Spring 2007 Issue #5 Uptown Exchange

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Legal Services

Black History Month Celebrations

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Uptown Exchange Issue# 5 / Spring 2007

Veterans stand up

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The premier news source for Truman College and the surrounding community

12 million shadows in limbo

Elvira Arellano and the immigration debate By Tomás Martínez Guerra

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Photo by Anna Karewicz

Truman diversity

People marching in support of Elvira Arellano during the May 1 immigration protest.


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News. . . . . . . . . . .pg 1-2

n November 15, 2006, Elvira Arellano became a fugitive of U.S. authorities. She was due to leave the country after being arrested at O’Hare airport by immigration officials, where she worked cleaning airplanes for $6.50 an hour. She was working and paying taxes under a fake Social Security number. To avoid deportation, Arellano, an undocumented migrant from Mexico, took her 7year-old son Saul, a U.S. national, to Adalberto United Methodist church, in Humboldt Park, and made the church their sanctuary. They’ve been refuged there ever since. In spite of her limbo status, Arellano has managed to advocate for the legalization of undocumented immigrants through peaceful demonstrations and the help of

organizations such as Centro Sin Fronteras. “We’re fighting for a just cause,” Arellano said. “This government has allowed us to work and they accept our taxes. They want us to be modern slaves. If I have to go, then I will do it. But I won’t leave without a fight.” There are 12 million undocumented migrants like Arellano, and they make up 4.9 percent of the civilian labor force, according to Pew Hispanic Center statistics. Nationwide, they comprise 24 percent of all farm workers, 14 percent of the construction force and 12 percent of the hospitality sector. About a quarter of all dishwashers and meat and poultry workers in the country are also undocumented migrants. Debates to design and implement fair and effective policies to control and regulate the influx of immigrants are currently at

Wilson Yard update

the heart of U.S. politics. What to do with the 12 million already here without documents is the thorniest part of the issue. Uptown is one of 13 ports of entry for immigrants in Chicago that are in Truman’s service area. The school provides these communities with adult literacy and GED classes, but mainly, it provides ESL (English as a second language) programs. These vicinities include Rogers Park, West Ridge, Uptown, Lincoln Square, North Center, North Park, Albany Park, Portage Park and Edgewater. Their total combined population according to Truman statistics is around 740,000. Last decade (1990-2000), new immigrants came to these neighborhoods at a much higher rate than to the rest of the City of Chicago as a whole, according to Truman

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Features. . . . . . . . pg 3 Uptown will have a new movie theater By Tomás Martínez Guerra


News Editor

Opinion. . . . . . . . .pg 4-5 Arts & Events. . . .pg 6-7

hen 30-year Uptown resident Judy Blazebrook saw the blueprints for the development of the Wilson Yard five years ago, the design included a 12-screen movie theater, a Target, a new Aldi store and a new parking facility for Truman College students. Last year, however, Blazebrook discovered that the movie theater pulled out of the deal, and she’s not happy with the design of the new Aldi. “I’m one of many Uptown neighbors who think that the whole process was bogus, and that what you have right now is a poorly-planned development,” she said. Construction of the Wilson Yard– the land west of Broadway under the Red Line El’ between Wilson and Montrose– will be finished by 2008, according to Holsten Real Estate Development Corp.,

the leading developer. So, what’s really going to be built on this former CTA land? Alderman Helen Shiller’s Chief of Staff, Denice Davis, said that there will definitely be a Target in the Wilson Yard mix, and that there will also be 176 housing units: ninety eight for seniors and 78 for families. Target and the housing complexes are part of a single construction project, and Davis said that as soon as the old Aldi is torn down, construction will begin. “That’s when everything will start coming together.” Blazebrook said that the new Aldi currently under construction doesn’t look like the rendering she was shown five years ago. “It had lots of windows,” she said. “I guess when they showed it to me I should’ve asked, are those real or are they just dress-up windows?” Davis said that Aldi has its own developer and that Alderman Shiller has no control over the new store’s style. But she added: “to my understanding there will be windows. And

there will also be murals painted by children which will be changed every few months.” A 2500-seat movie theater was also part of the early plans for the Wilson Yard.

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Many Uptown residents are unhappy with the new of Aldi store.

Photo by Anna Karewicz

Photos byAnna Karewicz

News Editor


Legal services at Truman

Campus security

Free assistance in immigration, housing and employment law. News Editor ree legal services are now available at Truman College through the Legal Assistance Project for Students. This is part of a two-year program sponsored by the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago (LAF), a non-profit organization which offers help in the areas of immigration, family, housing and employment.


The Legal Assistance project helps students and their families with immigration related problems, child support and custody battles, divorces and orders of protection for victims of domestic violence. The Legal Assistance Project helps students and their families with child support and custody battles, divorces and orders of protection for victims of domestic violence. Help with Section 8 or an eviction is also provided, as well as support for employment discrimination. The project started last October and

it’s headed by LAF Attorney Veena Iyer. In the field of immigration, Iyer can help with citizen and green card applications, or with deportation defense. She talks to the student and then figures out how complex his/her situation is. “In this area, I usually help people with more difficult things, like those who crossed the border without documents and are having problems.” Ann Darnton, Assistant Dean of Adult Education, said that any student–native or immigrant–may need legal support: “Sometimes students rent apartments and they don’t know what their rights are. They don’t know if they’re being cheated.” The project will also offer monthly presentations on legal topics, such as tenant rights. The program will last two years and it’s being supported by Equal Justice Works, an organization founded in 1986 by law students to help underserved communities. Some students have already seen Iyer for help, and the attorney said she’s surprised by the number of students who have been victims of domestic violence. “I thought that I would be dealing with more housing and employment cases. There is relief available for these women.” If you’re an immigrant, and have been a victim of domestic violence, Iyer can help you file a petition under the Violence against Women Act, or an application for the newly created U-visa. Iyer graduated from Harvard’s Law School in 2005, and has worked for the

Survival guide in emergency situations Photo by Anna Karewicz

By Tomás Martínez Guerra

Veena Iyer in her office; room 1435. Midwest Immigrant and Human Rights Center of Chicago. During her career, she has learned that spouses, landlords and employers often exploit low-income immigrants by taking advantage of their immigration status or their limited English. “We’re very lucky to have her,” Darnton said. “Last year she asked us if we would let her lead the project and I said, that’s wonderful!” Appointments are available at Truman College on Mondays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and on Wednesdays, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can visit Room 1435 to sign up for an appointment, call 312/3478335 or email viyer@lafchicago.org. Everything you say will remain confidential.

(Wilson Yard continued from pg. 1) In February of 2006, however, Shiller’s web page (www.aldermenshiller.com) announced that the theaters had been “removed” and replaced with additional retail space. “It’s what everybody wanted to see happening,” said Katherine Boyda, president of the Uptown Neighborhood Council, an organization that promotes the sustainable development of the community. “Removing the theater was a big disappointment and the alderman said that it was no big deal.” Davis informed that the movie theater owners had asked to increase the seating to 3500 and that later they just pulled out of the deal due to rising costs. However, she also said that “Uptown will have a movie theater. The venue will be located at Lawrence and Winthrop.” No additional details were available. To begin construction of the new Aldi store, contractors closed half of Truman’s student parking lot over a year ago. Since then, students have found themselves struggling to find parking spots, especially during the weekdays. “I wish they could tell them when they register about the parking lot, that it works on a first-come, first-serve basis,” said one of Truman’s security officers who requested to remain anonymous.

The security officer said that in the first four weeks of this semester (Spring 2007), parking attendants had to turn away about 500 students daily from Monday through Thursday, especially from 9:00 to 9:15 a.m. “You can’t serve students when you have 1000 of them coming in and only 500 parkPhoto by Anna Karewicz

Photo by Anna Karewicz

Construction of the new Aldi store.

tractors could break ground this coming fall, but that it was just not realistic. In the meantime, the school is looking for parking lots in the area to lease or borrow, and has even contacted the Catholic Archdiocese for help. “Once construction finally begins, it’s going to be terrible,” the President said. “We’re hoping that it doesn’t hurt our en-

By Adam Kamin Arts & Entertainment Editor

By Tomás Martínez Guerra News Editor


n a terrifying situation such as the massacre at Virginia Tech, the only thing you need to know is “how to survive,” said Ira Hunter, head of security at Truman College. “In these unexpected instances, try not to panic.

“In these unexpected instances, try not to panic. And pay attention to what’s happening.” And pay attention to what’s happening.” Hunter said that security officers watch students and guests’ behavior and that they try to identify those who are acting erratic. “But we cannot predict what a freak can do.” Hunter urges students to report anything suspicious. Faculty members have also been encouraged by the school to report students who are showing “behavior problems.” Claudette Jones, a student at Truman, feels that the school “doesn’t have security at all” and that there isn’t a mechanism in place to police it. “Just look at the basement. Look at the library. Anybody can just walk in and sleep around.” According to Chicago’s Police Department Superintendent Philip J. Cline, there is no imminent threat in the city, but he did advise schools such as Chicago State University to beef up security in fear of copycat attacks, Hunter informed. Muzi Ziyavo, a radiology student, feels that a few easy measures can be taken to reassure confidence in those concerned over school shootings. “It is possible for these things to take place anywhere. You never know what people are thinking or planning. It could happen here! Maybe a few visible security cameras will make people feel a bit more comfortable.” Hunter said there is no way of knowing the amount of security manpower that would be needed to prevent a tragedy such as Columbine or Virginia Tech. “The best thing that students can do is simply report anything they see as strange.”

Photo by Anna Karewicz

The Wilson Yard is the biggest empty lot in Uptown.

To begin construction of the new Aldi store, contractors closed half of Truman’s student parking lot over a year ago. ing spots available,” he added. Marguerite Boyd, Truman College’s President, said that the school is just waiting for the City of Chicago to deed some additional land under the old Red Line tracks to build a new student center/parking facility that will have around 1100 parking spaces, 700 of them for students. Once the new structure is finished, the business and advising services and other offices currently located on the first floor will be transferred there, and the additional space created in the current building will be used to add educational programs. President Boyd said that she wishes con-

rollment. We have also done a zip code search to find where a lot of students live and to locate additional facilities for them to attend classes.” She mentioned that the school is also finishing a deal with the Park District to use parking along the lake and hire buses to shuttle students back and forth. Blazebrook thinks that there are a lot of very important elements missing in the current Wilson Yard plan: “It’s not just about the new Aldi; the whole process has been bogus. I felt that I was asked to vote and then they changed the rules on me. It’s like they asked us to choose from different types of fruits and in the end we got meat!

“You can’t serve students when you have 1000 of them coming in and only 500 parking spots available.”

Ira Hunter urges students to report anything suspicious.


Beneath Truman’s unity Subtle acts of prejudice


o the Mexicans know about this?” An Eastern European student joked during a lecture about the current unemployment rate, its fallacy and its effect on federal budgeting. Iatzi Ruiz, a 19-year-old Mexican immigrant, stopped smiling. A few members of class chuckled, but the majority ignored the comment and moved on with class. “I don’t want to let him get to me…I don’t dislike him. I think he’s funny– just not when he makes those types of jokes,” Ruiz said. Harry S. Truman College regularly showcases its reputation for diversity with events year round. This past April, in celebration of its 50th anniversary, Truman hosted the event “Parade of Nations” to draw the attention to students from over 144 countries that attend the City College. Despite the celebratory nature of the event and the veil of complete unity, Truman does have its racial and ethnic conflicts lying beneath the common goal of education. “I never see any open conflicts,” said Dr. Charles Schmidt, an eight-year social science adjunct for Truman. Schmidt considers most conflicts between students subtle and non-confrontational: “I had a student do a paper on illegal immigration that she presented to the class– most

of the students didn’t see anything wrong with being illegal and just rolled their eyes.” Veteran communications instructor Michael Raleigh agrees that most conflicts among students are subdued in class: “A certain standard of behavior is expected while attending class.” Although Raleigh says there is less friction than anyone would have a right to expect at Truman, he points out that many students’ feelings are revealed in their writing.

flicts have to do with the fact that “people do not like ambiguity. People want clarity.” Ruiz however hasn’t let any comments dissuade her from her goals. She will be transferring to Northeastern Illinois University next semester to continue her studies. When asked of her major, her smile returns and she says: “Education.”

“If you give people time to write, people will rant” “If you give people time to write, people will rant,” Raleigh said. In his early years as an ESL instructor, Raleigh would correct students on their views, but these days he’s certain to correct the writing and not the writer. “It is not my role to make people not prejudiced....I try to head it off at the front,” he says, referring to the few minutes taken at the beginning of the semester to acknowledge the diversity of Truman and the respect it should be given. Ruiz doesn’t believe that all things said in class are malicious or racially motivated; at times she feels it is simply the work of a vacuous mind: “the things he [the student] says are ignorant and careless.” On July 28, 1948, President Harry S.

Photo by Anna Karewicz

(“Limbo” continued from pg. 1)

“Destroy all borders,” says the sign of a participant of May 1 immigrant actions. statistics. They had an input of 140,000 new entries (an increase of 18.86 percent in population) during this period, while the whole city had 291,785 arrivals (an increase of 10.08 percent). Chicago’s population in 2000 was 2,896,016, according to the U.S. census. “Everyone who is here illegally needs to be deported,” said Rick Biesada, Director of the Chicago Minutemen Project, a group that stages anti-immigrant protests, mainly along the border. The Minutemen’s website (www. minutemanproject.com) says that Latino activists are “virtually salivating” at the prospect of imminent amnesty, now that the majority of U. S. citizens favor a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Norma Angelica Bucholtz is a Truman photography student and has been in the United States for 12 years. The 38-year-old says that illegal immigration is something hard to avoid because there aren’t good trade policies between Mexico and the United States. “When NAFTA (The North America Free Trade Agreement) came into effect in 1994, we (Mexicans) thought that the borders were going to be more open. We believed people were going to be able to move easily between the two countries.”

Truman officially ended racial segregation in all branches of the armed forces with an executive order. It is a small bit of trivia Dr. Schmidt gives Truman students whenever the occasion arises. “If the educational system had clear rules like the military it would be better...you really learn to get along with one another when your lives depend on it.” Dr. Schmidt believes that many passive con-

Bucholtz added that in Mexico many foreign companies have been given excellent opportunities to succeed. However, these companies pay very low wages, “and living on minimum wage is impossible there.” Bucholtz, who’s also a U.S. Citizen, thinks that politicians are scared to pass a comprehensive immigration reform and that they are giving the debate the run-around. “They’re afraid they may find out that we have more than 12 million people living undocumented.” Truman College is the largest provider of ESL classes in Illinois. In 2006, 14,000 students were enrolled in its Adult Education department. According to school officials, about 85 percent of them are ESL students. “We accept all immigrants from all over the world,” said Armando Mata, Truman’s Dean of Adult Education. “We’re not immigration [police] here,” he added. “We love working with new residents. They’re the best.” Biesada says that what’s needed to deal with the undocumented population is enforcement alone, not new legislation. He thinks that the Senate and House members who are proposing immigration bills that in-

Photo by Anna Karewicz

Arts & Events Editor

Yellow Callas, master of ceremony for the Student Government Association.

clude a path to citizenship are committing anarchy. He thinks they’re just pulling a stalling tactic. “They’re making it hopeful for these illegal aliens. But in the end, they have no intentions of passing new legislation.” Biesada thinks that undocumented migrants use healthcare and social services at a higher rate than the legal residents and citizens. However, that claim could be argued. “Health Affairs,” a leading journal of health policy, found that even though the undocumented constituted 12 percent of the non-elderly adult population of Los Angeles County in 2006, they accounted for only 6 percent of health spending. And many undocumented migrants pay taxes too. In 1996, the IRS created a nine-digit number for taxpayers who didn’t qualify for a Social Security number. The individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) starts with “9,” and by 2003 the agency had issued 11 million of them. The number of ITIN cards that went to undocumented residents is unknown, but by 2003, the IRS had received close to one million tax returns using their numbers. The card is now being widely accepted at banks, where immigrants can apply for a checking account or a mortgage loan. Joint research by the Illinois Immigrant

Policy project and the Urban Institute found that undocumented workers in our state pay about $547 million in taxes yearly, but use only $238 million in services. While members of the Senate and the House of Representatives figure out a way to regulate immigration, Arellano and her son wait in Adalberto church. She entered the country originally in 1997, but was deported right away. With the help of a smuggler, she returned and lived in Oregon for three years. She found work washing clothes and babysitting. In 1999, she gave birth to Saul, “Saulito,” on U.S. soil. They moved to Chicago in 2002 and Arellano found work at O’Hare airport. She was arrested there during a post 9-11 security sweep, and sentenced to three years probation. On August 15, 2006, Arellano was supposed to appear before immigration authorities, but she didn’t go. She took refuge in Adalberto church instead. When asked whether Saulito ever talks about their ordeal, Arellano replied: “We are always talking about the possibility that I may be deported. But if I do, he won’t leave the country. I think that he would have a better future staying and that is his right because he was born here.”

Photo by Anna Karewicz

By Adam Kamin

Elvira Arellano during the hunger srike in 2006.



Freddie Roberts News Editor

Tomás Martínez Guerra Arts & Events Editor

Adam Kamin Opinion Editor

Karin Judson Staff Writers

Michael Lampa Rubina Jabbar By Anna Karewicz Staff Writer djvhb

Design & Production Department Design Managers

Natalya Kozlova Anna Karewicz


Anna Karewicz

Faculty Adviser Benjamin Ortiz Assistant Professor of Journalism, Literature and Writing

Students speak about their experiences By Rubina Jabbar Staff Writer


ruman College is home to students from more than 150 countries speaking more than 46 languages. Since its inception 50 years ago, the college named after Harry S. Truman, the nation’s 33rd president, has been serving Chicago residents without discrimination, “no matter what language they speak and what culture or ethnic background they come from,” said Ann Darnton, Assistant Dean of Education. ESL is an acronym that stands for English as a Second Language. It refers to teaching English to a person whose native or primary language is one other than English. The need for ESL for these people is evident from the year 2000 census, which found that

Truman College is home to students from over 150 countries speaking more than 46 languages. close to one in five United States citizens spoke a language other than English at home. Of the 23,397-student body of Truman College, in 2006, 14,675 were enrolled in Adult Education, and 7,086 in credit programs. The majority of those registered in Adult Education programs are ESL students. “At least 85 percent of them are ESL students. Enrollment in credit programs is smaller than Adult Education,” says Darnton. As far as the demographic background of ESL students is concerned, 60% are Spanish -speaking and 40% speak other languages. “I could hardly speak English or pick up the American accent a year ago. But, thanks to ESL classes, I face less difficulty now,” says Faiz Maroof, a Level Eight ESL student. The 26-year-old Maroof is one of the over 14,000 students registered in Truman’s Adult Education Department. Like other ESL students whose prima-

ry language is not English, Maroof, who was born in Pakistan, speaks Urdu at home. He desperately wants to learn English because he believes it will help him achieve his goals. He plans to be a school teacher after he secures a degree in Elementary Education. With the progress he’s made, he is confident he is not very far from realizing his dream into reality. Funded by the federal and state governments, the Adult Education program includes ESL, GED (in English and Spanish) and Citizenship classes. Truman College has also been providing adult education classes at the Lakeview Learning Center and through 10 community centers scattered all over the city. The college has over 150 teachers hired for adult literacy. The mission of the Adult Education program, previously known as Adult Skills Learning Program, is to make the lives of people living in Chicago better by helping them learn English. “So they can speak to the teacher of their children, talk to health care providers, and they are able to work at the job they applied for,” Darnton explains. The need for speaking English is not confined only to achieve educational proficiency standards in school, get a job or make one’s life easy. It is much more than that. English is a global language spoken all over the world. One needs it to communicate with people living across the globe, and to learn about their culture, history and other information. “With English I can communicate with people all over the world. Most information is available in English,” says Antonio Lopez, a Spanish speaker, who is taking ESL classes to help him understand American culture better. With Spanish being spoken almost as a second language in the United States, the 30-year old Antonio rightly says he lives a bilingual life. “I can use English and Spanish both depending on the need and time.” Unlike the ESL students in the United States who have free classes by excellent tutors, people in other countries pay money for learn English. Makbule Okat from Turkey took ESL classes in her country for years before mov-

ing to United States last year. But it did little help to her. However, she feels her abilities to use English effectively are much better now after she took four levels of ESL classes at Truman College. “I have more self-confidence because now I can express myself better than before,” says Makbule, adding that it is still not enough but better than before. She is grateful to the tutors who give practical information, and they use everyday, current American English in class instead of downloading tons of grammar rules. “And they (tutors) really believe their efforts make students go forward. So this

One in five U.S. citizens speak a language other than English at home. really works although the number of topics told in class is not enough,” says Makbule, who plans on a PhD in Political Science. She wishes ESL students were offered more classes in proficiency, academic and business English after they complete advanced classes. Though the assistant dean fully understands that ESL students have to adjust time between work and home, she advises them to take classes and tests regularly, so they can learn and teachers can teach them effectively. “We really wish them the best and hope they attend classes regularly.” The assistant dean also asks ESL students to make use of other opportunities like credit courses, technical literacy and other programs offered at the college.

Stand down?

Veterans transition to City Colleges By Michael Lampa Staff Writer


fter prolonged periods deployed, “WarFighters” are periodically withdrawn from stressors and afforded the opportunity to “decompress.” The process may include sleep, food, sex and alcohol . . . to excess, or not. To “Stand-down” is to withdraw from combat for the purpose of rest and recreation and to refit for further operations. Supporting our troops should not be a political statement; it is merely grateful acknowledgement of services rendered.

The Veterans Administration web site is the one-stop resource for all veterans wishing to access their earned Education Benefits The reentry to the educational system may yet be daunting. Veterans utilizing the services of the City Colleges of Chicago to access the GI Bill are on the road to “Be All That You Can Be.” The Veterans Administration website is the one stop resource for all veterans wishing to access their earned Education Benefits. The Army College Fund and

Chapter 30 GI Bill Benefits are comparable to merit based scholarships available to students in the Great Lakes area and in national community colleges. Admission into an educational program and certification of enrollment are the prerequisites to access your VA Educational Benefits. Regular communication of your class load and progress is required for timely processing of your benefits claim. Prior planning is essential, troop! Ensure you have adequate funds to meet educational and personal expenses. Planning for possible delays in funding will decrease your stress levels. You can decrease the wait time by participating in the “Direct Deposit” program available with participating financial organizations. The VA Great Lakes HealthCare system is responsible for providing Healthcare for veterans living in Cook County. The Jesse Brown VA Medical Center is one of the largest VA medical facilities in the Midwest. It is located on the south side of Chicago. A veteran may receive need-based medical care at numerous VA and Civilian medical facilities in and around Chicago at nocost or on a pro-rated basis depending on assets. Your first step is enrolling with the VA Outpatient Care System. A copy of your DD 214 will be requested at time of application. Information on obtaining duplicate DD214s is available on the Veterans Administration or Department of the Army websites. The recent press coverage of events

Photo by Anna Karewicz

Editorial Department

Living in ESL

Are veterans getting enough help from the government? surrounding Veteran outpatient treatment has focused attention on the medical care afforded our Veterans. The factors which affect the budget are closely scrutinized and there is no exception. Veterans may look askance at the possibility of portraying our community as deserving of special treatment or recognition. As a Veteran you will have served in an organization present at the birth of our Nation. Veterans in need of basic medical care and lacking health insurance will be able to avail of assistance through initiatives sponsored by Gov. Blagojevich. Ms. Delores Withers is the City Colleges of Chicago, Truman College Veterans Representative. She may be contacted at the Financial Aid Office at Harry S. Truman College.


Guest Editorial

Environmental worries By Doughton Lawrence


overnment officials have empowered people of authority to ignore environmental protection laws in the name of stopping illegal border crossings. Legislative focus is on preventing human traffic. Vast multi-layered fencing structures, sanctioned by Congress in 2006, have started to be built. Many might debate the fortification of our borders for reasons ranging from its effectiveness, lack of addressing the real issue, the political ramifications and cost. However, few seem to be debating the threat to wildlife and protected land. U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter of California supports the fence. He says, “Construction will be as environmentally friendly as possible.” Yet Hunter and Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin praise the Head of Homeland Security’s ability to override laws. The Head of Homeland Security has been quoted saying, “National security trumps environmental worries.” The environmental aspects of building the fence are negative and are likely to have a negative impact for generations to come. Some things in life we only get one chance at, so we owe it to our country to protect the beauty of nature and the wildlife before they are permanently destroyed.

CRS (Congressional Research Services) reports that since building a wall in the San Diego area illegal crossings dropped. However, other nearby border stations are showing increases. Illegal immigrants find new ways to enter the country such as environmentally protected areas like the Sonora Desert in Arizona. The human trails throughout this remote desert are increasing pollution and eroding the soils. Erosion and run off negatively affect plant life and create sedimentation. The Coastal Commission and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services say that filling the Smuggler’s Gulch, located on the border near San Diego, would create erosion that would affect a protected area where endangered birds live. Laws to protect the borders allow others to ignore established laws geared towards protecting natural resources and wildlife.According to a December 2006 report from the Environmental Protection Agency, there are roughly 2,143 animal species in and around the border. Ten of these animals are on the global endangered species list. Two on the list are considered critically endangered. The CRS report states that the President has given the power to the Department of Homeland Security authorizing “the waiver of all legal requirements determined necessary by the Secretary for the expeditious construction of authorized barriers.” This is documented in section 102 of

Talk To Me Editorial

By Freddie Roberts Editor-in-Chief


hen Illinois Senator Dan Kotowski spoke at the recent Town Hall Meeting on Race Relations in Truman College’s front lobby, he was blatantly honest when he commented that, “being a white person does have its privileges, it is an issue that we all know, but not many are honest to admit it.” Don Imus Jr.’s privilege ran out when he made the statement about Rutgers’ women’s basketball team. Was Imus listening to too much rap music? It is an expectation that those who sit in a place of public scrutiny ought to exercise caution when making statements that might be heard by the general public, but what happens when the statements they make reflect the general consensus of the public, creating racial tension? Michael Ray Richardson, coach of the Albany Patroons in the Continental Basketball Association, was suspended for the following remarks within 48 hours: “I’ve got big time lawyers, I’ve got big-time Jew Lawyers.” For these comments the league wasted no time. Our illustrious Mayor, is he exempt? Is he not expected to know what is and is not going on in his office? And what about Antion Rezko, who was given millions of dollars to rehab buildings in predominantly black neighborhoods and to support the

political agendas from the Governor down to Chicago’s Mayor and every political flunky in between for a total of 15 people? The black leaders, with their hypocritical selves, jumped up and demanded Imus’ head on a platter and yet these same leaders are not seen demanding local or national radio stations, music videos or any other medium to refrain from portraying women in a derogatory manner, sending false messages of hope to our young people and glorifying violence. These same leaders turn a blind eye to crooked politicians and the nation as a whole has come to expect that crooked politics is a way of life in the good ole’ USA. Where were Chicago’s local black leaders when the scandal broke about Daley’s office? Jesse Jackson Sr. was instrumental in leading the protest in front of the local NBC affiliate to oust Imus…when will he appear in front of Chicago’s City Hall demanding Mayor Daley to step down? Does the grease of Daley’s well-oiled machine reach even the local black leaders? There is a double standard on issues of ethics. Why are superstars, media personnel and others held to one ethical standard and our public figures are held on another? When will wrong be just that: Wrong?

the Real ID Act. Building a fence or wall in various areas along the border will interfere with the migration patterns of these creatures. This could have a negative affect on the population of these animals and Activists protest the construction of the wall on the border. their ability to feed and travel to areas that tions, divide habitat and split populations.” they can typically access. Gayle Norton, U.S. Also, much more housing is going up Interior Secretary, believes building a vehicle in the desert areas. In doing this, humans are barrier would address vehicles crossing the even more so encroaching on the land of border but allow animals to still cross. She is these animals in these areas. They need to quoted as saying “I’m troubled by the whole be able to access alternative places to roam. concept of placing a fence at the border, es- Building a wall or fence that many believe pecially when you’re talking about something isn’t going to make much difference in solvthat could affect wildlife’s ability to migrate.” ing the immigrant problem anyway will more If other methods can be used that might be than likely also negatively affect many animals. even more affordable and environmentally A hundred years from now the fence friendly, why aren’t they being considered? might be an interesting historical artiWe might be underestimating how fact reflective of our politics and cultursimple threats become major problems. al issues of that time. Like many things Michael Fickelstein, Director of the Center from the past, it will crumble and could for Biological Diversity, points out that many only become an interesting history lesanimals routinely cross the borders of Texas, son. You can build a wall, destroy it and New Mexico, Arizona and California. He says, rebuild it. However, you can’t recreate life. “Double-fencing will prevent wildlife migra-

Letters to the Editor Dear Editor... I would like to make a suggestion to improve Truman College. The Wilson train station can still be used; however, the stairs look so old and dirty. The wood has an unpleasant look. The step width is small and gets very slippery. The metal rails have rust spots. Most importantly, the stairs can be dangerous for children because the gates are in bad condition. I think it is time to update the stairs. F








As a student of Truman College, I recently came across the “Uptown Exc hange” newspaper. When I read some of the articles in that, I was so happy and relieved that this newspaper already published most concerns that I have. I thank the newspaper for bringing up the issues and concerns of Truman College and its surroundings. I am happy to have such a newspaper in the college and community. K






I’m writing this letter because of the lack of security in Truman College. In my opinion it is extremely important for all students to feel safe and secure in their campus. Unfortunately, I don’t feel secure at Truman at times. I think the college can make some changes to improve security. First, I do understand that Truman College is a large campus, but there should be a way to check everybody’s student I.D. when they enter the school. I say this because many people who walk around campus, who eat in the dining room, are not Truman students or faculty members. Loitering should not be allowed unless you are an authorized Truman student or teacher. This is a place for students to come to educate themselves, not for people just to hang out. I love Truman College. It is a wonderful school, but at times I don’t feel safe.

With recent events, security is very important. There is nothing better than to live and study in a safe environment. Hopefully in the future security at Truman College will improve and everyone will feel safer. A









Truman College is in the process of renovation where some ceilings of the rooms are being fixed. I think that we can make Truman College better by improving other conditions; I write this letter criticizing Truman because the men’s bathrooms are dirty, doors are broken and there is a lack of supplies. I suggest that the school’s maintenance department do something to improve these conditions because it affects the students and creates a bad image for the college. Also, I hope that all students can be more responsible in taking care of the college. J





I want to give my suggestions to how Truman College can improve dealing with immigrants coming to take courses. I want advisers to give more time to listen to what these students who have a language barrier will want to say. Some of them can’t express their needs. I want advisers not to assume that immigrant students know everything that is really going on in the college. I believe these students won’t be offended if the advisers asked them what did they understand from the advice. I want Truman College to help more of those students who don’t understand American Education yet. They are willing to reach the American dream, too. M







Photo by Anna Karewicz

Animals know no borders or immigration laws!


Theater Too Much Light Makes profiles the Baby Go Blind Profiles Theatre

By Karin Judson

Arts & Events Editor


Profiles Theatre has been in production for a little under 20 years. It is a non-profit organization striving on their passion for art. “Apple,” by Vern Thiessen, is Profiles’ current project. It begins April 20th and runs until June 3rd. It is the American Premiere of the play. Profiles’ most recent project was “Fat Pig,” written by Neil LaBute. This Profiles production starred Darrel W. Cox, Deborah Hearst, Eric Burgher and Jenny Myers. It is directed by Joe Jahraus, who is also the Artistic Director at Profiles. Cox, playing Tom, and Hearst, playing Helen, have an amazing chemistry together that actually brings the audience into their relationship. Burgher is hilarious as Carter, Tom’s devilish sidekick. Myers, as Jeannie, is funny as well. She plays Tom’s semi-psychotic, ex-girlfriend. “Fat Pig” is a truthful story of a relationship that struggles to survive because of superficiality. Profiles Theater has been in production for a little under 20 years. It is a non-profit organization striving on their passion for the art. Several theater alumni from Eastern Illinois University founded the company. Profiles Theater is located at 4147 N. Broadway in Uptown. The building itself is different than most playhouses in Chicago. The waiting room is quite cozy and filled with comfortable sitting furniture. The walls are covered in photographs from previous shows, cast members and plenty of awards. In the next room is the actual theater. It seats 50 audience members. For some performances, the stage lays in the center with seating on either side. The approach is somewhat unorthodox, but it definitely enhances their theater’s mission by bringing the play physically closer to the audience. The smaller theater has a much more personal feel that intensifies the show. Much like the theater’s small and personal demeanor, the company holds a close group of members, some who have won several awards since being with the company. Profiles has won many Joseph Jefferson Citations and After Dark Awards. They have also premiered (World Wide, U.S. and Midwestern), several plays written by renowned playwrights, such as Neil LaBute. Profiles Theater has such an outstanding reputation among Chicago theaters that it also offers classes for professional actors. Darrel W. Cox and Erica Daniels teach courses that run six weeks long.

Photo by Erica Dufour

Opinion Editor

Some of the cast members.


monologue accompanies the reenacted beating of Matthew Shepardimmediately before the audience is encouraged, by song, to volley a dozen portraits of Brittany Spears’ bald head amongst themselves. These are only two of the 30 plays of “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind” (TML), the most popular performance at the NeoFuturarium theater. Billed by creator and director Greg Allen as “an ever changing attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes,” TML credits itself with the creation of the Neo-Futurist style of theatre, an eclectic, post-modern revival of the 20th century Italian Futurist movement. Upon entering the Neo-Futurarium, a plastic token is offered to reserve one’s

admission. “No smoking, no drinking and you pay upstairs,” is a repeated greeting in the foyer and the first introduction to a portion of the cast. After passing through a hallway lined with portraits of every president of the United States (all comically rendered, except for Bill Clinton), audience members are confronted with more cast members hawking sodas and snacks in a small room known as the “kitchen.” Two lines form in the following room as members of the audience redeem their token for the roll of a die. Prices begin at $7, but the Neo-Futurists, as Futurists did, place a large emphasis on the idea of chance, and it is this roll of a die that ultimately determines the price. “Over a week or a month it all works out just as mathematics says it

Members of the audience are asked and often forced to participate in all of the plays of the NeoFuturist Theatre. would,” Allen stated over cheers coming from the second line: “sounds like he rolled a one.” It is a theme of TML to have continuous audience participation. Members of the audience are asked and often times forced to participate in all of the plays in some form or another.

Photo by Erica Dufour

Chicago’s longest running theater production By Adam Kamin

ptown is saturated with art of all different genres, mediums and cultures, and Profiles Theatre is an up-close and personal experience that brilliantly awakens theater in this community. If you enjoy being able to see the beads of sweat or tears on an actor, this is the place. Profiles’ mission statement is “to bring new works to Chicago that illuminate the determination and resiliency of the human spirit”, and they are doing just that. Profiles Theatre is a daring and innovative company that snaps the audience to a more knowledgeable understanding of theater.

Actors on stage.

This could go from simply screaming out the next play one wishes to see, or, as in “I hate to Iron,” an audience member is chosen to iron shirts for the remainder of the production. “There is no fourth wall,” artistic director Sharon Greene yelled while running down the loose rules that TML abides by. “We will do our best to complete these thirty [plays] within the hour provided.” Greene then set the timer attached to the back wall of the stage. TML opened December of 1988 with an eight-person ensemble, and has since become the longest running show in Chicago. Allen is in his 19th year with TML, which is a non-profit production partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council and the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture. TML can be seen Friday and Sunday Nights at 11:30 pm and Sunday nights at 7:00 pm. The NeoFuturarium is located at 5153 N. Ashland Ave.

Spotlight on students... Truman theatre classes filled with talent.

Students are working on their final projects for the Acting and Directing classes under the instruction of Thomas Lenane.


Black History Month

What’s happening around Truman College. shows movies like this,” said Erick Jackson, a student who watched the film. Igbinosa said that African history should be praised all the time. “We want to celebrate it throughout the whole year, not just in February.” The Consul General of South Africa

in Chicago, Yusuf Omar, was also scheduled to deliver a closing speech on February 28, but the event was canceled. The celebrations ended that same day with the roundtable discussion “Sharing our stories: male students of African Descent.”

“We want to celebrate it (Black History Month) throughhout the whole year, not just in February.”

By Tomás Martínez Guerra News Editor


ruman College celebrated Black History Month this past February with an art exhibit, table discusions, free movies, and a speech by Phillip Jackson, founder of the Black Star Project. The school exhibited painter Lowell Thompson’s work “Chicago Fer Real,” from February 13 through the 28. His paintings depict the city and its inhabitants with a gritty look: Thompson actually used sand in his works. The painter, who’s also written for the Chicago Reader and the New York Times, spoke at an art reception in his honor on February 13. Black Star Project founder Phillip Jackson, addressed students on February 14. The project was founded in 1986 to improve the quality of life in Black and Latino communities thorough parent and student leadership development, public policy research and advocacy.

On February 24, Motherland Organization–founded by Truman students mainly from Nigeria–presented the discussion Africa and the “Brain Drain” phenomenon. The discussion was about “young Africans who leave their land to get educated in rich countries, and then, after completing their studies, “it’s very difficult for them to go back,” said College Adviser Tina Igbinosa. She added that this phenomenon has been depleting Africa of its young talent and minds. Truman had free movie day on Tuesdays from 12 to 3 p.m. during the entire month. One of films featured was Julie Dash’s “Daughters of the Dust,” which portrays the worries of NanaPeazant, the head of an extended African-American family living in Daughter Island (off the coast of South Carolina) at the turn of the 20th century. She fears that her children will lose their native African customs and the connection with their ancestors if they move to the mainland. “It’s a good thing that Truman

Team players (from the left): Chihede Kalu, Seuil Kaffy, Abraham Kabba, Azad Kohli, David Lawrence

John Ngugi- sponsor and coach of the Truman soccer team.

Photos by Anna Karewicz

Photo by Paparazee

The gym is now open, but you must join one of the clubs.


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