NEWSLETTER

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October 3, 2019

Bernie Sanders Rallies with Chicago Teachers; UChicago's Wingsuit Physicist | Newsletter for October 3


Bernie Sanders (A.B. '64) addresses Chicago Teachers Union members on the eve of their strike authorization vote.

Alexandra Nisenoff / The Chicago Maroon

By Elaine Chen   , Lee Harris   , and Deepti Sailappan   

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Good morning. It’s first week.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a proposed rule last week that would define undergraduate and graduate workers at private colleges and universities as nonemployees.

  • If the rule becomes permanent, student workers—including members of UChicago’s Graduate Students United (GSU)—will not be subject to federal labor protections, including the right to form a federally-backed union.
  • The proposed rule is the latest move made by the Trump-appointed majority on the Board to codify new policies through the formal rulemaking process rather than individual adjudications, as in the past. Given the monthslong public comment process required by rulemaking, changing course from this decision would be difficult for a future majority.
  • GSU denounced the proposed rule. “We organized and won real improvement before the 2016 Columbia ruling [which allowed graduate students to unionize], we kept organizing once it became clear that Trump's majority wouldn't enforce that ruling, and we'll keep organizing now,” the union said.

He’s back: Bernie Sanders (A.B. ’64) stopped by Chicago last month for a rally as the Chicago Teachers’ Union (CTU) and Service Employees International Union Local 73 (SEIU) began a strike authorization vote.

  • “I am so proud to be with you here tonight,” the Vermont senator and presidential hopeful said, “to say to the city of Chicago: Sit down with the CTU. Sit down with SEIU.”
  • Union members later voted to authorize a potential strike, with 94 percent in favor. The strike could begin as soon as October 7th.
  • Several speakers at the rally mentioned the recent nurses’ strike at UChicago Medicine: “Everyone is going on strike in this city,” observed 20th ward alderman Jeanette Taylor.
  • Yesterday, Sanders’ campaign said he was canceling all future events and appearances “until further notice” due to a heart procedure for a blocked artery. Sanders tweeted that he is recovering well, and “fortunate to have good health care and great doctors and nurses helping me to recover.”

More than 2,000 nurses participated in a 24-hour strike outside the University of Chicago Medical Center.

  • “There are many nights when I worked on a 28-bed unit with one assistant,” Grazyna Cohen, a staff nurse in a general medicine unit with many oncology patients, told The Maroon.

UChicago launched a partnership this week with the French National Center for Scientific Research that will fund 10 new three-year research positions.

  • The French and American researchers’ projects span physics, molecular engineering, mathematics, and biochemistry.
  • The partnership is the latest in a string of University initiatives in France: Just a few months ago, the University announced it would expand its Center in Paris twofold. UChicago also founded the France Chicago Center, which supports fellowships and travel grants and has led to over 200 publications between UChicago and French researchers.

For theoretical physicist Alexey Galda, the ultimate test of mechanics is with his own body. We spoke to the UChicago assistant professor, who recently captained the United States to a first-place finish at the FAI World Cup of Wingsuit Flying.

  • “We’re not very great athletes outside of wingsuit flying,” Galda said of his fellow flyers, adding that the sport does require intense mental preparation—particularly in the 20 minutes before a flight. Before every flight he takes, Galda reviews his planned trajectory using a mobile app he designed himself.

An electrical contractor working in the Museum of Science and Industry was pinned under a forklift and a 2,000-pound electrical vault on Monday.

  • He sustained critical injuries, but was transported to the UChicago Medical Center and is in stable condition.

Demolition of the historic UChicago-owned American Taxi Service building is expected to begin this week.

  • Built in 1928, the building was formerly used by Facilities Services and later converted into a rehearsal space for Court Theatre. However, the building—located steps from the recently-built Solstice on the Park luxury apartment building—has been vacant since 2013.

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In Sports

Editor Alison Gill writes in:

While the majority of UChicago students trickled back to campus this past week, fall student-athletes have been training and competing with their eyes on larger goals. Here’s a rundown on the past six weeks of Maroon athletic activity and what to look forward to at the mid-way point of the fall season.


In Grey City

Editors Alex Dalton and Avi Waldman write in:

For the first time in decades, both the inside and the outside of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House reflect the architect’s original plans and vision. But the path he took to get it there was anything but straightforward, and the fact that it stands today at all was far from guaranteed. Grey City explores the turbulent history of the now-esteemed building.


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