November 4, 2019

Obama Discusses Presidential Center; Comey Comes to Campus | Newsletter for November 4

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Good morning. It’s sixth week, marking the quarter’s halfway point—and the start of Christmas music season. 🎄


President Obama and Yara Shahidi at the Obama Foundation Summit's closing panel on Tuesday.

Suah Oh / The Chicago Maroon

Former President Barack Obama offered warnings against call-out culture on college campuses before discussing the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) last Tuesday at the third annual Obama Foundation Summit. The summit was hosted by the Illinois Institute of Technology, and marks the first time in over a year that Mr. Obama has publicly spoken about the OPC.

  • At the beginning of the event, former First Lady Michelle Obama spoke with her brother, Craig Robinson, about their childhoods on the South Side. They also touched on why the OPC is being constructed in Jackson Park—a decision that has faced criticism from community leaders.  

  • Mrs. Obama: “Barack’s presidential library could have been anywhere in the world because there are so many people who feel like he is their president all over the world. We had to think, where do we put this resource—because it will be a resource. Well, what better place to put it than our backyard?”

We talked to Kurdish students about describing what it means to be Kurdish—and to belong to the world’s largest ethnic group without a state—during Turkey’s incursion into Northern Syria. Check out our video interview. 🎥

“Ethical Leadership”: Former FBI Director James Comey (J.D. ‘85) opened his talk at the Law School last Tuesday by defining ethical leadership, before moving on to discuss the Trump presidency. During the event he compared his interactions with various presidents, and reflected on how the current administration disregards truths.

  • Comey: “There’s a danger today that there’s so much lying going on, especially from our president, that we will become numb to the touchstone being washed away like a sandcastle at the beach. 

In Arts

Editor Perri Wilson writes in: 

With pieces such as a giant church fan, “Miller transforms the nostalgic item into a symbol of community, camaraderie, and tradition, bound together and preserved through shared faith.”

A new exhibition at the Smart Museum draws upon the idealism of the 1933 World’s Fair to negotiate the social and political implications of utopias.

The contrast between the seemingly inflexible Art Deco frames and sleek gold vaults, and the solid and cartoonish colors of Boxville forces one to consider how much our economy and culture have changed in the past century.”

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Four employees that work in cafes across campus.

Adrián Mandeville / The Chicago Maroon

Battle of the Baristas: If you don’t have a favorite campus cafe yet, check out our profile of four student baristas. Their responses on what makes their spot (and jobs) special may just sway your opinion one way or another.

  • Cobb Barista AnnaClaire Fields: “Today a customer who was an undergraduate at UC during the Vietnam War told me about how she and her friends would come to Cobb to see the birth dates selected for the draft on the television. I guess that’s history for you.”

According to U.S. Census data, about 33 percent of Hyde Park’s population is eligible for federal nutrition programs. Feed1st—an organization that partners with the University of Chicago Medical Center—is aiming combat local food insecurity by providing a food pantry and nutritious foods to patients and caregivers at the hospital. 

State Senator Robert Peters, who represents the 13th district of the Illinois Senate, gave a talk at a recent meeting of the University of Chicago Democrats. Peters addressed his controversial appointment to the position and his experiences in the state Senate so far. 

  • Peters called suspicions that he might be a “machine hack” unfounded in light of his progressive qualifications, adding: “I’m doing civil disobedience, I had supported Bernie Sanders, and I’m pretty radical in terms of my views.”

In Sports

Editor Brinda Rao writes in:

Ryan Cutter captures the first UAA title the Men's Cross Country team has received since 2003. 

Women's Volleyball prepares for the UAA Championships as top seed. 

Swimming and diving win 29 of the 32 events at their second meet of the season. 

Men's soccer continues its four year streak of UAA titles with home game against Case Western Reserve.

20th Ward Alderman Jeanette Taylor recently endorsed presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, becoming the fifth Chicago alderman to do so. Taylor, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, won her seat this past April after a hotly contested race between nine candidates.

#HotGirlFall: The Major Activities Board announced the headliner for this year’s annual Fall Show: Megan Thee Stallion. 

  • The concert will be held in Mandel Hall on Saturday, November 16, at 8 p.m.  

Future of the First Amendment: Legal Forum, one of the Law School’s student-run academic journals, organized a symposium that gathered academics and journalists from across the country to talk about the First Amendment. This is the first year in which panelists included members from outside of the legal field.