NEWSLETTER

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February 9, 2018

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12:30 p.m.

Newsletter for February 9

By Euirim Choi    and Pete Grieve   

Good morning. It’s sixth week.
 
Graduate Students United is holding a rally today at 12:30 p.m., where the union will deliver a letter demanding that the University bargain with them. GSU told The Maroon yesterday that the last communication they’ve received from the University was an e-mail to all graduate students after the election. Administrators have previously indicated that they will not bargain with GSU while they have legal recourse to challenge the union, and the relevant challenges are still ongoing.

Meanwhile, the union is creating a constitution and taking feedback from members through a survey to identify which issues should be prioritized.

$2.8 billion: That’s the value of the University’s holdings in Central America and the Caribbean, according to a Maroon investigation. The University owns at least one investment fund in the Cayman Islands, a notorious tax haven.

Though generally untaxed, Universities are required to pay taxes on certain high-yield, high-risk investments.

Offshore investment funds are used by many universities to avoid paying taxes on investment income or to conceal investments in controversial industries like fossil fuels. 

More than 50 University faculty and staff have signed a letter in support of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. This letter seems to counter an earlier faculty letter that opposed the Obama Foundation’s plans for the Center.

— “We look forward to University-OPC collaborations that can enhance our diverse University community, facilitate our efforts in recruiting and retaining excellent staff, students and faculty, and provide new opportunities to link University research, training, and civic engagement initiatives in ways that strengthen individual lives and neighborhoods on the Southside,” the letter reads.

Justin Trudeau, at the IOP on Wednesday, said Canada won’t be bullied into a bad deal on NAFTA. No deal would be better than a bad deal, he said.

UChicago Student Action organized a small rally outside the event aimed at holding Trudeau accountable to his promises on labor and environmental standards. During the event, fourth-year and UCSA organizer Alex Peltz tweeted that “cops and administrators” had asked him to leave Mandel Hall for distributing fliers criticizing Trudeau. After the event, Peltz told The Maroon he views the encounter as an example of the University’s “stunning hypocrisy” on the issue of free speech.

Join us: We’re taking applications for a reporting position dedicated to local politics.

Scaramucci’s nickname—“Adolf Bannon”: Students filled Kent’s auditorium yesterday to see Anthony Scaramucci speak at an event presented by College Republicans, where Scaramucci casually referred to Steve Bannon as “Adolf Bannon” while responding to a student’s question. He also taped an interview for David Axelrod’s podcast.
 
The Law School has informed the Law Students Association that it cannot defund the Edmund Burke society because the University determined that its whip sheet, which said immigrants bring disease into the body politics, did not violate any University policies. LSA had informed the Law School administration of its intent to defund Burke earlier in the week. The response letter from Law School Dean Thomas Miles to LSA president Sean Planchard on Wednesday was published by Above the Law:

“As you know, the Law School is part of the University of Chicago, and we are committed to the University’s core values and bound by the University’s policies. Defunding or deactivating student groups on the basis of their speech is inconsistent with the values and policies of the University of Chicago. … Burke Society’s flyers, did not violate any University policies. Accordingly, the Law School will take no action against the Edmund Burke Society for these flyers, and LSA cannot do so either.”

At the second town hall on the whip sheet, held Thursday, Miles said: “It upsets me enormously that our students are experiencing this rather than the positive experience I had at this university. It is clear that our students are hurt, frustrated, angry, and disappointed… I’ve also heard from many alumni, who are deeply upset about what has happened to their law school.”

Law School Dean of Students Shannon Bartlett: “I leave it to LSA to decide how to fund groups…but that said, just like the Law School is subject to University policy, so is LSA… The LSA has lots of discretion to [act] as it sees fit, but must comply with University policy. Initial budgeting decisions must be made on content neutral bases.”

M. Todd Henderson, a Law School professor, responded to an op-ed published in The Maroon earlier this week which called him complicit in hate speech for being proud to open up a now-postponed debate on the desirability of immigration. Saying that he found the language used in the controversial whip sheet advertising the event to be offensive, Henderson said that debating ideas that make us uncomfortable was why students studied at the University of Chicago.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will speak at I-House on February 22 at an event hosted by the IOP and moderated by the Institute’s director David Axelrod.
 
Bannon updates:

The University’s AAUP chapter has sent a letter to professor Luigi Zingales requesting that he commit to sharing details on the logistics of his event with Steve Bannon at least two weeks in advance so campus groups have adequate time to plan counterprogramming.  

Alums are raising money for South Side organizations as a demonstration against the Bannon event. So far they’ve raised about $3,500.

A protest that was scheduled for today has been cancelled due to the snow.

New restaurant: Fish 2 Fish seafood restaurant, will open in the City Hyde Park Building at 51st and Harper Avenue in the spring, the Herald reports.
 
Admissions will release ED II decisions in the afternoon on February 15, they said in a tweet.
 
MODA’s winter quarter fashion show will take place February 23 at The Geraghty. Tickets will start to be sold by the UChicago Arts Office on February 9 at noon.

In Arts
 
Editor May Huang writes in:
 
“God of Carnage,” UT’s first mainstage of the quarter, packs ferocity and family dynamics in an under an hour. Catch tonight’s 7:30 p.m. showing or tomorrow at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.
 
Multimedia artist Chase Joynt discussed the media’s representation of gender and the trans experience at the Logan Center last Thursday, screening three of his films on the subject. 
 
New Zealand-based singer Kimbra played an enjoyable set at Concord Music Hall last Saturday night, yet disappointed audience expectations of liveliness and inclusivity. 
 
MØ and Cashmere Cat prove themselves a formidable duo through their MEØW tour, bringing house beats and radiant indie-pop to the Vic Theatre last Thursday.

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