Good morning. It’s eighth week.
Pre-registration for autumn quarter classes is open until 5 p.m. today.
The University argued against graduate students’ petition for a union certification election today at the National Labor Relations Board Chicagoland offices. The administration is challenging as wrongly decided the NLRB’s ruling in a Columbia University case last year, which affirmed that graduate students employed as TAs and research assistants are workers protected by the National Labor Relations Act. The University’s argument: Graduate students at the University of Chicago aren’t workers, so their petition is invalid. Pre-election hearings will continue today.
- The University also suggested that the election be postponed until the fall, when more graduate students will be on campus, rather than using mail-in ballots.
- Activists and supporters of Graduate Students United (GSU) tweeted throughout the hearing. Many expressed surprise that teaching classes and doing lab research would not be considered work.
** The Maroon Editorial Board writes that graduate student unionization would be a step toward “a more equitable and accountable university community.”
FIJI vandalized: The words “fuck racism” were spray painted on the front of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house early Wednesday morning. FIJI was accused of racial insensitivity by several multicultural student groups after hosting a “construction” themed party on May 5. The spray paint was quickly removed and the chapter’s security cameras captured the incident, according to the College Fix, a conservative publication. The Fix adds that the chapter is not in any “trouble” with the national fraternity.
** Levi Hall, today at noon: multicultural student organizations are demonstrating and releasing a “list of demands” to the administration in response to “racist, xenophobic acts on campus.” A press release from the coalitions lists three incidents: FIJI’s party, anti-Semitic flyers in March, and posters this week targeting SJP activists.
Revisions to proposed disciplinary system for disruptive protest: After receiving feedback, a provost-appointed committee has revised the new disciplinary system for disruptive conduct that the faculty senate will vote on next week. Here are some of the changes:
- The process for forming disciplinary committees is a bit more democratic—under the revised proposal the provost would only be able to appoint professors who had been elected to serve on the faculty senate. The first draft of the disciplinary system was criticized for enabling the administration to hypothetically “stack” disciplinary committees through its appointments.
- The system now explicitly states that respondents are presumed innocent.
- The committee now recommends that the University create another committee in the fall tasked with updating the definition of “disruptive conduct” in the University statutes (only the Board of Trustees has this power).
- The revisions gutted the confidentiality provisions under the previous proposal, which starkly limited the ability of accused or accuser to discuss cases.
Search for a new police chief: A search firm announced that it has partnered with the University to hire a new UCPD Chief of Police. Fountain Walker has been in the role since 2015. The new chief is expected to start in July.
Class Day speaker announced: New York Times columnist David Brooks (A.B. ’83) will speak at the new Convocation weekend event, which will be held on Friday, June 9.
Top ranking: According to the American Bar Association, the Law School has the highest percentage of its 2016 alums working in “full-time, long-term jobs that require bar passage and were not funded by the schools themselves.”
End of an era: Tamara Felden, the director of the Office of International Affairs (OIA) and associate dean of students in the University, announced her retirement yesterday in an e-mail to international students after a nearly 15-year tenure at the University. As director of the OIA, she helped international students and faculty adapt to life in the United States and maintain legal status while working and/or studying. The OIA under her leadership faced particular challenges this year after the Trump administration announced a ban on the entry of nationals from seven Muslim-majority nations, which prevented some students and faculty from traveling abroad or returning to the University.
Attention fourth-years: The Maroon is soliciting reflections from graduating students for its grad issue on May 26. If you would like to submit an essay for consideration, e-mail a submission of no longer than 650 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. next Wednesday, May 24. Winning essays will run online and in print, as space permits.
Editor Sarah Zimmerman writes in:
Instead of taking action against hateful rhetoric on campus, the University leaves that job to its students in order to maintain its status as the bastion of free speech, writes columnist Jake Eberts. “[T]he threat of the scourge of the intolerant left at least keeps the furthest elements of the ‘alt-right’ from campus. The University benefits from that fact immensely.”
Contributor Alex Shams writes that while the University should be commended for releasing a statement on David Horowitz’s targeted postering against members of Students for Justice in Palestine, it has yet to formally recognize the reality of Islamophobia on campus.
David Brooks is an uninspired choice for Class Day speaker, argues contributor Jake Bittle. “It’s hard to imagine a less surprising choice of speaker than Brooks, or a speaker whose words will be less useful advice for living in the world into which we are about to graduate.”
Editor MJ Chen writes in:
Sliced Bread magazine celebrated the release of its spring issue with an evening of music and spoken word performances.
Celebrating its 20th year—older than a fair proportion of undergraduates—Rent is a musical whose timelessness continues to resonate.
Editor Cavell Means writes in:
Senior Spotlight: During the heat of the NCAA playoffs, time is set aside to celebrate the career of fourth-year tennis star Tiffany Chen.
Track and Field: The Maroons roll on in the championships.
The 61st Street Farmers Market has moved back outdoors for the summer. The market is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 61st and Dorchester, outside the Experimental Station.
Update: The Seminary Co-Op will hold another town hall meeting on Saturday at 1 p.m., where members can discuss changes to the cooperative’s governance structure with director Jeff Deutsch, according to DNAinfo. Read our previous coverage of the changes here.
SG Profiles: The Maroon sat down with the members of Rise, the newly elected Executive Slate, to discuss their past Student Government experience and their plans for the future. Read our profiles here.
In the South Side Weekly: Highlights from a UIC study that examined the differences in economics, housing, education, and other issues between black, Latinx, and white communities in the city. Also, a look into the world of chess in Chicago.
In The Gate: Illinois has resisted recent federal crackdowns on unauthorized immigrants, but questions remain about the future of “sanctuary” legislation at the state and local level, and how liberal states can defy the Trump administration.