Newsletter for October 24

Counsel calls it a “disappointing result” for survivors, University says it is vindicated.

By Pete Grieve, Editor-in-Chief ('18–'19)

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Good morning. Welcome to fifth week.
42 days: The Department of Education closed a Title IX investigation into the University of Chicago (citing “insufficient evidence”) just 42 days after it opened a case into alleged discrimination on the basis of sex in its response to a report by a female student of misconduct. The complainant’s attorney said this is not that surprising because the complaint fell under Title IX guidance that has since been rescinded by Betsy DeVos. This case is one of just over a dozen that have been closed since the Education Department issued new guidance on Title IX last month.

— “It's very disappointing, but what I can say is there are still open investigations into the University of Chicago. We here at [the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation] currently represent three other complainants in the two investigations still open with the Office for Civil Rights,” the complainant’s attorney said, referencing the two Title IX investigations that appear to remain active. “It is still a disappointing result, however, for our client and other survivors seeking a fair response to their complaints at the University of Chicago.” 

A University spokesperson said UChicago was vindicated: “The OCR concluded that the University’s response to the Title IX complaint was reasonably prompt and consistent with the requirements of Title IX.”Here’s the story.

** More ED news: WaPo reports that DeVos rescinded policy documents that lay out rights for students with disabilities, raising alarm from Democratic lawmakers and disabled rights advocates.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates spoke to a packed Rockefeller Chapel last week on race, discovering Malcolm X, and the importance of catching up.”
Student Government had its first full assembly meeting of the year with graduate and undergraduate representatives. The meeting included a brief discussion with Michael Hayes, the assistant vice president for student life, whospoke about steps that the University has taken to aid students affected by DACA.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) congratulated UChicago graduate students after their unionization vote in a statement to The Maroon. “Congratulations to the University of Chicago teaching and research assistants who overwhelmingly voted to organize! I’m proud to support your efforts to collectively bargain for better wages and working conditions.”

In Viewpoints
Viewpoints Editor Urvi Kumbhat writes in:
Columnist Soulet Ali problematizes the lack of transparency that characterizes the University administration's functioning, interviewing Dean Ellison in her search for clarity.
Columnist Aaron Katsimpalis argues that UChicago compromises its commitment to free speech and debate by expressing explicitly political opinions.

Founder of Impossible Foods Patrick O’Reilly Brown (A.B. ’76, Ph.D. ’80, M.D. ’82) spoke at Polsky about his venture, which is has created “veggie burgers that bleed” from ingredients like potatoes, xanthan, coconut oil and soybeans.

Bret Stephens wrote an entire column praising UChicago President Robert J. Zimmer, declaring him “America’s Best University President,” which the University proudly shared on social media.

In Sports
Sports Editor Cavell Means writes in:
Football stole the show this weekend with a blowout win against Beloit. Men’s and women’s basketball gear up to start their seasons.

In Arts
Editor Alexia Bacigalupi writes in: 

Enjoy a program of Polish composers, UT’s Weekend of Workshops, and COUP’s annual Halloween bash Boos N’ Ribs in this week’s Exhibit A.
The Logan Bluesfest was a two-day celebration of jazz icons featuring Blues Hall of Fame inductees Dick Shurman and Elvin Bishop among other performers.
St. Vincent’s latest album, MASSEDUCTION, reflects the latest shift in the artist’s chameleon-like image: “dominatrix at the mental institution.”