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!”

Chicago Celebrates Day of the Dead

Originally written Oct. 30

 

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Chicagoans take pictures of deceased loved ones projected onto The National Museum of Mexican Art on Sunday October 29.

Yvonne Bustos pulled out her camera as the smiling face of her friend’s grandmother was projected on the façade of the National Museum of Mexican Art.

Yvonne  has been attending the museum’s Day of the Dead event for as long as she can remember. The museum has celebrated the Mexican holiday of remembrance for 30 years with exhibitions inside, yet Sunday night was the second year it had honored the deceased with a slideshow projected across the wall’s of the museum’s main space.

“This is actually the park I grew up playing and this is the museum I’ve come to since I’m a baby so the area is just really close, and today is something that we can all come and get together, it’s personal for me also,” said Bustos.

The day is personal for many in the Pilsen neighborhood, known for its large Mexican community. A popular way to honor the dead is to create alters called Ofrendas, which are decorated with pictures, flowers, candles and other items the deceased loved.

“Usually we have exhibitions inside about personal ofrendas, so we were thinking why don’t we make our festival bigger this year and have our museum itself become a giant ofrenda so people could recognize people from their community by literally seeing them projected 20 feet high in the air,” said Eric Garcia, teaching artist for the National Museum of Mexican Art.

Over 10,000 people gathered outside to see loved ones from the community projected onto the building, many taking pictures on their phones to have a piece of the night.

“I help to upload the pictures of people’s deceased loved ones and the family asks me a lot of questions about it and happen to get really emotional cause it means a lot to them that they get this recognition on the building,” said receptionist, Dora Becerra.

Garcia said that the slideshow projection will likely continue in the years to come due to its popularity. “Dias Muertos is about remembering loved ones who are no longer with us, so we wanted to make a bigger interactive ofrenda with the museum, it’s been really nice.”