April 9, 2002

News in Brief

As administrators and Niteline staff members work to finalize a committee to review peer counseling on campus, members of the Inter-House Council (IHC) have started a petition to express student concerns over the absence of the organization.

"Those students who sign the petition believe that the University should provide a student-run phone service that essentially maintains the same characteristics of Niteline," said David Billmire, a third-year in the College and president of IHC.

These characteristics, according to the petition, include anonymity, confidentiality, instant human response, all night availability, non-crisis peer support, and a general information service.

"These services should be available in a single entity," Billmire said.

IHC will continue collecting signatures today in the Reynolds Club and will compile information at tomorrow night's meeting.

"This is not a proposal to bring back Niteline; this is essentially a proposal to bring something back in its place," Billmire said.

In the meantime, administrators hope to have the reviewing committee start meeting within the next few weeks. Jen Bird, the director of the office of the Reynolds Club and Student Activities, will chair the committee.

"We are working with the leadership of Niteline to create a committee that will include students and faculty," said Bill Michel, deputy dean of students in the University. "We hope to finalize the formation of students, staff, and faculty this week."

Liz Ptacek

The University will announce its massive capital campaign to the student body tomorrow in conjunction with Shake Day. Members of the campaign, known as the Chicago Initiative, will be handing out free shake coupons around campus and in the C-shop during the day. Along with the free shake, students will receive a free Chicago Initiative Mug.

President Don Michael Randel and Dean of Students in the University Margo Marshak will be in the C-Shop to talk to students about the campaign. In addition, they will hold a Brown Bag lunch at noon in the South Lounge of the Reynolds Club to explain the campaign.

"One of the things we hope to communicate is how the campaign will benefit students," said Bill Michel, deputy dean of students in the University.

"Wednesday is a great opportunity for students to preview the campaign before the public launch."

According to Michel, the campaign will benefit students by, among other things, increasing student financial aid and endowed professorships.

"It's essential that students know that this University is undergoing a great fundraising campaign to better serve them," said Frances Lim, Student Government vice president and a member of the student committee of the Initiative.

The Chicago Initiative will be officially announced to University trustees, alumni and friends on Friday, April 12. Bartlett Dining Commons will be closed to students starting at 1 p.m. on Friday for events related to the announcement. Students whose house tables are in Bartlett will be compensated with flex dollars for the loss of dinner.

Katherine Anne Robinson

Construction fencing has been erected at the Robie House as the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed landmark undergoes an $8 million historical restoration. The project began in 1997 and will continue until 2007. The Robie House is nearly 100 years old and is in need of substantial repairs.

"It is still open during repairs and it's so cool to see it go through different stages," said Sheryl Papier of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. "Through the guided tour you can learn about the process in museum restoration."

The Robie House is owned by the University of Chicago and is managed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. It is also a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The current project is attempting to restore the Robie House to its original 1910 appearance.

"It is so unique to have something that is internationally regarded as a cornerstone of modern architecture on your campus and have the opportunity to see it being renovated," Papier said.

Because the restoration is being done to museum standards, the cost is much higher than it would be for a typical resoration. The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust is raising the money; they have so far raised $4 million. Unforeseen damages have increased costs, as when an entire wall recently fell down from termite damage.

Jazmin LeBlanc

The Toyota Technology Institute (TTI) of Nagoya, Japan, in conjunction with the University, will open a new information sciences department on campus. While the TTI center will be separate from the University, the two programs will be affiliated, providing the opportunity for joint research and teaching, according to David Oxtoby, dean of the physical sciences division.

Classes at TTI Chicago will begin this fall with an enrollment of 10 master's degree students from Japan. The creation of a Ph.D. program is planned and hiring has begun on what is anticipated to be a faculty of 30 in five years' time. Research and teaching pursuits at TTI Chicago will include theoretical computer sciences, computational geometry, learning theory, languages, databases and large-scale scientific simulation. TTI Chicago will be housed in the University's press building at 1427 East 60th Street, and its funding will come from a $100 million endowment provided by TTI.

Established in 1981 by an endowment from the Toyota Motor Corporation, there are currently 320 undergraduate and 84 graduate students attending TTI Japan under the tutelage of 79 faculty members. TTI president Mitsuru Nagasawa studied chemistry as a postdoctoral fellow at the U of C from 1959 until 1961.

Andy Coghlan