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The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

City Council Approves Police Academy; Law School Affinity Groups Boycott Admitted Students Weekend | Newsletter for March 14

More: Confidential data breach at the Law School; Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie Wright (J.D. ’11) is a lead prosecutor in “Operation Varsity Blues;” Fourth Ward Alderman Sophia King sits down with The Maroon to discuss her job.

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Good morning. It’s the first day of reading period.

Cop Academy: City Council overwhelmingly voted in favor of outgoing mayor Rahm Emanuel’s controversial proposal for a $95 million police academy on Wednesday.

  • The proposal for a police and fire training academy in West Garfield Park has drawn criticism from groups including Black Lives Matter and #NoCopAcademy.

Both mayoral candidates have said they oppose moving forward with the current proposal – but for opposite reasons. Preckwinkle believes the $95 million budget for the academy is too high; Lightfoot, meanwhile, has expressed support for a larger, more expensive complex, pointing to New York City’s recent plans for a $750 million academy.

Confidential data breach: A senior member of the Law School admissions team emailed admitted students an attachment with sensitive information about this year’s Master of Laws (LLM) applicant pool.

  • The information was sent to nearly 300 admitted students, and includes applicants’ names, countries of origin, grades, TOEFL scores, class ranks, and application decisions with comments.
  • Mailing out the attachment was inadvertent, a University spokesperson told The Maroon, and the Law School has notified everyone whose privacy was breached.

Law School Affinity Groups are boycotting Admitted Students Weekend early next quarter, after administrators did not condemn law professor Geoffrey Stone’s long-time use of a racial epithet in class, a controversy that recently resurfaced.

  • The boycott represents a major blow to one of the Law School’s largest annual recruitment events, which the affinity groups are usually heavily involved in running.
  • The conflict underpinning the boycott stems from disparate views of how the University's Chicago Principles on free speech should be applied.

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UChicago Admissions will release decisions for regular decision applicants tomorrow, Friday, March 15.

On the topic of admissions, UChicago was not implicated in “Operation Varsity Blues,” the bribery and fraud scandal in which wealthy parents are charged with conspiring to buy spots for their children at top colleges including Yale, Stanford, and Georgetown.

  • Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie Wright (J.D. ’11) is one of the lead prosecutors in the case, which will unfold in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts.
  • Professor Raghuram Rajan, Booth School professor and former governor of the Reserve Bank of India, weighed in on Wednesday. He characterized “the extreme nature of the race for academic qualifications” in college applications as “increasingly a rich person’s race.”
  • Candidate for city treasurer Ameya Pawar (S.M. ’09, A.M. ’16) also had thoughts: “I scratched, clawed, and borrowed my way into UChicago…. And I’ll spend the rest of my life paying off student loans,” he wrote. “Must be nice to gift/bribe your way into school.”

Fourth Ward Alderman Sophia King sat down with The Maroon ahead of her first full term on the job.

  • Aldermanic prerogative: King affirmed her support for the hotly debated policy, and referenced her ability to reject a casino in her ward. “If I’m doing my job well I understand [Fourth Ward residents] better than the mayor who has to think more globally,” she said.
  • Tax increment financing: King said the program has “not been used as [former mayor Harold Washington] intended,” but said she believes it should be reformed, not abandoned.
  • Mayor’s Race: King expressed strong support for Toni Preckwinkle. She added that whatever the outcome, she’s optimistic about Chicago, because it’s “a testament to the city that [it] overwhelmingly chose to pick two African-American women, one of whom will lead them.”

J Street has launched a free trip to Israel and the West Bank billed as an alternative to UChicago Hillel’s Birthright program.

  • Participants “will meet both Israelis and Palestinians and won’t ignore the occupation,” J Street UChicago said yesterday in a Facebook announcement.
  • The announcement comes amid mounting criticism of the Birthright trip organized by UChicago Hillel. Last month, progressive Jewish organization If Not Now held a protest outside Hillel and circulated demands that the trip provide Palestinian perspectives on the conflict.

Economist Kerwin Charles was named the next dean of the Yale School of Management last week. Charles, who studies various topics in labor and applied microeconomics, is currently a professor at the Harris School of Public Policy. He also served as deputy dean of Harris from 2011–2016 and interim dean from 2016–2017.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel interviewed Supreme Court historian and legal scholar Gerald Rosenberg, who teaches in the political science department and at the Law School. The pair discussed the Court’s political history.

The Booth School of Business fell to No. 3 in the U.S. News ranking of M.B.A. programs for 2020, released Tuesday. The school is tied with Harvard and MIT for No. 3, behind the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and Stanford. Booth had risen to the top of the list last year.

In Viewpoints

Editor Cole Martin writes in:

Columnist Ruby Rorty reflects on her personal struggle with anxiety and calls on UChicago administrators to do more to make our campus less stressful.

Columnist Alex Bisnath analyzes the city treasurer’s race and finds that the little-understood position carries more influence than people assume.

In Podcast

Editor Austin Christhilf writes in:

This week in the news: Alumnus Bernie Sanders hosts his second 2020 Presidential campaign rally at Navy Pier, Zimmer comes out against a Federal free speech guidance suggested by President Trump, controversy surrounding law school Professor Geoffrey Stone, and much more!

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