Newsletter for April 17

U of C makes donation to Obama Foundation; Facebook unpublishes UChicago Secrets; Non-tenure track faculty ratify union contract

By Pete Grieve and Euirim Choi

Good morning. It’s fourth week.
Non-tenure track faculty ratified their first union contract with the University on Friday by a nearly unanimous vote, according to a press release Monday:

— “After two years of negotiations, the administration agreed to important improvements for the faculty members and their students, including up to 49 percent wage increases for some, paid parental leave, increased job stability, capped language course sizes and professional development funds.”

First U of C donation to Obama Foundation: The University is donating up to $200,000 to match “community engagement” efforts from the Foundation, a U of C spokesperson told the Sun-Times. The donation was disclosed in the Foundation’s quarterly report.
UChicago Secrets, the popular anonymous forum, has been unpublished by Facebook for alleged violations of “community standards.” Before the page was unpublished, it generated some controversy for a recent post expressing hatred toward France.  From a post Monday on UChicago Crushes:

— “Our beloved sister page UChicago Secrets has been forcibly unpublished (‘zucced’) by Facebook. The admins believe that the reason provided was arbitrary and unjust, and have appealed the decision. Please keep UChicago Secrets in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.”

Playwright Martyna Majok (A.B. ’07) won a Pulitzer Prize for Cost of Living, a play about people with physical disabilities.

In Viewpoints
Editor Meera Santhanam writes in:
Columnist Natalie Denby argues that constantly bragging about sleep deprivation and stress is incredibly detrimental to both health and campus culture.
Columnist Lucas Du contends that racism is still ever-prevalent in the United States, as seen through the context of a simple dating website.

“Are you willing to be vilified?” That’s what the National Review’s David French asked UChicago College Republicans Thursday night, after describing how he faced backlash for supporting a pro-life student group when he was a student at Harvard.
A history of Yerkes: The University is set to end operations at Yerkes Observatory after 125 years. This in-depth report takes a look at the history of the University’s observatory, which was once home to the world’s largest telescope with 40-inch diameter lenses. The Lake Geneva, WI location was ideal, a U of C researcher wrote in an 1897 book, because the “region is one where the mean annual cloudiness is low for this part of the United States, there is but little dust, and the nights of the best observing months are usually calm.”

In multimedia: On the Maroon Weekly podcast host Austin Christhilf talks the history of housing in the college with Spencer Dembner, and Quinn Kane sits down with Managing Editor Katie Akin to find out what exactly happened to the business economics major proposal.

— The Maroon visited professor John List’s office to try to figure out what was going on with his business economics proposal. He explained that business economics will be implemented as a track within the economics department, rather than as a new major as it was originally conceived, which would have required approval from College Council.

Woodlawn community gardens may be closed by the First Presbyterian Church of Chicago, which owns the land occupied by the gardens. Many local gardeners are concerned about the future of their crops and are upset by the potential loss of a tight-knit community.
Kenwood’s Lake Village East Apartments won an award for “affordable rental housing preservation” on April 5 from the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards (CNDA). The apartments were renovated last year.

In Arts
May Huang writes in:
From indie duo Matt and Kim’s concert at the Riviera tonight to Sunday’s Chicagoland debut of Soundscapes of Color, an opera and art installation by fourth-year Michał Dzitko, fourth week presents myriad arts events tocheck out amid midterm season.
The Asian Students’ Union brought Philip Wang and Wesley Chan of Wong Fu Productions to Mandel Hall last Tuesday. The pair, along with third member Ted Fu, have over 3 million subscribers on YouTube and use their social media presence to explore Asian-American identity.
The eighth-annual “Engendering Change” conference, a Chicagoland graduate conference hosted by the the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, featured artists and scholars such as Chase Joynt, the MTL Collective, and Professor Jasbir Puar this past weekend.
Cardi B’s latest album, Invasion of Privacy, has the makings of an instant classic, marking the rapper as a formidable artist whose confidence, talent, and feminism makes her a musical force to be reckoned with.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has remained silent after a recent study found that three out of 10 homes surveyed in Chicago had unsafe lead levels in tap water. For more updates on local politics, check out this week’s Citizen Bulletin.

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