lyrics and explicit admission that the album is a “concept of a concept album” is too predictable, lacking the subtlety that would help us take this piece of work completely seriously. Additionally, while the sound of the album is thematically unified, it can become monotonous, partially due to the lack of dynamics in Turner’s voice. Continued on page 7



“This is Turner at his most revelatory and poetic” Continued from page 6 Overall, this album was an exciting, albeit predictable, departure from the typical Arctic Monkeys sound. It was definitely an improvement on 2013’s AM in conceptual ambition. I sincerely doubt Turner wanted Tranquility to be commercial, instead trying to move past

cookie-cutter Britpop in an elegant and commendable way. Regardless, I am excited to see what direction the band takes after this 2018 release. If Turner really wants to escape the sound that he became famous for, we should expect another dramatic departure on the next Arctic Monkeys LP.

Courtesy of Zackery Michael

Arctic Monkeys released their new album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.

UBallet’s Don Quixote Enchants With Love and Windmills BY ROSEMARIE HO MAROON CONTRIBUTOR

Last weekend, the University Ballet of Chicago (UBallet) staged a two-hour production of Don Quixote, the famous 1869 version scored by Ludwig Minkus and choreographed by Marius Petipa. It was a stunning production from the University-affiliated dance company, delivering electrifying performances on part of dancers new and old. Mandel Hall was packed for both performances, and a notable amount of community members unaffiliated with the University came to watch this comedic ballet. Adapted from Miguel de Cervantes’s novel Don Quixote, the ballet follows the triumphs and follies of the titular Don Quixote (first-year Bradley Goldsmith) and his humble sidekick Sancho Panza (second-year Lexie Holden). Their adventures begin when the duo mistakes the beautiful Kitri (first-year Mercedes Wentworth-Nice) for Don Quixote’s dream-lover Dulcinea. They chase Dulcinea through a Roma camp, through hallucinatory dream sequences featuring dryads and Cupid herself, and finally into a tavern where Kitri elopes with her true love Basilio (thirdyear Chris Chen). Kitri, however, had been ordered by her father Lorenzo (third-year Samuel David) to marry Gamache (Oriental Institute editorial assistant Alex Cornac-

chia), a pretentiously (and hilariously) campy nobleman. But Don Quixote accidentally convinces Lorenzo to allow Kitri and Basilio’s marriage, and the ballet concludes with a grand wedding thrown in their honor. The quixotic duo played their parts with aplomb; Goldsmith was dreamy and almost childlike in his wonder, and Holden was comedic gold. The production was wonderfully cast, and all the demi-soloists gave technically accomplished and exceedingly charming performances. In particular, third-year Riko Kanaida and first-year Elisabeth Raczek (playing Kitri’s friends) were a joy to watch. UBallet veteran fourth-year Elizabeth Ortiz made for an impish and charming Cupid, while fourth-year Keegan Morris and third-year Natalie Hills gave fierce, searing performances in their roles as Espada and Mercedes, respectively. Newcomers to ballet also gave impressive performances, especially considering some had only four months of dance experience prior to the show. However, it was Wentworth-Nice who stole the spotlight: A marvel on stage, her grace and spectacular technique rivaled that of professional ballerinas. Kitri is a traditionally difficult role to play, requiring quick, precise footwork, stamina for gigantic jumps, and the acting chops to sustain a commanding stage presence. Contemporary ballerinas like Natalia Osipova have established their

careers on the role, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that Wentworth-Nice blew hers out of the water. Of note was her grand pas de deux in Act IV, in which her fouetté turns were perfectly executed despite their inherent difficulty, as well as her variation in Act I. As per UBallet tradition, the night began with an introduction to pantomime by the artistic director of the dance company

third-year Kelsey Hopkins, clueing in the audience as to the voiceless acting central to a story-telling ballet. Hopkins mentioned in her introduction that she and her ensemble wanted to bring to the audience “the joy of ballet.” For me, UBallet certainly did. UBallet hosts free weekly classes for dancers of all levels. To learn more, visit their website and sign up for their listhost.

Photo by Andrew Chang

UBallet performed Don Quixote in Mandel Hall last weekend.

SPORTS Chicago Wraps Up Record-Setting Season BASEBALL


The UChicago baseball team capped off one of its best seasons in program history, ending up with a total of 26 wins, which is tied for the most season wins in program history. This was all in spite of a shaky start, as the Maroons lost their first three games of the season. Both the pitching and hitting efforts were integral to the team’s success, as stalwart veterans, like third-year pitchers Brenton Villasenor and Ravi Bakhai, third-year outfielders Connor Hickey and Josh Parks, second-year designated hitter Payton Jancsy, and up-and-coming first-years, such as pitchers Zach Morochnik, David Clarke and Chandler Yu, second baseman Jimmy Kelly, and shortstop Brian Lyle, among many others, put forth stellar performances throughout the season. Of course, it was also the end of an era for the team’s three fourth-years: pitcher Ricardo Fernandez, outfielder Max Larsen and catcher Matt Slodzinski. Larsen in particular will go down as one of the most decorated players in program history, holding the school record for career doubles with 60 and the third most runs in a career with 140. Over the course of his career, he managed a total of 493 at bats and a 0.347 career batting average. With that, it is perhaps unsurpris-

ing that Larsen is this year’s recipient of the J. Kyle Anderson Award, an honor given by the Order of the C to the fourth-year baseball player who has not only performed exceptionally on the field, but also shown evidence of character, leadership, and dedication. With only three departing fourth-years, the team is in a good position for next year, as it retains most of the talent that made this season such a success. The team has had an influx of talented pitchers join in the past three years, with the staff’s overall ERA a commendable 4.03, with a total of 309 strikeouts and only 308 hits allowed throughout 310.1 innings of play. This was particularly noticeable as the team tallied five shutout wins, in comparison to only two in 2017. Arguably the biggest win of the season happened against Grinnell College on March 4, as the South Siders thrashed the Pioneers 16–0, while only allowing one hit through seven innings of play, thanks to the strong efforts of third-year Joe Liberman, Yu, and second-year Dan Smith. Offense also had a strong season; not only did Larsen set the school record for career doubles, with 23 in this season alone, but the team totaled 14 home runs this season, led by Parks with five, and third-year Brady Sarkon with three. Hickey contributed his signature speed, with a total of 17 bases stolen, and 49 runs, while Jancsy also emerged as a tour de force, leading the team with a

The UChicago baseball team looks on during the national anthem. 0.367 batting average for the season over the course of 128 at bats. This was the Maroons’ last season as an independent team, as next year they will be joining the Midwest Conference. The baseball team will be following the football team, who joined the Midwest Conference this past season after leaving the Southern Athletic Conference. The baseball and softball teams are currently the only UChicago varsity teams that compete independent of a conference, and the baseball team has been doing so since 1997. This season, the team played a total of eight games against members of the Midwest Conference, and it managed to win seven of them, including the 16–0 victory against Grinnell. Indeed, the

Andrew Chang

Midwest Conference team with the highest winning percentage is Monmouth, with a 0.7 winning percentage over only 20 games played, compared to UChicago’s percentage of 0.667 over a total of 39 games. With that, the South Siders look to be a formidable addition to their new conference. The stakes will be particularly high as the champion of the Midwest Conference is guaranteed a bid to the NCAA Division III postseason. The eight third-years on the team (Bakhai, Villasenor, Liberman, Hickey, Parks, Sarkon, catcher Ian Bohn and third baseman Max Brzostowski) are sure to provide great leadership next year as the team recruits a new crop of incoming first-years.



SPORTS Senior Spotlight: Natalie DeMuro DIVING


Natalie DeMuro has been an integral part of the University of Chicago swim and dive team for the past four years, qualifying for the NCAA Diving Regional every year and receiving numerous awards. This year, she led the women’s team as co-captain, along with fourth year Florina Yang, and served as a role model whom all the women on the team looked up to. She has been a UAA All-Academic Scholar, CSCA A Honorable Mention Scholar, and UAA Athlete of the Week multiple times, but aside from her numerous awards, her dedication and motivation shined through. DeMuro was part of a summer swim team when she was younger, but always watched the divers on the team, and decided to try it one summer. This began a long career of diving that would create lasting memories and friendships. When asked what makes DeMuro not only an excellent diver but also a great captain, third-year diver Anna Girlich said, “Natalie has not only been the greatest teammate the past three years, but also the greatest friend. She always led by example, and knew exactly what to say or do for any problem that came up on the team. She was always so hardworking and determined, but also so supportive of her teammates, and I don’t know what I am going to do without her next year.” At this year’s UA A Championships, DeMuro scored the most points of any swimmer or diver on the UChicago women’s team, helping the team earn fourth place at the conference championships.

She placed third in the one-meter dive with a total of 439.45 points, and second in three-meter dive with a total of 483.45 points. DeMuro fittingly had the chance to conclude her diving career at UChicago’s home pool, when the team hosted the diving NCAA Regionals. DeMuro led the UChicago contingent with a seventh-place finish in the one-meter dive and was named an NCA A Championship alternate to finish her career. Every athlete faces challenges daily, and DeMuro was no exception throughout her time at UChicago. She struggled with multiple injuries throughout her career, including problems with her hips that did not allow her to practice all of her dives throughout the year. When asked if one particular obstacle stood out to her, DeMuro mentioned a meet during her first year when she hit the diving board. She emerged from the pool with cuts and bruises all over her arms, hands, and wrists, but was only halfway through her dives for the meet. For a total of 11 dives that meet, two were reverses, and she hit the board on the first reverse. With one more reverse ahead of her, DeMuro never considered giving up. Although her team and coach told her to take the rest of the meet off, DeMuro decided to keep diving. “I had to contribute otherwise I knew I would never want to do the dive again.” Her team cheered her on as she overcame her fear and successfully completed the rest of her dives. Looking back at her time spent diving with UChicago, DeMuro was proud of not only her accomplishments in the pool but also of the memories she made and the people she met. “ The team is

Zoe Kaiser

DeMuro is pictured competing at the diving regionals in March. my family and I will forever be grateful for my days in the pool. My teammates have been the most encouraging and fun-loving people, always cheering me on whether I’m nailing dives or falling flat on my face,” she added. “I will miss seeing my teammates every day, but I know the future is bright and I can’t wait to see what each one of them accomplishes.” The swimming and diving team will miss DeMuro’s excitement and energy at every meet next year. First-year swimmer Hadley Ackerman said, “As a captain, Natalie perfectly balanced

being a caring friend and an example to the rest of the team. I could always count on her smiling face in the locker room and it definitely will not be the same without her next year.” At the end of her 10-year diving career, DeMuro ref lected on her time at UChicago. “My time as a student-athlete at UChicago has and always will be the most valuable and worthwhile experience, and I’m convinced there is no better place to study and compete,” she said. “I am endlessly thankful to my family at home and at the pool for their unwavering support along the way.”

As Season Ends, Maroons Are Hopeful for Next Year SOFTBALL


The University of Chicago Softball team concluded its season this past Wednesday, losing the first of a doubleheader with Elmhurst before the second game was canceled due to inclement weather. The Maroons finished with a respectable 20–17 record, going 6–7 at home, 7–5 on the road, and 7–5 at neutral sites. Overall, the South Siders carried a .282 batting average throughout the season, with a .351 on base percentage and knocked 13 balls over the fence. UChicago’s most successful stretch of the season was a five-game winning streak, in which they swept North Park and Aurora, before winning the first of a double-header against Wisconsin-Whitewater. Fourth-year Sara Koniewicz said, “I think the season was fun and a great stepping stone for the team moving forward. They will return a lot of key pieces that should set them up for a very suc-

cessful campaign next year. The season showed that a lot of returners have great leadership potential and it will be interesting next year to see where the team goes and how the culture develops as a large incoming freshman class adds to the pool of already solid talent. However, it was a little disappointing not making it to regionals as that was our goal entering the season.” The Maroons were fortunate enough to be led by a strong group of returning underclassmen. Third-year Maeve Garvey led the team offensively with a .368 batting average, 31 RBIs, and five homeruns. Garvey also had only a single error on the season and finished with a .978 fielding percentage. Fellow third-year Carly Shultz was also instrumental in the team’s success, finishing with a .351 batting average and a .992 fielding percentage. The Maroons also return thirdyear Serena Moss (.299 BA, 15 RBIs) and pitcher Jordyne Prussak (6–2 in the circle with 16 appearances). Second-year Emma Nelson was a key contributor this


year, starting every single game and finishing with a .300 batting average, two home runs, and 14 RBIs batting as the cleanup hitter most of the year. Fellow second-year Holli Jones (.245 BA, 15 RBIs, .988 FLD%) and pitcher Megan Stoppelman (5.56 ERA) returns as well. The Maroons also look forward to the next three years of some talented freshman in Abby Hayes and Skye Collins. Hayes (.288 BA, 27 RBIs) and Collins (.250 BA, 15 RBIs, 2 HRs) were key pieces in the South Siders’ lineup all season. The Maroons only lose two fourthyears, but those two fourth-years have been instrumental in UChicago’s success over the past four years. Catcher and utility player Koniewicz has been a staple in the lineup since she was a first year. As a first-year, she played in 33 games with 32 starts, compiling a .206 batting average with seven RBIs. As a second year, Koniewicz raised her average (.333), and as a third-year, compiling eight RBIs with a .302 average. This year, she batted .291 with a career best

23 hits and six doubles. UChicago also loses record-setting pitcher Molly Moran. Moran has been a regular in the circle since her first year, compiling an impressive set of statistics. Over four years, she went 36-26 (No.8 in school history in wins), pitched 403.1 innings, saved four games (No. 2 in school history), struck out 339 (No. 7 in school history), and had a 2.38 ERA (No. 9 in school history) along with many other school records. Koniewicz also commented on her career, saying, “I’m thankful for all that UChicago Athletics has given me. I have had so many great teammates and coaches that I will never forget. I know I will not compete again as a Maroon on the field, but I cannot wait to continue to cheer on my teammates and see where their hard work takes them these next few years.” Congratulations to the UChicago fourth-years on great careers and the Maroons on a great season. We cannot wait to watch your success next year!






Men’s Tennis



9 a.m. PDT

Women’s Tennis



3 p.m. PDT

SPORT Baseball Baseball Men’s Tennis Women’s Tennis


Case Western Case Western Carnegie Mellon Wisc.-Whitewaer

Score 7–6 11–4 5–2 5–0