Good morning. Welcome to seventh week.
TODAY: Faculty on the College Council are voting on a proposal to create an undergraduate business economics major.
— The major would be “controlled equally” by the econ department and Booth, a source on the Council said.
— Over 80 faculty members have signed a letter opposing the proposal, saying “the introduction of a pre-professional business major would attract applicants who view their education primarily as a preparation for lucrative careers.” The petition cites concerns that the business economics major will corrupt the liberal arts ideals of the University, and that the new major would be “less academically rigorous and intellectually stimulating” than current options.
— Economics chair John List, however, says the business economics major has been designed such that “the academic rigor is maintained in the Chicago way.” (Full story)
The Maroon elected its 127th executive team on Sunday. Euirim Choi and Pete Grieve (your newsletter writers) were elected Editors-in-Chief, Katie Akin and Kay Yang were elected Managing Editors, and Antonia Salisbury was elected Chief Financial Officer.
Zimmer confronted in NYC: Graduate Students United (GSU) hand-delivereda letter—which demanded that the University negotiate with them as a recognized union—to Zimmer on Friday while he was giving a speech at the inauguration of new Barnard president and former UChicago vice provost Sian Beilock. At around the same time, GSU supporters, braving the winter storm, rallied outside Levi Hall and attempted to deliver the same letter.
— Zimmer did not respond and continued his speech, but the University responded later in the day with a letter saying that it will not negotiate with the union while legal challenges are ongoing. The letter was signed by Provost Daniel Diermeier to the union’s representatives.
Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidates will participate in a forum on March 1 hosted by the IOP in partnership with WBEZ Chicago and Politico Illinois. They will be discussing “their respective visions for the future of our state,” according to the event description.
The Law Students Association will not move to defund or deactivate the Burke Society, student president Sean Planchard told The Maroon. Planchard had raised the possibility of introducing a motion to defund Burke if the administration did not take it upon itself to issue sanctions. But because the University found that the offensive whip sheet, which said immigrants bring disease into the body politic, does not violate any policies, LSA was informed that it could not defund Burke for the content of its speech.
— Law School dean Thomas Miles wrote an e-mail to students Monday laying out plans to “take meaningful steps to improve our climate and culture.”
David Brooks, University trustee and New York Times columnist, will speak at an IOP event on February 19.
Hazim Avdal, a first-year in the College who fled from Iraq in 2014 after ISIS attacked his hometown, was interviewed by David Letterman. Avdal explained how he left Iraq and received help from celebrity couple George and Amal Clooney to continue his education at the University of Chicago.
Have a free coffee date at participating stores on campus as part of the University’s new “Coffee on Us” program. Until this Friday, students, staff, and alumni can have redeemable drinks with someone who “differs” from them.
We spoke with Student Government about its day of programming last Friday focused on mental health: Life of the Nourished Mind. The event featured multiple talks and workshops led by a variety of speakers, and is expected to return next year.
— Fourth-year SG President Calvin Cottrell: “College Break Day used to colloquially be known as ‘Suicide Prevention Day.’ We wanted to flip that on its head, by re-envisioning the purpose of the day.”
Chicago Park District faces lawsuit: The Coalition to Save Jackson Park fileda lawsuit against the Park District for violating the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The Coalition’s original FOIA request—sent last November—got a response in January, (which broke the statutory time frame) but without all of the requested information, thereby prompting the suit.
SG College Council unanimously voted to support a Phoenix Survivors Alliance draft of changes to the University’s Title IX policies. The draft primarily focuses on improving administrative transparency regarding Title IX issues, arguing that doing so will “...provide due process and recourse to survivors on campus.” As of Sunday, 25 RSOs have signed the petition.