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Volume 50

Issue 19


February 13, 2019


Fifty Years of Excellence: 1969 - 2019

It’s cuffing season CARLY BEHM


t first glance, the brick building could easily blend in with the surrounding apartments down the block from where some Loyola students live, study and buy their groceries. Its bold, white lettering “LA&M” is vague — passerbys might not even think twice about it. However, inside is a rich history of a kinky subculture waiting to be explored. The Leather Archives and Museum (6418 N. Greenview Ave.) is blocks away from Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus and has been a part of the neighborhood since 1991. Visitors are greeted by a friendly staff member at the front desk and can check their coats and bags in a small uniform room with leather vests lining the walls. Most people who come to the museum have little to no previous knowledge about the leather community, according to Leather Archives and Museum executive director Gary Wasdin. Leather is a broad term which encompasses people involved with kink, fetishes and BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism), Wasdin said. It’s about power and usually connected to sex, Wasdin said. The museum focuses on the history of the

leather community — which is foreign to many people — and its Chicago ties. The Leather Archives and Museum was co-founded by Chuck Renslow, an internationally known figure in the leather community, Wasdin said. Renslow was a businessman in Chicago who owned some of the first leather bars — common gathering spots for men in the leather community — in the country. Wasdin said Renslow also started the International Mister Leather pageant for men in the leather community. Renslow died in 2017, but his legacy stands strong, Wasdin said. “His connection to the leather community really helped him realize all of these individuals were not being remembered and their work collected by other research libraries,” Wasdin said. “His vision was to create a space that would collect the history and culture of those populations.” The archives first started out in as a collection in multiple people’s basements, moved into a storefront and finally to the museum’s current location, which was purchased in 2000, Wasdin said. Renslow wanted to buy the building instead of renting it, and it’s supported through donations, Wasdin said.

Bondage 11

Carly Behm The Phoenix

Ford one of four alums in mayoral race

No more leads in Rogers Park killer investigation


La Shawn Ford, a 1995 Loyola graduate, is looking to take his 12 years of experience in the state legislature to Illinois’ largest city as he runs for its highest seat this year. Of the 14 candidates in Chicago’s crowded mayoral race, four graduated from Loyola — Ford, Gery Chico, Jerry Joyce and Bill Daley. Ford, who’s a state representative for Illinois’ 8th district — which covers parts of West Chicago and several surrounding western suburbs — studied education and political science at Loyola. Since graduating, Ford, 46, has worked as an elementary social studies teacher at Chicago Public Schools and as a licensed real estate broker, according to his website. He also founded his own real estate business, Ford Desired Real Estate. With experience from working in public schools and real estate, Ford said he plans to reopen shuttered schools and vacant lots in the city. According to a January Chicago SunTimes poll of 644 likely voters conducted by WeAskAmerica, Ford polled at 1.2 percent. The leaders in the poll are Daley, Toni Preckwinkle and Chico — with Preckwinkle at 12.7 percent, Daley at 12.1 percent and Chico at 9.3 percent. A Feb. 8 report from the Chicago Sun-Times listed the 10 candidates who have the most campaign funds, and Ford wasn’t on it, making him one of the least funded candidates. Daley, Preckwinkle and Chico are at the top of the list. Ford 3

Loyola announces new office to handle Title IX reports MADISON SAVEDRA

Chicago Police Department

Police believe the same shooter killed two Rogers Park residents nearly four months ago. The police now have no leads in the case.


Nearly four months after a spree of shootings shook the Rogers Park community, detectives have exhausted all leads and received no new tips, according to police. However, Chicago Police Department Sergeant Rocco Alioto said the investigation remains ongoing. The first shooting, which left 73-year-old Douglass Watts dead,

took place on Sept. 30 on the 1400 block of West Sherwin Avenue, about 1.5 miles from Loyola’s Lake Shore campus. Just a day later, 24-yearold Eliyahu Moscowitz was shot and killed in Loyola Park, about half a mile from campus. Police believe the victims didn’t know each other, but that the same person killed both. Video footage released in October showed a suspect wearing dark clothes and a dark face covering.

As of Jan. 9, CPD has received 350 independent leads on the case according to Alioto. The reward for information on the suspect was raised to $150,000 in November, the highest reward ever raised by community members in Chicago for information about a homicide suspect, The Phoenix reported. Since the incident, Rogers Park residents and Loyola students have remained on edge. No leads 4

As part of an initiative to restructure university work on cases involving conduct, equity and Title IX — a law preventing discrimination in schools based on sex — Loyola has formed a new Office for Equity and Compliance, officials announced Tuesday. The office was established Jan. 2 with plans to be fully operational in the fall of 2019, according to an email sent to the community on behalf of Loyola President Jo Ann Rooney and Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer Winifred Williams. The office is also reviewing and updating university policies and procedures, the email said. “The ultimate objective is to work toward prevention and address instances of sexual harassment, sexual violence, hate conduct, and discrimination wherever they may arise,” the email read. The email also announced Tim Love — former associate dean of students and former director of the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution — who’s been serving as interim Title IX coordinator, has become executive director for equity and compliance and the new Title IX coordinator. Title IX 4

FEBRUARY 13, 2019


My Phoenix love letter FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK It was August 2015. Hundreds of bright-eyed first-years — including me — were moving into Loyola. It’s a strange time for an 18-year-old. You’ve heard all your life, college is the best part of your life and the friends you make last a lifetime, so every person you meet is a potential lifelong friend and every chance encounter is full of possibility. But that’s a lot of pressure to put on two people meeting for the first time, so it mostly just ends up being awkward. I was sitting in the dorm room of a guy who would become a lifelong friend, but at the time he was just some cool guy who lived two doors down from me. We’re sitting in his room when the door bursts open and a tall, blonde girl with long legs dressed in purple leg-

gings flies into the room. In my memory she glides in, but this girl is so much the opposite of graceful there’s no way she glided. The girl immediately runs toward my new friend and wraps her arms around him. I was impressed, this new friend already has girls practically throwing themselves at him and we just got here. While it turns out the girl and my new friend weren’t dating, both of them would soon become some of my closest friends. The girl, Claire Stoddard, and I started dating February of our sophomore year. But this isn’t the story of how we met. This is the story of what happened right after we started dating and how it shaped who we are. We started dating Feb. 20, 2017.

Michael McDevitt Managing Editor

Mary Norkol News Editor

Reid Willis Opinion Editor

Nick Schultz Sports Editor

Emily Rosca A&E Editor

excellent nurse, but they also make her an excellent partner. Claire, who has spent two years asking me when I’m going to put her name in the newspaper, has a Valentine’s Day birthday. So here it is, on this Valentine’s Day issue of The Phoenix, Claire Stoddard’s debut. Happy birthday. Every single staff member on The Phoenix has someone in their life who is just as important to them as Claire is to me. These people are why we do this. We want to make Loyola, this place we all love, better for the people we love. We have a great paper for you this week. It’s full of important stories as well as interesting and funny stories that can hopefully make Loyola a better place for the people we love and the people you love. Enjoy.


CONNECT WITH US Henry Redman Editor-In-Chief

Eleven days later, on March 3, 2017, my dad died. Now that’s a lot of pressure to put on a new relationship, even between two people who’d been good friends before. But this girl, my god this girl, ditched her spring break plans and drove to Cleveland to be with me. She spent a week just being by my side while also meeting my entire extended family. Since then, she’s never once blinked as we go through this strange college experience of falling in love while one of us is grieving the loss of a parent. She’s one of the strongest, brightest, most loyal people I’ve ever met. She’s caring and warm and beautiful and funny and charming. Every single one of these qualities will make her an


3 4 5

Police reforms hope to improve community relations Latinx students petition for their own space on campus “Boiling water challenge” puts several in Loyola burn ward


Vintage fashion curator details her quirks Gyllenhaal pleases in new “Velvet Buzzsaw” flick


Six alternative Valentine’s Day excursions Emily Rosca’s love letter to Whole Foods


Custer’s having shooting woes from beyond the arc

Staff Ed

Krutwig continues to crush it in The Valley

Loyola does not approve this message

Rowdy Rambler fans rush on Valpo for a day

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Security Notebook 2

1. February 6, 2019: A Loyola student was the victim of a hit and run near the Water Tower Campus. Campus Safety responded to the incident, which happened in the 800 block of North Wabash Avenue.


2. February 6, 2019: Campus Safety received drug paraphernalia that was confiscated in Regis Residence Hall. 3. February 6, 2019: Campus Safety received drug paraphernalia that was confiscated in de Nobili Residence Hall.



4. February 10, 2019: Campus Safety received marijuana and other drug paraphernalia confiscated by Residence Life in Marquette South Residence Hall.

FEBRUARY 13, 2019



Chicago police implement consent decree Katie Anthony The Phoenix

Changes are coming to CPD after a federal judge approved a consent decree. Off icers will now be mandated to report every time they point their gun at someone, among other things.


More than 20 reforms are in the works for the Chicago Police Department (CPD) following a past of alleged unconstitutional use of force, especially against minority citizens. The recently approved consent decree means the department is under federal pressure to straighten out police-community relations. The decree was approved by U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow Jr. following both a federal and state investigation into CPD’s practices. In August 2017, former Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit against the city of Chicago to implement constitutional policing practices. Some of the changes outlined in the decree include officers having to report each time they point their gun at someone, public reporting on investigations of sexual misconduct cases involving officers and more crisis intervention training for officers. The initial recommendation for a

federal consent decree in Chicago happened during the Obama administration in 2015 following the shooting and death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in October 2014 by CPD officer Jason Van Dyke — who was convicted of second-degree murder for the shooting this past October. The decree hasn’t been implemented until now. Following McDonald’s death, the U.S. Department of Justice investigated CPD and found probable cause that the department was engaging in patterns of unconstitutional policing — especially in regards to use of force against minorities, according to Dr. Christopher Donner, an assistant professor in Loyola’s criminal justice and criminology department who teaches courses in policing and crime prevention. Donner said he’s seen successful consent decrees in other cities — such as Los Angeles and Cincinnati — and trusts that these reforms will have an overall positive impact on the city. “I definitely think they can help, like I said they, unfortunately, have had to been used in a number of different

agencies in the last 20 or 30 years,” Donner said. “These consent decrees provide a good incentive if those jurisdictions didn’t already have a good incentive to fix their policing to try and better police-community relations.” Alderman Joe Moore of the 49th Ward, Rogers Park, also pointed to the success of the same cities under consent decrees and said he believes the decree will have the same impact on CPD. “If you look at what happened in other cities, we ended up having a more professional police department with lower numbers of civil rights claims brought against them, lower incidences of police misconduct, better community relations, and lower crime,” Moore said. “So I think this will ultimately be a good thing for Chicago.” Moore announced policing changes to CPD in Rogers Park in October, including more high definition security cameras, mobile phones for officers with crime analysis software, license plate readers in police cars and a hightech support center. They began to be implemented last week, The Phoenix

reported. Although Donner said he believes the consent decree will work for Chicago, he also pointed out potential issues that he said he thinks could arise once the reforms are actually implemented. “There’s not a whole lot of evidence to suggest this would happen — but it could make it more likely that the police are going to be less proactive and they are going to have to spend the time documenting everything and filling out all that paperwork,” Donner said. Donner added the city may also be forced to pay officers overtime so they are able to get all the proper paperwork in for things such as stopping pedestrians and pointing their weapons. CPD News Affairs didn’t respond when The Phoenix reached out for comment, including to the question of whether or not officers would be paid overtime to fill out the extra paperwork. University spokesperson Evangeline Politis sent a statement to The Phoenix on behalf of Director of Campus Safety Tom Murray which said the department monitors law enforcement

changes, although the decree doesn’t directly apply to Campus Safety. “As a professional law enforcement agency we are attentive to the ever changing landscape of American law enforcement,” the statement said. “Our agency is focused on the best ways to serve our constituency and prides itself on our commitment to the Loyola community.” The majority of people stopped by Campus Safety officers for stop and frisks between 2016-2018 were minorities, The Phoenix reported. When asked whether Campus Safety has specific training to assure fair policing, as the consent decree outlines for CPD, Politis didn’t reply. The university began requiring all Campus Safety officers to wear body cameras in August 2018 to improve transparency, although a university spokesperson told The Phoenix footage won’t be released under most circumstances. The office of the Illinois Attorney General couldn’t be reached directly for comment.

FORD: Loyola alum and state rep gears up for mayoral race RAMBLER IN THE RUNNING: LA SHAWN FORD GRADUATED FROM LOYOLA: 1995 MAJOR AT LOYOLA: EDUCATION TITLES HELD: ILLINOIS STATE REPRESENTATIVE Photo courtesy of Ford for Mayor Campaign

continued from page 1

“Polls are driven by the people with the money,” Ford said. “So they’re going to skew the polls the way they want to continue to raise the money.” Before he decided to study education at Loyola, Ford almost became a priest. He studied and played for the basketball team at the Niles College Seminary at Loyola, which transitioned in 1994 to St. Joseph College Seminary. It’s set to close in June, The Phoenix reported. Ford grew up in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. Similar to Daley, Ford commuted from home and said he had a different experience from resident students at Loyola. “I was a commuting student so it was all business for me,” Ford said. “I would go to class sometime in the evening and work at night or vice versa. I really didn’t enjoy campus life like a resident student.” Ford, who attended the now-closed Catholic Weber High School, said he recalls how Loyola’s small classes sizes made his transition from high school to college easier. “It wasn’t like a big state universi-

ty, so I went from one Catholic high school to a Catholic university and the class sizes were pretty manageable for me,” Ford said. “The attention that I received from the professors, it was like you knew your professors and your professors knew you.” Ford said he’s been excited to watch Loyola’s campus and student body grow in size. “They’re building the institution up from the structure to the academics, and the sports, it’s a whole new university now, and that’s awesome,” Ford said. One thing Ford said he’s carried with him since his days at Loyola is the university’s social justice mission. “I take [social justice] with me in everything that I do as a public servant … it’s a guiding principle for me when I’m thinking about policy,” Ford said. “When I think about what’s wrong, I think about how we could fix it with social justice in mind, making sure we leave no one out.” Fred Crespo, an assistant house majority leader and representative for Illinois’ 44th district, graduated from Loyola in 1980 and is a good friend of Ford’s. Crespo said he and Ford deal

with contrasting issues in each of their districts. “The irony of all this is La Shawn represents a district that is very different from my district,” Crespo said. “I represent the northwest suburbs, he represents parts of Chicago where social justice issues are very important.” If elected this month, Ford said he wants to ensure college students have access to jobs after they graduate college by funding the growth and expansion of businesses to Chicago, similar to Daley. He also said he wants to make the cost of living more affordable. “It’s a beautiful city, but we have to make it affordable and we have to make sure we have jobs that college students can land when they graduate,” he said. Ford also said he wants to work on programs to help college students renegotiate their student loans at lower costs. Many of the issues Ford is hoping to target involve state support, and he said his 12 years as a state representative have given him the tools to get things done. “When you don’t have someone who understands how to make laws in Springfield and get things done, it’s

a challenge,” Ford said. “I have that experience, and I know how to get things done in Springfield.” John Pelissero, a Loyola professor who teaches Chicago politics and the school’s former provost, said Ford’s experience with state government could prove beneficial as mayor. “He would certainly understand better than other candidates how state government works and how assembly is oriented toward assisting Chicago,” Pelissero said. “He’ll bring that state sensitivity to what’s possible and what’s not in Springfield when it comes to helping Chicago with some of its challenges.” However, Pelissero said being one of 14 mayoral candidates is going to be a challenge for Ford, especially with only a few weeks left in the race. “He’s got an uphill battle to try and emerge in this race of 14 candidates,” Pelissero said. “His challenge is to sort of distinguish himself.” Crespo echoed what Ford said about campaign funding. “It’s kind of sad that a lot of these races — statewide and nationally — are driven in great part by money,” Crespo said. “It’s so hard to get your message

out if you don’t have the resources to do that.” In 2012, Ford was indicted for allegedly using an extension on a line of credit — purposed at fixing several properties for his real estate company — to pay personal expenses. In 2014, the charges were dropped and Ford was sentenced to six months of probation on a misdemeanor tax count. “I was charged, and by the grace of God 17 counts of felony charges were dropped,” Ford said. “I went through a lot, but ultimately, justice prevailed ... it was just unfortunate, it was a situation I’ll never forget.” However, Ford isn’t the only Loyola graduate running for mayor who’s been involved in a scandal. As the Chicago Tribune pointed out last week, Daley allegedly received help completing an exam to sell insurance in the city as a young man. Daley, Chico and Joyce didn’t return requests for comment from The Phoenix by the time of publication. This article is part of a series which will cover Loyola graduates who are running for mayor of Chicago. Grab a copy of next week’s Phoenix to read about another candidate.

Photo courtesy of Lucas Livingston Flickr


FEBRUARY 13, 2019

Latinx students petition for a community space on Loyola’s campus MADISON SAVEDRA

In a bid to prove there’s student support to create a community space on campus dedicated to Latinx identifying students, senior Ana Avendano started a petition. Avendano, a 21-year-old studying political science, said she envisions a space where all Latinx — the gender neutral term used in place of Latino or Latina — students at Loyola, regardless of whether or not they’re in a certain club, can meet people who come from similar backgrounds. She said she thinks it could especially help incoming students who come from predominantly mixed-raced high schools. “I think it would give us a really good space to organize … to present events that are focused on issues that are very pertaining to us and our community and our political issues,” Avendano said. Avendano said she met with Dean of Students Will Rodriguez over winter break to let him know who was involved in starting the petition and what exactly it was going to be for. “He was really helpful in trying to get us to see other people we could reach out to, to get Latinx groups together, and we just had a discussion about what we wanted, and how we were going to plan on putting this petition together,” Avendano said. Avendano said he told her there wasn’t space available in the Damen Student Center. In a statement to The Phoenix from university spokesperson Evangeline Politis on behalf of Rodriguez, she said he thinks community spaces for students help build connections and support their successes, though he noted the university faces some difficulties in securing a space. “We are challenged by the lack of available space on campus and the many competing needs for more office, programming, and study places,”

Photo courtesy of Loyola University Chicago Some of Loyola’s students who identify as Latinx have signed a petition to gain their own community space on campus. Dean of Students Will Rodriguez said the university may not have space, but he will monitor the petition in order to understand the level of support for the space.

Rodriguez said. “The petition will help gauge the support of the broader Loyola community for such a space.” Although Avendano is the internal vice president of Alpha Psi Lambda — Loyola’s co-educational Latino fraternity — she said the community space wouldn’t be affiliated with any particular organization, but rather open to all Latinx students. If the room was officially dedicated the Latinx community, it wouldn’t be considered an open room and therefore wouldn’t be open to be reserved by other organizations, according to Avendano. Avendano said she imagines a space similar to one already on campus for members of the Black Cultural Center (BCC) — an organization on campus whose mission is to promote unity in the black community — located in room 113 in the Damen Student Center. Members of BCC can hold meetings, programs and other activities within the space on campus. Avendano said this proposed room

would be different from the resource room — a room for students to hang out and do homework in the office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (SDMA) — because it would be specifically catered to Latinx students and their issues and identities, whereas SDMA is broader.

“I think especially with our political climate ... We do need a space that’s specific for us.” ANA AVENDANO Senior

“I feel like there is a need for a specific space just because you can’t throw every identity into one room and say, ‘Diversity,’” Avendano said. “I think especially with our political

climate and with the issues that Latinx identifying people face, we do need a space that’s specific for us.” In fall 2017, Latinx students made up 16.7 percent of total undergraduate students, according to Loyola’s enrollment statistics. Dr. Christian Paredes is a professor in Loyola’s sociology department who specializes in Latin-American studies. He said he believes it’s important for people who share specific cultural characteristics to be able to organize themselves. “I think it is important that [the Latinx community] show other people they exist,” Paredes said. “And [it’s also important] that they are able to keep strength in their own cultural ties in order to develop that pride that also contributes to how we understand diversity, especially in a context where we all need to be welcomed.” Paredes said he thinks a community space would be particularly beneficial for first-generation Latinx

students who might be struggling to navigate life at a university. Avendano said Lambda Theta Alpha (LTA) — Loyola’s Latina sorority — and the Latin-American Student Organization (LASO) are in collaboration with starting the petition, along with a couple other student organizations such as the Puerto Rican Student Association (PRSA) and the International Socialist Organization (ISO). Giselle Milla, a junior studying biology, is the president of both LTA and LASO. The 21-year-old said she hopes a dedicated space on campus would unify the Latinx community, which she said she feels is sometimes very separate since there are so many different Latinx organizations. “We’re not yet a unified community, and that’s what we’re looking for, to have a space where even if you are from different organizations, you can still come to this safe space, and can talk to each other and get to know each other, building relationships and networks,” Milla said. Kasi Woods, a sophomore studying English and sociology, is the president of ISO. She said in a statement to The Phoenix she supports any initiative that would make Latinx students on campus feel safer and more comfortable. “A space solely dedicated to creating a strong Latinx community here on campus will not only benefit current students, but will also help future students feel more protected and supported,” the 20-year-old said. Andrea Cartagena, a sophomore, is the president of PRSA. The 19-year-old said she supports the creation of a Latinx community room on campus because it will serve as a safe space. “It will [also] encourage the development of relationships between other groups on campus,” the biology major said. Avendano said the goal for the petition is 1,000 signatures from students, and there are currently a little more than 400.

No leads: Rogers Park investigation Title IX: Love to head Office ongoing, but police out of leads for Equity and Compliance The Takeaway Loyola announced a new office to handle Title IX reports and other conduct issues.

continued from page 1

Michael McDevitt The Phoenix

Following two fatal shootings last fall, police released this community alert, which features a photo of the suspected shooter. At an October community meeting, police said the suspect hadn’t been seen. They currently have no leads.

The Takeaways Two people were shot and killed in Rogers Park last fall. Police have exhausted their leads at this point in the investigation. Loyola students and Rogers Park community members had voiced safety concerns in the wake of the shootings.

continued from page 1 Some Loyola students formed a Facebook group called “Roam RoPo.” The page, which is unaffiliated with the university itself, is used by students to post information on local crime and safety concerns to keep others informed, The Phoenix reported. While intended as a resource, the page also became a hotbed for false claims regarding the killer and the killer’s supposed whereabouts in the weeks to follow. Other online groups such as

the Facebook group “Rogers Park Neighborhood News,” which has a membership of around 8,500 as of publication, saw an uptick in crime-related posts as well. Loyola’s Campus Safety also responded in the aftermath, encouraging students to use Loyola’s free shuttle service called 8-RIDE or to call Campus Safety dispatch for transportation needs. If anyone has information on the shootings, they call CPD at (312) 744-8263.

Recently, the Department of Education proposed a set of federal regulations which may change how schools are required to address Title IX-related concerns. Some of the proposed rules have been criticized, as they could make schools less liable in responding to incidents and introduce new, potentially traumatic methods of resolution among other measures, The Phoenix previously reported. After the proposed changes were announced, they went through a public comment period — which ended Jan. 28 — when people could submit their thoughts and concerns about the rules to the Department of Education. Love prepared and submitted Loyola’s public comment response to these changes, according to the email. The office will employ three new, full-time investigators to work alongside Title IX Deputy Coordinator Courtney Bilbrey, all under the supervision of Love. The office will report to the vice president of human resources and the chief diversity and inclusion officer in order to be more consistent with how investigations are conducted at all of Loyola’s campuses, according to the email. University spokesperson Evangeline Politis declined to comment further.

Courtesy of Loyola University Chicago

Tim Love, a Loyola grad, will serve as the executive director for equity and complianace and the new Title IX coordinator.

Courtesy of Loyola University Chicago

The office will also employee three new investigators to work with Title IX Deputy Coordinator, Courtney Bilbrey.


FEBRUARY 13, 2019

‘Boiling water’ stunt challenges Loyola’s burn center JANE MILLER

Chicago’s cold snap left many with frostbite and, for a select few, with burns. Nearly two weeks ago, a bitter cold front called a “Polar Vortex” swept through Chicago. The sub-zero temperatures kept students home from school, people away from work and brought some to the hospital thanks to the popular “boiling water challenge.” Eight people were treated at Loyola’s Burn Center in Maywood after performing or observing the challenge — which involves throwing boiling water into the air where the cold temperature turns it to vapor — according to a press release from Loyola Medicine spokesperson Jim Ritter. “We strongly warn people to not perform the boiling water challenge,” Loyola burn surgeon Arthur Sanford said in the press release. “There is no safe way to do it.” People can experience first, second or third degree burns from boiling water landing on their feet, face or body, the release said. The patients treated at the Burn Center ranged from 3 to 53 years old. Loyola students Meredith Hawley and Claire McCullough said they tried the boiling water challenge during the polar vortex a few weeks ago. Hawley and McCullough, both seniors at Loyola, said they’d heard of the challenge before the most recent cold weather. “We have a great video of one of our friends playing a really dramatic ‘Final Countdown’-esque song as we walked out and then threw the water,” McCullough, 22, said. However, Hawley said the challenge, which became a viral trend on

Natalie Battaglia Loyola University Chicago

As students stayed inside over the polar vortex, some tried the “boiling water challenge,” where people watch boiling water freeze in low temperatures.

social media during the cold weather, wasn’t quite as successful as other versions she saw online. “I saw better videos online of people throwing it off a balcony and that looked cooler but ours just went in to the snow,” Hawley, 21, said. Students weren’t the only ones participating in the viral challenge. Loyola’s Department of Residence Life posted a video of the challenge on its Facebook page. The video was filmed in from of Simpson Living-Learning Center on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. It was posted with the caption, “Hey Ramblers! Just a reminder that it’s still cold enough to make snow, so we recommend staying inside until tomorrow!” The week before, Residence Life

sent an email out to students living on campus with tips to stay safe during the cold weather. Loyola spokesperson Evangeline Politis confirmed on behalf of Campus Safety that there were no reported cases of Loyola students injuring themselves during the challenge. However, Politis didn’t provide comment on behalf of Loyola’s Department of Residence Life. McCullough and Hawley said they tried to stay safe while doing the challenge. “We were definitely like ‘this is boiling water, we need to be careful,’” Hawley, a psychology major, said. “But I didn’t think that people could get hurt.” Loyola sophomore John Colgan, a biology major, said he’d heard of the challenge but decided not to

Loyola Department of Residence Life Facebook

Loyola’s Department of Residence Life participated in the boiling water challenge, posting a video on Facebook during Chicago’s subzero temperatures.

jump on the bandwagon. “I thought it seemed like it was kind of dangerous,” Colgan, 19, said. When told about the recent injuries the challenge has caused, Colgan wasn’t surprised. “When you play with boiling water, what do you expect?” Colgn said. “It just doesn’t seem smart to me.” Loyola sophomore Sareh Alshamary said she saw the challenge circulate on social media, where she


said she saw some people do the challenge not only with water, but with Starbucks coffee. She added she hadn’t considered the safety implications about the challenge either. “I really didn’t think about that, I just thought I didn’t want to get cold so I didn’t want to go outside,” the bioinformatics and computer science major said. “But yeah that’s probably a big concern.”

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FEBRUARY 13, 2019

Loyola’s media policy is straight out of the Trump playbook LEFT: Ann Ryan, The Phoenix; RIGHT: Michael Vadon | Flickr

THE PHOENIX EDITORIAL BOARD A Phoenix news reporter, on the trail of a story about Loyola’s above-average abundance of women in STEM programs, emailed several professors from the department to try to set up interviews for a piece in the newspaper. No response from them. What she received instead was an angry email from Loyola’s communications spokesperson, Evangeline Politis, who said her methods had been “disrespectful and unacceptable.” Don’t believe it? Here’s the full interaction between Politis and our reporter.

than allowed to reach out to professors, administrators, department heads, Campus Safety personnel, heads of facilities and student activities coordinators. We usually got interviews — some over the phone, many in-person. We had the opportunity to follow up and ask for clarification. Now, we have one point of contact we’re allowed to talk to — university marketing and communications (UMC). There’s little room to clarify the often-vague language received

To: Loyola STEM professors From: Student Reporter

Response To: Student Reporter From: Politis

“Hi! I’m writing a story for The Phoenix about the amount of women who graduate from Loyola with STEM degrees. Dr. Linda Brazdil said that you would be a good person to talk to about the numbers and potential reasons why Loyola typically has a higher percentage of female STEM graduates. If I could give you a call sometime today or tomorrow to discuss this topic, that would be great. My deadline is Thursday. Thanks so much for your time!”

“This is the third inquiry on this topic that has been forwarded my way, and I’ve been notified of several others. This is disrespectful and unacceptable. As I indicated in my email this morning (attached), I am the first point of contact for the Phoenix for University-related requests. I can get in touch with administration and faculty to answer your questions. I can work with Brian to answer your numbers questions (please send those along), and let me know of any other gaps in your story that I can facilitate fulfilling.”

Didn’t our reporter know the rules? Our reporter knew her job was to get the story, and she was doing just that. Loyola and its President Jo Ann Rooney have cracked down on how media entities access members of its community. It’s not just outside papers and TV stations, however. The school has extended those restrictions to their own student media. It didn’t use to be like this. Even just a couple of years ago, when many of the people on this Editorial Board were just starting at Loyola, Phoenix reporters were more

only via email from Politis and the rest of the UMC team. “Attribute this to” precedes the name of who we hoped to talk to, followed by a robotic statement perfectly crafted by Loyola’s marketing team. That is, if we get a response at all. In our own reporting on the Rooney Administration’s decision to, yet again, increase tuition, there’s a direct contrast with our reporting on a tuition increase before Rooney took office. In 2016, The Phoenix’s story included quotes from an actual interview with then-interim President

Henry Redman Michael McDevitt Mary Norkol Reid Willis Nick Schultz

John Pelissero. In our story this year, Rooney refused to talk to us. In an era when the press in the United States is under unprecedented attack, how could Loyola not realize the context they’re operating in? For as many times as Rooney has issued statements decrying the actions of President Donald Trump and his administration, dealing with Rooney’s administration is no better than a White House press briefing led by Sarah Huckabee Sanders. It’s possible this new media policy is a response to the barrage of media attention the university received during March Madness. It’s understandable that it would need to craft a solution to manage its press to bank off the basketball team’s success while also promoting the brand. Yet, there’s an ulterior motive. The Phoenix, a student-run publication, was given full access to Loyola’s campus, faculty and administrators. So why are we included in the media policy now? We can’t say for sure, but we have a guess. Plainly put, Rooney and her administration are afraid of us finding and reporting problems with Loyola, as we’ve done for 50 years. They think we’re meddlesome student-reporters bent on damaging Loyola’s “brand.” The school at least says as much. In an effort to enforce its new media policy, UMC offered a video seminar for professors and staff on how to deal with reporters. The link is on Loyola’s website. Luckily, UMC only falls short of calling the press “fake news,” the same dog whistle the Trump Administration uses to try to delegitimize less-than-flattering stories. Some gems from the webinar include: The assertion that “off the record,” which in reporter lingo means something said during an interview isn’t for publication in any shape or form, has become virtually nonexistent. Not true. The callous claim reporters will purposefully alter audio and quotes to twist your words, because as the former journalism majors running UMC

Emily Rosca say, “negative stories get clicks.” And that’s all we’re after. Not true. And the claim that reporters will purposefully leave silence at the end of a source’s answer (which we’re taught to do so we don’t muddle audio, don’t cut off the end of a response or prevent the interviewee from adding more info if they wish) because “sometimes it’s a strategy,” with the goal of tripping the source up and getting them to spill some salacious detail. Not true. All these and more seem to work to instill fear in Loyola staff members in the hopes that they won’t talk to press at all. Rather, the solution that’s demanded of them is to pass any and all requests to UMC. But so often, reporting is predicated on talking to, and forming relationships with, experts. Experts on law, politics, the environment, sports, religion, science and anything else a newspaper may fill its pages with. Loyola, as a university, is filled with experts on any topic you can think of. These are the people we want to talk to and learn from. The Rooney administration’s PR operation is an expert at obstructing and ignoring us. There’s just simply no way a representative from UMC can talk intelligently about every topic The Phoenix covers. These representatives are only experts at protecting the brand, as the webinar hammers home. But Loyola is more than a brand. It’s a university. Its priority should be keeping its students safe and keeping them educated. There’s no better group to do that than the students themselves. The Phoenix provides an essential and unique role at this university. Our reporters, our editors, our sources — all are mostly students. They’re more plugged in, and yes, that means we’ll often hit on criticisms you won’t find in a Washington Post piece about Loyola. In 2016, a report called “Threats to the Independence of Student Media” was released by a group composed of the American Association of Uni-

versity Professors, the College Media Association, the National Coalition Against Censorship and the Student Press Law Center. The threats the group laid out are exactly what Rooney and her administration are doing to The Phoenix. “These principles should apply to all student media, which should not be subordinated to an institution’s public-relations program,” the report said. It continued to outline the fundamental role a student newspaper plays on any college campus. “Candid journalism that discusses students’ dissatisfaction with the perceived shortcomings of their institutions can be uncomfortable for campus authorities,” it read. “Nevertheless, this journalism fulfills a healthful civic function. A college or university campus is in many ways analogous to a self-contained city in which thousands of residents conduct their daily lives … journalists keep watch over the delivery of these services, giving the members of their public a voice in the matters that concern them most.” Students have a right to critically and fairly examine the workings of our own university, an institution that feeds, houses, protects and educates us. Our reporting has done exactly that. It has exposed problems in the “matters that concern them most,” such as the Campus Safety Department, the dining halls, the residence halls, the Title IX office and the athletics department. We perform a valuable function to every Loyola student. We’re members of this community. We’re the voice of Loyola students, working to hold those responsible for our health, safety and education accountable. Yet, Rooney’s administration is trying to muzzle us because it “protects the brand.” We have one message. We don’t care about your brand. We care about the more than 17,000 undergraduate and graduate students you’ve been charged with shepherding into fulfilling lives. By muzzling us, you’re failing them. You were brought here to instill us with your so-called Jesuit values. Act like it.

FEBRUARY 13, 2019


The 2020 election is likely to be an even bigger mess than 2016 REID WILLIS

During the 2016 presidential election, it was common to see speculation that the Republican National Convention (RNC) would be a mess, and many predicted it would be a contested convention. Now the shoe is on the other foot. The problem for the Democratic Party is it just neutered superdelegates, throwing out its best line of defense against a contested convention. Simply to keep the primary process somewhat orderly, both parties have ways of ensuring their candidates get enough votes to be all-but-nominated before the convention even rolls around. On the Republican side, this comes in the form of lots of winner-take-all primaries, with many states and congressional districts allocating either all or a disproportionate amount of delegates to the winner of each primary contest. This allows the leader to build up a large lead early on, and it’s what helped President Donald Trump win the Republican nomination even though he won only a plurality,

not a majority, of primary votes. On the Democratic side, the method had long been superdelegates — a free-agent at the convention who can vote for anyone they choose, instead of having to vote for the winner of their state like normal delegates. In practice, these votes often serve to push a candidate with a plurality — but not an absolute majority — over the 50 percent threshold, making that person the nominee.

"It seems highly implausible that a single candidate — out of the dozens currently expected to run — would be able to win the new 45 percent of to even have a chance at a quick nomination." REID WILLIS Opinion Editor

There are still superdelegates; however after the 2016 controversy

about more superdelegates supporting Secretary Hillary Clinton than Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), their number has been cut from 15 percent of the final vote to five percent. Before the change, a prospective nominee would have to win somewhere between 35 and 40 percent of the delegates plus most of the superdelegates to clinch the nomination. Essentially, they just have to find a combination of popular vote and superdelegates to add up to 50 percent. With the Democratic Party’s new rules, a candidate would have to win 45 percent or more to have a shot at the nomination. It seems highly implausible that a single candidate — out of the dozens currently expected to run — would be able to win the new 45 percent to even have a chance at a quick nomination. Historically, contested conventions have been rare in modern politics, and neither party has seen one since primaries moved from back rooms to the ballot-box. Occasionally, this isn’t the case. In a contested — or brokered — convention, the nominee isn’t completely decided by late summer, which is when the

convention typically takes place. This would only happen if one candidate doesn’t have at least half of elected delegates by the end of the primary process. So, what would this mean? What would a contested convention look like? For one, no one would know who the candidate was until the convention had already begun, meaning that Democratic infighting would continue until July or August. Contrast this with the other side of the aisle, where Republicans would have long-been united around Trump because of the Republican winner-take-all primaries — not to mention the fact that he’s already president.

"I don’t think 2016 was the end of superdelegates." REID WILLIS Opinion Editor

Secondly, it would mean that all — instead of pomp and circumstance and promotion of

one candidate — the coverage of the convention would instead be about the fight for the nomination. This means the eventual nominee would miss out on the “convention boost” — a two to five point bump in the polls that has historically been brought on by a candidate's convention. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, it’s possible the party never fully unites behind a nominee who might not have received the highest vote total — much less a majority — of the popular vote in the primary. Imagine the problems Clinton had in 2016 trying to get Sanders supporters on her side, but if she had to do it without a convention and with an added floor fight, likely to be decided by party insiders. I don’t think 2016 was the end of superdelegates. Party leaders aren’t dumb. They know there has to be some way for almostnominees to make that final step, and, whether or not we call them “superdelegates” in the future, this system will be back, in one form or another. The problem for Democrats is this change is likely to be too late for 2020.

What’s the state of our union? Right now, nobody seems to know OLIVIA TURNER

It's undoubtedly fact America has been in the face of political turmoil for quite some time now. Every year, our political parties polarize more, and as of November, our government was yet again divided, with Democrats having taken the House of Representatives this past cycle. President Donald Trump stepped into the House Chamber last Tuesday and delivered his second State of the Union address since his election back in 2016, but this time addressing a Congress he no longer had control over. Like any politically savvy member of society, I spent that night with eyes glued to my screen, analyzing every word and facial expression made in that chamber. There were many underlying issues with Trump’s speech that set an ambiguous tone to America’s journey for the next year, and in truth, nobody —not even U.S. political leaders — knows what's going to happen. So, what is the state of our union, according to Trump? Well, his address didn’t seem to give too much insight into that.

Actually, it seemed to give a glimpse into just how divided the nation is, and how a mediocre speech filled with false statements and fake smiles can’t cover up the obvious tension the government is facing. At the beginning of the address, Trump tried appealing to the nation by talking of a unified government. “We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress; or pointless destruction,” was one of the opening lines of his speech. At this point, the image he gives is one of hope for a working bipartisan government, but from there it went downhill into old Make America Great Again territory. In the past, presidents addressing a newly divided government have been conciliatory or idealistic; Trump was neither. With Bill Clinton's address to a divided government in January of 1995, he appealed to Republicans, and continued to do so the rest of his term. After his party lost in the 2010 midterms, Barack Obama gave a speech in which he tried to brush aside the division of party and gave grand ideas Congress couldn't work with properly. To appeal to both parties,

Trump glossed over issues like the opioid crisis, paid family leave and childhood cancer. He did this in a “Trump” fashion, with all talk but no comprehensive plan or budget to back up his claims. It seemed as if he threw these issues into his address to act as a cushion for the topics he really wanted to rally for: immigration and abortion. With Trump’s speech, there were two sides of a coin. On one side was talk of a government that could work together, and on the other side was a cry out to his strongest supporters, making sure he maintained his base for this next year leading up to the 2020 election. Trump’s SOTU really set up his re-elect. His statement, “we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country,” addressed the ongoing movement of Democratic Socialism, with multiple new Congress men and women identifying with this party. So, which portion of this speech are Americans supposed to believe? Im banking on the latter half. With having notoriously attacked the Democratic party the past few years, and preaching of polarization and resistance to cooperation, it seems unlikely one address could change his attitude. What seemed to have missed

the cut into his address was the recent government shutdown, the longest one to have ever occurred in U.S. history. He also barely acknowledged his recent statement about shutting the government down again in the next few weeks, due to the still undecided funding for his border wall. It seems to be quite unclear what route Congress is going to take when it comes to policy making this next year, but with a divided government that isn’t abnormal. What was out of place was Trump’s beginning plea for a working bipartisan government, when he has spent his whole

term undermining that notion. What seems clear though, is almost everyone is highly anticipating this next election. The speech motivated even more people to talk about key issues, and has forced Americans to come face-to-face with the gridlock in the halls of power around the country. The State of the Union address this year was one which didn’t give much to the American people besides already-known information: the union is entering a state of political crisis. No one knows where we’re headed but, there's hope the 2020 election can forge a unified path ahead.

The White House | Flickr

President Donald Trump in his second State of the Union address to the nation

FEBRUARY 13, 2019


President Donald Trump, in an interview with Margaret Brennan from CBS’s “Face the Nation”, said military intervention in Venezuela is a real possibility. He said, “Well, I don’t want to say that, but certainly it’s something that on the — it’s an option.” Venezuela is dealing with a political crisis. Current Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Opposition Leader Juan Guaido both claim to be the president of the nation. Guaido proclaimed himself president under the Venezuelan Constitution. On Feb. 4, the U.S. recognized Guaido over Maduro as interim president three days after President Trump’s interview. The inflation and political turmoil have added to the strife within the country. The Venezuelan people are starving and dying because of the effects of hyperinflation. Hunger is an epidemic. Mothers are unable to feed their children and themselves, so many children are malnourished. And what has Maduro done about hunger? Recently, he’s prevented foreign aid from coming into the country — which, when hundreds are dying, isn’t something to be

Is military intervention best for Venezuela?

Wikimedia Commons

President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, who is increasingly recognized by fewer and fewer other nations, has reigned since 2013.

refused. This can’t be allowed to continue. Something needs to be done about this humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. People can’t be left unable to access everyday essentials. But is U.S. military action something that would be beneficial in this situation? What would it entail for the Venezuelan people? In the 1980s, a civil war broke out in El Salvador and the U.S. got involved in the conflict. The U.S. supported El Salvador’s government by sending military

aid. However, this conflict resulted in the death of around 75,000 people, according to The Atlantic. Many of the deaths were committed by the Salvadorian government forces, which the U.S. helped in training. While the U.S. intention might’ve been to help the country, the reality of the situation lead to tragic results. Military involvement raises too many "what if?" case scenarios. As a country, the U.S. has no idea what taking military action could do. While it might have a positive impact and resolve conflict, it

In America, there’s a strongly defined divide between the political views of Democrats and Republicans. This divide isn’t new by any means, but over the past several years, it has increased in severity. Research conducted in 2014 by the Pew Research Center shows Americans are more divided now than in any other time in history. According to the 2014 survey, nearly 92 percent of Republicans reside to the right of moderate Republican, while 94 percent of Democrats fall to the left of moderate Democrat. This is a 20 percent increase from those strongly identifying with each party in 1994. Beyond just a realignment on both sides, contempt for the opposing party has also increased in recent years. According to the study, Democratic opposition to the Republican Party has nearly doubled since the 1990s, and vice versa with the Republican Party. While many credit the increasing divide to former President Barack Obama or President Donald Trump, I believe the increasing division is brought on by our tendency to only read news and information that align with our opinions. A 2009 study conducted by The Ohio State University investigated whether Americans are more likely to only read news that align with their viewpoints. The participants were asked to spend a short amount of time readings articles about issues they were previously surveyed about. Overall the subjects spent 36 percent more time reading articles that align with their opinions. And when they did look at articles opposing their opinions, they didn’t stay for very long. “Even if they [test subjects] click on opposing views, they’re not looking for insights that might change their mind.” said Silvia KnoblochWesterwick, co-author of the study. The popular habit of only reading news in agreement with your opinions has active implications in politics. The more

we reinforce our own opinions, the more our political views become rigid and unyielding. While the comfort we feel from reinforcing our opinions is understandable and natural, it’s ultimately unhelpful. Instead of actively listening and trying to understand the opposing side, we profile them in our heads and may go so far as to demonize their actions. Distaste for the opposing political party is certainly not new to politics, but it has severely increased recently. Statistics from the Pew Research Center showed an increase in partisan animosity where those on the right and left sides show serious contempt and negative opinions of each other, even going so far as to say the other side poses a serious threat to the well-being of America.

"The more we reinforce our own opinions, the more our political views become rigid and unyielding" RACHAEL LOMBARDO Contributor

While there is no easy solution to the great political divide, a start would be listening to those with opinions differing from your own and trying to understand their point of view. After all, both sides ultimately want one thing — for America to be a fair and just country. “Citizens really should be weighing and monitoring diverse arguments in order to make informed decisions. Unfortunately, that’s not happening as often as it should. If you only pay attention to messages you agree with, that can make you more extreme in your viewpoints, because you never consider the other side,” said Knobloch-Westerwick. Her words should serve as guidance. In a time where we see so much hate and negativity, mutual understanding should be the first step in filling the American divide.

"But is U.S. military action something that would be beneficial in this situation?" KENNIDY POLCYN Contributor

Letter to the Editor

How we got a polarized media RACHAEL LOMBARDO

could exacerbate the issue. The complete and total risks can’t be assessed. When lives are on

the line, countries can’t resort to taking big risks. Helping the people and alleviating conflict have to be the only motives. Therefore, diplomacy needs to come first. The U.S. can’t resort to violence to solve all problems, because it leads to people dying in combat. It also can uproot stability and people's lives, ending up creating more problems than there were initially in the first place. It’s not something Trump or any other world leader should rush into. World leaders need to encourage diplomacy — not create wars. So, while the answer isn’t clear cut, the U.S. shouldn’t rush to military action. Bringing one of the strongest militaries into an already hostile environment will only further exacerbate the issue. The Venezuelan people can’t continue to endure this inflation and humanitarian crisis by themselves. But military intervention should be the last resort — not the country’s first instinct, especially when other options can be taken. The U.S. can’t solely think about American interests at large, because another leader like Maduro shouldn’t be able to seize power again. This is a situation that requires careful planning and action. The cost of anyone’s life isn’t worth satisfying a political agenda.

Jan. 30, 2019

ROBERT REMER President, Edgewater Historical Society

I'm writing in response to your article and editorial in the Jan. 15 issue regarding the protest over Loyola’s plan to build a dormitory in the 6300 block that would involve the demolition of two structures on that block, as well as Loyola’s claim that no affordable housing would be lost due to the demolition. The article gives the impression that it was only the Edgewater Historical Society (EHS) that opposes the demolitions. Actually, there are three other established community groups that also oppose the demolitions. They are the Edgewater Environmental Sustainability Project (EESP), the Edgewater Community Religious Association (ECRA) and Organizing Neighborhoods for Equality (ONENorthside), formerly the Organization of the Northeast. The four groups were in an informal coalition, with different groups emphasizing different reasons for the opposition. The EHS focused on the historical aspects, particularly the house that would be lost — EHS has for decades opposed the demolition of single family homes on Kenmore, Winthrop and Sheridan, as should have been well known to Loyola; EESP focused on the sustainability principles that the demolition would violate, and both ECRA and ONENorthside focused on the 64 units of affordable housing that would be lost. Though each group emphasized different arguments they all opposed the current plan. The editorial correctly points out “Loyola already owns the building set to be born down, so the school can do what it wants with its own building.” There was never any question that Loyola has the legal right to demolish the buildings. But think about

Alanna Demetrius | The Phoenix

Alumni House is in the process of being demolished to make room for a new dorm.

it: almost all protests involve the legal ability to do or not do something. If the proposed action were illegal or viewed as illegal, those opposed would seek legal remedies, by going to law enforcement or the courts. What the groups sought but never got was a meeting with the Loyola decision-makers to consider various alternatives to the plan that required the demolition of the two buildings. One question the groups asked was whether there were any alternatives considered and, if so, why were they rejected. This might be a good project for The Phoenix staff. It should be emphasized that the groups never opposed the building of a new dormitory for sophomore students — only the one that involved the destruction of the two buildings. Thus any Loyola students that signed the petition weren't “shooting themselves in the foot,” but only asking that other alternatives be considered and one adopted that wouldn't require the demolition of the buildings. I'm sure many of your readers could come up with other alternatives that wouldn't require the demolition of the two

buildings, as had we. The position of the Loyola administration is that the coalition’s claim that 64 units of affordable housing would be lost is false because the units are market rate. They are indeed market rate; however, the position that if units are market rate they cannot be considered “affordable housing” isn't supported by the overwhelming majority of affordable housing advocates and academics. Affordable housing includes not only government owned, government subsidized and government regulated housing; it also includes market rate housing. In fact, the overwhelming majority of affordable housing is market rate housing. This is the conclusion of The Preservation Compact, among others: “The vast majority of affordable rental housing receives no government subsidies.” We would challenge Loyola’s administration to produce just one reputable authority that would support its position that market rate units can never be considered affordable housing. We appreciate the time that you have taken to cover this issue.


FEBRUARY 13, 2019

Emily Rosca The Phoenix

Rebecca Ravenna used to cut her princess dresses and wear them backward when she was young. Now, at 33, she’s garnered almost 14,000 Instagram followers and opened Little High, Little Low in Wicker Park.

Little High, Little Low; some old, some new


The perfect vintage t-shirt must be faded, soft, have a single stitch in the sleeve and a worn graphic, according to Rebecca Ravenna, vintage clothing connoisseur and owner of the curated vetements store Little High, Little Low (LHLL) in Wicker Park on Chicago’s Near Northwest Side. An expert sense of curation is a theme obvious not only in the carefully chosen pieces lining the store’s racks and tables but also in the minimal design layout of the brick-and-mortar at 917 N. Ashland Ave. A neon red “LHLL” sign greets customers as they’re about to walk into the shop — the first indication of the owner’s aesthetic. A seating area consisting of a white couch, pink velvet seats and an “ART” painting is the first area of the store the eye goes to, followed by a clear Supreme chair sitting inflated next to a rack of vintage concert t-shirts. A Byredo candle infuses the air with musky smells of chai and birch. Clean white walls to the left and exposed brick to the right, LHLL mixes high-end designer and streetstyle items with casual vintage pieces, a tribute to the company’s name and its owner’s lifestyle. Before the store opened last November, Ravenna started an Insta-

gram account in 2017 — originally @foundthebestthing, now @rebecca. ravenna — as a platform where she could talk about her favorite pieces of new and vintage clothing or advise on the where to find the core pieces everyone should have in their closets, including white t-shirts, jeans and leather jackets. Discovering a love for fashion at a young age, 33-year-old Ravenna jokingly self-describes her style as “dressing like a 14-year-old boy with access to his parents’ credit card.” As a kid, Ravenna said she’d wear princess dresses off-the-shoulder or backwards. Today, she balances designer handbags with casual t-shirts and sweatpants with heels. “I always say that I’ll wear [sweatpants] out to dinner at night with a heel, I’ll sleep with them and then I’ll keep them on and throw a pair of sneakers the next day,” said Ravenna, a native of Northbrook, a north suburb of Chicago. “I wanted to create a piece that you could do that in.” Taking a break from spending many of her days in sweatpants, Ravenna said she did a seven-day sweatpants cleanse, wearing only jeans. “I think it’s important to check in with your jeans once in a while — make sure they still fit,” Ravenna said. With LHLL, Ravenna said her goal is to bring together pieces that

shoppers couldn’t otherwise find in Chicago. Not identifying with the vintage market in Chicago, she said LHLL fills a gap with its casual, streetwear focus. “I want it to be a very curated experience for the shopper to come in and see things that they’ve maybe only ever seen online or discover a brand that they might not have heard of before,” Ravenna said. In the year since starting her Instagram, Ravenna collected almost 14,000 followers and gained authority in the vintage community as a result. “I felt like people would come to me for my aesthetic rather than tailoring,” Ravenna said. “I don’t use a lot of color when I get dressed. A lot of neutrals and a lot of basics, but I always like my basics to be a little bit interesting. I think I’m also very picky in ways that it’s hard to pin down, so I think that’s part of why people trust me.” At the time, she frequently wore a vintage black raglan crewneck sweatshirt that often spurred questions from her Instagram following. That one article of clothing sparked something that ultimately led Ravenna and her business partners, Jacob Sachen and brother-in-law Angelo Ravenna, to open the brickand-mortar store. “I picked through my vintage

Emily Rosca The Phoenix

Emily Rosca The Phoenix

dealer’s warehouse, maybe 25-30 pieces, and we came up with a logo,” Ravenna said. “We put it on the back; I put it right below where my haircut hits so that you could still see it. It was very self-involved … and it sold out within twelve hours. That lead to doing more, and it spiraled into the store.” Offsetting the more expensive luxury items — Gucci and Celine handbags, Jacquemus boots and Givenchy pendants — are concert t-shirts and the shop’s in-house brand. The LHLL collection features popular items from joggers and cropped sweatpants ($90) to red “LHLL”-stitched sweatshirts ($120). It has since expanded to beanies, socks and mugs at prices ranging from $12 to $40. Besides fashion, Ravenna credits music as being her passion. A white stand-alone rack is situated in the back of the store neatly displaying black and white vintage concert t-shirts from artists including Mr. Big, U2 and Bruce Springsteen costing anywhere from $85 to $400. Vintage concert t-shirts have become collectors’ pieces, and they’re rare commodities in vintage and thrift shops. Ravenna said she wanted to gather a collection of these shirts and display them all in one place. With concert t-shirts, some

might say it’s a fashion faux-pas to wear a shirt of an unknown band. Ravenna has her own take on this unspoken rule, and it requires a simple Google search. “I think that you should be able to name one song of the band you’re wearing because somebody will come up to you while you’re wearing the t-shirt and ask you what your favorite song is, like a fan of that band will come up and you just don’t want to look like an asshole,” Ravenna said. Oasis, Queen, Greta Van Fleet and classic rock bands of all flavors, including Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones, are some of Ravenna’s favorite artists, and she’s passed her taste down to her 3 and 7-yearold daughters. “My kids know most Queen music,” Ravenna said. “I’ve played them the Live Aid performance many, many times. I’m debating whether or not I can show my 7-year-old ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ because she would love it. We may have to just fast-forward through parts of it.” Ravenna’s philosophy when it comes to personal style is simple: wear what makes you feel good. Little High, Little Low is open Friday-Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Items can be bought online at www.

Emily Rosca The Phoenix

FEBRUARY 13, 2019

10 A&E

A Wyled ride through this Logan Square brunch gem JACOB TRIVEDI

Brunch is my favorite meal because I can get anything. Feeling sweet? Get pancakes. Feeling salty? Grab a burger. Thirsty? Alcohol for days! Lurking in the back of restaurant Wyler Road, there stands an old painting of Prince the staff says is cursed. The decor gives it the vibe of my grandmother’s kitchen, tidy yet vibrant with tastefully chosen kitchenware hanging off the bar. Wyler Road (3581 W. Belden Ave.) is tucked away in a corner so inconspicuous I drove past it three times. Via public transit, it’s a Red Line ride down south to the Fullerton stop and a straight shot down West Fullerton on the 77 CTA bus until Fullerton and Central Park. After I hobbled through the snow and cut through the overgrown shrubbery — I’m talking to you City of Chicago — I fell in love with Wyler Road. I need all of my vegetarian and vegan readers to scream “Hell yeah!” Wyler Road has an amazing brunch menu, almost everything can be made vegetarian or vegan friendly. So, please forgive me, as the past few columns

weren’t entirely vegetarian and vegan friendly; I’ll make sure to take it into consideration in the future. The restaurant’s walls are coated in aquamarine and teal tones, touched by the gentle white sunshine breaking through on a cloudy winter day. I was seated with my back toward the cupboard which housed the Prince portrait and a front row seat to people-watch. For a small restaurant, there are plenty of seats available for big parties and almost a dozen seats along the bar. Turn around is fast so don’t panic if your server says there’s a wait — you’ll have a beer in hand and a menu before you can say, “Wanna go somewhere else for brunch?” To anyone who has gone to brunch with me, there are two constants: I need a drink immediately, and if they serve chicken and waffles on the menu you bet that I’m ordering that faster than a toddler on a can of Coca-Cola. Purple Rain by Prince hummed through the restaurant and I knew I had to order my two die hard loves, a 3 Floyds Gumballhead and the chicken and waffles. Before I could take a sip from my beer, a piece of artwork was laid in front of me. Beautifully caramelized Belgian waffles were the foundation the bone-in crispy chicken thigh sat upon. House pickles doused in hot sauce and whole grain mustard drizzled down the front, and the slight shimmer from the maple syrup captured my eyes and my stomach. I have only fallen in love a few times — this was one of those times. The first bite was sweet and savory; the chicken was juicy yet had a

crackling skin. The waffle had a brown sugar crust and tasted even better with some hot sauce smothered onto it. Eating this dish felt like the scene in “Ratatouille,” when Remy the rat is teaching his brother Emile how different flavors, like sweet and savory, smoky and spicy all interplay with one another. Moments like these remind me chefs like to play with people’s expectations and open up a whole new avenue into the culinary world. I chatted with my server throughout the meal. She told me stories behind her extensive tattoo collection and explained why the portrait of Prince was right behind me. It was left by the previous renters and the restaurant just kept it up. As she opened the cupboard I heard a gasp from the bartender and a shout, “It’s cursed!” This was part joke, part reality as I witnessed the pure horror engulf the bartender’s face. This is definitely one of the strangest experiences I have had at a restaurant — aside from the time a SWAT team arrested a patron at a taco joint at 3 a.m. while I was eating in a drunken stupor. I highly recommend Wyler Road, not only as a brunch spot but as a lunch and dinner venue. The staff is not only knowledgeable about the restaurant’s food and drink menus but are interesting and lively. My bill after two beers and breakfast was $22. You’ll walk out of Wyler road with a satisfied stomach, a few new tattoo ideas and maybe a few Prince songs stuck in your head. Check them out at

Jacob Trivedi The Phoenix

‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ cuts into horror with art MARCELLO PICCININI

Mixing horror with art, director Dan Gilroy (“Nightcrawler,” “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”) created a unique cerebral thriller with “Velvet Buzzsaw,” released Feb. 1, that breaks away from the traditional norms of the horror genre, but falls flat with jargony dialogue. Following the death of an undiscovered master painter, the paths of art critic Morf Vandewalt (Jake Gyllenhaal), art gallery owner Rhodora Haze (Rene Russo) and Josephina (Zawe Ashton), an assistant on the rise to fame, diverge. With an untapped fortune in artwork at their fingertips, Vandewalt begins to notice the deaths and disappearances of workers and colleagues. Gilroy, Gyllenhaal and Russo worked together on “Nightcrawler” as well. “Velvet Buzzsaw” replaces the crazed killer trope present in most horror movies with the killer paintings of an insane artist. This difference pays off well, as characters aren’t reduced to horrified victims and are more developed than just romantic relationships, which can become common for a horror flick. Instead, each character is given depth and personality. This depth is seen mostly in Vandewalt. He starts with it all: a buzzing career, money to burn and the opportunity to make it even bigger, but it’s contrasted by a crumbled relationship and deep sadness underneath it all. By the end of the movie, Vandewalt becomes a different character. Josephina also changes throughout the movie. Beginning as a tardy secretary looking for her own place in the art world, she has become fully absorbed by the fame she gains and the power she has by the end of the movie. Haze is the final person who sees a major change in character. She be-

gins the film as a famous art gallery owner intent on cashing in the fame the paintings can grant her, but begins to rethink her actions by the end of the movie. As a movie centered around art, the cinematography doesn’t skimp on its artistic ambitions. Alongside the paintings and other art pieces, characters and setpieces are used almost as sculptures of their own. Naked bodies are used as artistic expression rather than sex appeal and even explicit scenes have a somewhat deliberate approach. These aspects meld together to create a visually compelling experience. The art itself jumps between contemporary and traditional. Contemporary pieces range from low-tech light signs to high-tech AI robots, while traditional pieces are represented by paintings made by the master painter. Even with the obvious creative effort in the film, “Velvet Buzzsaw” focuses on creating a visual experience that doesn’t translate well into dialogue. Character conversations become a slew of insider jargon, and specific terms require viewers to listen more than they may care to. With other thrillers such as “Shutter Island” requiring thought while keeping dialogue simple, some scenes of “Velvet Buzzsaw” can come off as too esoteric. The overall tone of the characters can be off-putting as well. With many characters being part of the artistic elite, viewers can feel as if they’re getting a nose turnt-up at them. Apple and Starbucks product placement aside, “Velvet Buzzsaw” can make viewers sad after looking at the paltry sum in their bank accounts. The new approach to horror taken by “Velvet Buzzsaw” is interesting, however, its overall enjoyment-factor is impacted by jargony dialogue and character interactions that can only be described as “snooty.”

FEBRUARY 13, 2019

A&E 11

Six non-cheesy, new ways to celebrate this Valentine’s Day SASHA VASSILYEVA

This Valentine’s Day, don’t try to recreate a Hallmark movie with candlelit dinners, a dozen roses and heart-shaped chocolates. And don’t sit around pretending like it’s just another Thursday night. Instead, whether spending the night alone, with friends or with a significant other, try changing things up and celebrate Valentine’s Day with one of The Phoenix’s non-stereotypical recommendations. Visit the Leather Museum

The Leather Archives & Museum (LA&M) is dedicated to “making leather, kink, BDSM and fetish accessible through research, preservation, education and community engagement,” according to the mission statement on its website. A 10 minute walk away from Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus, this unique and educational destination is bound to leave couples with new ideas to bring home for Valentine’s Day night. Plus, student admission is only $5 with a valid ID. LA&M is open to anyone 18 years and older on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well as Thursday and Friday until 7 p.m. The museum is located at 6418 N. Greenview Ave. Take a trip to the Polish Museum

Nothing says romance like immersion into a new culture. The Polish

Museum of America is the premiere destination to learn about all things Polish. Explore Poland’s history and art and plunge into the Polish-American culture at one of the largest ethnic museums in the U.S. In 1935, the museum was established as the “Museum and Archives of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America.” Since the opening day of its first display on Jan. 12, 1937, the museum has rapidly grown in both content and importance, according to the museum’s website. The museum houses art exhibits, historic material and a library. The Polish Museum of America is open Friday-Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Wednesday’s with extended hours until 7 p.m. Students can get discounted tickets for $8.50 with a student ID. The museum is located at 984 N. Milwaukee Ave and students can travel there by CTA. Attend a cooking class

Instead of going out for a fancy dinner, learn to make your own. Read It & Eat (2142 N. Halsted St.) is offering a Valentine’s Day cooking class which will include appetizers, an entree and a dessert. The menu includes bruschetta, scallops, ravioli and a lava cake. With the guidance of an experienced instructor, students will learn knife skills, make pasta dough and work with shellfish. Tickets can be purchased on their website. Sur La Table (900 N. Michigan Ave.) also offers cooking classes daily,

and has multiple options for Feb. 14. At 10 a.m., students can immerse themselves into Spanish culture with a menu featuring classic Spanish foods such as romesco sauce, chorizo and churros. At 4 p.m., dive into Tuscan flavors and learn to cook items such as strip steak and potato gnocchi. Prices vary for each class and tickets can be purchased online. Learn new skills and impress your loved one next Valentine’s Day with a homemade meal. Tastings

For those who are 21 and older, if spending Valentine’s Day bar-hopping seems too mainstream, consider attending a wine tasting. Augusta Food and Wine in Lincoln Square (2312 W. Leland Ave.) offers wine tastings every Thursday night from 6-8 p.m. If beer sounds more appealing, visit the Moody Tongue Brewing Company (2136 S. Peoria St.). Its tasting room offers barrel-aged, specialty and yearround selections of beers, which are accompanied by a small culinary menu that includes cheeses, oysters, sausages and German chocolate cake for dessert. No matter your relationship status, attending a tasting is a casual and unique way to spend Valentine’s Day, and it sure is more interesting than drinking at home. Thrifting

Buying expensive Valentine’s Day gifts isn’t always an option that fits in the budget of a broke college student. Instead, take this Valentine’s Day to

Emily Rosca The Phoenix

Reckless Records on Broadway Street is an alternative Valentine’s Day activity.

try something new and go thrifting through Rogers Park and surrounding areas. Whether shopping for yourself or a significant other, thrifting is fun, budget-friendly and can be a new way to get out of the dorm and explore surrounding neighborhoods. One local shop to check out is Green Element Resale (6241 N. Broadway St.) which is located just down the street from the Lake Shore Campus or The Brown Elephant in West Edgewater (5404 N. Clark St.). Bookworms may want to visit Bookman’s Corner (2959 N. Clark St.), a used bookstore in Lakeview that’s a short walk from the Red Line. Music lovers can venture

a bit further south to drop by Reckless Records (3126 N. Broadway St.) for new and used vinyls and CDs, as well as DVDs and video games. Stay in, do nothing and buy halfpriced chocolate on the 15th

If none of the previous suggestions appeal to you, forget Valentine’s Day. Really, it’s just an excuse for couples to post photos on Instagram declaring their love for each other. Instead of worrying about how to ideally spend this Thursday night, stay in, relax, watch a movie and the next day, drop by Walgreens or CVS to buy heartshaped candy for half the price.

Bondage: Rogers Park museum documents history of the leather community

Carly Behm The Phoenix

A library at the LA&M has several titles about sexuality and leather history.

Carly Behm The Phoenix

The archives house several materials about the leather community.

Less than one percent of the archived material is on display in the museum portion of the building, Wasdin said. Some artifacts are things a visitor could reasonably expect from a museum about the leather, kink and BDSM communities — handcuffs, whips and chains. The museum also carries items from organizations and clubs within these communities including pins, jackets, membership cards and other memorabilia. On one wall is a timeline of important events and notable figures. Photos and text illustrate notable figures such as Mistress Mir and events including the first Deaf International Leather contest in 1991. Another section pays homage to significant figures in the leather community, including David Armstrong, who was known for making the leather community more welcoming and diverse. One corner of the gallery is dedicated to bootblacking — the care and maintenance of leather goods. Bootblacking is described as a trade, identity, craft and kink, and is a part of leather contests. Renslow was one of the contest producers who opened the competition to women, too. Next to the bootblacking display is “The Dungeon” — the most sexually charged artifacts. A red spanking bench donated by a kink club in Chicago. A case along the wall displays a variety of whips, floggers

and other sex toys made of materials ranging from leather to stainless steel. Visitors might not notice the sex swing in the corner hanging from chains if they don’t look closely — a mannequin donning a gown with cutouts at the chest from Mistress Mir stands by it. A purple wall near “The Dungeon,” shows a display about Fakir Musafar, who delved into the world of bodyplay. Photos of extreme piercing jobs are on the walls — one person is suspended, hanging by hooks punctured through his nipples. Another photo shows a man wearing a corset under business clothes creating a tight silhouette. A sensory deprivation helmet sits in the corner, and a case documents the short-lived Body Play magazine. People often associate the leather community with white men, and it’s a prominent aspect of LGBT history. However, it has always welcomed people of all genders and sexualities, according to Wasdin. “Women were always involved in the history of leather but as with almost all aspects of history, women were largely marginalized so one of the intentional efforts we put into is making sure that that history does have a place here,” Wasdin said. These efforts are clear in the museum with sections dedicated to the contributions of women, the transgender community and other minorities in leather culture.

Outside the main gallery, a makeshift bar lined with memorabilia from leather bars across the country. Going up the steps near the leather bar exhibit, visitors are greeted with a display of different cuffs and restraints. Underneath is an interactive quiz with questions about bondage safety. After exploring the exhibits, visitors can peruse titles in the non-loanable library. It carries an extensive collection of titles from vintage erotica to informational books about human sexuality. “A lot of this material doesn’t exist elsewhere,” Wasdin said. “A lot of these magazines, journals and artworks were produced in very limited quantities.” The building also houses an auditorium where events are hosted throughout the year. On the walls, there are several larger-than-life murals of muscular, mostly nude men by Chicago artist Dom Orejudos, better known as Etienne. He was also Renslow’s lover, Wasdin said. Wasdin said the museum sees about 10 visitors a day and a few hundred researchers a year. The museum continues to grow every year, and it’s a place from which people leave with new insight, Wasdin said. “Everyone who comes here just is surprised and amazed about what they see and what they find,” he said. The Leather Archives and Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $10, but students can visit for $5 if they show an ID.

Carly Behm The Phoenix

Artifacts from different leather clubs and organizations are on display.

Carly Behm The Phoenix Carly Behm The Phoenix

The Leather Archives and Museum is located blocks away from Loyola’s Lake Shore campus and blends in on the street.

Bootblacking is an integral part of leather culture and of contests.

12 A&E

A love letter to Whole Paycheck

Emily Rosca | A&E Editor

s rosca’s s ramblings

s s

FEBRUARY 13, 2019

My best friend keeps a list of random things I say that amuse her. She read the list out to me once and the first item was, “I don’t know how to get home but Whole Foods is that way.” There is no quote that describes my personality more than this one, except maybe one involving frozen kefir or Timothée Chalamet. What better way to introduce this column — its name borrowed from our fearless editor-in-chief ’s former sports column — than with 600 words about Whole Foods? Whole Foods Market has become a big part of my life in more ways than one. If the business ever foreclosed, I’d have a hole in my heart. So this piece of work is my love letter dedicated to the grocery store. Grocery shopping is one of my favorite pastime activities, which even I consider odd. I have no problem roaming aisles in search of mayonnaise, avocadoes or the best lime tortilla chips, and many of my friends and

Rosca’s Ramblings

I end up grocery shopping together at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. One of them may as well be on the same level as me when it comes to Whole Foods — he’s bought $100 worth of cheese there before. I’ve spent countless hours in Whole Foods with my high school best friends, getting sushi dinners and mochi, grocery shopping after school and just going in to lounge and talk about life. It was our most frequented after-school hangout spaces. Some of my favorite moments happened at Whole Foods. During my time working for my high school’s newspaper, my co-editors and I worked on a story about the best pizza places in Chicago. On a rainy day off from school, the four of us went to three pizza places in a timespan of four hours and ended our dough-andtomato-sauce filled day with drinking kombuchas and off-brand Coca-Cola at Whole Foods. Appropriately, Whole Foods also falls on the opposite end of the spectrum of good to bad moments. Whole Foods in Lincoln Park (1550 N. Kingsbury St.) — also my favorite Whole Foods in Chicago — is a lunch spot I often frequent because the made-to-order menu offers chicken teriyaki burgers, which I love. Once, my food came after a 20-minute wait, and my clumsy self knocked over the tray holding a teriyaki burger and bowl full of french fries. The fries sprayed all over the floor, and the burger was beheaded — one bun was feet away from its partner. Not one of my finest moments, but all my spectators got a laugh.

You can find almost anything under the sun within the store’s four walls. Gluten-free soap. Bacon and barbeque potato chips. Chocolate bars. Jalapeño pineapple hummus. These oddities sitting on the neatly organized shelves, likely not noticed by many, have contributed to my peculiar cravings. Anyone who knows me knows I basically survive on kombucha and frozen kefir, a Greek-yogurt tasting ice cream. I’m a major proponent of kombucha — something passed down to me from my mother — and Whole Foods sells the most varieties of kombucha I’ve ever come across. During the polar vortex Chicago faced two weeks ago, I didn’t go outside, at least on that Wednesday. Although I did want to so I could say I experienced 55 degrees below zero, I decided to stay inside, bundled up in my oversized black hoodie. Thursday though, I ventured out only to one place, and you know where I’m talking about. A trip made specifically for bread and kombucha. Whole Foods used to sell pints of Lifeway Kefir’s frozen kefir. When I discovered this late one night, I immediately placed an online order through Instacart to get two pints delivered straight to my front door. I patiently waited for my order to arrive only to realize my credit card didn’t go through. Instead of eating my kefir for a midnight snack, I had to have it for breakfast. A shame. This item has since been discontinued, much to my dissatisfaction, but the minor setback was not enough to deter my love.

Courtesy of Christina Johnson

Whole Foods is perfect not only for buying f resh groceries but for f resh-off-the-grill lunches and cool kombuchas.

Courtesy of Terrible Records

Rodriguez, whose stage name is Empress Of, released her second album last year.

Pop artist Empress Of shares stories of personal music CARLY BEHM

Los Angeles native Lorely Rodriguez embodies her stage name Empress Of in her music. Her voice is strong, and she isn’t afraid to open herself up to audiences with personal songs. With two albums under her belt, Rodriguez will perform in Chicago March 1. Rodriguez’s first album, “Me,” has songs fit for a dance floor with hits such as “Water Water” and “To Get By.” With her sophomore album, “Us,” the music is less experimental and sounds more like traditional pop songs with polished beats and a lighter tone. The Phoenix spoke with Rodriguez about her music ahead of her Chicago performance. In both albums, her songs are very personal, often opening up about her experiences with identity, relationships and community. “When I’m With Him,” from “Us,” is a song about a relationship falling apart, but the sound contrasts this with upbeat pop rhythms and an effusive chorus. “I realize through making those albums I make autobiographical songs and they have to be songs that are personal … I can’t just make up

fictional songs; they have to be about what I’m going through in my life,” Rodriguez said. The song, “I’ve Got Love,” for example, comes from her experience having a friend struggling with mental illness, the singer said. “It’s not even a song about me necessarily, but it’s about a friendship,” she said. “It’s about a friend going through depression and wanting to commit suicide and he told me that, and I wrote this song … it’s all the things I wanted to say in that moment but you never know what the right thing to say is.” Rodriguez, a Honduran-American, also blends Spanish into some of her songs. In “Trust Me Baby,” she serenades listeners with lyrics about love and trust such as “confía en mi” (trust in me), “respétame” (respect me) and “yo soy tu igual” (I am your equal). Rodriguez said bilingual singing gave her another way to share her story through music. “I was singing it in English, and it didn’t sound the way I wanted it to sound,” she said. “So I started singing some of it in Spanish … It was nice to be able to sing certain lines in Spanish because it’s like a different way of expressing a feeling.” Rodriguez will perform at Sleeping Village (3734 W. Belmont Ave.) March 1. at 7 p.m.

Students display colorful artwork in juried show at Ralph Arnold ELLE JACOBSEN

From colorful displays of everyday objects to a sculpture made from buckets of Lake Michigan pebbles, the Ralph Arnold Gallery’s latest collection of student work is anything but predictable. Out of 75 submissions, 15 Loyola student’s art pieces were chosen to be displayed in the 2019 Student Juried Art Show, which officially opened with a reception Feb. 7 after being postponed a week due to the frigid weather. The Student Juried Art Show is an annual event for Loyola students. Fine arts students were encouraged to submit their pieces to the competition, which were then selected and curated by two jurors. This year’s jurors were Kristin Abhalter and Nathan Smith, co-founders and directors for the Susan Roman Art Foundation, a platform that invites artists to hold exhibitions and other events at their gallery in Roger’s Park. The jurors were tasked with creating a cohesive show from the variety of submissions. They looked for pieces that were both conceptually strong in the ideas and thought process behind the work and technically strong in the execution of the actual pieces themselves.

Smith was present at the gallery opening to present awards along with the Loyola Director of Fine Arts Matthew Groves, who was present to speak. Groves pointed out the uniqueness of the show in terms of the breadth of materials and the creativity of the students. “Each generation has some authorship over the choice of materials and the approach that they use.” Groves said. “I think we are trying to demonstrate that through our curriculum.” Groves specifically referred to a piece done by Gigi Green, a neuroscience major, titled “The Over-Saturated Self.” Although Green originally created the piece as a self portrait for her drawing class, she didn’t limit herself to two dimensions. Her piece, made from buckets of rocks from Lake Michigan, is held together by PVC pipe and taut ropes, dominating the corner of the gallery. “I wanted to create the illusion of movement,” Green said. “It’s a self portrait because I’ve taken ADD and depression medication for the better part of my life, and I became a neuroscience major to help people with their own problems. It’s kind of about the overflow of that and how much it weighs on you.”

The top three selected received special recognition and a cash prize, followed by two honorable mentions. This year’s honorable mentions are Emily Hammermeister for her Inkjet Print “Untitled” and Sameera Siddiqi for her piece “I Have Affairs with These Colors”. This year’s winners are Hana Comer, who received third place for her drypoint piece “Untitled.” Isabelle Ghanayem received second place for her piece “Remnants of the Curious” and Cara Sevec was awarded first prize for her pottery piece “Blurred Vision.” Siddiqi, a biology major and photography minor, described how she created her piece “I Have Affairs with These Colors” by first hunting through her own closets in search of children’s toys, valuing these long forgotten items for their bright colors and sense of nostalgia. Siddiqi then photographed still images of the objects in her lighting course, placing like colored toys and household items in front of a matching background. These images were also divided among ones of alternating color combinations. “My whole life I have never been able to pick a favorite color, and I just think that two together look better than one. I hope that people see the

beauty in all the colors, plain and simple.” Siddiqi said. Siddiqi’s piece is displayed on half of the gallery wall, mirrored by Ghanayem’s piece on the opposite side. Ghanayem, a senior drawing and painting major and ceramics and sculpture minor, is the recipient of the second prize. Her life-size humanoid creation, which she referred to as a “goddess form” derived from her “subconscious mind.” She titled her piece “Remnants of the Curious” because she wanted observers to come up with their own interpretation regarding the hidden language displayed by the various glass-like blue and green resin objects that surround the figure. “I don’t really like to tell people what to think so I’m not going to tell anyone what it means, but each one has a specific meaning to me,” Ghanayem said. “I have this language of symbols that I carry with me, and that’s what informed this piece.” The figure also displays reclaimed objects such as keys and door knobs, which Ghanayem said represented a person’s ability to unlock a part of their mind when they come to an understanding, an idea that refers back to the overall concept of curiosity.

Elle Jacobsen The Phoenix

Ghanayem said she drew inspiration for the piece from the art in everyday spaces such as a person’s office space or home. She said there is a curiosity to be found in the lives that go on in these spaces, and in what we can learn about one another through the objects we use and display. The Ralph Arnold Gallery on 1131 W. Sheridan Road will showcase the student artwork until Feb. 15.


FEBRUARY 13, 2019


Happy Valentine’s Day Anna, I love you FROM: Aron Olivo Feliz dia di San Valentin Almu! FROM: Anthony Terenzio

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone especially the bunnies, pigeons, and squiirels that walk around our campus we love you

To the handsome Italian and Greek guy, eres maravilloso. FROM: Almu

Clayton, I can be your new Ben. FROM: #14

Kyle, I love you. Please respond to my carrier pigeons. XOXOX

My blessed little goose, I love you more than juice. Football?! Football. Here’s to two years of us and many more to come. I love you Henylulu!

To Paulina and Mariana, I love you with all my heart. FROM: Mary

Spice Rack, thanks for all the flavor and OG. FROM: Maggie Yarnold

Hi Fiesty! I would put a full page, in color ad in the paper but that’s out of my prrice range so thanks for making every day better, you’re a peach (scone) <3 FROM: Sassy

Kyle Scheuring, when I’m with you, my heart is aflutter. I wish you the best in the coming fiscal year ;D

You’re the best roommate I could ask for, love u bae

@cstoddard211 AKA blondesunshine I love you to bits <3

To all my loves in Georgetown, 6313 B FROM: Mare Happy Valentines Day to my girlfriend, Kyle Scheuring. FROM: Anthony Terenzio

Love everything about you!! Thanks for being an amazing girlfriend. Love you FROM: Thomas Smyth To Eliza and Giselle, thank you for all the strength and support. Love you always. FROM: Almu

Para mi mono loco, DEE-lay kay tu eres mia Happy Valentine’s Day! From a chimkin nugget :)

Happy Valentines Day, Neens! (Not the bar) Thank you for putting up with me for 6 months. You’re a champ. Love, O FROM: Owen C.

To all my Phoenix Phriends, I love you all, thank you for the laughs, the quotes and making every Tuesday so special!!! #makeitcute FROM: ALLY

64376 67673 8821 90393 2 34 223442 899 222 345398 001 87394 726394 82738716 <35736217 FROM: 387564 890901



FEBRUARY 13, 2019

Reigning Player of the Year struggling to make it rain Nick Schultz | The Phoenix

Loyola redshirt senior guard Clayton Custer, the 2018 Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year, ranks third on the team with 12 points per game. The Ramblers are 8-1 when Custer shoots higher than 50 percent.


Fresh off winning the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Player of the Year and leading Loyola to a Final Four berth, expectations for Clayton Custer were high coming into the year. He hasn’t quite reached those expectations, especially in conference play, despite Loyola (16-9, 9-3) sitting in first place in the MVC. The redshirt senior guard has had an up-and-down year but has managed to be Loyola’s third highest scorer this season, averaging 12 points per game. Custer is also second on the team in assists, dishing out 2.6 per game. However, these numbers have dipped slightly compared to last season when Custer averaged 13.2 points and 4.1 assists per game. He said defenses have been focusing more attention on

him this season compared to last year. It’s been a sight that’s more and more common. You watch Custer plant his feet and put up a shot, only to see the ball clunk off the rim. After seeing more than half of his shots go in last year, he’s only connecting on 44 percent of his attempts this year. “It’s been tough,” Custer said following a win over Drake University Feb. 5. “Obviously guys are up on me, trying to not let me catch, trying not to let me shoot. It’s been tough, but we have so many weapons on our team like you saw tonight. Marques [Townes] had 32 [points] and [Cameron] Krutwig’s one of the best big men in the country. I’m just going to keep doing what I need to do to win, but we have a lot of pieces on our team.” Against Drake, Custer had 14 points and shot 2-for-2 from threepoint territory. This comes after Custer struggled against Illinois State

University Feb. 2, putting up eight points and shooting 1-of-12 from beyond the arc. Loyola head coach Porter Moser said he doesn’t need to remind Custer to stay focused and practice hard. He credits Custer, as well as fellow redshirt senior guard Townes, for having the maturity to look ahead to the next game following a bad loss. “He didn’t come in here hanging his head because he played bad,” Moser said. “I don’t have to motivate these older guys. They’re completely motivated. He knew he didn’t shoot the ball well. Next game.” Outside of a 26-point outburst against Drake Jan. 5, Custer has struggled to score in MVC play. He has scored 10 or more in six of the 12 conference games after scoring in double figures in all but one of the 13 non-conference games. Included in this conference skid are back-to-back

3-point outings against Indiana State University Jan. 19 and Missouri State University Jan. 23. “I’ve been playing the game long enough that I don’t let one game, or a few games, take away my confidence,” Custer said. “I’ve been able to play this game at a high level for a long time, so when I have a few bad games I’m able to process it and just think forward.” Despite the Ramblers comeback victory over Valparaiso University Feb. 10, Custer’s performance was below his usual standards this season. He scored nine points on 2-for-7 shooting, but he did hit a miraculous acrobatic three-pointer to end the first half and lower Valparaiso’s lead to just two points. “The coaches are telling me to just keep shooting and stay confident,” Custer said. “I think some of the time, they don’t even really need to tell me because they know that I’m confident in myself and the way I can play as

long as I stay positive and stay confident. I’m too good of a player not to figure it out at some point.” Although his shot hasn’t been consistent throughout the season, the Ramblers are 8-1 when Custer shoots 50 percent or better from beyond the arc. His season three-point percentage of 39.1 percent ranks third on the team. Off the court, Custer has been nominated as a finalist for the 201819 Senior CLASS Award. The award, which is only eligible for seniors, recognizes honorable achievements in: community, classroom, character and competition. Custer is one of the 10 national finalists for the award, and the winner will be announced during the 2019 NCAA Final Four. Next up, Custer and the Ramblers are scheduled to travel to Peoria to face Bradley University Feb. 13. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcasted on NBC Sports Chicago.

Loyola heads into MIVA play optimistic after defeating top teams in nation ANDREW ELLIOTT

The No. 7-ranked Loyola men’s volleyball team (9-3, 2-0) emerged victorious against Quincy University and Lindenwood University to secure its first two victories as it begins Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) play. Loyola swept Quincy University in three sets with senior outside hitter Collin Mahan leading the team with 10 kills. The Ramblers defeated Lindenwood University in four sets as they won the match 3-1; senior outside hitter Will Tischler led the team with 17 kills. Now the team is looking to keep that momentum going in the face of upcoming games against challenging, high-ranked opponents. “Most of what we’ve done so far [has been] so that we know where the bar is,” head coach Mark Hulse said. “I don’t know what percentage of that was top 15.” With teams such as No. 15 Purdue University Fort Wayne, No. 11 Ball State University and No. 10 Lewis University, MIVA has multiple nationally-ranked teams with exceptional records to make for a challenging path forward. The team has faced this level

of competition before, defeating teams such as then-No. 5 Pepperdine University Jan. 18. Mahan, a two-time MIVA Offensive Player of the Week, has had a good season so far with a new career high 24 kills against Penn State. Hulse said he’ll be vital for a MIVA tournament run, and he intends on feeding Mahan the ball as much as possible. Despite the degree of difficulty that comes with such high competition, Hulse said he’s optimistic of Loyola’s chances to go far in the MIVA tournament and expects the players to exceed his already high expectations. “In a lot of ways, we’re where we hoped we’d be … there’s confidence that comes with winning, but there’s more confidence in knowing where you stack up,” Hulse said. “We’re healthy. I think we’re playing the game at a high level. We’re doing some of the things that we’d thought we could be good at at a high level.” Sophomore setter Garrett Zolg, 20, has continued to build on his success from last season with a new career-high 57 assists against Penn State. This overall elevation in play is largely due to the success of the team around him, according to Zolg. He said as the team heads into MIVA play, it has remained focused on us-

Nick Schultz | The Phoenix

Loyola sophomore setter Garrett Zolg has been integral to the Loyola men’s volleyball team’s non-conference success.

ing practice to fine tune team chemistry and communication. “Coming in with the same mindset of trying to get better everyday, and not doing it for yourself but doing it for your teammates,” Zolg said. “When I play up to my standard, my teammates around me have a ton of success. That’s my mindset going in.” First-year opposite hitter Luke Denton, 19, will get his first taste of the MIVA tournament this year as he hopes

to make a dominant impression against some of the best teams in the nation. On such a big stage it’s easy to get overwhelmed, but Denton said he’s kept a cool head, despite this being his first-year on the team. “There’s definitely been a rollercoaster of emotions dealing with having to play at a higher level,” Denton said. “Overall, it’s been really exciting.” Last year, Zolg recorded 44 assists in a victory over Ball State in the MIVA semifinals. When asked about what

fans should expect from him this year, Zolg said he never focuses on numbers; the only stat he cares about is the one that shows up in the win column. “Honestly, I don’t really pay attention to numbers,” Zolg said. “As long as the team wins, that’s all I really care about.” The Ramblers are scheduled to continue their season Feb. 15 against Purdue Fort Wayne at Gentile Arena. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcasted on ESPN3.

FEBRUARY 13, 2019



Cameron Krutwig: King of the Missouri Valley? KYLE BROWN ABBY SCHNABLE

L o y o l a’s s o p h o m o r e c e n t e r Cameron Krutwig has improved across the board since his Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Freshman of the Year campaign in 2017. Now, he’s fighting to become just the third player since 2000 to win both Freshman of the Year and MVC Player of the Year during his collegiate career. Last year, Krutwig was a starter for a Loyola squad that made it to the Final Four and was integral to the roster due to his scoring, rebounding and passing. This year, he’s one of three returning starters for the Ramblers. His improved play has put him in conversation for MVC Player of the Year by various announcers on television broadcasts. He has the second highest assist percentage on the team — right behind redshirt senior Marques Townes. He ranks sixth in assist percentage in the MVC, assisting on one of every five shots made. Drake University senior forward Nick McGlynn plays a similar offensive role to Krutwig’s. Yet, McGlynn assists one of every 10 shots when he’s on the floor, so Krutwig is two times better at the job and two years younger. Assists aren’t the only area Krutwig said he’s improved in. His scoring has improved from 10.5 points per game last season to an average of 14.4 per game this season. His rebounds have also increased on average by 1.3 per game. Junior guard Bruno Skokna said Kr utwig’s improvement can b e attributed to the loss of former players Donte Ingram, Aundre Jackson and

Ben Richardson. He said losing those three caused Krutwig to step up and become more of a force on the team. “This year, we’re calling many more plays for him,” Skokna said. “He’s getting more touches in and, obviously, it’s his second year. He’s getting more comfortable and so I think it’s just a culmination of everything. We all trust in him and if he misses a couple of layups, we’re still going to him and he’s been producing.” Krutwig’s biggest increase from last year is in field goal percentage. It has increased from 59.8 percent to 65.2 percent — the best in the MVC this season. He’s shooting 150-for-230 and hit 100 percent of his shots in the first three games of the season. One of Krutwig’s biggest shots of the season came when he hit a corner three-pointer to help seal a win over University of Northern Iowa Jan. 30. Krutwig’s first career three-pointer extended Loyola’s lead to 60-55 with 48 seconds left in the game. Krutwig said he’s been working on extending his shooting range during practice and the offseason. He also said he’s focused on taking different shots and trying to be better with his right hand. “ T h a t’s s o m e t h i n g t h a t t h e coaching staff, coach [Matt] Gordon, has really been on me about ‘right hand, right hand,’” Krutwig said “[Against Drake], I made two really nice right-hand hook shots and that’s going to open up a lot for me coming back to my left.” Another improvement for Krutwig has been his chemistry with Townes. They’re the Ramblers’ leading scorers with 14.4 points per game and 15.4 points per game, respectively. Krutwig said they’ve been able to

Tim Edmonds

The Phoenix

Sophomore center Cameron Krutwig is averaging 14.4 points per game and is leading the Missouri Valley in shot percentage.

expand the team’s repertoire of plays due to how well him and Townes are able to read each other and work together to convert those plays to points. “Me and [Townes] have some kind of connection where he can fake and I just know he’s not going to go,” Krutwig said. “Where the defender is at predetermines it. They know he’s probably going to back-cut so if they play the back-cut, [Townes] will fake the back-cut and come out for a handoff and then he’s super low and I’ll get a good screen in.” Practice makes perfect for Krutwig, and his ambition to putting in the work has translated to a lot of gains

not only for him, but also for the team. He’s scoring 15.4 points per game during conference play after he scored 13.5 points per game during the nonconference, showing he’s getting better with time. For the entire season, the Ramblers are 10-2 when he shoots at or above 70 percent. Head coach Porter Moser said Krutwig dedicated the offseason to weight loss, losing more than 20 pounds over the summer and resulting in improved agility. Moser also said it’s the effort in practice every day that has made the biggest impact on his improvement during the season. “Overall, it’s not as much with

the offseason,” Moser said. “It’s just everyday improvement by him. He doesn’t take practices off. Coaches will always tell you great players don’t take practices off. They come ready every single day. He never takes practices off.” Krutwig has made a big jump in his game from the end of last year to this year. While he was the Freshman of the Year last year, Moser said he thinks he’s far from a finished product. Krutwig and the Ramblers are scheduled to play Bradley University for the first time this season Feb. 13 in Peoria at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on NBC Sports Chicago.

Skokna takes on starting position Skokna stats HOW SKOKNA’S PERFORMANCE CHANGES ABBY SCHNABLE






wasn’t what it could’ve been. He only scored two points, shooting 1-5. He had two rebounds and two assists, but nothing close to sophomore center Krutwig’s 22 points in that game. Despite the struggles, Skokna i s s h o ot i n g b e t t e r t h a n u s u a l in Williamson’s absence. When Williamson was still in, Skokna shot at a 24 percent clip from the field and 15 percent beyond the three-point line. Without Williamson, he’s shooting 40.1 percent from the field and 21.4 percent from beyond the arc. Moser said Williamson’s injury has allowed Skokna to step up and be more confident. He’s been able to fill some of the hole Williamson left, as well as show some of his talent. “[He] really knocked down some shots against Northern Iowa that were really big in our victory,” Moser said. “He had some really nice drives. He does it every day in practice, so without a question he’s playing better, more confident and we need him. We’re a better team when he’s playing better.” Skokna said his starting role has brought him the assurance he hasn’t been able to find before. Despite being in his third year on the team, he hasn’t really hit a consistent stride. He said he has yet to find as much success as

he wants on his shots, despite knowing he can hit those shots and hits them often in practice. “To be honest, I’ve been here for three years and I don’t think there has been one game that I’ve played like I can,” Skokna said. “I’ve given 100 percent to the team because I was focusing on different things that I shouldn’t have and now I’m focused on my role that I’m older, that I help the younger guys and bring energy to the team.” His best game to date was against Norfolk State University Dec. 9, 2017. He scored a career-high 18 points and was good both offensively and defensively — even though he usually struggles with shooting. Despite his lack of consistency, Skokna said he remains motivated to help the team do its best. “I’m positive when the team is doing well, because it’s not all about me,” Skokna said. “[Against Drake], I didn’t play as well as the three games before that, but the team won by 22 and I was super happy about it. As long as we’re winning I’m happy and I’m staying positive.” Skokna and the Ramblers are scheduled to play Bradley University for the first time this season Feb. 13 in Peoria at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on NBC Sports Chicago.


20 1.8





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bo un Re ga peds m r e As s ga peists m r e

Abby Schnable The Phoenix

Skokna has made minor improvements to his game since taking a starting position.


M in u ga petes m r e



Po i ga pents m r e

Ever since sophomore guard Lucas Williamson broke his hand against University of Nevada Nov. 27 and then re-injured it against Indiana State University Jan. 19 there’s been a hole on the Loyola men’s basketball starting lineup. Head coach Porter Moser tried to fill the role with first-year guard Cooper Kaifes, but ultimately decided it wasn’t the right fit. Enter junior guard Bruno Skokna. In his first two years, Skokna has struggled to find his footing on the team. His new starting position hasn’t fixed all his problem areas, but it’s starting to show improvement for the finance major. When he starts, he plays 25.5 minutes per game and averages 3.5 points per game. It’s a small jump from his 15 minutes and 3.1 points per game from the bench. So, while there’s an improvement from before, he’s still no Williamson. Skokna has started in six games this year. Up until then, he had only ever started in eight games. Head coach Porter Moser said once Williamson re-injured his hand against Indiana State University Jan. 19, he called Skokna into his office and told him he’d be starting against Southern Illinois University “no matter what.” “We just wanted to jump start Bruno,” Moser said. “I said ‘You know what, sometimes you come in the game and you’re playing with [first-years]. If we wanted him to play in the game with [Townes, Custer] and Krutwig [he needed to be] in the first rotation. So we started him and I just think he’s got a different bounce to him.” In Skokna’s first start of the conference season, his performance

Starting Bench

FEBRUARY 13, 2019


‘Hell no, there’s no crickets!’

Moser buys buses, students flock to Valparaiso for victory Courtesy of Loyola Athletics

Two buses full of Loyola students made the trip to Valparaiso Feb. 10 to watch the men’s basketball team defeat Valparaiso 56-51. Loyola head coach Porter Moser paid for both buses for the second straight year.


Rather than sleeping off a hangover, spending a quiet Sunday inside or doing homework in the library, a group of Loyola students took a rowdy 66-mile bus trip to Valparaiso University to watch a men’s basketball game — courtesy of Loyola head coach Porter Moser. For the second year in a row, Moser paid the way for roughly 80 students to go to a game at Valparaiso’s Athletics-Recreation Center (ARC). It’s a stark difference from two years ago, when he wrote a column in The Phoenix pleading students to come to games at Gentile Arena. The trip would be free for students, including a ticket to the game, but a Sunday game meant students would lose valuable study time for the coming week. Still, students signed up and filled the bus almost immediately.

This prompted Moser to pay for a second bus after some students missed out on the first one. “I’ve been outspoken how much the students mean to this program,” Moser said on a teleconference Feb. 11. “Their energy has been awesome and it was a no brainer. They made a difference. It was great to see them come out on the road like that.” Blaring music the entire way, the buses arrived at Valparaiso around 1:30 p.m., a half hour before gates opened. The roughly 80 students on board were anxious to get off the bus and cheer on their team. Senior Max Mifsud, donning a Batman onesie, settled the restlessness by getting up and dancing at the front of the bus. As gametime neared closer, the song “I’m a Rambler (Rambler Things)” played on the bus’ speaker system which drew a rowdy cheer from the students. The song was created by two former Loyola men’s volleyball players,

Ben Plaisted and Nick Olson, known as 2 Yung ‘Blers, and has grown into an anthem for Loyola fans. Shortly after, everyone filed out of the buses and into the arena. The Rambler invasion had officially begun. During the game, Loyola’s student section, located in the upper level of Valparaiso’s ARC, started off full of energy. Despite a crowd of 5,148 on hand — the largest crowd for a regular-season game at the ARC since 2013 — Rambler fans engaged in cheers such as “We can’t hear you!” aimed at Valparaiso’s student section. The Rambler Rules — rules all Rambler fans must follow at basketball games — also made the trip as fans shouted “You let the whole team down!” for all six of Valparaiso’s missed free throws. As the final buzzer rang, Loyola’s students chanted “This is our house!” But Loyola trailed Valparaiso for the majority of the game, causing the

fans to lose their intensity until late in the second half when first-year fan favorite Cooper Kaifes hit a three-pointer to shrink the deficit to four points with five minutes left. A Valparaiso miss followed by a Marques Townes’ bucket forced the Crusaders to call a timeout as their lead shrunk to 43-41. The break in action gave the revitalized Rambler student section a chance to show its appreciation by singing “Happy Birthday” to Kaifes, whose birthday is Feb. 10. The team never pulled its foot off the gas pedal and pulled off a comefrom-behind, 56-51 victory. Once the students filed back onto the buses, DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win” quickly started blaring from the bus’ speakers. “I think it was the best experience I’ve had at a Loyola game so far,” Nick Skipp, a first-year biology major, said. “Just being able to take over an opposing team’s home court is an amazing experience.” Shortly after, Moser came onto the

bus, grinning from ear to ear, and passionately thanked the students for their support. Throughout the season, Moser and his players have repeatedly praised the students and fans for the energetic atmosphere at Gentile Arena. But without many student Rambler fans at away games, Moser has said the goal is to win and leave the opposing arena silent. However, that was changed at Valparaiso due to the strong showing from Loyola fans. “We write the word ‘Crickets’ because when we leave, it’s all silent,” Moser told the bus of students after the game. “I walked into the locker room and someone goes ‘Crickets.’ Hell no, there’s no crickets!” Moser left the bus to a raucous cheer and the bus pulled out of Valparaiso’s campus with the energy just as high as it was inside the arena. But soon, the bus was all “crickets,” because of course, the students had class the next day.

How men’s basketball can clinch another Missouri Valley Conference title

Nick Schultz | Sports Editor

With six games left, the Loyola men’s basketball team has a twogame lead in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) standings. It’s a cushion the team hasn’t had this year, and it’s certainly welcome at this point in the season. Despite what recent history has told us, though, it might not be enough. Since the MVC expanded to 10 teams in 1992, each team that led by two games with six games left has gone on to win the regular-season title, according to the league office. But given this rollercoaster of a season, I’m not counting my chickens until after they hatch.

Loyola controls its own destiny now. Three road games remain, and the Ramblers are 4-4 away from Gentile Arena. The road won’t be easy — is it ever in The Valley? — but the odds are in their favor. Loyola head coach Porter Moser has told me, repeatedly, he doesn’t look at the standings much because he’s seen how crazy the league can get. I appreciate that, having grown up in a house of Illinois State University alumni and watching MVC basketball my whole life. But it’s a different league than it was when I was younger. Creighton University and Wichita State University have both moved on. It’s Loyola’s league now, and it’s time to kick it into gear. Despite the two-game lead, five things have to happen if the Ramblers want to repeat as conference champions. 1. Defense Wins Games

Loyola currently leads the MVC in scoring defense and ranks eighth in the nation, holding teams to 60.8 points per game. The next closest MVC team is Valparaiso University, which is averaging 65.8 points per game. If the defense can keep at this pace, the Ramblers could ride a stalwart defense into Arch Madness. 2. “King Krut” Reigns Supreme

The offense needs to run through Cameron Krutwig. Between his scoring, rebounding and passing ability, he’s a nightmare for opposing teams to

Nick Schultz | The Phoenix

If Loyola wants to be the No. 1 seed at Arch Madness again, five things have to happen over the next six games to get there.

guard. Sometimes, Loyola even looks like an entirely different team when he’s on the bench. He’s such a force and, while the big fella needs a break once in a while, the Ramblers need to feed him as much as possible. 3. Make your free throws!

My biggest pet peeve is when teams miss free throws. Yes, I know nobody’s perfect, but you literally practice free throws every single practice. The Ramblers have gotten better from the line after shooting 64.4 percent during nonconference — and, admittedly, losing to Furman University Nov. 9 because they missed so many free chances. I have a tweet saved on my computer whenever they miss a free throw that says “Free

throws are free” with clapping emojis between each word. Enough said. 4. Be Ready When Lucas Williamson Returns

The last time sophomore guard Lucas Williamson came back from an injury, Loyola lost to University of Evansville 67-48. When he went down a second time, the Ramblers were steamrolled by Missouri State 70-35. Moser’s said the best-case scenario is Williamson returns next week, but he could be out for two. His return can’t be rushed, and if that happens, he’ll fit right back into the offensive scheme. 5. Shoot the Three

As I’ve written in this space,

Moser’s pace-and-space offense is why Loyola made the Final Four last year. But that offense doesn’t work unless the team makes threepointers. After ranking second in the MVC at a 39.6 percent clip last season, Loyola sits tied for third with 37 percent from outside the arc. While that’s improved from a 32.9 percent rate during non-conference, it’s hard to win when the Ramblers shoot 5-for-25 like they did against Illinois State Feb. 2. So, yeah. Those are my keys to another Valley title. If the Ramblers take this advice, they’ll have no problem coasting to the No. 1 seed at Enterprise Center in St. Louis. Trust me on this one.

Profile for Loyola Phoenix

Volume 50, Issue 19  

Volume 50, Issue 19