Chicago Women Voice Support for Planned Parenthood

 

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The Wicker Park Planned Parenthood, one of seven located in the Chicago area.

 

As the Trump administration moves to defund Planned Parenthood, funding for centers in Illinois are under threat.

There are seven Planned Parenthood health centers in Chicago, and defunding them would leave many women in the Chicago area in need.

“I am at high-risk for ovarian cancer and breast cancer, said Yvonne Merill, Chicago resident. “So cheap free testing is really nice.”

Planned Parenthood provided her with affordable birth control services such as the birth control pill and an Intrauterine Device (IUD) as well as other female healthcare needs.

Maja Cho, another Chicago resident, said that without federal funding her local Planned Parenthood Center wouldn’t be able to offer an affordable payment plan.

“Without their sliding scale payment, I wouldn’t be able to have my yearly Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) checkup, affordable birth control, and routine pap test,” Cho said.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, about $390 million, 87 percent of the total paid out by the federal government, comes through Medicaid payments. If the government goes through with defunding, that payment would be reduced by $235 million over the 2016-2025 period.

“If defunded there wouldn’t be reimbursement for care,” said Julie Lynn, Planned Parenthood Illinois Manager of External Affairs.  “A lot of our patients are on Medicaid. If defunded, it could affect a lot of our patients.”

After moving to Chicago in 2005 Andersonville resident, Jennifer Mierisch, attending Planned Parenthood was the simplest thing she could do for her health in her new city. She said knowing that she could trust their professionalism, not worry about health insurance, and pay on a sliding scale based on her income was extremely beneficial.

“I hate the idea of PP losing federal funding because then it couldn’t be such a wonderful resource for women and offer a sliding scale fee structure.” Mierisch said.  “Losing funding would hurt poor women the most.”

Lynn said there will always be a constant concern that Planned parenthood could be defunded. But she added Planned Parenthood Illinois is always vigilant and will ensure that patients are of paramount importance.

“Planned Parenthood has been around for over 100 years and we’ve fought the fight for patients and will again because they are our number one priority,” Lynn said.

Thursday Planned Parenthood Illinois Action will host a Sold-out fundraiser at City Winery in honor of the anniversary of Roe Vs. Wade. A rally to defend Planned Parenthood will follow on February 11.

 

 

 

Loyola Gives Back on Giving Tuesday

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Loyola students decorate holiday cards. All the cards will be taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital. As part of Giving Tuesday, students and faculty gave back to the community by cheering up sick children undergoing treatment at the hospital, just down the street.

 

On Giving Tuesday Loyola University took a unique approach, offering students the opportunity to write holiday cards to children at Chicago’s Lurie

Hospital. It was a move that reflected Loyola’s Jesuit roots and sent a powerful message to students about the power of giving back.

“The mission of Loyola is one that is very tangible, its felt in many things that we do, so this is just a small snapshot of things we do to help others, giving back is just what we do,” said Director of Annual Giving, Stephanie Tomakowski.

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Two Loyola students write out season’s greetings on their cards. Cards wished greetings for Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanza. 

 

While other area schools push alumni and corporate donors for more cash, Loyola’s approach has stuck a chord with students.

“It’s really in the spirit of Loyola, being a Jesuit school with Catholic teachings about helping others, so hopefully we can be a role model for charity not simply meaning financially for other schools to follow in our footsteps,” said Loyola senior Taylor Hines,21.

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Students stop on their way to class to help make card for the children at Lurie’s. A variety of scrapbook paper, markers, stickers, glitter and other decorative materials were offered. 

 

Loyola chose Lurie due to its close proximity to the school and its ties to the community. Tomakowski explains that Lurie is down the street from the downtown campus so as a neighborhood partner it was a natural fit.

“It’s not about money when you give, its more about the thought that counts, so I think this will cheer them up a lot more than a toy knowing that someone took time out of their day to make something for them,” said Loyola senior Melissa Souto,21.

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A student puts the finishing touches on his Christmas card with a snowflake cutout. 

 

For its third year, Loyola encouraged students to not only decorate cards but also make signs stating what they’re thankful for to share on social media platforms. Student Alumni Ambassador, Andrew Turner, discussed the significance of Giving Tuesday.

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Students take a photo of them holding up signs describing what they’re thankful for this holiday season. They plan to upload it to Snapchat and Facebook to show their support for Giving Tuesday.

 

“We have a day for giving thanks, then we have three days of awesome deals, but then we have a day to give back and I think that’s a really important thing to remember for the holidays that it’s better to give than to receive.”

 

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Chicago Students Walk Out

Originally written on November 15.

 

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University of Chicago students walked out of class in protest of President-elect Trump and his rhetoric. 

 

Ten days after Donald Trump was elected president students across Chicago continued to protest, calling for action on a variety of issues including the appointment of the controversial Steve Bannon as senior advisor to the president, and a petition calling for the support of undocumented students.

“‘It’s not about changing him becoming the president, it’s about fighting against the type of rhetoric he has used in his campaign to become president,” said Joe Padilla, coordinator of U.I.C. Student Action, Joe Padilla.

 

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Over 300 students at the University of Chicago walked out of class in protest of President-elect Trump.

 

Hundreds of Students at the University of Illinois Chicago and the University of Chicago walked out of class to “stand in solidarity against the racism, sexism and xenophobia that Donald Trump perpetuates.” They were part of a growing movement nationwide to keep the heat on the President-elect on a host of issues.

 

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University of Illinois at Chicago senior Ethos Vietsvanlear,21, speaks at the protest inciting anti-Trump chants. 

 

“I’m Jewish and one thing that we’ve seen during Trump’s campaign is an insurgence of anti-Semitism,” said University of Chicago senior Mari Cohen, 21, “especially perpetuated by people like Steve Bannon and his news network, so that’s something I hadn’t really experience in my life before because I’m also a white, privileged person, so this hate is kind of like a wakeup call, we’re all unsafe in this way.”

 

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An UChicago student chants anti-Trump messages as she holds up a sign protesting Bannon’s appointment as chief strategist to the president. 

 

Bannon is the founder of Breitbart, an on line publication that has drawn fire for its biased reporting , and a leader of the ‘alt-right’ movement

A statement to the Facebook group “UChicago Stop Trump Walkout and Rally” UChicago Student Action read in part: “in this moment of crisis we need to hold on to our radical vision of the world we want and need. This election has brought out a terrifying sentiment in a good portion of our population. Trump’s rhetoric has emboldened white supremacists and bigots and they’re already making it clear they won’t be staying in the shadows.”

 

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UChicago students walk out of class with “stop deportation” posters. 

 

Students expressed concern about Trump’s promise to crack down on undocumented immigrants and how that would affect students on campuses across the country.

“There’s been a lot of racially motivated assaults that have taken place [around the country] since Tuesday, and it makes me worry about my family, my friends, people that I care about on campus, because you’re not even safe going out during the day anymore,” said U.I.C. freshman Semira Allen,18.

 

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Protestors at the University of Illinois at Chicago signed a petition urging legislators to pass the Student Act Bill which would support undocumented students on campuses in Chicago and nationwide. 

 

Many of these students said they simply want their voices heard. They added that they know that this one event won’t change the results of the election but they want to bring awareness to the issues that have been occurring and to unite one another.

 

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UChicago students gather at the steps of an “Obama forever” chalked image. This puts the university’s support of President Obama on a clear display. 

 

“We’re here, there is a response to the calamity that just occurred and we don’t plan on going away,” said Tristian Bock-Hughes, core leader of UChicago Student Action.

 

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Around the corner from the protest on the qaud, a chalked message of support for those suffering from hate speech following the election. 

Safe Spaces Spring Up

 

 

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Students express their frustration over dinner provided by Northwestern’s Campus Inclusion and Community Office. Over 100 students came out to Parkes hall on Northwestern’s evanston Campus Wednesday night. 

Originally written on November 9.

The day after Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of The United States, Northwestern’s Campus Inclusion and Community Office hosted a safe space on campus for students in distress.

Over 100 people came to Parkes Hall where CIC and campus ministries offered students a post-election community healing space for those “looking to talk, process, or just be in community with others.”

“The first thing that anyone said to each was ‘are you ok?’ and instantly you just gave them a hug, which was really supportive and loving, but at the same time the fact that we’re just acknowledging that this happened, we’re all so much in shock and so heartbroken,” said N.U. sophomore Megan Rohrer, 19.

Most students started the day confident of a Clinton victory, making the defeat more difficult to accept and process.

“It’s been incredibly quiet on campus and almost like everyone is having the same feeling … this morning it almost felt like we just had some kind of natural disaster, we were all just experiencing so much shock, and it was like nothing I’ve ever experience before,” Rohrer said.

Students from different backgrounds broke into smaller groups to share their stories and feelings of fear and sadness. Certain issues overlapped such as Trump’s rhetoric, perceived by many to be racist, his immigration policies and his potential choices for the Supreme Court.

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An Asian-American student voices his fears of relatives in jeopardy of being deported under a Trump administration. Students from all different ethnic, racial and cultural backgrounds came to the event in the wake of the election aftermath.

“I’m Muslim and I know not all of Trump’s supporters aren’t racist or against Muslims or Islam but I feel like when they vote for someone who is they overlook the fact that he’s been spewing all this hateful rhetoric and feel that as long as he’s going to make some changes to government it’s ok and I’m just not alright with that,” said N.U. sophomore Jaafar Zaidi, 19.

Many hugged, cried and consoled one another as the night went on. Finally, students took to the mic to share their feelings.

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Muslim students embrace one another.

“As young people we find strength in numbers and strength in each other so having us all together I think is really important to have this time to share because ignoring emotions is the same as invalidating them,” said N.U. senior Carmen Mackins, 21.

A number of student life organizations emailed the community offering a variety of safe spaces and extended office hours for support.

“I think safe spaces [are a] great idea because seeing Facebook posts and talking to friends, a lot of people definitely needed it and this is a great opportunity for them to come out and talk to people who are in the same situation but may not want to say it in public and are afraid to,” Zaidi said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young Voters for Hillary

Originally written November 8

 

Students across many college campuses in the Chicago area headed to cast their ballots Tuesday as the race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump wrapped up on the last day of their highly controversial campaigns. (Nice summary lede!)

Many young voters at Chicago area colleges seemed to overwhelmingly support Hillary for President with only one Trump supporter and one undecided responding just hours before polls closed.

“DePaul’s very liberal, and we do live in a blue state, so it makes sense that Hillary would be the candidate of choice,” said DePaul University sophomore Tim Stebbins,19.

A recent nationwide survey by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics shows Clinton was supported by 49 percent of likely voters ages 18 to 29, with Trump trailing at 21 percent.

 

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Enter a captionNorthwestern University sophomore Nicole Bankowski,19, sports a Rosie Riveter look to voice her vote for Clinton, “A vote for her is a vote for women everywhere.”“It’s a super critical and important election and especially for millennials because as a millennial a lot of people complain that things happen because either we do something extreme or don’t do something at all. So we need to get our voice heard and this was a great way to do it,” said Northwestern University sophomore Nicole Bankowski,19.

“It’s a super critical and important election and especially for millennials because as a millennial a lot of people complain that things happen because either we do something extreme or don’t do something at all. So we need to get our voice heard and this was a great way to do it,” said Northwestern University sophomore Nicole Bankowski,19.

Many students said their decision to stand with Clinton was easy considering all the years she has spent in public service.

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NU Sopomores Allyna Mota Melville,19, and Danny Cooper,19, pose proudly after receiving their “I voted!” stickers outside the Alice Millar Chapel in Evanston, Illinois. 

“She’s absolutely the most qualified candidate we’ve had in probably the last 5o years running for president, you know, as secretary of state, as first lady, as a senator. She’s done so much for this country, and she’s proven herself over and over; and no matter what, she’ll keep working for us,” said NU sophomore Allyna Mota Melville,19.

It’s not just Clinton’s resume, but the executive power she would possess allowing her to appoint the next Supreme Court justice that had young voters voting democratic.

“This election I voted along the lines of social issues a lot, like women’s rights, like abortion, parental leave, equal pay; and it makes me really nervous that having a Republican candidate could decide two judges because he would have the majority of the Supreme Court and it would be a really easy way to overturn Roe versus Wade. I think that’s pretty detrimental to Women’s rights… I mean whoever’s on the supreme court they will outlast any of the two candidates so we have to make sure that it’s the right people,” said University of Chicago Graduate student Mala Pera,27.

However, not all the respondents felt as strongly about Clinton. One University of Chicago Graduate student decided that he will write in a candidate for the first time ever.

“For my own personal ability to sleep at night, I can’t vote for a candidate that has no integrity, and neither of them have any, so I’m going to have to write in a candidate… I don’t know who just yet but later, when I go to my church to vote, we will see,” said Lance Larsren,30.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Bull Illume Comes to Chicago

 

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Chicagoans stroll through finalists’ pictures in the Red Bull Illume 2016 Contest in Rogers Park on October 3.

 

Originally written Oct. 4

 

Chicagoans strolled through row after row of action and adventure photography lighting up Millennium Park Monday night, taking selfies and nodding in praise of the finalists in Red Bull’s annual Illume Exhibit contest.

The contest and tour occurs every three years and has been a fixture of the Red Bull brand.

“The city of Chicago wanted it and they made us great offer in terms of location with so many famous art institutions,” said Max Blair, public relations and communications manager of Red Bull Illume.

A judging panel of photo editors selected 55 finalists, 11 Category Winners and one Overall Winners, unveiling the results at the Red Bull Illume Winner Award Ceremony on September 28. Since then the photographs have been on display at Rogers Park in downtown Chicago.

“My daughter loves all things art so we like to go to as much as we can, this was free so we thought why not,” said Miranda Dalip, admiring the photos lit up like jewels and strewn across Millennium Park.

“It’s so cool!” said Dalip’s ten-year-old daughter, Marshella.

The exhibit runs from 6:30 p.m 10:30 p.m through October 9, with all finalist images touring the world into 2018. Marton Harsanyi came to the event before dinner with his husband because he thought it would be “a great palate cleanser.”

“The thing is usually at these art exhibits it’s all about war or starving children or something so I thought maybe this one time it’d be different since it’s about sports and action, it’s light, like I said it is only Monday night!”