MAY 19, 2017
Disruption Rules Edited for Tuesday Vote BY PETE GRIEVE SENIOR NEWS EDITOR
The faculty senate will vote next Tuesday on whether to implement a new disciplinary system for disruptive conduct. Components of the proposed system under consideration by the 51-member Council of the University Senate have just been revised in several major ways. A provost-appointed committee made the revisions after a period of soliciting feedback. A number of the proposed revisions respond to criticisms from faculty senate members who found the first proposal too strict. Notably, the involvement of the Board of Trustees has been put off until next year. The committee that produced the report recommended revisions to the University’s statutes, which only the Board can do, but now it is suggesting that a separate committee be tasked with statute updates. In particular, the committee would consider revising Statute 21, which defines “disruptive conduct.” The Additions There is now a statement that most incidents will be addressed informally with “educational content” about free expression and boundaries. There is a stipulation that the provost will select the faculty members who will hear cases from the pool of professors who have served on the faculty senate in the past five years. Students and staff members will be selected upon consultation with academic deans. Disciplinary committees will be comprised of three faculty members, a student, and a staff member. It is stated that only suspension and expulsion will appear on a transcript. The proposal now explicitly states the presumption of innocence. The University will make available a number of people knowledgeable of the University’s rules who would be willing to serve as “support persons” for respondents and complainants. Continued on page 2
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University Files Against Graduate Unionization Election TYRONE LOMAX NEWS STAFF
The University has filed in opposition to Graduate Students United (GSU)’s recent petition to be recognized as the bargaining representative for many of the university’s graduate students. The University’s filing challenges the National Labor Relation Board’s (NLRB’s) ruling in last year’s case involving Columbia University. In its ruling last August
against Columbia University, the NLRB established that graduate students who work as teaching or research assistants at private universities are classified as workers under the NLRA, allowing them to collectively bargain for pay and working conditions. This decision overturned a precedent set by an earlier NLRB case at Brown University in 2004. GSU, an organization involved in organizing students since 2007, took advantage of the change in
JORGE ERNESTO CLAVO ABBASS NEWS STAFF
The Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) fraternity house on University Avenue was vandalized in the early hours of Wednesday, May 17. A phrase opposing racism was spray-painted on the front of the building. The Chicago Police Department (CPD) is investigating the incident. FIJI’s house was spray-painted with the words “FUCK RACISM” on the wall of the building facing University Avenue, as well as an “X” boxed in by a rectangle on the front doors of the building. CPD officer Michael Carroll stated in an e-mail to T HE M AROON that police were called to the FIJI house at approximately 4:49 a.m. on May 17 to respond to allegations of criminal damage to property.
“Police found that multiple racial slurs [have] been spray-painted on the front of the building and door,” Carroll said. “Closed circuit television cameras recorded a masked offender defacing the property and subsequently [fleeing]. No arrests have been made and Area Central Detectives are investigating.” It is not immediately clear what the “multiple racial slurs” refer to—no graffiti was visible except the statement on racism and the rectangle on the front of the building. The fraternity covered the spray paint with cardboard until the Department of Streets and Sanitation came in the early hours of the afternoon on May 17 to wash it off. Graduate Board President Robert Tamillow told to THE M AROON that he had no new information beyond what he had already
the NLRA and cannot be represented by GSU. The University argues that an employer-employee dynamic is not present within its relationship to graduate students, thereby nullifying GSU’s petition. The University also cites the different circumstances surrounding the University’s and Columbia’s graduate students as grounds that Columbia’s ruling does not apply to the University’s graduate students. According to Continued on page 3
Courtesy of Richard Oyeniran
stated to The College Fix in an e-mail interview. In that interview, he stated that “[FIJI has] the perpetrator on video and [is] currently working with the University and the police regarding this matter.” He further stated that “the chapter is not in any trouble, from the University or our International organization.”
FIJI faced accusations of racial insensitivity from several campus groups for hosting a party the night of May 5 where brothers were dressed in construction garments. Requests for comment from the FIJI campus chapter have gone unanswered at the time of publication.
New Fellowship to Replace Public Interest Program KATHERINE VEGA SENIOR NEWS REPORTER
The University’s Career Advancement Office is ending the UChicago Public Interest Program (UCPIP) and disbanding its alumni board as it prepares to launch a new post-graduate fellowship program. The new program, called the Kimpton Fellows Program, will provide paid yearlong fellowships to students in different industries, including public interest, health care, and STEM. UCPIP provides these fellowships in the public interest sphere.
A UChicago News article announced the new program publicly on Thursday afternoon. According to the article, UCPIP had served as a model for the new program, which will include professional development seminars and mentorship opportunities, as in UCPIP. T HE M AROON reached out to the News Office for further comment about the new program and its effect on UCPIP, but no further clarification was provided by press time. “The Kimpton Fellows Program will be modeled on a network of post-graduation fellow-
Passing the Buck
Page 2 A new, zinc-sided design for the cantilevered conference center is one of a series of changes along the south side of the Midway.
the legal landscape to file for a union certification election at the University. If the election goes forward and more than half of the ballots cast support representation by GSU, GSU will represent many of the university’s graduate studentss with research and teaching responsibilities in contract negotiations with the University. According to the University’s filing with the NLRB, the University is proposing that graduate students are not employees under
FIJI HOUSE VANDALIZED IN WAKE OF RACISM ALLEGATIONS
ship programs throughout the country, including the University of Chicago Public Interest Program, which placed students in yearlong fellowships with nonprofits, government agencies and social service providers,” the press release states. “The College and Career Advancement are deeply grateful to the alumni, parents and employers who have supported these post-graduation fellowships.” The UCPIP alumni board, which helps coordinate host site recruitment, programming, and fellowship matching, was in-
Senior Spotlight: Tiffany Chen
Page 4 “The University seldom has to deal with speech issues from the far right, largely because, as a whole, the student body is upwards of 90 percent liberal snowflake.”
New Design for Rubenstein Forum
VOL. 128, ISSUE 48
formed via e-mail on May 4 that it would be disbanded. In the e-mail, from Career Advancement staff members Rachael Ward and Sara Bosworth, the new program was branded as a “re-launch” of UCPIP thanks to a “series of gifts.” The e-mail describes the new program as similar to the popular Metcalf program, explaining that students from a wider variety of academic backgrounds will now be able to participate. “With the program’s new scope and mission, the volunteer Continued on page 3
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THE CHICAGO MAROON - MAY 19, 2017
New Design for Forum
New Proposal on Disruption
4/19 — 4/22
Continued from front
Language has been added stating that the system does not apply to individuals who are not affiliated with the University.
We Demand: UChicago United Campaign Launch Levi Hall, 12–1 p.m. A coalition of multi-cultural RSO present a list of demands to the administration. They are designed to build a better environment for minorities on campus.
In Defense of Disruptive Conduct Rosenwald 405, 4–5:30 p.m. University affi liates concerned about the chilling effect of proposed changes to discipline for disruptive protest on campus gather in advance of a vote on the issue. Saturday, May 20 Hidden Figures and Leading Women in Science Polsky Exchange North, Second floor, 1452 E 53rd Street, 1–4 p.m. Come for a free screening of the Academy Award nominated story of the black women behind NASA’s seminal successes; stay for a panel discussion with accomplished women of color in the sciences. Sunday, May 21 Words and Music: Anger and Forgiveness K.A.M. Israel, 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m. Philosopher and University professor Martha Nussbaum is accompanied by music as she presents the arguments of her new book. A Conversation with Hamilton Stars Logan Center for the Arts, 7 p.m. Chris Lee, who plays Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette, and Karen Olivo, who plays Angelica Schuyler, discuss theater culture and people of color. Monday, May 22 The Economic Consequences of Health Care Reform Regenstein Library, Room 122, 5:30–7 p.m. A former CBO analyst joins University of Chicago professors Casey Mulligan and Anup Mullani to consider the impact of the Affordable Care Act as America faces the possibility of its appeal. See more and add your own at chicagomaroon.com/events.
ONLINE: New director for Oriental Institute; University condemns posters attacking divestment advocates.
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Courtesy of The University of Chicago
BY GREG ROSS NEWS STAFF
Last Wednesday, the University revealed new renderings of the Rubenstein Forum, a conference center proposed for the southeast corner of East 60th Strexet and South Woodlawn Avenue. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the building consists of several cantilevered f loors stacked atop a two-story base. A restaurant, lobby, and event
space will occupy the base. The tower above will house a variety of meeting spaces and a 285-seat auditorium. Named after donor David Rubenstein (J.D. ’73), the building was announced in 2014. Preliminary renderings were released last May after the administrative building that previously occupied the site was demolished. The site remains vacant. The Rubenstein Forum will join two other new projects south of the Midway. One block
east, construction on the future Keller Center is underway, formerly New Graduate Residence Hall and the future home of the Harris School of Public Policy. Also revealed by the University last week was a 15-story hotel proposed for East 60th Street and South Dorchester Avenue. No groundbreaking date for either the hotel or the Rubenstein Forum has been released. The University has not made the cost of either project public.
Degree revocation has been removed as a possible disciplinary outcome. The “Official warning” sanction has been changed to just a “warning.” Language stating that disciplinary committees can forgo hearings before issuing sanctions when facts are not disputed has been removed. The system no longer says that disciplinary proceedings and outcomes must remain confidential. Six paragraphs of confidentiality rules were gutted, but it does say that comments made at disciplinary hearings must be kept confidential until the committee makes its decision. The chair of the committee that produced the report and the spokesperson of the Committee of the Council Randal Picker sent a document to The Maroon highlighting the revisions and a memo describing the changes. To see the changes and the final version of the report, visit chicagomaroon.com.
College Council Approves Organization to Oversee Emergency Fund BY MARJORIE ANTOHI NEWS STAFF
At College Council (CC)’s Tuesday meeting, members approved a proposal to establish an committee to oversee the Student Government Emergency Fund and elected Class of 2020 representative Sat Gupta CC chair for the 2017–18 school year. Class of 2020 representative Jahne Brown led two other members of the Emergency Fund committee in a presentation on the committee’s aims. Although the organization is now a committee of CC, the organization consists of nine members of which only Brown is on CC. According to its mission statement, the Student Government Emergency Fund “protects and defends the rights of marginalized students on campus by connecting them
with trusted resources and providing emergency aid.” The Emergency Fund grants will come solely from fundraising, though intial fundraising events will be put on using College Council funding. The application process is extensive in order to ensure that applicants are truly in need of the stipend, requiring tax information, receipts, and an endorsement from a campus adviser or an explanation of why one could not be obtained. For at least the next year, any immigration-related applications will automatically be considered fi rst-priority. According to Brown, this rule may be changed after next year based on changes in the political landscape. This rule builds off of the ideas of the two resolutions passed by CC on January 3 this year. One of these makes UChicago a “sanctuary
campus” while the other calls for the establishment of a student advisory council made up of undocumented, international, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students. The Emergency Fund organization currently has a limit of $200 per person, which may change depending on fundraising performance. Fundraising plans include restaurant fundraisers, bake sales, and a benefit concert in the fall. Some CC members expressed concern about whether $200 is a large enough amount of money to be of significant help for someone in an emergency. The members of the Emergency Fund organization explained that the $200 is intended more as a starting point to help people get on their way, rather than a means of completely paying educational costs such as tuition. Additionally,
they explained that several of the costs immigrants are likely to face, including passports or plane tickets, lie around $200. The election for the new CC chair took place at the end of the meeting. The CC chair is granted a seat on the Executive Committee and performs administrative duties such as setting up and orchestrating the weekly CC meetings. Both candidates, Gupta and Class of 2019 representative Elizabeth Ortiz, spoke about their aims in running for CC chair and answered questions from some CC members. Gupta was then elected after a short discussion. “ T here’s this perception in the University that College Council doesn’t really do much, that it’s not a proactive body, and I want to help change that perception,” Gupta said.
David Brooks Named Class Day Speaker BY EMILY FEIGENBAUM SENIOR NEWS EDITOR
New York Times columnist David Brooks (A.B. ’83) will deliver a speech at the new ceremony that has been added to Convocation weekend. Class Day will feature a guest speaker, student speeches, and College awards. It is designed to replace the Baccalaureate Ceremony that has traditionally taken place in Rockefeller
Memorial Chapel, as the size of the venue limited the attendance of the event. The Class Day celebration will take place on the main quad on June 9, from 2–4 p.m. The event is open to graduating students, their families and friends, and the rest of the University community. Brooks, a conservative political pundit, has written for several publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Newsweek, and The Weekly
Standard. He is also a frequent participant in PBS NewsHour. In a 2013 interview Brooks told T HE M AROON that he spent much of his time studying in the stacks of the fourth floor of Regenstein Library and dining at Harold’s Chicken during his time at the University. Brooks majored in history and explained that he still references authors whose works he read for the Core for pieces he writes today. He was a columnist for the View-
points section of T HE M AROON. The Saturday morning Convocation ceremony will remain a separate event and unaffected by the addition of Class Day to Convocation weekend. Beginning this year, graduating students will receive their diplomas alongside members of their residence halls in eight different ceremonies.
THE CHICAGO MAROON - MAY 19, 2017
Career Advancement Disbands UCPIP Continued from front
structure will also change,” Bosworth and Ward wrote in their e-mail to the board. “Career Advancement’s employer relations team will be taking the lead on scouring these post-graduation opportunities for our students.” The e-mail stated that board members interested in “other opportunities” to support current students in their early careers should speak with Lucie Sandel, who works in the Alumni Association office as the associate director of Career Development. Some board members expressed sadness and anger with the decision to end UCPIP with what they believed to be little warning and input from the board. According to board member Emma González Roberts (A.B. ’14), the alumni board had met on Monday, May 1, to discuss the program’s growth for next school year. At the meeting, they learned that Career Advancement was planning to hire an additional full-time staff member that would take over UCPIP along with other responsibilities. González Roberts said that she had left the meeting under the impression that UCPIP would not undergo significant programmatic changes and that the board’s involvement would remain the same. Ward wrote in a subsequent e-mail to González Roberts that the name of the UCPIP program will change and that the new program will be a part of the employer development and external relations team, fully integrated with other student recruiting programs. In an e-mail sent in response to complaints about the May 4 e-mail to the board, Bosworth said that the board had not been lied to, but that Career Advancement had needed to “act quickly” to create the new program.
“As a career office, our goal is to increase the number of students who benefit from these important post-graduation opportunities, and we see this as a way to expand upon the strong foundation laid by the board,” Bosworth wrote. The e-mail announcing the board’s dissolution did not specify a concrete timeline. According to González Roberts, the UCPIP program is largely run by one fellow coordinator, who is also a recent post-grad, as well as a volunteer alumni board consisting of recent program fellows and donors. “While I am genuinely pleased that Career Advancement has decided to fully integrate a fellowship program into their portfolio, the way in which the decision was communicated was hurtful,” González Roberts wrote in an e-mail to Bosworth. “It has not been University resources that have built and sustained this program and its relationships, but rather the people on this e-mail chain. Engaged and dedicated alumni deserve better.” The UCPIP program with an alumni board was formally founded in 2008, although University students had been recruited to participate in a similar program run by Princeton since 1999, according to Tom Berg (A.B. ’72), former co-chair of the UCPIP alumni board. Since 2008, Berg has supported the program both financially and by volunteering. In a phone interview, Berg said that he had donated approximately $40,000 per year for the last three years in order to fund the fellow coordinator position for the UCPIP program. “Given the treatment, I’ve decided not to contribute to the University or volunteer anymore,” Berg said. “And I’ve done a lot volunteering.” Berg previously served on the Alumni Board of Governors, and received the University’s Alumni Service Award in 2003 for his involvement. UCPIP has grown steadily over the
years. During its first year, it made three fellowship matches; by last year, according to Berg, it had made 49 matches. In a May 16 e-mail to UCPIP fellows, mentors, host organizations, and volunteers, the former board announced that the University had decided to end the program in its current form. The e-mail said that last year, over 10 percent of the graduating class applied to the program. Berg said that the program had developed stronger ties with similar programs at peer institutions, such as Princeton and Northwestern. “I really liked the program, and I thought the alumni engagement piece had magnified impact. I think this last year… UCPIP was the largest public interest program with 49 [fellowship matches]. Princeton had 38. It’s amazing to me how much success he had. The fellows I’ve talked to have really liked the program,” Berg said. Berg also said that members of the alumni board had been very active in developing and maintaining relationships with host sites, some of which have been reliable friends of the program for years. Berg said that some of those connections were maintained because of personal connections to board members, which will no longer be maintained even if the host site participates in the new program. UCPIP has made matches for this coming year, although T HE M AROON was not able to reach out to those participants for comment by press time. González Roberts said that, at the UCPIP reception for this year’s cohort of fellows, the speakers did not mention that the program would be changing. She was the only board member to attend. According to the press release, the Kimpton Fellows Program will launch in the 2017–18 school year. The program’s first fellows will begin in June 2018.
Labor Board Hearings Continue Tomorrow Continued from front
the document, distinctions between the two groups include the vital nature teaching holds within the University’s Ph.D. educational program, the expectations to which Ph.D. students are held, and the fact that graduates are not compensated but receive supportive funding by the University. The timing and manner of the election is also a subject of dispute between the University and GSU. The GSU’s petition called for a vote by mail between May 30 and June 20, since many graduate students will have left campus for the summer quarter. In its filing with the NLRB, University suggests that if GSU’s election is not completed by May 31, it should be postponed until September 25 in order to maximize the ability of graduate students to vote. The University argues that mail ballots would be inappropriate, since none of the criteria cited by the NLRB in the past to justify the use of mail ballots apply in this context. During pre-election hearings, which continue starting at 9 a.m. today, a hearing officer will consider arguments from both the University and GSU. Peter Sung Ohr, the NLRB director for Chicagoland, will eventually rule on whether and how the certification election can go forward. Daniela Palmer, a fifth-year graduate student and GSU member, expressed optimism for GSU’s future. “We are awaiting to hear the outcome of [the] hearings with the University that will determine when and how the election happens,” she said. “[I]n the meantime, we are continuing to engage with our members and speak to the campus community more broadly as well to continue to gather support and momentum.”
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THE CHICAGO MAROON - MAY 19, 2017
VIEWPOINTS A More Perfect Union Library and Graduate Student Workers Deserve to Be Represented by a Union Last week, graduate and undergraduate student workers at the University of Chicago’s libraries filed a pair of election petitions with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). If successful, unions would represent these two groups of students in contract negotiations with the University administration. While the move by graduate students is a step forward in a decades-long path towards unionization for graduate student workers around the country, the library workers are among the first groups of mostly undergraduate student workers to pursue unionization. Both groups’ efforts should be welcomed as progress towards a more equitable and accountable university community. The University’s public opposition to graduate student unionization has focused on the relationship between graduate students and faculty. As President Robert J. Zimmer and Provost Daniel Diermeier wrote in an e-mail to graduate students and faculty, adopting the menacing hypothetical that is appar-
ently the administration’s house-style when discussing unionization, “A union could come between students and faculty to make crucial decisions on behalf of students, focusing on collective interests rather than each student’s individual educational goals. The nature of collective bargaining could also compromise the ability of faculty to mentor and support students on an individualized basis.” Some research has been done on this question. A 2013 study (Effects of Unionization on Graduate Student Employees, in Industrial and Labor Relations Review) found that graduate student employees at unionized institutions reported a better relationship with their advisors in several areas. A survey of professors at unionized schools in 2000 (Graduate Student Employees Collective Bargaining and the Educational Relationship Between Faculty and Graduate Students in the Journal of Collective Negotiations), on the other end of the NLRB’s recent vacillations, failed to discover deteriorated relationships
with their advisees. Many highly-regarded public universities have found a way to accommodate educational goals to a greater voice for graduate employees. The University of Chicago ought to be able to do the same. In arguments currently before the NLRB, the University has advanced a different line—that graduate students are not workers, in the sense protected by federal labor laws. This is the position that blocked graduate student unionization at private universities until last August, and might block it again, once the Trump-era NLRB revisits the issue. However, it’s important to understand that being a teaching or a research assistant can often be a full-time position. Graduate students often teach their own classes at the University and, like professors, are responsible for writing lesson plans, creating tests, and grading. No matter the formal title, if two people are doing the same amount of work, they should—at the very least—receive equal benefits.
Waiting for Action
Students at the University—including the student workers implicated in these elections—are well-credentialed, or headed that way. They still face the problem unions are designed to address: As individuals, they have limited and inconsistent leverage in comparison to their employer. Both groups have expressed their concerns in these pages about their current conditions of employment. Some might be addressed by the administration’s good graces—but unions could pressure the University administration to address the rest, and give student workers power when as-of-yet unforeseen questions arise. We take it as uncontested that the welfare of student workers is a valid concern for the broader University community. The presence of unions would pair this conviction with the institutionalized power to make it a reality. —The MAROON Editorial Board
Brook Who’s Talking
The University Still Refuses to Acknowledge Islamophobia on Campus BY ALEX SHAMS MAROON CONTRIBUTOR
For the second time just this school year, an outside hate group has targeted the University of Chicago campus with posters denouncing members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) as “terrorists.” The group responsible for the attack—the David Horowitz Freedom Center—has taken credit for the posters, which it now puts up regularly on 10 campuses across the country in order to intimidate members of SJP into silence. The center has been labeled “a driving force of the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and anti-black movements” and the “premier financier of radical anti-Muslim extremism” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). In October, when the group put up the first round of posters, they identified students by name and even included sketches of faces that resembled “wanted” posters, implying advocating for Palestinian human rights made students criminals. This time, the posters accused the group of being backed by the militant group Hamas. Even though this is the second attack against SJP this school year, it was only on Monday, after repeated SJP meetings with administration officials, that at long last a statement was released by the University expressing opposition to the flyers. This is a good start. The administration should be applauded for realizing the severity of the problem, but it isn’t enough. It fails to confront the perpetrators or to acknowledge that the problem is, by now, far bigger than posters. For the last year, an online blacklist called Canary Mission has targeted members of SJP as well as the Muslim Students Association, both at UChicago and at schools across the country. The blacklist appears to be linked to David Horowitz—the October posters mentioned the site as proof of students’ “terrorist” connections. Canary Mission’s goals are very clear: slander students who advocate for Palestinian rights on college campuses and intimidate them into silence with vicious lies. The site is meant to target prospective employers by ruining students’ ability to get jobs in the future, and it tweets out accusations of terrorism and anti-Semitism to blacklisted students’ universities and employers.
Given that the majority of students on the blacklist are of Palestinian or Muslim origin and that we live in a moment of unprecedented bigotry and prejudice against Muslims across the United States, the threat the blacklist poses is very serious. Canary Mission is nothing less than an attempt to prevent our future right to be employed by slandering us for our participation in student politics. It has been condemned as “McCarthyist” by over 1,000 faculty from across the country, but the University of Chicago has yet to comment. Meanwhile, I—and many of my classmates—frequently wake up to hateful tweets filled with death threats and hateful slurs. Despite these violations of University policies about posters and disclosing students’ personal information, the administration has taken no steps to confronting the organization responsible—even though back in March, it set a precedent when a member of an outside hate group was arrested for posting hateful material on campus. In comments to THE MAROON last year, David Horowitz said that the University should hold him personally responsible for the posters. So why haven’t they? The administration should by now be aware of UChicago’s broader Islamophobia problem. Its recent campus climate survey revealed that nearly one out of three Muslim students report facing harassment because of their faith, and more than 40 percent said they had “avoided disclosing or concealed their religious identity due to fear of negative consequences or harassment from a peer,” the highest figures by far of any religious group. These figures should shock us and should be a wake-up call for the administration. In an era when mosques are being burned down across the United States week after week and where students who wear hijabs are spat on and yelled at every day across the city, shouldn’t confronting anti-Muslim bigotry be a priority? If the University is serious about protecting its students and employees, shouldn’t it address the David Horowitz Freedom Center and demand the group cease and desist from its repeated attacks on University students and employees? Shockingly, the University’s priorities instead seem to be focused on silencing political speech on campus rather than helping those
targeted actually exercise it. Next week, the Council of the University Senate will vote on changes to the University disciplinary system in what appears to be an attempt to increase potential pressure against students and employees who organize protests or interrupt events. More than 200 faculty, students, and alumni have signed a letter urging faculty to vote down the proposed reform, explaining that it “sets out to punish forms of speech, rather than fostering expression, in particular expressions of dissent that previous reports have declared essential to the University’s mission” and highlights that the “stakes…could not be greater.” The reform seems designed to dissuade students from protesting speakers associated with the Trump administration, as it follows on the heels of repeated student rallies opposing the invitation of members of his campaign and administration onto our campus. David Horowitz is, fittingly, a close friend of Trump’s attorney general Jeff Sessions. His center even awarded its most prestigious award to Sessions, who has been blasted for his long history of supporting the denial of voting rights to black Americans and has been labeled a “champion of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant extremists” by the SPLC. The links are painfully obvious: The Trump administration is promoting policies targeting political dissent and promoting Islamophobia, giving a green light to purveyors of hate, like David Horowitz, to lash out against student activists across the country. The University of Chicago has a choice. Will it defend its targeted students by enforcing its own rules against defamation and hateful postering? Will it write a cease and desist letter to David Horowitz, demanding that he stop using our campus as a platform to peddle hate and bigotry? Or will the administration instead ignore students’ demands and push ahead to increase restrictions on student activists? It took a year for a statement to be released. How much longer will we have to wait for real action? Alex Shams is a second-year Ph.D. student in anthropology.
UChicago Chose a Class Day Speaker in Line with Its Own Hollow Ideals BY JAKE BITTLE MAROON CONTRIBUTOR
You have to hand it to the University of Chicago: It knows how to stay on brand. Once it’s picked a story, the University sticks to it, never hesitating to remind us of its stance long after we’ve all gotten the point. With the choice of New York Times columnist and University trustee David Brooks (A.B. ’83) as the inaugural Class Day speaker for the Class of 2017, UChicago has reached peak UChicago and, in doing so, let us all down. It’s hard to imagine a less surprising choice of speaker than Brooks, or a speaker whose words will be less useful advice for living in the world into which we are about to graduate. Like most of his peers in the Times opinion section, Brooks was artifi cially grown by the Sulzberger family in a top-secret gestation lab; unlike his peers, however, he does not have a name that befits his function as a columnist. Maureen Dowd dispenses dowdy, out-of-fashion truisms, and Charles M. Blow blows indignantly about the evils of our time, but Brooks never brooks any dissent against the established norms of the bygone “big society” he has joined Mitt Romney and David Cameron in pining for. He is the arch-condescender, the anti-millennial, the most inveterate old-guard critic of the passion and commitment for which my generation has become so maligned. He lumps progressivism and populism in with the worst of demagoguery and fascism, viewing them all as equally dangerous to our hallowed (and obviously infallible) “civic institutions.” He cannot help seeing every new political development, from the Women’s March to safe spaces, from protests against income inequality to Colin Kaepernick, as representative of these ideals’ decay. He is the ultimate dispenser of “back-in-my-day”s, and we, Continued on page 4
THE CHICAGO MAROON - MAY 19, 2017
“UChicago has reached peak UChicago and, in doing so, let us all down.” Continued from page 4 the generation to whom he is supposed to give life-changing advice on June 9, are all just loitering on his lawn. One could spend forever listing the antiquated and embarrassing opinions Brooks has trotted out over the years. He thinks promiscuity is a sign of Armageddon. He chides us that smoking marijuana is infantile. He believes Frantz Fanon, whose work is assigned to most undergraduates at the University of Chicago, is just a black version of our Stéphane Banon. But even more disturbing than these occasional moments of idiocy is Brooks’s general failure to say anything substantial, ever, about the world around him. When Trump has not given him some low-hanging fruit for the week, Brooks will turn to society, isolate some trend in it, and use whichever truism he fi nds most expedient that day to bemoan the loss of some phantom of “integrity” and “connectedness” that conspicuously always flourished during times when people who did not look like him were second-class citizens. “We have no clear framework or
set of rituals to guide us in our quest for goodness,” he will say credulously, as if this inviolable nugget of truth explains all our present political confusion. “Everybody is perpetually insecure in a moral system based on inclusion and exclusion,” he writes. “When we’re addicted to online life, every moment is fun and diverting, but the whole thing is profoundly unsatisfying.” For a braver pundit on either side of the political spectrum, Class Day might mean an occasion to grapple with this nation’s long and brutal history of class confl ict. Brooks, however, would be more likely use it as an occasion to discuss “classiness,” the (for him) essential virtue that separates vulgarians like President Trump from dignified heroes such as, um, Marco Rubio. Brooks’s reliance on such tosh indicates a career-long refusal of the “critical thinking” of which, as a UChicago alum, he is supposed to be the most devoted apostle. I n th is respect, Brooks shares more with President Zimmer than a high paycheck and a penchant for extramarital difficulties: the ideology in his
columns bears a striking resemblance to that espoused by this school’s administration. UChicago claims to model itself on the tradition of the great German research universities, but in fact it more closely resembles the original Italian università degli studi, the “corporation for studying.” Like most contemporary corporations, and like Brooks himself, the University takes actions that are at best obliquely related to the betterment of the world. The University administration and Brooks are both content to respond to bigotry and inequity with little more than “concern,” and to defend their milquetoast political cowardice by citing abstract and ultimately hollow ideals (for the administration, “open discourse”; for Brooks, “integrity” and “the ability to see both sides”). Just as UChicago’s administration sees its mission as fundamentally unrelated to the fi ght for a more just society, walking Brooks’s “Road to Character” involves the cultivation of “eulogy virtues” rather than meaningful engagement against violence, suffering, and the abuse of power. While such
platitudes might make the more gullible members of our graduating class feel a little more secure about their moral rectitude as they sally forth into the world, they will ultimately do little to prepare us to act materially and effectively in our urgent times. In the breathless interview Brooks conducted with President Zimmer during the University’s most recent fundraising campaign, the two men agreed that now is “a time for ambition.” But surely it is a time for more than that. Surely critical thinking does not mean sitting around and waiting for someone in power to make a rhetorical gaffe, then mocking them for it while they defund what remains of the social safety net; surely it means subjecting our leaders, our institutions, and our received ideas to the most unsparing scrutiny, and not being afraid to make our conclusions heard if we believe they will help us achieve a more equitable and peaceful world. I am not advocating that Brooks be d isinv ited from speaking at the University. Nor am I suggesting that his speech
should be met with protest or disruption. His strain of moralism is far too bland to be offensive or harmful, and besides, saying he should be banned would just give him more ammunition to call me and my peers petulant and close-minded. No, he can and should go ahead and shower us with platitudes. I am only saying, with a sigh of resignation, that in these times of deep uncertainty, our graduating class will have to look elsewhere for a model of wisdom and bravery. Perhaps when we look back on our time here from a long way down the Road to Character, we will give the same ringing endorsement of UChicago that Brooks gave in the Zimmer interview: “ The thing I love about the University of Chicago is that it left its mark on me. I came as one sort of person and left another sort of person.” But let us hope that the University of Chicago will make us into something more than the kind of person David Brooks has turned out to be. Jake Bittle is a fourth-year in the College majoring in English.
Passing the Buck The Administration Leaves the Job of Stopping Hateful Rhetoric to Its Students
Jake Eberts “While the University supports the expression of diverse points of view on issues of the day, defamatory statements about i nd iv idua l Un iversity community members and groups and targeted harass-
ment of students are antithetical to our values and expectations of critical inquiry and debate.” Thus read the e-mail we all received from University provost Daniel Diermeier and
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Dean of Students Michele Rasmussen. Their message specifically addressed the posters all over campus that targeted Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), assuring that they would be taken down on sight given the clear potential harm they present to a number of students. For the same reason, we took down posters from Identity Europa, a heinous white nationalist group. Oh, wait. No. We took those posters down mainly because they used inappropriate adhesive, evidently. Thankfully, U.S. News & World Report does not have a “principles” category in calculating its college rankings, so it obviously does not matter.
We’re number three, y’all! The University seldom has to deal with speech issues from the far right, largely because, as a whole, the student body is upwards of 90 percent liberal snowflake. As the above examples illustrate, when the far right does intrude on campus, they are dealt with decisively. They are not welcome here, and rightfully so. The University does not want to foster an environment where racist, anti-Semitic, or otherwise disturbing speech is plastered all over its walls. However, it still wants to fulfill its self-proclaimed role as a bastion of free speech no matter how egregious. Balancing these two conf licting
goals becomes easier when the dirty work—dealing with hateful filth—is tacitly delegated to the student body. The University can take a more hands-off approach, allowing it to maintain the veneer of free speech absolutism that it has pushed so heavily over the past few years. There is a strong argument to be made that the e-mail we received runs in f lagrant violation to the University’s other pronouncements on freedom of speech. Recall that President Zimmer made it clear in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that the University would have no personal probContinued on page 5
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“The intolerant left at least keeps the furthest elements of the ‘alt-right’ from campus.” Continued from page 4 lem allowing the renowned neo-Nazi Richard Spencer to speak on campus if invited. If there’s one thing we love here at UChicago, it’s speech, even from someone who advocates for ethnic cleansing. (Or in his words, “peaceful” ethnic cleansing, a phrase so absurd that I’m not even going to bother with it.) Zimmer arguably knows that a Spencer invite will never happen, which is why he feels safe making such pronouncements. This is not Auburn or another university in the Deep South with a literal W hite Student Union that has the gall to invite Spencer to their own campus. That is not to say that UChicago is anywhere near free of racism in the student body or as an institution, nor is it to say everyone at Auburn is a Spencer sympathizer, of course. But Zimmer and other University administrators are probably aware that at a campus so thoroughly populated by left-leaning students and faculty, as is the case at many of our peer institutions, any concrete suggestion that Richard Spencer might show up on campus would trigger more chaos than Scav could only dream of. Moreover, the atmosphere is so blindingly liberal that even the sustained presence of a group avowedly racist enough to invite someone like Spencer seems implausible. Even if Spencer were invited, the harm would not be too grave to the University’s image from a fundraising perspective. Zimmer knows that he doesn’t need to refuse Spencer, because
as soon as he shows up, our collective bare-chested war screeches of self-righteous progressive rage would drive him away, punishment for disruptive protest be damned. I mean, look at me—I nearly had an aneurysm when the UChicago College Republicans president tweeted Ann Coulter suggesting she come and speak to us. My snowf lake brain and worldview would become literally incapable of thought or reason if I had to seriously consider the possibility of Spencer on campus, and I’m not even that far left. This scenario is less than ideal, but again, less probable, and the money and prestige we get from touting ourselves as the free speech university seems to outweigh the risks. While the University continues its deliberations over disruptive conduct, keep in mind that it is such a predilection to disruption that arguably keeps literal neo-Nazis in the shadows and off campus. At the very least, it makes it socially unacceptable for any individual on this campus to extend such an invitation. If the speaker is actively seeking controversy, justification of their presence seems to reach its limit, since there would be no expectation of educating or constructively engaging with the student body. Otherwise, the threat of the scourge of the intolerant left at least keeps the furthest elements of the “alt-right” from campus. The University benefits from that fact immensely. Jake Eberts is a third-year in the College majoring in political science.
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ARTS Sliced Bread with Cream Cheese and a Side of Emotion BY CHLOÉ BARDIN ARTS STAFF
Last Friday, Sliced Bread magazine threw a launch party for its spring issue. For a decade now, the student-run magazine has published UChicago students’ writings, drawings, and photographs. For the event, the tables of McCormick lounge were covered with sliced bread—both edible and readable—along with cheese, homemade cookies, and cake. It almost felt like a family reunion, a birthday party from which only the candles were missing. As we sat on sofas fi nishing our cake and chattering happily, the open mic started. I was expecting a joyful celebration. “It is poetry,” I thought. “What harm can it do?” Or perhaps more aptly, “What harm can it say?” It started on a positive note with second-year Hank Hubbard’s cheeky “Haiku to Dad,” unapologetically bringing slang and swear words to the constrained Japanese poetic form. But the mood gradually darkened as many of the poems and short stories dealt with violence, pain, or death. First-year Kellie Lu’s short story described a young girl’s desire to jump into the world (and out of the window). It was followed by second-year Connor Fieweger’s “The Barber,”
a fi rst-person narrative recount- With his tightrope-walker voice ing the monotonous life of a hair- always on the verge of breaking dresser. Fieweger’s droning voice and his guitar, second-year Ilan ref lected the cold, analytical Haskel plunged the room into thinking of his character, simul- a mellow, rainy-day mood. His taneously funny and disturbing songs, although centered around (“Sometimes I think about how break-ups, were pleasantly humorous, such as one titled, “I close I am to the man’s brain”). These readings built up to can’t listen to Springsteen anywhat felt like the hardest and more,” because they used to lismost violent piece: second-year ten to him together. Second-year Isaac Troncoso, Sarah Saltiel’s short story “Your Trial,” describing the final 17 singing with a guitar, presentseconds of a man’s execution ed a more pop-rock repertoire, by lethal injection. The story such as Alex Turner’s “Stuck on is told three times from three the Puzzle” or Arctic Monkeys’s different perspectives: the exe- “No Buses.” His bluesy voice was cutioners, the man himself as a relaxing, especially after an enconfession, and the man again ergetic performance by Men in in a stream-of-consciousness Drag. The all-female a cappella narrative. Each new sentence group brought energy and vitalwas preceded by a number that ity to the room, thanks to the decreased as time went by—the powerful voice of second-year Relethal countdown. The repetition becca Husk on BØRNS’s “Elecof the same scene over and over tric Love,” to the impressive dyagain, the same graphic images, namics on Coldplay’s “Hymn for the same inexorable countdown: the Weekend,” and to the warm, Saltiel perfectly conveyed an ir- deep voice of third-year Marirepressible disgust for this excess ana Bouissou Lepeckion Young of violence. She underlined the the Giant’s “My Body.” They vicious circle of violence, where all worked in perfect symbiosis, crime is condemned by another the rhythmic movement of their crime. It was hard to hear, but bodies spreading from one singer deftly written. to the next before reaching the From spoken to sung words, audience. Following them was the second half of the evening the UChicago Wushu troupe, featured musical performanc- led by second-year Kevin Yu, es that attempted to heal the which brought the energy to the wounds exposed in the readings. next level. They performed mar-
Chloé Bardin Sliced Bread magazine celebrated its spring issue with a launch party.
tial arts moves involving kicks, jumps, and splits to an epic soundtrack, reminding us that the body can also speak. T he humorously named Robert J. Zimmer? ensemble closed the evening. The septet performed an intriguing set, blending musical traditions from around the world. There was something primordial, essential, in their compositions, a sense of floating somewhere in space as
if life were being created again. With a keyboard, drummer, trumpet, tambourine, clarinet, tuba, and guitar, they were able to recreate a world. From the initial plunge into darkness to the ensuing resurgence of life and energy, the Sliced Bread launch party was a reflection of the magazine’s spring issue: a wide range of emotions, art forms, and messages all in a short period of time.
Rent Seizes the Day Throughout History BY BROOKE NAGLER A S SOCIATE ART S EDITOR
Now in its 20th anniversary tour, the rock opera Rent is living proof of the persistence of the past. Stopping in Chicago for a weeklong run at the Oriental Theatre, the performance was a satisfyingly energetic tribute to the original masterpiece. Its story of sexual liberation entwined with the devastation of the AIDS crisis was delivered with penetrative potency as I watched, hypnotized, during the Saturday matinée. The show began not with a bang, but with more subtlety: the narrator, Mark (Danny Harris Kornfeld), introduced himself as a fi lmmaker living with his friend Roger (Kaleb Wells), a musician with HIV. The setting— Christmas Eve in an industrial sized loft on the corner of 11th Street and Avenue B—was not immediately apparent from the bare set of a few tables and undecorated stage platforms. The house lights remained on until the notes of the opening tune, “Rent,” resounded. With the audience not yet enveloped in darkness, the boundary between
actor and viewer was ambiguous; the audience was not just watching the story, but a part of the action. The relationships between the characters quickly unfolded. Mark wants to “document real life” by making a film about his experiences. Roger becomes involved with a nightclub dancer, Mimi (Skyler Volpe), and both eventually reveal that they have HIV. More romance enters the scene as Tom Collins (Aaron Harrington) falls in love with a drag queen named Angel Schunard (David Merino) and Mark’s ex-girlfriend Maureen (Katie LaMark) has a tumultuous relationship with her girlfriend Joanne (Jasmine Easler). With the stories forming webs of relations, the characters display their individuality while conveying their dependence upon the group for survival, their need for, as sung in “What You Own,” a “connection in an isolating age.” Music and utter chaos balanced out the show’s moments of more intimate expression. From the thunderous harmonies of “Rent” to the touching softness of “Without You,” the cast paid homage to the vibrancy of the 1996 Tony Best Musical win-
ner and long-running Broadway smash. Though the show moves to a new city each week, the actors commanded the theater with aplomb. Merino was especially impressive during his drag performance of “Today 4 You.” He
“The boundary between actor and viewer was ambiguous; the audience was not just watching the story, but a part of the action.”
weaved intricate dances moves into his opulent vocal performance, projecting an infectious vivacity and sparkle, all in crazy outfits—from her signature Mrs. Claus dress to zebra stockings to shiny green vest. But her devastating death due to HIV was equally poignant with her part-
ner, Tom, portraying his despair after she dies in “Without You” with stunning intensity. Other performers portrayed equally outrageous personalities expertly crafted by playwright Jonathan Larson, recognizing the legacy of their roles while making them their own. LaMark had an attitude of self-centered extravagance worthy of Idina Menzel. Her imaginative poses during “Over the Moon” enhanced the already exhibitionist nature of its risqué and vulgar content. Roger tapped into the deep torment beneath his shaggy hair and devil-may-care attitude. Reaching such intensity that his voice often bordered on shouting, he captured a remarkable synthesis of longing and rejection, connection and alienation. The characters impressed with their joint chemistry in addition to remarkable performances as individuals. They danced in unity, embodying the community of Alphabet City while asking, “What binds the fabric together / When the raging, shifting winds of change / Keep ripping away?” They bopped their heads in unison to the opening rhythms of “La Vie Bohème,” a tribute to La Bohème, the Puccini opera on
which the show is loosely based. In a song that celebrates great communities and people—“To Sontag / To Sondheim / To anything taboo / Ginsberg, Dylan, Cunningham, and Cage / Lenny Bruce / Langston Hughes / To the Stage!”—its respect for the past parallels the nature of the Rent anniversary show itself and its mission to honor Larson’s legacy. Yet Larson’s own lyrics question the capacity for a legacy. “One Song Glory” concedes to the possibility of leaving nothing behind—that terrorizing fear of lea ding a life devoid of meaning: “Glory / Like a sunset / One song to redeem this empty life.” But, as Ben Brantley wrote for the New York Times in his 1996 review, “the leitmotif of the show is the image of time evaporating; its credo, quite unabashedly, ‘Seize the day.’” Though the narrative of Rent is grounded in its time, the message is altogether timeless. It continues to resonate with audiences twenty years after its premiere: The love and heartbreak in its music transcend past, present, and future.
THE CHICAGO MAROON - MAY 19, 2017
Chen Leaves Legacy of Leadership SENIOR SPOTLIGHT
BY MICHAEL PERRY SPORTS STAFF
W hen the University of Chicago women’s tennis team plays No. 4 Williams in the NCA A DIII Team Championship Quarterfinals, it will be one of the last times fourth-year Tiffany Chen takes the court as a Maroon. Chen has been the only fourth-year on the No. 9 Maroon squad, leading the team to an 18 – 4 record this season. A two-time Second Team All-UA A and three time UA A All-Academic selection, Chen played her fourth season as the No. 4 singles and No. 2 doubles with first-year Alyssa Rudin. Doubles play is really where Chen stood out throughout her career, going 15 – 5 this year with Rudin and going 63 – 42 in doubles in her four years in Hyde Park. Additionally, Chen went 15 –8 in singles this season and 64 –41 in her career. Chen has a unique relationship with her doubles partner Rudin, given the age d i f ference between the two. That never slowed down the duo though, as they quickly learned to play with each other. “ It’s definitely been bittersweet playing with her in my first year and her last year,” Rudin said. “I remember we were paired together in the first practice of winter quarter and we both immediately knew our games and our personalities would mesh well. Since then, I’ve absolutely loved playing with her as her calm balances out my fieriness and she’s constant when I’m streaky.” Chen has also been a vital part of the Chicago women’s current postseason run. In the team’s NCA A Tournament Round of 16 match against No. 38 Gustavus Adolphus last Sunday,
University of Chicago Athletics Dept. Chen demonstrated leadership on and off the court during her four years at UChicago.
Chen teamed with Rudin once more to secure an 8 – 5 victory. Chen then turned to singles, where she split sets with her opponent before the Maroons advanced to the next round. Chen’s impact on the team over the past four years is more than just on the cour t, however. A s the only fourth-year on a very young team, a lot of responsibility fell to her. When the younger players struggled with inconsistencies and transitioning to the college game, it was Chen who helped them with whatever they needed, including getting bubble tea.
“She is an awesome leader for the team, prov iding the knowledge and expertise we need and helping soothe our nerves, especially us first-years, when we a re wor r ied ,” sa id Rud i n about Chen, who is sometimes called “ Toof ” by her teammates. “Off court, she’s been a great resource, helping us with classes, restaurant suggestions, and frequent bubble tea trips. I can’t say enough about how great she’s been this year and how much the team and I will miss her presence.” Chen’s mother, Judy, has been almost as much of a constant for the
team as Chen herself after going to almost every match the Maroons competed in. Originally from Hinsdale, IL, Chen will be staying in the city of Chicago after graduation to be a discretionary trader at the Gelber Group, a proprietary trading firm. In her four years in Hyde Park, Chen was also involved with the Women’s Athletic A ssociation ( WA A), Smart Women Securities (SWS), and served as editor-in-chief of Spoon University, an online food publication.
Maroons Race on at Outdoor Invite TRACK & FIELD
BY SIDDHARTH KAPOOR SPORTS EDITOR
The Maroons ran their last races this week before nationals next week. They traveled to North Central for the Gregory Invitational, which featured athletes from all over the region. This week represented the last opportunity for individuals to qualify for the national meet. The invite opened Wednesday with dominant performances from the Maroons, especially on the women’s side. Seond-year Alexandra Thompson took first in the high jump with a height of 1.69km, which put her in a tie for first for the UChicago school record. Her fellow Maroons, third-year Ade Ayoola and first-year Taylor Padak, weren’t far behind her, finishing in fourth and seventh place, respectively.
The duo of first-years Claire Brockway and Maggie Boudreau finished in tandem in the 5K, in 10th and 11th place, respectively. Chicago also netted a top-10 finish from both third-year Angel Fluet and first-year Isabel Garon in the pole vault; they tied for sixth place with a height of 3.32m. On the men’s side, second-year Jackson Mariotti and first-year Rohan Kumar placed 26th and 28th, respectively, in the 5K run. Third-year Cristen Bublitz netted himself a solid sixth place in the javelin throw. His fellow throwers, fourth-year Andrew Maneval, and second-year Jonathan Dobie, dominated the shot put event, taking home second and fourth, respectively. The meet concluded yesterday with the sprint and relay races as well as all of the hurdle events. The strong re-
lay team of fourth-year Eleanor Kang, first-year Mary Martin, fourth-year Cha r issa Newk i rk , a nd f i rst-yea r Alisha Harris took home first in the women’s 4x100, with Kang and Harris later partnering up with second-year Emma Koether and fourth-year Michelle Dobbs to win the 4x400. Furthermore, Dobbs and Martin each took fifth place in the 800- and 200-meter, respectively. On the men’s side of things, the success was continued. The relay team of first-year Tyson Miller, second-year Obi Wamuo, fourth-year Jatan Anand, and second-year Markus Diehl took home a respectable eigth place in the 4x400, with Wamuo going on to take sixth place in the 400m hurdles. Firstyear Marwan Lloyd placed eighth in the 100m, securing himself a spot in the upcoming preliminary round of the
championship. The team also placed fourth in the 4x100, capping off a strong day’s worth of racing. The Maroons have had big performances from athletes in every event this season, and the first-year class in particular has had a successful season. Racers like Harris and Robin Peter, and throwers like Alex Scott have become household names this year and presumably for years to come. Kang ref lected on the excitement that national championships bring. “ There have been so many great performances across the board garnering spots in the national meet, and it’s been exciting to see everyone elevate and perform. I can’t wait to see what we can do at the national meet next week.” The Maroons will send multiple athletes to Geneva, Ohio, next weekend for national championships.
NCAA Tournament QuarterFinal
Track and Field
Three First Places
North Central Gregory Invite