NEWSLETTER

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April 14, 2021

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2:35 a.m.

Stay-at-Home Order Follows COVID Spike; Remembering a Renowned Anthropologist | Newsletter for April 14th

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Good morning. It’s third week. We’re a third of the way through the nine-week quarter. 😬 You can read our digital issue for the week here.

The Maroon is accepting personal spreads for its graduation issue! For the Class of 2021, as well as their friends and family, these ads are a great way to highlight the achievements of the outgoing class during this unprecedented time. Copies of the grad issue will be mailed to each member of the Class of 2021 as part of the College’s care package. The deadline to request a custom-made ad is April 18th! Place an order here.

Also, we would be remiss if we didn't mention our own Noah Tesfaye and Kate Mabus, who wrote in for The Nation this week on last summer's editorial board article, “The University Must Disband Its Private Police Force.”

The University announced a stay-at-home order last Wednesday following the detection of more than 50 positive COVID-19 cases in the student body.

  • The announcement noted that “many of these cases may have been connected to one or more parties held by off-campus fraternities over the last week.”
  • The stay-at-home period will last until April 15, during which on-campus students are required to stay in dorms at all times except when getting food, attending medical appointments, or taking brief walks.
  • The email sent to students in the College further urged those who have recently attended a party or “unmasked gathering” to be tested for COVID-19 immediately.

Following the University’s announcement, College Council (CC) drafted a resolution that called on the University to bar students from reserving seats in courses via pre-registration if they are found to have seriously violated the University of Chicago Health Pact.

  • Earlier, CC issued a statement which argued that students who “egregiously violated the Health Pact,” such as by attending a party, should be sanctioned, possibly by imposing a pre-registration hold and halting housing lottery placement priority.
  • CC sought input from students on the resolution and provided a forum for students to comment on the role fraternities played in the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases at an April 8 event titled “Greek Life & the Campus Closure.”

The University reported 97 new COVID-19 cases as a result of the cluster of positive cases last week in its weekly UChicago Forward update, a significant increase from 52 cases the week before.

  • The influx brings the positivity rate on campus to 0.98 percent, the highest it has been this academic year.
  • As of Friday, more than 3,400 eligible members of the University community have received the vaccine through Phase 1c of the City of Chicago’s distribution plan. It is projected that Chicago will enter Phase 2 on April 19, allowing all Chicagoans aged 16 and older to be eligible for the vaccine.

Marshall Sahlins, best known for his extensive anthropological work on the Pacific islands as well as his contributions to the anti-war movement, died on Monday, April 5, at his home in Hyde Park. He was 90.

  • Sahlins grew up in Chicago. At the University of Chicago, Sahlins taught and wrote from 1973 to 1997 as the Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and of Social Sciences in the College.
  • Outside of academia, Sahlins was a giant in the anti-war movement who spoke out against government propaganda and the military-industrial complex, especially during the Vietnam War.

After one year of remote learning, international students spoke to The Maroon about taking classes from another side of the globe, where time zone differences present unique challenges for students both in academics and extracurricular activities.

  • While the University was aware of the fact that some international students have synchronous sessions scheduled at midnight in their local time zones, attendance policies at the College have continued to be at the discretion of professors, several of whom international students say have not been accommodating.
  • While some professors were flexible with regard to the situations of international students, University obligations still led many students to miss family time and struggle with distorted sleep schedules.
  • Beyond the classroom, time zone differences have compromised international students’ ability to pursue extracurricular activities.

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In Viewpoints

Editor Kelly Hui writes in:

After a COVID outbreak tied to fraternities, columnist Matthew Pinna argues that creating accountability for Greek life, not abolishing it, is the answer.

Master’s student Ibrahim Rashid urges the University to create more support for COVID-positive students and make sure they receive long-term care, particularly for “long COVID” symptoms that persist long after infection.

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In Arts

Editor Veronica Chang writes in:

MODA renewed its commitment to creativity, accessibility, and diversity in its Winter 2021 issue.

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In Grey City

Editor Avi Waldman writes in:

In the second installment of an ongoing series, Grey City looks at how the disruption caused by COVID-19 has impacted Illinois's child welfare system, separated parents from their children, and placed foster parents under increasing stress.

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In Crossword:

Editor Chris Jones writes in:

We celebrate "New Year's Rockin' Eve" in the crossword puzzle this week (fashionably in April). Crank up the song in 34-Down, "Livin' La Vida LOCA!"