Newsletter for September 29

Eight O-Week ER transports for alcohol; Phi Delt case settled; and a rally today for racial justice

By Pete Grieve and Euirim Choi

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Good morning. It’s first week.
Eight underage students were transported to the emergency room during O-Week this year after consuming alcoholic beverages, a substantial increase over previous years. Though many of the liquor violations were reported at dorms, the University believes the "actual consumption of alcohol likely occurred elsewhere."

Settlement in hazing case: A lawsuit that was filed in June, 2016, by a former Phi Delt pledge alleging that he was hazed and assaulted was settled earlier this month. The details of the settlement are confidential. The complaint originally sought $250,000 in damages.

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“Know the Facts”: Several days after the administration filed a motion seeking to delay the scheduled October vote on graduate student unionization, Dean of Students Michele Rasmussen sent graduate students an e-mail sharing a new website,, that presents the University’s opposition to grad students unionizing.

  • Splinter News wrote about the website, with the headline “Fancy University Makes Convenient Website Full of Patronizing Anti-Union Bullshit.” 
  • Graduate Students United filed a motion in opposition to the University’s motion on Tuesday, rejecting the admin’s argument that the case should be put on hold because of the possibility that the NLRB's stance on the issue will change (the board has a 3-2 Republican majority as of Monday).

Obama Center funding from Springfield? NBC News and Chicago Tonightreported Wednesday, both citing unnamed sources, that lawmakers are considering approving $100 million in capital funds for the presidential center in Jackson Park.

  • Chicago Tonight: “Sources tell us that Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s team has been working this proposal with lawmakers.” An Obama Foundation spokesperson told them the center will be funded by donations and not taxpayer dollars.

Sentenced: A man who was arrested last spring for affixing posters to University buildings on behalf of a militant neo-Nazi group was sentenced to two years of probation and 160 hours of community service. He was also required to pay $1,040 to the University’s Facilities Services.

  • The case was disposed as a disorderly conduct misdemeanor. Prosecutors originally charged him with a felony property damage charge, and the UCPD had asked for a hate crime felony. 

Racial justice rally: A coalition of campus organizations is holding a rally on the quad at noon today. An organizer wrote in an e-mail that speakers will be “discussing the historical and ongoing role of the University in perpetuating racial injustice, from its endowment to urban renewal to the Obama Presidential Library.”

In Arts
Editor May Huang writes in:  
Early September saw both a campus visit from acclaimed Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård and a release of LCD Soundsystem’s disappointing new album; check out Exhibit A for art events to attend as we head into October.

Hyde Park rep. running for state attorney general: Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul, who has represented Hyde Park in the state senate for 13 years, announced on September 20 that he will run for attorney general after incumbent Lisa Madigan’s surprise announcement that she will not seek reelection.

Law School alum appointed to Fifth Circuit: James Ho (J.D. ’99), a Dallas appellate law expert, was appointed by President Donald Trump to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Experts believe that Ho is a staunch conservative who favors businesses in litigation. Ho and his parents immigrated to the United States from Taiwan.

In Sports
Editor Cavell Means writes in:
Athletics returns with gusto for the 2017–18 school year. The men's and women's soccer teams are undefeated and ranked first in the nation. Football debuts in a new conference for the year. Volleyball looks to spike and ace their way to glory this year.

New Environmental Health Center Partnership: The University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago announced on Tuesday that a four-year $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will go toward the creation of the Chicago Center for Health and Environment, or CACHET. In a statement, center co-director Dr. Habibul Ahsan, a UChicago Medicine professor, said that CACHET will “focus on the biological, social, and economic connections between urban environmental exposures and human disease, and apply the knowledge we gain to the reduction of health inequities.”