Newsletter for May 23

The IOP’s role in the Trump era; unionization hearings continue; students rally for more inclusive University

By Sophie Downes and Pete Grieve

Good morning. It’s ninth week.

New in Grey City: From controversial speakers and free speech debates to new leadership programs for women and people of color, the Institute of Politics has seen a lot since its founding in 2013. The Maroon’s long-form supplement examines how the IOP has handled its first few years as a hub for political engagement on campus.

Big vote today: The University of Chicago faculty senate is considering a measure that would create a new disciplinary system for disruptive conduct (speaker silencing, obstructive protest, etc). The proposed system provides a range of disciplinary outcomes for students who engage in disruptive conduct that includes warnings, sanctions, probation, and—in the most extreme cases—suspension or expulsion. Read the full proposal here.

** Last Friday, campus activists who oppose the system called for the faculty senate vote to be postponed.

The latest on grad student unionization: Last Friday, lawyers representing the University and Graduate Students United argued in an NLRB hearing following the University’s objections to GSU’s election petition last week.

  • The University brought two witnesses: David Nirenberg, dean of the Social Sciences Division, and Christopher Wild, deputy dean and collegiate master.
  • Nirenberg and Wild spoke about the role of teaching in graduate students’ academic requirements and financial aid.
  • Nirenberg said that while teaching experience is strongly encouraged, graduate students at the U of C focus primarily on research.
  • The hearing was adjourned before Wild could be cross-examined, due to time constraints. Arguments will continue on Monday.

** Admins sent an e-mail to student library workers urging them to think twice about voting to unionize. “In exchange for a fee…which you will pay to the Teamsters, they will negotiate for the group, so it could become harder for you to work directly with your supervisor to decide when you want to work and to develop a work schedule that meets your needs.”

Moving on: Executive Vice Provost Sian Beilock will start a new job as president of Barnard College in July.

“UChicago United”: A new coalition of multicultural campus groups rallied last week to make the University more accommodating to minority students. The rally was prompted, in part, by FIJI’s controversial party on Cinco de Mayo.

Booth alum gives back: Tandean Rustandy (M.B.A. ’07) donated $20 million to the Booth School’s Social Enterprise Initiative. The center will now be known as the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation.  

Seminary Co-Op town hall: The bookstore held a second community meeting on Saturday about its financial future.

The Maroon Editorial Board argues that a Community Benefits Agreement would ensure that the development of the Obama Presidential Center will benefit and not have adverse effects on the South Side community. “If the Obama Center developers are serious about rejuvenating the area, then they should have no problem taking into account what South Side residents want.”


Attention fourth-years: The Maroon is soliciting reflections from graduating students for its grad issue on May 26. If you would like to submit an essay for consideration, e-mail a submission of no longer than 650 words to by 5 p.m. tomorrow, May 24. Winning essays will run online and in print, as space permits.



Editor Sarah Zimmerman writes in:

The University of Chicago chapter of the American Association of University Professors writes that students should have the power to collectively bargain. “At a moment when the University is presenting itself nationally as a standard bearer for freedom of expression, its posture towards collective bargaining on the part of its student employees has been obstructive rather than encouraging.”



Editor Rebecca Julie writes in:

The Reg’s got some special visiting books this quarter. One fourth-year and two second-years were the winners of this year’s T. Kimball Brooker Prize for Undergraduate Book Collecting. The Maroon got to know them (and their books).

Campus is bustling this week with dance, modern takes on the Bard, circus arts, and more. Read on in Exhibit [A]rts.

“Who threw the T-shirt at Tinashe? What did you hope to accomplish?” This year’s Summer Breeze featured a variety of oddities.



Editor Emmett Rosenbaum writes in:

The women’s tennis team saw its playoff run end with a 5–3 loss to No. 4 Williams College on Monday.

The women’s track and field team is preparing to compete in the national championships in Geneva, OH this weekend.


ABC7 Chicago featured a program at Blackstone Bicycle Works on 61st and Blackstone that offers kids the opportunity to earn a bicycle by participating in its educational services.

Proposed cuts to the federal student loan program by President Trump will hurt graduate students, according to BuzzFeed News. It’s less clear how the budget proposal would affect undergraduates.

“A Case for Reparations at the University of Chicago”: Four graduate students argue that the University of Chicago owes reparations because of a donation to the original University of Chicago from a slaveholder in the mid-nineteenth century.

In The Gate: Interviews with UChicago sociologist/artist/activist Eve Ewing, and Matt Christman, one of the hosts of the popular leftist podcast Chapo Trap House.