February 18, 2020

Maroon Talks to Student Counseling Head; Midway Review Returns | Newsletter for February 18

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Good morning. It’s time to pre-reg! Don’t forget! 📚

The director of Student Counseling Services, Dr. Meeta Kumar, spoke to The Maroon about mental health challenges faced by UChicago students, and what SCS can do to help.

  • “Coming to college for the first time, adjusting here, leaving home, exploring identity, growing up, finding career paths, and more grade-level concerns” can all be sources of stress on college students, Dr. Kumar said.
  • SCS launched a 24/7 call line this quarter, which allows students to speak with a mental health clinician at any hour of the day for advice, assessment, or support.

The Campus Policy Research Institute, a newly-formed student think-tank, published a survey of UChicago students’ thoughts on mental health services. The group concluded by issuing several recommendations, such as expanding the number of mental health counselors, to better the campus mental health climate.

The Institute of Politics hosted a student roundtable to discuss the politics of mental health issues, whether here at the University of Chicago, around the world, or in the philosophical realm.

Cyntoia Brown Long, a sexual trafficking victim whose murder charge was commuted after the viral #FreeCyntoia movement, discussed her life and story at Mandel Hall last Thursday during an interview with Tara Betts, the literary editor of New City.

  • The activist discussed her experience with human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and the flaws of the American criminal justice system in her talk.

Shermin Kruse, a professor at Northwestern’s Law School, discussed U.S.-Iran relations at an IOP event two weeks ago. Professor Kruse reflected on her own upbringing on Iran—and offered insight into the turbulent present period.

The Midway Review, a campus literary journal, is set to return after a 2-year sabbatical. It’s another metamorphosis in the publication’s storied history: from its birth as a conservative student publication, the Midway Review has become a space for student literary criticism.

In Arts

Editor Perri Wilson writes in:

“The care and attention paid to even the smallest of details add up to an incomparable experience, whether you’re watching from onstage or off,” said critic Isabelle Cisneros of the play Once On This Island, in Chicago theatres now.

“As an artist visually mining a historical site on occupied lands, Evron is participating in and reinforcing Israel’s and America’s projection of oppressive control over Palestine,” says Jad Dashan of Israeli artist Assaf Evron’s self-titled U.S. solo debut.

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‘Twenty Minutes Still,’ a meditation session hosted by Student Health and Counseling Services each weekday morning, aims to promote mindfulness in the student body.

  • Interested students should report to Bond Chapel each weekday at 8:00 A.M.

Activists staged a sit-in last week outside of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office, calling for changes to the draft Woodlawn Affordable Housing Preservation Ordinance. Lori Lightfoot’s draft ordinance did not address all of the demands made in an Obama Center Community Benefits Agreement introduced by Chicago councilmembers over the summer.

  • For example, Lightfoot’s plan rejected a ‘pilot zone’ initiative, which would require a set percentage of all new construction to be designated affordable.
  • The activists called for increased protection for affordable housing in the Woodlawn community.
  • The calls come in response to the planned Obama Presidential Center, which activists fear could cause existing South Side communities to be displaced.
  • Said one activist: “They’ve known exactly what we want for three years.… What we’re doing matters. We are forcing them to address our concerns, they’re not moving the way we want them to move yet, so we’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing.””

In Sports

Editor Brinda Rao writes in:

This weekend saw the Swimming and Diving Teams place second out of eight teams at the UAA Championship.

  • Fourth-year Diver Agnes Lo ends her UAA career being named the UAA Women's Athlete of the year for the third time.
  • First-year Morgan Simon sets the University's record in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 16:55.34.
  • First-year Arthur Kiselnikov sets the University and UAA's record in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 44.30.
  • The UAA Championship also saw the Maroons' coaching staff receiving laudations for their work: Head Coach Jason Weber and Assistant Coach Nicole Kaupp were named UAA Men's Coaching Staff of the Year. The UAA awarded its Women's Diving Coach of the Year award to Head Diving Coach Becky Benson.

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