NEWSLETTER

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May 11, 2021

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11:06 p.m.

Activists and Organizers Rally Outside Levi Hall; University Reports 13 New COVID-19 Cases This Week | Newsletter for May 12

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Good Morning. It’s seventh week. Come out and feel the sun! 🌤️ You can read our digital issue for the week here.

Organizers from a broad coalition of campus and community activist groups marched through campus on May 1, calling for the abolition of UCPD and recognition of the Graduate Student Union (GSU), among other demands.

  • GSU, National Nurses United, Tenants United Hyde Park/Woodlawn, the UChicago Labor Council, and UChicago United were all represented at the march and in the accompanying car caravan.
  • A spokesperson for the nurses of UChicago’s Medical Center described their efforts to secure full sick pay for nurses infected with COVID-19 and to restore the University’s contributions to retirement.
  • The march concluded at an event organized by the Experimental Station Union, which was recently formed and is still struggling for recognition.

The renowned linguist, philosopher, and political activist Noam Chomsky addressed students at a virtual event on Thursday, April 29, co-hosted by the student political unions of the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Columbia University.

  • Chomsky offered measured praise of the first hundred days of President Joe Biden’s administration, addressing the president’s approach to vaccine distribution and organized labor as well as the ongoing threat of climate change.
  • He remained cautiously optimistic about Biden’s approach to labor policy, noting the decline in unionization rates in the United States over the last 50 years and the lack of strong support for labor unions from the federal government during that period.

Brood X cicadas are set to emerge from the ground this May for the first time in 17 years. They are expected to affect four Illinois counties, but not the Chicago Area.

  • Cicada broods are categorized by their geographical location and their time of emergence. This brood will mostly hit the far eastern part of the state: Vermillion, Edgar, Clark, and Crawford counties.
  • Brood emergences may be a nuisance for people living in affected areas. Female cicadas lay their eggs by making holes in the branches of trees, which can be damaging for young fruit trees. 
  • Researchers suggested that students download the app Cicada Safari, which maps emergences across the country.

UChicago researchers have found that cuttlefish can delay gratification by resisting readily available snacks in exchange for better ones later on. The research marks the first time a link between self-control and intelligence has been found in an animal other than humans and chimpanzees.

  • Results show that cuttlefish learned to tolerate delays in obtaining food better than their non-delaying counterparts, such as other large-brained vertebrates, which led to better learning performance.
  • Finding this link between self-control and intelligence in a species outside of the primate lineage is an example of convergent evolution, in which different evolutionary histories have led to the same cognitive feature.
  • Delayed gratification in humans is thought to benefit the species as a whole. Cuttlefish, however, are not social species, and therefore their capacity to evolve for self-control is more surprising.

The University reported 13 new cases of COVID-19 during the past week. There are two close contacts associated with the new cases.

  • With Phase 2 of COVID-19 vaccination underway in Illinois, the University has now issued vaccination invitations via MyChart for all eligible students.
  • Appointments for the first vaccine dose must be scheduled to take place before or on May 21 in order to complete the two-shot Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine sequence by the end of spring quarter on June 12.
  • Despite the CDC’s modification of guidelines regarding fully vaccinated individuals, the University said that no major changes to the requirements in the UChicago Health Pact are expected during the rest of spring quarter.

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In Arts

Editor Veronica Chang writes in:

Arts reporter Neel Lahiri recaps this year's Oscars, a strange end to a stranger awards season.

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In Crossword

Editor Chris Jones writes in: 

How well do you know your Greek alphabet? "Sigma follower" appears in the crossword puzzle this week; the answer you're looking for is TAU.