November 7, 2019

Chicago Police Investigate Reported Sexual Assault; South Shore Gets New Grocer | Newsletter for November 7

Subscribe to the Maroon Newsletter.

Good morning. It’s sixth week and as midterms wrap up (or start?) hang in there! 😤


Justin Smith / The Chicago Maroon

Chicago police are investigating a reported sexual assault alleged to have occurred at the Delta Upsilon (DU) fraternity house on Saturday, according to police and University officials.

  • Chicago Police is leading the investigation because the alleged assault happened off-campus, University spokesperson Gerald McSwiggan said. He added that University police will act “in a supporting role if needed.” The University does not officially recognize fraternities or sororities.

  • Students received an e-mail on Sunday about the incident from Dean of Students Michele Rasmussen and Deputy Title IX Coordinator Shea Wolfe. As of Monday, the offender was unknown.

  • When reached for comment, DU provided a statement with an account of Saturday’s events. “[N]o Delta Upsilon brother is suspected of misconduct,” the statement reads. The Maroon was not able to corroborate this statement by the time of publication.

  • Editor’s Note: The Maroon is conducting ongoing reporting about this incident. Information can be shared with The Maroon at our tip line.

A brighter future for Yerkes: The University is set to start work on a deal transferring ownership of Yerkes Observatory, built in Wisconsin to house the world’s largest refracting telescope, to local group the Yerkes Future Foundation.

“Reproduction, rethought”: Third-year graduate student Matthew Zajac is a runner-up in this year’s Young Scientist Essay Competition, sponsored by the journal Nature. His essay imagines the future of same-sex reproduction technology—and what that means for him now as a gay scientist conducting chemical biology research.

  • I have no doubt that the science that I referenced in the piece—genome editing to remove imprinted genes—will progress to the point where same-sex reproduction is possible and safe in humans,” Zajac said in an email. “I am more concerned about...the societal and political roadblocks that must be overcome for this to be used in practice.”

  • Zajac, who has a University teaching award for his work as an organic chemistry TA, also reflected on how his identities intersect in daily life. Ever since coming out to his parents, “I have felt no desire to be who I am assumed to be…. That has translated directly to how I conduct my research: assume nothing, question everything, and don’t be afraid to go down a path no one has gone down before.”

In Arts

Editor Jad Dahshan writes in:

Read this interview with David Gosz about how his experience at UChicago led to the beginnings of a career in musical theater. 

Lose yourself to the chaos on stage and perhaps you’ll understand what your high school AP Lit teacher meant when she heralded Jane Eyre as one of the great triumphs of storytelling. 

The panel of activist scholars in dialogue at the Smart Museum advocated for the abolition of police and the systems of racism and control they perpetuate.

Distract yourself from midterms this week with Diwali, a Silent Disco, and pita bread. Here’s your weekly debrief on art events.

Famed for its “Monster Hell Ramen Challenge,” the Chicago chain Strings Ramen is expected to open at the 53rd street storefront previously occupied by Hiro Sushi within the next two months. Strings serves ramen and other Japanese delicacies in light broth; ramen bowls average around $15.

A symposium last month at Saieh Hall, saw activists, academics, and politicians discuss strategies for left-wing political organizing.

  • Adom Getachew, a political science professor, told The Maroon that in the era of Trump, mainstream discourse “has conceded or accepted the view that populism is antidemocratic, which just seems so strange [because] whatever it is, it’s a project of building majorities.” 

  • Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party, said that in order to overcome the electoral advantage of the Republican party, leftists “will have to win votes in places where people don’t automatically share our politics, especially on questions of race and racism.”

Food desert no more: A new Shop & Save Market is slated to open November 20 in South Shore’s Jeffery Plaza, ending the neighborhood’s nearly six years without a full-service grocer. 

  • The store’s announcement last year of intending to come to South Shore was a major victory for Fifth Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston, who used the achievement as a cornerstone of her reelection campaign earlier this year. 

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

In Viewpoints

Editors Zahra Nasser and Meera Santhanam write in:

Two UChicago psychiatrists reflect on the importance of thoughtful reporting on student suicides, and provide useful resources to those who may be in need of mental health support.

Students for Justice in Palestine expresses concern over the IOP’s recent pro-Israel Instagram stories, calling into question the institution’s commitment to nonpartisan political activity.

Columnist Leena El-Sadek reflects on her visit to Mamie Till’s home in Woodlawn and challenges the notion that the legal system is noble.

Second-year David Liang, who served as a Class of 2020 representative last year, has started a think tank to research issues pertaining to UChicago’s Student Government. It will be funded by the University of Chicago Democracy Initiative, an RSO.

  • The think tank’s top priorities include campus mental health and the viability of making Student Government an independent non-profit organization.

  • Liang: “It’s borderline impossible to make sensible policies without proper data supporting your decisions.”

Mental health and accessibility: Student Government on Monday passed a resolution calling on Student Counseling Service (SCS) to provide excuse notes so students can miss class to attend emergency counseling sessions or intake appointments.

  • SG president Jahne Brown: “When we discussed this issue with SCS, they shared that a big reason wait times are hard to reduce is because students aren’t able to schedule [counseling] during class times ...This is a structural issue that makes accessing mental health resources extremely difficult.”

University administrators answered student questions on the recently released Campus Climate Survey at an SG-hosted event: “Town Hall: Sexual Misconduct.” A previous meeting was held by the Title IX office focusing on the Campus Climate Survey, however it was met with backlash by attendees and SG’s Executive Slate, which published a statement expressing their criticisms of the report.

  • Title IX Coordinator Bridget Collier: “I do not see evidence that recognizing fraternities would reduce incidents or sexual assault.”

Following The Maroon’s article last week on the University’s decision to begin awarding Latin Honors, SG passed a resolution asking the administration to reconsider the change.

  • After noting that the change was not announced to the student body, the resolution further urged the administration to “consult and notify the undergraduate student body on any proposed changes in the future,” and “to enact these changes only for the incoming class of freshmen, since when we accepted our spot in this institution, we did not agree to these categories.”

In Crossword

Editor Chris Jones writes in with a hint:

This week’s crossword is tough, but here’s a hint: “City on the Great Lakes,” in just four letters, is ERIE, Pennsylvania. By our estimate, it’s a 30-hour boat ride from Chicago. ⛵️