TRUMAN’S UPTOWN EXCHANGE The premier news source for Truman College and the surrounding community
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Summer : 2008
Clean Yourself Up Your Planet Too
By Kevin Rushing Staff Writer
You pour cereal into the bowl. You break a couple of eggs in pursuit of the perfect day-opening breakfast. You, like most Americans, discard the used packaging and even take time to sort out most of the recyclables. You are a responsible citizen. Still, you may be contributing to what many experts believe is the most critical issue of our time- the destruction of our environment. You are not alone. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American has been producing approximately 4.5 pounds of waste per day since 1990. The resulting accumulation of garbage has led many individuals such as Truman faculty member and Science Club sponsor Dr. Mahesh Gurung, or “Dr. G” as he is known by students, to reconsider his relationship with the environment and to seek new ways to reduce the negative effect that he is having on it.
“If I need this plant to breathe, and it is dying, this is a serious problem,” Dr. G explained. In keeping with Dr. G’s message, millions of people around the globe decided to pledge their commitment to “going green” by celebrating Earth Day this year. Earth Day events were held in eight U.S. cities, including Chicago, New York and Miami, and in about 180 countries in what was billed as the largest campaign ever to promote action on global warming. Truman College was no exception. On Saturday, April 19 Dr. G accompanied 30 Truman students and faculty to the Bunker Hill forest preserve in recognition of Earth Day and to clean up the woods. The preserve is approximately 100 square acres and lies primarily within the Chicago city limits, bounded by a parking lot on the north, Caldwell Ave. on the east, the North Branch of the Cicago River on the west and Devon Ave. on the south. Bending, sweating, scraping knees and getting dirty, the volunteer workers cleared dead trees and undergrowth and picked up
trash in order to assist native plant and animal species thrive. The event was organized by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) in conjunction with Friends of the Park, a Chicago Park Advocacy organization. PTK Vice-President Helen Adesanya described the event as, “very hectic but very good. You really have to be on-site to understand the crisis,” she said. According to Dr. G, the cleanup effort was part of larger initiatives both in Illinois and around the world. To do their part for Earth Day, the local non-profit organization Jesus People (jpusa.com) contracted Clean-Slate Chicago, another non-profit organization concerned with cleaning up the city’s sidewalks. They also provide cleaning supplies and safety information to local school children as they make their way around Uptown picking up litter. “It’s important that every individual recognizes their part in the ecosystem and takes responsibility for their actions with regard to pollution,” said one Clean Slate representative. In Cook County, those interested in protecting Illinois’ biodiversity and reinvigorate its ailing ecosystem can seek out
the North Branch Restoration Project. Dr. G has been a participant for twelve years. “The North Branch Restoration Project is concerned with protecting biodiversity of native plant and animal species in the remaining prairies of [North-East] Illinois,” he said. According to the NBRP Web-site, “The results have been spectacular. Areas under management are increasingly rich with a great diversity of rare animals and plants of the prairies and woodlands. In prairies, plants such as cream false indigo, purple prairie clover, rattlesnake master, and bottle gentian have reappeared and are thriving. Many grassland animals, from the smooth green snake to the great spangled fritillary butterfly, survive here only because of these efforts.” Those who participated in Earth Day believe there is a need for individuals to strike out and make a difference for the environment, and millions have taken up the challenge. Still, some think more can be done. Environmental advocatates warn that if we don’t clean up after ourselves and don’t become more responsible, we will lose many more of our natural resources.
Truman’s ‘Got Guac’
Mysterious Signs Point To Something Spicy By Nandika Doobay
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Staff Writer Perhaps you may have seen one of those cryptic signs that were placed around the halls of Truman College in the last few weeks. With phrases like “Got Guacamole?” and “Do you Salsa?” these colorful posters hinted at the coming of some mysterious event. Other than the intriguing words that decorated the walls here and there, no other information was disclosed except for a date – “04/09/08”. The vagueness of this promotion left some students wondering what it was all about. Vince Parvez, a Graphics Design major, pondered the meaning of the phrases. “Some of the signs had me thinking it was about dancing, but some seem to be about food. Whatever it is, I’m interested.” The signs incited conversations and sparked curiosity, which grew as the date drew closer. A few days before the still unknown event, more informative posters were put up, making things a lot clearer. The new signs stated that
Latinos United For Education (LUFE) would be hosting a “Latin American Taste” featuring an array of dishes for a “minimal cost.” According to Truman’s website, LUFE is a student organization whose goal is “to provide support and understanding of Hispanic issues and culture, as well as to serve as a medium of communication between Latino and non-Latino students of Truman College.” When asked about purpose of the event, LUFE’s president, Jazmin Medrano said, “All the funds are going to ‘LUFE’s Academic Awards’. We want to help economically disadvantaged students of Truman to achieve their academic and career goals. Our plan is to give academic awards to five students this year.” LUFE sponsor Advisor Carlos Martin-Llamazares stated that the academic award was not the only reason for hosting this event. “The other goal of the activity is to promote Hispanic cultural diversity,” he said. Martin-Llamazares then added that “[LUFE] is going to sell
Photo by James Villalpando
Pan-Latin cuisine filled Trumans halls food from five different Latino-American restaurants.” The mysterious signs which first promoted the event were designed by Medrano and the buzz factor they caused seemed to have paid off on Wednesday, as students and faculty swarmed the hallway in front of the cafeteria, awaiting the unveiling of the food. Food tickets were sold, with prices being ‘minimal’ as advertised. Five dollars bought “Taste” goers 11 tickets; enough to sample a little bit of everything. In all, six Latin American cuisines were represented – Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Mexican,
Puerto Rican, Colombian and Guatemalan. Attendees also enjoyed a variety of Latin music as they noshed on dishes like ‘Maduro Frito’ which are fried,sweet plantains and ‘Aji de Gallina’, which is chicken cooked with walnuts, chili and cheeses. The event turned out to be so successful, that vendors were running low on food only an hour after the “Taste” started. Students and faculty continued to flood the hallway, buying up food tickets and devouring the remainder of the goods, and the occasional “Mmmm” could be heard as the last of the ‘Arroz con Pollo’ was being scooped from its tray.
James Villalpando Managing Editor
Christina Dalrymple News Editor
Lauren Vandermar Arts & Enteraiment Editor
Accepting Applications Opinion Editor
Jamie Kraut Editorial Assistants
Iqbal Muhammad Staff Writers
Kiesha Scherrer Nandika Doobay Kevin Rushing
Production & Design Department Graphic Designer and Production Manager
Aneta Takeva Photographers
Maasai Amewa Chirag Patel
Business Department Business Manager
Faculty Adviser Benjamin Ortiz Assistant Professor
Professional Affiliations College Media Advisers Illinois Community College Journalism Association Student Press Law Center
SGA Election Winners Unclear As school ends, nothing decided By Heather Henderson
You don’t know who your new Student Government Association (SGA) officials are. Neither does the college president or the dean. Not that you care; you didn’t even vote. According to Maegan Reddick, office manager of student services, only 424 of the 4,500 students who were eligible voted. Reddick says that 10 percent of the student population is required to make an election official, but only 9 percent voted. As a result, Brenda Weddington, Dean of Student Services, must now decide either to make the elections official or to hold new ones. According to the Student Government Constitution, SGA’s duty is to “represent the opinions, attitudes and desires of the student body.” They oversee student club activities, file student complaints and are allotted approximately $5000 each year from the student activity fee, which is included in your tuition. According to Reddick, part of the $5000 goes towards student clubs.
However, some students, like Ola Ogundipe, didn’t know that SGA received any part of her student activity fee. “I don’t even know of one (event) they had this year,” says Ogundipe. Ogundipe didn’t know about the elections either, which were held March 31 through April 3. However, due to a lack of candidates, they were extended to run from April 7 through April 12. “We had to ask people (to run for office),” says Maegan Reddick, office manager of student services. “We tried to ask student leaders, but, unfortunately, most of them are gone (no longer students at Truman).” Only two candidates ran unopposed in the elections. Jacob Ruiz and Miriam Cambray both ran for the office of secretary. Latarsha Jackson ran for president, Danijela Krizan ran for vice president and Krystal Tanami ran for treasurer. Once the candidates were found, “two or three posters were hung around
City raises Wilson Yard TIF to $52 million
Construction to start June 1 By Jamie Kraut Opinion editor
In an attempt to get construction for the $151 million mixed-use development at Wilson Yard back on track, city officials voted on April 9 to raise the TIF to $52 million. With the extra financial boost, construction is slated to start June 1. This was the second increase in less than one year. Last May, the TIF was raised from $35.6 million to $43.1 million with the condition that construction had to start no later then July 2007. Due to rising costs and constant funding issues, groundbreaking was postponed beyond that date and terms were renegotiated. Normally, TIF grants are not to exceed 20 percent of the total cost of a project. The Wilson Yard TIF was increased to cover approximately 33 percent of the cost due
to special circumstances. Rising costs and funding issues demanded extra assistance from the city and private investors. Uptown resident Nick Anderson isn’t holding his breath, though. “I’ve heard it all before,” he said. “There have been too many secrets and too many delays to get excited yet.” The “secrets” Anderson referred to is the constant use of the word “confidential”. “Plans were confidential,” he said. ”Reasons for delays were confidential. Private investors were confidential.” Anderson has his suspicions about the Wilson Yard development, but admits that he just wants it done. “I’m tired of the debates and tired of having to look at a heap of dirt,” he said. With ground-breaking scheduled for June 1, construction is projected to be finished in spring 2010. “We’ll see,” Anderson said.
the school, and flyers were handed out in the College Success Seminar (in order to alert students of the upcoming elections),” Reddick says. Despite this, some students, like Ogundipe, say they were unaware of the elections due to a lack of publicity. “They should make more noise about stuff like that,” says Ogundipe. On April 14, after the votes had been counted, Reddick said that due to the low voter turnout, the decision to make the elections official or to hold new ones would be left to Truman’s interim president, Lynn Walker. On April 16, Walker said that she had received the election results and would discuss the matter with her staff before making a decision. But, on April 23, Reddick said that Walker had passed that responsibility on to Weddington. Neither Walker nor Weddington could be reached for comment.
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Sexual Health in Uptown Organization’s focus Asian and African immigrants
By Lauren Vandermar News Editor
Smiling and energetic, William Tutol engages students with his sales pitch. He is a natural salesman, but his goal is not to push students into a newspaper subscription or a new bank account. He is “selling” free HIV tests at a campus located in the most infected area of the city. Tutol works for Asian Human Services, located in Uptown, whose mission is to provide health and social services for “Asians, immigrants and underserved communities.” HIV testing is just one part, albeit a crucial one. The rise of AIDS cases in Asia, particularly in India and Thailand has been devastating. Immigration from these areas to the US, particularly in urban areas like Uptown, necessitates an increase of services geared toward the health needs of the community.
Tutol just held a seminar at Asian Human Services entitled “Empowerment,” as part of the Banyan Tree program, which focuses on sexual health issues, but frames them inside larger issues for the Asian immigrant community. “We didn’t just talk about HIV and sex because approaching the issue that way might alienate people. We talked about about the stigma around HIV, sexuality, racism, ignorance, tolerance, real issues,” he said. Also discussed were “sexual triggers,” and how they relate to why people have unprotected sex. Said Tutol, “Most do it because of lack of information; it’s not talked about in this community. Others just don’t like the feeling.” The seminar was attended by five people, who heard about the event through the organization’s website or by word-ofmouth.
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Truman’s event on April 21 did not have a presentation, but it gave students an opportunity to engage in a dialogue about HIV testing and also take a free test. Six people were tested, which Tutol says was “more than he expected.” None of the target groups, Asian and African immigrants took a test. That’s okay though, according to Winnie Liu, who specializes in health needs of African immigrants. “We welcome anyone who has questions.” Liu came to Asian Human Services through Americorps. “I was told there is a definite need for volunteers in this area to get the word out and get people tested,” she said. Liu, like Tutol, reaches out to people from inside their community by heading to the places African immigrants gather. “I present at churches, places like that. I work
with a translator who speaks to everyone in French because a lot of people don’t understand English at all. I have people coming up and thanking me through the translator.” Besides HIV testing, the organization offers services like kidney screeing and blood pressure tests at its events. They offer condoms, literature, and have an on-site certified counselor for people who want to talk about their test results. All services are confidential. On May 21, Asian Human Services will hold free HIV and kidney screening in the lobby of their headquarters at 4753 N. Broadway. The organization offers an array of other services, including employment counseling, elderly support services, literacy programs and crisis intervention. Cost of all
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Breifs Bible Study By Alexa Gomez Contributing writer The Truman College Bible Study Club invites you to join them every Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in room 1917 to discuss and learn more about the world’s most published book, the Bible. Whether you are Protestant, Catholic, Jewish or Muslim, the Bible Club welcomes all students regardless of their religion. The Club does not solely focus on the Bible. It also covers religious song praises and prayers. Jeremiah Ewuoso, the Club President, explains, “The Bible Study Club program also covers teachings that can help students and members of the club to successfully pass examinations, and also to get the very best out of college.” Jeremiah encourages any student interested to come out and join them for a meeting. Students can learn about verses and meanings to the Bible that apply to their everyday lives, or just sit around and listen to others viewpoints. If you are interested, contact Jeremiah at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 773220-7418 for more information.
Student speakers show off talent, compete for prizes in-class for a grade, with classmates voting By Lauren Vandermar News Editor
What do Tokyo’s mass transit system, ancient Mexican ruins, an underwater hotel and an English car ferry all have in common? They are all topics discussed by some of the best student speakers at Truman for the sixth annual Speak Up competition held Thursday, Apr. 24. Seven finalists spoke to a packed Novar Hall; the audience consisted mostly of students supporting their friends and earning extra credit. Speeches were originally given
on their favorite two speeches. Class winners were given the opportunity to compete in Speak Up for prizes that included a $ 250.00 scholarship fromTruman, gift certificates from United Airlines and Borders Books and an Ipod dock. A panel of judges picked the winners. Sixteen students from various speech classes participated in the contest. The preliminary round was attended by judges only, who were in charge of selecting six students to go on to the final round. Instead, seven students went on to speak.
Sexual Health in Uptown (continued from pg.4)
programs are either free or charge on an income-based sliding scale. While the focus is on helping two specific communities, anyone can seek services. For Tutol, services and events like these are part of a larger mission in his own life. In his spare time he works for another organization, the Test Positive Awareness Network, which holds table events at locations in the gay community like bath houses. While living in New York City, he worked at an organization similar to Asian Human Services. When asked about his goals for AIDS-awareness in Uptown, he refers to his own experiences as a homosexual. “In gay culture, the information is out there. It is talked about openly and there are many resources. We are trying to bring that to this segment of the population. Awareness makes the difference.”
Photo by Chirag Petel
Wesley Daniel, winning speaker “It was a very tough preliminary round,” Franklin Reynolds, communications instructor and Speak Up coordinator, told the crowd. “Four finalists and two wild-card speakers are normally selected but it was such a close competition that judges made the decision to add another finalist. “This speaks to the caliber not only of the finalists, but of all the speakers in this competition,” Reynolds said. He told the crowd that the skills one learns in speech
class are valuable and can be applied to professional situations beyond college. Topics were all based around a theme: structures around the world. Winner Wesley Daniel spoke about the Poseidon Underwater Hotel, a pod-like structure that is urrently under construction. Daniel stood at the podium wearing flippers and a scuba mask, telling the audience that his gear was perfect for the place he would be telling them about. His cos-
tume and humorous delivery were part of a colorful speech that included a power-point featuring pictures of his structure. In second and third place were Scott Massey, who spoke about Tokyo’s train system, and Justin Katrichis, who talked about the White House. Massey contrasted Tokyo’s mindbogglingly efficient system with the CTA, drawing laughs from the crowd. His speech earned him a $ 200.00 certificate from United Airlines. Katrichis gave the audience some background about “America’s most famous address,” and won an iPod dock for his efforts. “There will be a house up for rent soon. The lease,” he said, “Runs for four years, eight if you are lucky.” The joke was part of an Attention Getting Device, a way to draw the audience in to the speaker’s topic. All speakers were rewarded with enthusiastic applause from the audience. Some groups cheered for individuals as they took the podium, adding to the atmosphere of friendly competition. Judges for the event included local community members and faculty. Dean Brenda Weddington, President Lynn Walker and instructors from various departments helped pick the winner. Audience members were encouraged to pick their favorites as well. Worksheets were given to all who attended, and everyone was encouraged to write who they thought did the best job. Benito Battung, who has attended Truman for two years, thought his classmate Lucas Siegel did the best job. “He was very well prepared, that was the difference for me.” Siegel spoke about the Himiji Castle and came in sixth place. Each of the sixteen contestants were given a 1GB flash drive and a $ 15.00 Borders gift card just for participating in the event. Currently the contest happens once a year. Reynolds praised all contestants, saying he would like to give students the chance to showcase their speaking skills every semester. He had nothing but praise for the evening’s speakers, “I have to say, of all the speech contests, this is the strongest we’ve had.” The resulting accumulation of garbage has led many individuals such as Truman faculty member and Science Club sponsor Dr. Mahesh Gurung, or “Dr. G” as he is known by students, to reconsider his relationship with the environment and to seek new ways to reduce the negative effect that he is having on it.
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How Community College changed my life Guest Editorials
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By Mohamed Sheikh A college or an institution of higher learning is what shapes your future and builds a solid foundation for many aspects of your life. It is the quality of education and training you go through that will determine where you may go in the future. My community college is a glowing example of this, and has changed my life in significant ways. Truman is the most diverse college in Chicago. It has well trained instructors and provides easy access to college resources. Truman is well known for its multicultural population. It has students from all over the world and from all walks of life. The different cultures help me because I get so many different ideas from people with different backgrounds. It also gives me confidence to change my perceptions about other people. The best part is that I learn new things everyday and that makes me appreciate everyone around me. It is quite interesting to have different cultures in such a small college. Secondly, Truman has made access to college resources very easy. It helps by providing day care center for my children. This service is very important because I am able to save money and time. My children also get an education, because they not only provide daycare, but they provide pre-school as well. I also have easy access to the school library, where I can find books and a lot of useful material to assist with my learning experience. As a student, the most important thing for me is information about fees and tuition. Truman provided me with the information I needed, and I eventually qualified for financial aid. Thirdly, Truman has provided me with very important courses that have helped me organize my life. I have acquired time management and basic computer skills in addition to learning how to succeed in college. I have a stronger vocabulary, and am confident I can put it to good use in the future. Finally, having well trained instructors is what I needed to achieve my future dreams. That need was fulfilled at Truman. I feel blessed to have had friendly and understanding teachers. It made my learning experience motivational and enjoyable. I feel that I am a better person now. I make better decisions and judgments.
Letters To The Editor
As a student and also a foreigner, I think some of the student’s behavior in class is unsuitable. There are a lot of disturbances. First of all, ringing cell phones in class is very disruptive to those who want to concentrate and listen to the teacher. It is also very rude to actually answer your phone in the class while the teacher is explaining material. It really breaks concentration. Not to mention, for those of us who speak English as a second language, it makes it even harder to fully understand what the teacher is saying. Second, the way some students treat their teachers is unbelievable. For example,I heard two students in my class using the B-word and the F-word toward our Math teacher. The teacher was very upset and cried. The assistant chairman of the Math department had to sit in on our class to witness what was going on. Students should remain calm and keep their cell phones off while in class. Just because you’re not interested in learning and passing the class, doesn’t mean that everyone feels that way. It’s very important to be attentive and think about your fellow students. Also, show your teacher respect. They are there to help you succeed in life. If you can’t understand that, maybe you’re not ready for college.
I’ve been a Truman student for two semesters, but I haven’t seen any sports teams that are serious about competing. I think we should develop serious plans for our teams. Every sport offers something good. I think sports make people healthy because whenever you participate, you are automatically exercising. Athletic organizations also help people get to know one another. Sports can bring good relationships between players. There are people from all over the world at Truman College, and there should be a lot of people interested in sports. Students from Europe, Asia and Latin America love soccer. Basketball is also an international sport. Right now we have a gym for basketball and swimming. Let’s put that space to good use. If we could somehow acquire a field for soccer or football, it would be great. In order to persuade students to participate and play competitively, we should have tournaments between groups of students or tournaments between other colleges. I hope Truman College will one day become one of the City Colleges that is well known for sports.
Sincerely, Rati Thamcharoneket
Photo by Anna Karewicz
I think Truman is one of the best colleges in Chicago. However, I want to address the negative side of the school: hygiene in the cafeteria and in the women’s restrooms. In the cafeteria, it’s hard to find a place to sit because of the dirty tables. The cafeteria is somewhere students spend a lot of time. It’s a place where they can eat and study at the same time. If we want to feel comfortable in the cafeteria, we have to clean up our garbage. It’s not up to the janitors to clean your entire mess, it’s your job. The next problem is the hygiene in the women’s restrooms. I am very disgusted by the dirty toilets. Most of the toilets don’t work because they are plugged up with paper towels or too much toilet paper. I think that hygiene in the school must be the first and the most important concern. My experience at Truman College has enriched me spiritually, but the hygiene on campus needs to be improved.
Sincerely, Iva Bogdanova
I would like to share some ideas about how to improve Truman’s environment and make Truman Uptown Exchange more interesting. I see a lot of complaints in students’ letters about the messy cafeteria, restrooms and other areas. Most of them blame the janitorial staff. Why don’t we take responsibility and clean up after ourselves? Each one of us cleans at home. Why don’t we do the same thing here? This will free the janitorial staff from having to clean up after us and let them get back to maintaining and improving our school.
Truman Uptown Exchange can help the cause by publishing incriminating pictures of sloppy students. Since most of us have a camera on our cell phone, let’s snap pictures of the mess-makers in action and post them in the newspaper in a new section called “Pig Pen.” We can fine them and give the money to the Uptown Exchange. I believe that this will help make students more respectful and the newspaper more popular.
Sincerely, Svetlana Abramova
I am writing about the Truman College Child Development Lab School. Most of their policies are excellent. However, I disagree with the policy regarding the fees which states, “There is no reduction of fees for additional children…”. According to the lab school, there will be no reduction in cost given to a family if there is more than one child enrolled in the program. It is unfair to parents that have a the desire to send more than one child to the school. It makes it hard for those who already have a low income. In today’s world, education is very important, and as a parent, I don’t want any child to suffer due to lack of financial resources. I personally believe that the school should take families with more than one child into consideration and give a reduction in fees.
Sincerely, Halima Chotani
Dog beach season! Let your dog off the leash at the beach Opinion editor
Chicago has become a very dog-friendly place to live. Fenced-in dog parks have sprouted up across the city. You can even bring your pooch to restaurants that have outdoor areas in the summer. More exciting than that, within the past decade, the northern portion of Montrose beach has gone to the dogs as well. Montrose Avenue dog beach is currently the only legal off-leash beach within the city of Chicago. Located between Lawrence and Wilson on Lake Michigan, the area has been updated to include a double gate entry and exit and a chain-link fence around the perimeter to prevent runaway dogs. Prior to these changes, there was a rickety fence that was easily penetrated by canines who really wanted to get in or out. A sand bar was created for owners whose dogs would rather play in the water than in the sand, allowing you to walk a half-block out from the shore. From there, you can throw your dog’s toy of choice and watch him eagerly chase it while jumping over waves. For dogs who don’t like water, there is plenty of sand for them to play in; just be prepared for it to cover their furry bodies.
Keri Martin takes her black Lab, Shadow, to the beach almost every weekend in summer. “It’s just a really good place to bring your dog,” she said. “My dog is as excited to go now as he was five years ago when I first brought him.” Martin also doesn’t get tired of seeing how purely happy a dog gets once through the second gate. “Most of them just take off and run as fast as they can,” she said.
Becky Isaac discovered the haven shortly after moving to Andersonville. Her 8-yearold Weimaraner was overweight at the time. “I didn’t think that walking him alone was enough to make him lose weight,” she said. “I figured I would take him to the beach, let him run and swim while I read and tanned, and hope for results.” Isaac was pround to report that “Oscar” lost 10 pounds. “He’s in near-perfect health, for an older dog,” she
Photo by Jamie Kraut
Dogs and owners alike enjoy the beach
said with a smile. While your pet is having the time of its life, there are rules that dog owner, must follow. First, your dog must be fully vaccinated, be spayed or neutered and have a special tag that proves it. The tags can be obtained for $5 from participating animal hospitals and are good for one year. It might seem like an inconvenience, but providing certification that your dog is healthy makes you a responsible owner and citizen. Not to mention, neglecting to have the tag can result in a minimum fine of $250. According to Michele Spencer, who frequents the beach with her Boxer, Molly, enforcement of the rules is expanding and a lot more people are being ticketed. “On one hand, all the rules seem silly,” she said. “For the most part, everyone gets along, keeps their pets in order and picks up after them.” But on the other hand, Spencer knows the rules are in place for good reason. Rules and mishaps aside, there isn’t a better place to go when your pooch needs some excitement. Take advantage of Chicago’s only off-leash beach that’s dedicated to man’s best friend. For more information, visit www.mondog.org or www.chicagoparkdistrict.com.
Solution for some, problem for others Truman’s new parking structure cause for debate
By Jamie Kraut Opinion editor The solution to Truman’s current parking problem is to build an updated facility with more spots. Hopefully, the new structure will decrease the chances of getting a ticket from parking on side streets or being late to class. It will also eliminate having to navigate potholes in the dark if you take night classes. A bright, secure parking structure is appealing to Truman students and faculty. But some Uptown residents are less than pleased, as they should be, with what they believe is a misuse of Tax Increment Financing (TIF money) and the lack of community input. TIF money comes directly from property taxes paid by land owners and was originally intended to help remedy a neighborhood’s infrastructure and public areas. Truman doesn’t fit that criteria. Uptown residents argue that a new parking structure
won’t directly benefit the neighborhood. It will, however, benefit Truman students and faculty, and those who opt to pay for one of the 200 CTA “park n’ ride” spots. The fact that $10 million of the community’s TIF money is being used for such a project rather than to cure some of Uptown’s blight gives them every right to be angry and skeptical. According to Katharine Boyad, a resident who attended both meetings regarding the structure, Uptown is in desperate need of pedestrian-friendly spaces that would incorporate brighter lights and safer streets. Uptown needs beautification and restoration. Boyad would like to see new trees, planters and benches. “TIF money can and should be used to make Wilson Yard the very much needed, pedestrian-welcoming shopping Mecca for Uptown,” she said. “It can go for rehabbing the Wilson El station and creating bright, new landscaping.”
In addition to coping with Uptown’s needs being overlooked, Boyad said the community also has to deal with long-term effects of the structure, such as increased traffic congestion. “It’s just going to get worse now,” she said. As if students making an illegal leftturn out of the current parking lot wasn’t bad enough, now there will be a mile of cars down Wilson eager to get the closest spot they can in the new structure.
“TIF money can and should be used to make Wilson Yard the very much needed, pedestrian-welcoming shopping Mecca for Uptown,”-Uptown resident Katharine Boyad
Students, faculty and suburbanites on their way to Wrigley Field will get to park in the lot and not have to deal with the aftermath. Despite the controversy surrounding the new parking structure, Boyad believes that the Uptown community isn’t entirely against the project. Rather, they are unhappy with the lack of involvement they, as residents and tax-payers, had in its planning. Community meetings would have allowed them to discuss their issues at the beginning of the process. “All of our concerns would have been voiced and incorporated initially into the plan,” she said. Uptown is being ignored when it should be revered and appreciated for its history and diversity. We have the means to restore the streets, storefronts and parks. It’s just a matter of deciding what’s more important:tourists on the Magnificent Mile, or homegrown Chicagoans that bring real life to the city.
Up t ow n E xch an g e - O p in io n : Su m me r 20 0 8
By Jamie Kraut
Ill-Logical By Maasai Amewa Photographer
Truman’s Wi-Fi lounge worth upgrading Students deserve a better place for studying
By Keisha Scherrer Editorial Assistant
Up t ow n E xch an g e - O p in io n : Su m me r 20 0 8
Photo by Maasai Amewa
On April 14th, 2008, my father was released from Sheridan Correctional Facilities, in Sheridan Illinois. While I am not permitted to say why he served time in prison I will say that he is a recidivist. The irony of his incarceration is that in addition to his legal woes he was also prone to substance abuse. Those in our family that know him best argue that his heroine addition precipitated his criminal acts. So, on this Monday morning I couldn’t resist asking my self who’s to blame for a life that languishes in prison. The dilemma; I couldn’t resolve weather I should view my father as the convict or the victim of an imperfect society. For resolution I chose to look at the environment to which he was forced to grow. In these Chicago days and nights, men are constrained to airtight pockets of poverty, roaming through syringe-infested streets in search of opportunity. Many times we find none, the pain and shame of economic inequality is the impetus that fosters our collective tension. The end result of this tension is often distorted reports by popular media. In the media our successes are deemphasized, our failures spark the trumpets of imperfection, sounding with a Wagnerian essence. In forums, research papers, and scholarly journals across the nation, from the University of Chicago to Harvard, we have identified systematic injustices placed upon the urban minority populations, and have yet to delve into the currently existing psychological ramifications of such. With this in mind I began to understand how historically un-holistic approaches to education in the Englewood’s and Humboldt Park’s have fostered conditions where we as a people die. So in route to the half way house were my father was released, I began to think, “My Father, The Father” and nothing else.
Truman College opened it’s doors in 1976, long before the Starbucks- crazed generation that can’t study without internet access, a little noise and easy access to food and drink. Those hoping for a cafe-inspired study and Wi-Fi area won’t find it at Truman. Instead they will find a dull room with gray metal desks in the basement. There are few seats and fewer plugs for laptops. A colorful banner is the only sign that it is infact a Wi-Fi lounge.“Get in the Zone!,” it reads. Other than that, it feels like you’re walking into just another room in the vast basement. Student Jeff Navaro never goes to the current Wi-Fi lounge to get internet access or to study.”This is 2008,” he said.”I need a coke or some coffee when I’m studying.
Maybe a snack along with it.” A lot of us would rather study or surf the ‘net in the cafeteria, where we can have a cup of coffee and something to eat. The
“I can’t study down there, it’s like a dungeon.”- Jacob Ruiz, Truman student
sacrifice is the occassional use of the space for helping people with their taxes, continuing education and middle college enrollment, and other events. During such distractions, we can use the library or the “Wi-Fi lounge” in the basement, but neither can accommodate the number of students who lug their laptops to school. Another student, Jacob Ruiz, said “I can’t study down there, it’s like a dungeon.” That it is. There are no windows and no signs of outside life. There’s nothing like a lack of airflow and dull lighting to make a studying student sleepy. Why did they put the one and only WiFi lounge in the basement? It’s a thrown together space that isn’t appealing to anyone. We’re not asking for a Starbucks, but in this day and age, especially since Truman offers on-line and Studio Classrooms, a larger and more functional internet and study lounge is a necessity. It’s time for an upgrade.
ARTS & EVENTS
Discover New Music Get free music, don’t get sued
By James Villalpando Editor-in-Chief Students across the country are being sued for illegal file sharing. A law is currently being proposed that ties school funding to how effectively the institution cracks down on student downloading activity. Sharing via applications like Limewire and Morpheus expose users to marauders like the Recording Industry Artists of America, who have systematically destroyed lives. The good news you can protect yourself by utilizing new and better sources. Music blogs and MP3 sharing sites are becoming more and more numerous throughout the internet. The Hype Machine, hypem.com, is a music blog aggregator, which means that it takes the content from several blogs and puts them on a central page. Searching for an artist using the Hype Machine often quickly leads to a page con-
taining several songs by the artist, playable directly from the page. The blog the song was posted in is displayed, along with a sample of the review associated with the song. After listening to the song and deciding it’s something worth keeping, the user can choose to download the song to their collection. A great tool for simplifying that process is Tunestor, which can be downloaded from tunestor.com. Music blogs like those found on The Hype Machine are plentiful on the internet. Anyone with a blog, an MP3 on their hard drive, and something to say about music is capable of becoming a music blogger in minutes. These blogs are a wellspring of similar types of music and an easy venue for discovering bands that won’t be stopping by the local arena anytime soon. There are blogs for virtually every niche of music, so starting with a favorite artist can often lead to a new favorite within just a bit of research.
Seeqpod, found at Seeqpod.com, has dubbed their service as “playable search.” The people behind seeqpod believe that sooner or later everything on the internet will be “playable,” so they’ve jumped ahead of the curve to offer the service to their users. They do so “so that anyone, anywhere can mine the deepest crevices and corners of the Web for media that is publicly available, yet not always easy to find.” Seeqpod has a very intuitive Google-esque feel about it with both a search and a discover button. The search button is designed to find tracks by the specified artist, while the discover button generates a list of songs that may be similar to the artist you searched. The RIAA has thus far gone after only people who are sharing songs via P2P. Gathering songs from these sources provides not only instant gratification, but another layer of protection against malicious private entities with more lawyers then sense.
ARTS & EVENTS
What’s hip hop without the ‘N’ word?
Middle College students make documentary on the “N” word.
By Keisha Scherrer
Corey Dowdell and Diego Aguilar, Truman Middle College students, made a fifteen-minute documentary titled The “N” Word. The documentary gives a brief history of the “N” word, followed by the questions, “What does the “N” word really mean? How familiar are you with the “N” word? Do you use it? Can it be used in a positive way? And Now that you know, will you use it?” “There are people who have died and as they were dying that word was screamed to them, as they were hanging from trees or being dragged by horses. There are no positive uses of the word.” This is the response given by Darrin Bradley, Truman Middle College staffer, in the documentary when asked, “Can the “N” word be used in a positive way?” Some popular incidents represented in the documentary were the Nov 17, 2006 incident with Michael Richards (actor who played Cosmo Kramer on the TV-show Seinfeld) use of the “N” word at a famous L.A. comedy club saying, “Throw his ass out. He’s a nigger! He’s a nigger! He’s a nigger! A nigger, look, there’s a nigger!” and the National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a civil rights or-
“There are people who have died, and as they were dying that word was screamed to them, as they were hanging from trees or being dragged by horses. There are no positive uses of the word.”- Darrin Bradley, Truman Middle College staffer ganization for ethnic minorities in the United States, mock funeral for the “N” word. Aguilar explained that during a discussion with his friends over rap artist Chamillionaire’s exclusion of the “N” word in the release of his latest album, Ultimate Victory on Sept 18 2007, a friend said, “What’s hip hop without the ‘N’ word?” This moment decided the title and subject of Dowdell and Aguilar’s documentary. According to the documentary historians argue whether the “N” word that had first been used to define persons of dark skin in the 1600’s was intended to be derogatory by definition or simply a definition of
Photo by James Villalpando
skin color. The “N” word today, as defined in the documentary, is as a greeting term for friends or associates. Dinesh Sabu teaches this unique class of two students, Dowdell and Aguilar, titled “Documentary Film Making.” The class is the combined effort of Community TV Network, a nonprofit organization that trains Chicago youth in video and multimedia production, and Truman Middle College. When asked what he thinks of the “N” word, Sabu said, “I find it reprehensible; it carries a lot of historical baggage. I applaud my student’s attempt to bring the word to discussion.” On Feb 27, 2008 between 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Dowdell and Aguilar had five separate screenings of their documentary in the front Lobby that was attended by groups of approximately five to ten students per viewing. According to Dowdell, there were heated discussions after each screening. “I still listen to music with the “N” word, I just don’t sing along,” said Aguilar when asked if the documentary has affected the music he listens to. According to both Dowdell & Aguilar they want the documentary to make people think before using the
“N” word. They don’t want tell people what to do. The duo are currently working on their next documentary titled “Violence in Chicago Public Schools.” Language (TOEFL) instructor, second term at Truman. When asked about her opinion of ESL students she said, “the language barrier creates many challenges (for ESL students). I’m impressed with the students willingness to educate themselves. ESL students seem excited to learn what they need to learn. They are driven and have specific goals in mind.” The classroom of ESL level six consists of students with varying goals and backgrounds. Students ages range from 22 to 55 years. Some students like Safia Boucklachi, a 39-year Algerian woman, just want to improve their understanding and writing of English. Carlos Sanzon, a 26-year-old Mexican man in ESL level six, plans to go to college. Sanzon’s goal is to get a master’s degree in international relations. ESL students must pass the TOEFL exam to get into college. Elvia Almida wants to be a real-estate agent. According to Almida, learning English
is “important and necessary.” “It will help me to live better and get treated better.” She considers the Truman ESL program “a good opportunity to study free.” Truman’s free ESL program has incentives to encourage students to go on to higher education. The incentive program gives ESL (level six or above) and adult education students the opportunity to take college credit courses at a reduced rate. More information on Truman College Incentive program is available online at www. trumancollege.cc. Almida’s sons did receive the education she wanted them to have. Almida’s three boys now have jobs as swap detective, a cook county sherif and an Engineer. In Almida’s twelve years in America she has developed what she considers, “a successful hair salon & tanning business.” Almida’s challenge now is to “have better conversations with people who speak only English.” Like her 9-yearold granddaughter. “She’s my tutor now.” says Almida. “She’s only in 4th grade and she’s teaching me my grammar.
U p t ow n Ex c ha ng e - A rt s & Ent er ta i nme nt : Sum m er 2008
Getting Fresh In Uptown Local Residents Push For Convenient Produce
By Nandika Doobay
U p t ow n Ex c ha ng e - F ea t u re : Sum m er 2 0 08
It was late at night when Arline Welty needed cilantro, and she needed it right away. The young Uptown resident had a recipe which called for the herb, and she was unsure where in the neighborhood she could find some. After searching some of Uptown’s local Food & Liquor stores, she and her friend Ariel Diamond were surprised to find that besides coolers full of beer and aisles of salty snacks, these businesses also carried a small selection of fresh produce. This produce came at a higher price than any found at the nearest Jewel grocery store. A trip to Jewel was out of the question for Welty, who does not own a car and works for the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation. “Ariel and I mapped out how far from our apartments we’d have to go to find fresh food” Welty recalls. The result of a lot of footwork was the realization that Chicago urban dwellers would have to either pay the big bucks to eat local fresh food, or sacrifice their health for convenience. Welty and Diamond did find a limited amount of fruits and vegetables at places like the Quick Stop on the corner of Argyle and Sheridan, but when they pressed the store owners to carry more, their request was at first met with hesitance. For small business owners, carrying fresh food is a risk. The short shelf life of produce makes it difficult for retailers to turn a profit if food does not sell right away. Produce suppliers are often unwilling to fill the small orders that these stores require. Another problem keeping veggies out of reach is the increasing price of foods overall. Store owners simply cannot afford to keep fresh foods on the shelves. According to a study funded by LaSalle Bank, more than half a million Chicagoans live in “food deserts.” In these areas, fast food and convenience stores are easy to find, while large-scale grocery stores are nowhere in sight. For residents unfortunate enough to live in one of these so-called food deserts, the stores in their neighborhoods often cater to those shopping for booze and cigarettes rather than bananas and carrots. In Uptown, which is not a “food desert” according to the LaSalle Bank study, the problem is not the availabil-
Photo by Nandika Doobay
ity of fresh food, but the willingness of the neighborhood’s residents to seek out these options. Arline Welty and Ariel Diamond kept Uptown’s senior citizens, homeless population, and lower-income families in mind when they searched for ways to bring more produce into the area’s stores. The two are members of the Chicagobased Neighbors Project, a non-profit organization which, according to their website, is “a growing movement of a new generation of people living in cities who are improving the quality of public life in our neighborhoods.” Along with their fellow Neighbors Project members, Welty and Diamond piloted a program called the “Food & Liquor Project”. According to Neighbors Project President, Mandy Burrell Booth, the aim of the program is to encourage people to buy fresh produce from the local stores that stock it, and to encourage more neighborhood stores to sell fresh fruits and vegetables. Another of the project’s goals is to educate residents on making wiser food choices. “We’re working to promote shopping locally as much as we are working to promote community health,” says Booth. “Small corner stores and even liquor stores carry canned, dried and even fresh foods that can form the basis for a healthy meal.” After convincing a few local stores to carry more produce, Neighbors Project members raised $275, which they used to purchase various food items from S&L Pantry, on Lawrence and Sheridan, and the Quick Stop, on Argyle and Sheridan. At these two locations, they were able to get
all theingredients they would need to teach approximately 30 adults how to make three meals. Welty and Diamond then hosted an event called “Cook Local, A Cooking Class for Uptown, by Uptown” on April 25, where residents learned how to create healthy dinners in their own homes, using items found at the corner stores. Two other non-profit organizations lent a helping hand to the Neighbors Project’s cooking class. Inspiration Corporation,
whose Inspiration Cafe on 4554 N. Broadway offers hot meals and social services to Uptown’s homeless, donated their kitchen for the night’s event. Share Our Strength, a national organization which seeks to end child hunger, sent nutritionist Gwendolyn Franklin to give a presentation on healthy food and eating habits. Katherine Duncan, owner of Katherine Anne Confections, began the night by teaching the Uptown crowd how to make the perfect banana bread with some less-thanperfect bananas. “If your bananas ever go black and mushy, don’t throw them out!”she insists. “That’s when they’re best for banana bread.” Class participants took turns mixing the gooey batter as the scent of cinnamon filled the air. With the dessert in the oven, it was time to cook the main courses – pasta with sausage and mushrooms, and a hearty vegetable soup. Fitness Director of the Chicago Women’s Athletic Club, Camille Finley, gave the class tips on preparing fast hot meals that are easy on the waistline as well as on the wallet. Class goers chopped onions, carrots, potatoes and celery while discussing their cooking experience, whether it be the hobbyist chef or the first time water-boiler. The crowd learned how to cook, had a delicious meal, and bonded as neighbors, which after all, was the main goal for Arline Welty and the Neighbors Project.
To ESL and Beyond Student hopes and dreams as they learn English By Keisha Scherrer
Elvia Almida immigrated to America from Ecuador 12 years ago, to give her three sons a chance at a better education. At 55 years old, Almida is currently enrolled in Truman’s level four English as a Second Language (ESL) program to learn grammar. “I feel like a little girl going to school. I just need a lunch bag,” says Almida. When Almida first came to America, she did not speak English. “My oldest son was my teacher.” says Almida, “He would help me memorize before each job. Before I go in (for a job interview), I would look at the little piece of paper to make sure I remembered the words.”
Almida memorized common words in English to help convince her interviewer that she was comfortable with the language. “I got my jobs that way.” Almida said with a smile. “I paid for my three sons to go to private school.” Robert J. Hearst, Level III Coordinator of Adult Education, teaches ESL classes and helps to register new ESL students. “I enjoy teaching ESL.” says Hearst. “They all know what they want and have the drive.” This is Cheryl Price, Test of English As A Foreign Language (TOEFL) instructor, second term at Truman. When asked about her opinion of ESL students she said, “the language barrier creates many challenges (for ESL students). I’m impressed with the students willingness to educate themselves. ESL stu-
(continued on pg 11)
To ESL and Beyond (continued from pg.10)
”He would help me memorize before each job. Before I go in (for a job interview), I would look at the little piece of paper to make sure I remembered the words.” dents seem excited to learn what they need to learn. They are driven and have specific goals in mind.” The classroom of ESL level six consists of students with varying goals and backgrounds. Students ages range from 22 to 55 years. Some students like Safia Boucklachi, a 39-year Algerian woman, just want to improve their understanding and writing of English. Carlos Sanzon, a 26-year-old Mexican man in ESL level six, plans to go to college. Sanzon’s goal is to get a master’s degree in international relations. ESL students must pass the TOEFL exam to get into college. Elvia Almida wants to be a real-estate agent. According to Almida, learning English is “important and necessary.” “It will help me to live better and get treated better.” She considers the Truman ESL program “a good opportunity to study free.” Truman’s free ESL program has incentives to encourage students to go on to higher education. The incentive program gives ESL (level six or above) and adult education students the opportunity to take college credit courses at a reduced rate. More information on Truman College Incentive program is available online at www. trumancollege.cc. Almida’s sons did receive the education she wanted them to have. Almida’s three boys now have jobs as swap detective, a cook county sherif and an Engineer. In Almida’s twelve years in America she has developed what she considers, “a successful hair salon & tanning business.” Almida’s challenge now is to “have better conversations with people who speak only English.” Like her 9-yearold granddaughter. “She’s my tutor now.” says Almida. “She’s only in 4th grade and she’s teaching me my grammar.
What are You Doing This Summer? Working and lit classes. I’ll also be visiting my brother in St. Louis and family in Kentucky. Maria Theresa Molina
I’ll be taking sum-
I’m going to relax and
mer classes, then re-
go to the beach a lot.
turning here for pharmacology. Melissa Blackson
I’ll be working hard, then I’ll visit my native country, Armenia. then I will go to Moscow for two weeks, maybe three! Sam Spain
I’ll be going to the beach with Teala,
I don’t know, I’m still thinking about it.
we’ll both be relax-
There’s a big chance
ing. I’ll be return-
I’ll be taking classes
ing to Truman for the
in the liberal arts.
Nursing program. program.
U p t ow n Ex ch an ge - Fe a tu r e : S umm er 2 008
Uptown Celebrates North Lakeshore Earth Day First-ever event promotes green lifestyle By Iqbal Nawaz Editorial Assistant What do Tokyo’s mass transit system, ancFollowing the steps of Gaylord Nelson, former governor of Wisconsin and founder of Earth Day, who believed, “The ultimate test of Man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard,” Loyola University hosted Chicago’s first annual North Lakeshore Earth Day. The event, which was held on April 12, held seminars, exhibitions and children’s activities, all in the name of the environment. A seminars were held in from 9 am to 4 pm and featured more than 15 panels where expert speakers explored every aspect of caring for the environment globally and locally. Families enjoyed a children’s fair and met the businesses and associations that supported environmentally beneficial actions.
Allen Tryczek, a commentator for the seminar, said that the success of the event was “built upon Edgewater’s Earth Day celebration.” “The communities of Andersonville, Edgewater, Uptown, Ravenswood, Rogers Park and Westridge, all joined forces around a single issue: the environment,” he said. “Our mission is to provide community members with a better understanding of global climate change and how it affects them and future generations.” Jennifer Clark, program director at Loola, echoed these statements. “We aimed to bring six communities together to share about the environment. We want people to learn about problems and also what they personally can do.” The success of the event was a result of planning by Clark and others. Attendees learned about air quality issues, energy free transport, and how to combat global warming. On the home front, Uptown residents learned about or-
ganig gardening, reducing home energy cost and shopping green. Said attendee Allison Foster, “It was a great event, very informative and fun.” Harry Osterman, State Rep. of the 13th district, Loyola and National Public Radio delivered a welcome address. Tom Murphy was moderator for the panel titled “Breathe In, Breathe Out: Air quality is a global issue, what is Chicago’s response?” A panel that included Alderman Mary Ann Smith of the 48th ward covered the topic of energy-free transportation options including walking and biking. The panel also included Tom Samuels, traffic flow expert of the 48th ward, cyclist Adam Burch of the Edgewater Development Coporation, and representatives from the Chicago Bicycle Federation and the Suburban Pedestrian and Bicycle Association. Other discussions focused on global warming and its effects and how to be a green consumer. Alderman Joe Moore (49th Ward) talked about the challenges of
recycling in an urban environment. Nancy Benjamin, master gardener at the Lincoln Square Garden Walk conducted a workshop on organic gardening in the city. Local artists also talked about the piece they plan to install on the south wall of the Bryn Mawr underpass at Lake Shore Drive. The mosaic piece will be reuse materials and be created by artists from the Chicago Public Art Group. Most workshops focused on the practical, and even addressed the downsides to environmental consciousness. The seminar “What if Being Green Puts a Business in the Red” addressed the financial strain that green practices can cause, and how to combat the burden. Most presenters were experts in their fields. Clark added, “We want to create awareness among the people, and we need the help of the people that can teach us how to change our lives and culture.”
Summer Festivals t s e gu un uly
7-8 Ribfest 10-15 Fiesta Puertorriquenas 16-20 Thailand Festival 21-22 Summerfest in Lincoln Park 21-22 Pizza Fest! 25-28 Chicago Arabesque 27-6 Taste of Chicago 28 Pride Fest
3-6 Afro-Carribean Festival of Life
8-10 Caribbean Festival
11-13 Irish American Heritage Fest
12-13 Rock Around The Block
15-17 Northside Summerfest
15- Aug 26 Outdoor Film Festival
16-17 Air & Water Show
18-19 World’s Largest Block Party
23 Chicago Reggae Festival
18-20 Pitchfork Music Festival
23-24 Taste of Greece
26 Venetian Night
29-1 Taste of Polonia
26-27 Wicker Park Fest