Newsletter for April 4

Title IX complaint against University Athletics; U of C files amicus brief; alum nominated to DHS post

By Sophie Downes and Pete Grieve


Good morning. It’s second week.

Maroon Exclusive: The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights opened a Title IX investigation into the University of Chicago’s athletics department in response to a complaint filed by a former captain of the women’s club lacrosse team. The complaint alleged that the University was discriminating on the basis of sex by providing more athletic opportunities for men than for women. Members of the women’s club team had been petitioning the University to promote the team to varsity since the 2013–14 year, and in January, amid the OCR investigation, the University announced that women’s lacrosse would become a varsity sport. The team captain voluntarily withdrew her complaint upon hearing the news, but our analysis of team rosters shows that there’s still a roughly 2:1 ratio of male to female varsity athletes.

University opposes revised travel ban: The University of Chicago has filed an amicus brief opposing Trump’s revised executive order restricting travel from six Muslim-majority countries.

** Related: A campus-wide e-mail yesterday noted that the University’s Office of Federal Relations in D.C. has been “engaging with congressional representatives to convey the University’s interests in welcoming, supporting and retaining students and scholars regardless of their national origin or immigration status.”

So that happened: The University of Chicago approved The Maroon’s request to do a ride-along in its snowplows. Recalling a major blizzard a few years back, one driver joked, “I didn’t have to see my wife for two days.”

Windows? Facilities Services released renderings of the Crerar library renovation.

Alum nominated to Trump admin post: A Law School graduate will be nominated by Trump for commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Department of Homeland Security.



Cole Martin writes in:

In light of College Council's now weeks-old request that President Robert Zimmer engage it in a discussion about free speech, the Maroon Editorial Board contends that Zimmer ought to formally articulate his stance in a public, on-campus forum. Reflecting on Zimmer's penchant for discussing free speech issues in a national setting, the Board writes, "if the University wishes to continue presenting itself as a bastion in support of free speech to the rest of the world, the administration ought to make the same argument to the students, faculty, and staff who will presumably be called on to guard the ramparts."

Columnist Dylan Stafford takes issue with the University of Chicago’s disproportionate focus on thinkers of the past rather than on the salient issues of our tumultuous present. Stafford writes that engagement with the world today is morally imperative for University students: “After all, the great intellectual does not seek to merely rehash the treatises and debates of the past. The great intellectual eagerly seeks to make sense of the future—not for their own sake—but for the benefit of those who aren't afforded the immense privilege of fully engaging their intellect in the first place.”



Alexia Bacigalupi writes in:

This year’s SASA show, “The SASA Channel,” deserves its own Netflix special. Fourth-year show coordinators Sumit Banerjee and Elora Basu opened Saturday’s performance with a challenge to the audience: “Give us 110 percent of your energy, and we will give it back to you on stage.”

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra was reunited with Maestro James Conlon on Thursday. The evening was also a display of American audiences’ tendency toward overzealous standing ovations.

This week is an homage to the literati: Centennial Brooks, a celebration of Nobel laureate Gwendolyn Brooks, is just one of the literature-centric events happening this week, among many other artistic performances.


From Hyde Park to Pennsylvania Avenue: The Washington Post profiled Julia Hahn, a University of Chicago alum serving in the White House as an aide to Steve Bannon. “In her junior year at the University of Chicago, Hahn had three male roommates, two of whom were fellow philosophy majors and one of whom was her then-boyfriend, Miguel Andrade. Bryce Poerter, who lived with Hahn for two years, said the housemates frequented a nightclub in a mostly black South Side neighborhood to listen to blues. Andrade wrote poetry on a typewriter; Hahn collected vinyl records and worked, for a time, at a nearby shooting range. The foursome watched presidential debates together, but were more likely to argue about the virtues of various philosophers—she was a Freud devotee while her boyfriend was more of a Jacques Lacan man.”

  • Hahn wrote for Breitbart with Bannon before transitioning to the WH. According to disclosures last week, the 25-year-old could be worth as much as $2.3 million. Her salary at Breitbart? $117,217.

Former senior advisor to Barack Obama Valerie Jarrett will work for the Obama Foundation in a pro bono adviser role, the Hyde Park Herald reports.


Communication problems: Between approximately 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday, a national AT&T outage disrupted phone service to and from numbers outside the University. Service between campus phones was not affected. The Office of IT Services sent a campus-wide e-mail at 3:36 p.m. describing the problem, and another at 3:49 p.m. confirming that it had been resolved.


Come work with us! We’re looking for reporters, designers, photographers, columnists, illustrators, videographers, copy editors, and social-media specialists. There will be an info session Thursday at 6 p.m. in Harper 140.



In The Gate: Patriotism and political engagement have reached a new low among young Americans, but revitalizing civic education and emphasizing political participation could combat this apathy, Adam Chan writes.

In The University of Chicago Magazine: A story about questionable decor and stolen property in the president’s house, from author and organizer Muriel McClure Beadle, who lived with her husband, University President George W. Beadle, in the house at 59th and University from 1961–68. Read the exclusive excerpt here.