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Volume 51

Issue 4

SEPTEMBER 11, 2019

LOYOLA PHOENIX The award-winning student newspaper of Loyola University Chicago

‘They just didn’t make it very easy for us’ After alleging sexual assault by the same man, three Loyola students voice concerns and frustrations with the university’s investigative process.

Alanna Demetrius The Phoenix


Three Loyola students have accused a male student — who has since left the university — of sexually assaulting them in separate on-campus incidents, The Phoenix learned. The young women say school officials didn’t investigate aggressively enough, allowing a “serial predator” to remain at Loyola with few restrictions for five months while looking into the allegations — an alarming lag the women say could have exposed other students to danger. Tim Love, deputy coordinator and executive director of the school’s Title IX Office, now known as the Office for Equity & Compliance, that investigates sexual misconduct, dodged questions from The Phoenix about if the school put students in danger in this case. “I was worried it was going to happen again while we were trying to get this all figured out,” one of the women said.

The assault accusations also raise new questions about the quality of security by Loyola’s police force, Campus Safety. One of the women was assaulted on the quad, in the grass outside the Loyola Information Commons, while the other women were assaulted in residence halls, according to interviews. Thomas Murray, head of Campus Safety, didn’t respond to multiple interview requests from The Phoenix, continuing a pattern of secrecy about crime on or near campus that critics say has been a hallmark of school President Jo Ann Rooney’s administration. Love said privacy rules precluded him from getting too specific when answering questions about these cases. For instance, Love wouldn’t say whether the male student was ultimately expelled, as the women told The Phoenix. The man facing the accusations didn’t respond to numerous voicemails, or multiple direct messages on Facebook. The Phoenix isn’t naming him because he hasn’t been charged with a crime. In interactions with Loyola officials, he has denied wrongdoing, documents show.

This is the second allegation of a male Loyola student assaulting more than one student in recent years. In 2013, a firstyear was accused of raping two young women in their dorm rooms on backto-back days. Charged with felonies, he pleaded guilty in 2015 to misdemeanor simple battery and was sentenced to probation, The Phoenix reported.

“Only when we get to talk about it does it begin to slowly get better.” LOYOLA STUDENT

An outside expert on sexual assault investigations, Sarah Layden of the nonprofit Chicago group Resilience — which supports survivors of sexual violence — told The Phoenix it’s “troubling” that, with the new cases, the school didn’t act more decisively when the students first made their complaints in late 2018. Three students coming forward is

a “pretty good indicator” of a potential threat to other students, Layden said. “Minimally, I do think it’s alarming that three students being sexually assaulted by another student didn’t rise to the level of an imminent threat to students’ safety, knowing what we know about those who perpetrate these crimes,” Layden said. The young women were told their investigations would likely take 60 days, but they said they didn’t wrap up for five months, with the alleged assailant still enrolled during that time with almost full access to campus. “We went into that initial meeting with Tim Love and the three of us talked about the fact that he is a serial predator,” one of the three accusers told reporters. “The way that they defended him staying on campus was that they claimed he wasn’t violent . . . therefore he’s not a threat to campus.” Love wouldn’t confirm if this was said. All three of the women agreed to speak to The Phoenix, which isn’t naming them. One of the women noted how

common sexual assault is at colleges across the U.S. At Loyola in 2016 alone, there were 55 reports of sexual violence on students off campus and 15 reports in residence halls, The Phoenix reported. Sexual assault can take many forms, including attempted rape, unwanted sexual touching, forcing a victim to perform sexual acts and penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). Sexual violence on college campuses is widespread, statistics show. Among undergraduate students, 23.1 percent of females and 5.4 percent of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence or incapacitation, according to data from RAINN. Women ages 18-24 are at an elevated risk of sexual violence, according to RAINN. In 2018, nearly 70 percent of Loyola’s undergraduate students enrolled were females, according to U.S. News and World Report. “Only when we get to talk about it does it begin to slowly get better,” said one of the women in the latest case. Read the women’s stories 5



Man stabbed, Chicago police officer injured near Lake Shore Campus page 3

Shuttle drivers authorize strike, but it’s unclear whether the strike will happen page 4


SEPTEMBER 11, 2019

How losing a family friend gave me a much-needed return to childhood FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK

EDITORIAL Editor-In-Chief Mary Norkol Managing Editor Emily Rosca Business Manager Nataly Bitar News Editor Mary Chappell Assistant News Editor Kayleigh Padar Assistant News Editor Madison Savedra Sports Editor Nick Schultz Assistant Sports Editor Kyle Brown Assistant Sports Editor Abby Schnable A&E Editor Mary Grace Ritter Assistant A&E Editor Emma Sulski Opinion Editor Adrian Nevarez Copy Editor Sean Hemmersmeier Copy Editor Leen Yassine

When I first started thinking about how to approach this column, I had one rule: don’t make it too personal. I didn’t want my contributions to this paper — which serves countless different types of readers — to feel like my own personal diary. I want my readers to relate to the majority of my columns on some level, and, more importantly, find some value in the thoughts I deemed important enough to put on paper. That being said, this week’s edition

will air on the personal side. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think you’ll be able to find a connection in it. This weekend, my family lost a close friend. I grew up across the street from him, and some of my earliest and fondest memories are set against the backdrop of his garage — a bonfire in the pit, Squirt in my plastic cup and a crayon in my hand. Duane “Chopper” Geske was a butcher, known for giving Ziploc bags chock-full of beef jerky to his neighbors without being asked or prompted by a special occasion. My parents said they never shoveled our driveway — Chopper beat them to it almost every time since they arrived in the neighborhood back in 1996. From a young age, I found myself sitting on bar stools in Chopper’s garage with my childhood best friend, who also lived across the street. “When we didn’t know where you were, it was always just, ‘Oh they’re at Chopper’s,’” my mom said last week. We scribbled masterpieces on napkins and scrap pieces of paper. Some of those hand-crafted treasures have been hanging in Chopper’s garage, untouched, for more than 15 years. When Chopper got sick, my mom suggested I draw him a picture. I felt silly doing it at almost 22 years old, but I knew it would make him smile, and I did it anyway.


Rapper Tyler, The Creator, Jaden Smith and GoldLink bring audiences to life.

Opinion. Pint & Plate: Suberb eats at “Sauce and Bread”

12 “IT Chapter 2” ends grotesque story of It

Design Editor Larissa Paseta


14 Women’s golf has highest GPA average

Web Editor Nida Hameed

Security Notebook

Lake Shore Campus CONTACT

Opinion Editor

4 Campion Hall repeatedly vandalized


Video Editor Molly Gaglione

A&E Editor

3 Shuttle drivers vote to authorize a strike


Photo Editor Alanna Demetrius

Sports Editor


9 It’s time for Loyola to open an esports lounge

Content Manager Maddy Baltas

Managing Editor News Editor

future lately, a common symptom of starting one’s senior year. I’ll always remember Chopper as a hallmark of my childhood, and now I’ll move forward trying not to get too ahead of myself. Sometimes it’s okay to reminisce about the past. He’ll remain a symbol of my unwavering support system back on Lydia Circle. I’ll keep a piece of him with me, and I’m grateful for the stories, advice, jokes and each bag of beef jerky — even if I am a vegetarian now. So, if I can offer a bit of advice this week, it’s to remember someone from your childhood — someone who represents the best parts of growing up. This week, The Phoenix has tackled some vital stories, including the account of three women who accused a former Loyola student of sexual assault. For The Phoenix Editorial Board’s thoughts on this, check out our opinion section. Sports explains why the women’s soccer team stacks its non-conference schedule against difficult teams, and the A&E section provides a look into the Artists of the Wall project at Loyola Beach.




My parents visited Chopper shortly before he died. They mentioned how I was starting my senior year at school in Chicago. Despite not being able to speak, Chopper grinned from his hospital bed and pointed at my picture on the wall. After getting the call from my mom that Chopper had died, my heart not only dropped into my stomach, but it churned and tied itself in knots. He had been very sick for months, but as anyone who’s lost a sick relative or friend will tell you, it hardly makes it any easier. For hours after the call, I carried on with my day. It was almost normal — almost. But flashes of Chopper occupied my mind throughout the day. While I left scathing edits on articles now in this paper, I saw him cracking jokes to the neighborhood dads as the kids played down the street on a summer evening. While I sat on the Red Line on my way home, I heard him asking me how school was going and making sure I had enough to eat. While I filled up my second cup of coffee that day, I remembered the look in my dad’s eye as we raised a glass to Chopper a few weeks ago. Each memory hurt in its own way, each vision twisted the knife in my gut a little more. But I was brought back to my childhood with each thought, too. I’ve been pretty caught up in the


1. Sept. 4, 2019: A Loyola student reported a hit-and-run to Campus Safety. The incident occurred near Loyola’s main parking garage. 2. Sept. 6, 2019: Campus Safety received a report of criminal trespassing in San Francisco Hall.

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3. Sept. 7, 2019: Residence Life submitted drug paraphernalia in Mertz Hall to Campus Safety.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2019



Shuttle drivers vote to authorize strike, next steps remain unclear Alanna Demetrius | The Phoenix A week ago, Loyola shuttle drivers, along with other Chicago transit workers, voted unanimously to authorize a strike. However, it’s unclear what that is going to look like for Loyola students.


Nearly a week after Loyola shuttle drivers and Chicago transit workers voted unanimously to authorize a strike, the next steps remain unclear. Two bargaining units of Chicago transit workers, including Loyola’s intercampus shuttle drivers, voted unanimously Sept. 4 to authorize a strike, according to David Glass, a business agent for Teamsters Local 727, a local union representing shuttle and paratransit drivers. “We want to come to terms with the company as soon as possible,” Glass said. “It’s our plan to get something done in the near future, but at this point, it’s in the company’s hands.” However, Glass didn’t respond for further comment as of Sept. 10, so the next steps are unknown. Typically, when labor unions authorize a strike, it doesn’t mean a strike will definitively occur. In most cases, authorization is used to pres-

sure companies and allows union representatives to call a strike in the future if they feel it’s necessary. Collective bargaining agreement negotiations — written agreements between a company and the union that establishes the conditions of employment — took place on Sept. 10 between MV Transportation and the union, Teamsters officials said. A Loyola shuttle driver, who requested to remain anonymous, said the problems boiled down to issues with low wages and insufficient compensation for holiday and night work. He said the negotiations — still unknown as of Sept. 10 — will determine what the next steps will be for the drivers. “It all depends on how well it goes today,” he said. “And if it doesn’t go well today we move on to the next phase.” Students expressed concern about the potential strike, The Phoenix reported. Gretchen Carey, the manager for Loyola Campus Transportation, wrote in an email to The Phoenix

that students would be informed if the shuttle service is interrupted, but provided no specific plan.

“They deserve nothing less than to be treated with respect, which includes an employer that bargains in good faith.” JOHN COLI JR. Secretary-treasurer of Local 727

The 100 drivers represented in employer MV Transportation’s Division 422 not only service Loyola shuttles on all campuses and at the Loyola University Medical Center, but also the paratransit drivers responsible for transporting children with special needs in Chicago Public

Schools (CPS), according a press release from Teamsters 727. Local 727 filed multiple unfair labor practice charges against MV Transportation, according the release. There are currently no details on the specifics of the charges. The charges are currently pending with Region 13 of the National Labor Relations Board, a federal agency responsible for enforcing labor laws in the U.S., according to the release. Carey wrote that Loyola was aware of the situation, but didn’t comment further. “MV Transportation, Loyola’s shuttle and 8-RIDE service provider, has informed the University of their recent labor negotiations with Local 727,” Carey wrote. “We look forward to a quick resolution on their negotiations.” Carey wrote that approximately 3,200 Loyola students use the shuttles daily and the cost is included in the student development fee, which covers several other services as well. The “unfair labor practices” al-

legedly occurred during negotiations over the summer which were meant to address the first collective bargaining agreement, which covers new CPS bus drivers and Loyola drivers, the release said. Local 727 represents nearly 10,000 men and women in the Chicago area, including 300 other MV Transportation workers, according to the release. John Coli Jr., secretary-treasurer of Local 727, said the workers deserve more than they’re getting from their employer. “These men and women work tirelessly every single day to ensure the safety of Chicagoland students and provide an essential service to a vulnerable population,” Coli said in the release. “They deserve nothing less than to be treated with respect, which includes an employer that bargains in good faith.” MV Transportation couldn’t be reached for comment. This is a developing story. Check for updates.

Man stabbed, police officer injured in attack near Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus KAYLEIGH PADAR MARY NORKOL

A man was stabbed and a Chicago police officer was injured near Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus Monday night, officials said. A 25-year-old man suffered stab wounds to the chin and arm on the 6500 block of North Ashland Avenue. When officers responded, they found the offender at the Loyola Red Line station — just off campus — where one officer ended up injured with a minor laceration on his left hand, police said. Police said they couldn’t confirm exactly how the officer was injured. The initial victim and the injured officer were both taken to Presence St. Francis Hospital in Evanston — the man who was stabbed was in stable condition and the officer was treated and released. The offender was tased and put in custody after a short chase on foot, police said. Despite the proximity to campus, Campus Safety didn’t send a crime alert to students as of Tuesday morning. Thomas Murray, Campus Safety’s police chief, didn’t respond to a request for comment, but Evangeline Politis, a Loyola spokesperson, emailed a response on his behalf. She said an alert wasn’t sent out because there wasn’t an ongoing threat. “I just confirmed with Chief Murray that an alert was not distributed because the offender was arrested quickly, and there was therefore no ongoing threat,” Politis said. Politis said no one involved in the

incident is connected to Loyola. When asked whether the university has a responsibility to send a crime alert to calm nerves and keep the student population informed as Chicago police swarmed the area surrounding campus, Murray and Politis didn’t respond.

“I’m definitely feeling stressed, maybe a little unsafe, not as secure in my home. I was just leaving class and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, am I gonna die?’”

Alanna Demetrius | The Phoenix The Loyola Red Line station is located less than a block away from residence halls on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus.

MEGAN SHANAHAN Junior Loyola student

Maddy Baltas, a Loyola senior and The Phoenix’s audio editor and content manager, said two Chicago police officers walked through her off-campus apartment to get to her backyard — they told her they were looking for the offender’s knife. The outdoor gate was locked, so the officers needed to go through the building, Baltas said. Each unit in the building houses Loyola students and is located just two blocks from campus, Baltas said. Freddy Drzewiecki, a 20-year-old senior studying advertising and public

Alanna Demetrius | The Phoenix Police chased the offender on foot, and took him into custody after tasing him. One police officer was injured.

relations at Loyola, said he was walking toward the Loyola Red Line station with a friend when he saw police officers both on foot and in cars circling the block. Drzewiecki was headed to a friend’s apartment nearby, and he said he didn’t

see any Campus Safety vehicles. Megan Shanahan, Drzewiecki’s friend, said she called out to a police officer while they were passing by to ask if they were safe and he told her to get inside as soon as possible.

“I’m definitely feeling stressed, maybe a little unsafe, not as secure in my home,” Shanahan, a 20-year-old junior studying psychology, said. “I was just leaving class and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, am I gonna die?’”

SEPTEMBER 11, 2019


Loyola junior Cidney Thomas remembered for her ‘gorgeous smile’ EMMAGRACE SPERLE

A canvas of “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” hung on the wall in Cidney Thomas’ room and as her favorite book, was a blueprint for how she lived her life. Thomas love of travel was just one of the many memories her family and friends shared after she died in a car crash in her hometown on Aug. 4. Thomas and several friends were involved in a head-on car crash on Aug. 4 when a 54-year-old man drove his Honda Civic the wrong way onto the highway and collided with their Toyota, according to Sergeant Jennifer Ciaccia of the Cleveland Division of Police. Thomas, 20, the 19-year-old driver of the Toyota and the driver of the Honda died as a result of the crash. The other passengers in the Toyota, two 19-year-old women, suffered critical injuries, Ciaccia said. Thomas was majoring in biology and spent last semester studying abroad at the John Felice Rome Center, according to an email sent to the Loyola community from Campus Ministry. Kelley Ferguson, Thomas’ mother, said Thomas’ positivity defined her. “She [had] a gorgeous smile and that was a signature for her,” Ferguson said. Makayla Ostapa, a junior who studied abroad in Rome with Thomas, remembers her as a joyous and carefree person. “She was someone who laughed at herself in the greatest ways,” Ostapa said. “She was able to have her own fun and enjoy her own presence.” Ostapa remembered an evening in Rome when she and Thomas had been hiking and Thomas asked Ostapa to take a picture of her. Ostapa said Thomas was having fun posing, laughed the whole time and kept asking for more pictures because the lighting was just right. Ostapa said Thomas enjoyed traveling and chose destinations based on her favorite songs. She even took a spe-

cial trip to Spain because of Ed Sheeran’s song “Barcelona.”

“She was someone who laughed at herself in the greatest ways.” MAKAYLA OSTAPA Thomas’ friend

Ferguson said she and Thomas shared a love of travel and often went on trips together. She still wears the bracelet Thomas bought her on a cruise they took together to the Florida Keys and Cozumel. “She definitely got that travel bug from not only me, but also her paternal side,” Ferguson said. Ferguson recounted the night of a fancy dinner on their cruise when Thomas had asked Ferguson to do her makeup. This was not usually the case but she had seen Ferguson’s glittery eyeliner and wanted to have the same look, she said. Ferguson described Thomas as hardworking, even as a young child. “If there was something she had an idea about or wanted to do or accomplish, she made it happen,” Ferguson said. She played flute from grade school through high school graduation, Ferguson said. She sometimes sat first or second chair, which are the leaders of the section, and was proud of her accomplishments, according to Ferguson. Ferguson said Thomas had been passionate about forensics and Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM), since she was a child. Emily-Paige Taylor, a current PhD student and Thomas’ discussion leader in a history class last fall, said Thomas was a “leading voice” in class. “She was confident when speaking in class and had firm opinions, yet

welcomed debates,” Taylor said in the email from Campus Ministry. Ostapa also described Thomas’ abundant self-love and confidence. “A lot of people doubted her [but] she didn’t care — she had dreams and ambitions and could really care less about what people had to say,” Ostapa said. Ferguson said Thomas has inspired others to follow in her footsteps. “After everything, a lot of people have spoken with me saying, ‘Now I’m inspired to travel, now I’m inspired to finish school,’” Ferguson said. “Now I’m inspired to do a lot of this that Cidney did at 20 that some people twice her age haven’t.” Thomas visited Iceland during spring break 2019 and Ostapa said she wanted to take part in a tradition called Stone Cairns, where travelers stack piles of rocks to mark the path for following visitors. Ostapa said Thomas was “obsessed” with Iceland, and Ferguson remembers Thomas sending her pictures of the Northern Lights because it was on Ferguson’s bucket list.

“She wore mismatched socks with sandals and wouldn’t listen to what anybody had to say about it.” KELLY FERGUSON Thomas’ mother

Ferguson said Thomas and her cousin Darien were as close as siblings. She said her cousin referred to Thomas as his “sister” at his graduation party. Thomas called her niece and nephews “Cidney Jr.” and “Cidney Jr. Jr.” and was close with them, too, Ferguson said. Ferguson said Thomas stood out

Courtesy of Kelly Ferguson

Cidney, a junior biology major, spent last spring stuyding abroad in Rome.

in a crowd because of her authenticity. “She wore mis-matched socks with sandals and wouldn’t listen to what anybody had to say about it,” Ferguson said. Ferguson said before Thomas left for her first year of college she had “strongly encouraged” her to get a dog because she would need a companion. Ferguson even remembers getting pictures of puppies from Thomas to try to persuade her. Since her passing, Ferguson said she has decided to adopt a dog. Thomas was honored at a wake and funeral service Aug. 14 at Fellowship Church of God in Bedford, Ohio. The email from Campus Ministry

notifying the community of Thomas’s death offered resources for Loyola community members. On Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus, Wellness Center (773-508-2530) and Campus Ministry (773-508-2200) staff are available to assist students individually. On the Health Sciences Campus, University Ministry (708-216-3245) and Student Affairs (708-216-3220) employees are available for those seeking resources or counseling, the email stated. Perspectives is available at any time by calling 800-456-6327. For online resources, students can go to and enter username: LUC500 and password: perspectives.

Loyola loosens Halas dress code policy Pattern of vandalism in Campion Residence Hall HANNAH DENAER


Loyola’s Halas Recreation Center changed its dress code policy last month to allow students to wear a larger variety of clothes, officials said. The policy previously required students to wear a full shirt, but as of Aug. 27, it allows students to wear crop tops and backless shirts that cover the majority of the midriff and back, according to Megan Morris, the program director of Loyola Campus Recreation. Halas’ website also specifies that jeans and denim aren’t allowed and athletic, closed-toed shoes are to be worn at all times. This portion of the policy isn’t new. Morris said the dress code policy is in place for sanitary reasons because students often use the machines without cleaning them afterwards. When skin and sweat come into contact with the equipment, it allows for the transmission of germs and bacteria, and a shirt acts as a barrier to those sanitary risks, she said. Morris said the change in policy was in part a result of several inquiries from students about Halas’ dress code. She also said the policy isn’t based on a student’s appearance. “Our policy has always been in place for [sanitary reasons] and never for appearance,” said Morris. “That’s usually a common misconception.” Carlee Dulfer, a 20-year-old junior who’s studying criminal justice, said she was asked to tuck in her backless tank top at Halas last year. She said she left feeling frustrated and confused as to why the policy existed. “I have never run into a problem in the past or in any other gym I’ve attended,” she said. In cases where students can’t adjust

Loyola administrators sent out a warning email to students after vandalism in Campion Residence Hall the week of Aug. 25, but school officials refused to provide details. There’s been a pattern of vandalism on the third floor of Campion — a dorm for students in Loyola’s Interdisciplinary Honors Program at Albion Avenue and Sheridan Road — according to an email sent to third-floor residents by Ami Thakkar, the building’s residence director. The number of incidents and the dates on which they occurred aren’t confirmed. The email states if individuals can’t “be pinpointed for a specific act of vandalism,” the university can “move forward with holding the community accountable for such charges.” Tiffany Gonzales, associate director of Residence Life at Loyola, said she couldn’t say whether or not this means the entire floor or building could be fined or punished. “Everything looks different for every situation,” Gonzales, whose office is responsible for the school’s dorms, said. “So it could be the floor, it could be an entire building. It really is situation-dependent so I can’t say specifically for this incident … what this would look like because we’re still working through that.” Thakkar sent out the email “to make the community aware of some of the policies around bias-motivated discrimination [and] around our property damage,” Gonzales told The Phoenix. When asked about whether or not the vandalism involved bias-motivated discrimination — to engage in misconduct against a person or group because of their race, color, sex, gender identity, disability, religion or other characteristics protected by law — Gonzales said she’s “not able to

Courtesty of Loyola University Chicago

The policy isn’t related to appearance.

their clothing or change into something else, Halas provides “dress-code shirts” in order to avoid turning people away. Morris said the change in policy caused Halas to give out less dresscode shirts. Mary Polupan, a first-year studying political science, said she was asked to wear something over her sports bra Aug. 25 at Halas. Similar to Dulfer, Polupan said she was confused by the regulation and unaware of the reasoning behind the policy. “It would’ve definitely been less aggravating if I had known about [the dress code],” the 18-year-old said. Morris said informing students about the policy is often difficult for Halas. Not all of the students who are eligible to use the facilities at Halas do so, making it difficult to reach the students who need the information. The dress code policy is available on the Halas website and is posted throughout the gym. “We don’t want a policy to ever be a barrier to students using the facility,” Morris said.

Alanna Demetrius | The Phoenix

Campion Hall houses first-years in Loyola’s Interdisciplinary Honors Program.

share that.” “We take all types of reports very seriously and we take the privacy of our students and staff seriously,” Gonzales said. “So what we have done is we have reported everything that we need to to the appropriate offices and are supporting students, but there is nothing that I can add from this conversation other than what is sent in the email.” The email includes information regarding vandalism from Loyola’s Community Standards — university policies outlining “acceptable student conduct” — which all students are expected to uphold. According to Loyola’s policy on property damage, “Tampering with, defacing, or causing damage to University, public, or private property or equipment is prohibited” and may result in students paying restitution. The policy also states Residence Life staff is responsible for determining costs when students are charged for damages. Residence Life works closely with the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR) and Office of the Dean of Students, Gonzales said. Residence Life is responsible for reporting incidents of school policy violations to OSCCR, according to Stacey Jaksa, director of OSCCR. The two offices work together to address the reported

incident and provide support for any students who “experienced harm as a result,” Jaksa said. “When something happens, either it’s a bias incident or there might be bias-motivation discrimination, that’s not shared on a large-scale,” Gonzales said. “There are times when students get the support from the offices in place but it’s not something that we share widely, even with our department, and a lot of it is to respect the privacy of those that are involved.” Will Rodriguez, Loyola’s dean of students, said he doesn’t know the details of the case. He said while he’s made aware of incidents such as this one, details aren’t shared with him because he serves as an “appealing officer.” This means if students are fined as a result of an incident and they want to appeal, they appeal to Rodriguez, who said he must remain as neutral as possible. Emma Batterman, an 18-year-old first-year living in Campion, said something was written on a whiteboard but she didn’t know what. “All I know is that someone wrote something inappropriate on one of the whiteboards,” the philosophy major said. Thakkar declined requests for comment and referred The Phoenix to Gonzales.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2019


Three Loyola students share stories of sexual assault by alleged ‘serial predator’ ‘It’s impossible for me not to think about it’ One of the three women recalled meeting the man accused of sexual assault as a first-year student through a campus club. They began seeing each other and text messaging, but they never formally dated, the woman said, adding that the night of the first sexual assault, in 2016, they met up outside the dorm where he lived at the time. The male student insisted on taking a walk around campus, despite how chilly and late it was. They ended up on the East Quad in front of the Loyola Information Commons, where he sexually assaulted the woman, according to interviews. “I walked home,” the woman said. “I have no recollection if he walked me home, if we parted ways at the quad, at Sheridan, I don’t know. Trauma memory is weird . . . but I can remember exactly the clothes I was wearing — the t-shirt, the shorts, the flip-flops, everything about it, and I can pinpoint the exact position we were laying on the quad, but I don’t remember how we walked home.” According to interviews, the woman had been drinking alcohol, in a condition where, according to Loyola’s community standards, a person is unable to consent. They hung out the following day, and he assaulted the woman again in a first-year dorm room, according to the woman. “I remember I went down to my friend’s room,” the woman said. “I didn’t say anything but I wrapped myself in a blanket and rocked back and forth. … I was just kind of in shock.” The woman said they stopped seeing each other a few

weeks later, but they continued to bump into each other regularly. The woman had trouble sleeping, didn’t want to eat and suffered from panic attacks severe enough that they caused nosebleeds. The woman had straight A’s the first semester, but missed classes often during the second semester. In 2017, about four months after the alleged assaults, the woman told a resident assistant, known as an RA, about what happened. RAs, in addition to other faculty, staff and administrators are mandated to report sexual assaults at Loyola. The RA filed a report with the EthicsLine — a way to report misconduct or violations of Loyola policy online or over the phone. Shortly after the report, the accuser was contacted by Loyola’s Title IX coordinator. The student opted against filing an official report or contacting police at the time, but wanted the male student out of the campus club. The woman obtained a temporary no-contact directive against the man. These ban alleged offenders from contacting the person, even through a third party. The woman also saw a therapist through Porchlight — a counseling service for survivors of sexual assault at Chicago universities — after getting a referral through Loyola’s Wellness Center, the school’s health facility. “It took me months to just admit that something had happened, so it was just a very long process of dealing with it,” the woman said. “I was assaulted on campus and it’s a very small campus, so every day, I walk past [the first-year dorm] and I walk past the quad, and it’s impossible for me not to think of it.”

‘I did kind of block it out’ The second woman met the alleged offender through classes and the first-year dorm they both lived in. She said she was raped twice in the dorm during their brief relationship her first year at Loyola. “On a couple of occasions, some things happened that I had told him that I wasn’t comfortable [with] or I didn’t want to be doing that, and it ended up happening anyway,” she said. The first assault occurred in a dorm stairwell in late October or early November 2016, she said, while the second assault occurred in her dorm room on Nov. 6, 2016. Immediately after the first incident, she said he looked at her and said, “You know I didn’t make you do that, right?” She remembered interacting with her roommate afterward. “I came back and she could see that I was upset and asked if I was okay and I just kind of went to sleep and

Alanna Demetrius The Phoenix

cried,” she said. “We didn’t really talk about it indepth or anything.” She said they broke up in December 2016. The following year, she said she struggled at Loyola. She said she didn’t leave her room often and her grades suffered. “I didn’t do a lot of the things I wanted to do,” she said, adding that she didn’t discuss what happened with anyone until the middle of 2018. “It was kind of a weird situation the way it all happened, because it did happen to me so long ago, and I did kind of block it out of my mind for a while,” she said. She said she didn’t initially report the incidents, but slowly processed what happened to her. She remembered being reminded of the assaults while reading Loyola’s student conduct expectations. “I was looking at the student conduct book for my . . . job and I went to the Title IX stuff and I was like, ‘That looks familiar,’” she said.

Alanna Demetrius The Phoenix

‘I didn’t feel like a human’ The third woman said she met the man through a dating app in spring 2018, and they dated for several months. During that time, she said there were several instances of unwanted contact that escalated. In one instance, he tried to remove her pants even after she said no, she said. He also groped her, she said. Ultimately, she said he raped her. That occurred the morning of March 24, 2018 after she spent the night at his dorm room. They broke up in early April, about a week and a half later. She said it took time to comprehend what happened because he said things to make her question the situations. She said he accused her of not caring about him and he made her feel guilty. “It was confusing because outside of these instances he was sweet and kind and caring and would always talk about what a feminist he was,” she said. In the weeks after she was raped, she said she stopped attending many of her classes and was just focusing on getting through the rest of the semester. “I didn’t feel like a human,” she said. “After he raped me, it was the first time I was consciously aware of what was happening. I remember knowing that what he had done was rape, but not knowing how to explain it or describe it.” She said she began to drink heavily on the weekends. “I was drinking in a way I had never done before, really just in pain and not understanding how to explain or cope with what had happened to me,” she remembered. Once she returned home for the summer, she tried to understand what happened to her. She said she looked up the word “rape” and read the definition. “The most poignant one was the FBI [definition] [and] I

remember reading it and thinking that’s exactly what happened to me,” she said. “I’m an articulate person and I don’t know how to describe that feeling, other than to say it felt like a black hole. To this day, it’s still startling.” That summer, she said she called the man on the phone because she wanted him to understand what he’d done. At first, she said he tried to deny it, but when she mentioned possibly filing a Title IX investigation against him — in other words, an internal complaint with the school, which could lead to discipline and a mark on his record — she said his tone completely changed. “What scared me the most about that interaction was the lack of complete and utter remorse,” the woman said. “The fact that I was saying to him, ‘What you did to me was rape,’ and [he was] trying to talk me out of it . . . and then when I mentioned Title IX, this automatic switch to this anger that I’d never seen from him before.” Several days after that July 2018 phone call, she emailed a Loyola administrator to file a report against him. Throughout the summer, she said she saw things that reminded her of the man. As a result, she said she “shut down.” “I shouldn’t be having panic attacks in a restaurant because the person sitting next to me also wears the type of glasses that he wears,” she said. She coped by writing stories and poetry, she said. When she returned to school in the fall, she said she was terrified of seeing the man around campus and didn’t want to go anywhere without her friends. She said she ran into the man’s best friend at a dining hall one day, causing her to stop eating on campus. After that, she said she lost about 20 pounds in a month. During the fall semester, she said she began going to therapy through Loyola’s Wellness Center.

Alanna Demetrius The Phoenix

continue reading on pages 6 7



CONTINUED: The investigation process ‘We needed to do something’ The three women initially didn’t know each other. Two of them had met through a mutual friend in 2017. One of them, then, met the third woman at a party in 2018. They realized their mutual connection to the man accused of rape, and said they realized they’d all been through similar trauma. They said they discovered similarities in the man’s behavior toward them. They noted his fascination for sexual acts in public places, such as his desire to have sex in the Mundelein Center for Performing Arts piano rooms. They also discovered he had taken each of them into stairwells. Two of the women said they made the connection that he threw his hands up in response to their protests of his advances, telling them he wasn’t “trying to take advantage” of them. “It was terrifying how much of it wasn’t these random acts, but that it was a calculated pattern,” one of the women said. From there, they said they decided to launch Title IX investigations. “It wasn’t even a conversation, it was just very much mutually understood between us that we needed to do something,” one of the women said. Title IX launches investigation The three women said they filed separate investigations with Loyola’s Title IX office during the first week of December 2018, more than two years since the first sexual assault. They said they didn’t file reports with the police, opting to have the school handle things through an administrative process, rather than a criminal one. Love, Loyola’s Title IX coordinator and executive director of the Office for Equity & Compliance, said the university doesn’t require survivors to contact law enforcement, but is able to assist people who decide to go to the police. Roughly 20 percent of female survivors ages 18-24 report sexual violence to police, according to RAINN. Some survivors don’t go to the police because they believe it’s a personal matter, or not important enough, or

they opt to go through another channel, such as the Title IX office, according to RAINN. In this instance, the three women met with Love, and each case was assigned to different investigators. At the time, investigators were Loyola employees with other roles at the school, though trained to handle Title IX investigations as needed.

“It was terrifying how much of it wasn’t these random acts, but that it was a calculated pattern.” LOYOLA STUDENT

One of the women told the Title IX office she worked at Loyola, and yet inexplicably, the investigator assigned to her case turned out to be her boss. She said she was uncomfortable with that, so she had to wait for a new investigator. Love said things will be handled differently moving forward, with the school creating the Office for Equity & Compliance earlier this year, which will have three full-time professional investigators and no longer rely on investigators who work other jobs on campus. “The office was not created in response to any specific concerns, but we are absolutely committed to soliciting and considering stakeholder feedback as we work to advance safety and equity within our community,” Love said. The women said no-contact directives were issued through the school to the man they accused. He was also banned from several buildings on campus the women frequented. The Title IX office spends a lot of time working with complainants — people who open cases against someone — to ensure they feel safe and comfortable on campus, Love said. However, Love said the university must look out for both the complainant and respondent — also known as the accuser and accused person — and

avoid punishing a student before the results of the investigation. “Our goal is to balance the needs of the complainant with the rights of the respondent and also in consideration of the safety needs of the larger university community,” Love said. The school can restrict a person’s access to certain parts of campus if there’s “reasonable cause” to believe they posed a safety risk to the university community, Love said. One of the women relayed that employees told them “he’s not a threat to campus,” so he wasn’t banned outright. The women said they were stunned by his continued access to campus because he had the opportunity to interact with more women, and possibly reoffend. It also meant the women making the accusations continued to see him, with one of them saying she saw him almost every day around campus during the investigation because they had the same major and took classes in the same buildings. In February 2019, while the school was still investigating the claims, one of the women spotted the man on a date with another female student who she knew through a class. She said she later contacted that woman through social media to warn her about the man. Reached by The Phoenix, that woman confirmed she was contacted by one of the accusers, but declined to comment further. More frustrations with school emerge The three women said they had other problems with the school during this time. They said Title IX employees told them investigations are typically finished within 60 days, although Love said it’s hard to set a specific time frame since each case is unique. Under Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972, Loyola has a responsibility to respond “promptly and effectively” to notifications and reports of gender-based misconduct. While state law doesn’t provide a specific time frame to complete investigations, the Illinois Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act states that “complainants alleging student violation of campus policy shall have the opportunity to request

that the complaint resolution procedure begin promptly and proceed in a timely manner.” The length of investigations may feel like an eternity for survivors, Layden, from the nonprofit Chicago group Resilience, said. “Often times these investigations can take some time to substantiate,” she said. “While I don’t agree nor do I make excuses that those timelines are acceptable, the unfortunate thing about it is it’s kind of the reality that we live in. I think it’s kind of the nature of a variety of things that come to sex crimes.” Love said the new office he’s overseeing will hopefully expedite investigations, which have faced criticism in the past.

“They just didn’t make it very easy for us. ... the lines of communication were never completely open. Everything took a lot longer than they said it would.” LOYOLA STUDENT

Love said certain circumstances can prolong investigations and it’s common for people involved in investigations to be unhappy with the amount of time the process takes. He said the office is “sensitive” to timeliness. “For all the students involved, it was a hard semester and that’s something I certainly understand,” Love said. The three women said it often took days to hear from investigators. At one point, one woman said she didn’t hear from her investigator for 23 days before reaching out to follow up. Another woman said she found herself “digging and asking” to get updates on the investigation process. “They just didn’t make it very easy for us,” she said. “The lines of communication were never completely open.

Everything took a lot longer than they said it would.” Love said the goal of the Title IX office is to be as transparent and responsive as possible, but the office avoids sharing certain details of the investigation in order to “preserve” it. “Our goal always is to be transparent throughout the process and not to have this be a scary or unknown or secretive process,” Love said. When asked by The Phoenix if Love felt the office reached this “goal,” he said he couldn’t speak to the specifics of these individual cases. Layden said investigations entail some secrecy because sharing evidence can influence the way other people in the investigation process are answering questions. “Survivors also have a right to be treated with compassion, to be treated with dignity, to at least be kept apprised in some way, shape or form that this is something that’s being looked at,” Layden said. One student remembered an investigator mistakenly sent an email to the accused man that was supposed to be sent to the woman, which included “sensitive information.” Emails reviewed by The Phoenix indicate the investigator didn’t know about the mistake until the accused man pointed it out to the investigator. During the investigation process, the survivor and witnesses share their experiences with an investigator who then compiles a summary statement, Love said. When one of the women received that document, she said she found numerous grammatical, content and structural mistakes. The most troubling was the accidental switching of the titles “complainant” and “respondent.” She said this was also mixed up in the witness’s statement. Love said he wasn’t aware of these mistakes until The Phoenix asked about them. The woman said the mistake made it seem like she assaulted the man, not the other way around. “That’s not okay,” she said. The same woman also remembered words the investigator used to describe her feelings, which she said were inaccurate, including the word “disappointed.” “I wasn’t disappointed, I was terrified, I was screaming, I was crying, please don’t use the word ‘disappoint-

begins, women find support in each other ed’ of all the words in the English dictionary,” she said. “Pick a better word.” Love said the Title IX office’s goal is to always produce professional work. When asked again about reaching this “goal,” Love wouldn’t go into detail about these cases. “If I received back a report like that I could understandably be disappointed or not have that sense of trust we’re shooting for,” Love said. The investigations wrap up The first investigation to finish resulted in a guilty finding on March 27, 2019 of rape — formally known as “non-consensual sexual penetration,” according to records reviewed by The Phoenix, which also showed the male student at the center of the case was then placed on university probation. For his punishment, he had to conduct community service and write a paper on the meaning of consent, the documents show. The woman who had accused him of that rape said she didn’t feel the punishment was enough and appealed the verdict, hoping he would get a stronger sanction. He also appealed it, she said, saying he shouldn’t have been found responsible at all, documents show. “If you’re found responsible for that, I feel like you deserve more punishment for that than writing a paper,” the woman said. Her appeal ended up resulting in the punishment increasing to a sus-

pension, documents show. Meanwhile, the other two women said they were told by the school they would have an administrative verdict by April 18, before Easter break. One of those women recalled preparing mentally to receive the notification, readying to miss class and work if necessary.

“We both were just outside on the sidewalk literally screaming and yelling because I have never felt as powerless as I did in that moment. ... that was really upsetting.”


But that day came and went without a verdict, rather emails from the school saying the cases would be “queued,” creating confusion for the women. That means the school’s investigations conclude on their own schedules and the verdicts come out one after another — not all at once, despite the investigations starting at the same time. Love said the school does this

so it can take into account previous conduct history before deciding if and how to punish the person. “For the most fair, appropriate outcome to be generated, sometimes we have to put a pause on one [case],” Love said. “It would only be in an odd circumstance that two or more investigations would be resolved at the same time.” One of the women recalled angrily going on a walk and running into another one of the women. “We both were just outside on the sidewalk literally screaming and yelling because I have never felt as powerless as I did in that moment,” the woman said. “That was really upsetting.” On April 26, one of those two women was told the accused student would be expelled, documents show. The third woman was notified on May 6 that the case had finished and the male student wasn’t found guilty of assault in that case, records show. The woman thought about appealing the verdict through the school’s process, but “decided not to because our one goal was to have him expelled and that was achieved.” “Although I wanted the validation from the university that it happened, it was real and it wasn’t okay, I didn’t want to put myself through going through an appeal,” the woman said. ‘I’m fortunate that I had them with me’ While their individual investiga-

“We were all really vulnerable our freshman year and he took advantage of that. He targeted that.”


“We each supported each other and cared for each other and made each other laugh,” one of the women recalled. Another said she could talk about almost anything with the others and was met with genuine understanding. “I knew if there was something weirdly specific I wanted to talk about, or just [wanted] to talk to someone about dealing with Title IX itself, or just [wanted] someone to rant to, I knew they would be entirely understanding and probably feeling the same way,” the woman said. One of the women said the only

good thing that came out of the experience was that they forged such a close relationship with each other. “I hate that I was approached at a party and told that my assailant raped another woman, but to be believed unconditionally and be supported by them was the only thing that helped me through the process,” the woman said, adding that the male student preyed on their vulnerability. “We were all really vulnerable our freshman year and he took advantage of that,” the woman said. “He targeted that.” Along with going through similar investigations at the same time, the women said they understood the specific details of each other’s trauma. Each said they understood the fear of seeing a certain colored backpack on campus — because it resembled the alleged offender’s backpack. “I’m fortunate I had them with me, to have other women, who not only understand the experience of being assaulted and raped and understand survivorship, but to have other women who understand exactly what I’m saying,” one of the women said. Knowing the same man had hurt multiple people encouraged all three students to take action against him, they said. “At that point, it’s a serial problem,” one of them said. An investigation is “kind of for the greater good at that point.”

Alleged sexual assaults lead to Title IX investigations: Mid Dec., 2018 Separate investigations begin for each woman

Sept. 30, 2016 First woman allegedly sexually assaulted on Loyola’s East Quad


April 18, 2019 First and third women told cases will be “queued”

March 24, 2018 Third woman allegedly raped in upperclassmen residence hall



March 13, 2018 Third woman allegedly sexually assaulted in upperclassmen residence hall


Alanna Demetrius The Phoenix

tions played out, the three women leaned on each other. In preparation for meetings with the Title IX office, they spent time together with coffee and snacks.

They can call the Loyola Sexual Assault Advocacy line at 773-494-3810. The National Sexual Assault Hotline is also available 24/7 at 800-656-4673. Loyola students can report sexual misconduct to Title IX at 773-508-3733 or use the university’s Ethics Line reporting hotline, Loyola’s system for dealing with different complaints.


Dec. 3, 2018 Three women meet with Tim Love to formally ask to launch investigations Nov. 30, 2018 First woman meets third woman at a party

April 3, 2019 Second woman sends appeal request for his punishments Information compiled by three accusers



SEPTEMBER 11, 2019

Disappointed but not surprised: no alert from Campus Safety Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

THE PHOENIX EDITORIAL BOARD A man was stabbed near Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus Monday night and students were sent into a frenzy as police scattered throughout the area surrounding Loyola to track down the offender. Police found the offender at the Loyola Red Line station — across the street from campus — and he cut a Chicago police officer’s hand. The man was tased before being taken into custody. But Campus Safety, Loyola’s private police force, didn’t send an alert notifying students of the situation. The reason? “There was no ongoing threat,” university spokesperson Evangeline Politis said on behalf of Campus Safety Chief Tom Murray, who didn’t respond to The Phoenix’s request for comment. In the meantime, students sought out their own ways to find information — using Twitter threads and police scanners, where the accuracy of information isn’t guaranteed. Chicago police walked through a Phoenix staff member’s apartment because they thought the offender’s knife was in her backyard. The staff member said the officers walked through in their full gear — bulletproof vests and all — and searched the ground when they got outside. Yet, Campus Safety still decided there was “no ongoing threat” and didn’t feel the need to tell its students what had happened. Even though Politis said no one

in the recent stabbing is connected to Loyola, students have a right to know a foot chase was happening in their backyard — literally, in some cases — especially if it happened within Campus Safety’s jurisdiction.

“Loyola’s private police force didn’t send an alert notifying students of the situation.”

The reasoning — that there isn’t an “ongoing threat” to students — is misguided. It’s the responsibility of Campus Safety to give students peace of mind when violence ensues near campus. If there’s no ongoing threat, that means students are safe — a message Campus Safety should want to spread. An accurate, timely and transparent crime alert would save students from worry, frustration and fear. We’ve seen this pattern before. Violent crime happens near campus every year — and we’ve seen a trend of Campus Safety remaining silent and withholding alerts from students. Between 2013 and 2017, 135 robberies were reported within Campus Safety’s jurisdiction, which is from West Pratt Boulevard on the

Mary Norkol Emily Rosca Mary Chappell Adrian Nevarez Nick Schultz Mary Grace Ritter

north, North Glenwood Avenue on the west, West Glenlake Avenue on the south and Lake Michigan on the east, The Phoenix reported. Despite those reports, Campus Safety only sent 40 crime alerts over that timespan, The Phoenix reported. The Phoenix has reported on the lack of crime alerts the past two years. At the end of September 2017, The Phoenix reported Campus Safety hadn’t sent out any crime alerts through the first month of the year. In that time a man was shot in the abdomen on North Sheridan Road, a half-mile from Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. That was just one of six violent crimes from the beginning of the semester until the end of September. Nearly a month later, students received an alert about a strong-armed robbery at the Water Tower Campus.

“It appears our concerns have fallen on deaf ears — again.”

At the end of September 2018 — a year after the 2017 article, almost to the day — The Phoenix again reported Campus Safety hadn’t sent any alerts through the first month of the school year. Lo and behold, an alert was sent out that day about an armed robbery near West Albion Avenue. That year, six violent crimes were also reported

Alanna Denetrius The Phoenix

Police chased a man wielding a knife near campus after responding to a reported stabbing.

near Loyola’s campuses before an alert was sent. Given this editorial is coming out Sept. 11, 2019, that must mean we’re due for our first crime alert of the year in the next couple weeks. Stay tuned to your emails. This editorial board has voiced concerns about the lack of crime alerts in the past. We wrote about Campus Safety’s unwillingness to send alerts last year after a Loyola student was brutally beaten and

robbed near her apartment just blocks from campus — where many upperclassmen Loyola students live. No crime alert was sent, despite the incident happening within Campus Safety’s jurisdiction. It appears our concerns have fallen on deaf ears — again. This is yet another example of students’ frustrations with Loyola’s lack of transparency. We’re getting tired of it, but it seems Loyola officials aren’t.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2019



The present-day refugee crisis amounts to 70.8 million forcibly displaced people globally — the highest displacement recorded since 11 million displaced in World War II, according to UNHCR's (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) report. While the current situation is not a world war yet, most countries are involved in it either directly or diplomatically. The Cambridge Dictionary defines "refuge" as “protection or shelter from danger, trouble, etc.” The keyword here is "shelter." From the multiple refugee crises the world has seen over the past decade, it’s obvious refugees need and are entitled to much more than a roof over their heads. Multiple organizations and nations advocate for a basic standard of living and health for refugees but there’s barely a system of checks that helps alleviate the conditions — most refugee settlements are nothing better than distressed slum-dwellings. Rohingya, a largely Muslim ethnic minority from Myanmar, were forced to flee to Bangladesh to escape the systematic violence and persecution following the 2012 Rakhine riots. A report by UNICEF shows up to 25 percent of Rohingya refugee children under the age of five suffer from acute malnutrition and more than half have acute respiratory infections. The prevalent rates of malnutrition and health risks across various countries demonstrate a dilution of resources and negligence of their state. Due to the poor health conditions and lack of appropriate nutrition, they become less capable of approaching mental and physical normalcy to get back on their feet.

Just giving ‘refuge’ isn’t enough Courtesy of Wikimedia

Millions of people are forced to leave their country to find asylum in foreign lands. These other countries are not always willing to accept them.

For refugees, the right to education and work are instrumental in becoming self-reliant. Unfortunately, labor laws of several countries, such as Lebanon, place numerous barriers and hurdles in the path of refugee employment. Since President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, the refugee admissions ceiling has been slashed by nearly a third — from 85,000 in 2006 to only 30,000 in 2019 — as per a report by the U.S. Department of State. Moreover, it was not amended with the change in circumstances around the world, specifically for those affected by the upheavals in Venezuela and Central America. While it’s possible for refugee host nations to receive financial assistance from the United Nations and other international organizations, there isn’t an efficient way to allocate the limited resources without diluting the supply. Water and food scarcity are

growing at a rate faster than before — thanks to overpopulation and climate change. Stats from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 820 million people — 10.8 percent of the world’s population — were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2018. This dilution of resources also comes with a lack of employment opportunities and individual advancement. While migration is controlled by the means of visa issuance, with refugees, it becomes a more delicate decision to put a cap on the influx of people. This might lead to agitation among the residents of the country as it would modify the employment equilibrium for the nation, and possibly lead to a larger demand for jobs than available. The growing refugee population in developing and third-world countries adds pressure on a macro level, and also

causes the residents to feel threatened by the competition for resources. In Lebanon, a politically and economically challenged country, Syrian refugees constitute one-fourth of the population. The number of people living under the poverty line in Lebanon has risen by 66 percent since 2011 — the year the Syrian war began — according to a report by Oxfam, a global organization that works to alleviate poverty. Providing refuge in nations already struck with a multitude of economic and political challenges not only jeopardizes the quality of life of the resident population but the refugees also stand more vulnerable to illnesses, malnutrition and trauma. This often leads to crime and harm inflicted upon the refugees, such as assault and human trafficking. Countries that host a large number of refugees, such as Bangladesh, don’t

have sufficient resources to alleviate pre-existing poverty and elevate living standards for its residents. More than half of the Bangladeshis believe there aren’t enough job opportunities for them, compared to less than 50 percent of the refugee population feeling that way, according to a study by Xchange. For such developing countries with tremendous income disparities and turbulent political history in the recent past, it’s difficult to see how they are fit to host refugees. However, those capable of hosting refugees in more hospitable conditions choose to turn their backs. The Trump administration, during the peak of the Venezuelan crisis in the early half of this year, ignored its ability to prioritize trauma-struck Venezuelans in its ever-shrinking refugee and migration system, and resisted using Temporary Protected Status for them. Time and again, the U.S. has failed to live up to its claimed position as a powerful world leader by demonstrating injustice and a lack of compassion. It’s essential to revise the pedagogical approach for the betterment of refugees in an attempt to make it more holistic and tailor to the current needs. This process starts with the revision of existing policies, without alienating the refugee population or the residents and citizens of the host nation. Of course, it’s of utmost importance to record the responses to such policy changes on both ends, and to instigate acceptance and tolerance in both groups of people. Additionally, the need of the hour is to develop a ‘checks and balances’ system in the enforcement of refugee rights and protection at every level. While it’s relatively less feasible to direct the inflow of refugees from places farther away to countries that will find it viable to support the refugees, it’s inhumane to close doors to countries well in proximity and in need of aid the other nations can provide.


In Arthur Ashe Stadium, 23,000 people in attendance and 1.5 million watching witnessed Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf emerge as the single Fortnite World Cup champion out of the 40 million players who participated in the tournament. Colleges around the country are investing in game centers and are cashing in on the success of their esports teams. Electronic sports, or esports, is an organized competition using multiplayer and singleplayer video games. Esports has grown in popularity over the last couple years with video game titles including Fortnite, League of Legends and Overwatch. Loyola is falling behind by choosing not to invest in the creation of an esports center. The esports community is constantly growing and due to surge this year according to the 2019 Global Esports Market Report. ESPN has started to cover professional esport events — League of Legends World Championship and Overwatch League Playoffs, to

Loyola is ‘away from keyboard’ when it comes to esports Adrian Nevarez The Phoenix

Depaul University's Esport Gaming Center is located in the DePaul Center in the university's Loop campus. The center is equiped with 13 PCs and a variety of game consoles.

name a few — but most viewers still use traditional streaming platforms such as Twitch, which has more than 2.2 million daily broadcasters and a daily average of 15 million viewers. This new trend didn’t appear

Adrian Nevarez The Phoenix

The center opened in April 2018. The university has hosted multiple esport tournaments for a variety of competitive games. Players come and go constantly during operating hours.

out of thin air — the first esports tournament took place in 1972 at Stanford University. Students competed on the video game “Spacewar” — a spacecraft combat game — and the winner received a year-long subscription to Rolling Stones magazine. Video games are popular among college students, with 70 percent of students claiming to play video games at least “once in a while,” according to Pew Research Center. The market is here. DePaul University, Robert Morris University and Northwestern University have already listened to the growing demand and created their own esports teams. DePaul University opened its Esports Gaming Center back in April 2018. The center is home to DePaul’s gaming teams which play for the Big East Conference. The university is one of 141 colleges that host esport teams. Esport clubs open up the possibility for students to receive scholarships,

making college a cheaper option for many gamer students. Creating a space for esports doesn't require a big construction effort. The field is virtual so all that’s needed is a large room to place the equipment needed. When it comes to the equipment itself, costs vary depending on the appropriate kind of hardware. The average cost to start a college esports program is $32,000 according to a report by Wired.

Loyola is falling behind by choosing not to invest in the creation of an esports center.

There's plenty of potential revenue to offset the cost of starting the program. Revenue streams include sponsorship, media rights,

advertising, merchandise and game publisher fees, according to the 2019 Global Esports Market Report. The highest revenue stream worldwide is sponsorship, accounting for $456.7 million in 2019. The fastest-growing esports revenue stream by far is media rights, which will generate $251.3 million in 2019. Over the course of a year, DePaul has hosted multiple tournaments in their gaming center, which is located in the university’s Chicago Loop campus. The tournaments can last multiple days with different matches for different games and the public is invited to watch the schools go head to head. Loyola’s the best example of a school coming together to rally behind their team. In 2017, fans all crowded around their televisions and gathered in Damen to watch our basketball team qualify for March Madness’ Final Four and lost their minds when that buzzer beater sank into the net. That's esports.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2019



Alanna Demetrius The Phoenix

Individual art pieces by over 100 artists from the Rogers Park area sit side-by-side on the wall along the beach at Loyola Park. The works showcase the artists’ interpretation of 2019’s theme “Our Backyard.”

Artists of the Wall: 27 years of community MARY GRACE RITTER

A retaining wall between the grass and the beach of Loyola Park is more than just 600 feet of concrete. Twenty seven years ago local artists took it over, founding The Artists of the Wall Festival and transforming the wall into a piece of collaborative public art. About 130 different paintings — from minimalistic, color-block flowers to impossibly intricate patterns — on the wall represent the views of the community. A new theme each year — such as “Together We Art” in 2010 and “The Wall of Dreams” in 2011 — guides the artists’ designs. Artists — who must register and pay for a spot on the wall months in advance — fill their designated five feet of space each Father’s Day weekend, culminating in about 130 separate spaces. The works remain up for the residents’ enjoyment for nearly a year. The following May, the wall is cleaned off and painted white, leaving a clean slate for the new year and new theme. In recent years, violence has tainted the reputation of the park with shootings where two were left dead last October and one injured this May. It could be argued the positivity of the art is more important than ever. President of the Park Advisory Council, the committee that plans Loyola Park’s events, Jim Ginderske said the crimes had no bearing on whether or not the event would continue. “As a community we try to embrace each other,” he said. “We’re certainly not going to let ourselves be defined by scattered occurrences, tragic though they may be.” That community has continued to

make Artists of the Wall happen. The festival is for and by Rogers Park residents — with planning from the Park Advisory Council and support from artists, lifelong Rogers Park residents and local business owners. Past participants and supporters of the festival gathered at the Loyola Park Fieldhouse (1230 W. Greenleaf Ave.) — a 15 minute walk north of Loyola’s Lakeshore campus — Aug. 28 to discuss the event’s history. Old friends hugged and reminisced about their experiences painting the wall and the connections made through it. Organizer Mary Bao became a coordinator of the festival with the Loyola Park Advisory Council soon after the event’s inception in 1993. She said she’s always had a passion for art. When she first participated in painting the wall, she let that fire supersede the rules. “I actually was painting on the wall in a space that somebody else who was volunteering had gotten,” Bao said in an interview with The Phoenix. “The organizers saw this strange person painting and they painted over my art three times. I got so mad that I volunteered so that they wouldn’t do it again.” Many in the fieldhouse referred to Bao as the glue that held the group together by thinking ahead and confirming the local businesses’ support necessary for getting all the paint and brushes. She said selecting a different theme each year speaks to the voice of the people, recent events and needs of the times. “We reflect what happens around us,” Bao said. “We’re like the speaker — the world goes through us and our images.” The most recent theme, “Our

Backyard,” emphasized the inclusivity of the event. For many, Rogers Park truly has been their backyard for much of their lives. Born and raised in the area, Tina Juhlin has lived in the neighborhood for the last 57 years. Living so close to Loyola Beach, Juhlin said she’s delighted in watching the wall transform, but it’s become much more than a piece of public art for her and her family. Juhlin’s daughter was the first in the family to get involved at 16 years old. She influenced the rest of the family of creatives to try their hand at painting a portion of the wall. The group has only grown as Juhlin’s daughter brings her own children to contribute. “For the last 18 years, we have not missed one,” Juhlin said in an interview with The Phoenix. This year, she shared her section of the wall with her family. All the spaces on the wall were taken the day registration opened so only some family members applied fast enough to get their own spot. Juhlin didn’t seem to mind — she painted individual Polaroid frames for her children and herself, making a scrapbook-style design. Juhlin’s concept exemplified the problem-solving skills and cooperation necessary for the success of the festival. Coordinating an event for an entire neighborhood and gathering supplies doesn’t happen on it’s own. It takes the help of the community it seeks to benefit. The owner of Clark-Devon Hardware, Ken Wolchak has been a longtime supporter of Artists of the Wall, providing paint and supplies for the artists. Having been in business for 100 years, Clark-Devon Hardware has supported numerous Rogers Park projects, so the addition of the event

Mary Grace Ritter The Phoenix

Tina Juhlin, a lifelong resident of Rogers Park, poses for a photo alongside her section of the wall. The polaroid frames feature paintings of her grandchildren.

just made sense. “Artists of the Wall is sort of a natural,” Wolchak said. “We’re a hardware store so we’ve got paint and that’s how we ended up with it and Mary [Bao] is a longtime customer.” The Artists of the Wall functions not only as a beautiful addition to the area but also as the main fundraiser for the Loyola Park Advisory Council. The council of community volunteers plans events in Loyola Park. Money

made from the wall supports events such as kids’ summer programs, the Daddy-Daughter Dinner Dance and movies in the park. The impact of the Artists of the Wall can be seen throughout the year and painting it often gives people something to look forward to. “The sky, the beach, the water, the sand, the people, the music,” Juhlin said. “It is just my favorite weekend of the year.”

Alanna Demetrius The Phoenix

The variety of paintings add color and creativity to the natural beauty of the park. Residents of the neighborhood relax in the grass behind the wall as they enjoy the pleasant weather and sunset.

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The sauce boss and pastry queen craft damn good eats in Ro-Po JACOB TRIVEDI

What comes to mind when I say “Hot Sauce?” Sriracha and Cholula? What about when I say “Bread?” That moldy loaf that’s sitting on top of your fridge? Yeah right, push those clowns aside because I’m talking about the real deal. Sauce and Bread Kitchen (SBK) is located at 6338 N. Clark St. — a very quick bus ride from campus taking the 36, 151 or 155 CTA bus line — has hot sauce and baked goods made locally in Rogers Park. Local Midwestern ingredients, superb craftsmanship and collaborating with other small Chicago businesses all make SBK a Rogers Park must-try. Mike Bancroft and Anne Kostroski are the owners of SBK, a collaboration of Mike’s hot sauce company Co-Op Sauce and Anne’s baking business Crumb Bread. Both chefs started out selling their products at farmers markets in Chicago. When Mike and Anne began dating, they realized they could join their businesses into one, thus planting the seed for what is now SBK. Upon entering the open and sunlit space, I was immediately drawn to the gigantic chalkboard menu. Descriptions written under every menu

Jacob Trivedi

The Phoenix

Sauce and Bread Kitchen’s daily special features mushrooms, cold-cured sausage, corn, tomatoes, cucamelon, sourdough, a sunny-side-up egg and gravy.

item highlighted the accoutrements that make each dish shine. A dozen or so tables occupied the floor on the other side of the room. The front windows allowed the sun to shine through and illuminate the exposed brick walls and the hot sauces along the shelf. The three of us nuzzled up at the corner end of the bar and began chatting. Mike has been making hot sauce since 2003 through his company CoOp Sauce. At the same time, Anne was baking and selling bread and pastries at farmers markets around Chicago.

They were working out of the back of a bar where they would build and refine their craft. Mike and Anne soon realized they needed a bigger kitchen space. That’s when SBK was born. Mike said that their menu was inspired by the supper clubs at their old space behind the bar. Mike and Anne got local ingredients from farmers markets and experimented with their baked goods and hot sauces. When they moved to Rogers Park, the surplus of space and kitchen area made it possible to add a cafe. Mike said

Riot Fest’s 15th year of rocking out MARY GRACE RITTER

For the 15th year, alternative music fans should prepare themselves for a weekend of moshing, headbanging and screaming along to headliners Blink-182, Slayer and Bikini Kill at Riot Fest Sept. 13-15 at Douglas Park (1401 S. Sacramento Dr.). Of the more than 90 acts performing at the festival, 11 have announced they’ll be playing full albums. Blink-182 is celebrating 20 years of its breakthrough album — “Enema of the State” — and The Flaming Lips said they will pay tribute to its 2002 hit album, “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.” Emo band Taking Back Sunday is set to play its debut album, “Tell All Your Friends,” and third studio effort, “Louder Now.” After 38 years on the metal scene, Slayer said this will be its final Chicago show. A part of its “The Final Campaign” farewell tour, fans will have one last chance to thrash around to the band’s intense live performance. Chicago natives Rise Against will likely be bringing its melodic hardcore tracks such as 2008’s “Savior” and 2011’s “Wait for Me” to the hometown crowd. A handful of bands may not be immediately recognizable, but dedicated fans of early-2000s pop punk will know them by some of their members from Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco and My Chemical Romance. Heavy metal group The Damned Things is a hodgepodge of rockers including Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley, the guitarist and drummer of Fall Out Boy, respectively. The hardcore outfit also features Every Time I Die vocalist Keith Buckley, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian and Alkaline Trio bassist Dan Andriano. Alternative duo I DONT KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME frontman Dallon Weekes spent years as the bassist of Panic! at the Disco. The band’s debut extended play (EP) features elements of electronic synth, ‘80s

the business from the cafe helps them connect with local farmers and collaborate with small business owners. I can wholeheartedly say the food doesn’t disappoint. I devoured the daily special — mushrooms, coldcured sausage, corn and pepper relish, tomatoes and cucamelon served on sourdough bread with a sunny-sideup egg submerged in-house gravy. The dish was bursting with flavor. The cucamelon — a small grape-sized fruit that tastes like a cucumber — added a slight tart note that complimented the smoked sausage and gravy. The corn and tomato popped with each bite and gave the dish a wave of freshness. The mushrooms and sausage gravy gave a rich and deep savory background to the fresh produce and crunchy bread. The availability of seasonal produce and one-off concoctions is what gives the standard menu such variety. “What gets us moving [with our dishes] is what we can find at the farmer’s market,” Mike said when he was explaining the addition of cucamelons in the daily special dish. Mike recommended I splash some “Jack-o’-lantern” hot sauce on the dish. Made with chocolate habanero peppers and roasted pumpkin, it added smokiness and heat to a wonderful breakfast dish. The bread served as a fantastic vessel to soak up the gravy and hot sauce. This could be a universal cure for a hangover or a bad breakup. I asked Mike and Anne if they were at all interested in opening up another brick-and-mortar location. Anne said, without hesitation, “No!” and the three of us burst out laughing. The restaurant business is cutthroat and Mike and Anne know it best.

Anne explained staffing has been an industry issue for the past few years. “We have a friend we spoke to the other day at The Publican. ... They’ve had ads up for three months and they’ve got nothing.” Whenever you go bigger, you need money from investors — some wiggle room for a rainy day. It just doesn’t make sense to open another location and they seem very content with their current space. When asked where they see themselves in five years, they both jokingly said they’d be retired. Mike and Anne are also interested in exploring the cannabis market after legalization is concrete in Chicago. Anne makes a bar called the Munchie Bar which at the moment is with honey, butter and oats. Both Mike and Anne expressed interest in exploring the possibilities of developing a cannabis line of their pastries when legalization occurs. Due to the legality of cannabis edibles in Chicago not yet being recreational, they have put that plan on hold until legalization becomes official. I hope they succeed because I’m craving some gourmet edibles. SBK was created by two passionate and kind individuals. It’s evident they wear their hearts on their sleeves. I could taste in their food the love they have put into their craft. My meal was $15 with the daily special and an iced coffee. All of their hot sauces are available at SBK or any Whole Foods in the Midwest. Their website is Check out their monthly events at the restaurant that supports local charity groups in Chicago and their ever-changing seasonal menu on their website.

‘Past Tense’ meshes classic and contemporary artwork MARCELLO PICCININI

Courtesy of Riot Fest

Spread across five different stages, over 90 bands are set to take over Douglas Park Sept. 13-15. Fans should prepare to mosh at the 15th annual Riot Fest.

pop and a driving bass, making for an identifiable sound. Frank Iero’s newest project — Frank Iero and the Future Violents — packs on the emotion-filled vocals with a rock and post-punk sound. Iero originally made his mark on the scene as the guitarist of the now broken-up My Chemical Romance. Jack White — known for his solo work and as The White Stripes’ frontman — recently revived his rock band The Raconteurs after a 10-year hiatus. The band is on tour in support of its newest guitar-focused album “Help Us Stranger.” Iconic acts such as Patti Smith, The B-52s and Village People will be gracing the Riot and Radicals stages, respectively. All are likely to play their timeless hits — Smith with her punk rock power ballads such as “Because the Night,” The B-52’s with its surf rock and soul influenced dance tracks such as “Love Shack” and Village People with crowd-pleasers “Y.M.C.A.” and “Macho Man.”

Those fresh off seeing “IT Chapter 2” can check out the infamous clown with skate punk band Pennywise, who has a song featured on the movie’s soundtrack. Acoustic rockers This Wild Life, Welsh group Neck Deep and alt newcomers Ultra Q are a few bands taking care of the pop punk side of things. Meanwhile post-hardcore Senses Fail, full-costumed monstrous GWAR and Mongolian throat-singing band The Hu are ensuring fans of more intense tracks are satisfied. It may be the wide selection of alternative bands that’s kept fans coming back for 15 years, but maybe it’s just the ferris wheel and the fest’s snarky Twitter persona sarcastically telling prospective attendees “No one else is going. You’re going to be all alone,” as they ask who’s coming. Either way, Riot Fest has reason to stand out. Single-day tickets to the fest currently start at $49.98 and a three-day pass at $149.98 before fees. Both are available on the festival’s website.

“Past Tense” — a collection of contemporary art pieces curated by Loyola Advanced Lecturer in Sculpture and 3D Design Betsy Odom — held its opening reception Sept. 5 from 5-7 p.m. to a packed Ralph Arnold Gallery. With hot dogs and drinks available, it catered to those with an appetite for art as well as food. The gallery will be open until Oct. 18. The name “Past Tense” may sound like a tour through the history of art, but the contents of the gallery are the exact opposite. “Past Tense” displays a wide range of pieces while showing how contemporary art is directly influenced by art history. The paintings, sculptures, crafts and photos by seven artists — Leslie Baum, Robert Chase Heishman, Whit Forrester, Shaurya Kumar, Matt Morris, Eileen Mueller and Sarah Nishiura — are displayed. “Galleries are mostly about piecing everything together in a cohesive way so that they all complement each other,” marketing associate Aly Raden said. “I think this gallery does that very well. ‘Pittu’ is our centerpiece, but it’s the grouping of every piece that brings it all together.” “Pittu” — a sculpture by Kumar — draws viewers to the center of the space. Taking inspiration from the Taliban’s destruction of the monumental Buddha statues in 2001 in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, “Pittu” expresses the novelty modern culture can find with relics of a supplanted society. Nishiura’s “Untitled Quilt (Black)” is comprised of all-recycled materials. Made up of a multitude of black and gray fabrics, the piece may look like a big blanket from afar, but upon closer examination, the pieces sewn into the quilt prod thoughts of sustainability and reusability.

Alanna Demetrius The Phoenix

Viewers admire Sarah Nishiura’s quilt on the wall of the Ralph Arnold Gallery.

“One of the interesting things about fabrics used as garments is the colors fade,” Nishiura said. “By taking recycled materials that have fallen to the same color from their time as garments, you start to see the differences in the colors as you pick apart and combine them.” The artists present at the gallery wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the decisions of Odom and Director of Fine Arts Rafael Vera, who have co-directed the Ralph Arnold Gallery for two years. They’ve been increasing the gallery’s reach and made the decision to focus more on artists who have been exhibited in galleries worldwide. “It’s so exciting to expose the Loyola community to what’s happening in art rather than showing them what’s happening through a textbook,” Odom said. “We show internationally exhibiting artists, but they all have some connection to Chicago.” Student workers are present at the gallery Thursdays from 12-7 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 12-5 p.m. until Oct. 18. All exhibitions in “Past Tense” are free to the public. For additional information, call 773-508-7510, send an email to or visit


SEPTEMBER 11, 2019


The Growlers and 1,000 of your closest friends at the Metro MARY GRACE RITTER

I’m so glad I have friends with such good music taste. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have known about The Growlers. It can take me a minute to warm up to new artists, so I didn’t go into the psychedelic rock band’s show at the Metro (3730 N. Clark St.) Sept. 7 knowing every word. But now I’ve found a new band to add to my ever-growing list of “artists Mary Grace cares about.” Everything about the concert felt welcoming — like a bunch of friends hanging out and enjoying the music. I arrived at the Metro not 100 percent sure they would let me in — my spot on the list wasn’t officially confirmed. Luckily, the man working the list was helpful. He got in touch with the proper people to ensure I was able to cover the show. The welcoming energy continued as I got into the venue. Everyone politely scooted aside as I weaved my way up to

the photo pit. The security guard who let me into the pit asked me how I was and the fellow photographers smiled as I entered. These small moments set the tone for the whole show. The Growlers’ brand of rock evoked nostalgia with its lo-fi vocals reminiscent of old-timey singers, reverb-ridden guitars of ‘60s surf rock and groovy bass lines. The opening track “Big Toe,” off the band’s 2014 album “Chinese Fountain,” pulled these elements together playfully. The track reminded me of “Sweet Tangerine” by The Hush Sound — a song I’ve loved for years. The common thread of both songs is the sense of movement — consistent percussion and rhythm guitar meshed with spirited strumming of the lead and bass. It left me bouncing around in the photo pit. Who says you can’t have fun on the job? Lead singer Brooks Nielsen matched that movement as he waltzed across the stage in his red collared shirt and floorlength navy coat. “Big Toe” subverted this lively energy with the bitter lyrics, “She’s a lost cause so cut your losses.” The Growlers shifted the tone with the love song “Someday.” The couple next to me in the crowd started dancing and twirling each other as Nielsen sang, “One day you’re gonna be my wife / You’ll never have to worry again / I’m gonna be your man.” If that doesn’t give you hope for love I’m not sure what will.

Pure moments like that warmed up the chill in the air outside. It got so warm in the venue I started to regret my longsleeve-shirt choice. As soon as I began to break a sweat, someone turned on the industrial-sized fan to my right. It was The Growlers’ biggest fan. In all seriousness, it felt like everything occurred to make me comfortable and relaxed, leaving me free to fully appreciate every guitar solo and catch the small interactions on stage. There was clear bromance between guitarist Kyle Straka and bassist Brad Bowers. The two occupying the right side of the stage together intertwined their arms as they played their respective instruments. Straka even gifted Bowers a flower from the crowd. Bowers graciously accepted and held the flower in his mouth as he continued to play. Bowers got his time in the spotlight with the track “Beach Rats,” which began with just the bass. One of the best but most underappreciated elements of a song is a snazzy bass line, so hearing one build off the bass made me happy — total mysterious vibes like a Scooby-Doo mystery. Closing track “Going Gets Tough” left the show off on a positive note. It was the seaside-carefree anthem I needed. The reminder, “When the going gets tuff / That the labor of our love / Will reward us soon enough,” was just the right reassurance. The Growlers is available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music.

Mary Grace Ritter

The Phoenix

The Growlers’ guitarist Kyle Straka gets tied up in his guitar cord during the set.

Mary Grace Ritter

The Phoenix

Frontman Brooks Nielsen sings out to the crowd gathered for The Growlers’ show.

‘IT Chapter Two’ brings a terrifying ‘The Band’s Visit’ is conclusion to the Stephen King franchise something different LUCAS NABER

With “IT Chapter Two,” director Andy Muschietti (“It,” “Mama”) evokes the grotesque mix of emotions only one’s hometown can inspire, resulting in a conclusion film that’s weirder, longer and impressively bloodier than its first chapter. Based on Stephen King’s infamous 1986 novel “IT,” the second half of Muschietti’s adaptation changes the time period, but not much else. It’s been 27 years since monstrous clown Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) preyed on the children of fictional town Derry, Maine in 2017’s “IT.” The members of the Losers Club who fought It have gone their separate ways, but only one remembers the events of the summer of 1989: Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa), who never left Derry. When police report a series of mutilated bodies in Derry, Mike calls each member of the club to remind them of their oath: if It ever comes back, the Losers will too. “IT Chapter Two” balances its ensemble even better than the first film. The Losers do come back, but they’re not close friends like they were in 1989. They don’t know each other like they used to, and Mike almost loses the group before he’s able to convince Bill Denbrough (James McAvoy) his plan to kill Pennywise will work. With Bill’s leadership, the group reluctantly assembles once more. The ensemble’s performances round into shape as the characters refresh their memories together. Sitting at a Chinese food restaurant early in the film, the Losers slowly begin to remember why they were childhood best friends. Richie Tozier (Bill Hader) is still a loudmouth and Eddie Kaspbrak (James Ransone) has gotten more neurotic with age. Beverly Marsh (Jessica Chastain) is still courageous despite navigating an abusive relationship with her husband (Will Beinbrink). Stanley Uris (Andy Bean) might not remember the events leading up to it, but he never forgot his oath with the Losers. Bill assumes his natural role as the group’s leader, Mike guides the group through his plan to kill It and Ben


Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Bill Skarsgård returns as Pennywise for more fun and games in “IT Chapter 2.”

Hanscom (Jay Ryan) is still mild-mannered and in love with Beverly. The whole cast does phenomenal work with a broadly varied script by Gary Dauberman that transitions from horror-comedy to melodrama to cosmic nightmare in the blink of an eye. Still, Hader (“Barry,” “Trainwreck”), Skarsgård (“Atomic Blonde,” “Assassination Nation”) and Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Molly’s Game”) give the most intricate performances. Hader’s Richie plays confident and quick-witted, but he doesn’t manage to completely cover up the insecure kid he’s pretending not to be anymore. Chastain’s Beverly starts as a closed book. Returning to Derry helps her break free of her toxic marriage, but forces her to confront her father’s past abuse. Chastain’s performance indulges in the shrouded joy of newly remembered childhood memories, but it’s when Beverly’s repressed trauma starts floating to the surface that Chastain begins to elevate the material. Skarsgård’s Pennywise is still a sarcastic, exuberant child-eater, but the film pulls back the layers on the creature’s animalistic motivation. Pennywise is still laughing, dancing and pranking its victims, but this time it’s clear that Pennywise’s act is a hunting strategy, not a comedy routine. It hunts for one reason: cavernous, consuming hunger. It’s a small miracle that Skarsgård can communicate these layers implicitly, under heavy prosthetics. Pennywise

is not human, and Skarsgård doesn’t try to make It one. He brings just enough humanity to the performance that it’s completely jarring every time Pennywise swallows another child whole. King’s “IT” is 1,138 pages long, which justifies Muschietti’s two-part adaptation spanning over 5 hours. “Chapter Two” is 2 hours and 49 minutes long, but Muschietti uses the length to incorporate an impressive amount of King’s source material. The film’s tension escalates frantically, and there’s not a wasted second of the film’s generous runtime. It’s clear through the film’s iconography and thematic reach Muschietti understands the appeal of King’s novel, and isn’t afraid to get weird with his adaptation. Certain aspects of the novel’s more abstract supernatural elements are omitted, but the creature design, camera movement, color palette and sense of humor are all delightfully macabre for a blockbuster film. “IT Chapter Two” primarily achieves its horror by physically manifesting the anxieties the Losers Club tried to leave in Derry. Pennywise knows about Ben’s self-esteem issues and Beverly’s abusive father. It knows Bill blames himself for his brother’s murder. Muschietti knows the Losers’ story can only end one way: by making the group’s fight against Pennywise a simultaneous reckoning with their pasts. “IT Chapter Two,” rated R, is playing in theaters nationwide.

Crowds filed into the Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 W. Randolph St.) Sept. 4 for the third performance of “The Band’s Visit,” which is making a stop in Chicago for its national tour. The winner of 10 Tony Awards, the musical transported the audience to the fictional Israeli town of Bet Hatikva for a night of dreamy Arabic music, authentic instrumentation and goosebump-inducing ballads. “The Band’s Visit,” written by David Yazbek and Itamar Moses, is based on the 2007 movie of the same name. The production began as the lights dimmed and white words projected on a black screen reading, “Once not long ago, a group of musicians came to Israel from Egypt. You probably didn’t hear about it. It wasn’t very important.” The screen rose to reveal the eight musicians at the bus station trying to get tickets to the Israeli city of Petah Tikva. In a hilarious misunderstanding caused by an Egyptian accent, the group mistakenly winds up in the middle-of-nowhere town known as Bet Hatikva. With no hotels available and no buses running till morning, the group must seek refuge in the homes of the Israeli townspeople. A single night’s story is packed into 90 minutes with no intermission as to not interrupt the dreamlike flow of the narrative. The show is revered for its use of authentic Arabic instruments, and for good reason. Contrary to most Broadway musicals, onstage actors actually play their instruments, which include the guitar-esque oud, the tambourine-like riq and a darbuka, otherwise known as a goblet drum. From a payphone to a jukebox, every aspect of the set communicated a town behind on the times. The production featured set pieces resembling crumbling homes and rundown establishments, letting the cast compensate with their developed and layered characters.

Joe Joseph shined under the blue hues of low-lit lighting as the flirty albeit somewhat halfwitted Haled. Joseph caught audiences off guard when he serenaded rollerblading couples with “Haled’s Song About Love” with a voice smooth as glass and sultry as perfume. Chilina Kennedy entranced the crowd as Dina, whose dark lips, intense rouge and thick black hair immediately cemented her as a femme fatale with a twist. Instead of heartbreaking, Dina often finds her heart broken, whether it’s by the husband who left her or the married man with whom she’s been sleeping. Kennedy made the audience’s hearts ache for Dina. She captured the desolation of someone who used to be free, wild and in love, but now submits to the confines of waitress work that leaves her socially immobile in a town with nothing for her. The allure of Dina’s character was in part due to Kennedy’s robust voice — she sang the haunting “Omar Sharif ” with a poignant mix of pain, nostalgia and wanting, leaving listeners mystified. While plenty of songs — including “Waiting” and “Answer Me” — illustrated the melancholic attitudes of the townspeople who have no choice but to remain in the beaten-down Bet Hatikva, their coping methods were reflected in the balance of humorous songs, such as “Welcome to Nowhere” and “Papi Hears the Ocean.” “The Band’s Visit” warranted a standing ovation from the moment the stage lights went out, and that’s exactly what it was met with. Crowds leapt to their feet in applause as the cast bowed in unison. While “The Band’s Visit” might not have the fan following of “Wicked” or the modern-day political consequences of “Hamilton,” it takes audiences on a one-night tour into the lives of people halfway across the world. “The Band’s Visit” is playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre through Sept. 15 and tickets can be purchased at the box office or online at www.

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SEPTEMBER 11, 2019

Tyler, The Creator brings his Igor persona to the Credit Union 1 Arena MARY GRACE RITTER EMILY ROSCA

“I hope all is well,” Tyler, The Creator said to his rowdy audience at the Credit Union 1 Arena (525 S. Racine Ave.) Sept. 4. Of course they were well — they were in the presence of Igor. Before it was time for Tyler, rappers GoldLink and Jaden Smith — who goes by simply Jaden professionally — warmed up the crowd. GoldLink, his onstage DJ and his bucket hat brought the energy for those arriving on time at the arena. Jaden prepared the crowd for his arrival with the melancholic “P,” from his newest album “ERYS,” and videos of a soft pink sunset. The mood quickly shifted when he burst onstage to snappy hip-hop beats. He commanded the crowd into mosh pits throughout his set, but the chaos reached its peak during his stand-out punk rock track “Fire Dept.”

Jaden repeatedly thanked Tyler for bringing him on tour, speaking to the rapper’s influence and friendship. He showed his gratitude by starting multiple “IGOR” chants and dedicating his track “Icon” to Tyler, saying he’s “an icon living.” After crew members Swiffered the stage, the house lights dimmed to reveal a single spotlight shining in the center of a silver metallic curtain. Tyler walked on stage, microphone in hand, donning a cerulean suit and a blonde, bowl-cut wig — typical of his “IGOR” persona — and assumed his position in the spotlight. Tyler, The Creator — whose given name is Tyler Okonma — remained stationary and silent in the spotlight, head down in a power stance, as “IGOR’S THEME” resonated through the speakers. As the introductory piece on the artist’s latest album washed over the audience, he only broke his statute pose to shriek and occasionally sing the lyric “running.” He finally let loose into sporadic dance moves when the full beat dropped and strobe lights

filled the arena. In that moment, the audience required nothing more from the singer. The venue became a frenzy of shouting and shoving. Cell phones rose in the air as fans reacted to the artist simply breathing their same air. These were the same fans who waited in massive lines circling Credit Union 1’s hallways to purchase merchandise of T-shirts decorated with Tyler’s head. A floor-to-ceiling silky blue curtain, matching Tyler’s suit, dropped down after the opening track. The set design was clean but intricate with dozens of lights framing the stage. Those lights swirled around the venue, creating a pink glow for the love song “PUPPET.” The set continued to evolve — dramatically ripping away the curtain a few songs later to reveal layers of white fringe, which would be used as a projection screen. With the audience already entranced, Tyler waltzed over to the piano to play a prelude to his hit track “EARFQUAKE.” The audience belted

out the lyrics, making it difficult to hear the featured artist on chorus. Song after song, fans jumped and danced, but even with all the motion, only the deep bass of “Yonkers,” off Tyler’s debut album “Goblin,” was enough to shake the concrete floor of the arena. The simple beat reverberated through the venue, leaving space to highlight his rapping skills. Tyler already proved he can make an audience scream and bounce along with his performance, but his dry humor and profanity showed he can make them laugh, too. He made crass jokes and commented on what random audience members wear to his shows — in this case, one fan was called out for their “aluminum foil” attire. He also made fun of those who were sitting in lessthan-ideal sections. Midway through his set, Tyler turned to his right and told those sitting nearly side-stage they’re in the worst possible seats. “Enjoy this while it lasts,” he said to them as he stood as close to them on-

stage as he could. The jokes fit his onstage personality, but they didn’t always land. And when he makes the same joke at every concert, the theatrics detract from the authenticity of the otherwise genuine performance. His sweat-soaked suit served as evidence of that authentic commitment to the performance. He played up the drama at every turn, even as a center-stage riser elevated Tyler for all to see. The theatrics only riled the audience more. The crowd didn’t miss its chance to shine, singing the chorus of “See You Again” off Tyler’s revolutionary 2017 album, “Flower Boy.” Fans nailed it — even the backing vocals — showing they notice and appreciate every detail of Tyler’s music. Bringing the show to an end, Tyler belted out the last lines from “IGOR’s” closing track, “ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?” and collapsed to his knees atop the riser like the natural performer he is. “IGOR” is available to stream on all platforms.

Mary Grace Ritter

The Phoenix

Rapper Tyler, The Creator brought the Credit Union 1 Arena to life Sept. 4 with a setlist full of tracks from his newest album “IGOR” and old favorites. He had help from openers Jaden Smith and GoldLink.



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SEPTEMBER 11, 2019


Playbooks and Textbooks

Loyola sets new GPA record, wins MVC All-Academic Award Courtesy of Lukas Keapproth

Loyola’s 13 Division I athletics programs tallied a combined 3.484 average GPA — a new school record — and won its first Missouri Valley Conference All-Academic Award.


The jocks are hitting the books. Stealing the nerds’ thunder, Loyola’s student-athletes earned a higher grade-point average (GPA) than the general study body — winning the athletic department some hardware. Loyola earned the MVC All-Academic Award for having the highest average student-athlete GPA among MVC schools in the 2018-19 academic year. Loyola finished with a school-record 3.484 average student-athlete GPA. This marks Loyola’s first time winning the award, and it ended Bradley University’s three-year winning streak. Drake University finished second behind Loyola with a 3.446 GPA. For Loyola, women’s golf posted the highest GPA of any team with a 3.75 average. They were followed closely by the men’s cross country team, which put up a 3.71 GPA. The men’s track and field team finished as the only team at Loyola to post an average GPA below 3.0, finishing with a 2.94 — significantly lower than the second lowest which was women’s basketball at a 3.26.

The 3.484 average GPA among student-athletes is higher than the roughly 3.2 average GPA of Loyola’s entire student body. It’s important to note student-athletes have access to free drop-in tutoring, and have required study hall time. The majority of student-athletes are in the Quinlan School of Business or the College of Arts and Sciences, coming in at 54 percent and 33 percent, respectively, according to the Assistant Athletic Director for Academics and Student-Athlete Development Samantha Stewart. “There’s a culture here of academic achievement,” Loyola Athletic Director Steve Watson said. “Our teams take a lot of pride in what they do academically. … If you’re on the [men’s] cross country team and you get a 3.6 [GPA], you’re bringing the GPA down. It’s crazy how well they do.” Watson said while the student-athletes deserve praise for doing the work, the faculty also needs recognition for their role. One of the key members on the faculty side is Stewart. While Watson oversees the entire athletics department, Stewart takes a more hands-on approach when it comes to academics. Her role is to make sure

the roughly 215 student-athletes have the proper academic support. “Whether that is us meeting with our freshmen every week, or meeting with our academic success coaches … one-on-one [to help with] time management, study skills, things of that nature, note taking, how to destress,” Stewart said. Stewart said the academic advisors are especially involved with first-year student-athletes. As they get older and better adjusted to college, the academic support staff becomes less involved. Stewart also said the academic support process begins before a student-athlete is enrolled in the university. “We start in recruitment,” Stewart said. “We meet with potential student-athletes to go over what a degree at Loyola will consist of, what it’s comprised of and what are the requirements. That starts in the recruitment phase.” One of the most difficult aspects for student-athletes is scheduling classes, according to Stewart. This can be especially difficult for student-athletes who are required to take lab courses, such as biology and nursing majors. “If most teams travel [for away

competitions] on Thursdays and Fridays, we try not to [schedule student-athletes’] labs on Thursdays or Fridays because they’ll miss too many,” Stewart said. “The first week of school, all of our student-athletes walk in with their missed class letters or travel letters and they have that conversation with their professors.” Stewart said it’s important for student-athletes to start communicating with professors early in the semester. This allows the two sides to build a rapport, and it also gives the professors an idea of how many classes will be missed during the semester. From there, the professors will be able to advise the studentathletes whether or not it will be a good idea to remain in that course. This past academic year, women’s teams held six of the top seven team spots in terms of highest GPA at Loyola. Stewart praised the women their overall success, but said this was mostly a random occurrence and the ranking of men’s and women’s teams fluctuate over time. “It flips and moves and changes all the time,” Stewart said. “It you see the historical data, it just moves around sometimes. … Kudos to my ladies for doing their thing last [year].”

Men’s golf returns after disappointing 2018-19 finish NICK SCHULTZ

After finishing eighth out of nine teams at last year’s Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Championship, the Loyola men’s golf team spent its summer with a chip on its shoulder. With the 2019 season starting next week, head coach Erik Hoops said his team’s ready to put that disappointing finish behind them. “Obviously, our MVC finish wasn’t exactly what we hoped for,” Hoops said. “Obviously, everyone was kind of upset about it. … I talked to all the guys after it was over and was like, ‘Hey, here’s your motivation for what to work on this upcoming summer because we can’t let it happen again.’” Loyola returns four players from last year’s starting five, only losing Orion Yamat and his 75.7 stroke average, which ranked third on the roster. But Yamat struggled during the MVC Championship and, since only the top four scores count toward the total, his scores didn’t count after the first two rounds. That means the lowest scores came from the four players who return in 2019. With the season set to start Sept. 16-17 at the Crusader Collegiate tournament in Valparaiso, Indiana, senior Justin LaFrance called this year’s team

“the best team we’ve had in my four years at Loyola.” But LaFrance, 22, told The Phoenix he won’t be playing in the first tournament after re-injuring his back during practice leading up to the Crusader Collegiate. He initially suffered back spasms halfway through last year’s fall season and missed one tournament with the injury. The team has depth as first-years Timmy Crawford, Nolan Doherty and Zach Walsh join the team. Crawford has already made some noise in practice, carding a 4-under-par 68 during a qualifying round for the first tournament — which was a lower score than seven of the nine golfers who played last season. Sophomore Nate Vance, 20, said it’s made practice more competitive as the nine players on the roster try to land a spot in the starting lineup. “I think we have three really good freshmen … but they definitely have been pushing the older guys on the team to step up and earn their spots for this year,” Vance said. “We’ve seen some pretty good rounds out of those guys. I’m sure they can jump right in and help out in the lineup.” Hoops took over as head coach in spring 2016, meaning he has a roster full of players he recruited for the first time. Now that he’s coaching players who he thought would fit his game

plan, he said the pressure’s not just on them to succeed — it’s also on him. “I told [the team], ‘Look, I’m placing a ton of pressure, as well, on myself because now, I’ve brought all of you guys with a specific purpose and specific goal we’ve had in mind,’” Hoops said. “What we’ve been doing as a team hasn’t been enough, and what I’ve been doing as a coach hasn’t been enough because clearly, we haven’t reached those goals just yet.” Hoops said although his top goal is to win multiple tournaments, he’s curious to see where the Ramblers stack up against other MVC teams. To find that benchmark, Hoops scheduled tour-

naments in which some of the other MVC teams would be competing. “I set up our schedule in a way that hopefully will build some confidence for the guys,” Hoops said. “Each tournament we play at, I tell the guys, ‘Circle the MVC schools. Those are the schools that we need to beat, those are the schools that we want to beat.’” Loyola’s schedule starts with the Crusader Collegiate and continues with four more tournaments through Oct. 21-22, when the team takes its winter break before starting the spring portion of the schedule — which ends with the MVC Championship in south suburban Flossmoor April 27-28.

After helping the Loyola women’s soccer team to a 2-1 win over Univeristy of Missouri, first-year forward Megan Nemec and first-year goalkeeper Grace Droessler earned MVC weekly awards Sept. 9. Nemec repeated as MVC Newcomer of the Week and Droessler was named MVC Defensive Player of the Week. The win over Missouri was Loyola’s first over an SEC team since 2017.



SEPT. 15 AT 6 P.M.




@ SEPT. 14 AT 11 A.M.


SEPT. 14 AT 3:30 P.M.




Steve Woltmann Loyola Athletics

Senior Justin LaFrance has to miss the Crusader Collegiate due to a back injury.

Loyola Fall Invitational

SEPTEMBER 11, 2019


Strength of schedule critical for women’s soccer success LU CALZADA

The Loyola women’s soccer team’s non-conference schedule isn’t a smooth road with easy match-ups, and not without reason. Seeing different systems of play from top-ranked teams prepares the players for tougher conference games and the eventual conference tournament, according to head coach Barry Bimbi. This season alone, the Ramblers have played NCAA-ranked teams including No. 16 University of Wisconsin-Madison, No. 20 University of Kansas and No. 50 University of Illinois. Loyola fell 3-1 to Illinois and 6-0 to Kansas but drew 1-1 against Wisconsin. Last year, the Ramblers played schools such as then-No. 19 University of Notre Dame and thenNo. 14 Oklahoma State University, losing to both. “Playing against high-level teams obviously puts us out of our comfort zone a little bit,” Bimbi said. “You learn a lot about the girls in stressful situations. Can we handle it? Can this player handle playing at this level?” Coaches have total control over who they play in non-conference and aren’t told they have to play specific teams, according to Assistant Director of Athletic Communications Ryan Haley. He also said coaches may choose to play certain teams every year, such as with Loyola and schools like University of Wisconsin (UW)Milwaukee. An email is sent to all Division I head coaches with schools looking for g am e s , to w h i ch t h e y w i l l reply with their open dates for scheduling, Bimbi said. Scheduling and recruitment are both done a couple years in advance — the 2020 schedule is already done, along with most of 2021 — so Bimbi scheduled this year knowing they would have a talented team, he said. “I always try to respond to different places maybe we haven’t been,” Bimbi said. “Kansas is a new place for us. Missouri is a new place for us this year.” Bimbi said last season proved

Alanna Demetrius The Phoenix

The Loyola women’s soccer team’s 2018 non-conference opponents had an average RPI of 145 out of 353 Division I teams. The Ramblers had an overall RPI of 100.

facing tougher teams early in the season can prepare the team for conference play, saying the players “didn’t f linch” when they were down 2-1 late in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament final against Drake University. The Ramblers came back to win 3-2 and secure an NCAA Tournament bid and they only gave up one goal in the loss to No. 1 seed Florida State University — the eventual champion. Last year, the Ramblers’ rating percentage index (RPI) — which ranks all 353 Division I teams based on wins, losses and strength of schedule — ranked them 100th overall and 186th in non-conference. The average RPI of their non-conference opponents was 145th, the highest being 23rd for UW-Madison.

Senior midfielder Aleksa Tataryn said although it’s not fun to lose against higher-ranked teams, she likes playing them because it gives the team valuable experience. “I think it sets us up really well for the conference tournament [and] conference games,” Tataryn said. “To play at a really high level, I think that just sets us up for success.” Facing these different schools also allows the team to play more teams outside Illinois, Bimbi said. Playing at new venues brings more excitement to the season, he said. Bimbi said Loyola is lucky because the administration supports making the schedule this way. He added other schools may simply want wins no matter who they play, but Athletics Director Steve Watson understands the bigger

picture of playing difficult teams even if they lose those individual games. Watson said he discussed Bimbi’s schedules and reasoning in one of their first conversations when Watson arrived at Loyola. Watson added since Bimbi knows the team and soccer in general better than he does, Watson has always supported his tough schedules. “What he’s really done is built a solid program that they can compete at the highest level year in and year out,” Watson said. Bimbi said he chooses to play UWMilwaukee in scrimmages every year because of his relationship with UWMilwaukee’s head coach, Troy Fabiano. The two coaches went head-to-head as players in college, with Bimbi at St. Francis University and Fabiano at

Robert Morris University. The Ramblers also play DePaul University each year — one game at Loyola Soccer Park and one at DePaul — and UW-Madison. Senior defender Madison Laudeman said through the tough match-ups, players have learned they can compete with top-ranked schools. She said last year’s close loss to Notre Dame helped them realize their capabilities and fuel them toward improvement. “I think that’s one thing that we all take into playing teams that are maybe higher ranked than us,” Laudeman said. “We have the ability, and it’s only going to make us better.” The Ramblers are set to play DePaul Sept. 12 at Loyola Soccer Park. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Women’s volleyball assistants on the rise in collegiate athletics ANDREW ELLIOTT

Heading into their second seasons with the program, Loyola women’s volleyball assistant coaches Dave Brow n and S ondra Par ys have been recognized as recipients of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Thirty Under 30 Award. The award is an achievement that highlights up-and-coming coaches in men’s and women’s collegiate volleyball. Women’s volleyball head coach Amanda Berkley said the Thirty Under 30 Award is just one accomplishment for the two coaches and it speaks volumes to their experience and potential. Brown, 29, won the award in 2018 shortly after he was hired at Loyola, while Parys, 28, was acknowledged in 2019 with one season at Loyola under her belt. Coming off of a 1614 overall season, Parys was awarded despite a losing conference record of 8-10 in 2018. After having previously worked with Berkley as an associate head coach at the University of Southern Mississippi, Brown said he transitioned seamlessly into his current position. Brown said it’s his familiarity with Berkley as a coach and as a person has helped Brown in scouting opposing teams and future players. “[Berkley and I] are both from the same area and knowing each other and having that kind of relationship makes being on the same page a lot

easier,” Brown said. “[Our previous work experience] helps with not only the on-the-court stuff but the off-thecourt as well.” Parys joined the Loyola staff after spending two years as an assistant coach at Queens University of Charlotte where the team made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. After helping lead the Ramblers to their first winning season since 2015, Parys said she aims to continue to improve off of last season. Leaving such a successful program was difficult for Parys, but she said the transition to Loyola has been nothing but a positive experience. Berkley said Brown and Parys’ skills as scouts are instrumental to the program’s success, as Loyola seeks to progress. Their ability to put forth weekly reports on future prospects and opponents will continue to help the rebuilding Ramblers, according to Berkley. “Both [assistant coaches] do a really nice job with interacting and getting to know recruits and showing what a great university this is,” Berkley said. “We’ve got some good quality coaches that are young, but up-and-coming.” After winning the Thirty Under 30 Award in the spring, Parys said the award showcases the prestige of Loyola volleyball and the future potential within the program. Brown said he was honored to receive award and looks forward to adding future team accolades to his trophy shelf. “I don’t really put too much stock

Steve Woltmann | Loyola Athletics

Loyola women’s volleyball assistant coaches Dave Brown and Sondra Parys were both named Thirty Under 30 the last two years.

into it but it’s nice to be recognized for something like that,” Brown said. “At the end of the day, awards are great but I want a banner and so I would gladly trade [the AVCA Thirty Under 30 Award] for a banner.” Brown said Berkley took a risk on hiring him at Southern Mississippi and has served as a kind of teacher to him as he continues to improve at Loyola. With Brown and Berkley reunited at Loyola, Brown said they have been able to continue to grow

and learn together. “[Berkley] took a chance on me six years ago and it’s been a great working relationship and she’s not only my boss, she’s my friend,” Brown said. “She’s been a really great mentor and she’s taught me so much about this process.” Parys said working alongside Berkley has helped her find a system that best works with week-to-week scouting of future players and opposing teams. She said the community of Loyola Athletics

puts everyone involved in a position to succeed. “I think Loyola is a place where you can win and you have all the right tools to do so,” Parys said. “[The coaching staff ] gets along and we like and respect each other. … For the team to see [the coaching staff get along] they respect us that much more.” Loyola are scheduled to continue their season Sept. 13 when they take on Virginia Tech in the Amy Svoboda Memorial Classic Tournament.


SEPTEMBER 11, 2019

‘Connecting the Dots’ for 5 years of men’s basketball success

Nick Schultz | Sports Editor

Nick Schultz The Phoenix

Junior center Cameron Krutwig is one of only three players left from the Final Four roster and is sure to play a key role in sustained success for Loyola the next two years.

Before the days of “Fortnite” and “Candy Crush,” kids used to enjoy the simple things in life like a game of “Connect the Dots.” The dots usually formed some sort of shape. If you connected the wrong dots, it wouldn’t look like a shape anymore. The 2019-20 Loyola men’s basketball team started its own game of “Connect the Dots” when its schedule was announced last week. Now that fans know when the Ramblers are playing, they’re asking what they can expect to see this year. It’s a long answer — and it begins during the 2016-17 season when the team was in a similar situation to which it’s in now. That year’s roster consisted of one senior, six juniors, one sophomore and three first-years. Three years later, the roster looks strikingly similar: one senior, six juniors, two sophomores and three first-years. That 2016-17 team finished fifth

in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC), but also set the stage for Loyola’s magical run to the 2018 Final Four because the three juniors from that 2016-17 roster became central parts of the offense as seniors. This time, more than a year removed from the bracket-busting run, expectations are much higher. Fans can’t help but be hungry for an MVC regularseason three-peat. It’s important to point out only three players remain from that Final Four rotation: senior Bruno Skokna and juniors Cameron Krutwig and Lucas Williamson. That’s quite a bit of turnover in just a couple years. Another MVC championship is the obvious goal, and an attainable one. But 2019-20 should be thought of as a building year toward an NCAA Tournament run, just as 2016-17 ended up being. Except 2019-20 shouldn’t just set up 2020-21 as March Madness-or-bust. It

could set up the next five years — and here’s where our game of “Connect the Dots” begins. The first dot is the roster setup. Skokna is the only player who’ll graduate in May, meaning everyone else is set to return as of publication, including my projected 2019-20 starting lineup of Williamson, Krutwig, Keith Clemons, Aher Uguak and Tate Hall. In 2020-21, that potential starting five would consist of three seniors (Wiliamson, Krutwig and Clemons) and two redshirt seniors (Uguak and Hall). That also doesn’t account for the fact sharpshooter Cooper Kaifes would be back in the rotation after recovering from a torn labrum. Even if a couple players transfer, that’s going to be one damn good roster if that core stays together. But how does that tie into the four years after that? That leads us into the second dot: the underclassmen.

This year’s first-year class of Paxson Wojcik, Tom Welch and Marquise Kennedy is head coach Porter Moser’s best since he arrived at Loyola. They have the potential to be instant-impact this season and if Loyola can capitalize on what it’d bring back in 2020-21, could be instrumental in keeping the program on top of the MVC. With the commitment of Baylor Hebb Sept. 9, Moser doesn’t have any more scholarships to offer for the high school class of 2020. But given the NCAA reported an average of 1.8 players transferred between fouryear schools in 2018, he could gain one or two more. With his recruiting ability, he could use a 2021 NCAA Tournament appearance as yet another marketing tool. Now we’ve reached the final dot of our game: keeping Moser at Loyola. Rambler fans held their breath in

April when Moser was offered the head coaching position at St. John’s University in New York — and turned down the reported $2 million per year offer. Loyola Athletics revamped his contract after the Final Four, extending him through the 2025-26 season. If he stays in Rogers Park that long, the window of opportunity would stay open. That’s a big “if.” The reason “Connect the Dots” is challenging is because the lines are never straight. This line is no exception. It twists and turns the same way the Chicago River winds through the downtown skyscrapers. But the dots connect, even if it seems like it’ll take some work to make it happen. We all know Moser preaches a “one day at a time” mentality. But come on, fans have to at least be starting to think about how good 2020-21 could be, right? I know I am.

Women’s v-ball wins 2 of 3 matches at Rambler Challenge Men’s basketball ANDREW ELLIOTT

The Loyola women’s volleyball team (3-4) hosted the Rambler Challenge Sept. 6-7. The Ramblers finished with a 2-1 record in the fourteam tournament. Western Michigan University, Montana State University and Loyola University Maryland also competed in the Rambler Challenge. Western Michigan dominated the tournament, winning all three games. LoyolaMaryland failed to win a game, going 0-3 in the tournament. On Sept. 6, the Ramblers had a doubleheader, playing LoyolaMaryland at noon and Montana State at 7:30 p.m. After narrowly dropping the first two sets against Loyola-Maryland, the Ramblers came back to win the next three sets by a combined eight points to win their first home game of the season. “The match [against Loyola-Maryland] was a very tough match,” Loyola head coach Amanda Berkley said. “We gutted out a win, and I think that was huge just for the confidence of this team and to show that we can and we can play how we want to play.” Senior outside hitter Quinn Spieker dominated for the Ramblers, finishing with 15 kills and four service aces — both team highs. Heading into their second match in the span of 8 hours, the Ramblers faced the Montana State Bobcats. In the first set, no team led by more than two. The Ramblers were able to edge the Bobcats by a score of 28-26 to take the first set. Loyola proved to be too much for the Bobcats, as the Ramblers took the second and third sets, as well. This victory was Loyola’s first three-set sweep of the season. First-year outside hitter Addie Barnes recorded a double-double against Montana State with 11 kills and

13 digs. In the same game, the Ramblers were led by Spieker with 18 kills, and she also contributed with 11 digs. “It’s tough playing two games [in one day], especially since we went into five sets in the first game,” Barnes said. “Your body gets tired, but that’s where your mental toughness comes in.” The Ramblers faced Western Michigan Sept. 7 at 2 p.m. — their third game in less than 30 hours. The Broncos proved to be too much for the Ramblers, as Western Michigan won in four sets. However, Loyola dominated the second set 2511 to win its lone set. A late Loyola surge almost extended the game to a fifth set, but the Broncos managed to win the fourth set 25-21. Following the loss, Berkley said Loyola struggled with Western Michigan’s aggressive serves. The Broncos had 10 service aces — including six in the fourth set — which is the most Loyola has allowed through seven games this season. “[Western Michigan] served aggressively in sets three and four,” Berkley said. “Our service game broke down.” Through the three games, Spieker led the Ramblers with 40 kills. Redshirt senior defensive specialist Maddy Moser contributed a team-high 40 digs throughout the Rambler Challenge. Berkley said the Rambler Challenge was useful for gaining experience and working out various problems, especially among the younger players on the team. “It’s nice to play at home,” Berkley said following the tournament. “It was a really good learning experience for us. We had great crowds, especially [the game against Montana State Sept. 6]. … All of this is going to help prepare us for conference play.” Loyola is next scheduled to play Virginia Tech Sept. 13 as they enter the Amy Svoboda Memorial Classic Tournament in Colorado Springs, Colorado. First serve is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

adds 2020 commit NICK SCHULTZ

Stephanie Miller The Phoenix

Junior Elle Van Grinsven prepares for the serve against Western Michigan Sept. 7.

Stephanie Miller The Phoenix

Redshirt senior Heather Kocken and senior Quinn Spieker jump to block the ball.

The Loyola men’s basketball team picked up a commitment from the high school class of 2020 Monday morning — and might have solidified its 2020 recruiting class in the process. Baylor Hebb, a 6-foot-1 guard from Colleyville, Texas, announced his commitment to Loyola on Twitter. Hebb took his official visit to Loyola this past weekend and is listed as a three-star recruit on, a well-known recruiting website run by Yahoo Sports. Rivals also ranked him the 38th-best shooting guard prospect in the nation. Hebb chose Loyola over two of the Ramblers’ Missouri Valley Conference foes: Drake University and Valparaiso University. He also received an offer from high-major schools Baylor University and Saint Louis University, according to Rivals. Once Hebb signs his National Letter of Intent (NLI) Nov. 13, Loyola won’t have any scholarship spots available for the 2020-21 season. In 2018, the NCAA reported an average of 1.8 players transferred between four-year schools, meaning Loyola could pick up another scholarship spot if anyone decides to transfer after the 2019-20 season. Per NCAA policy, Loyola head coach Porter Moser can’t comment until Hebb signs his NLI. Hebb couldn’t be reached for comment at the time of publication.

Nick Schultz The Phoenix

Hebb is Loyola’s first 2020 commit.

Profile for Loyola Phoenix

Loyola Phoenix: Volume 51, Issue 4  

Loyola Phoenix: Volume 51, Issue 4