UChicago Disorientation Book 2016


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UChicago Disorientation Book 2016




Chicago, Illinois



extracted text








coverart by Molly Robinson


disorient ◄•)

Full Definition of

I dis·ori·ent

I \(.)dis- 6r-e-.ent\



a : to cause to lose bearings:

displace from normal position or relationsh ip

b : to cause to lose the sense of time, place, or identity




Rhymes with


coincident, experiment, ferro -cement,
glove compartment, inconsequent,
informed consent, misrepresent,
non resident, oxygen tent, privatdozent,
rubber cement, self-confident, self-evident,
senten ce fragment, vice president


merriam-webster . com/dic tionary/ di so r ient

Wh y disorient ?
"Writing as writing . Writing as rioting . Writing as righting . On the best days, all three."

When you first arrive at UChicago, you're bombarded with information about the
place that is going to be your home, from many different sources . But the first image you
get is actually highly curated and manicured . As you look more closely, you'll discover just
how intentional the University is about the image it projects to you, to your parents, to the
public . And you'll begin to find the differences between your experience and that image .
That process can be up setting, disappointing, demoralizing ... But you have to embrace it .
Getting disoriented is a crucial step in finding your true community on campus, and in
learning what it really means to be a student here .
DisOrientation isn't in opposition to the University's introduction to campus . We
only intend to supp lement what you see, broaden your perspective, and contextualize the
university's policies and actions . DisOrientation is hundreds of students coming together
to actively welcome you. I nstead of waiting for you to find us, we are reaching out to you
with open arms, with this book, with these events, so you know that we're here .
We hope you're perturbed by the big questions raised in this book, which demand
big answers; we also hope you're comforted by the knowledge that there are people here
to support you . We hope to provide you with a sense of place and time, a continuity with
the efforts and experiences of past students . This book is filled with instances of students
seeing something that needed changing, and doing something about it. We hope you are
inspired and equipped to take up the mantle on issues you believe are worth fighting for.

Who own s the se words?
"There is no such thing as a neutral educational process. Education either functions as an
instrument which is used tofacilitate the integration ofthe younger generation into the logic of
the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes the practice offreedom - the
means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with the reality and discover how
to participate in the transformation oftheir world . " -P aulo Freire

Thi s book is not the 0-Book . We are not a monolithic, anonymous, institutional
voice. And staying neutral isn't always as simple as it sounds . Editing a couple hundred
pages by a few dozen writers doesn't even sound simple, and it 's actually even harder than
that. So there are a couple points of philosophy we feel are important to share.
On each of these pages, we offer the perspective of a writer, speaking from a place
of social justice, social awareness/engagement/critique, social action -- but most of
all, speaking for themselves . No section in this book should be read as the final word
or definitive position on a given subject. So many people contributed to this book,
representing a multiplicity of voices and opinions. We respect the differences between
these views, and have encouraged our writers to own the words they write - our role was
mainly to collect and refine them .
We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to edit this book. The expertise, time,
passion, and creativity poured into it from so many contributo rs is truly awe-inspiring .
We 're incredibly proud to present the results to you. We hope you benefit from it as much
as we have.
See you around campus,
Kiran and Baci


















• •• • • • •• • • • • • • • • • • • •• • •• ••









[7] History of Hyde Park & Surrounding Neighborhoods
[9] Hyde Park: A (Radical) History
[16] Gentrification
& Development
[19] Deconstructing Danger : Fear, Safety, & the UCPD
[24] Transportation


Power@ the UofC: Admin, Faculty, Students
UChicago Employees
Grad Student Unionization
Recent Campus Campaigns
Thoughts on the Trauma Center Campaign
Money & Finance
You Are What You Eat : Food Politics
KnowYour Rights : University Policies
[47] Clery Act , Title IX, Sexual Misconduct ,
[52] Resources for Survivors/
People with
[55] Bias Response Team
[56] Dig In : Sites & Sources for Further Research



•• • •• • • •• ••

• • • • • •

• ••




~-~ J - ~ ' ~

• • • ••


[59] Class & Classism
[61] Ca Marxist take on) Class & Classism
[64] Power, Oppression, & Racism
[68] Antisemitism
[73] Islamophobia
[74] Supporting a Two-State Solution, Opposing the Occupation
[76] Zionism & Anti-Palestinian
[78] Culture & Appropriation
[79] Intersectionality
[80] Privilege
[82] Sexism & Feminism
[88] The Gender Binary
[91] LGBTORights
[95] Theory of Drugs
[101] Ableism & Disability
[103] Freedom of Expression and the University of Chicago
[108] On Being an Ally



Campus Climate Survey Highlights
Incidents at UChicago
Learning While Trans
Attending UChicago as an International
Navigating Campus as a Low-Income Student
Feeling Good
[140] Mind
[143] Body
[146] Critical & Inclusive Sex Positivity
[149] Consent
[151] Painful Sex
[153] Sexual Assault
Rock & Roll Partying at the University of Chicago
Spiritual & Religious Life
Dorms No More: Satellite
Dorms & North Campus
On Campus Insititutes:
Getting Around Chicago
Pass It On
Getting Involved
Glossary of Social Justice Terms






4 •

♦ •

• •

■ ♦





_ ~._1




~ ..
I -



1_ __,

._I ___


_...._I _



wait , where?
here , like , campus, the quad , the dorms?

no- here : Hyde Park .
here : neighboring Kenwood,
Washington Park, and Woodlawn.
here : the South Side .


~ OOW@~

Edited & Updated byMa ira Khw aja
The Township of Hyde Park was founded in 1835 by Paul Cornell, built as a calm
retreat from the city, with a passenger train for commuting to work. The City of Chicago
annexed Hyde Park in 1889 . With the construction ofUChicago in 1890 and the
Columbian Exposition in 1893, H yde Park boomed with hundreds of new residential and
commercial buildings. As a popular vacation spot for white city-dwellers, Hyde Park had
over 100 hotels by the 1930s .
In the 1940's, Hyde Park and its surrounding neighborhoods saw a demographic shift
as the Great Migration brought Chicago 's African American population from 1.8% of the
total in 1990 to 8.2% in 1940. Many of the hotels on the South Side became tenement
housing, and many whites decided to pack up and "flee" (UChicago debated relocating
to Arizona or New Mexico for a while). Hyde Park's residents largely found this change
frightening, and responded with violence and restrictive covenants, which were legallyenforceable agreements with landlords to not sell or rent to people who didn't look like
them . To the residents' chagrin, in 1948 the Supreme Court declared covenants illegal, so
Hyde Park had to find a new way to way to keep out the "blight" .
I n 1949, a group of white businessmen formed the H yde Park-Kenwood Community
Conference (HPKCC). The HPKCC created block clubs with the goal of preventing false
gossip, tracking zoning laws and building violations, and ran their flagship WhistleStop
program which taught residents to recognize the sound of a whistle as a cry for help .
UChicago watched for three years, then decided that it had a role to play too, after the wife
of a professor was attacked and fears of losing prospective students rose.
UChicago created the South East Chicago Commission in 1952 to "enforce codes and
track crime" . Attorney Julian Levi was hired to design the Urban Renewal Program-as it
was officially named by the university-with government funding, razing down entire strips
of worker housing to build student dorms, townhouses, classrooms, and parking garages,
without allocating public housing space for the displaced poor . The program wrenched
out H yde Park's jazz scene, closing down every jazz site, and bulldozed through the main
commercial center on 55th street, leaving three new business sites that excluded near ly all of
the old owners.
The Urban Renewal program (nicknamed "Urban Removal") became infamous for
Levi 's lack of regard for community part icipation, and for its anti-poor and arguably antiblack agenda . The program's work has left its legacy well . Hyde Park has kept its diversity,
with a demographic of 40 .5% white people, 39.5% black people, 13.5% Asian/Pacific
Islanders, 4 .1% multi-racial people, 2 .1% people designated "other" and .2% A1nerican
Indians. It also has a large midd le class population (the average family income is $90,578),
reflecting well the line of the H PKCC : "Whites and blacks, hand in hand against the poor".
Since the University of Chicago was founded in 1892, the neighborhoods around it,
Hyde Park and Woodlawn, have changed immensely . The year after the University opened,
the Columbian World's Fair in Jackson Park transformed the area, as millions of visitors


streamed into the area to see the exhibits, the 'nation tents' on the Midway Plaisance, and to
visit the world's first Ferris Wheel. The next century would yield existential transformations
for the neighborhoods, much of which were instigated and guided by the University itself
As students, we inherit the complicated legacy of University influence over the Hyde
Park/ Kenwood/ Woodlawn area. While the University 's presence has allowed Hyde
Park to become a (relatively) thriving multiracial and (relatively) economically diverse
neighborhood, it has also created friction with neighboring areas, and has occasionally
hampered the ability of those communities to thrive .
To take Woodlawn as an example : the neighborhood-which
officially stretches from
the Midway in the north to 67th St in the south and the lakefront west to King D rive-has
transformed radically since the early 20th century . I n the 1940s, it was a primarily white
neighborhood; its racial integrity was coded into law by what restrictive covenants . By the
'60s, these covenants were legally unenforceable; however, in practice, the city remained
(and remains) substantially segregated . Over time, the racial and economic composition
ofWoodlawn had changed drastically : first experiencing racial succession from white to
black, and then experiencing a precipitous decline in median family income as middle-class
suburbs opened to African-American families .
By 1960, the neighborhood struggled to get access even to basic municipal services
like garbage collection and policing . This decline did not go unnoticed by the University
of Chicago: having focused most of its money and political agenda on a revolutionary
Urban Renewal project in Hyde Park, it eventually turned its attention to Woodlawn .
An organization called the Southeast Chicago Commission, the University's urban
development subsidiary, started work on a plan to raze a section ofWoodlawn in order
to build the "South Campus Extension". This plan would have displaced several thousand
residents and isolated the neighborhood from public parks and other resources - there was
even a plan at one point to run a 6-lane highway along 62nd St . However, the threat of this
redevelopment plan galvanized the neighborhood into political activity for which it is now
famous (well, among scholars of community organizing, anyway).
The Woodlawn Organization (T.WO .) was founded in 1960 out of the basement
of the First Presbyterian Church at 64th & Kimbark under the guidance of Saul Alinsky,
the legendary community organizer (who incidentally had been an undergraduate at
UChicago) . The organization launched a campaign to prevent the University of Chicago
from expanding into Wood lawn. University officials dismissed the group at first, but by
1963, T.W .O. and the University had agreed that it would stay north of 61st Street - and
in return, T.W .O . wouldn't complain about that moderated expansion . The campaign
transformed the neighbo rhood, developing local un-electoral leadership which continues to
hold sway in the community .
Bishop Arthur Brazier, T .W .0.'s first president, founded Apostolic Church of
God at 63rd & Dorchester; Leon Finney, its first executive director, runs the Woodlawn
Community Development Corporation, which was once a subsidiary of T.W.O . and
is currently one of the largest landowners in Woodlawn . These leaders developed and
maintained substantial and transformative relationships with the University administrators
through negotiations in the Sixties. Though the University scaled back its involvement in
Woodlawn for a while, the neighborhood remains incredibly impacted by and subject to
decisions that are made in the Adm inistration building on Ellis Avenue. In May 2016, the
University announced the construction of three buildings that would break this 50 year
agreement to not build South of 61st street. As you enter this University, and become a
resident of Hyde Park, development decisions made by and with the support of University
administrators are priming the neighborhood for another transformation.


"Thegreatforce of history comesfrom thefact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously
controlledby it in many ways, and history is literallypresent in all that we do."- James Baldwin

1850s:Paul Cornell, a businessman and abolitionist, bought 300 acres of land between 51st
and 55th streets . Several houses were used as stops in the Underground Railroad. Dutch
farmers arrived in present-day Woodlawn.

1861: H yde Park Township established, spanning 39th to 63rd streets but later extended to
138th and as far west as State St.

May1-4, 1886: The Haymarket Riots began as a rally in support of the 8-hour work day. A
bomb was thrown at police and the ensuing gunfire resulted in deaths of 8 police, and over 50
civilians were killed or wounded. Eight anarchists were tried for murder; four were executed
although the prosecution conceded none had thrown the bomb.

1871:The Great Fir e destroy a third of the city, including the entire central business district.
The south side expands quickly as rich and poor alike leave the city center.

1889:Hyde Park and Woodlawn are annexed to the city of Chicago as the Hyde Park Township disbands; much of the "south side" is created in the process.

1892:The University of Chicago is founded. Marion Talb ot, first Dean ofW01nen, becomes
one of nine female faculty members at UChicago and champions education for women .

1893: 27.5 million visitors and 20,000 new residents flock to Hyde Park for the World's
Columbian Exposition. In the subsequent building boom, developers landscaped Jackson
Park, created the Midway, expanded the El east along 63, and constructed large apartments
and hotels.

1894:3000 employees of Pullman Palace Car Co. on the south side strike in response to
wage reductions. 125,000 American Railway Union workers joined the strike in solidarity,
but thousands of US military personnel broke up the famous Pullman Strike.

1902: The University Senate voted to approve segregation of the sexes in the classroom until
students' third year. Objections poured in and the debate continued until the policy was
changed a few years later.

1910-1970: New employment opportunities in northern industry and inexpensive, but substandard, housing led to the migration of many African Americans to Chicago (over 500,000
people by 1970), many of whom settled in Hyde Park area.

1919: During the Red Summer of 1919, race riots plagued Chicago, precipitated by the

drowning of an African American teen whose raft crossed onto the white-only section
of a beach at 29th St. Seven days of shootings, arsons, and beatings (1nostly ethnic whites
attacking African Americans in the Black Belt) resulted in 38 deaths, 537 injuries, and 1000
residents were left homeless . A grand jury indicted 17 black people, but no whites .
1921: Georgiana Simpson, one of the first African American women to receive a PhD in the
US, earned her doctorate at U of C .
1927: The Chicago Real Estate Board sent speakers around the south side urging wh ite
homeowners to sign covenants promising not to sell or lease property to non-whites . Th ese
so-called "restrictive covenants" contributed greatly to the current racial segregation in the
Hyde Park area before being dec lared unconstitutional in the 40s .
1933: Then-President Hu tchins ofU of C proposed merging the university with Northwestern into "The Universities of Chicago" due to the D epression. Much student opposition on
both campuses ultimately shut down the proposal.
1937: In the Memorial Day Massacre, the Chicago Police D ept. opened fire on a parade of
unarmed striking steel workers and their families at the gate of the Republic Steel Co. in
South Chicago . F ifty people were shot, of whom 10 later died, and hundreds were beaten
with clubs. No police were prosecuted .
1945: When the Qyadrangle Club refused membership to tenured black professor Allison
Davis and rumored pacifist Gordon Dupee, a group led by Dean of Social Sciences Robert
Redfield sought to amend the Qyad Club's constitution to end discriminatory membe rship
practices . The amendments were defeated 182 to 85, leading Redfield and others to resign.
The next day, 17 employees walked out at lunch, protesting the club's racism . Without fanfare, the Qyad Club opened its doo rs to women and minorities soon after.
1948: Shelley v Kramer ruled the co1nmon Hyde Park practice of housing covenants unconstitutional . Housing covenants were legal code written into a housing deed, saying that a
property's landlord and any future landlords could not rent or sell to a specific race (usually,
black). It became harder to explicitly racially discriminate in housing contracts, leading to fear
of demographic changes in the neighborhood . To prevent white flight and maintain control
of which black people could enter the neighborhood, white "block clubs" and urban renewal
conferences formed .
1949: Hyde Park-Kenwood Con1munity Conference (H PKCC) formed . Over 50 area organizations, including every local church and temple, PTAs, and U of C faculty and students,
were represented at the group's initial meeting. The HPKCC played a large role in the urban
renewal projects that spanned the next couple decades .
1950s-1960s: Urban Renewal of Hyde Park consisted ofHPKCC and other white resident
block clubs teaming up with the newly-fo rmed and UCh icago-backed South East Chicago Commission (SECC), which was designed to "remove blight and prevent white flight."
Blocks of decayed housing and other buildings were demolished and redeveloped, meaning
the housing units primarily occupied by poorer black people and other minorities disappeared and the residents could no longer afford to live in the area. The U of C's "urban renewal" effort-called "negro removal" by some-also resulted in the de1nolition of a number
of cultural centers on 55th St in H yde Park and an artists' colony at 57th and Stony. H yde
Park and South Kenwood were then established as avowedly middle-class and "reluctantly
interracial" neighborhoods. The University of Chicago method of Urban Renewal was touted
by its president,Julian Levi, and widely studied and praised througho ut the country .
Read more about housing covenants, urban renewal, and UChicago's role in it all in: Hirsch,


Arnold R . (Arnold Richard) . Making the Second Ghetto : Race and Housing in Chicago,
1940-1960. Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press, 1998 .

1952:The UChicago Sigma Chi chapter disbands in protest of the frat's "whites only" 1nembership policy.

1955-1960s: Chicago's first postindustrial crisis occurred, as major meatpacking companies
began to close down and thousands lose jobs.

1955-1975: Leon Despres, a champion of civil rights, served as alderman of Hyde Park . He
argued passionately for civil rights, fair and open housing, racial integration, and historic
preseversation. Known as "the liberal conscience of Chicago" and "the lone Negro vote on
City Council" (despite being white), he was for many years the lone alderman in opposition
to Mayor Daley and the Democratic machine .

1959:Under the threat ofU of C's bulldozing Woodlawn, famed organizer Saul Alinsky,
Rev. Arthur Brazier of the Apostolic Church of God, and Leon Finney co-founded The
Temporary Woodlawn Organization (later renamed The Woodlawn Organization, TWO), a
grassroots coalition of churches, businesses, and civic association united against the U of C's
urban renewal plan and working to empower Woodlawn residents toward "black self-determination."They also fought against slumlords, exploitative local merchants, school overcrowding; made efforts to get residents involved in the civil rights movement; and challenged
Mayor D aley's political machine by registering tens of thousands of black voters.

1960s:JeffFort and Eugene "ChiefBull"Hairston

form the Blackstone Rangers (Black P
Stone Nation) . The group started organizing in Woodlawn in 1965, hosting dances for teenagers in the First Presbyterian Church on 64th and Kimbark Ave. While the gang is famous
for extorting and terrorizing local businesses in the mid-South Side, they have also been
credited with keeping relative peace on the South Side in '67-'68, following the assassination
ofMLK. By'69, they were up to at least 8000 members on the South Side. They were also
the first street organization to set up clubs in other cities, including Milwaukee, Cleveland,
and Gary by 1967. They worked closely with TWO.

Aug 1960: Norman and Velma Hill, two civil rights activists and leaders in the NAACP
Youth Council, recruit young people of color, as well as some white U of C students, to protest segregation at Rainbow Beach . The protestors visited the all-white beach for a nonviolent
wade-in . After two hours without incident, a crowd of angry white men arrived and pelted
the protestors with rocks and slurs. Velma was hit in the head, requiring stiches, but the protestors returned and accessed the beach, this time under the protection of the CP D.

1962:Members of the student government and the local chapter of the Congress of Racial
Equality occupied the area outside President George Beadle's office to charge the U of C
with discrimiriatory practices in managing its off-campus rental housing.

1963:The U of C and TWO reach an agreement restricting University expansion of the
south campus, stabilizing the relationsh ip between TWO/Woodlawn and the University,
The University agreed not to acquire property or develop south of 61st street and TWO won
public housing along Stony Island (on land leased from U of C for $1 a year) and on the west
side of Cottage Grove, fro1n the city (Grove Pare Plaza).

May1966: Pre sident Beadle came under fire again, this time for announcing that the University would release class ranks and other academic information to the Selective Service draft
boards . For six days, some 400 students waged a sit-in at the admin building while another
six students held a weeklong sit-in and hunger strike at the Qyad Club .

May1967: One year later, 120 students hosted another anti-draft demonstration, this time


holding a "study-in"at the admin building for several hours. Almost half of the students were
suspended, though many of their punishments were not carried out.
Nov 1967: The University releasesthe (in)famous Kalven Report, which declares the U of C's

ideological and political neutrality.The Kalven Report is the document that the University
uses as its ode of neutrality in responding to situations of divesting from political situations,
or commenting in some other form on political matters. The leader of the committee who
wrote the report, law professor H arry Kalven, said that the only matter of consensus among
the group was its core essence:
To perform its mission in the society,a university must sustain an extraordinary environment
of freedom of inquiry and maintain an independence from political fashions, passions, and
The committee was divided on whether the University should be called to account on political or moral grounds, separate from a corporate entity, fron1 tin1e to time. They decided the
administration would have to act on a case by case basis.This discussion around the report,
along with H arry Kalven'srejection of free speech absolutism, support of student protesters,
and opposition to the Vietnam War, is widely overlooked in the administration's. Kalven
Report legacy and rhetoric. Read more in his son's op-ed, The Unfinished Business of the
Kalven Report [Maroon, Nov. 2006]
1967: The Women's Radical Action Project (WRAP), the university's first women's liberation

group, formed to discuss politics, learn about self-defense,and create art, through classes,
coffeehouses,and consciousness-raisingsessions.
Nov.1968: Members of SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) and the Hyde Park Area

Draft Resisters'Union demonstrated at a civic dinner in honor of newly appointed President
Edward Levi, in protest of the dinner's main speaker,McGeorge Bundy, who was the national security adviser to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson .
1969: When the university announced it would not reappoint Professor Marlene Dixon, 400

students occupied the adrnin building for over two weeks, citing Dixon's leftist political views
and her status as one of few women on the faculty as reasons for her termination . In Feb.,
the "chickenshit guerilla brigade" barricaded a group of administrators inside the Q,iad Club,
chanting "61!"in reference to the number of students already suspended for the protest. On
Feb 24, 100 students gathered at the president's house to demand that the disciplinary committee accept a collective defense. By March, over 100 students were expelled or suspended.
In May, 60 professors stood in silent vigil outside the Q,iad Club in hopes of reducing the
punishments, to no avail.
1969: History professor H anna Holborn Gray is appointed the first woman president of

UChicago (and the first female president of any major research university in the US).
1969-1973: U of C students and other H yde Parkers offer counseling and arranged abortions

and later performed underground abortions themselves under the name of the Abortion
Counseling Service of the Chicago Women's Liberation Union, later known as JANE . By the
1973 Roe v. Wade decision,JANE members arranged an estin1ated 11,000 abortions across
the city.
1969: The University of Chicago Gay Liberation Front, Chicago's first LGBTQlibe ration

organization, formed at U of C . The group held a 600 person dance party, in Pierce Tower,
before being absorbed into the larger Chicago Gay Liberation Front.
1973: A group of H yde Park women established the Rape Action Group Hotline .


1985: Women of the U of C campus organized the school's first sorority,Alpha Omicron Pi.
1986: Six public housing high-rises, referred to as the Lakefront Properties, were closed for

renovation and the families that lived there were dispersed across the city and promised a
home. Two buildings were remodeled and reopened five years later, but the other four were
demolished, leading activists and public housing residents to protest.
1988: JeffFort was convicted of plotting against the US government for his involvement

with Libyan Black nationalists. Fort was jailed, and the Black P. Stone Nation splintered into
several different gangs with no centralized leadership, a situation that persists and fuels gang
activity today.
1989: Rudy Nimocks retired from the CPD and became the UC PD Chief of Police. His first

step was to give the private police force full law enforcement agency certification. The UCPD
has primary jurisdiction over the area and full policing powers, meaning they can search,
ticket, arrest, and detain.
1992: During the height of suburban sprawl, the CTA faced a large budget deficit and an-

nounced that it would shut down what is now the Green Line due to low ridership and poor
infrastructure.Two years of resistance and action convinced the CTA to invest an unprecedented sum of $300 million to rebuild the existing railways.The line reopened in May of
1996, though its southeast end had been shortened, from Stony Island to Cottage Grove.
1996: After a decade of campus organizing, faculty (including Leora Auslander, Lauren

Berlant, and Elizabeth H elsinger) established the Center for Gender Studies.The Center's
Lesbian and Gay Studies Project was created a year later.
1998: The U of C added sexual orientation to its non-discrimination policy.Gender identity

was added eight years later.
2001 : The SaveThe Point campaign began when the City of Chicago (Mayor's office) moved

to repair the northern tip of the Promontory Point Park by replacing the concrete promenade with a monothilic concrete seawall. In response, 150 Hyde Park residents voiced their
concern at a community meeting. The volunteers became the Community Task Force for the
Promontory Force, engaging aldermen [local representatives for city wards on the mayor's
city council], Congressman Jesse Jackson,Jr., Senator Barack Obama, and the Landmarks
Preservation Council of Illinois in their fight. The protests and negotiations led to a 7-year
stand off between the Hyde Park activists and Mayor Daley's office.The Hyde Park residents
won, but there are still "SaveThe Point" bumper stickers all over the neighborhood just in
case the debate springs again.
2001: The Experimental Station, current home of Blackstone BicycleWorks, Invisible Insti-

tute, South Side Weekly, City Bureau, the 61st St Farmers' Market, and Build Coffee, is born
from the ashes of a fire that destroyed a complex used for sociallyconscious art projects.
2004 : Single-occupancy gender-neutral bathrooms debuted around campus.
2004: After Clemmie Carthans, a black SSA student, was allegedly assaulted by two UCPD

officers,over 100 students and com1nunity members held demonstrations.
2005: H yde Park's first "Take Back the Night" rally,focused on ending sexual assault, em-

powering people to feel safe in their communities, and solidarity with survivors
2007 : UChicago received an anonymous $100 million donation, leading to the creation of

Odyssey Scholarships for undergraduates.
2007 : Graduate Students United (GSU) was founded as a committee to begin discussing and


working to unionize graduate student workers .

2007:The Inter-House Council passes a resolution to implement gender-neutral open-housing options for undergrads, to be available to first-years starting in the fall of 2009.

2008: Hyde Park Co-op Market (in Tl's current location) closes due to debt owed to U of C .
2008:The U of C Office of Sustainability opened, headed by former Sustainability Director
for Bank of America Ilsa F lanagan.

2008:The University purchases Harper Court (52nd and H arper) with plans for redevelopment. The first shops at Harper Court opened thi s summer.

2008: 5710 S. Woodlawn, the home of OMSA and the LGBTQProgramrning


opened . Now, it is called Center for Identity and I nclusion (CI+I) .

May2009: A satirical article in the Maroon prompts several U of C students (mostly white
men) to found the group Men In Powe r, aimed to provide a pre-professional platform for
men to "get them ahead " in business, law, and health care careers, as well as "access to women
and jobs" and to discuss issues of"reverse sexism."

2009:The 61st St Garden was shut down by the U of C in order to build a temporary
parking lot for the construction of the new Chicago Theological Seminary building, despite
student and community protests. The University then invested $20,000 to set up a new
garden at 62nd and D orchester .

Oct 2009: Student protest at a lecture by former Israeli PM Ehud Olme rt . About 25 protestors were puled from the audience by the police. Pres. Zimmer sent out an email calling the
disn1ption a "disturbing rupture," effectively shutting down the dissenters' right to protest.

2010:Mauriece Dawson , a black student, was arrested in the A- L evel of the Reg for "criminal trespass" and "resisting arrest." After being told to quiet down, librarians called the police
and Dawson was put in a chokehold and wrestled to the ground. H e allegedly refused to
show his ID , though witnesses say he wasn't asked to . The event resulted in a series of open
forums and increased conversations about racis1n on campus, but little attempt to address a
long history of racial profiling by the UCPD . The Campaign for Equitable Policing

April 2010: After years of lobbying by the Working Group on the Sexual Assault Policy, a
student referendum and SG vote to reevaluate sexual assault policy, in particular to change
the policy that charges be addressed within the department of the person accused.

May2010: Undocumented students, organized by the UC Coalition for Immigrant Rights,
the I mmigrant Youth Justice League, and MEChA, rally on Bartlett O!iad for scholarships
and public support for immig ration reform .

2012: Harper Court, a high-end 53rd street plaza designed by the University with admin istration offices inside , broke ground on construction, marking the modernization and
upper-scale development of 53rd street .

January2013: Students and community members protest the lack of an adult tra uma care
center on the South Side at the University's new $700 million Center for Care . Four protestors, including one graduate student, were arrested. A month later, an on-duty, plainclothes
UCP D officer posed as a protestor, marching during the rally and relaying inforn1ation about
the protest to a superior .

April 2013: Numerous anonymous racist posts are created on "Politically I ncorrect UChicago Confessions," a facebook page started by U of C students. Student outrage led to some
administrative action, but the page was not shut down, under free speech arguments .


June 2013: Chicago Weekly, a UChicago-student run newspaper focusing on South Side
neighborhoods, ceased publication in Spring 2013 due to a fallout with its publisher, NewCity . Members of the staff began to seek non-student staff and independently publish the
South Side Weekly in fall 2013 .

Sept 2013: Following the recommendations of a task force of transgender students' experiences, the University launched a new Preferred Name Policy.

February2014:The D epartment of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) began formally
investigating the University of Chicago after a student's complaint it mishandled her sexual
assault case and violated her Ti tle IX rights .

Spring2014 :The Institute of Politics at the U ofC faces its first of regular controversies,
when Dan Savage visits and says the t-slur, sparking student protests and campus wide-debate about free speech.

June 2014: The U of C agreed to open an all-ages trauma center at the University of Chicago
Medical Camp us, following a 5-year controve rsial, relentless activist campaign by The Trauma Center Coalition . The T CC was a community-led coalition, led by Southside Together
Organizing for Power, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, Interfaith L eadership
Council,Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, National Nurses United, and Students for Health
Equity . On campus, some U of C students were organizing through Students for H ealth
Equity, but participation was considered highly contentious .

October 2014: 16 year-old Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times by CPD officer Jason Van
Dyke .

November 2014: Campaign for Equitable Policing holds a forum on the state of the University of Chicago Police Department with community members in the Experimental Station .
The UCP D has primary jurisdiction over the area and full policing powers, meaning they can
search, ticket, arrest, and detain.

November 2015: The dashcam video ofLaquan Mc D onald's death was not released for
400 days. University of Chicago law professor Craig Futter1nan and journalist Jamie Kalven
worked to release the video and the autopsy report, which revealed that the information the
city gave about the murder was incorrect. Once the video was released, the city is engulfed
in protest against Mayor Emanuel's administration and CPD, and demand to vote out the
State 's Attorney, Anita Alvarez in the upcoming election.

February2015: State's Attorney Anita Alvarez visits the Institute of Politics for an event on
the State's Attorney race. Protestors associated with Black Youth Project 100 disrupted the
event 10 minutes in, with chants that "Anita Alvarez does not believe that Black lives matter."
Alvarez left the event, sparking months of campus discussion and op-eds between students
and the I nstitute Director, David Axelrod, over what constitutes free speech .

May2016: The U of C announced development of three buildings south of 61st street,
stating there was no longer a ban on developing campus south of 61st street (H P H erald,
May 2016) .

August 2016:The UCPD announces a 28 percent increase in patrol force, concentrating in
the newly developed areas of 53rd street. The plan includes an increase in joint patrol between
UCP D and CP D in areas of highest concern, despite violent crime being lower than last
year: "there have been 0.5 violent crimes per 1,000 people in H yde Park in the last 30 days,
which is down 30 percent from the same period last year." [Maroon, Aug 17, 2016)


Sofia Butnaru
Historically, the University of Chicago has had a very hands-on and deliberate
approach to developing and planning the South Side. The University and the "community
groups" it worked with essentially started the massively impactful urban planning strategy of Urban Renewal[l]. Since the beginning of the University's involvement in urban
planning on the South Side, its main goal has been to carefully craft a Hyde Park that aims
to exclude those who are not affiliated with the University, namely, poor people of color.
More recently, the University has pushed for more commercial and cultural development in Hyde Park and the surrounding neighborhoods. These projects have consisted
of creating larger commercial areas such as Harper Courts, and creating an "arts district"
with the Arts Block in Washington Park. The University has also created a network of
charter schools in farther away neighborhoods like Bronzeville. These developments are
sometimes noted as good for the community because they bring in jobs and commercial opportunities to neighborhoods that currently have issues with unemployment and
lack commercial activity. However, as the Harper Cot1rts development on 53rd Street
proved, these developments also bring about more policing by the University of Chicago
Police Department as well as rising rents that push residents and local businesses out of
the neighborhood. Further, perhaps the largest development project to come in recent
times to the South Side is the Obama Presidential Library which will be developed by the
Obama Foundation and The University of Chicago. The project is expected to cost $500M
and will not be completed until 2021. Importantly, it will most likely be on parkland
which means a decrease in recreational and open outdoor space on the South Side. This
project will undoubtedly change the South Side on many levels. If not handled carefully, it
could gentrify all of the south side and not provide the resources the south side desperately needs[2].

The University's real estate developments on the South Side are many and vary in
type and purpose. However, they are mostly commercial areas that aim to increase the
amenities and resources available on the South Side. Importantly, in creating these projects the University exhibits some pretty predatory behavior. Firstly, when the University of
Chicago invests in real estate and developing an area it tends to focus on what the University wants and needs instead of what the community actually needs. Secondly, these areas
are also the most policed areas by the UCPD (Harper Courts is where the most arrests
and stops happen in Hyde Park). Lastly, the University always purchases much of the land
around the area they are developing making it hard for locals to purchase property in the
area without the consent of the University.


Harper Courts on 53rd Street in Hyde Park and the Arts Block in Washington Park
are telling examples of how the University creates developments that although provide
some cool resources fail to actually meet the needs of the community . For example, th e
Arts Block in Washington Park has many arts resources for the neighborhood, however
Washington Park seriously lacks in many necessities, namely access to groceries . Any kind
of planning and development in Washington Park should consider the urgent needs of
the community, the arts block that consists of the Arts Incubator and BING the arts book
store, fail to do so . This is not to say that Washington Park should not have an arts center .
Every neighborhood should easy access to the arts! However, it is to say that there are certain resources that Washington Park desperately needs and those should take top priority.

In terms of policing, the University of Chicago Police Department, a private police
force, polices a massive jurisdiction of 65,000 people (of which 15,000 are UChicago affiliates) from 63rd street to 35 streets . Within the jurisdiction, the University of Chicago has
full policing rights. This means that they can stop and arrest anyone, they can search you,
they can even use force on you . If one examines the areas where most people are stopped
it is always around areas of high commercial activity that is managed by the University.
Harper Courts is the most policed area in Hyde Park [3]. Further, the University of Chicago Police department has always expanded its jurisdiction to cover the areas in which the
University of Chicago holds property. This is especially worrisome due to the University's
expansion into Washington Park with the Arts Block and the charter schools as far north
as Bronzeville.
The University tends to purchase much of the land in the area they would like to
develop. This makes it incredibly hard for other actors to invest in the areas and allows the
University to monopolize on planning and investment in certain areas. This is seen most
in Washington Park. Washington Park has been a site for development by the University
of Chicago because of its proximity to the University. At first, the University developed the
Arts Block in Washington Park, which consists the Arts Incubator, BING Arts Books, and
the Currency Exchange Cafe . With the Obama Library bid, the University went ahead
and purchased 26 properties in the area as well to secure it's spot as a top competitor for
the Library[4]. What this has done is that it has left a void in planning and develops in
Washington Park because the University is only developing projects that advance their
agenda. With all the property holdings the University has, it easily was able to beginning
the Arts Block expansion that was announced in June of 2016[5] . Further, there have been
instances in which alderman's have refused to allow other community groups to pttrchase
land in the area in order to develop them for community needs because they worried that
the University would want to purchase that land[6]. This problem is further exasperated
by the Charter Schools that the University has been expanding steadily . This is not equitable development. And more importantly, this is not development that actually champions
the needs and desires of the community itself.

Having a neighborhood with an abundance of amenities is something we should
strive for. The University should be developing the neighborhood to have great bars,
restaurants, shopping etc . However, this has to be done with all of the community in mind
and not just those affiliated with the university. Hyde Park and the greater South Side have
an incredibly rich and beautiful history that deserves to be preserved and highlighted.


Further, the Hyde Park community (particularly those not affiliated with the university)
has every right to have access to developments in their neighborhood, which is current
being denied to them by policing and high prices. As rent prices in Hyde Park reach an all
time high, we have to ask ourselves how our university is pushing the Hyde Park community out of its own neighborhood[?].
As UChicago students , it is our job to, firstly, bring these issues to light because they
are often times overlooked on campus. Secondly, it is our job to demand that equitable
planning happens and that community needs are being answered. This happens through
organizing and working with community groups of course. This is especially important
because the University is historically the largest developer in this area. If the university
wants any kind of real estate project to happen around Hyde Park, it will.
Importantly, the argument is not that we shouldn't build a new commercial area in
Hyde Park or that we shouldn't have an Obama Library in the South Side. These have the
potential to be great things for the neighborhood! The argument is that we need to be
careful and deliberate in making sure that these developments actually are for everyone in
the community.
And, speaking of the Obama Presidential Library, this issue is even more pertinent
now that the Obama Foundation will be investing 500 Million Dollars on this project and
that the University of Chicago has signed a memorandum with the City of Chicago for
700 Million dollars worth in development and investment[8]. This money is absolutely
needed on the South Side, let's make sure that it actually goes to the needs and desires
of the community at large and not to the half a century long project of the University of
Chicago to make the South Side white and wealthy!
Works Cited


www.julieteldred.com/work #/let-our-impact-grow-from -more-to-more/
www.dnainfo.com/ chicago/20141210/h yde-park/u-of-cs-washington-park -land -grab -could-secureobama-library -for-s-side
news. uchicago.edu/ article/2016/06/03/university -chicago-announces -plans -arts -block-washington park

-rental -prices -reach-new/



Cosette Hampton & Tristan Bock-Hughes

"Hyde Park is one of the safest neighborhoods in Chicago."
Most of you have probably heard the 1nanrra that Hyde Park is one of the safest neighbor hoods in Chicago a hundred rimes over, even before ever stepping on campus, and have heard
that we have UCPD to thank for this. To most people this doesn't sound so unreasonable - the
UCPD has the highest level of training and accreditation available to private police forces, it's
the largest private force in the world, and the crime rares outside of UCPD 's jurisdiction are
consistently higher than within them . UCPD has played a large role in securing the safety and
privacy of tl1ose connected to UChicago, and while at times it has conditioned students to fear
dangers that don't exist, it has also protected students from other dangers seen and unseen.
But who is Hyde Park really safe for? What makes certain students feel safe, and others in
danger? And , what is the solution when these parameters clash?
Whe n the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) was initially created by the
University in the 1960s following the University-directed Urban Renewal projects , it consisted
of only two private detectives. Since then , the UCPD has expanded to employ over 140 fulltime police officers with an operating budget of over $5,500,000 per year, making it the largest
private police force in the world (the Vatican has recently reduced the size of its own) . The
original boundaries of the police patrol of the UCPD were 47th Street, 61st Street, and Cottage
Grove . However , in 2001, the boundaries were extended to 64th Street on the south and 37th
Street on the north , with small extensions to cover University -run charter schools. The UCPD
now patrols an area of over three square miles where 65 ,000 people live. The CPD has a reduced, yet still highly visible presence in this area due to an agreement between the city and the
university to ease the budgetary burden of the CPD , although only slightly. Thus, the UCPD is
the main police presence in their patrol area. However, of the 65 ,000 people in the UCPD's
jurisdiction , 50,000 of them have no affiliation with the university. Essentially, members
of the public are being policed by protectors of the University of Chicago campus and its
students instead of protectors of their actual communities.
Again, this may nor inlmediarely sound troubling . Bur in tl1e middle of growing tension
between black people and those that police, harass, and kill them we 1nusr be aware of the
setting the UCPD exists in. University of Chicago is ranked 251st on campus diversity, with
an average of 4.7% of the undergraduate class being made up of black people and only 1.3%
of the faculty. This is a stark contrast to the constantly shrinking 30% of Hyde Parkers who
are black, 85% of Woodlawn residents, and 71 % of Kenwood. This means that when 90%
of the UCPD's traffic and foot stops are of black people , the vast majority of these are of local
community members with no affiliation to the university with almost no avenue of recourse
if they are subjected to unjust treatment. The other most likely possibility is that these stops
are of one of the hundreds of part and full time service emp loyees tl1ar work for the university
who have equally little recourse to address such wrongs . In a social climate where tensions are
high between community members and police, it must follow that these same tensions can be
present on a campus with one of the largest privatized police forces in the country .


The problem at the center of the UC PD is that it is not subject to the same transparency and accountability that a public police force is (though, of course, standards for public
police forces are also woefully inadequate). Unfortunacdy, neither scare nor federal law require
the UCPD to reveal its policies (unlike the CPD). The only governing body with actual pow er over the UCPD, outside of legislation directly pertaining to private police forces, is the
unelect .ed UChicago Board of Trustees. Due to UCPD's private status, it cannot be subject
co a Freedom of Information Act request like a public police force, even though the UCPD has
the ability to to stop, arrest, and shoot public citizens within its jurisdiction just like a public
police force. Qusr so you know--there is currently a piece of legislatio n frozen in the state senate
called House Bill 3932 that would subject private campus police forces to the Freedom of
Information Act, bur UChicago lobbying to have the languag e changed and the Illinois state
budget crisis has made it very difficult to get tllis law passed .)
However, the Campaign for Equitable Policing (CEP), an RSO at UChicago, reminded
the University that they are actually legally mandated co release traffic stop information due co
a scare law introduced by a young senator Obama, and the University began doing so shortly
afterwards. CEP also worked in partnership with the Invisible Institute in the fall of2014 co
hold a public forum on the UCPD that prompted local house representative Barbara Flynn
Currie co sponsor House Bill 3932, after which the u11iversitybegan voluntaril y releasing data
from a selection of tl1eir foot stops, though by no means all of them .
le has now been statistically proven char the UCPD participates in racial profiling and
while CluefWalker acknowledged the accusation s and subsequent statistical evidence has
claimed that the UCPD has turned over a new lea£ However, as Black people make up 93%
of UCPD's investigatory scops though they only represent 59% of the patrol area it seems that
that new leaf has yet co be turned. Nor only have black community residents unaffiliated with
the University been especially targeted, bur black university students and black non-faculty
employees have also reported incidents of racial profiling. In particular, black students and
employees have been frequently asked co show their IDs when they are near campus and have
consequently felt w1welcome. In addition, there have been several incidents involving tl1e
UCPD that have caused the university community co question its policies. These range from
UCPD officers mishandling sexual assault reports, injuring and being overly aggressive with
on-campus protesters, and racially profiling black students and black community members,
demanding they leave locations they are perfectly within their rights to be in.
Students of color on cainpus are also subjected co racial bias when it comes co who "looks
like a student" ai1d who doesn't, who should be allowed to be on campus and who shouldn't,
ai1d which people "look dangerous/like thugs" ai1d must be avoided . Approachability has long
been i11formed by racial stereotypes that have evolved from racial justifications for slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, and tl1e present day mass incarceration of black people in numb ers beyond
those of slavery during 1850. Physical appearance has also caused many university students co
be "mistaken" for students at Kenwood High School or Hyde Park Academy (HPA). UChicago
Law Professor Craig Futterman published a report on police-youth interactions at HPA tl1ac
scared, " . .. me students consistently express doubts char me police will protect them. ('Serve and
Protect? Noc us.') The attention they do receive from th e police is almost always unwelcome.
Mose often, it takes me fonn of being stopped, searched, and having th eir names checked for
outstanding warrants ... They speak with pained eloquence about what it feels like to be regarded as a suspect ramer tl1an a citizen by the officers who stop diem ."
Ir is impossible to cell someone to nor to be afraid of something. Fear is a natural response
to danger that muse be honored in order co stay safe. What can be questioned, however, is one's
reason for assu1ning danger is near or present. The sensarionalization of violence in Chicago


in the media has created unrealistic fears of chose who people consider most likely co commie

With so little ability to hold this force that polices us every single day to any manda tory standard of accountability and transparency we are forced to ask the question what
and who does the UCPD actually protect ?
To develop some answer co chis question , it is important co see where the University
directs its police . For instance, while few violent crimes actually are reported as occurring in
local parks , the latest update co Safety and Security has increased UCPD presence around local
parks, a main hangout spot for local black youth . While violent crimes are rarely reported on
53rd street, the corridor of University -owned commercial properties , the laresr Safety and Security update is going co be increasing patro ls around chis area. Though the only really cotnmon
violent crime co rake place on our campus itself is sexual assault, which our university fails co
handle up co federal standards, and the vase majority of sexual assaults on catnpus are perpetrat ed by ocher students, the newest Safety and Security update is making most university buildings
only accessible by key card . When a friend of mine was mugged , it happened when he was
alone at my doorstep on an empty section of a street regularly patrolled by UCPD vans .
What does chis all suggest? More than anything else, chis suggests char the University of
Chicago values the illusion char a larger and more prominent police force direcrly equates co
more safety for its students and investors. When we know char the things actually most highly
corrdared with commw 1iry safety are attributes like, higher levels of mixed income housing,
greater rax investment from the municipal goverrunenr, work and education programs for
low-income youth, and community connectivity we have co wonder if the Board of Trustee's
main use for the UCPD is actually safety, or rather co create an illusion of safety char is code for
the exclusion of black and brown people and chose with low incomes .
These roots dig deeper when an institution of prestige and privilege is surrounded by
underprivileged neighborhoods bur consistently refuses co contribute to the vitality of char
neighborhood in a democratic or sustainable way. As small businesses are eaten up and poor
Black and Brown people, as well as low income students and staff, are being forced our of their
homes due to the expansionist, rent hiking, prestige driven property development of UChica go's Board ofTrusrees and cop administrators, the siruation provides a perfect mirror co the rest
of Chicago: underinvestment and over-policing in low income Black and Brown com1nunities .
What then becomes understood as "safety" for white people is the absence of people of color
and , even more so, Black people .
All chis is nor to say chat CPD is somehow a better alternative . CPD has a long history of
corruption , torture regimes, racial profiling , stop -and -frisk, and murder, most recently and hor ribly brought co the public eye through cases like Laquan McDonald , Rekia Boyd, Paul O'Neal ,
Domi11ique Franklin Jr., Pierre Loury, and many more. The UCPD, in fact, is seen as far kinder
and more professional than the actual Chicago Police Department by tnany students and
some commu11iry members. Yet, chis doesn't mean char the UCPD's lack of transparency and
accountability does nor set a dangerous precedent for private institutions physically controlling
public spaces and people 's livelihoods , especially in regards to low incotne black youth .

As Dean Boyer stared publicly lase year, UChicago is a place where the elite can feel proud
co send their children . More than any otl1er goal, chis is what drives the University of Chicago .
UCPD's unofficial policy when encountering srudenrs breaking che law is co report chem for an
academic repritnand (a policy chat was defended in a private meeting with students by ex-CFO
of the University, Nim Chinniah, because the university doesn't want to harm its students' po tential) . Yer, the UCPD sees no problem in harming the potential of local black youth. UCPD


is a cool used by this university co make its investments feel comfortable and woo even more ,
from the high-income srudents and rock star academics it hopes will matriculate co the highend commercial and residential real estate it hopes will secure its strong -hold in Hyde Park.
When we consider char these police bear the mark of our University we muse also wonder
what message this sends co chose around us who we rarely acknowledge. "We are nor here for
you. You are nor welcome. This will never be your world ." When Boyer talks about the elite
sending their children co this school he shows that he, the rest of the administration, and the
Board of Trustees are guiding the UCPD with their philosophy. "Protect th e elite, th e good
investments , the high returns. Everyone else is extraneous, including the low income students,
the disabled , the PoC, and the traumatized." We 1nusc demand that our university treat our
environment and its people better. UChicago has every ability to influence an increase in
democratic control over investment in local neighborhoods while providing people with accountability and control over how and by whom they are policed. This University could be the
leading model for privat e instirucions strengthening the public system for the good of all, black
and poor included. However , in order co see chat vision realized, we must either first, demand
better of our Board of Trustees and administration or second, demand control over our Board
of Trustees and Administration .

All said, you are still about co begin living in a city, and staying safe here is a perfectly
reasonable concern. Some good practices co keep in mind while living on the Southside of
Chicago (or any urban area) includ e not walking alone or listening to music at night , sticking
co well-lie and populated streets, and using the Night Ride Shuttles if you need co travel co or
from an off-campus location at night. If you feel you are truly being followed or are in danger ,
you can call the UCPD or contact an operator at one of many blue light stations in the campus
area. Lee your roommates know what time you plan on being home at night and if you decide
co stay our all night , make sure someone knows where you are. Download apps like "C ompanion " that allow you co check when your friends are home from Harper , Mansueto , or an
off-campus apartment. Be vigilant if you plan to drink at a frat parry (see the 'Parrying at the U
of C' and 'Secual Assualc and Consent ' sections of chis book). Finally, if you do happen co be
mugged , the safest thing to do is give the mugger your property and comply with their requests ,
especially if the person has a weapon.
We also 1nust be aware that the university is extraordinarily insulated from its surrounding
communities and that our neighbors 1nay socialize differently, so we can stick our like a sore
thwnb in some areas just as we would in any other city where we are foreigners . The vast major ity of the people around us mean us no harm and we should always be aware that just because
someone may "look" or socialize different from us does not mean they are dangerous.
Crime is generally racially segregated. Based on the fact that Chicago is the 3rd most
segregated city in the United Stares and only 4. 7% of UChicago 's undergraduate students are
Black, non-Black people in the city have very linle to fear of Black people. As far as fears of
"gang violence," th e majority of gang -related homicides are committed by white peopl e (53.3%
white, 42 .2% black) and the majority of their victims are also white, same for general population where 84% of white homicide victims had white murderers. If anything, UChicago students have more co fear of other UChicago srudents than anyone else in their geographic realm.
Ir is important co think about ways you can resensitize what you perceive as dangerous or
unruly activity. Ask yourself:

Do the kids throwing rocks outside have anywhere else to play in tl1e area?


Do you greet people suffering from homelessness or do you ignore and mean-mug chem
from afar?

You feel safe around "certain" Black people -- what makes ochers different?

What is more conducive co rhe longevity of safety?

The more we work cowards community-cenreredness in our cultivation of safety, the quicker we
move from being guests in Chicagoans ' neighborhood co making the campus and the city our
home -- our community.
If you would like co know 1nore about rhe UCPD please click here:
vice.com/read/why -does-a-campus-police-d eparnne nr-hav e-jurisdiction-over -65000-chicagoresidenrs- 1112
For still another view on the role of the UCPD , see Jon Catlin's article "I Was Robbed " in rhe
Maroon: hrrp://chicagomaroon.com/2013/03/12/105558/.
A victim of crime recounts his
struggle with these questions of campus security and its ethical obligations.

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During your time here, people will tell you time and time again to "get out of Hyde Park" and
"go explore the city as much as possible:'This can be done in a variety of ways.
Walking:Chicago is expansiveand most everything is farther away than it looks. If you have
time and are prepared for the weather, however,walking is lovely.
Biking:There are lots of lovelybike trails you can use, including one up Lake Michigan. Please
abide by traffic laws.
Cars: There is traffic. Lots of it. Cabs in/ out of Hyde Park can be super expensiveand parking
in Hyde Park is a pain. Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft,however, do offer a slightly
more affordableway to drive around the city.
Metra: A commuter rail It runs on the hour and is pretty isolated, as far as public transit goes.
If you want something more expansive, cheap, and politicallyengaging, the CTA is your go-to.

CTA History

Although plans for an elevated railwaysystem began in the 1870's,
the actual lines didn't go into effect until around 1892.The World'sFair was a major incentive;
one of the first lines, the South Side Line, went across the 63rd St. all the way to Jackson Park.
Now, that track ends at Cottage Grove. Other lines include: Lake St. L (Northern Green Line
Branch), Metropolitan West Side L (modern-day blue line), Union Loop (well, the loop), and
Northwestern L (red/purple lines). During this time, Chicago was experiencing a population
growth of unprecedented proportions: 600,000people in the 1890's. It grew to be the 5th
largest city in the world at this time, and the wealth gap was astonishing. The "t' eased the
strain that such a population growth had on the city's resources.
Disparities of income are affected and reflected in interesting ways by the various CTA lines.
For instance, on the North Side, there is a correlation between proximity to a CTA station and
median household income. On the South and West Sides,however, this correlation becomes
much less prominent. In short, Chicago is a city of neighborhoods, determined today by
barriers long ago. It is these neighborhoods that determine income, although increased rail
lines on the wealthier North Side are no accident.

Crime and the CTA

Some people have more of an aversion to taking public
transit than others. These aversions stem from a fear of crime rates on the CTA, especially
around low-income areas. Many of these fears are unfounded and based upon dated statistics.
Five of the six stations with the highest crime rates fall along the Red Line, which people
generally prefer to use. Furthermore, between 2009 and 2012, the most crimes per station
area happened in the Loop; 749 crimes happened in the Loop track itself,while 217 crimes
happened on the Rooseveltstation in the south loop. Petty theft took up the highest percentage
of these crimes. (Source:Alex Bordens, Chicago Tribune Graphics)
While it is alwaysimportant to be vigilant about your person and your belongings, precautions
about crime doesn't need to turn into fear of the places where crime could potentially happen.

CTA Over the Years

Because transportation is by nature dynamic, the CTA
tends to go through changes. Many of the original elevated lines and branches simply don't
exist anymore. Up until 1946,Chicago Rapid Transit Company was in charge of public transit.
When the CTA ultimately took over,it streamlined the entire system, removing express


Who pays for

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services, closing stations, and even dismantling miles of track. Anyone who wishes to complain
about lack of track into Hyde Park (the Green Line used to run all the way to Stony Island
Avenue) can thank this decision. To be fair, the rise of the highways,which prompted many
Americans to move to the suburbs and decreased CTA ridership, didn't help.

Future Projects

Transportation renovations are not a thing of the past. Both the
Red and Purple Lines are currently undergoing a modernization program on the North Side,
meaning that several stations are currently non-operational as they undergo construction
and repairs. There are buses to accommodate the displaced riders, but are those an acceptable
The CTA also plans to extend the Red, Orange, and YellowLines going forward. Expansions of
this type are usually good things; who doesn't love easier access to public transportation? Just
Phase One of the CT.Asmodernization program alone is estimated to cost around $2 billion.
About 40% of CTA annual revenue comes from come from the $2.25 you pay every time you
tap your Ventra Card. That means CTA riders will contribute $8 billion to these projects. But
which CTA riders will end up paying the most?
In the past severalyears, the unlimited day passes have almost doubled in price. Often,
these prices affect people unequally. One recent CTA study (reported by Kevin O'Neil of
ChicagoNow) found out that people living in poverty mostly paid CTA fares in cash, leaving
them unable to accessthe free transfers that come with CTA cards. Since CTA cards can only
be purchased at train stations, a lot of people are at a disadvantage. The CTA passes they do
buy are often unlimited day passes, which have seen significant increases in price. In short,
minority and low-income residents are bearing the brunt of these changes. Meanwhile, most of
the extensions will venture into the suburbs, away from the people suffering the consequences.
When we take forms of transportation, we must ask ourselves: who's getting us from point a
to point b? Who's paying the most for these services?Who do these forms of transportation
primarily serve? Is this intentional? Does transportation activelyencourage or discourage the
integration of different neighborhoods?
Getting out of Hyde Park- or even travelling around it- is so much more than exploring
different places. Often, it carries a political act in itself. However,no matter what, any form of
transportation is better than staying in the Hyde Park bubble if you want to be an active and
engaged member of the community. Transportation can be confusing, but so are many other
important things in life.





. edu/identity/visual


not about you .
about uchicago.

- language



w e r at



louisa richardson -deppe
At the University of Chicago, power is officially distributed among three groups: administrators,
faculty, and students. Of course, President Zimmer, the board of trustees, and co. hold the bulk
of the power, but often who answers to whom or which position has what authority are unclear.
With a little googling, you can access the University's Articles of Incorporation and its Bylaws,
but if you don't have the time to comb through those documents, check out this section to demystify some of the University's amorphous and confusing power relations.

I. The Administration
UChicago 's administrative structure is akin to the legislative and executive branches of the
US Government. At the top of the executive sector is President Robert Zimmer. According
to the University's Bylaws, Zimmer, as the executive head, controls the "management of the
physical plant and the administration of all business activities of the University." In real life,
this means Zimmer and his staff manage the university's investments , appoint academic and
non-academic staff, oversee everything from Argonne National Laboratory to the libraries
and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, and act as an intermediate between the
Board of Trustees and the faculty or students. Don 't expect to see much of this guy; Zimmer
tends to be pretty distant from w1dergrads. (In recent years this has become even more true:
the Spring 2016 graduation ceremony was the first one in recent years where Zimmer did not
shake students' hands, perhaps due to the fact that some graduating students choose to give
him a protest letter explaining their frustrations with the school instead of shaking his hand.
This year students tossed their protest letters in his general direction.)
To help with these responsibilities , the Office of the President has a pretty extensive staff.
Here, you might recognize s01ne familiar (and even some frienclly) faces. Directly under
Zim1ner's purview are a slew of VPs, Executive VPs, National Lab Directors , the Student
Ombudsperson, and the Provost. You can see the entire list of staff (with minimal descrip tions) on the Office of the President 's website - https://president.uchicago.edu/ - but a few
of the more prominent players are listed here:
Daniel Diermeier, Provost: Diermeier was appointed to the Provost position last March
following Provost Eric Isaac's two -year reign . As the University's chief academic executive, Diermeier will oversee the Deans of all the University's academic divisions and graduate schools .
He's really President's right -hand man , focusing more on the academic side of the w1iversity
while Zimmer does business. Diermeier, like Zimmer, will likely stay pretty distant. Prior
to his appointment as Provost, Diermeier served as the Dean of the Harris School of Public
Policy. His appointment is notable given current campus politics and tensions between the


administration and various student groups. He is the author of a book tided "Reputation
Rules" in which he discusses strategy such as overcoming "direct challenges from influential
activist and political forces" and using "external , seetningly unrelated even ts to boost reputa tion" (All of this information is readily available on his public Linkedln page) .
Michele Rasmussen, Dean of Students in the University: Ras1nussen was appoint ed in 2013 as Dean of Students, though for the first 3 years of her position she worked
under the Karen Warren Cole1nan , Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services.
As of Spring 2016 , KWC has left UChicago, leaving Rasmussen in charge of the Office of
Campus & Student Life, which you'll come into contact with on a daily basis. TI1is office
oversees almost everything non -academic: UChicago Dining, Student Housing , OMSA ,
Athletics, the Dean of Rockefeller Chapel, Resources for Sexual Vio lence Prevention, Student
Disability Services - they all fall under Warren Coleman 's authority , to name just a few. The
C&SL website states that chey "carry the core mission of the University - changing the world
through che power of ideas - co all aspects of life outside che classroom ." Rasmussen has been
a controversial authority figure on campus .
John Boyer, Dean of the College: Though he's not known for his interest in social justice, Boyer has a cult of personality among students . A renowned historian with an impres sive moustache , Dean Boyer leads an annual south side history bike tour and probably knows
more about U of C history than anyone else. He recently wrote a new book about che history
of the University, mentioned in a now-infamous welcome letter co the class of 2020 .

The other l1alf of the University's administration -the
Board of Trustees- is compara tively simpler than the Office of the President. In total , th e Board is comprised of 54 alumni
and plutocrats, in addition to President Zimmer . Besides being Very Wealthy and putting
their names on University buildings (go to trustees .uchicago.edu for more specific info),
the trustees have broad legislative powers . In charge of the "governance and control " of the
university, they add or alter the bylaws, appoint new presidents, and oversee the university's
po licies and projects .
The trustees are inaccessible to students, and a lot of secrecy surrounds their meetings meeting locations are changed every time and meeting minutes are never released, even to
the Maroon . The Board is often elusive and has a pretty poor track record of meeting with
students or discussing student asks. In the past, Student Government's two liaisons to tl1e
Board of Trustees have had no voting power, and by all accounts were an unwanted presence
in Board meetings . As of the 2016 -2017 school year, the two SG liaisons to tl1e Board have
been completely removed from any access to official Board meetings . They will have a nota bly different role, functioning more as facilitators and connecting students co members of the
Board in new initiatives. Although these new initiatives theoretically may lead to more student contact face co face with board members, it is notable (and frustrating) that the Liaisons
have been further pushed away from any access to Board meetings and any ability to partake
in significant university governance .

Whos on this board?Here are a few of thefinest folks:
Andrew Alper: After getting his BA and MBA at UChicago, Alper worked as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs for 21 years. When Graduate Liaison to the BOT Joe Bonni
resigned in 2010 (after tl1e University Secretary wouldn't accept a proxy for Bonni when he
studied abroad) Alper stated that student liaisons to the board would never have a vote since
they aren't sufficiently objective. If you live in Alper House , this guy is the namesake .
Ken Griffin: CEO and Founder of stock trade company Citadel , Griffin was ranked che
best-paid hedge fund manager in the country in 2016 . According to a recent Chicago Tri-



bune article he is the 56th richest person in the United States and the 157th richest person
in the world . He is known for bankrolling austerity politicians and is very influential within
state -level politics as one of Governor Bruce Rauner's biggest donors .
Joseph Neubauer, Chairman of the Board: Another Booth grad, Neubauer is the
Chairman of ARAMARK Corporation, UChicago's long -standing food services provider .
The litany of accusations, complaints, and criticisms of Aramark seems never-ending: fraud,
over-billing, providing poor wages and minimal benefits to emp loyees, setting up monopolies
on the campuses they serve, and providing unhealthy conditions and poor quality food. In
Spring 2016 the decision was made to switch away from Aramark to Bon Appetit, a different
food service provider . This fall is the first test run for Bon Appetit (and as far as we know ,
they don't have any connections to the Board ofTrustees .. .) A June 2016 artic le from Crain's
notes chat the bottom -line push from the Board chat has lead to University -wide budget cuts
and layoffs was influenced by Neubauer becoming Chairman of the Board .
Thomas J. Pritzker: No discussion of power and wealth in Chicago would be complete
without mentioning the Pritzker family. As the Executive Chairman of the Hyatt Hotels
Corporation (which has a location in Hyde Park) an d Chairman/CEO of his family org, The
Pritzker Organization, 1l1omas Pritzker is worth more than che GDP of over 30 countries!
Hyatt's subpar reputation for worker abuses--including dismissing long -term workers and
reduci ng benefits an d pay--has spawned protests and global boycotts.

Where and how are the most high-I.eve!Universitydecisionsmade?Accordingto the ':Articlesof Incorporation," the trusteessit on el.evencommittees,summarized here (and available with more detail at
Audit Committee: When it comes co keeping the financial books clean, everyone needs
independent oversight. This committee appoints an independent watchdog for University
finances and is put in charge of respondi ng co chose audits.
Executive Committee: Besides being given final approval on the financial decisions of all
other committees, this group is the Board's filter, deciding which issues or general policies are
'important' enough for the Trustees.
Financial Planning Committee: This is the co1nmirtee that 1nakes sure che $$$ keeps
flowing for a long , long time . From the College to the UCMC's annual budget, this commit tee oversees all short and long term budget plans , the University's performance against those
budgets, and its debt capacity .
Institutional Capacity Committee: Oversight and advising on everything fro1n physical
facilities and IT infrastructure to human resources and etnployee benefits . 11lis is the com mittee that likely deals with things like the "Shared Services" initiative that is leading co huge


layoffs of University staff and 1nay be behind the big anti-union stance coming from the

Investment Committee: This committee ensures EPA violations don't gee in the way
of short term profits . From the violator, Archcoal, to fossil-fuel companies that directly
contribute co climate change, this committee monitors the University's investment assets and
portfolio , ensuring that your tuition dollars will end up supporting causes you may or 1nay
not support yourselfl
Medical Center Executive Committee: Where the Illuminati behind the UCMC meet.
If you're wondering who is in the room when decisions on trauma -care or arresting students
are made - look no further chan these members. Any guesses on when they'll lee actual co1nmunity leaders in tl1eir meetings?
Outward Engagement Committee: Even if their instincts are co stay in their bubble ,
Trustees have to pay some attention to the outside world . TI1is committee oversees (often
lackluster) community outreach , connections with elected officials, and decisions that immediately affect plenty of people who are not associated with the University (such as access
co trauma care via the University of Chicago Medical Center , see "Thoughts on the Trauma
Center Campaign," p. 40). Their committee description notes how tl1ese various engagement
efforts need to be coordinated in che context of the University's "strategic branding and
com1nunications efforts, " which tie in with Provost Diermeier's expertise in Repucational
Strategy and branding.
Trusteeship and Governance Committee: Where th e Chairman and Trustees are
knighted. Trustees only serve five-year terms - this group decides if their contributions have
been pleasing enough to warrant anotl1er term plus the fancy title of "Emeritus status." It's
notable that there's no external accountability within this structure, due to the fact that the
only peop le who vote on who becomes a Trustee are the Trustees themselves.
University Advancement Committee: A group focused on ensuring the University's
status as an intellectual destination for everyone they want attached to the school -- "scholars,
researchers , public & private sector leaders, students, and alumni." This committee looks
both at advancing the University's intellectual infrastructure as well as enhancing alumni

II. The Faculty
While admin holds a vast majority of tl1e university's power , there are two governing bodies
consisting of just faculty that handle academic issues and set programs of study.

The College Council: 40 me1nbers of the College faculty, half of whom are elected and
half of whom are appointed by Zimmer , on Dean Boyer's recommendation , set admissions
and degree requirements for undergrads. They determine grading policies, set curricula , and
also determine the requirements for the common core .
The University Senate: Broader than the College Council, the University Senate is
open to any Professor, Assistant Professor, or Associate Professor in any of the University's
divisions, departments , and schoo ls. The Council of the University Senate, a 51 -m ember
elected body (plus the President and Provost, as non -voting members) , serves as the "supreme
academic body of the University ." This legislature sets rules for student conduct and generally
has all che legislative powers not given to the Board ofTrustees (i.e., barely any power).


111.The Students
Even though we're way at the bottom of the University's power suucrure, students have a few
venues for involvement, one of which is Student Government. It's important to note, of
course, that there are many RSOs, campus groups, and community organizations who are
working with or against the University to uy to change various things; SG is simply one entity
that is more formally recognized by the Powers that Be. You'll see, however, that it's in the
University's best interest to have Student Government that seems like it has more power than it
actually does, isn't allowed to participate in some of the most critical decision -making processes,
and does work that higher -ups don't want to do (SG, for example, allocates a nearly 2.2 million
dollar budget to various things each year. Important? Absolutely. Meaningful to students on
campus? I'd say so. Does the Board ofTrustees itself allocate any money towards awareness
and prevention of sexual assault on campus? No. [Does SG? Yes!]).In the last few years there
has been a substantial shift within SG towards advocating for even more power and creating
budgets that serve a wide range of student needs . More on that after a brief explanation of the
structure ofUChicago's Student Goverrunent.
Each year, a three-person Executive Slate (consisting of the SG President and two
VPs) is determined by a student election during Spring Quarter . These three oversee SG
committees dedicated to specific topics and work with the Executive Corrunittee that includes
two Liaisons to the Board of Trustees (one graduate student, one undergraduate) a
Community and Government Liaison, and the Chairs of both Grad Council and College
Council . While the Executive Slate and Comm/Gov Liaison positions are open to graduate and
undergraduate students, 1nost often it is undergrads who run for these spots . This year (2016 2017) the Executive Slate includes one graduate student as well as two undergrads , which hasn't
happened in recent years.
In addition to these positions , SG includes two 17-member groups: the Graduate Council
and the College Council (not the same as the faculty's College Council) . The Graduate
Council includes at least one representative from each professional and graduate division
and a chairperson , and College Council includes four representatives from each year and one
chairperson from any year. When meeting all together, the Executive Committee , the Cabinet
(which includes Liaisons and Chairs), Grad Cow1cil, and College Council are called the
Student Goverrunent Assembly.
SG is responsible for hosting some campus -wide events; administering its Finance Committee,
which provides RSOs with funding ; and serving as a voice and advocate for the student
body. Their mission statement, taken from the SG Constitution: "To further the interests
and promote the welfare of the students at the University of Chicago; to foster a University
community; to represent the body 1nore effectively before University authorities and the
community at large." If you're interested in reading more, the Constitution and all SG Bylaws
are available on the SG website (sg.uchicago .edu). SG has set aside $10,000 for a Sexual Assault
Awareness and Prevention Fund, which has been used to produce events and bring in speakers
to discuss these topics . The Executive Slate from the 2015 -2016 year was insuumental in the
brand -new UPass program at UChicago, which provides unlimited CTA passes to all UChicago
students as of the 2016 -2017 school year. SG is sometimes a controversial figure on campuscommon criticisms are that SG doesn't do enough or that their interests don't represent the
student body adequately. If you are curious, concerned, or dissatisfied with the way things are,
consider running to be a College Council member (first year elections in the fall, second-fourth
year elections in the spring), applying to and participating in a committee (such as SGFC, the
Student Govt. Finance Committee that makes all funding decisions related to RSOs , or many
many others); or findu1g one of your CC or Grad Council representatives and talking to them!


university employees
Lily Grossbard

When you get to college , you're probably worrying a lot about people. Worrying
about whether or not your roommate has a loud alarm , if your professors will be
nice , and maybe (if you're like me) , whether or not you'll ever make any friends (it's
ok to worry, and the answer is most definitely yes). You're probably not thinking
too much right now about the employees of the University of Chicago , a popttlation
totalling a whopping 24, 147 (as of 2015) , not even including dining hall staff(!) , and
of whom only a small 11.4% are academic staff such as tenure- and nontenture-track
It 's very easy to exist in a bubble, and to pay attention only to the individuals the
university would have you notice . But without the librarians , janitorial staff, shuttle
drivers , and student housing front desk clerks , among hundreds of others , the fact of
the matter is that the University of Chicago as we know it would not exist.
Furthermore , while you are no doubt being challenged by the largest pile of schoolwork you have ever had to manage, sometimes toiling over a paper in the Reg until
two or three AM, these employees are performing some of the most physically arduous and demandingjobs themselves , and often getting paid no more than $10.50/
hour (the Cook County minimum wage) for their efforts. While the labor practices of
the university are legally compliant, they are often extremely unfair, particularly for
workers who don't have representation.
Many campus employees are members of unions that are actively negotiating for
better contracts and fairer practices at the University. Two important unions are the
Teamsters Local 743 (part of SEIU , the Service Employees International Union)
and the University of Chicago chapter of the American Association of University
There are also many groups in the process of forming unions: Faculty Forward , an
organization of non-tenured faculty such as adjunct professors that is also hoping to
be represented by SEIU ; the Harper Schmidt Fellows , a subset of Faculty Forward ;
and Graduate Students United (GSU) , an organization of graduate students formed
in 2007. Thanks to an August 2016 ruling by the National Labor Relations Board
(in its own words , "an independent federal agency that protects the rights of private
sector employees ... to improve their wages and working conditions"), many of the
barriers preventing GSU from becoming an officially recognized union are gone, so
the debate over unionization is going to be highly active this year.
On the student end of things , Fair Budget UChicago (FBU) is a student-led organi-


zation that works closely with the above organizations , and which also focuses on
improving working conditions and wages for student workers . This year FBU will
be leading a push to challenge the increasing corporatization of higher education that
has taken a strong hold at the University of Chicago.
Unfortunately, all of these active groups on campus have not been able to prevent
moves by the university administration to limit the freedoms of the campus's working population . In particular , it's worth knowing about a new effort by the University
to i1nplement a strategy called "shared services ." Basically , the University of Chicago has spent itself into comparatively outsized debt in recent years. While many
of the burgeoning costs are associated with construction projects , academic departments are being asked to pay the price. Shared services are kind of like budget cuts
on steroids , with a hugely negative impact on non-administrative employees - who
are often the ones doing the thankless work that keeps a department running.
Worst of all, shared services have a particularly intimate assoc iation with large-scale
layoffs. About 100 employees were laid off this past June 2016 , with another round
of firings expected in December. Again , the employees most likely to lose their jobs
are not the administrators with six- and seven-figure salaries , but personnel considered "nonessential ," like departmental secretaries and research assistants.
Rowan Miranda, hired by the University in December 2014 , is the mastermind
behind the shared services program. He formerly was employed to implement shared
services at the University of Michigan (UM) , where he tried to cut $17 mill ion out of
the yearly operating budget by laying off a huge number of the school's employees.
His efforts there were so unpopular , unfair, and non-transparent that he was actually
fired by the school after faculty circulated a petition with over 1, 100 signatures , and
none of his program was actually pushed through. Faculty there were particularly
frustrated to note that under Miranda 's leadership , Accenture , a corporate consulting
firm with whom he formerly worked as an executive partner , was actually benefiting
from a contract with UM. Perhaps the worst thing about Miranda is that his "specialty " is in corporate Public Relations management , with a sub-focus on quashing
activ ism against undemocratic university programs and corporations .
At the end of the day, not everyone at the University of Chicago has it quite so bad.
For example , our president , Robert J. Zimmer , was, in 2011, the highest paid university president in the country, raking in $3.4 million. In fact, while the administration
maintains that some academic divisions may have to make budget cuts up to 8%,
administrative staff outnumber full-time faculty, and there has been a 75% increase
in administrative salaries for the eight top administrators over the past five years. To
put it lightly, the administration is not living the same kind of life as many, many of
the employees you walk by and interact with every day.
As students , we're told it's our job to get lost in the life of the mind, to pursue rigorous inquiry , to grapple with intellectual abstractions. But while you gaze out over the
quad mulling over a math proof or a philosophical concept, don 't let your eyes glaze
over the real people who physically keep this place running - 111hose
job is to facilitate the life you 're leading . This basic shift in mindset may manifest itself in getting
to know your desk clerk better, or in actively opposing the corporatization of higher
education - no matter how you engage with this , just make sure you actually do so.


grad student unionization
what & why?
cody jones
here's the thing : you're going to spend a lot of time around graduate
students, even as first-years. They're going to TA or teach your intro
courses. You're going to share class space with them in seminars
open to both the College and the graduate divisions. You're even
going to have some graduate student friends. Graduate students are
people, too. There isn't a lot that separates a graduate student from
an undergrad-What affects one group affects the other. We're both
integral parts of our community, and given that, we want each other
to succeed.
So, it's with that in mind that I want to introduce you to the Graduate Student
Union, or GSU. In short, were the group on campus that works toward the full
unionization of graduate students. What does that mean? It means that, currently,
when we have a problem with the administration--with how much they pay us,
with the quality and cost of healthcare, with how many resources our families get-we're pretty much limited to writing angry emails, which only achieves so much
(though -- there is a place for direct action; don't worry, we'll get to that). With a
union, which is a legally recognized collective of workers that, through mutual
agreement and federal law, may negotiate the terms of their employment with their
employers, we finally have a unified voice with which we can stand up to power (the
admins) and say "what you're doing is wrong. You aren't treating us fairly:' And,
coming from the outside, it may be hard to see what the stakes are, but it matters:
people really are getting hurt. I know grad students who've had to take out loans to
pay rent. Spouses are left without health insurance, unless their student partners
pay an unaffordable premium. Some graduate students have children, and those
children do not receive the same benefits that the children of faculty receive, which
is apparently something the administration is okay with. Here's one that's chilling:
despite their 'best' efforts, sexual harassment and assault cases aren't handled with
nearly the seriousness nor expediency one would expect from a university that
claims to be throwing resources at Title IX funding. We're trying to change that.
More abstractly, this becomes an issue of the administration dictating what kind
of behavior they deem acceptable when it comes to student expression : the right to
protest is collapsing, right along with fair wages, fair healthcare, and the respect that
we, as both students and workers, deserve. TL;DR: the quality of life for graduate
workers is too low to be justifiable, especially because we happen to attend one of
the richest institutions in the world (with, increasingly ironically, a 'best' economics
But something happened this summer: the National Labor Relations Board, the
independent government agency responsible for determining collective bargain34

ing rights and laws, declared that graduate students are legally workers. We're
employees of the University, because we are fully funded to attend school; they
pay us a stipend (a really small one) to be students full-time . Therefore, according
to the NLRB, we have a legal right to organize a union and negotiate the terms of
our contract with the administration. That means, we now have a clear-cut, legal
argument that the administration is actively attempting to undermine and ignore.
That argument is pretty simple : Graduate students are workers . In so many ways
both invisible and not, we are integral to the day to day academic operations of the
University (but let's be clear: the support staff are the real heros when it comes t o
actually running the school) . We teach classes, we assist the faculty in the research
and experiments tha t make our community one of the best academic spaces in
the world . And we're happy to do it. We love our work, and we love the life of the
mind . We'd happily spend a vast chunk of our lives dwelling in libraries writing
books only a few people will read, and teaching classes for whoever is interested .
That's the game we signed up for. It moves us. But, and here's the big thing : we have
to be treated well for us to work well. That's not a threat, it's a fact: unhealthy and
unhappy workers do not do good work. We say so, the Department of Labor says
so, philosophy, economics, and history say so. If you hurt the people running your
university, you won't have a good university anymore; everybody except Zimmer
(and his supporters in the administration) says so.
There's still work to be done. To become a union, we have to rally students behind
us. We have to sign graduates up for the GSU in order to show both the administration and other unions that we have the support and resources necessary to be fully
recognized as a legally protected collective bargaining group . That's where direct
action comes in. That's where undergraduate suppor t is key : we believe in a school
for faculty, staff, and students, not a school for what the administration arbitrarily
decides is best. Many of you may one day want to go to graduate school. If we can
unionize, then you can be assured that, when you go, you'll have a lot more support,
and be treated more fairly, than graduate students now.
So that's the very general overview: graduate workers want legal protection, the administration is trying to stop us, we won't let them. It's a real struggle, and it affects
undergraduates, too. If we can have more resources, we can help you secure more
resources, as well. Or at the very least, we can be happier people on campus when
were participating in community life, teaching classes, and working with you all as
advisors and peers .
For more information (and, hopefully, something more comprehensive than this
short note I was asked to write), go to: uchicagogsu.org, follow GSU on Twitter@
uchicagogsu, or stop me on campus (because I also happen to be your Student Government VP for Student Affairs). As you'll find out, grad students love to talk. We'd
also equally love to have undergraduates come out and suppor t us.
Anyway, that's all. Have a good 0 -Week.
In solidarity,
Cody Jones



*notan exhaustive list!

through 2013: reprinted from DisO 2013
through 2016: compiled by Kiran Misra

When: 2002
People: Anti•Sweatshop Coalition (later
re•named Students Organized and United
with Labor, SOUL)
Goals: Work with the Coalition of
lmmokalee Workers to boycott the Taco
Bell on campus because of the business'
abuse of its workers
Tactics: Events, meetings with admin ,
coalition· bui Iding.
Result: Successfully
University not to renew its contract with
Taco Bell

When: 2004
Project (STOP, later re-named Southside
Together Organizing for Power)
Goals: Work with low-income housing
residents to prevent the University's
acquisition & demolition of Grove Parc's
504 public housing units south of
Tactics: Saul Alinsky-style community
Result: Successfu lly pressured

University to back down on its attempts to
acquire Grove Pare, created a grassroots
community organization that exists to
this day.

When: Spring 2007
People: Students Organized and United
with Labor (SOUL)
Goals: Participate in national United
Students Against Sweatshops campaign
to pressure universities & their dining
contractors to stop purchas ing Coca-Cola
products due to anti-un ion practices
Tactics: Teach-ins, direct actions.
Result: Campaign unsuccessful.

When: Fall 2007
People: Students Taking Action NowDarfur (STAND)
Goals: Pressure the University to shed
all investments related to the Khartoum
government in Sudan, which was accused
of carrying out genocide against the
peop le of the southern region of Darfur
Tactics: Teach-ins, direct actions.
Result: Campaign unsuccessfu l, Pres.


Zimmer invokes Kalven Report.

When: 2008
People: Students Organized and United
with Labor (SOUL) & Students for a
Democratic Society (SOS)
Goals: Work with Aramark workers at the
University and with Teamsters Local 743
to win workers a better contract
Tactics: Meetings with workers &
students, coalition-building, rallies.
Result: Debated; the campaign did
provide a means to connect students with
people in the workplace

When: 2009
People: Committee for Open Research on
Economy and Society (CORES), Graduate
Students United (GSU), SOS
Goals: Stop the
establishing a "Milton Friedman Institute
for Research in Economics "
rallies ,
educational events, debate in Faculty
Result: University administration agreed
to minor changes in the lnstitute's plan

When: Spring 2011
People: SOS, Students for a Socially
Goals: Create a committee that would
gather and review investment-related
input from the University community and
provide recommendations to the Board
of Trustees ' Investment Committee
Tactics: Teach-ins, Student Government
(SG) ballot referendum (spring '11),
Senior Class Gift boycott (spring '12)
Result: Ongoing; University deposited
a total of $1 mil. into four community
(CDFls) in May 2012 as the result of a
student proposal

Network (SSN), GSU, &
Roosevelt Institute, among others)
employees, maintain current wages/
benefits, & continue to recognize their
Teamsters Local 743
Tactics: Study-in at Pres. Zimmer's office ,
sing-ins, online petition , faculty letter and
SG letter to Pres. Zimmer
Result: Workers remained unionized
but changes included
wage cuts ,
workweek extensions, adjusted collective
bargaining agreements, and the offering
of enhanced severance packages to
affected employees

When: Fall 2011 - Summer 2015
People: Students for Health Equity
(SHE), Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY,
STOP's off-campus youth organization).
Goals: Expand access to trauma care
on the South Side, particularly by reestablishing a trauma center at the
UChicago Med ical Center.
Tactics: Teach-ins, direct actions, rallies,
marches, meetings with administration,
coalitionbuilding, and media coverage.
Result: SuccessfulSHE and
currently work for accountability for the
U of C trauma center.

When: Spring 2015- Fall 2015
People: Socioeconomic Diversity Alliance
Goals: Extend dining hall hours , so
students can eat dinner in the dining hall
on Saturday nights.
Tactics: Meetings with UChicago Dining
and administration,
on-campus media
Result: Pushed by SDA UChicago,
Saturday Night Social Club as a solution
to providing expanded dining options on
Saturday Nights when the dining halls on
campus are closed.

When: Spring 2011



When: 2007 - Present
People: Graduate Students United
Goals: Improve working and living
conditions and gain recognit ion for the
work of grad students.
Tactics: Petitions, direct actions, media
coverage, public education, meetings
with and letters to administration.
Result: Ongoing- GSU's victories include
stipend ,
improved parental leave policies , and a
freeze in Advanced Residency tuition.
Created a Survival Guide with advice
on everything from contesting health
care bills to navigating various campus

When: Fall 2013 - Present
People: A coalition of students and
groups incl uding UChicago Climate Action
Network (UCAN), Fair Budget UChicago,
and the Campaign for Equitable Policing.
immediately freeze any new investment in
fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within
five years from direct ownership and from
any commingled funds that include fossil
fuel public equities and corporate bonds.
Tactics: Meetings with and letters to
SG ballot
referendum , divestment report, , direct
actions and sit-ins, public education
campaigns, public installations , campus
media coverage.
Result: Ongoing.

When: 2013 - Present
People: Phoenix Survivors Alliance
Goals: Eradicate gender based violence
on campus by educating students on their
rights and holding admins accountable to
follow federal law. Support and provide
options for survivors and all community
members. Educate the community and
advocate for IX compliance.
Tactics: Education and workshops,
worked with Student government, direct
actions, meetings with administration to
create a mandatory consent education
Result: Ongoing- hosted "It's on UofC"

with Student Government , created a
$!Ok fund for sexual assault awareness
through Student Government, pressured
university administration to institute a
consent education program.

When: Winter 2014 - Present
(formerly SSN)
Goals: CEP works with the UCPD and
community partners with the aims: (1)
the release of the UCPD's operating
papers. (2) the establishment of a
process providing an equivalent level
of public access to internal UCPD
documents that the Illinois Freedom of
Information Act provides for public police
forces, (3) a more accessible complaint
system, specifically one which removes
or deemphasizes the immediate filing of
sworn affidavit by the complaining party.
meetings, education events and teachins, media coverage, protests and
rallies , voter mobilization, direct actions,
Result: Ongoing- see "Police and Safety"

When: Summer 2015 - Present
People: A coalition of students and
groups including
UChicago Student
Action (formerly ISN), Graduate Students
United,Students for Disability Justice ,
UChicago Climate
Network ,
Students Organizing and United with
Goals: Students demanding a budget
that puts people before prestige and
profits fighting for a living wage of at
least $15 /h r for all campus workers .
Tactics: Petit ions, sit-ins, education,
rallies , campus media coverage, direct
actions and protests on and off campus,
meetings with administration.
Result: Ongoing.

When: Fall 2015 - Present
People: The Fight for Just Food
Goals: Push the University to self-operate
its dining halls instead of contracting
with food service providers that profit


from pr isons.
Tactics: attempted SG resolution, panels
and teach-ins, campus media coverage,
direct action protests and rallies , hunger
strike, banner drops, political education,
alliance with Chicago ant i-prison groups.
Result: Ongoing- succeeded in getting
the University to not renew it's contract
with Aramark. Currently campaigning for
the univers ity to utilize in-house dining
services, rather than contracting out
dining to private corporations.

When: Winter 2015 • Present
working with the People's Lobby and Fair
Economy Illinois
Goa Is: Ensure a just implementation
of the Clean Power Plan in the state of
Illinois that puts the needs of the low
income and POC first. They currently
support the Clean Jobs Bill (CJB), an
Illinois state bill that wou ld jumpstart
clean energy development and create
32 ,000 good paying jobs in Illinois.
Tactics: Lobbying,
and forming relationships with elected
officials. Escalation via direct action.
Result: 800 petitions collected, hundreds
of phone calls made to elected officials,
lobbied officials Springfield to support
CJB more forcefully, organized meeting
with Sen Kwame Raoul's office which
helped push him to sign onto CJB.

When: Spring 2016 • Present
People: A coalition of 20 student
groups and individuals have endorsed
the U of C Divest resolution including
Students for Justice in Palestine , Jewish
Voice for Peace, Organization of Black
Students, Al Sharq: Middle East Meets
West, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de
Aztlan , and Muslim Students Association.
Goals: Calling upon UChicago to divest
from corporations comp licit in the illegal
occupation of Palestine and the violence
inflicted upon its indigenous inhab itants.
Tactics: Speakers, events, teach-ins,
rallies/marches , pub lic meetings.
Result: Ongoing- passed a divestment
resolution through College Council in
spring of 2016.

When: Spring 2016 • Present
People: Students Organized and United
with Labor, initially organ ized by three
applying to be RAs • Casey Mulroy,
Michelle Gan, and Sara Maillacheruvu.
Goals: Fair compensation for RAs on
need-based financial aid, whose financial
aid grants often decrease when they
became RAs due to the logistics of the
The current
campaign is pushing for RAs to have a
credit applied to their bill for the cost of
housing (a system already in place for
other positions), which would prevent it
from affecting need-based financial aid
Tactics: Petition.
Result: Ongoing• the petition drew support
from over 1000 people, including many
RAs and RA applicants. Current ly, College
Housing and the Office of Financial Aid
are currently reviewing RA pay policies to
eliminate these disparities.

When: USCA has been involved from
Winter 2016 • present
People: UChicago Student Action working
with the Southeast Side Coalition to Ban
Goals: Remove petcoke (aka petroleum
coke, a byproduct
of fossil fuel
processing) from the Southeast Side of
Chicago and create green jobs in its wake.
community, educating those included
recent class action lawsuit, direct action
at the site of the petcoke piles and the
BP refinery, forming bonds with local
assembly people, seeking more accurate
and well placed particulate
Result: While uncovered piles of petcoke
has been removed from the area, there
is still large amounts of petcoke being
moved via train. The campaign is
continuing to push for stricter regulations
but has been moving more towards
engaging with the community in order to
push for more investment in green jobs
in the area.


some thoughts from S.HE. members on the

trauma center campaign
Natalie Naculich , Helena Bassett , Cindy Du

In December 2015 , the University of Chicago Medical Center announced that it
would open a level one adult trauma center within the next two years. This announcement
was unanticipated and historic: unanticipated because five years ago, the idea that the
University would ever open a trauma center was laughable to many, and historic because
it was a group of young Black people who forced the university to change its stance and
invest its dollars in Black lives.
Why did young Black organizers start fighting for a trawna center? In August of
2010 , Damian Turner , a Wood.Jawn community leader and co-founder of Fearless Leading
by the Youth (otherwise known as FLY, an organization of Bl ack youth in Woodlawn dedicated to organizing and fighting for their community) was shot at the intersection of 61 st
Street and Cottage Grove , only two blocks away from the University of Chicago Medical
Center (UCMC). But to receive treatment he was taken past the UCMC , almost 10 miles
away to Northwestern Hospital , an ambulance ride that lasted 30 minutes. Because of the
delay in receiving critical care , he died.
In the aftermath of his death , Damien 's friends and community started asking questions: why are there no trauma centers- specialized units of emergency rooms that are
designed to treat the most serious and urgent injuries , such as gunshot or stab wounds, car
crashes , or falls-on the South Side of Chicago ? They realized that not only Damian , but
many other victims of gunshot wounds on the South Side were being taken to hospitals
that could be 1nore than 10 miles away, in ambu lance rides that sometimes lasted 40
minutes, to get to the nearest trauma center. Studies would show that in Chicago , people
injured more than five miles away from a trauma center are significantly more likely to
die, and that the areas of the South Side with the highest rate of gunshot wound mortality
are more than five miles away from a trauma center. They also realized that the Universi ty of Chicago , which is by far the wealthiest hospital on the South Side and located close
to many of these areas, could help. In Damian 's memory , and with his spirit, FLY began
fighting for the University of Chicago to open a trauma center.
Over the years , FLY and its parent organization , Southside Together Organizing
for Power, were joined in the fight for a level one adult trauma center by several other
groups , making up the Trauma Care Coalition: the Kenwood -Oakland Community Organization , Students for Health Equity (a UChicago student group) , Trauma Center Prayers
(a faith-based student organizing group) , the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs , National
Nurses United , and the Interfaith Leadership Council (a diverse group of clergy). Though
the campaign involved this diverse coalition, local South Side community organizers,
mostly young and Black, spearheaded the effort.
When the campaign started in 2010 , the University was very set against input about
their medical center operation. During the first two years of the campaign , the coalition


worked with doctors to produce research to prove what everyone already knew: that
trauma care was desperately needed on the South Side. Despite this research , the Univer sity of Chicago denied that trauma treatment was a problem. An FAQ document on the
UCMC 's website from 2012 to 2015 reads: "Q : Are trauma victims at risk because there
is no adult trauma center on the South Side ? A: '~o ...There is no evidence that adding
another trauma center to the area wou ld improve patient outcomes ." Today, by contrast ,
the UCMC describes trauma care as "very much needed. " Changing the University 's
position wasn 't easy, and didn 't happen through meetings or dialogue : in fact, for most
of the campaign the University administration refused to meet or engage in dialogue with
members of FLY. To change the administrato rs' minds , the Trauma Center Coalition educated students and community members about the issue, organized , and held peaceful but
disruptive demonstrations: a sit-in at the Center for Care and Discovery in 2013, a lockdown of a construction site and 400-person march on campus in 2014, and in the spring
of 2015 , a shutdown of Michigan Avenue, a sit-in in the administration building, and a
disruption of President Zimmer 's speech during AJurnni Weekend . The protests were
often met with violence: protesters were beaten and arrested by the UCPD during the
2013 sit-in and dragged violently off a construction site and injured with administrators
looking on during the construction site lock-down in 2014. In 2015 , the administration
destroyed their own building, breaking windows , knocking down walls , and arresting the
members of the Trau1na Care Coalition inside instead of fulfilling the coalition 's demand
of a meeting with President Zimmer. In many of these protests , FLY members were treat ed 1nore harshly than students , and administrators and police reacted much more violently
than they normally react to protests or sit-ins that include only students.
And now, even though they have agreed to open a trauma center, the university
administration 's actions show that they still do not think that Black lives matter. The university has refused to acknowledge the role that FLY played in the opening of a trauma
center, and has excluded the Trauma Care Coal ition from information and decisions about
the new trauma center. The coalition is still fighting to make sure that the trauma center
will provide adequate social services for the community and that the advisory board will
include a representation from each organization in the Coalition. The fact that the Uni versity administration still refuses to respect the voices and needs of black South Siders
shows that, although years of direct action have made them move on this specific issue,
their attitudes have not changed.
As students who are members of Students for Health Equity and Trauma Center
Prayers, our organiz ing on campus has been unique because of our concrete allyship with
people who are most affected by the lack of a trauma center. We have supported FLY
and the rest of the coalition by organizing students on campus and directing as many
University resources as possible to young Black organizers . Although this wasn ' t always
easy, and sometimes we failed in our role as allies, we ' ve also had opportunities to grow
and learn, and ultimately to be part of an unprecedented victory that students alone would
never have been able to achieve. Being part of the Trauma Center Campaign has showed
us that winning against the giant of the University of Chicago takes faith, risk, and
persistence. It has been the young black leaders from FLY who have fought, even when
nobody said they would win , even when it see,ned like the University 's position was
never going to change , even when they had to put their bodies on the line and confront
an out-of-contro l, racist UCPD, and it has paid off. Moving forward , both student groups
(with Trauma Center Prayers under a new name, the Prayer and Action Collective) will
continue to support the Trauma Care Coalition , and we will keep fighting until the trauma
center is built and the voices and work of young black people are recognized.


money & finance
endowment, investments, and the budget
(no, not the state budget ... that shit show is beyond the scope of this book)

Elijah Wolter
The University of Chicago is a massive institution with a lot of wealth in many different forms. Its holdings include a variety of real estate, from rented-out commercial retail
space to graduate student housing; an endowment of $7.55 billion overseen by hedge-fund
managers, the Board of Trustees and the Office of Investment; and recently, an assortment
of fancy, new, debt-financed buildings, such as Campus North Residential Commons,
Mansueto Library, and the David M. Rubenstein Forum. Beyond these investments, the
University, outside of the Hospitals and research centers, operates on a budget of $1.7
billion each year, managed by the Budget Office in the Office of the Provost.
The University of Chicago, like most institutions of higher education in the United
States, is a 50l(c)(3) organization; this tax exempt status means most directly that its
landholdings, with a handful of exceptions, namely commercial retail space, are exempt
from property tax. In Hyde Park, the University rents over 1,500 units to graduate students, faculty, and staff. These units usually carry a higher price tag than other Hyde Park
offerings. Recently, it has been directing its efforts towards bringing upscale housing and
commercial development into Hyde Park.
The University's endowment has grown rapidly from $1.1 billion a little over two
decades ago to $7.55 billion - now one of the largest in the country. The investments made
with this money are tax-exempt and not accessible to the public. Only Trustees, administrators, employees at the Office of Investment, and enlisted external hedge fund managers
are able to direct this money or even know how it's presently being directed. Until there is
a new system in place that allows for campus and community input into where this money
goes, it will continue to barrel forward, unchecked and unaccountable.
The $1.7 billion operating budget at the University of Chicago is an extremely important and influential document. It sets broadly the parameters for how much academic
departments, research labs, student services, and employees are able or unable to do. The
structure of the University of Chicago's budget planning and implementation is extremely
centralized . The Budget Office in the Office of the Provost is ultimately the sole decider of
how $1.7 billion will be directed every year. The deans of individual academic divisions
negotiate with the Provost for their division's annual allocation, but at the end of the day
the decision lies with the Provost.
The University of Chicago is the seventh -largest employer in Chicago and the largest
on the South Side. A large percentage of its employees, both student and non-student, are
paid less than a living wage of fifteen dollars an hour. All the while, the University's efforts
in real estate and real estate partnerships have driven up cost of living in the neighborhood. Accommodations for students with disabilities, federally mandated under Title III
of the Americans with Disabilities Act, are handled by an office that employs three people
to coordinate accommodations at a school with over 15,000 students.


A budget can be seen as a list of priorities; these priorities reflect the values of those
who create the budget. Concentrated wealth, both on campus and throughout the world,
is being leveraged in very strategic and nuanced ways to serve the agendas of those who
have it. As students, our lives are hugely shaped by the financial decisions of the Provost
and the Office of the Budget, though this relationship is easily obscured by the many
layers of campus bureaucracy and student life. Though we're subject to their decisions, we
don't have to embody their values .


you are what you eat!
... food politics
Students are automatically placed on a meal plan in their first year at UChicago . This
means that you'll very likely be spending lots of time in Bartlett, Nor th Baker, and/or
Cathey South D ining H alls this year. This also implicitly places you in a relationship with
the food service contractor hired by the schoo l. As of this year, that 'd be Bon App etit . But
as recently as last spring, it was Aramark.
Although we are no longer graced with Aramark's remarkable service, you can still hear
all the lore by asking upperclassmen. You'll probably hear about the screw found *inside* a
piece of chicken, the five failed inspections in one year, and much more!
To be honest, I'm a little uncomfortable with how much students complain about
the dining hall food here, without acknowledging that the quantity
and variety offood we have accessto on the meal plan is pretty astonishing .
(I'm personally very grateful for the Kosher station and the vegetarian station.)
But complaining isn't the same as critiquing. So for more juicy info, you can check out
Aramark's wikipedia page . While you're there, scroll down to the "See Also " section :
See also

f ed~J

, Prison- Industrial complex

... So yea h .
I 'll let Anna take over now.



UChicago's Dining Contract
and the Prison Industrial Complex
-Anna Nathanson
Whatis the Prison Industrial Complex?
Angela Davis wrote in her essay " Masked Racism: Reflections on the Prison Industrial
Complex" that, "As prisons pro liferate in U.S. society, private capita l has become
enmeshed in the punishment industry. And precisely because of their profit potentia l, prisons are becoming increasingly important to the U.S. economy. If the notion
of punishment as a source of potentially stupendous profits is disturbing by itself,
then the strategic dependence on racist structures and ideo logies to render mass
punishment palatable and profitable is even more troubling". One aspect of this:
the privatization of prisons and prison services has created a profit motive for mass
incarceration , further entrenching prisons in our society.

A History of Complicity
One of the ways the University of Chicago has benefited from and contributed to the
Prison Industrial Complex is its relationship with Aramark. The chair of the University's Board of Trustees , Joseph Neubauer, was the CEO of Aramark for over 30 years.
He has donated tens of millions to the University. Until this year, UChicago's dining
contract was with Aramark.
However, Aramark is one of the companies that has profited most from mass incar ceration. Aramark is the food service contractor for over 600 prisons and has been
under fire for years for prisoner abuse. For example:
-In Ohio , Aramark failed to provide sufficient food and understaffed their kitchens.
There were allegations of maggots in the food preparation area.
-The state of Mi chigan canceled its contract with Aramark after food which had
been thrown in the trash , partially eaten by rodents, or allowed to rot was served in
-In New Jersey, prisoners were underfed, causing persistent hunger, and Aramark
served food which made them sick for days.
These conditions have lead to demonstrations, hunger strikes and protests by prisoners in Ohio, New Mexico, Kentucky and elsewhere.

What's the Alternative?
Many colleges , including 8 of the top 10 U.S. universities , self-operate, meaning that
they run their own dining programs without an outside contractor. For example, in
2008, Yale switched from contracting with Aramark to self-operation.
In 2016, UChicago Dining's contract with Aramark ended and it had to make a
decision about its future. Believing that UChicago should not support a company that
profits from prisons, last autumn U of C students started the Fight for Just Food, a
campaign demanding that UChi cago Dinin g self-opera te its food ser vices.
The dining hall workers' union, the Teamsters Local 743, supports this push for
self-operation because it wou ld allow dining hall staff to be employees of UChicago
instead of Aramark. Self-operation would also offer the potential for direct student
input into the University's food services.

A Missed Opportunityfor Change
Unfortunately, Richard Mason refused to even consider self-operation, instead only


evaluating bids from companies that profited from prisons. UChicago Dining ended
up choosing Bon Appetit for the new contract. Although Bon Appetit heavily markets
itself as an ethical, boutique service, in reality it is just one of the many subsidiaries
of Compass Group, the largest contract foodservice company in the world, and one
that of course has a long history of involvement in prisons.
To give you just a taste of what Compass Group stands for, it built up and retains
an ownership stake in Trinity, a company that profits from the food service provision
of 300 ,000 inmates at over 400 jails and correctional facilities across the United
States. Additionally, some have claimed Compass Group is the largest supplier of
prison food worldwide. Its treatment of Canadian prisoners-including
serving them
raw eggs-has prompted prisoners to launch multiple hunger strikes.
Compass Group also benefits largely from the Military Industrial Complex. It has a
subsidiary that focuses on partnering with major defense contractors and military
forces, including those in Sudan, East Timor, Liberia, Burundi, Eritrea, Lebanon , Cyprus and Syria. Additionally, it was accused of trying to bribe the U.N. for a contract,
and has a poor record of worker treatment.

Food Deserts
-Mari Cohen
If you take a look at the map compiled by Disorientation Book editors, you'll notice
seven grocery stores in your new neighborhood of Hyde Park: Treasure Island, Hyde
Park Produce, Harper Foods, Open Produce, and so on, including a new Whole Foods.
And there are even more foodsellers just outside of Hyde Park: Aldi, Walmart , 61st
Street Farmers Market. Considering these options, it's fair to say that fresh and
healthy food is well available in Hyde Park (though in some spots it's unfortunately
expensive). And depending on your background, you may have lived your whole life
with several grocery stores in reach. However, the picture is unfortunately different
for many neighborhoods close to Hyde Park, where fresh food can be difficult to access. Many of these communities are often called "food deserts." Here 's an overview
of what that means.
Food Deserts

The term "food desert" usually describes an area that lacks access to fresh, healthy
foods, usually due to a lack of nearby grocery stores or markets. The United States
Department of Agriculture officially calls food deserts "low-access communities." In
urban areas, census tracts qualify as low-access communities when at least 500 people and/or 33 percent of the census tract's population resides more than one mile
from a supermarket or large grocery store. People in low-access communities must
often turn to other sources to buy food , such as convenience stores, which often
don't have fresh, healthy foods. This often leads to a high rate of health problems in
the community.


Low-Access Communities in Chicago

Unfortunately, many neighborhoods in Chicago qualify as low-access communities.
According to Maha Ahmed's reporting for the South Side Weekly in 2015, Chicago
has three food desert clusters: one on the West Side, one on the South Side, and one
on the Far South Side. The food desert on the South Side is not far from Hyde Park
and includes parts of parts of Englewood and West Englewood, Washington Park,
Auburn Gresham, and Ashburn. Foodaccess in Chicago is a civil rights issue, because
it tends to disproportionatelyaffect Black communities. Chicago is one of the most segregated cities in the country. A 2011 report found that many Black neighborhoods
lacked access to full-service grocery stores, whether independent or chain stores.
Hispanic neighborhoods usually had access to independent grocers, but not large
chain stores.
What are some ways to increase access to fresh , healthy food?

One solution is to try to introduce a chain grocery store into a neighborhood that
has historica lly lacked such stores. For example, a Whole Foods Market is currently
about to open in Englewood, a low-income neighborhood that qualif ies as low-access
(read more: http:/ /souths ideweekly.com/whats-in -store). These stores can bring
fresh food, and in some cases (such as with Whole Foods), resources and community
programs , like nutrition education programs. However, oftent imes it is the more expensive stores, such as Whole Foods, that are willing to take the risk, and the ir food
can be out of the price range for residents. Some people worry that the introduction
of such stores can lead to gentrification, and that bringing in large corporate chain
stores is not the way to economica lly empower the community.
Another solution is increasing the presence of local community gardens and farmers
markets. Many organizations do this work on the South Side. (read more: http://
However, market food is also
often expensive, and farmers can be hesitant to come and sell if they think they
won't see a lot of buyers. Making markets accessible often requires a sustained
outreach effort. Most Chicago farmers ' markets now accept LINK (electron ic food
stamp) payment, and some will match LINK dollar amounts to double the amount
that customers can spend.
For more info : Here is a kickass report that explains everything better than I can:

www.usccr.gov/pubs/lL-FoodDeserts-2011.pdf. It's from 2011, but still gives a good
overview of food deserts for those interested in learning more.


now ourr1
some important bits of univer sity poli cy

This section gives a general description of Title IX, University of Chicago's policy,
and ,-vhat it will most likely be like to file a formal report of sexual misconduct with the
school. Unfortunately, this section does not describe ways of seeking justice that are
outside of the school, such as going to the police or hiring a lawyer . However, we do have
a list of resources from both within and outside of the University .
All federally -funded institutions of education (including the University of Chicago !)
1) must prevent sexual violence on campus, 2) support University -affiliated survivors of
sexual violence, and 3) appropriately handle all complaints related to sexual violence . Before going into the details of how our school deals with the topic, here is what you should
know about Title IX and the Clery Act, two federal laws that spell this all out.

Simone Brandford -Altsher & Meg Dowd

The Clery Act requires schools to report crimes committed on and near campus to
students in order to ensure that students are informed about crimes committed. The Clery
Act covers acts of sexual violence, but in the case of the University of Chicago, most cases
aren't reported to the student body. The rationalization that the Office for Campus Safety
& Security has given for this is that if they have a known suspect, there is no ongoing
threat to the student body. If you think this makes no sense, you're not the only one.
Title IX is a landmark federal civil right that prohibits sex discrimination in educa tion . It protects students of all genders and orientations. Dana Bolger, from kno,",yourix.
org, has provided a detailed outline regarding the rights you are afforded under Title IX
(abbreviated here : visit the website for the full article).

* Schools must be proactive in ensuring that your campus is free of sex discrimination .

* Schools must have an established procedure for handling complaints of sex discrimi nation, sexual harassment or sexual violence.

* Schools must take immediate action to ensure a complainant -victim can continue
his or her education free of ongoing sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual
violence .


* Schools may not retaliate against someone filing a complaint and must keep a complainant-victim

safe from other retaliatory harassment or behavior.

* Schools can issue a no contact directive under Title IX to prevent the accused student
from approaching or interacting with you .

* In cases of sexual violence, schools are prohibited from encouraging or allowing
informal mediation of the complaint.

* Schools cannot discourage you from continuing your education.
While an official interpretation of Title IX from the Office of Civil Rights in 2014 is
fairly specific about how to put these ideas into practice, every school is afforded some
leeway about how they can make this possible (google "OCR Questions and Answers on
Title IX and Sexual Violence" for more information about the interpretation). If you feel
that your school is somehow in violation of Title IX, you are able to officially report that to
the federal government. In fact, the University of Chicago is currently under investigation
due to a complaint filed in 2013, as well as two more that were filed in 2016 . Unfortunately, our school does not have a good history of treating survivors well. But mostly due to
student action and Title IX investigations, large strides have been made in the past few
years .

The current policy regarding sexual misconduct, which went into effect in August of
this year, is far more comprehensive than it used to be, and on paper, at least, is largely
compliant with Title IX. The following is a list of things you might not know already about
our school's policy, which defines sexual misconduct as including but not limited to "sex ual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking ."

1.The school has a decent website

regarding sexual violence,found at umatter .uchicago.

edu . You can find a link to the full policy there, but it is \VOrth referencing the summarized
sections on the site if you don't want to read the whole thing .
UMatter also has a chart detailing exactly how the process of filing a formal complaint is
supposed to "vork, ,.vhich is a victory for students who had been demanding it for quite
some time . Before administrators laid this out specifically, it was difficult to know what to
expect when reporting . Unfortunately, however, there are many problems with how this
process works out in practice, which we will return to in a later section .

2. You don 't have to file a report to receive "informal resolutions." These support

must be available to you even if the assault took place before you arrived at UChicago.
This means that the Title IX office can be able to provide a survivor ¼rith accommodations, such as housing changes, class schedule changes, or a no-contact order (described
in full in a later section) even if they do not want to open up a formal investigation . At
UChicago, requests for accommodations are treated on a "case -by-case basis." In the past,
there have been issues with professors being unsympathetic to requests for academic
accommodations, but usually the Title IX Office has the capacity to override that decision .

3. You can easily.file a report online at UMatter. This option

is found under the "File a

Report" section.


can.file a report with the University, regardless of affiliation. The University

is also obligated to investigate incidents of sext1al misconduct even if the perpetrator is
non-affiliated, though of course there are limits to this if law enforcement is not involved,
or if the incident occurred off-campus .

5. There is no statute

of limitations on.filing a report with the University . This is differ -

ent from Illinois state law, under ,vhich there is a time limit for reporting crimes related


to sexual violence. Obviously it is easier to investigate an incident the more recently it has
occurred, but the University will honor complaints "'rithout a time limit .

6. You can.file a report and request to stay anonymous.
1. With this being said, there may be some consequences

to reporting anonymously or
even disclosing an incident to the Title IX coordinator. Although the school will attempt
to respect a student's mshes to stay anonymous and/or not follow through mth an investigation, the school is obligated to actively ensure a safe environment . This means that
sometimes they will decide to open an investigation regardless of what the student wants.
If this happens, you mil be notified and you should not be forced to participate . Addition ally, although this is not found explicitly in the policy, administrators should not presst1re
students into filing a formal report.

8.When disclosing, be aware

that different resources, including University employees,
have different levels of confidentiality. "Responsible employees," who must report incidents to the school, includes RAs, which arguably might prevent students from seeking the support they need . Responsible employees must report any incidents that they
become aware of, even if they are not told about them directly, and they may not be able
to keep that information anonymous. Who exactly is a responsible employee is one of the
things that the federal government leaves for schools to decide. Sexual Assault Deans on
Call (SADOCs), St11dent Health Services, and Student Counseling services are, on the other hand, all confidential resources. Refer to the chart about levels of confidentiality linked
on UMatter under "find support" and "choosing to disclose" for more on this .

9.In order to encourage people to report, the University will ignore possible crimes
or conduct violations related to the report "unless the University determines that the
violation was egregious, including ...an action that places the health or safety of any
other person at risk."The example used in the policy is that the University would not
bring charges against anyone for "underage drinking by the reporting person if that policy
violation [v.1ere to come] to light as the result of a sexual assault."

10.Your sexual history should not be on trial in a disciplinary

hearing . Specific sexual
history between accused and accuser might be used as context to investigate an incident
if the issue is consent, or to show "proof of a pattern" on the part of the accused. However, the policy makes a point of saying that "sexual history with others "'rill generally not
be sought or used in determining whether sexual assault has occurred." I n theory, this
means that victim-blaming is minimized .


Filing a Report, Opening an Investigat ion , and Going through a Disciplinary Hearing


1 to 21


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Meet with Respondent •
Meet with Witnesses•

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1 to 18


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All Investigation Materials Given to
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The flowchart to the left is taken from umatter.uchicago.edu, and it outlines the
process and timeline for reporting a sexual assault and going before the University-wide
Disciplinary Committee . This committee is supposed to be made up of students and faculty
who have no relationship with the accuser or accused (have never been your professor,
TA, advisor, etc) . You should know that students are required to be on this committee by
the University's own policy, and you should complain to Dean Inabinet if this is not so for
your hearing. Unfortunately, this "typical" timeline has the process taking 60 days or less
for a disciplinary committee resolution, but in reality the process can take closer to three
months. Here are some details about and tips for reporting to the University and undergoing a hearing :

1.To minimize the amount

of retellings, schedule a meeting with Jerem y Inabinet, the
Dean of Disciplina ry Affairs, and one of the Title IX Coordinators at the same time. Bring a
friend/support person who can take notes for you.

2. After this meeting, Dean Inabinet

will want you to submit your official formal com-

plaint --written documentation of everything that happened , including dates/times, potential witnesses, sequence of events, pictw·es of bruises, etc . Once this is submitted he "'rill
evaluate it and decide whether he can investigate your complaint and take it to the hearing

3. If the investigation

reaches a certain point, Dean Inabinet will submit your complaint
to the assailant, to which they are able to respond. The assailant will have the ability to
respond before or after reading your complaint .

4.After you view the assailant's

account, you will have the opportunity for a rebuttal. Be
thorough : refuting as many points of theirs that you can "'rillhelp to bolster your case .

5. Next, the assailant

\Villhave the ability to "',rite their own rebuttal to yours. This back and -forth stage will probabl y end up being much longer than the ''typical" 60 days, because
it is allowed to be extended based on level of detail, complications, witnesses, scheduling,

6. If your case goes to committee

hearing, at the hearing itself you can be physically present,
present remotely through telecommtmication, or not present at all. There will be a barrier
between the assailant's side and the victim's side. The committee will ask direct questions,
even if they have already been ans,.vered in your account or rebuttal. So you have your own
records of the hearing, it is a good idea to videotape or audio record the entire thing.

7. Hearings are decided based on a "prepo nderance

of evidence" standards, lower than a
criminal court standard. Once your hearing is over, you will meet with a representative
of the university who tells you the decision in person. You v.rillthen be sent the "result"

8.The school has very strict policies for grounds

for review, which is available for both
sides . A request for a review must be submitted within 15 days of the committee decision .
There mttSt be new material information that would have significantly changed the adjudication, or proof that there were major procedural missteps/major departure from normal
university procedttre (one reason why you should have your own records of the hearing-as well as of everything else) . If a request for review is submitted by the complainant, the
assailant gets to v.'fite a response.

9. The review process is all behind

closed doors, unlike the original hearing. The Revie"''
Board is made up of 3 people who are given the decision from the committee, the request
for review, and the rebuttal. The board can 1) uphold the original decision, 2) uphold the
decision v.ritheither tightened or reduced sanctions, 3) return it to the original committee,
or 4) reopen the investigation .


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It is important to understand that each employee at the University has a different level
of confidentiality. This chart can befound linked at umatter .uchicago.edu under ''find
resources"and then "choosingto disclose."
The Associate Dean for Disciplinary Affairs , currently Jeremy Inabinet, manages all
investigations and hearings :
J eremy Inabinet
Edward H. Levi Hall 203
(773) 834-4837
inabinet@uchicago .edu
The University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) can be reached by calling 773702-8181 or 1-2-3 from a campus phone. Their responsibilities include :

* Attending to your immediate needs, including personal safety and prompt medical care

* Broadcasting a description of your assailant, when appropriate (although, as noted in
our guide this is extremely rare)

* Notifying the SADoC, if you are a student
There are more university resources listed at the end of the sexual misconduct policy, found
in the student handbook. It lists hospitals at UChicago's other campuses around the world
for which we do not have space for here.

There are many amazing groups on campus that provide informal support to other students.
Phoenix Survivors Alliance (PSA) - facebook.com/phoenixsurvivorsalliance
We can help you navigate the reporting process, answer questions, and put you in touch
with more resources. Feel free to message our Facebook page!

Resources for Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) - This group is administration -led, but its student staff members lead workshops on many topics related to sexual
Asexualitea - A support, social, and visibility group for the campus asexual and aromantic
communities. THis group has tea at every meeting and invites anyone to join regardless of
orientation .
Q and A - Queers & Associates is a group for LGBTQ students and allies, dedicated to
creating a welcoming queer community through activism, events, social activities, and
discussion of issues relevant to queer life.

Tea Time and Sex Chats - The University of Chicago's sex-positive, peer-led sex education
group! TTSC a panel of peer educators looking to answer all of your questions about sex.


24/7 Hot lines:

Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline 888 -293 -208 0
National Sexual Assault Hotline 80 0- 656 -4673
Legal an d Other Kinds of Support (listed in alphabetical order) :

9 to 5: National As sociation of Working Women 9to5 .org
Their job -problem hotline provides advice and support for ,.vomen in all fields dealing with
sexual harassment .

Chicago Alliance Again.,-.tSexual Exploitation (CAASE) caase.orgjlegal -servi ces
They offer free legal aid and can help you file a Title IX report with the federal government,
get an order of protection, etc .

Chicago Rape Victim Advocates rapevictimadvocates .org
EEOC National eeoc.gov
The Equal Employment Opportuni ty Commission is the national clearinghouse for sexual ha rassment complaints. A charge must be filed within 180 days of the alleged act, or within 300
days, if there is a state or local fair-employment - practice agency that enforces a similar law.

Illinois Department of Human Rights www.illinois.gov/dhr
If you want to file a charge ,,..,ith the department, you must do so within 180 days of the date
the hara ssment took place.

Know Your IX knowyourix.org
This organization has a great, detailed explanation of Title IX and your rights as a student.

Life Span life-span.org
Life Span has stellar legal advocates who can further inform you of your rights and options,
and provide dedicated legal representation.

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago ywcachicago.org
They individual counseling, immediate support, group counseling, court advocacy, information and referral services, all servi ces are free of charge .

For Male Survivors:

In addition to the resources above, check out

.malesurvivor .org, and \,\l'\,VW.tin6.org



ldran misra

The University of Chicago defines bias as "a preformed

negative opinion
or attitude toward a group of persons who possess common characteristics, such as skin
color, or cultural experiences, such as religion or national origin." More colloquially, the
University website states bias can be experienced as, "tho ughts and perspecti ves that are
perceived as false, objectionable , or offensive by others ." The University has a long, cyclical
history of bias incidents (see the 'Frustrating Incidents at UChicago' section) and there are
sure to be many more in your time at the university.

The University's

official resource for bias incidents
is the Bias Response Team (BRT), a group made up of administrators who can support and
guide students seeking assistance in determining how to handle a bias incident. As the University ,.vebsite explains, ''bias incidents that are addressed by the university Bias Response
Team include actions that are motivated by bias even if they do not include the elements
required to prove a hate crime or a violation of University policy."


whether a violation of law or
University policy may ha ve occurred, refer students to additional resources should such a
violation be likely.


disciplinary action or impose



Submitting a report online, which will be treated "as confidentially as possible ":

php ?UnivofChicago&layout _ id=9

Calling the Bias Response Team at 773.834.4357 . Team Members are on call 24 hours
a day, 7 days a week.

there are extremely few anecdotal

reports of students actu ally utilizing the Bias Response Team when experiencing bias incidents on campus, a reality
which sometimes calls into question the Team's efficacy and accessibility. Some instances
in which the bias response team was contacted are detailed in the 'Fnistrating Incidents at
UChicago ' section of this book .


some sites & sources
for further research
compiled by Juliet Eldred, Principal Investigator of
the University of Chicago Department of Artography
(see the department's work at unspeakable .info/impact)

University Properties
finadmi n. uchicago.edu/ creo. shtm l
faci lities. uchicago.edu
rp.uch icago.edu
hpherald.com /2015/03/31

/ university-of-chi cago-to-sel I-21 -residential-properties-in-

safety-security. uchicago. edu/ police
campus boundaries: d3qi0qp55mx5f5 .cl oudfront. net/ safety-security/ uploads / tiles /
Cam pus_Bou ndary _Map_040814 _fi na I.pdf
ucpd patrol boundaries: https:/ / d3qi0qp55mx5f5
u ploads/fi les/Exte nded_Patrol _M ap. pdf

.cloudfront. net/ safety-security/

02 / a-wal I-around -hyde- park

chi cagomaroon.com/2012/05/25/

a-br ief -histo ry-of -the-ucpd

vice. com/ read/why-does-a-camp us-pol ice-department -have-ju ri sd iction-over-65000ch i cago- residents- l l l 2
"Campus Police: Real Deal, or Rent-a-Cops?," WBEZ
"Abolish The UCPD," The Chicago Maroon
Urban Renewal

Atlas of Hyde Park Urban Renewal. Chicago: S.I., 1950-1956 .
Hirsch, Arnold R. Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago, 1940-1960.
Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1998.

Hyde Park-KenwoodUrban RenewalProject: RedevelopmentAreas and Major Rights-ofWayAdjustments. Chicago: Community Conservation Board of Chicago, 1960.
Lipsitz, George. "The Possessive Invest ment in Whiteness: Racialized Social
Democracy and the "White " Prob lem in American Studies." American Quarterly 47 ,
no. 10 (1995): 369-387 .
Winling, LaDale. "Students and the Second Ghetto: Federal Legislation, Urban
Politics, and Campus Planning at the University of Chicago." Journal of Planning
History 10, no. 1 (20 10): 59-86.


Hyde Park/Chicago History
Bach in, Robin Faith. Building the South Side: Urban Space and Civic Culture in Chicago,
1890-1919. Chicago, Illino is: University of Chicago Press, 2004.
Davis, Susan O'Connor, and John Vinci. Chicago's Historic Hyde Park. Chicago, Illinois:
Univers ity of Chicago Press, 2013.
Gamino, John. "U of C/Hyde Park History." The Chicago Maroon. October 6, 2014.
encycloped ia. ch icagohi story. org/ pages/ 1320. html
hpherald. com/ chicagos•hi storic• hyde·park/
Restrictive Covenants/Redlining
Hirsch, Arnold R. "Rac ial Restrictive Covenants on Chicago's South Side in 1947."
Encyclopedia of Chicago. encyclopedia. chi cagohistory. org/ pages/ 1761. html
Madrigal , Alexis. "The Racist Housing Policy That Made Your Neighborhood ." The
Atlantic. May 22, 2014. theatlantic.com/business/
housing· pol icy· that• made .your · neighborhood/ 3 71439
Residential Security Map, No. 2 Map Section (South Chicago). Washington , D.C.: Federal
Home Loan Bank Board, 1940.
Onion, Rebecca. "Where To Find Historical "Red lining" Maps of Your City." Slate.
May 30 , 2014. slate.com/b logs/the _vault/2014/05/30/where
_to_find _hist orical _
redlining_maps_of_your _city.htm l
Urban Oasis. "Dig ital HOLC Maps. " urbanoasis.org/projects/holc·fha/digita
l •holc•
Washington Park/Barack Obama Presidential Library
"B ri nging Obama Home?'' South Side Weekly.southsideweekly.com/bring ing·obama·
Cholke, Sam. " U. of C. Buys 26 Properties on South Side Ahead of Obama Library
Decision." DNAinfo. December 10, 20 14.
Obama Presidential Library Foundat ion. "Overv iew Map." oplsouthside.org /ne ws•
room / images·video
"Obama library ra ises hopes, fears about econom ic boom on South Side," Chicago
Tribune. ch icagotr i bune.com/news/ct·obama·libra
ry•econom ics-20150511 -story.







Being Part of a Di verse Comniitnity
Vincente P e1·ez + Cindy Ji (2013)
At any moment on campus (or in our larger Chicago community), you share t he
sidewalk wit h st udents with vastly different backgroun ds th an yours, whose
way of perceiving a nd navigating the wor ld around t hem have been shaped by
experie nces you can't fully under stand. People who have only known the coun try side. People who have been se xually abu se d from a you ng age or grew up with
undocumented famil y members. People who went to boarding schools or alternatively , to under serve d school district s . People who grew up on food stamp s or
haven 't been part of one community for more than a couple yea r s. People of a
particular race , gend er, or sex uality who have been repeatedly bullied for their
identitie s-or who, on the other hand , haven't had to actively con sider them. The
range of context s and storie s goes on . And you will come with your own.
Being part of a diver se commu nity mean s you'll inevitably bump arm s-and
alway s have good rea so ns for doing so . Oftentime s everyo ne in an argument
ca n be right because the disagi·eement or wording of the disagreement might
boil down to per sonal expe ri ences and contexts. Welcome this. An d intenti onally
re spect others' contex ts . We don 't choose our skin color, our parent s, or th e com munit y we were born into , but they inevitably shape us a nd inform our choice s .
If someone else's behavior s or belief s don't make se nse to you , ask que stion s .
Invite conversations that que stion your own behavior s and va lues. It can be a
beautifully pr oductive proce ss .
The following se ction s offer an introduction to the social theorie s and per spective s that might give you a glim pse of where your dive rse classma tes are coming
from a nd why arm-bumping h.appens .


& Classism


Marley Lindsey (2013)

What are we talking
when we talk


One of the trickiest aspects of class is its ambiguity . Poll after poll over the past decade has
demonstrated a majority of Americans associate with the term "middle class''. These sorts
of labels make it hard to comprehend who is hurt most by classism - $1 OOka year sounds
like a fortune to myself as a single child. To a family of 6 residing in New York, it is close
to poverty . When we talk about classism in the University, we have to talk about a series of
experiences. There is little quantifiable data of what it is like to experience classism at elite
universities . All I have are the experiences of myself, and other people who have had difficulty dealing with finances here . Further accounts can be found on the UChicago Class
Confessions Page on Facebook .




Classism is a child of Marxist thought. To quote the Communist Manifesto: "The history
of all hitherto exist ing society is the history of class struggle." The interaction between the
bourgeois (upper class) and the proletariat (working class) tends to be dictated in terms
of capital (money). In the present day, these interactions are rarely direct - classism is a
force that often permeates itself in structttral and personal levels. The manifestation of this
history is still visible in the present day. To be "working-class" or blue-collar tends to have
a series of loaded connotations, many revolving around a failure to achieve more. Chuck
Barone of Dickinson College words it like this:
"Success honors those who make it and failure stigmatizes those who fail, while
liberals tend to focus on deficiency, expressing pity and concern for those unfortunate enough to fail. Although cast in terms of individuals and equal opportunities,
this ideology is classist . It casts working-class people as inferior and incompetent,
middle-class people as superior, perhaps blessed by God:'
This is part of a societal trend to view the working-class individual as inferior to the "Life
of the Mind''. For an example of these generally unspoken sentiments, here is the description of a plumber in an essay entitled "The Disadvantages of an Elite Education":
"There he was, a short beefy guy with a goatee and a Red Sox cap and a thick Boston
accent, and I suddenly learned that I didn't have the slightest idea what to say to
someone like him . So alien was his experience to me, so unguessable his values, so
mysterious his very language, that I couldn't succeed in engaging him in a few minutes of small talk before he got down to work:'

How does





The working-class individual, in the eyes of most upper-class students, is an alien thought
to be below those who have gained access to schools like this one . This is a structural form
of classism within society that is only magnified by being at elite institutions. Often jokes
are exchanged about becoming sales clerks, or even plumbers . This reinforces moments


of internalized oppression - students whose parents are working -class have often noted
feeling shame about such origins.
Structural classism also manifests itself closer to our University. The Office of College
Aid promises to "meet a student's demonstrated need throughout their four years in the
College''. It seeks to create a perfect balance between your legal guardian, yourself, and the
college, in terms of paying your tuition . Through this process, the goal is to eliminate class
as a consideration . Regardless of whether your mother is a janitor, or a tenured collegiate
professor, the University wants to make your presence here happen .
The reality is quite different. It includes having to jump through every hurdle the College
sets for you in order to receive your aid- in my case, it meant finding someone who
"knew my family well, but was not a friend or another biased party'' to confirm that nei ther my mothe r, nor myself had been in contact with my father since I was born. It means
finding out in April that the state can tax the room and board part of your financial aid,
and you are liable to pay it. It means attempting to find out whether a House trip is worth
selling your pride to your Resident Head, and telling them that you can't afford the $20
fee, but would still like to go. These are all examples of structural classism - if capital was
unlimited, none of these would be concerns.
Personal levels of classism can be even worse . Rather than having the ability to blame an
abstract concept for your misfortunes , the perpetrators are often your classmates, and
friends . My first year, friends started a conversation about how much they were expected to pay. A friend of mine said the school expected her parents to pay $30,000 a year.
Without thinking I said, "$30,000? That's insane! Who on earth pays that?" to which she
replied, "Yeah, well, maybe if you had a dad you'd be expected to pay more too:' This was
not spoken with the intent to hurt. She simply expressed a subconscious ignorance in a
very poo r manner.
And here's the clincher about personal forms of classism - because anyone can claim
ignorance about wha t is common economic practice, any response has to deal with its
perception . If I had reacted with anger towards my friend, people may have perceived me
as being hostile, or even irrational. From their perspectives, she might have had a factually
valid point, without recognition of the privileged context in which she exists. And because
of that, their analysis would see something wrong with my emotional reaction, but nothing wrong with the formulation of her statement. The conflict between us came from our
own very different pasts and contexts in terms of what we considered a reasonable amount
of money, due to what our parents could afford . This personal classism can be combated
simply by perhaps taking a step back and recognizing that we all come from different
places, and that your normal and my normal are not the same - and that no one, except
perhaps our radically unequal economic system - is to blame for their own social class.


a marxist


t ake


& Classism


Ashley Li

*it'sreally about how theory informspractice
(which is a pretty goodplace to start this whole
"theories& perspectives"cluster)

Th e Conc ept


Cla s s

Colloquially, we know what class means. It refers to a certain income bracket per
capita, a cert ain standard of living, or a certain way of life: in t his sense, class is
a sociological cat egory that characterizes the strat ified society that we live in. The
upper class oppresses the lower class, but at the same t ime, t he upper class cannot
exist wit hout t he lower class. The very definition of "upper class," after all, exists
only in contrast to tha t of the lower class, and vice-versa.
But the concept of class itself finds it s origins in Marxist theory , in which it has
a different meaning. Indust rial society is divided int o the proletaria t (working class)
and the bourgeoisie (prope rtied class) by t heir relat ive positions in the production
process: t he prolet ariat works t o produce commodit ies for the bourgeoisie, and the
bourgeoisie takes commodit ies and t ransforms them into capit al. Each occup ies a
different part of the who le cycle, and each depends on the immediate func t ioning of
this cycle to sust ain their lives. The wor ker needs the capitalis t to give t hem a job in
order t o to earn a wage, and the capitalist needs workers to wor k in order t o turn a
There is an important difference between the two accounts: Marx's concept of
class descri bes each class' fundamen t al int erest s in production, whereas t he basic
sociological account only describes immed iate interest s, taking all of capit alism for
granted. For example, while a surgeon at a hospital is probab ly wealthy, they are sti ll
a prolet arian , as they must work for a wage. Thus, as a member of the upper-class ,
t hey may desire lower t axes for t he rich , as we expect. As a member of the prolet ariat , however, t hey want higher wages and job security, just like any ot her pro letarian.
The sociological account leaves t he ent ire system of taxes and classes unquest ioned,
but the Marxist account ident ifies the root of t he problem at the fundamen t al,
concrete act ivity of produc t ion. It is in the int erest of a single worker to keep t he
system runn ing as smoot hly as possible, but it is in the interest of the proletaria t to
overcome the degrad ing system altogether.
We know that the wealthy like to claim t hat t he poor need only to work harder,
"p ick themse lves up by the bootstraps ," in order to become successful. Persistent
unemployment makes this a fantasy: how can you work when t here is no wor k to
do? This is an impor t ant issue t hat divides t he socio logica l and Marxist t heories in
practice. According to t he libera l socio logica l view, t he lower class should pay fewer
taxes, receive mo re benefits , etc. After all, t hey are poor, and t he poor could always
use mo re money. But , whi le these reforms are improvemen t s, they cannot resolve the
fundamental prob lem of unemploymen t. High "socia l mobility " only ensures that the
lower st ratum can disp lace t he higher stratum , but strat ifi ed society remains.
However, if we instead t reat worke rs not just as poor people, but as proletar ians,
t he issue can be actual ly addressed: it is t he proleta rian's class interest t o win t he
right t o work , as inherent to t he very function of the pro letariat in the prod uct ion
process. The rich doctor and the poor plumber can bot h agree on t his point.


In ot her words, it is in t he prolet arian's interest t o fu lfill t he snobbish cla im of
boot strap -pulling: the most permanent solut ion is not to temporarily redist ribute
wealt h, but to reconfigure society such t hat, yes, you can act ually get a better life
by wor king harder. The Marxist concept of class point s to the necessity of a qualitat ively different fut ure, in which classes are abol ished by a radical t ransformat ion of
the production process; the liberal concept points only to a quant itat ively adjusted
present. Economist s have already given up on solving the problem of unemp loyment.
This only means tha t they refuse to t hink beyond capita lism.

Ide o lo gy a n d Cl assi sm
A good professor of mine once wrot e that ideology is not the same thing as
falsehood. With ideology, t here is always some degree of truth. Classism, as t he
discriminat ion against individuals from a certain stratum of society, is ideology. It s
truth lies in the fact t hat education and wealth do improve one's life qualitative ly (of
course, t his also depends on t he type and quality of education, but that is beyond
the scope of t his essay). A professor who t reats a plumber as infer ior does so as t hey
reflect upon t he genuine importance of educat ion in transfo r ming t heir own life. At
the same time , however, t he class ist might stretch this point, t o think t hat t heir own
education was truly liberating, or t hat all people can always boot st rap themselves
through education with enough willpower. But we know that a "good" education is
hard t o come by. In other words, the classist ideolog ically imagines that society is
free, when it is actual ly highly limited. This causes a confusion between cause and
effect: education elevates people, but if poor people are uneducated because they do
not try hard enough, they must deserve being poor, and must not deserve education.
As a result, t he stratification of society becomes naturalized in t he notion t hat all
people belong in the ir rightfu l place. A classist starts discr iminating against a poor
worker not out of a (st ill tenuous) compa rison in abi lity, but out of a conservat ive
impulse to identify the worker 's real posit ion in society with their "natural" position.
It is impor t ant t o note t hat classism is in part the result of t he aforement ioned
liberal/sociological conception of class. This liberal concept ion of class does not
allow for the aboli t ion of t he class system, but only for the reconfigura t ion of existing
strata. A liberal may admit t hat a plumber does not deserve t o be a plumber , but
inherent t o their idea of class is t he concession that someone else must deserve to
be a plumber. Any sort of ant i-classist politics that depends on t his wil l contain a
hidden classism in it self. However rad ical-seeming at the present, it must default t o
conservat ism once the goal is at tained.
A plumber should not feel ashamed of being a plumber in the society that we live
in. At the same time , however, we should not glorify the plumber. The laborer suffers
not only out of low wages and poor working condit ions, but out of t he very natu re of
labor. The repeated performance of standardized act s reduces the creative potent ial
of a human to the mere t urning of a cog in the production process: t his is t rue of
almost all wage work. Where work can act ually be imagina t ive and new, it is not.
Capita lism is dehuman izing , and as a result , the plumber as plumber is inhuman.
The CEO, t oo, is inhuman, for he operates as a cog on the opposi t e side of produc tion. The machine as a whole serves no one but capita l. We should not glorify what
is inhuman in human society. Instead , we must declare that no one deserves to be
a plumber, that no one deserves t o be inhuman, and that all humans deserve to be
free, educat ed, and creative individua ls.





"Anti-classism" thus comes in conservative and progressive variants. The conservative variant merely states that we should not discriminate unfairly based on class ,
but fails to address the existence of classes themselves. In other words , it treats the
ideology of classism as a mere lie, without comprehending its partial truth. Progressive anti-classism , or socialism , comprehends the truth within the ideology, and
seeks instead to fulfill it.
The only way that the two can be differentiated in practice is through theory .
The following chapters in this book may contain highly theoretical passages; it is
important to remember that , while theory by itself accomplishes nothing , it must
nevertheless lead practice, and not justify it. Without a radical theory of class, the
concrete activity of trade unions and strikes can only bring temporary concessions
indefinitely , without a clear direction or end. Furthermore, while a theory developed
on the basis of existing trade unionist activism will help to improve the general efficiency of activism , it will not impart any more meaning to the entire movement than
activity by itself. A theory that conforms to the immediate possibilities of activity will
necessarily lead to shortsighted practice , and shortsighted practice is necessarily
Theory must stand independent of direct activity. The practice of socialism , of
progressive "anti-classism ," derives from the Marxist theory of class. In more revolutionary times , even independent theories had obvious implications: effective reforms
struck at the basic production process and demanded for shorter working-hours, as
part of a broader socialist politics. In our own time , when workers ' movements are at
an all-time low, only theory can lead us back out of the charade of modern politics.


& racism

Julie Xu, Cosette Hampton, Ogonna Obiajunwa (2016)
Vincente Perez (2013)

Wh at


r a ce , any way?

At its core, the concept of race is a social construction based on the correlation of
physical attributes to specific behaviors, abilities, and lifestyles. Historically the term itself,
"race" was not used to denote anything other than a perceived class of persons or things .
It was not until the late eighteenth century that it became a way of officially categorizing
humans through physical attributes . In fact, race was an important tool for the rise of
colonialism :
'~lthough race is not specifically an invention of imperialism, it quickly became one
of imperialism's most supportive ideas , because the idea of superiority that generated the
emergence of race as a concept adapted easily to both impulses of the imperial mission :
dominance and enlightenment''.
Even though race itself is a constructed categorization , its use has become ingrained
within reality and in the functionality of systems that traps our thought processes and
can feel inescapable . "Color blind" narratives, then, can become harmful when they allow
folks of races considered superior to "not see color" or to deny that Western society is generally rooted in racial hierarchy when people of color (PoC) are attempting to be accepted
in society as they are while still identifying with their race. That is, as opposed to melding
themselves to a homogeneous society. In its essence, racism and colorblindness work
hand -in-hand to push people towards social, cultura l, and institutionalized segregation.
Furthermore, when we talk about race, we refer to not only physical attributes, but
also norms we associate with different cultures, hence the ability to say that a non -black
person, "acts black" or perhaps that a well-spoken Black person "sounds white ." Thus, race
does not solely refer to physical markers , but also to the cultural correlations we associate


with these markers, which are ultimately socially constructed. Some cultural traditions
and institutions , however, have been a source of strength for marginalized and underrepresented groups in popular society and have worked to facilitate many of the advancements different races can be proud (or ashamed) of today. Nevertheless, these correlations
become problematic when society develops a mindset that categorizes certain behaviors,
abilities, and lifestyles as defined by race and uses this same mindset to specifically target
and oppress groups of individuals based on the perc eived superiority of their own race.

What are




On a very basic level, power is the ability to exert force on a person or thing and
change it according to the will of the agent. As we take a deeper look at the extent to which
humans are impacted by their social, economic, and political circumstances, it becomes
clear that power is a substantial and sometimes daunting force behind large-scale systems
and potential for change. Let's consider power's influence on the institution of slavery. The
theft of and subsequent enslavement of many African people was possible only through
white supremacy's ability to use capitalist ventures to manipulate the trading of Black
bodies across the Atlantic, and to exert control over individuals mentally by using physical
torture and brute force. Developing an understanding of white supremacy's construction
and role in the creation and continuation of slavery can help us begin to unpack the origin
of racial superiority among non-whites and the idea that some races are deserving of
dehumanization, especially depending on their proximity to whiteness.
Power used negatively becomes oppression, or, the exercise of authority in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner. Although oppression can be authorized by individuals, it
most commonly refers to popular historical events: Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Japanese
internment camps, the Trail of Tears, caste systems and "comfort women", to name a few.
In each of these examples, a more powerless group was oppressed by a more dominant
group in favor of the dominant group's desires. We don't say "minority" because there
are many societies where the "minority" has dominant rule and we also don't allude to
complete powerlessness, because though whiteness exerts power and privilege over PoC,
there are PoC that exert power and privilege over Brown people, and both exert power
and privilege over Black people. This example is even present at UChicago, where more
than 61 % of the Class of 2019 can be considered "people of color:'With such a large nonwhite population, "minority status" operates differently on campus, and faux "diversity"
can shield non-white people from being held accountable for bigotry towards other people
of color. When we look at oppression, it becomes evident that what begins as individual
acts of discrimination, such as prejudice against skin color or gender, resulted in a system
that works to subjugate those farthest from maleness, whiteness, and heteronormativity-especially those at the intersection of the thr ee.






Power in the system of slavery manifested under the ultimate gt1iseof colonialism
and advancement. It subjugates native culture into animalistic, primitive and barbaric
understandings that lack inclusivity of diverse, yet equal ways of socializing. According to
Frantz Fanon,
"We now know that in the first phase of the national struggle colonialism attempts
to defuse nationalist demands by manipulating eco nomic doctrine. At the first signs


of a dispute, colonialism feigns comprehension by acknowledging with ostentatious
humility that the territory is suffering from serious underdevelopment that requires
major social and economic reforms:' (Fanon, 146)
By creating an image of people of color as incapable of managing their own societies,
based on the way that "society" was defined by Europeans, the dehumanization of people
of color became possible . In order to maintain this power, "people of color" were stratified
in order to create divisions among them so they could keep their power, thus placing
Black people at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Though the institution of slavery has
been scrapped because of its inability to maintain control, other mechanisms of control
have been used under the same subtle guise that other races are incapable, dumb, or
The distinction between racism and discrimination is subtle but important, and
points to the impossibility of "reverse racism''. Racism is the oppression of marginalized
racial groups which is supported and perpetuated by individuals, institutional systems,
cultural norms and practices, and social practices, all of which manifest in power . In
contrast, discrimination involves situations that may be isolated to specific individuals and
perhaps does not have as far reaching repercussions . Power is the primary way isolated
instances of discrimination can become widespread systems of oppression that cannot be
utilized by PoC . Because who largely lack the ability to wield power, thus do not have the
same access to major institutions and systems to in turn oppress white individuals based
on skin color, though there are indeed PoC who wield powers of imperialism to exert
control over Black people due to internalized anti -Blackness. Without power, Black and
Latinx folks continue to be targeted by racially charged policing policies such as Stopand- Frisk, where folks are apprehended, detained, and even severely brutalized by police
without reasonable grounds to prove that they have committed a crime . Power dynamics
are further illuminated when protests against the racist system of policing and murders
of Black and Brown people by the State are labelled as "violent riots" yet when white
individuals ransack a surfing competition in California, it is considered lawful and folks
are exempt from incarceration . Even at our very own University, a Black individual was
arrested for being "too loud" in a section of the library that allowed talking. What could
this be, if not power and prejudice?
Systemic racism allows people in power to neglect critiquing the disproportionate
amount of African-Americans and other minorities in the criminal justice system . Stereotypes that paint Black people as inherently criminal and violent are pushed through in the
media and popular culture to excuse mass -incarceration of a historically oppressed people-- even the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent
points to this in its recent report, recommending reparations as part of the solution . These
stereotypes and sub tle forms of racism normalize oppression to the exten t that people not
only begin to ignore the signs, but also begin to subconsciously engage in racist behaviors
and attitudes . While seemingly harmless, accepting archetypal behaviors and characterization according to race sustains the same explicitly racist cultural norms that originally
manifested through slavery, colonization, and imperialism. Modern racism takes on more
subtle, yet still very triggering forms on campuses like ours: the fetishization and sexual
abuse of women of color, the perceived intellectual inferiority of Black people and immigrants (and subsequent exclusion of Black and Brown people of spaces of knowledge production), the complexity of multi-racial iden tity and its resulting stigma, confusion and


acceptance concerning the multifaceted nature of race and religious identity, and th e too
often ignored plight of the numerous struggles that low-income and queer people of color
face in prestigious institutions such as the Un iversity of Chicago. These positions are often
overlooked by those who cannot identify with them, but a closer look reveals just how
traumatizing the above forms of microaggressions and discrimination are to minorities.
The first step towards creating an accepting, egalitarian society is educa ting oneself on the
individual power and privilege that one has to influence society's larger power structures .
While everyday racism is more subtle in the eyes of those who don't experience it, we
must hold ourselves accountable for our actions, knowing that they can either undermine
or support th e dominant power structure of racism. The more we do to educate ourselves
and mobilize each other, the better equipped we will be to imagine and create an equitable
society where racial diversity is just that: diversity and not strategic stratification .

Beyond Black and White:
How Race & Oppression
are Tied to Global
and Class
As Audre Lorde said, "In a society where the good is defined in terms of profit rather
than in terms of human need, there must always be some group of people who, through
systematized oppression, can be made to feel surplus, to occupy the place of the dehumanized inferior. Within this society, that group is make up of Black and Third World People,
working-class people, older people, and women:' We cannot talk about current racism and
oppression without recognizing the long and ugly history of colonization and slavery in
this country .
Various forms of colonization and the industry of slavery allowed for masses of capital to be accumulated, creating the material foundation for our current system of global
capitalism and imperialism. These systems of domination allowed oppression to move
from person to person to larger systems of nations dominating others nations through
capital. Though not praxis, when talking about race, oppression, and power- the importance of a class analysis is crucial. This systematized (economically, socially, judicially,
politically, etc.) oppression uses racism in a way that allows the current system of injustice
to not only prosper, but function invisibly and without consequence.
When looking at a history of revolutionary movement, it is telling that change has
always been demanded by those marginalized groups. Without the blood, sweat, and
tears of those who have come before us to pave the way, we would not be where we are
today. Those who recognized the systems they lived under had failed them, those who had
the courage to demand more, to demand better- that is who we aspire to today. While it
has always fallen into our hands to demand the change that recognizes our humanity, it
doesn't mean that the fight should rest solely on one race's shoulders.



what do es tod ay 's anti-Jewish oppr ession look
like in th e U.S. and on the colleg e campus?

By Mari Cohen

1. Intro to Antisemitism
Depending on who you talk to, you
might hear wildly different opinions about
antisemitism, or oppression against Jewish
people. Some people might tell you that a
wild tide of antisemitism is sweeping college
campuses, that Palestinian solidarity work
and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions
movement are just antisemitism in disguise
and that Jewish students everywhere feel
unsafe. But if you talk to someone else, they
might say "antisemitism what?" They'll tell
you that antisemitism in the United States is
over. They'll point out that Jews are no longer
thought of as a separate racial category, that
the Holocaust is widely taught in schools,
that many American Jews have never experienced an explicitly antisemitic incident.
They'll tell you that talking about antisemi tism now is just an excuse to play the victim
or derail conversations .
The truth is, neither of these common responses have it right. Antisemitism is often
misunderstood and misrepresented for two
reasons . 1: Right-wing pro-Is rael groups

often unfortunately throw around the term
"antisemitic" and use it to shut down any
conversations on Palestinian human rights .
Anything critical of Israel or Zionism might
be deemed "antisemitic;' even though not
all Jews are Zionists, anti -Zionism is not
the same thing as antisemitism, and most
Palestinian solidarity work is undertaken by
dedicated anti -racist activists. 2: The form
that antisemitism takes today looks very different than other forms of oppression in the
US, which makes it hard to recognize and to
call out. Though the safety of Jews on campus is not severely threatened, and many are
able to enjoy a vibrant Jewish life at school,
antisemitism does still exist in the US today.
And while much of today's American an tisemitism comes from right-wing white supremacists, it some times makes its way into
progressive spaces. It's important for social
justice activists to understand that antisemi tism still exists and still must be opposed.


2. Jewish Identity in America and
How it Relates to Antisemitism
Antisemitism is complicated in part because American Jewish identity is compli cated. Jewishness, at various times in history,
has been construed as a tribe, a religion, an
ethnicity, a race, and sometimes all of these
things at once . American Jews today have a
variety of racial and cultural identities in addition to their Jewishness . Some American
Jews identify most with the religious practice
of Judaism; other Jews don't identify as par ticularly religious, but strongly identify with
cultural aspects of Judaism and consider Judaism their ethnic background . Therefore,
a wide variety of identities are possible : for
example , I identify as a White Agnostic Ash kenazi Jew. Antisemitism sometimes mani fests as religious oppression (e.g. the historic
persecution of Jews in Christian Europe) and
sometimes as racial oppression (e.g. Nazi
racist ideology), and these and other mani festations sometimes bleed into one another .
Many Jews in the U.S. are descendents of
immigrants from Europe (especially Eastern
Europe), many of whom came during the
late 19th-early 20th century and after the
Holocaust . These make up the largest pro portion of American Jews. However, not all
American Jews are Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern European descent (more on this further
on) - in fact, some of the first Jewish immi grants to the U.S. were Sephardic Jews from
Spain- and it's crucial not to erase their
Those Jews who were from Europe initially faced racial discrimination when arriving to the U.S., like other European ethnic
groups. They were not considered "white"
and were often denied access to social organizations. Universities created "quotas" limiting number of Jews who could be admitted .
Jews were often targeted as "anti-American:'
especially during anti -Communism efforts.
However, as the twentieth century went on,
many European Jews were able to assimilate
further into whiteness, and were beneficia ries of government social programs (such as
the GI Bill) that Black Americans were often

prevented from taking advantage of. When
the structure of American society decided to
let them in, many American European Jews
were able to achieve home ownership, oftentimes in the suburbs, and to adopt white
identity (though not all Jews are white). Many
white Jews participated in "white flight" from
American cities, contributing to de-facto racial segregation . Therefore, many American
Jews are viewed as white today, and have
been able to benefit from white privilege.
Despite having internalized, in many ways,
the whiteness slowly granted to Jews over
the past century, Jews often still feel the gaps
between their experience and mainstream
white culture . But it's important for white
Jews to not derail conversations about white
privilege by talking about antisemitism. It's
possible to benefit from white privilege and
be complicit in racism against POC even if
you experience antisemitism .

(One bigcaveatto this racediscussion,
though,is that in the minds of right-wing
antisernites,allJewsin 2016 are stillconsidered a "racialOther."Neo Nazi groups target
fews basedon Nazi ideology,and racistwhite
nationalistgroups (groupswho want white
peopleto liveseparately)do not considerany
Jewswhite and are racist towardsfews . So,
whileit's importantfor white AmericanJews
to understandhow they'vebenefitedfrom
whitenessand to own their whiteprivilege,it
would be incorrectto say that racistantisemitism in the US has vanished.)

3. How Does Antisemitism Work
in the U.S.?
Antisemitism works differently than many
other forms of oppression . As brilliantly explained by April Rosenblum in the zine "The
Past Didn't Go Anywhere;' antisemitism
aims to make Jews around the world look
not disenfranchised but extremely powerful,
so that they can be a scapegoat for society's
problems . Antisemitism today is often expressed in the form of conspiracy theories
that claim that the world's Jews are conspiring to rule the world/control the U.S. government/control the banks/commit terrorist


acts. Antisemites see the fact that some Jews
have been able to achieve positions of power
in American society and claim that this is evidence of Jewish control.
Another common form of antisemitism
today is Holocaust denial . Antisemites will
dispute the facts of the Holocaust, either by
denying any of it happened, or by denying
certain facts of history (such as the existence
of gas chambers), or by saying that some
Jews died as part of the war, but they weren't
targe ted . These Holocaust deniers often style
themselves as "revisionist historians: •
Today, American antisemitism is gener ally not structural the way that it was in the
past and the way that racism and sexism, for
example, still are. While hate speech, bigotry,
hate crimes are common, anti-Semitism usually does not interfere with American Jews'
ability to access societal resources. However,
that doesn't mean it's not a problem . An ti-Semites commit violent acts against Jews
and others (see: recent shootings at a Jewish
Community Center in Kansas City and at the
D.C. Holocaust Memorial Museum) . And
anti-Semitic comments and abuse, like any
other form of hate speech, is psychologically
damaging and oppressive.
Much of American antisemitism today is
on the right of the political spectrum . How ever, this right-wing antisemitism some times unfortunately infiltrates the left, and,
some antisemitism comes from the left itself.
It's crucial for the left to criticize society's
powerful and draw attention to inequality .
However, it's important not to portray the
Jewish community - an American minority
and yes, an oppressed group - as uniquely
responsible for things like American capitalism or foreign policy. That's actually serving
the interests of the powerful, maintaining the
status quo : if you blame the Jews for these in justices, you'll only ever attack Jews- you'll
never attack the root of the problem.

4. Antisemitism On Campus
UChicago hasn't had a major amount of
high-profile antisemitic events. (However, in
February 2015, a series of antisemitic posts
appeared on the Facebook page UChicago
Secrets, which publishes anonymous comments from UChicago students, and YikYak. The Yik Yak posts reportedly included
comments like, "Gas them, burn them and
dismantle their power structure . Humanity
cannot progress with the parasitic Jew"-and that's just a small sample . The Campus
and Student Life office and College Council
promptly released statements condemning
the posts .)
Even when there's no outright hate speech,
antisemitism can feed into some of our
speech and language, including in progressive movements . You are likely aware that
Holocaust jokes, swastikas , comments about
"Jewish noses:• et cetera, are unacceptable .
But there are more veiled instances of antisemitism, too. And one thing that reinforces antisemitism is when progressive groups
fail to acknowledge that fighting antisemi tism is a part of antiracism.
However, expressing frustration over an tisemitism not being included in progressive
movements should not lead to delegitimizing and disrespecting the experiences of
other oppressed groups . It's not the "Op pression Olympics:• All people experiencing
oppression struggle to have their concerns
recognized in various forums, especially by
the administration, and this is not unique to
antisemitism (in fact, at UChicago, the administration has been pretty good about responding to antisemitism) . So, don't say, "Everyone talks about racism, but no one talks
about antisemitism!" That's false, because
people and institutions all over our country
are failing to recognize their complicity in
racism . Instead, your attitude should be, "I'm
really glad you are raising these issues about
__ ism. Io really appreciate if you also
. . ,,
speak up when you witness antisem1t1sm.


5. Things Not to Do

come white, specifically say "white Jews:'

In addition to the explicit forms of antisemi tism already mentioned, here some things to
AVOID if you want to be a better partner in
the struggle against antisemitism. Many of
these are things I have seen from my classmates at UChicago, or in other discussions,
including in leftist spaces .

Derailing conver sation s about anti sem iti sm to talk about Israel even if the antisemitic incid ent has nothing to do ,vith
Israel. Or, assum e that all antis emiti sm is
related to Israel/ Palestin e.
I can't tell you how many times I've seen a
Jewish person mention an anti -Semitic incident unrelated to Israel, such as a graffitied
swastika, only to have a non -Jew immediately jump in and say, "Well, I'm sorry to hear
that, but I hope you don't think all criticism
of Israel is anti -Semitic:'
This is derailing and distracts from the issue of antisemitism at hand . Plus, it contributes to the erroneous presumption that all
Jews must be connected to Israel.

Disputing the us e of the term
Oftentimes, if someone brings up "antisemitism;' someone else will invariably
respond, "hey, other people besides the Jews
are Semites too:' This is derailing and doesn't
address the point at hand . 'J\nti -Semitism;'
which was coined in the 19th century, is
probably not the most accurate term for an ti-Jewish oppression, but it's been recognized
as the term for a long time, and disputing it
isn't relevant.
Using the one word spelling "antisemi tism" instead of "anti-Semitism" can help
make it clear that "antisemitism" is a specific
historical term and doesn't actually mean an ti-all-Semitic-peoples
Claiming all Jews are white and Ashk enazi
and erasing the existence of non,vhite and
non Ashkenazi Jews
Not all Jews are white . American Jews of
Color are often subject to having their existence erased and ignored within and without
the Jewish community . Please don't contrib ute this by lumping all Jews in with white
people or assuming that Jews and POC are
always separate categories .
Not all Jews are Ashkenazi immigrants
from Eastern Europe . American Jews also in clude Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews, who have
different traditions than Ashkenazi Jews. (so,
not all Jews eat the same kind of food or have
the same kind of holiday celebrations .)
In order to avoid excluding Jews of Color
and Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews, be very spe cific when you are talking about white Jews
or Eastern European Jews and when you are
talking about Jews in general . If you want to
talk about the position of Jews who have be -

Automaticall y calling all criticism of Israel
anti semitic .
As mentioned, there is a problem with
the term antisemitism being inappropriately
applied to all criticism of the state of Israel's
actions against the Palestinians or criticism
of Zionism. If you contribute to this, you are
impeding Palestinian solidarity work, and
you are effectively "crying wolf,' making it
harder for Jews to make claims about real
antisemitism .
If you are concerned something related
to Israel is antisemitic, look into it carefully.
There are helpful guides online (some linked
at the end of this post) that help identify
when anti-Zionis t rhetoric can veer into antisemitism .
Saying "My Jewi sh friend agrees ,vith thi s
so it's okay" or "I have Je,vish friends so
I'm not antis emitic "
Jews sometimes have divergent opinions
on what is antisemitic and it's good to acknowledge that. But if you're citing your token Jewish friend as the only excuse for why
you're not being antisemitic, that's a bad excuse . Wha t you do matters more than whom
you know .
Example: Trump has often come under
fire for attracting antisemitic followers and
retweeting antisemitic social media ac-


counts. People often argue, "Trump can't
be antisemitic because his daughter's family
is Jewish!" But if Trump is pandering to antisemitic groups and retweeting antisemitic
memes and stereotypes, I personally don't
give a flying fuck if he has a Jewish daughter. I care about whether or not he's enabling

Equating all actions of the State of Israel
with Jews, or assuming Jews are more
connected to Israel than to their home
Israel does not represent all Jews. There
are many Jews who fiercely criticize Israel
and who are not Zionist.
Furthermore, a lot of support for Israel
in the U.S. doesn't come from Jews. The IsClaiming the Holocau st was just "whiterael lobby includes Jewish groups, but also
on -white crime''
non-Jewish groups. Many of the loudest
For various political and historical reaAmerican supporters of Israel are non-Jews,
sons, the Holocaust is well-taught in Amerincluding Christian Zionists.
The anti-Semitic stereotype of "Dual loyican schools and well-understood in the
American imagination, while other mass
alty'' presumes that Jews always care more
atrocities, such as slavery or other genocides,
about Israel than they do about the U.S. But
can be poorly taught. It makes sense to quespolls show that most Jews are more contion why other atrocities don't get as much
cerned with domestic political issues than
discussion and to argue that they should.
Israel. Jews rarely base their vote only on a
candidate's stance on Israel (though, unforBut we can debate and discuss that withtunately, candidates don't seem to underout disrespecting and distorting the Holocaust itself. Nazi ideology was heavily based
stand this and continue trying to pand er to
in scientific racism, and was all about tarJews by talking about Israel).
Therefore, it's important to distinguish begeting Jews and other peoples as inferior races. So, while we might consider it "white on
tween Jews and Israel/Zionists.
white'' today, that is an ahistorical reduction
How ever, be careful when you just
replace the word "Jew" with the ,vord
and minimizes the severe racial implications
"Zionist ?' That doesn't nece ssarily put you
of Nazism.
While we'reon the subjectof the Holocaust, in the clear if you're still expressing an
don't compareJews/Israelto the Nazis. anti-Semitic idea or thought.
For exam ple, neo Nazis use the term "ZiIt crossesa line.
onist" with abandon to refer to all Jews- for
Claiming Jews in the U.S. have "Jewish
example, they call the U.S. government the
"Zionist Occupational Government" as a
privilege "
I see "Jewish privilege'' come up a lot, but
way of conspiring about Jewish control - and
have turned it into the slur "Zio:'
it's usually a false claim.
There is Jewish privilege in Israel, where
some laws privilege Jewish citizens over Arab
6. Strongly Recommended Sugcitizens. This is a deplorable injustice.
gestions for Further Reading
But in the United States, there is no system
(some of these sourcesalso inspiredand
of privilege set up to favor Jews. When some
informed this articleand I am indebted to
Jews have privilege, it is because of their
whiteness or other identities, not because of >April Rosenblum "The Past Didn 't Go
their Jewishness. Claiming "Jewish privilege''
Anf'vhere " (really wonderful in-depth zine)
contributes to conspiracy theories that Jews >Yotam Marom "Towards the Next Jewish
are exerting their power over the U.S.
Rebellion' '

Side note:don't claim that all Jewsare >Jonathan P. Katz, "Dealing With Anwealthyand educated. Jewsare a diverse ti -Semitism and It's Not About lsraef '
group ofpeoplefrom differentwalks of life. >How to Criticize Israel Without Being


hoda katebi
inside the classroom
As Muslims living in the USA and attending an institution of higher education, we
understand that Islamophobia is systematically and directly a part of departments '
curriculum. Of course, given that UChicago actually has an "Oriental Institute;•
our expectations were never very high.
Beyond the normal exclusion of non-white philosophers, thinkers, and scholars in
the majority of "repudiable" required reading within the CO RE, the way that Islam
and the Middle East are taught are drenched in Orientalism - a particular way of
speaking of and for the "Orient" in a degrading, backwards, and "traditional'' manner - something that hasn't largely changed in academia and anthropology since

outside the classroom
Outside the classroom, the prevalence and normalization of Zionism on campus
(see Zionism section below) is not only responsible for helping to cultivate a climate of xenophobia and anti-Palestinian sentiment, but also an accepted Islamophobia. The word "terrorist" is tossed around pretty lightly if you wear a Hijab
or are named Mohammad - but especially if you are running for Student Government. In fact, in the past four years we have documentation that anyone who has
ran for Student Government wearing the hijab has been called a terrorist on social media and, now thanks to the infamous AEPi email leak on Buzzfeed , private
emails to "bros: ' The emails also revealed that, along with calling Muslim students a
terrorist (and being incredibly anti-Black, misogynistic, and anti-Palestinian) they
also were thoughtfully planning to invite the Muslim Student Association , "In an
effort to foster better relations between Jewish and Muslim students;' to an event
about C4s and Dynamite as "long-held fixtures of your culture!"
The administration of course, took minimal action and called the hate speech prevalent in the emails as "freedom of speech" and told Muslim students to get over
it because "a little discomfort" shouldn't deter being able to focus in class. This
response from administration came after also several years of targeted harassment,
libelous claims spread online about Muslim students on various websites with links
back to personal social media, and anonymous and non-anonymous threats of
physical violence. All of which was ruled "freedom of speech: '


7he Israeli -Palestinian conflict has increasingly becomepart ofcampus
discourse, and many students with a range ofideologies have been moved
to take action on bringing their hopesfar resolution closer to reality.
Below, aftw members ofJ Street UChicago shared their personal
relationship to Israel and why they oppose the occupation.

Supporting a Two-State Solution,
Opposing the Occupation
"I am anti-occupation because the Torah calls on us to pursue justice
throughout our lives, and the occupation perverts Jewish laws and
values for the exploitation and oppression of the Palestinian people . I
am pro-two-states because I believe in both the Jewish and Palestinian peoples' right to national self-determination and self-governance."
"Jews need Zionism because for millennia we lived under the rule
of other peoples and were denied self-determination . But if Zionism
is the Jewish national liberation movement, it can only succeed by
working hand in hand with the Palestinian people, who are themselves in need of liberation. That's why I'm working to end the occupation and to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel. "
"Nothing, not my religion, my heritage, or even my family, is capable
of blinding me to the injustices of Israel's ongoing occupation in the
West Bank. I 'm not going to stay silent and let the world think that
the occupation speaks for me as a Jew. American voices have real
power in this conflict, and J Street U is an opportunity to build and
direct this power toward the goal of peace, two states, and the human
rights of both sides."
"I became involved in J Street U because of my family's history of
involvement in issues such as labor rights, civil rights, women's rights,
and anti-occupation activism in Israel. I believe I have a unique role
in ending the injustices faced by many Palestinians while supporting
the right to Jewish self-determination as realized in the existence of
the Jewish state of I srael. I fell in love with the community organizing work that allows me to actively come closer to the world as it
should (and will) be under a two-state-solution ."
"Growing up as a Reform Jew, I was consistently asked to engage
with I srael: to attend 'Celebrate I srael' events, to participate in Israel
trips, to learn about it in religious school classes. I was excited that
there was a nation somewhere where I wouldn't be the minority . But
after meeting and learning from some Palestinian friends, I realized
that the country I had been asked to unconditionally support was a
source of pain for many people, and that many of Israel's policies were
causing Palestinians to suffer. The liberation of my people should not
be at the expense of any other people."


"I'm pro-two-states and anti-occupation because I believe in promoting equality and dignity for all people. In this complex issue it's important to have empathy and recognize that both Palestinians and Jews
have deep cultural, historical, religious, and personal ties to the land.
I deeply love Israel which is why I want to fight to end injustice and
ensure that both peoples have equal rights in the land they call home."
"I beca1ne interested in the issue of Israel/Palestine at the beginning
of my second year at UChicago. I came from a family with a history
of social and political activism in Argentina, and I had also grown up
immersed in a Jewish comm unity that taught me to care deep ly about
and feel connected to Israel. When I came across a J Street U meeting in college, and learned for the first time about the occupation, I
felt instantly compelled to act . The notion that the I srael I'd grown
up knowing and loving was also committing home demolitions, restricting freedom of movement, and keeping millions of Palestinians
living under military law, was simply irreconcilable to me. So, I threw
myself into action that promised a better, safer, future for Israel, in
which it held true to Jewish and democratic values, and independence
for Palestinians, who have now lived for fifty years under occupation .
Today I continue that work with J Street U, on the ground, in I srael."

J Street U is a student movement that advocates for American
leadership towards a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. In the past,J Street U students at UChicago and in the
broader movement have advocated for the 2015 Iran D eal, supported
the most recent peace talks initiated by John Kerry in 2013-14, and
lobbied prominent Jewish communal leaders to speak out against the
occupation . They are working hard to oppose settlement expansion
and ho1ne demolitions in the West Bank, which destroy Palestinian communities and make it more difficult to ever reach a peace
agreement . As one aspect of their community organizing, they are
working to prevent the demolition of the Palestinian town of Susya.
This fall,J Street UChicago calls upon the broader campus community to join their #SaveSusya ca1npaign . J Street U students have diverse
backgrounds and political views but come together to advocate for
the self-determination of Jews and Palestinians .



& Anti- Palestinian Climate
by Students for Justice in Palestine
General Climate
Although a growing portion of American students are in support of Palestinjan liberation
from Israeli occupation and settler-colonialism , campus climate for Palestinians is still
often volatile and traumatic. While Palestinian , Jewish, Christian , Latinx, Black, etc.
students are active ly organizing at UCrucago to challenge trus toxic campus climate ,
we ' re fighting a lot more than just a few racist students. It's institutional. The University
of Crucago administration actively erases Palestinian voices and identities , condones the
demonization of Palestinian and pro-Palestine students , and normalizes the illegal Israeli
occupation of Palestine.

Erasure of Palestinian s
Despite the fact that there exists a populatjon of Palestinian students on campus , UChica go consistently fails to recognize their homeland. Year after year the Palestinian identity
is erased and ignored. Just trus past year (2015-2016) , Palestinian students suffered
incidents of harassment for merely existing without much response from the administration. BuzzFeed published leaked emails that were disturbingly racist , Islamophobic ,
anti-Black, and misogynistic from the AEPi fraternity listserv last year, in which they
regularly referred to an empty, barren lot next to their fraternity as "Palestine. " Despite
a coalition of frustrated Mus lim, Palestinjan , and Black students constantly meetinging
with UChicago administration , they failed to even recognize Palestinian students as being
affected by trus reflection of campus climate.

Demonization of Palestinian and Pro-Palestine Student s
Palestinian and pro-Palestine students on cainpus are often labeled as anti-Semitic for
criticizing Israel , its war crimes , and the illegal occupation of Palestine , delegiti1nizing
the real threat of anti-Semitism in our society and silencing anyone who opposes the
violation of Palestinian human rights. Groups like Students for Justice in Palestine and
Jewish Voice for Peace are routinely forced to pay for security at "high-profile " events
with Palestinian speakers , though administration has no problem with Charles Lipson ,
a well-known professor of political science at UChicago , admitting that he monitors the
actions of Palestinian and pro-Palestine UChicago students and works with Zionist organizations in the city to limit their behavior and visibility on campus. Further, last year,
Palestinian and pro-Palestine students suffered consecutive incidents of harassment , libel,
and vandalization , and posters were hung up around campus that read "SJP = Stabbings
Jews for Peace." Administration refused to respond/protect students from any and all of
these incidents.


Normalization of Israeli Occupation

The normalization of occupation occurs on the micro- and macro -scale at the University
of Chicago. From inviting internationa l war criminals such as former Prime Minister
Ehud Olmert to speak on campus , to barring students studying abroad in Jerusalem fro1n
even visiting the Occupied Palestinian Territories , the University of Chicago whitewashes
and normalizes the illegal occupation of Palestine . When a resolution passed through undergraduate student government last year, which called on administration to divest from
corporations that profit off of and perpetuate the illegal occupation of Palestine ( uofcdivest.org/reso lution) , UChicago News published a statement less than two days later, announcing that the University "will not divest ," despite having never engaged in so-called
dialogue with a single author of this resolution. Rather than addressing the ways in which
our university invests in the continuous dispossession of the Palestinian people and their
land, University administration has ignored and silenced student voices in support of the
liberation of the Palestinian people .
A Couple of Definition s
Zionism is a political ideology that seeks to create a Jewish state in historic Palestine that
privileges Jewish Israelis above Palestinians /non-Jews , and that seeks to establish a permanent Jewish majority within the borders of historic Palestine. In doing so, the Israeli
government has enforced a syste1n of apartheid and ethnic cleansing.
Palestine is located in the region now known as the state of Israel. Its indigenous popuJation suffered a wave of ethnic cleansing at the hands of Zionist paramilitary groups in the
late 1940s, leading to the founding of the State of Israel. The Palestinian population can
be split up into four main groups: internally displaced Palestinians within Israel who lack
equa l rights, residents of the West Bank under illegal military occupation , residents of
Gaza under a strangulating blockade , and refugees who fled Palestine during "al nakba"
to areas around the wor ld (this group makes up the largest and oldest refugee popuJation
in modern history). Fun fact: Chicago is home to the world 's second largest Palestinian
population outside of Palestine!

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and UofC Divest are the only anti-zionist , pro-Palestinian organizations on campus actively and peacefully educating on and working
to fight injustices against Palestinians by apartheid Israe l. SJP and UofC Divest bring
together a wide variety of students. On campus , both organizations face much opposition
by both left and right wing zionist groups . Together, SJP and Divest worked to pass a divestment resolution through College Council this past spring. During the academic year,
we put on Israeli Apartheid Week in the fall and Nakba Week in the spring , ending with
the well-loved Palestinian CuJture Night!


uture ppropriatio
- CindyJi (2013)

Our default 1node of thinking about culture consists mostly of food , clothing , and/or
holidays - we think of udon, saris, celebrations like Ramadan and the Lunar New Year,
but culture pervades our lives in far deeper and more complex ways than its seemingly
simple manifestations. To give a more technical definition , culture is the product of a
person 's accumulated , learned behavioral patterns, the sum of experience , beliefs, values ,
attitudes , religion , notions of time , roles , concepts of the universe , etc. Culture can be
attached to a specific ethnicity, religion , or region , but it can also come from less obvious
group identities , including social class, level of education , or gender- and from forma tive experiences that can ' t be pinned down as easily, like the values learned from a specific organization or the way one 's family does or does not eat together and exchange gifts.

At this university, you'll be interacting with students who follow a particular diet or set
of rituals , who might have an arranged marriage or only partake in certain sexual acts,
who may or may not have comp lex feelings about the cultures they identify with, perhaps
partly because they fall beyond the bounds of the dominant elite college culture . Keep
in mind that individuals choose to follow a cultural practice. No matter how relatively
bizarre (relative to what? What 's the norm and why is it the norm?) or how self-admit tedly problematic someone's cultural practice might be, it's safer to ask why that person
chooses that practice instead of joking about "leaving your culture ," pretending it doesn 't
exist at all, or feigning tolerance .

All cultures borrow from all other cultures to an extent , but when does borrowing become
appropriation? Think sports teams like the Redskins. Think cultural symbo ls used as
fashion trends: bindis , headdresses, Geisha costumes. Think a celebrity or fashion designer coming out with a new product in animal print and calling it "Afrika. " In each of
the above examples, I) a cultural symbol has been stripped from its cultural significance
or 2) someone from outside of a culture takes assumed symbo ls under the name of that
culture and misrepresents it. It 's disrespectful to market a symbo l as fashionable when the
person wearing it has little understanding of the culture it comes from or does not commit
to lifestyle , values, or attitudes of those who have earned the right to don that symbol.
In the latter case, there's an added layer of a power play. Because cultures that are often
appropriated tend to be underrepresented , when someone from the dominant society
misrepresents that culture, people from that culture have little means to properly repre sent themselves to the same wide audience. Genuine curiosity and a desire to learn about
another culture is always welcome, but it's becomes problematic when culture is wrest led
from the people who are part of it by people who are not. Especially when the people
who appropriate make a culture "cool" while the people who are part of the culture are
considered "exotic" or even " uncivilized. "


addie barron & payal kumar

First applied by black scholar Kimberle Chrenshaw in the 1980s, intersectionality
has since become a household term for social justice advocates and well-meaning internet
users alike. But what does it really mean, and how should we use it? Nominally, it is a
theoretical framework that allows us to recognize and analyze different levels of identity,
experience, and privilege that may enhance and complicate our lives. Some peop le inter pret the "intersection" part literally: each of us, individually, is at an intersection where
many different streets (representing forces that oppress or privilege us) intersect. We
cannot describe that experience without accoun ting for every street that crosses our path,
not just the widest or the busiest ones.
Of course, in reality, the number of streets is nearly uncoun table and the intersection
is more like a 26-dimensional crease in spacetime. But we shouldn't think of intersection ality as a metaphor, or take it at face value- the word came into usage more as a cry for
help. In the name of political expediency, many movements have narrowed their lens to
only account for one type of oppression. Some examples : since the founding of the first
women's movement, mainstream feminism has had a hard time recognizing the distinct
and varied experiences of women of color and transgender women, often to the extent
that these women became targets of emotional, physical, and institutional violence . Likewise, anti-racism efforts have historically been cast as the projects of men, whereas women
have contributed equally (if not more) to their political advancements .
So, when we say "intersectionality;' we aren't necessarily asking for a perfect theoreti cal lens (we aren't all as smart as Ms. Crenshaw) . But we are asking for people in positions
of relative privilege to build their politics and live their lives with open ears and closed
mouths, making plenty of room for the voices and experiences of those who haven't been
heard. It's very rare that any of us can claim only one type of identity or experience; we
are multifaceted beings, and understanding these nuances helps us move past ineffective
single identity solutions to further look into the connections between various systems of
power so that we can get to a more collectively inclusive solution. When we rely on single
identity "one-size-fits-all" solutions to social inequity, we run the risk of leaving out the
people who may need the most help and communicating that we think one type of identi ty may be sufficient and more important than others .
Why do es it matter at UChicago ? Well, despite our use of the third person, it is vital

not to assume that this mindset only applies in activist circles, or on the internet. Every
single one of us can benefit from recognizing the complicated aspects of ourselves and
the ways these aspects invite certain treatment from the world. It is important to listen to
those calling for change without questioning the validity of their exper iences with different forms of oppression .
The hard lesson is to remain vigilant, make mistakes, learn from them, and never
assume that you are somehow exempt.


kiran misra
As a student at UChicago, you have the privilege of attending one of the most elite collegesin

the country- but this is not quite how the word "privilege"is commonly used. Privilege is usually invoked in conversations of context and perspective, functioning often unnoticed in the
background of our lives. It stops us from experiencing some negative situations while allowing
us to experience some positive ones.

"We can defineprivilegeas a set of unearned benefitsgiven to people
whofit into a specificsocialgroup." -Sian Ferguson
In the paper "White Privilege and Male Privilege:A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women's Studies;' (1988), Peggy McIntosh lists 46 manifestations of privilege (specificallywhite privilege).Some of these include:
• I can turn on the televisionor open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race
widely and positivelyrepresented.
• When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization:•I am shown that people
of my color made it what it is.
• I did not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily
physical protection.
• I can easilyfind academic cotrrses and institutions that give attention only to people of my
The above examples show only a few of the myriad of ways privilege is experienced by those
who have it, but also illustrates a broader commonality among many types of privilege-that
the benefits and advantages that come with privilegeare largely accepted as sort of a status quo.
For this reason, those with privilegerarely have to think about and criticallyengage with these
systemic advantages and disadvantages. As the often-invoked privilege proverb goes: "If you
don't have to think about it- it's privilege:'
Though many manifestations of privilege often go unnoticed, privilege and the systems that
perpetuate it are no accident. The systems of power that create and maintain privilegeare
inextricably and intimately linked to the systems of oppression. In fact, privilege and oppression can even be seen as two sides to the same coin. Privilege,put differently,is the absence of
the obstacles and challenges that come with oppression, and is not in itself a bad thing. What
we call privilegeare the set of advantages that should be afforded to all members of society,
regardless of their identity. Everyone should be able to ttrrn on the television or open to the
front page of the paper and see people of their race widely and positivelyrepresented. Everyone
should be free from the obligation to educate their children to be aware of systemic racism
for their own daily physical protection. Privilegeshouldn't be a privilege,but the reality of our
society dictates otherwise.
Privilege is inherently political-- privileged groups dominate positions of institutional power
- for example, they're more likely to exercise control over politics, be economically well-off,
have influence over the media, and hold executive positions in companies - which allows them
to control and exploit oppressed groups. Thus, systems of privilege and oppression serve to
maintain themselves.


Privilege is complex, multilayered,and intersectional- most of us are marginalized in some
ways and also privileged in others. If you have one type of privilege,it doesn't mean you are
privileged in every respect. If you don't have one type of privilegeit doesn't mean you don't
have any privilegeat all. Privilegeis positional and dynamic. Privilege is transient- it can be acquired and lost over a lifetime. Sometimes it is stubbornly fixed, and sometimes it is subject to
immediate, drastic change. Different settings and circumstances result in different manifestations of privilegewith different consequences. Our privilege is not something we have control
over,and it isn't necessarilysomething we can account for in the complexity of daily life.
Everyone has a somewhat unique set of privilegesand when entering collegeor any new
setting, it's likelyyou will interact with people who have a different set of privilegesthan
yourself and/or the people you are used to interacting with. It's worth your while to spend
some time thinking about what your and your peers' privilegesmean in the setting you are in
and how they've impacted your experiences and perspectives. Understanding and being aware
of privilege is not about suddenly not having privilege.By understanding privilege,you equip
yourself to be better able to understand both the context in which you exist and the fact that
other people do not exist in the same context. Therefore, others may perceive a situation very
differentlyand still be right, because they are seeing the situation through very different lenses.
Acknowledgingprivilege means accepting that your perspective and the perspectives of others
are necessarilylimited by advantages and disadvantages you have experienced as a result of
unequal power distribution in society.
Privilege is often invoked to weigh validity in the marketplace of ideas and perspectives. You've
probably heard or perhaps even used the phrase, "checkyour privilege~•Ideally,instructing
someone to "checktheir privilege"would result in a simple calibration of one's viewpoint to
incorporate and include the implications of living with systems of power that afford benefits
to only certain individuals. In practice, the phrase often, unfortunately,serves to shut down
discussion rather than nuance it.
If someone seems to be coming to an issue from a privileged position, it doesn't mean that
their perspective is inherently unworthy or incorrect, just that it might be incomplete. It is
important to understand that they might not even realize their privilege - their privilegeis the
context of their life.Instead of criticizing,you can explain your point of view and the effects
their privilege might have on their perspective, if you feel comfortable and ready to do so in
the moment. No one comes out of the womb with a working knowledge of the complexitiesof
privilege,prejudice, and oppression. Education can't happen without willingnessto communicate.
♦VNIV(lt$11'V OF $AN



Becoming aware of privilege
should not be viewed as a burden
or source of guilt,
but rather ,
an opportunity

to learn and be responsible
so t hat we may work t oward
a more just and inclus ive world .

Whether you realize it or not, you likelybenefit
from some types of privilegeand while this isn't
your fault, it is your problem as a member of a
community and citizen of the world. However,
thinking or talking about privilegeoften brings
about feelingsof guilt and shame over having
unearned privilege and creates a sense of powerlessnessover not being able to control one's
possession of privilegeor lack thereo£ Feelings
of guilt can be paralyzing.When it comes to
dealing with privilege,it is more constructive
to leverageyour privilege to uplift and amplify
the voices of those who are oppressed to create
a more equitable society.



clairfuller & cosettehampton

Dissecting Feminism at the Intersection
Within almost every social movement of every kind, women have been fighting for
rights that they deserve in conjunction with better policies and social conditions . Because
a decent amount of feminist activity tends to be activism within activism, conversations
concerning sexism and patriarchy are incomplete without teasing out and eradicating
women's internalization of patriarchy and other oppressive structures at play in the
denigra tion of women as well. In essence, this discussion seeks to draw ou t what we call
intersectional feminism, which is a recognition that race, class, appearance, able-bodiedness and sexual orientation cannot be seen in silos in the makeup of womanhood . We are
complex beings with multiple intersecting identities that must be engaged when we are
centering discussions on male-supremacy . Society has unfortunately given us a feminism that is dominated by cisgendered heterosexual white women, who often control the
narrative of how women should be seen and interact with patriarchy, giving no effort to
their role in the subjugation of other women . At the University of Chicago, feminism also
suffers from an incomplete, underdeveloped practice that often excludes poor, working
class women and women of color (WoC). A few popular sororities at UChicago have been
known to whitewash Black and Brown women for the sake of a homogeneous theory of
collective womanhood-- our fight against the patriarchy is one and the same .
On the issue of the need for a distinct differentiation between intersectional feminism and mainstream feminism, Patricia Hill Collins states that,
"One approach claims that subordinate groups identify with the powerful and have
no valid independent interpretation of their own oppression. The second approach
assumes that the oppressed are less human than their rulers and therefore, are
less capable of articulating their own standpoint. .. a subordinate group not only
experiences a different reality than a group that rules, but a subordinate group may
interpret that reality different than a dominant group. Groups un equa l in power are
correspondingly unequal in their access to the resources necessary to implement
their perspectives outside their particular group:'
When speaking of race and heteronormativity, women along the intersections are
placed at a difficult crux: be a part of mainstream feminism and have your voice drowned
out and knowledge production invalidated, or reject mainstream feminism and be
completely ignored by institutions of power. Arguments devoid of intersectionality erase

the truth that white women do have power in society. In the same way that Black people
cannot be racist towards white people because racism is based on having access to power
and privilege and simultaneous protection from institutional oppression based on race,
white women exercise their place in feminism as the "dominant group" that Collins speaks
of above .
Collins continues by saying, "One key reason that standpoints of oppressed groups
are discredited and suppressed by the more powerful is that self-defined standpoints can
stimulate oppressed groups to resist their domination ." The argument is not ahistorical -in 1913 Ida B. Wells was told to march at the back of the Suffrage Parade in Washington
D.C. Black women are more likely than any other group to work minimum wage jobs
and Black and Hispanic women have median hourly earnings $4 and $5 less than white
women. If Black and Brown women were to reject white -centered mainstream feminism,
then it would cause a simultaneous demise of white women's domination of non -white
women and a powershift . Before we can fully develop an understanding of feminism that
recognizes these inconsistencies in the struggle, "women's liberation" will continue to
mean "white women's liberation and subjugation of Black and Brown femme bodies:'

Womanism is to Feminism, as Purple is to Lavender
Up until this point I have only made a distinction between "mainstream" feminism
and "intersectional'' feminism on the basis of mainly whiteness, and also heteronormativ ity and able-bodiedness and the negation of these identities . The analysis is incomplete,
however, without an engagement with misogynoir . Misogynoir is a term coined by a Black
queer woman, Moya Bailey, to describe how Black women's experiences with gender,
racism and anti-Blackness create a complex oppressive system under white supremacy.
The word is a derivati ve from misogyny, which harms all women . Woman ist writing states
'"Misogynoir' is not expandable and consumable under the term 'women of colour:
'Black women' and 'women of colour' overlap as identifies only because Black
women can be considered women of colour .. . it is naming the actual violence that
Black women uniquely face for which a politics like womanism would be needed ...
Controlling images (i.e. Jezebel, mammy, Sapphire), stereotypes (i.e. welfare queen,
welfare mother, emasculating matriarch, mule, gold digger, prostitute [where sex
work is used as an automatic tool of degradation via anti-Blackness and must be
examined intersectionally, not via a cis White middle class lens]) and archetypes
(i.e. Angry Black Woman, Strong Black Woman) are all racist, sexist, misogynistic,
misogynoiristic, ableist, some classist and all anti-Black constructions. They exist to
make Black women not just harmed, insulted, objectified and oppressed, but to reify
the non -human status of Black women when juxtaposed to non-Black women . This is
not only in juxtaposition to White women, because anti-Blackness allows non-Black
women of colour use these constructions as weapons against Black women ..."
UChicago's incoming class of 2019 is 28% Asian, 8.5% Black, and 15% Hispanic/
Latinx, this means tha t more than half of students in this class are considered "people of
colour:' making UChicago a "diverse" institution . The illusion of diversity paints a det rimental picture for Black people , especially Black women, who are now seen as women
of colour and have little support to call out anti-Black racism. The harmful tropes Trudy
gave light to in the quotation above are present in the classroom when discussing welfare
polic y, criminality, and even sexual liberation and rape culture. At a University that


understands very little about trigger warnings or safe spaces, especially outside of sexual
violence, it is likely that some of you may experience this (or have a role in this, srnh) first
hand before you graduate. Supporting Black women in these spaces look like giving space
for them to speak, while not making them the authority of all things Black, all things poor,
and all things feminist. It looks like rejecting stereotypes while recognizing that even if
a Black woman is angry, she has a right to be just like any other human -- perhaps even
more -so. It looks like pressuring professors to use more literature and class material by
Black people, especially when studying issues that have a stronger impact on Black people.
Black women are often not allowed to be a part of "social institutions of knowledge validation" because most are forced to take low-profile jobs that do not allow them creativity,
professionalism, or the high-intellectualism we see from other academic leaders . It also
means not calling Black women who speak up for themselves "sassy" or "outspoken"
because Black women have been creating spaces for themselves in institutions of privilege
for years .

What is Rape Culture? : Raised to rape and be raped
When you see a person you deem attractive, what is the first thing you look at? What
are your thoughts about that person? Wha t is it that makes them attractive? What do
you like about what that person is wearing? Dislike? When you go out for a party what
physical features of yours do you enhance? What physical features do you look for? Most
people's answers to these questions, regardless of gender, will illuminate the ways in which
attractiveness is engrained in our psyche.
A large part of the UChicago first year undergraduate experience is attending frat
parties. Frat parties will be fun places you can go to make friends, make cliques, drink free
beer, and dance for the first couple of weeks. After week two, however, you will sense an
instinct that urges you to find romantic companionship -- frat parties have gotten more
serious and people are there on a mission . Yup, thats right -- people "gettin chose:' Sure,
most first years have probably already had sex before or had a sip (or two) of alcohol-- but
with exclusive dorm rooms and little after school supervision, the freedom can have a
serious impact on your practicality . Subconscious (and conscious) norms you have been
socialized into since childhood are becoming more at play-- you are using the tools society gave you to plunder : strength, height, breasts, boobs, shape, weight, race. So during
this time, a lot of people get raped and sexually assaulted . I did not say "because" of the
freedom a lot of people get raped, this has more to do with the college environmental
conditions that are conducive to make rape and sexual assault socially acceptable . The
difference is opportunity , not values-- rape culture is embedded within patriarchy, which
is embedded in all men -- even those who are unlearning oppressive structures.
Rape is not just the "scary, violent, get pulled into a dingy alley and raped" rape; most
would agree that to do that would be wrong (then there are others like Brock Turner ... ).
Rape also happens when someone is drunk or high and has little agency over their ability
to make choices but you have sex with them anyway. Rape happens when someone comes
to sleep over with you at your dorm and you put your mouth on their genitals while they
are sleep. "Netflix and chill" can be rape if they actually just came over to netflix and chill
but you have sex with (rape) them anyway. In some very homophobic places so-called
"corrective rape" happens to queer women and lesbians to "cure" them . Rape happens
when someone isn't interested in having sex with you but you get them drunk so they are
more "agreeable:• Rape can happen during consensual sex if you do not stop if that person


tells you to stop. Rape is when someone says "No" or "I'm not ready" and you do it any way. Rape is when someone doesn't say anyth ing . It is even possib le to rape someone who
you actually had consensual sex with before . It even happens to sex workers . Rape often
happens because young boys are raised to believe that they deserve to have the things they
On UChicago's campus, too many students get raped and not enough people are
held accountable for it. Though the last sentence mentioned "young boys;' the others were
gender neutral because rape happens to young boys, men, and masculine presenting folks
as well, and because, though rarer than the opposite, women rape as well. However, rape
is rooted in an issue of patriarchy so it has to be addressed as such even when women take
the role of the aggressor and men are manipulated into having sex for fear of denigrating
their masculinity or other reasons . Nevertheless, though the former is just as impor tant,
harm towards female bodies is perpetuated in the media where women's bodies are denied
autonomy and made into capitalist prizes to be consumed -- likewise, disgruntled white
feminism comes into play when women demand attention from men based on women's
own internalization that their bodies are for consumption. This situation becomes even
more complex when race is introduced and Black women are essentially seen as "unrapeable" and less-harmed by non -consensual sex (rape) because they are not pure, dainty and
innocent like white women, and Black men get accused of rape or sexual violence because
of white women's convoluted fantasies and false projections that they are the mos t desirable among all Black men (see The Medium's Mara Jacqueline Willaford "Lena Dunham is
a F*ckboy'').
Playing hard to get and playing being coy should not be misunderstood to mean
that all women want to be chased and sexually captured . At the same time, cisgendered
men regardless of sexual orientation mus t step back and allow women to move through
a society where they do not have to fear being called a slut or a hoe and treated as such
or deemed "dirty" because of how one dresses or who one chooses to sleep with so that
women feel more comfortable vocally giving consent. The argtunent that criticizes women
for not speaking up needs to center that women are often told to keep quiet about their
ideas, questions, and pains and just listen doesn't engage how women's sexuality is often
oppressed by patriarchal norms in our institutions . How can women be active in a discussion of consent when she's being told she wanted sex because of the way she was grinding
in tha t short skirt like she has no autonomy? Further, if she's being called a hoe for it as if
she should have no sexual des ires? Sexual abuse must not be tolerated among your friend
groups and colleagues, and if you no tice someone taking advantage of someone else, grab
a coup le friends and please intervene -- you all may save that person's life. Even if the
University refuses to ho ld rapists accountable, we must practice vigilance to protect each
other from harm.

Feminism as a movement/an identity
In the past few years alone, we've seen a rapid increase in the amount of public con versa tion and debate about feminist issues. It's easier than ever to share and connect with
others about feminist theory, history, and your own experience . It's also easier than ever
to dash off a thousand clickbait-y articles glorifying the tiniest gestures towards gender
equality made by mainstream celebrities and debating whether a television show/body
hair/a snapchat filter/Jamba Juice "is feminist:' On the one hand, our grandmothers wou ld
probably never have imagined a world where "popular feminism" was anything more than


an oxymoron. On the other hand, it's easy to lose sight of feminism as a movement with
goals of collective liberation when mass-produced "this is what a feminist looks like" merchandise and buzzwords like "empowerment" cloud the field of what we talk about when
we talk about feminism.
Are slogans fundamentally bad? No. Am I saying women don't deserve to feel em powered? Of course not. But in the words of theorist bell hooks:
"Currently feminism seems to be a term without any clear significance. The 'anything
goes' approach to the definition of the word has rendered it practically meaningless
[...] This definition of feminism is almost apolitical in tone; yet it is the type of definition many liberal women find appealing. It evokes a very romantic notion of personal
freedom which is more acceptable than a definition that emphasizes radical political
action:• (bell hooks, "Feminism : A Movement to End Sexist Oppression")
This "anything goes" brand of feminism is often called "liberal" or "neoliberal" feminism, or its close cousin, "White Feminism:• It triumphs feminism as an identity rather
than a critical/ theoretical framework through which we see the world and political movement that we are part 0£ It celebrates choice as the paragon of feminist success --or, rather,
as the pinnacle of"being feminist"--without broadening the scope to critically analyze the
structural forces that might limit which choices are available and to whom . It is at best
tone-deaf and at worst actively oppressive in its lack of nuance with regards to class, race,
gender and sexuality, disability, etc. And, unfortunately, it's the brand of feminism that any
given person is likely to be most familiar with.
In the spirit of remembering the roots of the feminist movement, here's a summary of
the three so-called "waves" of feminist activism in the United States.
The first wave, in the late 19th and early 20th century, was about women fighting for
basic legal protections--the right to vote, property rights, etc. Spurred by industrialization
and its socialist backlash, the Seneca Falls convention in 1848 has become known as the
first women's rights convention ever. Suffragettes are jailed and beaten in their campaigns
for voting rights, finally granted in the US in 1920. Activism is dominated by white,
wealthy women; black suffragettes are literally asked to march behind white women at
demonstrations (source), and many leading activists publicly support horrendously racist
social policy. Big names from this period include Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B Anthony, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, and Margaret Sanger.
The second wave, from about the 1960s to the 1980s, explodes the cult of domesticity and challenges notions of a women's place in the home, fights for equal pay in the
workplace, advocates for abortion and reproductive rights, and questions femininity
and the social place of women more broadly. Unsuccessful attempts are made to pass
the Equal Rights Amendment, an amendment officially guaranteeing equal rights for
women. Inspired by Simone de Beauvoir's 1949 treatise The Second Sex, Betty Friedan's
book The Feminine Mystique identifies the malaise of women confined to homemaking
in 1963. Roe v Wade is decided in 1973, protecting abortion access. Women of color and
working class women have more of a voice in this part of the movement, and there is a
strong contingent of lesbian feminists, but transgender women are notably excluded . The
Combahee River Collective, active from 1974 to 1980, joins Black radical tradition to revolutionary Womanist thought in order to begin creating a feminism that works to liberate
Black women, lesbians and femme folks from misogynoir (source) . Big names at the time
include Audre Larde, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Barbara and Beverly Smith, Kimberle
Crenshaw and Adrienne Rich.


The third wave began the 90s, and continues today (though some argue that today's
feminism is more accurately considered a fourth wave) . The second wave ends when
intra-movement debates erupt over sexuality and porn; these conversations continue as
third wavers examine casual sex, sex work, and pornography as contentious sites for either
empowerment or oppression. "Riot grrl" music and social scenes emerge in the 90s as a
response to misogyny in punk, and conversations about rape culttue and sexual liberation
are brought to the forefront (think Slut Walk). Awareness of trans issues and expanded
conceptions of womanhood begin to slowly increase . There is less of a consensus on
what activism should be focused on, as conversa tions about gender are wide -ranging and
often center on "micro -politics:• The third wave is hard to pin down because, well, it's still
happening .

Sexism at UChicago
Even at an supposedly "progressive" institution like UChicago, gender discrimination
is all-too preva lent. Sexism is everywhere in our day-to -day lives, but it also comes in
some unique, academia -specific flavors ...
* Repeated Title IX viola tions and blatant neglect, on institutiona l and social level, of
the nee ds to sexua l assault and rape survivors .
* Underrepresentation of women on faculty -- take the physics department , for in stance, which has as many women professors as male professors named "David " alone .
* Frat parties that let women in for free, presuming that men will pay for the privilege
of being around drunk women who are more likely to go home with them .
* Men talking a lot more than women in your classes ... like, a lot more . Even when
they (clearly) don't know more .
* Extreme scarcity of women authors read in classes tha t aren't specifically focused
on gender issues; books by women of color are almost nowhere to be found on most
syllabi .

* A Gender Studies department tha t is limited in the course offerings and resources
they can offer students due to budgeting, and even then, that is extremely Euro -cen tric .

* Men who are constantly talking over, talking down to, or ignoring the intelligence
and expertise of women in conversation (mansplaining) .
How do we take care of each other in the face of sexist bullshit? First, by taking
care of ourselves (see our sections on feeling good). Second, by prioritizing the women,
femmes, and women -aligned non-binary people in our lives, and helping each other out
when othe rs won' t. Chances are, no matter what your gender identity, this is something
that involves some active un -learning. Finally, especially if you're a man or mascu line -identifying person --listen . Listen to the women an d feminine peop le who are you
classmates, teammates, partners, and friends . Understand their frustrations and pay
special attention to how you can help (see our section on being an ally!).


1 Gender and Knowled ge
The gender binary is the result of the congealment of an array of traits, particularly regarding bodily sexual dimorphism, gendered behavior, and sexual desire,
into a pair of mutually exclusive and exhaustive classes ("woman" and "man")
that are naturalized along every dominant line of knowledge from the sciences
to common sense, such that the power and inscrutability of divine or mathematical law are granted to its rules. It is our task, as persons interested in mitigating
the domination of marginalized classes and individuals, to critique this system
in search of its causes, effects, and breaking points. To approach this problem in
praxis is to work to overturn the legal restrictions, subvert the actions, and reform the power structures that both enable and are enabled by this domination;
to approach it in theory is to interrogate the imposed and internalized axioms,
observing the ways in which this ideology creates and is created by power relatio11sand understanding how knowledge itself is constrained under what it deems
coherent. While this credo of destabilizing common knowledge may seem brash
and destructive, it is not without gainful precedent; it is the ethos that has guided
feminist movements in attacking repressive, falsely naturalized notions of womanhood (e.g., women's work, sexuality, and socialized behavior as innate), as well
as gay rights groups in the effort to destabilize notions of "proper" sexual orientation. De spite these waves in the social current, gender predictably continues
to inform every relation between persons in soci ety and
thus remains a point of interest for us in our attempts to
alter the flow of power.
One bracket of feminist inquiry regarding the matter, perhaps the most famous, centers on critiquing the
alleged implication of ge ndered behavior by the sex ed
body; it is often referred to as the sex/ gender dichotomy
and has gained acceptance in liberal society, at least in part. We here aim to rebut
those biological-determinist theories that lend an inherence to self-ide ntification
within, and behavior according to the rules of, the ontologically-ascribed gender
classes. Instead, medicalized sex assignment is followed w ith a bombardment of
coercions both material, as in the disincentivization of gend er noncomformity, and
ideological, as in the ceaseless presentation of the gender system as assumed and
unquestionable, towards self-recognition within the class assigned. This is not to
say that there is no such material thing as a woman or a man, but that these material classes are brought into being by a system that purports their naturalness
as justification. We refer here most immediately to the specific binding of traits
and roles to each other, but also to the logic of this system as a whole. Continuing
along this line of reasoning to a new approach, not only is the view of the linkin g
of sex traits, gendered behavior, and sexuality as a preordained system called into
question; one also may observe that our discourses on these topics requires the
very framework of the gender system to function, and so each invocation refreshes
and reinscribes it. It is not that gender obscures an intrinsic meaning or truth in
the subje ct; rather, gender is the language from which the meaning of the subject is
assembled. Each person is only able to think and speak with the langua ge they are
given, and thus knowledge arises as a social product, the gender system forming



the very basis of structured thought on contained topics. Fortunately, this closed
loop may be disputed at its fault lines by other social forces and ideologies, and,
while degendering knowledge and the self may be inconceivable, altering these
relations is very possible.
2 Gender and Power
These abstractions regarding the gender binary' s complete enclosure of social relations should supplement, not distract from, another feature gender shares
with other ontological systems of identity: its predication on power relations. The
gender system perpetuates and is perpetuated by the subjugation of the women
as a class, specific material examples of which can be found in the preceding "Sexism" section. There are many theoretical frameworks with which the oppression
of women, and anyone with whom the class is associated, is explained: for the
Marxist-feminist, womanhood is an obscured labor relation, as in the burden of
emotional labor and the upkeep of the feminine; for the radical feminist, women
are subjugated by inescapable systems of sexual relations; for the liberal feminist,
women are entrapped by rules, both formally legal and cultural, to their disadvantage; for the poststructural fe1ninist, whose framework this mini-essay roughly
follows, women are a class defined by their limitation of self-definition by the
social frameworks given. All are demonstrably correct in some sense, although the
causal chains and best courses of action are disputable. (It is worthwhile to note
that while men may be said to be similarly "ensnared" in
this system, being placed into the role of dominator and
being placed into the role of dominated are asymmetrical
situations.) Women are not the only group called into being by the language of the gender binary then subjugated
as a result, of course; LGB persons, significantly, are policed for their inherent subversion of that "alleged naturalness of binary oppositions" in affectional relations, specific material examples
of which can be found in the following "LGBTQ Rights" section. Homophobia,
direct and indirect, is a particularly vile form of the broad policing of those who
defy the axioms of gender.
The inability of the individual to opt out of gender, due to the predication of
all cultural exchanges upon it, also creates troubling results for those who cannot
situate themselves within the structure. The cross-binary transgender person, for
instance, is typically one who for whatever reason, be it sociological or biological,
has located themselves within the gender-class at odds with their birth assignment, typically producing intense feelings of isolation, dislocation, and dysphoria. The cross-binary transgender person, a situational category resulting from a
unique historical moment, is far from the only way of attemptir1g resolution of
the system's first-order failures; butch and drag subcultures specifically have been
significant sites for the mediation of the trauma of gender, and indeed all gender noncomformity rebels, if in some cases minutely, against the limitations of the
meaning-system imposed upon all of us. The present surge of self-identification
outside of the constraint of the binary classes is a phenomenon with historical
precedent: the gender binary, as an incidental system resulting from a historical
congealment of power and not any divine truth, did not develop identically in



by Dan a V Dz ik

all pre-global civilizations, and a limited body of knowledges exists to document
the forms such alternate gender systems took before European cultural colonization. Presently, many are once again locating themselves similarly outside of the
classes of "man" and "woman," as a result of an inability (or perhaps a refusal)
to recognize oneself within either identity-class; this is not a pre-colonial action
but a post-colonial action, an attempt not to return to a before-gender situation
but to repurpose the system as one generative of new meaning. This is not to say
that this or any other mentioned action frees its performer from the gender binary,
which is still the system upon which all gendered relations are predicated, but
each represents a negotiation to make the burden of identity more bearable without spurning it altogether.
3 Resistance
Despite the defeatism implied by this absolute entrapment within gendering,
the inescapability of gender does not imply that it is a monolithic, unchanging,
and all-powerful system. When we speak of the ontology of gender, that inviolable set of rules ingrained within internalized meaning-systems, there is no reason
to suggest that it is, or even could be, identical between cultures, people within a
culture, the same person at different times, or even the same person in different
situations. Critical subjects can work to mitigate, reform, and abolish the controls
of the dominant ideology by disputing their claim over both consciousness and
material conditions; indeed, such subjects are necessarily produced by the situating of a dynamic subject within a supposedly static system. Women's, LGB, and
trans movements have all been mentioned here; each has reshaped, albeit often
in very different ways, not only the legal constraints regarding what is permissible for the sexed subject but also the ontology of gender itself. While "woman"
and "man" are classes that have been inescapable by Western consciousnesses for
some millennia, they are historically contingent categories and thus subject to both
demonstrable change and theoretical dissolution into the traits they bind together.
We have the fortune of having historical record of seeing the categories of "gay"
and later "trans" written into existence, transformed from behavior patterns into
selfhoods, by medical discot1rses then evolving into the identities we see today,
often to the gain of the persons of the interpellated identity. This history is a case
study of how categories of oppression can be hijacked by the dominated class into
a new and useful counterforce.
These struggles are often dichotomized as either liberal, seeking to work
within the system to make it more adequate to live in, as in LGB marriage rights,
transgender workplace protections, and women's economic empowerment, or
radical, seeking to tear down the structure from the base and abolish gender relations. Perhaps neither is fully adequate to address the problems at hand, for
while the former limits itself to the language given, the latter places a faith in a
before-gender ideal to which return is impossible. While it is limiting to accept the
axioms of, say, sexuality offered by the present ideological regime, it is also inadequate to speak of an innate sexuality that is unmediated by the gender system, for
the apparatus of sexuality arises as a component of the gender system and does
not precede it except as an unordered collection of meaningless physical stimuli.
We will not destroy the situation of gender, but move beyond it: every oppressed
class, be it women, people of color, LGB people, transgender people, the poor, etc.,
is a category called into being by the language given by the oppressor yet also the
basis of a discourse to act towards the adjustment of power relations for the better.




sara rubinstein with additionsby obi hunter
(fun fact: sara wrote the 2013 version of this section, too!)

What is an "LGBTQissue"? The topics most frequently covered in the news in recent
years include D on't Ask, Don't Tell, hate crime legislation, trans inclusion in the military,
and of course, gay marriage. H owever, in this article I introduce the idea (which some of
you may already be familiar with) that the focus on these types of issues amongst people
and organizations dedicated to "LGBTQrights" does more harm than good: by directing
scarce resources away from what is most needed by racially and economically marginalized
LGBTQcommunities, by reinforcing and legitimizing oppressive instituti ons (such as the
military, police, and criminal justice system), and by reifying the false notion that LGBTQ
people are disproportionately white, wealthy, and male .
LGBTQpeople doubtlessly continue to face eno rmous issues in the United States .
40% of youth experiencing homelessness are LGBTQLGBTQpeople
are significantly
more likely to be living in poverty than the general population, particularly if they are people of color. They are more likely to be victimized by the criminal justice system, with one
report noting that "16% of transgender adults have been in a prison or jail for any reason.
This compares with 2.7% of all adults who have ever been in prison ...While an estimated
4-8% of youth are LGBT, a major study of youth in juvenile detention found that as many
as 13-15% are LGB T. . .In these settings, LGB T people are especially vulnerable to abuse
and mistreatment ...prisoners who identified as "non-heterosexual" were 3 times as likely to
report sexual abuse. A study of California prisons found that transgender women in men's
prisons were 13 times as likely to be sexually abused as other prisoners" . The 2011 National
Transgender Discrimination Survey documented countless ways in which trans people
experience discrimination and outright violence when attempting to access employment,
housing,education, and healthcare; or when interacting with the criminal justice system. As
part of the Movement for Black Lives policy platform notes, these statistics are particularly
bad for Black trans people. The platform points out that "38 percent of Black transgender
and gender nonconforming people who interacted with the police reported harassment;
14 percent reported physical assault, and six percent reported sexual assault .... Black trans
people are more than eight times as likely as the general U.S. population, and more than
four times as likely as the general Black population to live in extreme poverty ...21 percent of
Black trans respondents had been refused medical care because of bias, and ...There is also a
greatneed for mental health services, as nearly half of all Black trans people have atte1nptedsuicide ."
These statistics are bleak . But how do mainstream LGBT Qadvocacy campaigns interact with these realities? The legalization of same-sex marriage allows marr ied same-gender
couples to get on their partner's health insurance, access tax benefits, more easily overcome
immigration bar riers (if one partner is a citizen), and face fewer barriers in becoming legal
co-parents to a child . H owever, most of the benefits of marriage can only be accessed by a
small and comparatively privileged subgroup ofLGBTQpeople; something which has been


highlighted again in a recent New York Times article which found that despite the higher
poverty and unemployment rates LGBTQ_people experience overall, "Pretax household
income of same-sex married couples is higher than that of heterosexual married couples.
Most of that is driven by the average earnings of male same-sex couples: $176,000 . On
average, they make $52,000 more than married lesbian couples and $63,000 more than
married straight couples". Most obviously, in order to marry one needs to be in a long ter1n
relationship. But also, in order to get on a partner 's health insurance, one's partner needs
to have stable employment with good health benefits; and in order to access marital tax
breaks, a couple needs to have a certain level of wealth. None of these marital benefits can
be accessed by the disproportionate nun1ber ofLGB TQ_p eople experiencing unemployment, poverty, and homelessness.Therefore, the push for marriage equality not only failed to
prioritize the problems causing the most harm and suffering for LGBTQ_people, it also left
un challenged the ways in which what should be funda1nental human rights remain highly
conditional privileges in the United States. People should not need to get married in order
to receive health care, escape brutal deportation, or raise children, but instead of making
these arguments, the national campaign for marriage equality sought assimilation for certain
(disproportionate ly white and wealthy) LGBTQ_people into a fundamentally oppressive
and unfair system.
Other examples of harmful LGBTQadvocacy priorities includes hate crime legislation. These laws do not prevent homophobic and transphobic violence from occurring, but
instead function as largely symbolic, punitive measures that can allow harsher sentences
to be handed down during the prosecution of a crime . Such legislation usually includes
additional funding for law enforcement agencies . Worse, these laws accept the validity and
legitimacy of police, prisons, and other aspects of the American cri1ninal justice system as
being effective tool s for keeping LGBTQpeople "safe"; without recognizing that the police
and prison system are themselves one of the most destructive and violent forces in the lives
of many Black, brown, indigenous, and/or poor LGBTQ_people. Calls for harsher sentences
and more resources for police are incompatible with liberation movements working to defund/ abolish police and prisons and to construct new, transformative approaches to justice .
Therefore, campaigns for hate crime legislation prioritize the feeling of safety for white
middle class and wealthy LGBTQ_people at the expense of non-white and impoverished
Similarly, campaigns to include LGBTQpeople in the military fail to acknowledge the
hundreds of thousands of deaths and subjugation of non-Western countries the US military
industrial complex is regularly responsible for; or the hundreds of billions of dollars it
consumes annually . In stead of working to abolish or defund oppressive 1nilitary institutions,
advocacy to include LGB or trans people in the military emb races and affirms destructive
mythologies of "serving the country" and "defending freedom" through military enlistment.
At this point, you likely get the idea. But, this raises the question of why are mainstream LGBTQadvocacy priorities so bad? That's a complicated question I don't want to go
into too much detail about here, but very briefly: In recent decades, LGBTQ organizations
with a lot of power and influence have been large non-profits. Non-profits have funders,
boards, employees, and supporters they try to engage. People who have the resources and
ability to fund (or even work for, to an extent) non-profits are disproportionately white and
wealthy, with priorities that reflect this. A white cis gay man looking to donate $10,000
to an LGBTQorganization is impacted by being unable to marry his partner, but not by
poverty, lack of access to health care, or police brutality. Additionally, wealthy funders and
elected officials are likely to oppose measures seeking profound systemic changes, since they
often reap real or perceived benefits from the status quo. A well-off white lesbian might


oppose defi.mding the police because they have always made her feel safer, and she suppo rts
the way they "cleaned up" her neighborhood by displacing poor Black and brown people . A
"pro LGBT rights" congressman is not going to support defi.mding the military when he's
voted for increases in military spending multiple time s. The se inherent str uctural problems
in the large non-profit/legislative approach to LGBTQ(and othe r forms of!) social change
work indicate that more grassroots movements are crucial.
Lu ckily, despite the obstacles, powerful and transformative LGB T Qsocial justice
organizing is occurring presently, primarily from people and gro up s fighting for Black liberation, other forms of racial justice, and/or against imperialism and capitalism. For example,
the Black Li ves Matter movement has been disproportionately led by women, queer peop le,
and especially Black queer (cis and trans) women and femmes; #Blac kLivesMatter itself
was founded by 3 Black women, two of whom are queer (Alicia Garza and Patri sse Cullors),
and many organizations in the movement (such as BYPlOO and Assata's Dau gh ter s) operate
from an explicitly Black feminist framework.
The following suggested readings, then, further flesh out the basic critique I 've proposed here, plus introduce a few organizations and campaigns (particularly in Chicago)
operating from a more liberatory and transformative framework .These articles are far, far
from exhaustive, but are meant to be potential startin g points for folks who are new to these
topics and ideas but would like to learn more.

Suggested Further Readings
Spade, D ean, and Craig Willse. Marriage will never set us free. 2015 .

php/ modules-menu/beyond-capitalism/item/1002-mar-

Excellent, accessibleintroduction to why the push for same -sex marriage was a harmful strategy.

Mo vement for Black Lives Platform -- End the War on TQGNC Peopl e Polic y Brief
policy .m4bl.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07
Bri ef.pdf



Highly encouragefolks to read the entire Movement For Black Lives Platform, but this is a good
introduction to some ofthe LGBTQ+ specific aspects

Again st Equality http ://www .againstequality .org/about/marriage/
Online archive that compiles numerous articles critiqueing prisons and the movements for mar riage equality and LGBTQ military inclusion

Alicia Garza. "A Herstory of the Bla ck Lives Matter Movement." Black Liv es Matter
(2014). * thefeministwire .com/2014/10/blacklivesmatter-


Important, short account ofdevelopment ofthe Black Lives Matter Movement that emphasizes
the importance ofnot erasing the labor ofBlack queer women .

Cathy J. Cohen. 1997 . Punks, Bulldagg ers and Welfare Queen s: The Radical Potential

of Queer Politic s? GLQAJournal
of L esbian and Gay Studies May 1997 3(4) : 437465 . * lgbtrc.uci .edu/events/week5%20article
Great overview by UChicago professor Cathy Cohen about erasure and exclusion
and communities from queer political movements


ofBlack people

Stanley, Er ic A. , D ean Spade, and Q ueer In Justice. "Queering Prison Abolition, Now? ."
Ame rican Qya rt erly 64. 1 (2012): 115- 127.
againstequality.org/files/q ueering_prison _aboliti on_now.pdf

Includesinformative critique ofhate crime legislation and the prison industrial complex'simpact
on marginalized L GBTQ people
Black Girl Dangerous (blackg irldangerous .org), Raddical Faggot (radfag .com )

Both excellentbiogswith crucialperspectiveson contemporaryLGBTQ and Leftist politics
Q!ieer Dreams and Nonprofit Blues: Understanding the Nonprofit Industrial Complex

sfonli ne.barna rd.edu/nav iga ting-neolibera lism-i n- the-academy-no nprofi ts-and-beyond/
dean-s pade-hope-dec tor-q ueer-dreams-and-nonprofi t-blues- unde rstand ing-the-npic/

Great short videos explaining the issueswith the L GBTQ non-pro.fit sector,as well as the
non-pro.fit industrial complex in general

Aisha C . M oodie- M ills.Ja nu ary 20 12. "Jumping Beyond the Broom: Why Black Gay
and Transgender Americans Need More Than Marriage Equality." Cen ter for Ame rican Progress. *
amer icanp rogress .org/wp-con tent/uploads/issues/20 12/0 1/pdf/blac k_lgb t.p df

Goodstatistics and discussionofpolicy issues

Chicago Specific Articles
Theseare both good introductions to contemporaryChicagoactivism that emphasize the crucial
role Black queer women play:
Q!ieer women are shaping Chicago 's Black Lives Matter movement

htt p://www .chicago reader.com/ chi cago/ quee r-black-women-sha ping-blac k-lives-ma tt er/
Con tent ?oid=2 1692933
The New Black Power

htt p://www .chicagomag .com/C hicago- M agazine/March-20 16/black-leaders/


to know and follow

Assat a's D aughters
Black L ives M att er C hicago

Chicago Women's H ealth Cen ter

Black and Pink

Project FI E RCE Chicago

For th e People Artis t C ollective


Tr ansformative Justice L aw Project

Silvia Rivera L aw Project

L ifted Voices

Audre L orde Proj ect

Broadway Youth Cen ter

Streetw ise and Safe





This article is split into two parts, one in the Theories & Perspectives section and one
in the Community section . This section goes beyond harm -reduction briefings to introduce
ways of thinking about drugs beyond the frayed advice of "don't do them" and "if you do , do
them safely." Unfortunately, limited space means char these sections may appear scrappy and
underdeveloped; I hope they nevertheless provide references and chewing material for the interested reader. I introduce two critical perspectives on drugs. The first is a 'political rheology'
of drugs, whose argument shows how the so-called therapeutic state structures drug practices
as "nonnal" or "abnormal" . The second perspective on 'queering consciousness' draws from
qu eer studies in order co articulate a way of thinking of drugs and drug use beyond these
given confines of normal/abnormal .

1. Definition and Political Theology of 'Drugs'
The more one chinks about "drugs", the harder it becomes to define. A common definition of the word drug is any substance that in small amounts produces significant changes in
the body, mind or both. This definition does not clearly distinguish drugs from some foods,
nor do es it clear up differences between drugs and poisons . Most drugs become poisons
at high doses, and many poisons are useful drugs in low enough doses. Is alcohol a food, a
drug, or a poison? Perhaps it is more than bureaucratic expediency that led the United States
government to create the Food and Drug Administration. Even ordinary usage of the term
"drug" is ainbiguous . We assume that it is possible co draw a clear distinction between drugs
taken for medical purposes and those taken for recreation, bur chis bow1dary is far from
rigid. Cocaine, opium, and heroin were lauded as panaceas befor e they were subsequently
treated like poisons. Marijuana is in the process of crossing back over into medical treatme nt.
As cultural theorist David Lenson says, "The difference between Prozac and Ecstasy is mostly
a matter of marketing."[l] Ir is assumed that when we speak of "drugs ," the subject is "illegal
drugs." This usage of words is strategic for the marketers and pharmaceutical co1npanies and
law-makers co invest certain classes of substanc es with certain "normal" expectations .
Yer how is that the "normal" is defined? After all, practices of intoxication has been with
homo sapien longer than writ ten history, and every human culture has its form of drug use
and meanings attached co it. This face alone prompts us co look beyond our own drug -culture as inherently truthful or accurate, and rake heed of the social and historical processes
that give drug practices tl1eir meaning .
Again: the meaning of drugs is constructed by people in social contexts . Apply this to
the idea chat our definition of "drugs" is drawn from an 'un biased ' scientific measurement of
'abuse potential' and one realizes tl1acit is assumed char scientific judgement rakes place outside of a social context, as if these measurements were determined impartially and absolutely.
We know that these judgements are nor always accurate (when, say a contradiction arises
between social organization and social practice, for examp le in the contradiction between the


medicinal and recreational consumption of marijuana and the 'scientific ' proclamation of its
illegal scams by the state), but for the most part , we cake this scientific and official judgement
as a structuring force chat takes place 'outside ' of society and not within it.
Thomas Szaz argues chat the official sciencized worldview is provided by a therapeutic
state which codifies a scientific/medical ideology and treats it as absolute. This ideology organizes society under a set of norms chat provides its subjects with a relatively static account
of the social order and a vision of social organization. One of the main structuring powers
of chis worldview is the figure of an enemy ocher: dangerous drugs , wicked drug addicts,
and drug pushers. It is around the idea of chis 'ocher' of prohibited substances chat ochers are
granted legitimate sanction . And so, as in political and religious systems, the therapeutic state
formulates its community across a boundary of inside and outside, complete a comprehensive vision of the world, and a sociology (i.e., an legitimated and guided process) for its
specified agents to carry out its ostensible aim for the future.
Hence , when so1neone says chat "X drug is good/bad," a two -fold assumption is made
chat there are objects that can be specified as a "drug " - most prominently , illegal drugs and chat d1ere are certain standards co what is legitimate or illegitimate drug use, and that
these standards carry normative and absolute weight. In college, you will hear advice like,
"Smoking is fine, but you should never do cocaine or heroin." This advice is taken fro1n a
certain normative point of view chat separates some "good drugs" from "bad drugs". There is
usefulness co these judgements, but the point here is co show chat these judgements emerge
from social structure and practice, not the inherent essence of any drug itself.
For example, one 1nay ask, why was crack cocaine considered an "epidemic " while powder cocaine remains associated with upper-class elitism?[2] Why are the psychedelic drugs
associated with mental insanity and councerculcural spirituality?[3] How could it be chat the
coca and opiu1n leaf were both used widely as medicine at some historical times, going so far
as co be considered a 'panacea' (cure-all), yet in ochers they are seen as 'panapathogens' (root
of all illness and evil)? One 1nusc look at how the meaning of drug-users and drug-effects
are constructed historically, and not merely by the bio-che1nical structures and interactions
of drugs on the brain. In my opinion , the singular focus on the latter is one of the failures
of contemporary drug education . The following section offers one alternative method to
chinking about drugs.


2. Queering Consciousness
In an interview titled Sex, Power, and the Politics of Identity , Michel Foucault discusses S&M subculrures when, unprompted , switches the subject ro drugs. He states, "The
possibility of using our bodies as a possible source of very numerous pleasures is something
that is very important. .. I think that drugs must become a part of our culture [as a pleasure] .
We have ro study drugs. "[4] My reading of chis section, one of the only in which Foucault
mentions drugs specifically, is that drug practices, like S&M practices , appear to invent new
possibilities of pleasure by eroricizing the whole body. Drug use 'desexualizes' pleasure insofar
as sexual pleasure located in the genitals loses its idealized place as the foundation of all
possible pleasures.
Ar UChicago, there are queers , there are drug users, and there are queer drug users. Bur
few are the former cwo categories that chink in terms of the latter. I invoke Foucault here to
suggest char his method of analyzing power and sexualiry may be fruitful for chinking drugs.
If transgressive sexuality has its pair with recreational drug use, how can thinking sex help us
think drugs? The purpose of this section is to leverage queer thought ro do work in drug theory. I outline some overlaps between queer studies and drug studies mainly so that students
acquainted with the for1ner can better think the latter. And if this gets too heady, or outside
of your own experience or understanding, you may feel free to disregard it.
"Sex and drugs. " Let us think these terms together. Operating under similar rubrics of
pleasure and the body, these activities are often culturally scapegoated and legally restricted.
They operate perhaps according to rules of' recreation' rather than 'reproduction' so as to be
considered a threat to the social order if they resist the idea of the normative model of the
family. Any 'deviance ' from the sanction norm of these activities is constructed as 1norally
reprehensible and fearful - they (queers and drug users) are "nor like us." They stand against
the values of The Fa1nily and Good Work Etl1ic. Deviating sexualities and stares of consciousness are constructed against a primary and 'natural' condition of heterosexuality and 'straight'
consciousness, and variability of consciousness, like variability of gender, sexuality, and
kinship ties, is nor 1nerely a private matter , but publically mediated and symbolically ordered.
Ir was shown above that the very definition of "drug " versus "non -drug " hinges on
standards of "normal" and "abnormal" bodily functions, defined as such by medical , political ,
and ideological authorities. It is against the standards of normality that queering conscious ness becomes a heuristic for thinking of drug practices . The word queer here refers to identi ties, practices , spaces and sensibilities that are positioned against normativity. While the term
is often deployed to designate non-normativity in gender and sexuality, I follow the spirit of
Foucault and other contemporary theorists that seek to broaden its scope .
Queer is by definition whatever is at odds with the normal , the legitimate , the dominant.
There is nothing in particular to which it necessarily refers. Ir is an identity without an essence. 'Queer' then , demarcates nor a positivity but a positionality vis-a-vis the normative. [5]
Drugs are queer not only ro the extent that their experiences are defined in opposition
ro 'normal ' sobriety , bur also to the extent that their effects can claim "an identity without
an essence," i.e. a relational position with regard to the self, others, and the environment.


This has been emphasize d in the notion that there is no singular "drug -effecc"- the effect of
dru gs is a co1nplicaced interaction of the individual body, the mental state and disposition of
a person , the physical and social environment, and the larger cultural landscap e that gives a
drug definition its meaning.
The politics of sexuality and drug experiences share a common interest. In both cases, the
goal for some queer thinkers is not co 'liberate' sexuality or drug use from legal or cultural
sanctions by creating chem as 'rights' co be acquired through a reverse discourse of the domi nant culture (as seen for instance in the homonormativity of some gay marriage discourses) ,
but rather to exploit and explore queerness , whether in sexuality or in consciousness, as "a
position from which one can know," an "eccentric positionality" of knowledge for the criticism of cultural discourses. [6]
Queer identity, as an "empty placeholder for an identity that is still in progress and has
as yet to be fully realized" is politically and conceptual ly useful in present-day discourses
on drugs. For instance , to the objection that drugs are bad because they are "artificial," the
framework of queer identity nullifies the relevance of a 'natural essence' to our technologies
of pleasure and our forms of ethics. One objection to psychedelics , for instance , is that such
an experience allows men to escape "the world of selves, of time, or moral judgment, of
utilitarian considerations - precisely the things with which the Christian who in gratitude
seeks to do God's will 1nust be concerned ." Yet a queer undertaking would cake exactly this
line of approach to its ethics to attempt new cultural fortns.[7] In other words, new syncl1etic
inventions can provide a baseline for a new and creative way of life. To use che lace-Foucault 's
terms, drugs can be seen as certain technologies of the self, and these queer technologies may
be used for self-transformation not only to the extent that their experiences are defined in
opposition co 'normal ' sobriety, but also co the extent that their effects can claim "an identity
without an essence," i.e. a relational position with regard co the self, others , and the environ ment. What follows is a description of how drug usage may make chis statement of queer
identity into a phenomenological reality.
David Halperin defines the self as "a new strategic possibility ... because it is che point of
entry of the personal into history," as well as "che place where the personal encounters its own
history- both past and future. " [8] This encounter of the self is one that drug experiences
may open. One cultural theorist suggests just as much when he states that
LSD serves both experimentally and logically .. . co reveal how becoming a subject in relation to a discursively ordered cultural totality is always a matter of 'co-ordination ' between
the two ... co use the drug's effect as a technological aid co becoming -oneself is co acknowl edge its power co distort che horizontal surface of sense to the point of making it crack or
tear ... it is therefore reasonable co suggest that drugs could serve che undertaking of making
the subject -life of 'oneself' a work of art (Boothroyd 2006: 174-178).


The queering of consciousness implies that within every 'oneself ' lies a 1nulciplicity and
diversity of thinking, perceiving , feeling, behaving, and augmenting the human being . le
implies char through certain technological aids, one 1nay transform oneself, fracturing the self
co open up a space of freedom understood as a space of possible transformation. Indeed , in
one articulation , a queer praxis "ultimately dispenses with 'sexuality' and destabilizes the very
constitution of identity icself."[9] When the queer theorise Leo Bersani thinks of "jouissance
as a mode of ascesis," he suggests a movement in the sexual experience between a "hyperbolic
sense of the self and a loss of consciousness of self," a movement that reminds us of various
drug effects from stimulants co psychedelics co disassociatives. The self hyperbolically swells
nor only in the excitements of sexual thrusting, bur also in the experiences of one's whole
being becoming enhanced and extended into reaches of drug -induced ecstasies.
Ultimately wl1ar grounds queer chinking is its ability co empty the notion of a self or
identity of its positive reference and allow for eccentric positions by which one may know
oneself beyond terms of normal/abnormal . The project of 'queering consciousness' is one
attempt co 'keep queer policies queer ' by resisting the notion that queerness itself muse have
a reference in sexuality. This is bur one starting point co chink the overlapping and slippages
between sexuality and drug usage.[10]

[l J David Lenson, On Drugs , chapter l , 3-4
[2J Hint: it has less to do with che1nical differences than a construction of a scapegoat , a common n1ocif in
drug histories. See Enlffia Bracy's "Crack vs. Cocaine: Here 's the Real Difference ," attn, 20 l 5. http://WW\v.
[3] LSD was first thought by n1edical researchers to be a 'psychomi1necic ', that is, a drug that mimics the
symptoms of psychosis. However, even afrer those researchers disregarded chat theory , the idea that psychedelics make one "crazy" remains popular in War on Drug discourse. For substantial work on the spirituality
of the psychedelic 60 's, see Grinspoon, L. and J.B. Bakalar, "Psychede lic Drugs Reconsidered, " Basic Books,
Inc., New York: 1979. Grinspoon has additionally written substantial histories of marijuana, cocaine, and
[4J Foucault, M. "Sex, Power, and the Policies of Identity, " in Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth. The Ne,v
Press, 1994, pp. 165
[SJ Halperin, David. Saint Foucaulc: Toward a Ga y Hagiograph y, Oxford University Press, 1997: 62
[6J Halperin, 60-61
[7J Hoffer, A. "A program for the treaanent of alcoholism: LSD , malvaria and nicotinic acid. " 1967 , 361
[8J Halperin 106
[9J Halperin, 96-97
[l OJ 1l 1is section is based on academic work I did on queer theory and Foucault. It was later on that I
discovered chat there is published material that follows a very similar thread and justification. See Devenot,
Nese (2013 ) A Declaration of Psychedelic Studies , in Breaking Con vention: Essays on Psychedelic
Consciousness, eds. Can1eron Adams, David Luke, Anna Waldstein , Ben Sessa andDavid King, Strange
Attractor Press, pp. l 85- 96.


Works Cited I Further reading

Aaronson , B. and Humphr y Osmond . Psychedelics: The Uses and Implications of Hallucinogenic Drugs. Anchor Books, 1967
Bersani , Leo. "Is the Rectum a Grave?" October , Vol. 43, AIDS: Cultural Analysis/Cul tural Activism, 1997: 218-222
Boothroyd , D . Culture on drug s: narco-cultural studies of high 1nodernity. Manchester
University Press, 2006
Davies, John Booth. The Myth of Addiction. Harwood Academic Publishers , 1992
De Rios, Marlene D. Hallucinogens: Cross Cultural Perspectives. University of New
Mexico Press, 1984
Devenot, Nese (2013) A Declaration of Psychedelic Studies , in Breaking Convention:
Essays on Psychedelic Consciousness, eds. Cameron Adams, David Luke, Anna Waldsrein, Ben Sessa andDavid King, Strange Attractor Press, pp. 185- 96.
Dyck, E. Psychedelic Psychiatry. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008
Foucault, M. "Sex, Power , and the Politics of Identity ," in Ethics: Subjectivity and
Truth. The New Press, 1994, pp . 165
Foucault , M . "Technologies of the Self," in Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth. The New
Press, 1994
Goode , Erich, "A Sociological Perspective on Drugs and Drug Use" . Drugs in Atnerican
Society. Chapter 1. 1972 Afred A. Knopf, Inc.
Grinspoon, L. and J.B. Bakalar . Psychedelic Drugs Reconsidered. Basic Books , Inc. ,
New York: 1979
Guzman , G. 2008. Hallucinogenic mushrooms in Mexico: An overview. Economic
Botany 62 (3): 404- 12.
Halperin , David. Saint Foucault: Toward a Gay Hagiography, Oxford University Press,


Hoffer , A. "A program for the treatment of alcoholism: LSD , malvaria and nicotinic
acid. " 1967
Holland, J. Ecscasy: The Complete Guide. Park Street Press, 2001
Klein , Richard. "Cigarettes are Sublime". Duke University Press. 1995
Lenson, D. On Drugs. University of Minnesota Press, 1995
McKenna , Terence . Food of the Gods. Bantam , 1993
Moro , L., Simon , K., Bard , I. , & Racz , J. (2011) Voice of the Psychonauts: Coping ,
Life Purpose , and Spirituality in Psychedelic Drug Users. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs,
43(3), pp. 188- 198
Pahnke W & Richards W l1nplications of LSD and Experimental Mysticism . Journal
of Religion & Health, Vol. 5, 1966, pp. 175-208
Race, K. Pleasure Consuming Medicine: The Queer Politics of Drugs , Durham &
London: Duke University Press 2009 , Chapter 1: 7

Randolph , Patrick. "Sexuality Under the Influence: The Queer Pleasures of Illicit Drugs
in Transatlantic Gay and Lesbian Culture ." PhD Dissertation in Eng lish, University of
California Riverside, June 2011: 2

Roberts, Thomas B., ed . Psychoactive Sacramentals: Essays on Entheogens and Religion
(San Francisco: Council on Spiritual Practices , 2001).
Wasson, R.G. Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich ,
Inc , 1968


ableism & disability
claire ducanto & michael weinrib

"Disability'' is a term that is seemingly thrown around without much explanation,
and, when combined with the stigma it carries, it often feels like a euphemism. Disabilities
take on a wide variety off orms and can be a combination of visible or invisible; physical,
cognitive, intellectual, mental, sensory, or developmental in their manifestation. With this
in mind, disability is far more inclusive than simply the "figure in a wheelchair" that is the
International Symbol of Access. It includes anyone who does fit the normative model of
health which presumes able-bodi edness .
But it is clear that this model of health fails to adequately represent the diverse forms
that the human body takes, and those who are defined as "others" in this system face
certain kinds of discrimination. Because they are considered chronically "unhealthy;' incapable, or dangerous, disabled people are often denied autonomy, they are discriminated
against while seeking employment and once in the workplace, their accessibility needs are
neglected, they are disproportionately victims of police violence and mass incarceration,
and they are treated as less valuable or burdens upon society . These ideas, practices, and
social relations are what we call ableism: the kinds of discrimination faced by disabled
Many stigmas are attached to disability, and disabled people are often patronized, pitied, stared at, and feared. But these reactions are misplaced. Disabilities are not personal
"afflictions" or tragedies that can be "fixed;' nor do disabled people want your pity. These
types of attention do not solve the problems of ableism in our society or achieve th e intended goals of welcoming those with impairments into society; rather, it infantilizes and
disempowers people who are capable in many other ways and are complex human beings
just like anyone else.
When analyzed through a socioeconomic lens, the meaning of "disability" becomes
even more clear: Disability is a label applied to people who cannot function fully according to the norms of our society, including but not limited to a lowered ability to produce
or perform to the degree demanded by our capitalist economy. When people are treated as
economic assets to be calculated and valuated, disabled people become viewed as nothing
more than liabilities or unsound investments. Whatever its form, disability prevents us
from being fully welcomed, appreciated, and accommodated in our capitalist society .
This analysis not only gives us a broad understanding of disability, but it also points
to some of the reasoning behind why ableism is so endemic in America and also on
UChicago's campus . If a disabled person costs more to meet their accommodations, then
the University administration sees them as a bad investment. Our university chooses
not to make all of its buildings ADA compliant or to invest in a fully functional Student
Disability Services (SDS) because these might be not be as profitable as investing millions
in hedge funds and expensive new buildings: operating on the logic that this money is
better spent elsewhere . To give an example of the University's economic valuation of its
students : The University has hired twenty-one (21) staff members for Career Advance-


ment's UChicago Careers in (UCI) program, yet it employs only three (3) staff members
for all of Student Disability Services. Think about the ways this reflects which populations
the university prioritizes investing in.
Requesting accommodations for a disability at the University of Chicago is often not
a simple or efficient process. With an undergraduate and graduate student population
of over 13,000, a staff of exactly three people in SDS cannot adequately meet their needs.
While College Admissions boasts about UChicago's 6:1 student-to -faculty ratio, the University has a measly 4300:1 student-to -SOS staff ratio.
Most of the information the University releases about SDS is on their website, disabilities. uchicago.edu, where the steps for seeking accommodations for specific disabilities
can be found. When applying for accommodations, it is helpful to have doctors on board
with proper documentation prepared to fax over or speak about over the phone. The more
materials you have prepared ahead of time, the less painful the process will be.
The categories on the website include (in the order listed): learning disability, physical disability, psychological disability, food allergy, and injured student accommodations.
They also have sections for both service/assistance animal policies. If you do not fit in one
of those categories, you must contact the Assistant Director of SDS for a review of 'disabil ity eligibility' and reasonable accommodation.
The process of receiving accommodations at the beginning of a school year can take
up to ten weeks total, however provisional accommodations can be provided before your
review is complete. These large wait times are due to a staffing shortage and th e rigorous
process applications are put through. During these first busy weeks, the SDS office becomes flooded with requests and follow up emails, making it difficult for the overworked
employees to keep up. One staff member of SDS claimed over the phone that they often
are in the office from early morning until 10PM or later every day throughout the school
year just replying to emails and returning phone calls. This indicates that UChicago
can and must work on expanding the already stretched thin staff of Student Disability
Services, where at least 1 in 5 of the over 13,000 UChicago students likely has a disability
(statistics found on UChicago census and the Census Bureau).
The lack of timely accommodations for disabled stud ents does not further the University's message of diversity and inclusion. It does not progress academia or the programs
students are a part of, as it directly prevents academics with disabilities from accessing
their education . It frustrates professionals in the SDS office who are unable to help students in an efficient manner, and leaves many without proper access to their education for
weeks. In such a fast-paced environment, we need a staff at SDS to match the tempo of an
ever-fleeting quarter system . The University Administratration claims to be in compliance
with section 504 of the ADA, but the lack of accessibility to accommodations through SDS
and the numerous inaccessible buildings on campus proves they are not in accordance
with the spirit and letter of the ADA.


Freedom of Expression
and the University of Chicago
D aniel Tracht

This piece is intended as an extremely short introduction to the recent discussions of freedom of expression and speech at the Un iversity of Chicago. Ir will cover
the three documents critical to understanding the Univers ity's position , opposing
positions held by some activists, and a short stateme nt on effective tactics for
seeking to change the University community. This is by no means meant to be a
comprehensive history or account of these debates , but rnerely provide a start ing
place for incoming students . Whi le I obviously bring my own biases to this piece, I
will endeavor to represent each position as well as I can.

The Positions of the University
The University's position can be surmised fro1n three documents: Dean Boyer's monograph
Academic Freedom and the Modern University: The Experience of the University of Chica go, the Kalven report, and the Report on the Committee on Freedom of Expression . Both
reports are discussed heavily by Dean Boyer, and I would suggest reading his monograph
for a greater understanding of the history . For the sake of brevity, these sections will consist
mostly of quotation from tl1e key document with a little commentary.
Dean Boyer's Academ ic Freedom and the Modern Univ ersity

Perhaps most crucial to this discussion is what the University believes the matter to be. Boyer
Broadly understood , academic freedom is a principle that requires us to defend
autonomy of thought and expression in our co1nmunity , manifest in the rights of our
students and faculty to speak, write, and reach freely. Ir is the foundation of the Univer sity's mission to discover, improve , and disseminate know ledge. We do this by raising
ideas in a climate of free and rigorous debate , where those ideas will be challenged and
refined or discarded, bur never stifled or intimidated fro1n expression in tl1e first place.
This principle has 1ner regular challenges in our history fro1n forces that have sought to
influence our curriculum and research agendas in the name of security, political interests ,
or financial considerations, to name a few desired ends.
Ir is clear than tl1e University believes the issues of academic freedom and freedom of expression in an academic setting to be of the utmost importance. Furthermore tl1is freedom has


met many challenges over the history of the University and it has maintained its commitment to 1naintaining such freedom. The University believes that chis freedom, which is at the
very heart of the proper functioning of the University, is being attacked once more. As Boyer
The most pressing questions about academic freedom today come from internal
protests over what kind of speech is acceptable and intellectually edifying on campuses.
These protests have drawn intense participation at colleges and universities across the
country, which have seen efforts to suppress speech chat has the potential co alienate or
cause discomfort to individuals and groups . In recent years colleges have seen demands
to l1ave certain texts and lecture copies retnoved from syllabi or tagged with "trigger warn ings" chat announce in advance their disturbing content; protests organized co disinvite
or disrupt speakers whose views are controversial; petitions to fire instructors who are
seen as insufficiently sensitive co certain student perspectives; and calls for registries,
where srudents can post anonymous co1nplaints about "microaggressions " or disagreeable
classroom experiences connected to faculty and staff. 1his is 1nerely an abbreviated list,
but it reflects a wider range of causes intended to suppress free speech in the name of
creating a more politica1ly congenial, and what some would argue to be a more nurruring
academic environment for our students.
Looking to other universities in the county, the University sees numerous instances where
institutions face demands to place some sort of limitation or impediment (no matter how
big or small) on the sort of expression chat is viewed to be vital to the functioning of the
University. These examp les can be fow1d easily by searching through organizations such as
the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education or the popular (often conservative) press.
It is with the media focused on these issues of free expression in the university setting chat the
University realizes tl1at it is primed for che spotlight. Boyer writes:
But [current challenges to academic freedom] have particular importance at the
University of Chicago and call for a response based upon our history and educational
mission. Jonathan R. Cole, che distinguished former provost at Columbia University and
an asruce analyst of trends in higher ed- ucation , has recently argued chat the University
of Chicago functions as a bellwether for these debates because "academic freedom is part
of the DNA " of our institution.
Simply put, the University's reputation, one of its most valuable and persistent assets, is on
the line. Reaffirm- ing academic freedom is what tl1e University is expected to do and sees as
vital for th e University's continued prominence.

The Kalven Report (with additional information/perspective from Natalie Naculich)
If you're involved in organizing on campus, you're bound co hear before too long about
the Kalven Report , usually from an administrator. Why does a document chat was written
decades ago still hold so much weight witl1 the University of Chicago administration?
The Kalven Report on the University's "Role in Social and Political Action" was written by
a committee of seven faculty members in the lace 1960s, in the wake of debates on campus
about the Vietnam War, civil rights , the University's role in the South Side and neighborhood
development , and a variety of other issues chat had sparked protests and sit-ins. The report
aimed co determine the appropriate boundary between the actions of individual members of
the University and the actions of the University as an institution and emphasizes the Uni versity's commitment co freedom of expression . The Kalven Report states chat the University


as an institution muse not take seances on social or political issues in order co maintain an
environtnenc where faculty can cake a variety of seances, some of them controversial. le argues
that there is no way for che University as an institution co reach a collective position without
censuring a minority, and concludes that there is a "heavy presumption against the university
caking collective action or expressing opinions on the political and social issues of che day."
This report was the basis for a more recent report from the University of Chicago Committee
on Freedom of Expression, which was published in 2014.

As Boyer explains:
Kalven argued tl1ac the University's role was "for the long term'' and it had a special
responsibility in being "the ho1ne and sponsor of critics." To fulfill its mission the Uni versity needed co "sustain an extraordinary environment of freedotn of inquiry," and it
had co embrace and defend "the widest diversity of views within its own com1nunity."
In fulfilling this role the University was a community, but a commLmity of a special and
limited sore in that it existed "only for the limit ed, albeit great, purposes of teaching
and research. le is not a club , it is not a trade association , it is not a lobby." Since the
University was a community "only for these li1niced and distinctive purposes," it was not
authorized co "cake collective action on tl1e issues of che day without endangering the
conditions for its existence and effectiveness ." Further, "ic is a community which cannot
resort to majority vote co reach positions on public issues."
However , Kalven did recognize that the University as a corporate entity and would some times need co cake actions , such as purchasing real estate, that are not essential to the University's existence and could appear to take a non - neutral position on political or social issues.
The objective of tl1e report - to create a University which will be an environment for the "discovery, improvement and dissemination of knowledge" and will "provide enduring challenges
co social values, policies, practices, and institutions" - is laudabl e. The Report is misguided ,
however , in that it assumes that the University can be a neutral institution. The idea chat it is
an option for the University co not cake social and political stances is flawed, now even more
so than in 1967. Tue report even acknowledges this, as Kalven recognized that che Univer sity as a corporate entity and would sotnetimes need to take actions , such as purchasing real
estate, chat are not essential to the University's existence and could appear co take a non- neutral position on political or social issues.

As che group Stop Funding Climate Change argues in its report on Fossil Fuel Divestment
at UChicago, "The University's investment in fossil fuel companies is an action with social
and political consequences; it is not a neutral seance or a lack of action . Just as divestment
is an ace undertaken by an institution , so is investment in a company; even actions as basic
as participation in a market econo 1ny are inherently political. " The University also cakes a
multitude of political actions for which it does not invoke the Kalven Report: for example,
installing an Office of Sustainability, banning ROTC on campus , and lobbying in Congress.
Although the Report was meant to spur discussion , it has frequently been used co shut down
the conversation on divestment and other political issues: for exatnple, when students lobbied
for the University co divest frotn South Africa during Apartheid and from Sudan during the
Darfur Genocide. More recently, the administration invoked the Report in response to calls
for fossil fuel divestment. Although 70% of the student body voted for divestment in 2013 ,
Zim1ner responded that "the University and che Board have long taken a position about
divesanent in general - that it's not something that th e particular views of some group of
what's politically important shoul d be taken as the basis for, and that has been the ongoing
view of the Board."


Zim1ner's response demonstrates that the Kalven Report is used more often than not co
prevent discussion and any sore of process of democratic decision making about the social
and political stances that the University necessarily muse cake. Therefore, these decisions fall
into the hands of those who already have power: high level administrators and the board of
trustees . The Kalven Report has been used again and again co upho ld the status quo, under
the guise of neutrality and protection of free speech . Therefore, when we see the University
using the rhetoric of protection of free speech it is important co ask: What is the status quo
that is being upheld? Who has the power? Whose speech is really being protected, and who
is not being given the chance to speak? As expected, there is considerable debate over this
sentiment and its application.

Report on the Committee on Freedom of Expression
In 2014, a the Committee on Freedom of Expression was fonned, chaired by Geoffrey R.
Scone, a professor in the Law School. The purpose of this committee was co articulate "the
University's overarching comJnitmenc co free, robust , and uninhibited debate and delibera tion among all members of the University cotnmunity ." However , the most interesting part
of the report was not what types of expression is protected , but rather but what the Universi ty can prohibit:
The freedotn to debate and discuss the merits of competing ideas does not , of course ,
mean that individuals may say whatever they wish , wherever they wish . The University
may restrict expression that violates the law, that falsely defames a specific individual , chat
constitutes a genuine threat or harassment , chat unjustifiably invades substantial privacy
or confidentiality interests, or that is otherwise directly incompatib le with the function ing of the University. In addition, the University may reasonably regulate the time , place,
and manner of expression co ensure chat it does not disrupt the ordinary activities of the
University. Bue these are narrow exceptions co the general principle of freedom of expression, and it is virally important that these exceptions never be used in a manner that is
inconsistent with the University's commitment co a cotnplecely free and open discussion
of ideas.
The exact meaning of chis paragraph is left open , with substantial leeway for the University
co determine what are "ordinary activities of the University" or what "reasonab le" regulation
actually looks like.

Opposing Positions of Activists
The negative responses to the University's position on academic freedom and the freedom of
expression have been legion . Since Dean Ellison sent his letter co incoming students nearly
a month ago, a great number of essays and letters have been published in newspapers and
magazines and across many websites, such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, The
Atlantic , Jacobin, Vox, Medium , and in many widely shared Facebook poses. Many of the
arguments presented in these pieces fall into a few catnps:


The University has decided co make "freedom of expression" an issue because it is simply
the best thing for the University's coffers. By making such pronouncements, the Univer sity can further its reputation as what potential donors would see as the lase bastion of a
liberal education in the country. These donors will act accordingly , having been scared
by the bogeymen that the University successfully created.


TI1e University is practicing the worse sort of disingenuous debate. Rather than use the


renns "trigger warning" and "safe space" as many activists do, rhe University chooses co
intentionally misunderstand these terms so as co more successfully argue against chem as
infringements on freedom of expression . This is a deliberate mischaracrerizarion of the
opposition's view and a shameful practice for the University.

By saying chat rhe University does not support trigger warnings, rhe University is implicicly impinging on the pedagogical freedom of rhe faculty which, as enshrined in the
Kalven report, should be free from an official position of the University.

There are, of course, many more arguments made both recently and in the past against the
University 's positions and actions .

Tactics for Future Activism
Ir seems pertine n t co discuss what sores of actions future activists (which I imagine is a great
proportion of the readers of chis piece are) might find efficacious in bringing about change in
the University community .

The University will very likely be around long after you are dead and gone . The Univer sity will nor do anything char endangers its 1nission of academic inquiry and research.
The University cares about the people who have the money and power and influence co
ensure char the University can continue chis mission . The University does nor care about
you as an individual voice. Your voice matters only when you can influence the people
with the money and power and influence .


Don't chink char the University does nor know what activists 1nean when they talk
about ''trigger warnings" or "safe spaces". By using the words rhe way they wane, they
force activists co either concede co the University's definition, spend rime and energy
trying co educate rhe University and the people rhe University cares about , or find different terms for the concepts behind rhe1n. Finding new terms for the sa1ne ideas seems
co be the best option .


As freedom of expression is highly valued by the people the University values, you muse
make sure char your actions are nor seen as a threat co freedom of expression . Better yet,
make sure char your actions are actively supporting it. Call our administrators who hide
in the safe spaces of their offices and refuse co meet with activists and members of the
University community . Call our speakers who refuse co cake pare in open inquiry about
the vile bigotry they speak and the oppression they cause.


Don 't stop crying co make the University a better place.


On Being
An Ally
Hannah Gitlin

I'm sure everything I say here has been said before and has been said better. But if
you're white, straight, cisgender, non-disabled, and especially if you find yourself rolling
your eyes at social justice a lot of the time, consider taking a couple minutes to read this
and interrogating the way you think abo ut your role in American ideology, and what you
can do about that role. To put it succinctly, take a few minutes to think about allyship, and
the ways that it isn't a bullshit concept .
Education-real education, education that means so1nething-necessarily means
being willing to tear down your preexisting ideas and to build them up stronger. Between
the time I walked through Hull Gate for the first time and the time I received my diploma, I built up and tore down more ideas than I could have ever i1nagined as a sheltered
freshman from the suburbs.
There's nothing wrong with being a sheltered freshman from the suburbs. I get it. I've
been there.
But if you're a white cisgender heterosexual Christian and you think you're being
persecuted for your race, gender, sexuality, or religion in today's America, then you're part
of the problem.
If you don't think there 's a problem with racist policing in America, if you still think
it's just some bad apples, then you're part of the problem. (For some reason, in America, a
thousand apples could go bad, and not a lot of people would think to see if it's a problem with the tree, or with the soil the tree was planted in. And, come on, that's just bad
If you accuse the typical ~millennial~ of being too "sensitive" and "PC," and yet you
practically cry your eyeballs straight out of your face every time someone suggests you
might be racist, then you're part of the prob lem .
If you really think it's acceptable that police officers practically NEVER get convicted
for murder or even manslaughter, if you think that every single one of them was "probably
just doing their job, " then maybe there's so1nething wrong with the job they're doing, and
you're definitely part of the problem.
If you use phrases like "super sketchy" or "a bad area'' to describe the neighborhoods
surrounding UChicago's campus, as if the problems those communities face comes from
the soil they live on rather than the essential resources they 've been denied for so long,
then you're part of the problem.
If you don't consume media made by women, POC, queer people, tran s people, if
you know they're saying stuff but you don't bother to listen to it, if you're "just not really
into" the kind of art that depicts people you're not used to seeing, then you're part of the
If you believe, even secretly, that more kids from your fancy boarding school or hy-


per-funded magnate school "deserved" to get into to UChicago, and that their places were
"taken" by "less deserving candidates", then you're part of the problem .
If it's just "so hard to remember people's preferred pronouns" then you're part of the
prob lem .
If you resort to what they told you in third grade about "sexual dimorphism" to make a
biological-essentialist argument about why you don't respect nonbinary people, if you can't
think a little bit harder about "science" to realize that even science can be made up, then
you're part of the problem.
If you wouldn't date a trans person, then you're part of the problem.
And even if you do NONE of these things, there are probably ways that you are, and
have been throughout your life, part of the problem . I know I am, and have been, part of
the problem .
I don't know the particulars of your life, but I know the particulars of my own, and I
can say one thing for certain--it's hard to look at yourself, to REALLY look . To put your
values under a microscope. To figure out where they came from, how they got there . H ow
they 're always running in the background of your thoughts, how they imperceptibly alter
your worldview .
It's equally difficult to look at your community through a critical lens. That 's true of
your hometown, and it'll be equally true in Hyde Park . It's hard to look a little closer at
the me1nories in the places you hold the dearest and to begin to see the self-replicating
structures of oppression coming into focus through the haze of childhood ignorance, or
through the glossy veneer of college admissions pamphlets . It's easy to tell outlandish stories about your racist uncle, or to roll your eyes at something ignorant the "that kid" said
in SOSC. I t's hard to confront the ways that your racism could be like theirs, but probab ly
quieter and more socially acceptable.
It's hard to change the way that you think . And it's hard to suggest that someone
should . It feels offensive, feels wrong, to suggest that the problem is that someone isn't
thinking right . That's rude .
But the macro-level Problem of the capitalist heteropatr iarchy requires all of us to
play our part in replicating and furthering the problem, and that's how we end up with
the fucked-up ways we think. The problem is way bigger than you . It's a monster that,
in order to be fed, requires us all to be ignorant to the ways that we're feeding it. I t's no
accident that you're not aware of all the ways that you're part of the problem-you 're not
supposed to be. Awareness is a threat .
You can take responsibility for your thoughts, though . You can strive to realize how
you've benefitted from the very same systems that have made life a living hell for countless people, peop le who deserved, on a fundamental level, the same opportunities that you
did. Taking responsibility for your complicity, even if it 's accidental, is important . That's
allyship .
And, yes, it's hard. It's very hard . It requires hard work on your part, requires you to
think uncomfortable thoughts, and sometimes, requires you to feel like a bad person . I'm
not saying that's easy. But you know what else I imagine is hard? Knowing that racist
policing is as much of a civic reality, as much of a day-to-day risk, as potholes and long
lines at the DMV . Fearing for your life because people feel weird when you wear a dress .
Knowing that the deck is stacked against you. Having to constantly argue for your right
to exist. That's hard.


Let's take the ways we think about racist policing as an example . Racist policing is
a fact of life, but it shouldn't be. If you, a white person, think police brutality is just "the
way it is", it's easier to be complicit in it, because if it's just the way it is, it's not your fault,
right? By way of comparison, 55 people were killed by the police in England in 24 years.
That might even seem like kind of a lot, but here in America, the police have killed over
800 people so far in 2016. That's around half the number of people that constitutes your
graduating class.
Did they all deserve it? Were their deaths truly that unremarkable--just a necessary
byproduct of American Democracy? Are we that callous? Or should we, as white people,
begin to change the way we think about police violence?
Because whose fault is all this? Sure, it 's not YOUR fault, but it's the fault of a nation
full of people who think just like you. It's not YOU R fault, but in the way you think and
act, you are responsible for it . It's not your fault, but it's your problem . But instead of
thinking it's "our problem,"we tend to believe instead that it's really NOT a problem . So
maybe we should change what we believe.
It makes a lot of people uneasy to consider being anything but proud of their An1ericanness, but make no mistake--oppression is a part of your Americanness . But it shouldn't
You can only chase hyperbolic fictions about America to protect the fragile window
through which you view the world for so long . Eventually, the unpleasant, inconvenient
realities of that world begin to intrude, like pebbles on a windowpane, each bouncing off
until finally the whole thing gives in and shatters . The things you learn and the people
you 1neet at UChicago have the power to shatter your window . UChicago has the power
to build you a much better, much clearer window-if you let it. That said, it's also entirely
possible to cherrypick the lessons that stick with you, to apply layers and layers of duct
tape to the window until you're incapable of figuring out what "clear" even means. UChicago can teach you everything, or nothing, depending on how wrong you're willing to be .
This is not a series of isolated incidents.
So start figuring out how you're part of the problem . Start figuring out how you can
be part of the solution .
How? Let's start with the classroom . You know, where Rigorous Intellectual D ebate
happens. There are a number of fairly easy ways to be cognizant of institutionalized oppression in the classroom-this is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is my hypothesis
that everyone's HUM and SOSC classes would be way better if everyone followed these
basic guidelines. Institutionalized oppression isn't just about police brutality-police brutality is one of its uglier symptoms, but racial microaggressions, homophobia, transphobia,
ableism, and classism are all a part of the same "thing" . With that in mind ...


Here's what Rigorous Intellectual Discussion DOES NOT MEAN:

References to the "sketchiness" of the areas surrounding Hyde Park

Any arg ument that uses the phrase "b lack on b lack crime"

Arguments predicated on a "boots traps " narrative that puts oppressed
people at fau lt for their own misfortune by not "real ly wanting to
change things for themselves"

Conflating "pol itical correctness" with "basic respect for other people's

" Not all men/white peop le/c is peop le"

Assuming classmates' pronouns

IGNOR ING classmates' prono uns

Insist ing that gender is a "biological fact ", as if your transgender classmates didn't also get a 5 on the AP Biology test (th is is called biological
essent ialism, and it is bad)

Insist ing that gender neutral pronouns are "grammatical ly wrong", as if
your nonb inary classmates don't also have a basic understanding of the
syntax of the English language (this is called linguistic prescriptivism,
and it is bad)

Belittling your classmates' inte lligence if they're having trouble understanding something that you think is basic

Discounting peop le's arguments by cal ling them "crazy" or "idiots" rather than by speaking to the substance of what they're saying

Insisting that you know more about someone's lived experience than
they do, because yo u read a really great thinkpiece about it once

Here's what Rigorous Intellectual Discussion DOES mean:


Openness to being wrong .

Listening .

That's it.

You're all intel ligent, thoughtfu l human be ings w ith the potential to use your
act ive imaginations to change the wor ld.

So do it.



who are all these people?
who am J?
why did this happen?
what do I do?
what can I do?


''A climate survey is a method for assessing the beliefs, behaviors,attitudes and
experiences of a group of people in a particular organizationor environment. These
surveysare a means of evaluatingthe extent to which individualscan participate
freelyand fully as a member of the organizationor environmentwhile feelingsafe,
respected and valued. Climate surveys can help universitiesidentify populations
that feel marginalized or unsupported by the institution, and inform efforts around
training, awarenessand deployment of resources to ensure that all community
members can participate freelyand fully in the activities of the institution."
-University of Chicago
During the fall of 2014, several groups of faculty and students raised concerns
about issues of diversity, inclusion, bias, and prejudice on campus and called for
administrative action to address these climate issues. After much student and
activist (campaigning), negotiation, and university- wide discussion, the President
and Provost agreed to undertake two campus climate surveys.
Phase 1, conducted in 2015, focused on issues of sexual misconduct and
had a University-wide response rate of 31.7%. The results showed that sexual
misconduct, harassment, sexism, and homophobia are concerningly prevalenton
campus and most students feel unequipped by the Universityto address these
issues and seek recourse. Below are some of the findings, from the NORG report
on the survey results.


y-or Chk::agoSpting 2015 Clii'nale Survey Roe,cn

table I .

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agree), by gender in the

• GM







Tabla 18.

Respondents experiencing at least one unwanted sexual experience , by gender in
the University system of record and student level




572 (52.0%)

191 (20.5%)

172 {18.2%)

79 {8 .1%)

Had any unwanted sexual experience



Responde nt perceptions about fellow students ' response to repo rts of sexual
assau lt, by gender in the University system of record and student leve l

Tabla 30.


Undergra duate


Gradu ate

If you were to report

Nearly all

198 (18.0%)

278 (29 .9%)

240 (25.3%)

333 {34.0%)

an Incident of sexual
harassmen t or assault,
how many of your
fellow students do you
feel would support


458 (41.6 %)

377 (40 .5%)

352 (37.2%)

395 {40 .4%)


349 (31.7%)

204 (21.9%)

250 (26.4 %)

178 (18.2%)

81 (7.4%)

48 (5.2%)

84 (8.9%)

42 (4 .3%)


10 (1 .1%)


10 (1.0%)

On/ya few

Flg!Jl9 2T Responden t perceptions about University response to reports of sexual assault (percentage stating that each outcome
would be "very likely" or "likely•). by gender i n the University system of record and student level
■ UG

f, t•






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i t








■ C:P






t ~ f "




ii !






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bia,-cbl to du:~


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Table 11.

Respondent experiences of sexual misconduct (attempted and successful) , by
gender in the University system of record and student level




Someone kissed me without my consent

298 (27 .1%)

107 (11 .5%)

77 (8.1%)

36 (3.7%)

Someone kissed me without my consent

226 (20.5%)

83 (8.9%}

60 (6.3%}

33 (3.4%)


39 (4.0%)


Someone touched, fondled, or rubbed up
against the private areas of my body
(breast/chest, crotch or butt) without my
consent (attempted)

383 (34.8%)

122 (13.1%)

78 (8.2%)






Someone touched, fondled, or rubbed up
against the private areas of my body
(breast/chest, crotch or butt) without my
consent (successful)

391 (35.5%}

Someone removed some of my clothes
without my consent (attempted)

123 (11.2%)

37 (4.0%)

19 (2.0%)


Someone removed some of my clothes
without my consent (successful)

104 (9.5%)

23 (2.5%)

18 (1.9%)



Someone put a penis or Inserted fingers or
objects Into my vagina or anus without my
consent (attempted)

118 (10 .7%)

11 (1.2%)

16 (1.7%)



Someone put a penis or Inserted fingers or
objects Into my vagina or anus without my
consent (successful)

108 (9.8%}

10 (1.1%)

17 (1.8%)



Someone performed oral sex on me or made
me give them oral sex without my consent
Someone performed oral sex on me or made
me give them oral sex without my consent
Someone put my penis or fingers In their
vagina or anus, or made me put objects In
their vagina or anus without my consent
Someone put my penis or fingers in their
vagina or anus, or made me put objects In
their vagina or anus without my consent

119 (12.8%)

79 (8.3%}

39 (4.0%)




62 (5.6%)

15 (1.6%)

10 (1.1%)





53 (4.8%)

19 (2.0%)






-::;20 (1.8%)

19 (2.0%)






18 (1.9%)

21 (1.9%)









Figure 26. Respondent perceptions of University sexual misconduct report ing procedures
(percentage agreeing or strong ly agreeing with each statement) , by gender in the Univers ity
system of record and student leve l










































l undcn;tand the University's
If I needed ro seek
If I nec:dc:dto report a sexual
If I needed to report
processes for addressing
confidential belp for myself assault to the University, 1
unlawful discrimination or
report.,; of unlawful
or a friend following
\\--Ouldknow wbo co contact harassment tO the University,
di.~crunination and sexual
unwanted sexual contact or
J would know who tO con.tact
haras.srnem,1 v.uuld know
bow to get tbat belp


During your time at the University of Chicago, you or someone you know may experience
frustrating, unsettling, and upsetting incidents and times when University administrators exhibit
disregard for student concerns, suppress student protest, or otl1erwise fail to live up to reasonable
standards of behavior. Many of mese experiences are extremely personal and individualized , omers are highly diffuse and ongoing. However , if you look back tl1rough Maroon archives or simply
Google "UChicago racist parry," you'll find that this list is also cyclical in nature. The "incidents "
described in 2015 are eerily sinlilar to me "incidents" of 2012, 2011, 2005, and you may wonder
if there 's hope that anything can change. We hope to contextualize the world into which you are
about to enter, provide you with tl1e history and memory to grapple witl1 any such incidents you
encounter here, and supply you with information and resources for possible responses.

Through2013: reprintedfrom DisO 2013
Through2016: compiled by Olivia Stovicek & Naureen Kheraj

In February 2010, UCPD officers arrested
Maurice Dawson , a black undergraduate,
on the A-level of me Regenstein Library for
criminal trespass on the requests of a library
employee, who called the UCPD with a
noise complaint. A UCPD officer requested
mac Dawson leave the building and show his
student ID. When Dawson questioned me
request , he was put in a chokehold and sub sequently arrested. This incident was upsetting
and frustrating for a number of reasons- not
only was noise allowed on th e A level, me
A-level is often very noisy, so arresting and
placing a university student in a chokeho ld for
laughing loudly seemed an extreme response .
Most irnporrantl y, many students believed that
Dawson 's race played a key factor in chis incident , from the early suspicion of the library
employee to the overreaction by the UCPD ,
starting a campus-wide discussion on race and
the UCPD's racial profiling . Even now , the
UCPD disproportionately asks Latino and African-American students for tl1eir IDs.

(SPRING 2012)
During May 2012 , two fraternities caine un der fire for racist incidents . The first one occurred on May 8th, when first-year students
mowed the lawn at Alpha Delr wearing oversized so1nbreros and blasting Latin music in
a ramer blatant display of srereorypical and
racist caricature . Despite a meetir1g with the
Bias Response Team and others after the incident was reported to Dean Art, the fraternity
did not apologize . However , the national Alpha Ddr leadership was notified and me local Alpha Deir chapter leaders were required
to attend a meeting wim members of me Bias
Response Team, ORCSA, and me assistant
vice-president for student life.
On May 21st , DU presented a parrywim
me meme , "C onquistadores and Aztec Hoes ",
wim me tagline, bring "an unlimited need to
conquer , spread disease, and enslave natives ."
Students involved in organizations such as
MEChA and OLAS emailed DU within 24
hours wim their complaints . By that night ,


DU issued an apology over email co the stu dents and publicly over facebook. When confronted with the face char many felt the apol ogy was insincere , DU committed co an open
forum and a meeting with members OMSA'.s
student advisory board and Latin RSOs.
Over the summer, OLAS worked with
College Programming in order co eliminate
a racially-tinged question about "cwo African-American men walking cowards you"
during Orientation Week . They mer with Ni cole Woods, the Provost, and proposed new
scenarios, which were enacted in the Chicago
Life Meetings from 2012-2013 , one of which
couched in che incident with DU. They also
reviewed the demographic survey, pushing for
a broader , more inclusive survey.

Ac the end of the Fall Quarter , DU hung a
Confederate flag out their window, facing the
OMSA offices, leading co OBS contacting the
Bias Response Team and various 1nembers of
the schoo l administrations. Meetings between
DU leadership and the school administration
occurred , as well as a re-evaluation of the effectiveness of SORT, a required RSO leadership
training, in order to include cultural training.
OBS also pushed for study abroad programs
south of the equator

In Spring Quarter , the Politically Incorrect
Maroon Confessions page launched , following
the lead of more benign anonymous submis sion pages like UChicago Crushes. Within a
day of its launch , outcry emerged from a portion of the student community regarding the
anonymous submissions, which ranged from
racist to sexist co downright threatening.
As a result, students formed the coalition
CCC (Concerned with Campus Climate),
and worked with the ORCSA co generate
a statement of values, as well as producing a
document of recommended Administrative
reforms, laid our in the document below. The
Blackness at UChicago Tumble was also created in response, in order to provide a forum

co voice the experiences of black students at
UChicago , as well as the UChicago Class
Confessions page, which aimed co open up a
dialogue in the University about social class.

In February 2013, Fearless Leading by the
Youth (FLY) and Students for Health Equity
(SHE) 1narched co President Zimmer's home
co protest the University's refusal co establish
a level one adult trauma center, timing the
protest co respond co the opening of a new
$700 million hospital facility. Prior to the protest, organizers had met with University and
UCPD officials multiple times co communicate their intentions and work co avoid breaching laws and restrictions on protest after the
arrests the previous month. However, several
days after the protest, a Maroon investigation
obtained evidence chat a UCPD detective had
infiltrated the protest without identifying herself as an officer and participated actively.
Students were outraged char the UCPD
had chosen co, as the Maroon Editorial Board
put it, "spy on a peaceful demonstration by
students and community members ," a sign of
the University police force acting inappropriately in a way that could suppress dissent..
After the Maroon publicized the incident
and pressed che University for information ,
Chief of Police Marlon Lynch said he was
nor aware of the undercover operation and
chat the UCPD plan for the protest had not
involved an officer posing as a protester. He
also acknowledged chat officers had been assigned co videotape che protest in plainclothes ,
which demonstrators were not aware of. President Zimmer and the provost at the time sent
our a statement condemning che incident as
"totally antichecical co our values" and saying
chat "such activity, which is deeply problematic for discourse and 1nucual respect on campus ,
cannot be tolerated." The then-provost assembled an Ad Hoc Committee on Dissent and
Protest co reevaluate campus protest policies.
An external review, and an internal UCPD
investigation , were both begun , and cwo e1nployees placed on administrative leave; SHE
released a statement expressing concern chat


"a few officers will be scapegoated" and that the
administration would not take responsibility for
creating an environment with implicit approval
for such tactics.
The external review, completed almost three
months later, found that only the commanding
officer who ordered the detective to work under cover had violated University policy, and it did
not find evidence that undercover police were
used in other protests. That officer was fired.
In 20 15 he sued the U niversi cy, alleging that
he was improperly fired and defamed, and chat
the UCPD had made him a scapegoat when the
undercover officer was exposed. He said chat the
plan had actually been created by UCPD Deputy
Chief Kevin Booker, that he had argued against
using plainclothes detectives but been overridden
by Booker, and that he believed the entirety of
the UCPD and Zimmer should have been aware
of the plan .

(SPRING 2013)
During Memorial Day Weekend 2013, an African-American postal carrier had an order to deliver 79 boxes to the Phi Delta Theta fraternity
house. After making several trips between his
truck and the house co deliver the packages, one
fraternity brother cold the postal carrier that the
packages were a practical joke, and another told
him to read the name of the intended recipient
("Reggin Toggaf'') backwards. The fraternity
maintained that the prank was not on the postal
carrier but rather on the fraternity itself and that
they were innocent in the prank .

The University of Chicago came under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education 's
Office of Civil Rights for a possible breach of
Title IX, an important section of an education
law dealing with sex-based discritnination, after
a student, Olivia Ortiz , filed a complaint against
the school alleging mishandling of her report
of sexual assault. She said that she had gone to
Dean of Srudents Susan Arc about being sexually
assaulted, and Arc suggested an "informal media-

tion ," which would bring the accuser and accused
into the same room co talk about the incident.
Noc only would this put Ortiz in a siruation with
her accused attacker, informal mediation in mat ters involving sexual assault is prohibited by Title
IX (not co mention University policy). After the
mediation , Art told that her case was not consid ered sexual assault and characterized the assault as
a "di spuce between sru dents ."
Ortiz had spoken out about Art's handling
of her case in a Maroon article in 2012 , but Arc
merely emailed her to say chat her "recollection
of our conversation was quite different." After
seeking legal counsel , she decided to file a Title
IX complaint in 2013 . Noc only was the case was
accepted by the U .S. Department of Education's
Office of Civil Rights (OCR), but after an initial
investigation, OCR decided co broaden its investigation to the entire campus and all University
policies and practices related to sexual miscon duct.
Since then , OCR has added investigations
into two new complaints , including allegations
that the University did not educate srudencs
appropriately about sexual violence and related
policies and resources. TI1e first investigation is
still ongoing . Susan Art retired right as the OCR
investigation into Ortiz's claims started co gatl1er
sceain; she insisted the decision was unrelated.
Ortiz and two other students started a support
and advocacy group for survivors of all genders ,
Phoenix Survivors Alliance. In lace In summer
2014 and again in 2015 and 2016 , the Univer sity announced significant revisions co its sexual
misconduct policies, including centralizing the
complaint process and updating the policy on
sexual misconduct co include a detailed explana tion of consent and other changes. In early 2016,
the school launched the UMatter website , which
for the first time pulls together in one place information on policies and resources for individ uals who have been sexually assaulted. Ac the
beginning of me 2016 -201 7 academic year, the
University also began co implement mandatory
training on sexual violence, consent , and Titl e
IX, which srudent activists had been calling for
for years, announcing tl1e new program a week
after me announcement of additional OCR in. .


(SPRING 2014)
Dan Savage, a prominent gay rights activist and
writer, was invited co speak at the Institute of
Politics during an off-the-record fellows seminar . While discussing his perso nal history as a
gay man , Savage used the t-word slur in an anecdote about reclaiming language. The IOP fellow
hosting , Ana Marie Cox, adde d that she "used
to mak e jokes about t---ies". A student asked the
speakers to use ''r-wor d slur" instead of the actual
word . Savage then named other slurs, asking the
student if those were suita ble to use instead. The
stu dent eventually left the rootn in rears, after
Cox starre d talking about gender identification.
Afterward, a 1nember of the IOP Student Executive Board , a member of the IOP staff, and
the Dean on Cal l mer with the student. Lacer,
concerned stu dents met with IOP staff after the
event; those students alleged char the IOP characterized the incident as harassment and "dehumanizing, " which the IOP denied. However ,
after the IOP released a statement after the incident , refusing co censor offensive speech our of a
desire co stay true co the organization's mission,
students from QUIP (Queers Unite d in Power)
launche d a petition de1nandin g that the IOP formally apologize and articulate "a co1nmirmenr co
preventing the use of slurs and hare speech in the
futur e." Although pretty much everyone seemed
co agree that Savage had at a minimum acted
poorly, the petition itself became controversial,
with pushback from students involved with the
IOP and allegations that the petition state1nent
and its allegations were misleading and frequent ly changed. No apology came from the IO P.

A Tum blr account called the "H yde Park Lise"
was shared around campus and on Overheard
and quickly gaine d national media attentio n.
The Hyde Park List named six students as "people known to commit varying levels of gender-based violence," labeling each as a "code red"
or "code orange" offender to indicate the degree
of war nin g about the person , with red indicating
the "most severe offenders." Print versions of the
list were also distributed aroun d campus at the
start of that year's orientation week. The list was

itself controversial, bur the scared intention was
co help fill the gaping hole in protecting stude nt s
left by UC hicago's lackluster (and often illegal)
response co sexual assault. The university did nor
comment on the list.
Within a week of the list's being posted on
Overheard, a person or group calling itself the
UChicago Electronic Army hacked the website
of the Uoft: fashion magazine MODA and altered the site co satirize th e Hyde Park List and
accuse a specific stu dent, a sexual assault survivor,
of creating the list. In addition to harassing a particular individual (the person's personal information was shared on the site), the hacked site ridiculed feminises, "SJWs" (social justice warriors)
and "privilege checkers" and threatened to "rape
harder " if they and the incoming first-year class
didn 't remember "who's boss around here."
The university said it had contacted the oper ators of websites on which "anon ymous, unsupported allegations have been tn ade against University students" and asked them to remove the
content.The same day as the website hack , almost
100 stu dents marched in solidarity with survivors
of sexual violence and denouncing the threats ,
then held a speak -out at Hull Gate about sexual
violence . The following day, President Zimmer
sent an email announcing the appointment of
a faculty committee co draft a statement about
the university's commitment to free expression; it
was unclear whether the timing was related.

Facebook pictures appeared on Overheard of rwo
students dressed up for Hallowe en. One stu dent,
of Asian descent , was dressed up as a cholo , wearing a red bandana, dark sunglasses, a plaid flannel
shirt with only the top button butt oned, and sagging pants. Another stu dent, white and dressed
as a cop , pretended co beat him. In response ,
stud ent Vincente Perez and ochers delivered a
written statement co the universiry demanding
"change in the way that diversity is understood
at this institution. " After an unsatisfactory response from the admini stration, they circula ted
an online petition de1nanding required courses
on race and ethnicity; more effort co hire and retain diverse faculty; disciplinary protocols to deal


with students who engage in discriminatory
actions; and a survey of the campus climate to
inform these efforts . Organizers of the petition
also launched the hash tag #liabilityofthemin d,
encouraging students to share instances of
discrimination and intolerance that they had
experienced on campus.
1l1e move1nent took a turn when in No vember, a status was posted on a first-year's
Facebook account that purported to be a hack
by the UChicago Electronic Army. It criticized
efforts to address racial intolerance on campus,
using a racial slur; promised that Perez was
"next"; and threatened , "111is is the beginning
of our rape season."
President Zimmer sent an email condem11ing the post as hate speech, stating that
the University was pursuing an investigation
with federal law enforcement and would criminally prosecute the person bd1ind it. 111is response was critiqued as reactionary, focusing
on a specific incident rather than overall issues
with campus culture. Protesters marched into
Harper Reading Room and read comments
from the ongoing petition, discussing problems with UCPD, resources for students who
are children of immigrants, and the experience
of minority students . 41 faculty members
signed a petition addressed to President Zimmer and then-provost Eric Isaacs praising the
protesters and demanding the provost 1neet
with faculty from the Center for the Study of
Race, Politics, and Culture to "discuss a longterm plan around these issues." A few days
after Zimmer 's letter, a letter from by John
Boyer, dean of students in the College , and
Karen Warren Coleman, vice president for
Campus Life and Student Services, was posted referring to the hacking as "part of a larger
pattern'' and saying the University would work
with Perez and Jaime Sanchez '15 and other
students to "i1nprove the campus climate." In
2015 , the school launched a campus Cli1nate
Survey Project with two parts , a survey about
sexual misconduct and assault and a survey
about diversity, inclusion , and the experiences
of underrepresented groups; the results of the
second have not yet been released.
Investigation by the University and federal
authorities revealed that the account was not

hacked , and the student whose account it was
claimed responsibility, saying, "There is no excuse for hate, which includes what I did." Tue
student eventually received a three -quarter
suspension. Many students were upset about
the student's use of threatening langu age and
the perception that the hoax had reduced the
credibility of student activism and protests
around issues of race. Activists pointed out
that the incident highlighted how the Uni versity's problems were so deep that people
thought they had to go to extremes to draw
attention to it; both activists and University
spokespeople highlighted that the revelation
shouldn't detract from discussion about cain.
pus issues.

Nine protesters barricaded themselves inside
the main administration building , Levi Hall:
after asking staff to move to parts of the building that re1nained accessible, they locked the
windows and locked the main double doors
with a bike lock. They said they would not
leave w1til President Zimmer agreed to meet
with them to discuss opening ai1 adult trawna
center or 1net one of their four other related
demands. Afrer 2 hours, UCPD ai1d firefighters forced their way in, cutting through drywall with axes, breaking windows with crowbars, and cutting the bike lock with a power
saw. All nine protesters (mostly neighborhood
community members, with one student) were
arrested and held for over 45 hours , more than
three times the Chicago average.
President Zimmer and Provost Isaacs sent
a University-wide email alleging that the protesters had locked employees into their offices,
prevented people with disabilities from entering or exiting the building, and oclierwise
endai1gered occupai1ts. UChicago decided to
press charges for trespassing, resisting arrest,
and mob action, and the non-student arrestees were banned from campus under threat
of arrest for trespassing. Students for Healcli
Equity released their own state1nent, discussing why civil disobedience is a necessary tactic,
criticizing the University's aggressive response


co the sic-in , and pointing out facrual inaccuracies and omissions in the Zimmer-Isaacs
emai l. The Trauma Care Coalition continued
its weekend of actions. Today, after many more
efforts, UChicago is scheduled co open a Levd
I adult trauma center in 2018.
See the SHE/ Trauma Center reflections section for more detail on trauma center activism
and progress.

More than 12 graduating srude ncs held a sic-in
in the admission building in caps and gowns
co protest proposed budget cues, particularly
their effect on low-wage workers and student
employment and the lack of transparency with
which they were made , and calling for action
on a variety of issues (including campus sexual
violence, racial profiling by UCPD, and the
need for a trau1na center) . They pointed our
how the cues' backdrop of a $4 .5 billion capital
campaign and $1 .5 billion in spending on campus remodeling illustrated the University's pursuit of prestige at the expense of students, faculty, staff, and community members. A larger
group of srudents and alums protested outside
the building in support. Protesters demanded
details about the budget cues and asked for a
meeting with an administrator co negotiate a
list of further demands. However, the sic-in
ended when University officials threatened the
peaceful protesters, saying if they stayed they
would not be allowed to graduate on time
due to pending disciplinary action. Only one
demand was mer: a meeting with the admin istration co address Title IX violations . Today,
increasing budget cues are ongoing .

Excerpted from the sections on Islamophobia
& anti-Palestinian climate: Lase year, Palestinian and pro-Palestine students suffered consecutive incidents of harassment [including
threats of physical violence], libel, and vandalization , and posters were hung up around
campus that read "SJP = Stabbings Jews for

Peace." Administration refused co respond/
protect students from any and all of these incidents.

A numb er of emails fro1n th e AEPi list hose
were leaked co Buzzfeed by two brothers who
had reportedly become frustrated by the "toxic" culture perperuated by older members of
the fraternity . They spoke co the press on the
condition of anony1nicy. Names on the emails
were redacted . In cl1e emails, fraternity members referred co a Muslim student on cainpus
as a terrorist , joked that "dynamite and C -4 "
explosives were fixtures of Islam, planned on
cdebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day at
Harold 's Fried Chicken, debated the offensiveness of the n-word , referred to an abandoned
lot as "Palestine," ai1d shared a "floor constitution " that 1nandaced that brothers nor dace
"fatties" and "crazies" and contained rules for
calling "dibs " on women .

Pleasenote:all your UChicago
listhostemailsare archived
A national spokesperson for AEPi assured
the press that an investigation had been opened
into the UChicago chapter. An email was sent
out by Karen Warren Coleman and Michde
Rasmussen co the student body-they called
the actions and attitudes of AEPi "unacceptable" and urged students co participate in
the campus climate surveys . Several cainpus
groups (including OBS , SJP, MSA, and Multicultural Greek Orgs) called for the suspension of AEPi, further release, investigation ,
and threat assessment of the redacted emails,
a public apology from both AEPi and the administration for its long history of silence on
issues of Palestine, and a comprehensive look
at the Univ ersity's policy on Greek Life.
TI1e UChicago chapter of Jewish Voice for
Peace spoke our strongly against AEPi . Hillel
ai1d Chabad also issued public scacemencs,
expressing disappointment in the actions of
AEPi . Hillel held open events, encouraging
students co talk about what could be done going forward , as did 5710/Cencer for Diversity
and Inclusion.
Th e "AEPi email incident " brought co lighc
a recurring theme-the
University's policy on


Greek Life is conveniently vague. What exactly
is the nature of that relationship? Where is the
liability? What kind of punish1nent can the
University hand down , if they even wanted co?
These questions remain open. AEPi continues
to operate at UChicago.
Side note: Thereis a small but mighty network of Multicultural Greeksat UChicago.
Look them up! (AEPi had actually requested
tojoin the Multicultural Greek Council
shortly beforethe email incident}.

There were a number of reports of sexual assault at fraternity houses in 2015 that were
investigated by the CPD , including allegations
that two Psi U brothers cotnmitted assaults
two months apart (both were found responsible for sexual misconduct and evenrually expelled frotn the fraternity) . Though both the
sexual assault survivors criticized the fraternity's responses, and one specifically expressed
disappointment at tl1e University's handling
of her case as well, perhaps the most egregious
part of the response to the reports of assault
was the conduct of the president of Psi U's
alumni board , Chuck Werner . The Chicago
Maroon brought co light that Werner had
used a fraternity contact in the CPD to obtain
information about one of the reports , including the survivor's cell phone number. Werner
then called her to ask for the alleged assailant's
name. His intrusive action was frightening,
she later told the Maroon, and made her feel
too unsafe to go to work for a week.
Psi U's president published a letter to editor in the Maroon addressing criticism of the
fraternity regarding sexual assault, apologizing for causing the survivor further distress.
However, the letter also seated that all Werner
had obtained was "a heavily redacted, publicly
available version of the police report , which
included the survivor's cell phone number"which the Maroon found was impossible, as
the only information they could obtain from
the CPD did not contain the phone number.
The survivor cold the Maroon, "I'm angry that
what is my private information was given out

in the name of 'brotherhood.' I'tn angry that
Psi tried to downplay my concerns in their
response, saying my information was publicly
available when that wasn't uue ...The face that
an organization has me power to do this, and
act so nonchalantl y about it scares me."

In late May 2016, a group of students, alu1nni, and staff held a protest to "democratize
the University," responding to administrators'
refusal to attend a public 1neeting of RSOs
meant co be an opportunity to discuss concerns and proposals about issues including a
living wage for campus workers, equitable policing, and accessibility for disabled students.
TV news reporters were prevented fro1n enter ing the quadrangle to cover the protest by University communications office staff. Then-Student Body President Tyler Kissinger ' 16 gained
entry to tl1e locked Levi Hall , the administration building , by saying he was on official
business as student body president. He then
let in a group of 33 others students and alu1nni who intended co occupy Levi Hall until a
meeting with the administration was arranged.
The occupiers were told they could be arrested
or, if students , expelled, and left the building.
A few days lacer, Kissinger was charged by the
University with "premeditated and dishonest
behavior to gain entry to Levi Hall, creating an
unsafe situation," and he was scheduled for a
disciplinary hearing the day before graduation
and cold that possible sanctions could include
permanent expulsion.
A petition was created urging the University
to drop the charges and calling out the contrast between its public statements on free
speech and expression and its crackdown on
student protest. 180 professors signed a separate statement offering support for peaceful
student protest and urging that the charges
against Kissinger be dropped. After coverage
fro1n national media sucl1 as tl1e New York
Times , Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted his
support as well. Kissinger was not expelled,
but was placed on disciplinary probation for
his remaining day as a student .



dana v dzik & skylar


Being Trans in Housing
Being trans is hard; being trans in college housing is no exception. The policies and
format of housing is not set up for you: rooming is usually gendered, bathrooms are
almost always gendered, and you don't always know the people who surround you well
enough to know whether you are safe around them. Here are some things you will need to
know as you go into your new home.

If it hasn't already passed, on the first day you'll have a massive house meeting with every first year. You'll do introductions here, and you can ask your RAs and RHs to include
pronouns in this introdu ction (if it is comfortable for you). If this has already passed,
you can also ask them to do introductions with pronouns at the second house meeting,
when all of the upperclassmen will return and intros will once again be necessary.
When you've moved into your room you'll meet your roommate, roommates, or suitemates, if you have them. Unfortunately, as a first year you must be housed according
to gender on your school records (as a note: once you are past your first year, you may
room with anybody you want to). If this is unacceptable to you, you can strongly request
a single room and a house in which floors are not gendered (it is clearly too late to do this
before entering, but you can move to a new room in the future). If your roommate is a
problem for you, for any reason, you can most definitely request to move to a different
room. There are technically a few weeks at the beginning of the year in which you're not
yet supposed to move rooms, but I it is possible housing would make an exception for a
trans student who was placed with a transphobic roommate.
The bathroom policies of housing suck for trans students. This is probably not intentional on the part of housing -- they are probably outdated, from a time when nobody was
taking trans students into consideration. They are as follows: all common bathrooms in
a house are gendered by default (although some houses may have single user bathrooms,
and in Max Palevsky there is one private bathroom per suite); at any point in time, a house
can take a vote on whether the bathrooms (by floor) should be available to people of all
genders; if one person on a floor opposes having an all-gender bathroom, that floor's
bathroom will remain gendered; if nobody on the floor opposes, that bathroom will be
available to people of all genders.


There is a trick to this policy, however, that most RAs and RHs (and people in general)
don't know : the policy is specifically about strict opposition . It is not about preference . If
you are a trans student in housing and the bathrooms in your house end up gendered, I
would encourage you to go to your RA and ask whether your house can re-vote, taking
into consideration the note about strict opposition . At times, this has worked to un -gender certain bathrooms . You can also take a revote every quarter . People move around in
housing : they may change houses, leave housing, or even just change their minds. This
won't always work to make a change, but it may be worth trying .
The other thing I will say is to always, always, always be aware that you can push for
gender neutral bathrooms. RAs will always be willing to at least try to figure out a way to
get you a safe bathroom . You can always ask them how to get in touch with the Hous ing Department, and can probably ask them to help you to do so (or even to meet with
them on your behalf) . Often the only way to talk to the housing department is to include
"Meeting Request" in the title of your email. This is a safe option; Sophia Chaknis, the
Director of Housing, absolutely knows how to interact with trans students . She has not
yet met with a trans student who says they need a gender neutral bathroom available to
them, so it is unclear what will happen if you go to her and ask for this . However, even
if she does not give you a bathroom, if multiple people go to her with this request she is
more likely to change the policy to be better for trans students.
Another thing to note is that during the school year this year there will be a student
committee on whether and how to change the bathroom policy, this time taking trans
students into consideration. You may hear your RAs or RHs talking about this and asking
people whether they would like to be on this committee . If it feels safe to you, I would
encourage you to join this -- again, the more trans voices there are, the more likely it is
that the new policy will be trans friendly .
You may have somebody in your house who is not great about trans issues. However,
it is almost definitely the case that the number of people who are good about it will far
outnumber the people who are bad about it. It's okay to be nervous about coming out ,
but it ,vill probabl y be fine. Even if there is a considerable group of people who aren't so
great, your RAs and RHs will definitely be on your side and do their best to shut down any
negative reaction.
Speaking of RAs, they are always, always your allies. It may not feel like it, and it may
be intimidating to ask them, but they will always know where to direct you for help, if not
know exactly how to help (that is, there is a possibility they may be a little overwhelmed,
but they are there to he lp and to not judge). There are usually even a few trans RAs some where in housing (this year there are two who are currently out), about whom you can
probably ask your own RA and who would likely be happy to adopt you, so to speak . In
general, RAs care a lot about the health (including mental ) and safety of their residents
and are passionate about knowing and using resources that a lot of people don't know
about. Trans issues are no exception to this .
I cannot promise the same of your RHs, although 95% of the time they will be fine. Or
rather, RHs will always try to be helpful, and can always point you in general direction of
the most visible campus resources. The only reason they may be a problem is that not all
of them fully understand what it means to be trans -- and some may have blatant miscon ceptions, and there are a few more "hidden" resources that they may not be as aware of
-- tricks of Student Health Services, how to change your name on school records, support
groups for trans students on campus, for example .


At the very least, both your RAs and RHs will help you notify the proper department
of any discrimination that happens (if you want -- there is no obligation to do this!); probably this will be the Title IX office or the Bias Response Team .
In the case that you do decide to contact Title IX, they can help you to get a no contact
order against your harasser/sand will sometimes move them to a different house. Unfo rtunately, the latter will not always happen. In this case you have the option of requesting
your own move; this is certainly not ideal , but most houses will be much safer options to
move into, even if not perfect. If you want to know whether the new house you are assigned to will definitely be safe, ask your RAs to get you in touch with the RA of your new
house or one of the trans RAs; they should have some idea of how comfortable a house
will be for you.
In general, I will say that policies may not be on your side, but housing teams almost
always will be, and as long as you push them they can try to help you figure out how to
navigate the policies in the way that's best for you. Remember: if your team seems hesitant, ask to talk to the housing department (or ask them to talk to the department), or ask
to talk to one of the trans RAs.

Funfact: UChicago was one of the earliest universities of its bracket to have an Open
Housing Policy (which is the policy that states that any student may live with whomever
they want, after their first year).

Bath rooms
There is an official gender -n eutral/single-user restroom list located at lgbtq.uchicago.edu/
restrooms, which lists gender-neutral bathrooms available in the 1155 Building, 5710
Woodlawn, the Admin Building, Beecher, Billings, Center for GNSE, Cobb, Eckhar dy, Edelstone, Foster, Goodspeed, Green, Haskell, Hinds, the Hillel Center, Ida Noyes,
I- House, Jones, the Reg, the Law Quad, the Logan Center, Rockefeller, the School of Social
Service Admin, the Smart Museum, Walker, Wieboldt, Young, and the Zoology Building.
A more comprehensive, although as of yet incomplete, list with the aim of monitoring the
policies for all bathrooms on campus is kept at bit.ly/2cNw6iL.

Heal thcar e
The Office of LGBTQ Student Life lists the following three resources on their website at
https:/ /lgbtq.uchicago .edu/health:

Student Counseling Service: SCS, while having a lacking reputation among older
students "particularly in regards to sexual assault counseling and sensitivity to low-income, LGBTQ and other marginalized populations;' to quote this article's predecessor,
seems to have made strides since . SCS is nonetheless not a long-term solution for ongoing
gender trouble; its counselors will see students in a therapeutic position for at most ten
meetings before providing a referral to an outside therapist; notably, the institution does
seem to have a knowledge of trans-friendly or -specializing therapists around the city.
Dr. McPherrin has offered gender identity support groups in the past; however, none are
currently active - to those seeking such a service, Pronoun Hoedown, a student group to
the same end, is recommended.


Student Health Insurance: Fortunately for transgender students interested in medical interventions, U-SHIP currently covers both hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and
surgical treatment. Information about the latter offering is scarce and scattered; however,
it seems that this includes any surgeon covered by United Healthcare and entails a split
cost up to a cap. The U-SHIP coordinators are available for contact on the matter, but can
give limited information on the matter to students not presently enrolled in U-SHIP. As an
aside, it is strongly advised that any person interested in surgical intervention familiarize
themselves with the requirements of the WPATH-SOC such that they are prepared to
meet its restrictive requirements at their relative convenience .
Howard Brown Health Center : The Howard Brown Health Center, a clinic offering
HRT with an informed consent model, offers four full-time clinics in Devon, Uptown,
Lakeview, and, most recently and thrillingly, Englewood. Students interesting in obtaining HRT with few barriers may schedule an appointment at any of these locations, be
informed about the effects of HRT, have their blood drawn for testing, and receive a prescription within a few days. This is analogous to services offered by Planned Parenthood
in much of the East and West, and is strongly advised for anyone who is certain about
wanting HRT.

Names and Pronouns
MyUChicago allows students to add a "preferred name" that will be visible on most of
your interactions with the University's computer system and will appear alongside your
legal name for instructors; however, it will not appear on official documents (e.g., diploma,
transcripts) unless you legally change your name and submit the proper documentation.
It may be also possible to have one's first legal initial listed as one's name (e.g., Dana Dzik
becomes D. Dzik) on such documents by contacting the registrar directly. In individual
courses and in housing , instructors and RHs/RAs will generally respect students' wishes,
and failing this the Office of LGBTQ Student Life can intervene if the student wishes. The
situation for pronouns is similar, but there is no official option to list pref erred pronouns;
the University operates off legal sex alone. Once again , individuals will generally respect
students' wishes and if a problem should arise it can be appealed through the Office of
LGBTQ Student Life.

Student Groups
Pronoun Hoedown is the student-run group for transgender, non-binary, genderqueer,
and/or questioning students. The best way to get in the loop is through the listhost; any
interested students may contact Ilias Bowen-Sicalides at bowensicalides@uchicago.edu
for more information or to be added to the listhost. Q&A is the largest broad LGBTQ
group; more information about it can be found on its Facebook page, UChicago Queers &


The UChicago Bathroom Guide
An index or all single-user bathrooms on campus
All bochroomsgender-ne,,Clolandocce1si/Jle
unlessotherwisenocM .

North of the Quad
Regenste l n Library : third, fourth , filth floor s (1
each), A53 ("accessible reading room ")
Smart Museum : first floor (1)
Cochrane -Woods: first floor (1)

Erman Cente r: second floor (1)
Ryerson : first floor (one • men; one " women •,
Zool ogy Buil di ng: third floor (one " women ") ;
basement (1)
Reynolds Club/ Hutch : first floor (l , non•
accessible); WHPK (2, non -accessible)
Eckhart: first floor (l ); t hird floor (one gender•
neutral, one " men"); fourth fl oor (l ); basement (1)

Ratner Athletic Center: first floor (2 " family
locker rooms")
Universit y Church : first floor (1)

Northwest Quad
Kent Lab: third floor (1)
Levi Hall : first floor (1 in each wing) ; second
floor (1 south wing, 2 nort h wing)
Jones La.b : third floor (one •women" )

CSGS/CSRPC: first thru third floors (1 each)
Saleh Hall : second thru fourth floors (1 each);
basement (2)
Rockefelle r Ch apel : first floor (1, nonaccessl ble, next to organ )
S737 s University : second floor (1, nonaccessible)
Ida Noyes: first floor (l accessible, plus one
" female " non-accessible); basement (1)

Sciences Quad

Booth : basement (multiple ); dean's office
Semina ry Co -op : first floor (1)

Hinds Laborato ry: first floor (1 accessible,
plus one • female " non -accessible )

South\,vest Quad

!OP/ Paulson : second floor (1); thir d floor (1)
Brent House: first floor (l ); basement (1, non •
Hill el Center : first floor (2)

Haskell Hall : first floor (1, · men", non accessible )
Swi ft Hall: first floor (1), t hird floor (l )

CobbHall : first floor (1), t hird floor (l )
GoodspeedHall : first floor (one "men; one
• women; non -accessible)

Walker Museum : third floor (2)
Green/ Kelly Hall : first floor (1), fifth floor (1,
non -accessible)
Beecher Hall : first floor (2)

South of the Midway
Logan Cent er: first , second, fourth, sixth ,
eighth floors (2 each), green rooms (6)
Social Service: first floor (2)
Edelstone Hall : first floor (1)
Law School : first floor (1)
Harris School : first floor (1)

Wieboldt Hall: third floor (1); fourth (one
"women : non-accessible)
Harper Memorial library: first floor (1), third
floor (3), west fifth floor (1, non-accessible, locked),
east sixth floor (1, non-accessible, loc ked)

Cathey : basement (1)

Foste r Hall : basement (1, non -accessible)


Attending UChicago
as an International Student
Alex Jung, Shiro Wachira. Syeda Akila Al ly, Vo Ram Yoon

1. The Handy Logistics! Work Authorisation

& Taxes

As an international student at UChicago, by far the best legal/logistical resource that we have
access to is the Office of Interna tional Affairs (OIA), located on the second floor of Interna tional House (59th & Dorchester) . This section is really intended to give you a general idea
of some responsibilities and resources to keep in mind . For the detailed rundown of each
item, refer to the relevant linked OIA pages .
On and Off Campus Emplo yment

On-Campus Employment : You should be able to legally obtain any on -campus
employment going through University payroll during the school year, in quarte rs that
you're registered as a par t- or full-time student. All undergraduate student employees,
whether domestic or international, are limited to 19.5 hours/wk of work during the
academic year.

Off-Campus Employment: While you are a registered student, you can apply for Cur ricular Practical Training (CPT) authorisation to work in any off-campus employment
counted as a Jeff Metcalf Internship for up to 20 hours/wk. You can either apply directly
to positions labelled "Jeff Metcalf Internships': or find a paid internship not labelled
as a Metcalf and have it turned into one via Career Advancement. (*Important Note :
If you exceed 20 hr /w k on CPT, the employment period will cu t into your period of
OPT allowance period after graduation .) CPT application takes around 1-2 weeks. You
cannot begin your employment until you have the required authorisation, so make sure
you do this in advance!
All international students under F- 1 and J- 1 status are required to file a tax return with both
the federal U.S. government (Internal Revenu e Servic e) and the state gov ernment (lliinoi s Department of Revenue ) at the end of the year. This is true regardless of whether you
received scholarships or received income as an on/off-campus employee . File by mid -April
of each subsequent year (check for specific dates- -it can vary according to year!) .
Here's an excellent rundown by the OIA :
internationalaffairs. uchicago .edu/ page/tax -responsibilities -international-stu dents -and -scholars
The OIA also hosts regular tax workshops throughout the year, so look out for e-mails
alerting you to upcoming sessions. You'll be provided with all the required forms by the
employer in the mail, and if you're a non -U.S. resident, you'll be granted free access to the
Glacier Tax Prep software which makes tax filing a lot easier.
(*Pro-Tip: All documents must be physically mailed to the IRS and IDR. The post office gets
very busy on tax day, so it saves a lot of time if you send in all your forms even just a few
days in advance. Take out Certified Mail to track your mail and ensure that it's received .)


2. Student Life : Getting Involved in the University Community
International student organi sations on campu s

International Students Association (ISA) organizes social events open to both international and domestic students on campus .
• Interna tional Student Advisory Board (ISAB) meets monthly and advises the OIA on
community initiatives and concerns . The Board is selected through each spring for the
following academic year.
• Interna tional Student Advisory Committee (ISAC) advises UChicago College Admis sions and serves as a resource for prospective and incoming international students .
• Office of Multicultural Student Affairs promotes events from numerous cultural student organizations, many of which have international members .
• African and Caribbean Students Association (ACSA)
• Asian Student Union
• Brazilian Students Association
• Chinese Undergraduate Students' Association (CUSA)
• Hong Kong Student Association (HKSA)
• Korean Student Association (KSO)
• Kababayan: The Filipino Students Association
• Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MECHA)
• Mus lim Students Association (MSA)
• Native America n Student Association (NASA)
• Organization of Black Students (OBS)
• Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS)
• Panasian Solidarity Coalition
• Puerto Rico Students Association (PRSA)
• Singaporean and Malaysian Students' Union (SAMSU)
• South Asian Students Association (SASA)
• Taiwanese Students association
• Vietnamese Students association
This link provides a list of the various performance, cultural or international -focused student
associations : https:// oms a.uchicago .edu/page/ multicultural -college-student -organizations
Other than that, the Institute of Politics often hosts journal ists, politicians and policy -makers
from around the world .
Be sure to check out these organizations on Blueprint and on Facebook .

3. Pract ica l tips
If you are on a budget , you can carry around a portable the rmos that you can fill up with hot
choco late or coffee in the dining hall. The first year dining plan gives you unlimited mea l
swipes, so don't hesitate to go into the dining hall as many times as you want to.
Halal food - Both South (Cathey) and Bartlett dining halls have a zabiha halal station . If
you notice any pig-based items in the halal station, please alert the dining hall staff, Dining
Services, and the MSA so that they can take care of it.
Shuttles & Buses, & UPass
The Friend Metra shuttle is a convenien t ride from International House.
Make use of the UPass to explore Chicago's various neighborhood


Hou sing
South campus remains open during winter break and students from other dorms are able
to stay there for the duration of the break. International House also remains open during
winter and spring breaks, however students from other dorms may not stay there during the
When the family isn't around
Moving, the holidays, getting sick. ..these are some of the moments that can leave you feeling
most isolated as an International student. You may find that your American peers turn to
their families at these times and if you don't have family close by, it can trigger some pretty
bad homesickness. You'll probably get offers to spend holidays with friends, people may
offer to support you through the more logistically demanding periods of college and there
are a number of low cost solutions to some big headache problems like moving. Be open to
accepting help even when it's an offer of emotional support and don't force yourself to do it
alone when you don't have too. These moments tend to get harder not easier as you move
along in college so it's a good idea to start trying to figtrre out what you need to feel stable
and supported from the get go.

Contending with Race
as an International Student
Shiro Wach ira and Ak ila Al ly
Being an international student at an elite institution was an experience riddled with
contradiction. For those of us coming from the developing world, there is often a sense of
relief at dealing with "systems that work'' for the first time before realizing that they just fail
in more subtle ways. There's excitement at diving into the "life of the mind" before realizing
that knowledge about your part of the world isn't deemed to be part of the lexicon of the
educated by your institution. Elation at your new found fierce independence, tempered by
the constant expectation that the move was "really hard for you:'
International students often have very few options when it comes to financing our education, which does tend to mean that many international students at UChicago come from
very wealthy families. Those of us who don't tend to come from backgrounds that gave us
access to the language of Western elite spaces and we often went to foreign education system
schools (the IB, American schools, British schools etc). This means that although we may be
read as black or as brown, we are read as a "different" kind of black or brown. We are always
both non-White and non-American. Much of this difference reflects attitudes towards
non-white Americans who have class privilege; the infamous, "But you're not like other[ ... ]
people:' However, when applied to the foreigner, especially the foreigner from the developing world, there tends to be an additional tinge of neo-imperialist paternalism. Paternalism
that rings through mis-guided praise that, "It's so noble of you to want to go back home" or
in a classmate's inquiry, "How did you hear about UChicago?"
Often, it is a growing frustration at the (often) implicit condescension and a lingering
sense that something is not being fairly understood or represented that prompts foreign students to begin to think more about how they are positioned within the race-class hierarchies
in America. I've said it more times than I've heard it said, and I've heard it said countless
times, "I was first racialized when I moved to America:' It's a common narrative, it's an easy


narrative and in many cases it can be the narrative that helps us cope . But is important that
we challenge ourselves to push beyond this narrative because it is at best simplistic . As a
black girl growing up in a pre-dominantly black community, I still knew to ha te my natural
hair. My dark-skinned South Asian friends speak about learning that they were "too dark"
before colorism was explicitly connected with proximity to whiteness. Many international
students who went to foreign -system/international schools knew that this put them a notch
"above" in local social hierarchies before this was symptomatic of White supremacist valua tions of education.
Why is this important to the UChicago experience? The Class of 2020 is coming in at a
juncture: the letter that you received from Dean Ellison was an indication of the administration's desire to re-assert an institutional legacy that is more committed to the maintenance of
a status quo than to genuine free speech. Meanwhile man y students and professors alike are
increasingly energized to make the University a safer space for minority students; the revival
of the DisO book being only a minor example . Particularly when campus tensions run high,
international students sometimes are called on by our White American peers to offer the
"minority perspective:• We can be perceived as safer or easier sources of information for
we are seeing not to carry the "baggage" of American minority groups. We all more readily
offered the opportunity to be the model minority .
It's true that the ways we come to be racialized when in America are different from our
previous experiences of race . It is also often true that the narratives of American minority
groups that "look like us" might not ring true for us. And it is certainly true that there's no
"international account of race" so it might be difficult to know how to even participate in
these conversations . Nonetheless, we will be read into the context we now find ourselves,
and so we will have to make a decision about how to handle that. In our time at UChicago,
we will be asked to comment on other group's narratives and that can be hard to do while
presenting an honest account of our own experiences but we must constantly be aware of the
power we have as students of color to undermine rather than diversify perspec tives.
As the conversations about diversity at UChicago intensify, it will fall on us to complicate
intersectionality in ways that allow it to become global. Our different commitments to the
life we're building here and the attachments we may have to where we came from should
not silence us but rather should be used to nuance understandings of the needs of students
of color. Our different encounters with alternative political and economic systems, and alternate race and class hierarchies can allow us to include a demand for postcolonial analysis
alongside critical race and gender theory in offering a model for a safer UChicago .
It is important to caution that this comes with a unique baggage of its own . You might
be considered an authority on a subject matter simply because you share an identity, such
as religion or race with them. While many international students know that studying
abroad in the US means that you are a representation of your country and background to
the local students, it is hard to predict how much of a burden that might feel from time
to time. Sometimes when there is an airstrike on Aleppo, or the Rohingya crisis comes to
the forefront you might be the *insert identity* friend who is called upon to comment and
explain that situation . And, it's okay if you feel comfortable doing so. But, I often found it
helpful to remind myself that I did not owe that emotional burden to my peers. I also needed
to assuage myself that declining to provide viewpoints on race , nationalism or religion when
it emotionally exhausted me wasn't stepping away from the spirit of "inquiry of the mind''.
Because, at the end of the day, the mind itself needs restful reflection and mental health is a

13 1

Navigating Campus
as a Lovv Income Student
by Corson Barnard, Kent Fernandez,
Cosette Hampton, & Olamide Ogunbambe
Welcome to the University of Chicago, where $250,000+ and four years of h ard
work equals one undergraduate education! UChicago, like many of its peer institutions, has pledged to meet 100% of its students' demonstrated need. This type
of admissions policy represents the first step to dismantling the many systemic
barriers to higher education that low-income stude nts face; however, this does
not eliminate the marginalization that low-income students experience while on
campus, due to their status. With a growing number of low-income students on
campus, the University is beginning to realize the importance of providing for
them. It's an ongoing process, but the resources and tips compiled here are some
that we have found the most helpful.

The following offices are sponsored by the University. Not all of them are designed to advocate for low-income students, but they are the campus offices we found most important.
Many of these offices provide resources for studen ts on financial aid (especially Odyssey
scholars), although you will often have to hunt for them. Best of luck!

Academic Advising
Every student is assigned an academic adviser who will work with them to establish a plan
for graduation throughout their four years at the University. Your adviser exists to generally check in with you on your well-being and how it relates to student life on campus .
They are there to listen to you concerns during scheduled and as-requested meetings, and
offer resources on campus that you may or may not have heard of yet; these could be new
RSO's, mental health resources, study abroad info sessions, etc. I have heard some stories
of neglectful advisers, but this does not seem to be the norm. You can always request to
change your adviser if absolutely necessary. Your adviser is also able to advocate on your
behalf when a student is experiencing emergency or severe difficulty. Many professors
may reach out to your adviser if you seem to be struggling or are not attending class very
often so that they may in turn reach out to you and offer assistance . Every adviser is different, so when experiencing difficulties or trauma be sure to communicate with your adviser
effectively; you do not have to tell them everything you are experiencing, but at the very
least being in constant communication with your adviser will allow them to give you space
by streamlining communication from the University for a period of time.


Office of College Aid
I have heard many people in the UChicago community refer to this office as "the worst
department at the university:' Most of the aid counselors can/will only offer information
which is useful for understanding processes of applying for and utilizing your financial
aid. For these types of concerns, you can simply do a walk-in appointment at the office
on the third floor of Walker. If you are experiencing anything more adverse than complications with the FAFSA, however, these workers usual ly cannot actually make progress
on your work since it requires a committee to meet. In these cases, it is more effective to
use online or phone correspondence with the office to check on the status of your case,
and when necessary schedule a l-on - 1 with the head of financial aid, Tina Baskin, or her

NOTE: Ifyou're an Odyssey scholarand plan to enroll in the UniversityStudent Health
Insurance Plan (U-SHJP), contact the Officeof CollegeAid and request that your
Odyssey Scholarshipbe extended to cover health insurance!This is a service that the
Universityprovides but does not advertise, and is usually worth about $4,000.
The Office of College Aid is not the safest space for your sensitive concerns about your
finances. Unfortunately, most of their office's work involves a large amount of bureaucracy
which leaves little space for the validation of life's traumas . For low-income students who
could not attend the university without aid and are even possibly dealing with a case decision that could affect that status, it can be incredibly triggering to cons tantly visit the office
to 'beg' for resources . It can feel degrading, and there can even be incidents in which the
office is unprofessional and does wrong; sometimes you can do everything right and they
will still tell you it's wrong. When these cases happen, students may not speak up about
the treatment they have experienced for fear of retaliation . To minimize these cases, use
the office of College Aid to figure out what's going on and how to fix it, but that is it. The
CCSS is a better outlet for the student -first kind of comprehensive financial counseling
that addresses the trauma in these cases.

The Center for College Student Success
The Center for College Student Success (or CCSS) is a new office on campus . Started in
2015, the CCSS provides advising, resources and suppo r t for low-income, first-genera tion, and/or undocumented students . Each adviser in the CCSS is specifically trained to
address concerns that low-income students often have, and can provide information about
resources designed to help. Their lounge, located in Harper West Tower 406, is open from
8:30am until 8pm (M-Th) and 9-5 on Fridays . It houses their lending library and printing
station, provides free coffee and tea (and sometimes snacks!) and is a great place to meet
other low-income students . Advisers also hold walk-in hours from l-5pm every weekday.
The CCSS puts a lot of energy into building a community by hosting speakers and study
breaks several times each quarter .
As mentioned above, the CCSS has free printing . Each student gets 100 black-and-white
pages per quarter, and you can sign up for an account on their website: ccss.uchicago .edu.
There is also a lending library program that is currently in its pilot stages . Check here for
HUM and SOSC books, and some intro -level math and science books . If you have leftover
books at the end of the quarter and don't want to deal with the hassle of selling them,
donate them here! The CCSS also sponsors a book charge program, where students can
buy books at the bookstore and charge them to their student accounts . This can be good,
but usually is not as cheap as buying books on Amazon or renting them from the library


(if you have the money to pay up front).
NOTE: The Office of Multicultural Affairs (a division of CI+I) has a library with Core
books and other selections, which students can check out. Email omsa@uchicago.edu
for more information. Sometimes the UChicago library has multiple copies of books
you can check out for class as well. If UChicago doesn't have what you're looking for,
you can request books ahead of time from other libraries using the UBorrow or Inter-Library Loan (ILL) system. Always look for alternative places to purchase books.
Compare prices online, rather than just buying the first textbook available at the
bookstore. What's more, many House lounges have books lying around that were left
by alumni or upperclassmen. These are generally free for your use, though you are
encouraged to leave the books in the lounge when you leave! If you ask around, many
students have textbooks in PDF versions and are happy to email them to you. Often,
this is the most cost-effective option.
One final resource provided by the CCSS is their emergency loan program. The CCSS offers a interest-free, pay-before-you-graduate emergency loan that can be received through
conference with the center's director, Devon Moore. The terms of these loans (how much,
due when, etc.) are determined during your meeting and are able to be adjusted through
additional conference. This loan service is very useful for life's emergencies that can occur
randomly or suddenly that you may not have the finances to resolve. However, these loan s
come from a self-replenishing fund; another studen t may have to wait to receive a loan
until yours is paid back. Make sure to seek them out responsibly so that other students can
also take advantage of this resource!
NO 'fE: The Office of College Aid also has an emergency loan program. The loans are
usually one month loans of $500 that have more regulation than the ones spon sored by the CCSS. If you find yourself in need of these loans, you can do a walk -in
appointment at their office.

The Office of the Bursar
The Universi ty Bursar, located on the third floor of the UChicago Bookstore, deals with
bill payment, pink-slipping into classes and, most importantly, refund checks. If your
financial aid package is worth more than your billable expenses, your account will show a
negative debt. In this case, you can contact the University Bursar and request a refund in
that amount! This refund is designed to help with incidental expenses (textbooks, a warm
winter coat, Saturday night dinners, etc.). Note that the contact must be with the Bursar
to initiate the refund, NOT with College Aid! The process to do this is outlined at https://
bursar.uchicago.edu/refunds. It can sometimes be discouraging to work with these offices
because both will simply refer you to the other if they are having a busy week, but be
persistent and you will make progress! #BureaucracyinAction

Study Abroad
Thinking about study abroad can be scary. It can seem like a huge financial burden, and
for many people it can feel impossible. However, if study abroad is a dream you want to
pursue, there is almost definitely a way to make that happen! Talking to students who
did certain programs before you is a great way to estimate a budget, and there are grants
available for programs during both the academic year and the summer. For UChicago Civ
and other quarterly programs, check out the Goldman Sachs-Strongin Education Fund.


It provides $5,000 grants to Odyssey Scholars who demonstrate additional financial need
(need that prevents them from otherwise attending a program abroad). For summer study,
there are Summer International Travel Grants, which are available for either language
study or research abroad. To learn more, check out the study abroad website at https://
study-abroad. uchicago.edu/.


is a national organization that helps low-income students gain admission to top colleges with full scholarships. The University of Chicago is a partner college
and there is growing community of Quest Scholars on-campus. As part of the Quest
Scholars Network, students join a campus chapter, which offers social outings and community. To learn about the UChicago chapter, visit questscholarsnetwork.org.

Socioeconomic Diversity Alliance

(SDA) is a coalition of students that work
to improve campus for first-generation and low-income college students by promoting
institutional changes to remove barriers faced by low-income and first-gen students,
building a community of such students, and more. While SDA is a community of student
advocates that work hard to ensure that UChicago's campus is a welcoming, inclusive, and
fair environment for low-income and/or first-generation college students, SDA also provides a safe space and community for low-income and first-generation students and allies.
For more information about SDA, please visit their website at sdauchicago.wordpress.
com/ or www.facebook.com/SocioeconornicDiversity Alliance/.

The Center for Identity and Inclusion (CI+I): Even though

CI+I isn't necessarily designated as a place for low-income and first-generation college students, some
of their resources cater to that audience. Within the CI+ I, you can find Student Support
Services, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, and the Office for LGBTQ Student
Life. The CI+I offers grants for students if needed for study abroad, research, and other academic-related ventures. To learn more, check out their website at inclusion.uchicago.edu.

Dining halls aren't open on Saturday nights, but this doesn't mean you have to spend
money at a restaurant. Gather friends together to cook a meal. Also, keep track of your
flex dollars to save some for Saturday evenings. Frankly, this gets tough and isolating,
especially if your friends are consistently organizing trips to eat out. If you would like to
treat yourself, many restaurants in the area offer discounts to students with UChicago IDs,
and if several people pitch in, you can treat yourself once in awhile without necessarily
breaking the bank. Questbridge and the Organization of Black Students (OBS) also have
free delicious meals on Saturdays and Sundays multiple times throughout the quarter -just don't take advantage of the fact that these are safe spaces for low-income and Black &
Brown students.
Additionally, University Dining has recently implemented a program called Saturday
Night Social Club. Approximately once a month, the University hosts a catered meal for
all students. It's free if you're on a meal plan, and $10 if you're not. Sign up for this event in


advance if you're off campus, because you have to purchase the meal ticket at the UChicago Dining office (in Bartlett), which closes for the weekend at 5pm on Friday.
You can also request bagged lunches from the dining hall if you can't be there. Request it
the day before, and they'll give you a made -to-order sandwich, cookies, fruit, and some
water. You just need to get your RH to approve it. It really helps when you have classes
straight from 9-5 :30, and can save you money on cafe food!

Getting Groceries
The following paragraph will be more important for those of you who do not eat at the
dining halls, but other students looking to buy some groceries for the weekends or just
snacks and small meals may find this useful as well . Do not feel tempted to go on expen sive grocery trips with friends to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and local Treasure Island .
These grocers hike up their prices for the Hyde Park area and can eat up a small budget in
less than a week . Expand your money by putting use to your UPass and shop like a local at
these cheaper spots .

Hyde Park Produce : Still one of the more expensive groceries but they are cheaper
than Treasu re Island and close to campus for cold afternoons when you just want
to take a shuttle. Keep on the lookout for discounts with your student ID . Kimbark
Plaza, 1226 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615

Walmart : Staple brands for cheap, good for canned products, vegetab les, and amaz ing for non -edible necessities (toiletries, tissue, cleaning & storage supplies, etc.).
4720 S Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago, IL 60653

Save-A-Lot: This is one of the cheapest grocery stor es you will find in Chicago. Great
meat, good vegetables . No, you can't find fancy non -GMO products here but as
low -income folks we are used to the experience that organic =expensive . Just a block
away from Walmart at 4701 S Cottage Grove, Chicago IL 60615

ALDI : If you're comfortable going a little south instead of north, Aldi's is actually the
cheapest grocery store in Chicago . From frozen to fresh, meat to veggies and more,
go to Aldi's if your funds are running low. 6621 S Cottage Grove, Chicago IL 60621

Open Produce: Usually more expensive for dry goods, Open Produce has a section
where they sell bags of produce for one dollar . A great and cheap way to try new
vegetables! 1635 E 55th St, Chicago, IL 60615

Farmers Markets: A Cheap, Healthy Alternative
Some of us were raised on farms or on fresh vegetables from the garden. We know that
having a garden isn't always a "go-green" at-times elitist activity, but it's also used to feed a
family when there is no money for food . If you're used to this, it doesn't mean you have to
go without fresh (some organic) vegetables during Farmers Market season . Keep up with
Chicago's Farmers' Market schedule here:
www.cityofchicago .org/ city/ en/ depts/ dca/ supp _info/ far mersmarketsO .html
Here are some of my personal favorites nearest to campus :

Hyde Park Farmers Market. 53rd St. & Harper Court

Wood Stre et Farm Stand by Growing Home. 5814 S. Wood St.


61st Street Farmers Market . 6100 S Blackstone Ave.

Gary Comer Youth Center Farm Stand. 7256 S Chicago Ave.

Daley Plaza Farmers Market. 50 W Washington St. (*Not close to campus but
makes for a healthy, tasty, cheaper option for an outing downtown) .

**Off-campusprotipfor low-incomestudents:Applyfor food stamps.
The stigma around food stamps and the welfare queen trope is negligible compared to
the amount of stress receiving food stamps relieves. If you are middle-class fake poor,
please stay away from this section as to not take up resources from those who need it the
most. Once you move off campus and you have a Chicago address, dining hall food is
very expensive and you could save tons of money buying and cooking your own meals -food stamps essentially makes this free . SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program) is the Illinois version of food stamps, or, the state's safety net for those facing
food insecurity . Depending on your net income, your age, work status, physical ability,
and total cost of bills and other financial responsibilities, you may be eligible to receive a
monthly stipend on a "Link card" under SNAP for groceries that be used at all the grocery
stores listed above as well as most Farmers Markets (see : http ://experimentalstation.org/
linkup -overview/) . You can get more information/apply online at http:/ /www .dhs .state.
il.us/page.aspx?item =33698 .

Definitely check out what the UChicago ArtsPass can subsidize or offer for free around
the city. Though the Art Institute and other offerings have been free to UChicago students
for years, the recent addition of U-Pass further lessens the burden of enjoying these places .
Harper Theater on 53rd Street also offers students a discount with an ID, if you want to
catch a movie. The Center for Leadership and Involvement, located in the basement of
Reynolds Club, sells discounted AMC movie tickets and hosts other entertainment pro gramming . Many of campus's most popular RSO-hosted events are free to students, and
can be a great way to meet your peers!
If you are looking to scrape together an emergency $5-10 to go out, try the Decision
Research Lab, located in the basement of Booth Business School. Open from 12-6pm
Monday through Friday, they pay you in cash to take simple surveys and tests .
Many online services and stores offer discounts with student ID. For examp le, you can
save 50% on a Spotify subscription, or 10% at many chain clothing stores . Often these
deals require you to mention them to the cashie r at checkout, so make sure to check ahead
of time!
NOTE : Amazon Prime offers a free trial and a discounted annual fee to students with
.edu email addresses . One way to take advantage of this service is to continuously
create UChicago email address aliases and use them to continuously receive free trials
through Amazon . You will need to cancel your subscription once the trial ends and
create a new accoun t with a new email address each time, but it saves you $60 each year
for the membership and much more on shipping. You can log in with your CNet ID at
this website and register aliases; alias emails for UChicago all go to the same inbox .
https:// cnet. uchicago.edu/ email/ aliases/


The university has three scheduled breaks during the academic year : Thursday and Friday
on the week of Thanksgiving in November, Winter break --beginning at the end of finals
week in December and ending during the first week of January, and Spring break --an
entire week of no classes between Win ter and Spring quarter that usually falls during the
third week of March . For each of these breaks it is best to book your travel ahead of time
to save money, as these dates will be flooded with flights since they surround holidays
and routine college breaks. Student Government usually sponsors shuttles to O'Hare and
Midway airports on Friday and Saturday of finals week going that you must pre -register
online to use.
Winter break is your typical holiday break you saw in high school. Take this time to go
home, relax, or even work a seasonal job . For students who find it necessary to work over
the breaks, I urge you to take at least a few days to also care for yourself and spend time
with those you care about to maintain your mental health and replenish motivation and
energy for the quarter . Depending on your home's proximity to the university it may not
be financially worth it to purchase travel for Thanksgiving or even Spring breaks . During
Thanksgiving break, students are allowed to stay in the dorms, and many dorms and student organizations will host a holiday potluck . It is not uncommon for teachers to assign
work during Thanksgiving break, so be sure to check ahead on your syllabus and work
with the professor if you feel that work and travel may conflict.
During Spring break, students are not allowed to stay in the dorms and must move out
on the Saturday morning of finals week . In previous years, students who live in Renee
Granville - Grossman Residential Commons or International House have been able to
apply to stay in over the Win ter and/or Spring breaks, in the event that travel for a week is
too expensive. As of yet, it is unc lear whether this program will expand to include Campus
North . Staying with a friend in an apartment who is not leaving over break, or subletting
from a friend who is leaving, is a cost-effective way to find somewhere to live and spend
time with friends without the looming pressures of schoolwork . In past years, the Center
for Identity and Inclusion has provided meals at scheduled times over Spring Break that
are open to the university community .

As a low-income student, adapting to the culture of the University and the house system
may not come as easy to you as it does to others . Expensive house trips to restaurants and
other sites are a normal occurrence . However, discomfort doesn' t have to define your experience. There are a few things you can do to create a more welcoming space for yourself.
You will notice other students have different spending habits - don't allow the social flow
of things to dissuade you from responsible spending . Some students will eat out, some
will online shop, some do everything, but every single studen t has different finances and
different priorities. There will be times when it feels as though you mus t trade money
for social experiences; however, that is not the case. You live on a college campus and
there are a plethora of things to become involved with that require little to no money .


Many RSO's, for example, may provide resources for their lower-income members when
it is requested; so if you really want that OLAS Shirt, but really can't afford it, you could
approach the board and work something out. This also applies to house outings through
conference with your resident heads.
There will be times in the dining hall, the dorm and the classroom when other more
privileged students are having conversations that can be elitist, insensitive and directly
exclusive or triggering to you . When encountering these situations, one of the best things
to do is first to take care of yourself . This can mean leaving the room, taking a bathroom
break during class, moving seats in the dining hall, etc. I assure you the safety and reduction of anxiety will allow you to process the situation and exercise better judgement. Any
faux pas you think you may have made can always be rectified with an explanation later.
Concerning incidents of insensitivity, when you feel comfortable, approach others on an
individual basis about the issues and try to engage in critical discussion that gives value
to the emotions present. If the individual(s) care about you/ the issues then things will
improve; if not, they weren't a good friend for you anyway.
As stated previously, many of these resources are in perpetual development and require
critical involvement and feedback from current students . With the entire student body cycling out every four years or so, it takes consistent and reinforced pressure from students
to accomplish community goals . These are a few ways you can advocate for yourself and
other low-income students on campus and encourage advancement at the university.


Advocate for more balanced trips: House trips can become expensive, but houses
should work towards creating environments in which students of all incomes feel
welcome . Tell your RH and RA that you would like there to be more inexpensive
house outings. Suggest some yourself! Spending money doesn't have to be the only
way to have fun.


Facilitate discussions: If you are coming from a low-income background, there will
often be aspects of your experiences the some students at UChicago won't understand . Facilitate a discussion about class in your dorm. How does class play a role
in our school? How can we make it a more welcoming space for everyone? If you
don't feel comfortable constantly playing "class-relations TA" or outing yourself as
low-income for various reasons, it also helps to simply confront people. When people
say something looks "cheap" or "trashy;' challenge them by simply asking, "Do you
mean that looks like a poor person owns/created it?" If someone suggests you all
"just Uber" or that you should "just cover me:• ask why that person assumes those are
the best options, or even possible options for everyone involved. These are ways of
"facilitating discussion" without placing yourself at the focal point.


In RSOs: With regards to activities in RSOs, never be afraid to indicate you can't
afford something . If you want to participate in an activity, but money is an obstacle,
advocate for more funding for low-income students for certain activities. Start your
own RSO! The university has a process for establishing new Registered Student Organizations through the Center for Leadership and Involvement which gives your RSO
access to university funding. Sports and Greek organizations can often be an expensive investment. With these specific organizations, it is best to seek direct advice from
their leadership about their accessibility options for low-income students.


feeling good:

Life here has its highs and lows, and it's pretty common to feel out of sorts sometimes. If it's
not bothering you too much, just know that it's normal if you feel anxious before an assessment or sad when it's freezing and you've been inside for days. But anytime you start to feel
like like what's going on in your mind is stopping you from feeling or functioning the way
you want to, there are places you can go and people you can talk to, both on and off campus.
- Avital Morris & Alexandra Weiss

Whether you have short-term stress about a test or relationship or having a chronic mental
illness that needs long-term care, the Student Counseling Service (SCS) is a good place to
start. They are free for any student and any spouse, partner, or child of a student who has
paid the student life fee. You can make an appointment by calling the number on their website, and a therapist will usually see you within a few days. In that first meeting, you and the
therapist will work out the next steps toward helping you feel better. For many people, that
will mean a short (around ten sessions) course of therapy at SCS focusing on whatever you
need, which could be related to depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, academic stress, substance use or anything else. If you don't like the therapist you saw for any reason, next time
you make an appointment , just mention to the receptionist that youa like to talk to someone
else. SCS also has a variety of therapy and support group options including individual or
couples therapy, support groups, psychiatric evaluation, medication management, substance
assessment and treatment, an Academic Skills Assessment Program (a no-drug way to work
on concentration, time management, good study and test taking habits, etc.), and referrals.
If you and the therapist decide that seeing a psychiatrist to talk about medication would be
a good idea, they will help you set up an appointment. Going to that appointment won't obligate you to take any medication-- you and the psychiatrist will talk about it, and the ultimate
decision is yours. You are also free to try it and later change your mind.
This place is good, but it also can be very frustrating and has limitations. Because it is part
of the University there is sometimes weird bureaucracy. For example, occasionally students
are made to take leaves of absence because the school/SC$ is unable to provide the degree
or type of help these students require, is concerned about the students' safety and believes
that being in school will limit their treatment options. While the school, like most schools,
is often motivated in such decisions out of concern for its own liability, UChicago and SCS
also hope to give such students the opportunity to take a break from school and heal so they
can return in full force after a few months.If you prefer an outside therapist or just need
longer-term therapy, SCS will refer you to a therapist, usually in Hyde Park. Most of these
people are excellent, so if you meet one and don't like them, feel free to ask for a different referral until you meet a therapist who seems like a good fit. They don't work for the university,
so you can usually feel free to talk to them, even about suicidal thoughts or feelings. If you
are using U-SHIP, these visits will all be covered, even to a therapist not at SCS. If you have


other insurance, SCS visits are covered by the student life fee, but you need to check your
insurance policy to see how other therapy appointments are covered .
Financially the U of C treats services for any mental health problems the same way they treat
any other sickness, and the UShip plan's insurance benefits for outpatient or psychotherapy
treatments are only provided if they give a referral or prior approval to the service; if not
there's a $50 deductible that comes out of pocket. The issue with this is that, sometimes,
the wait time to get that initial appointment to refer you to a therapist or psychiatrist in the
community can take months. If you are covered by UShip or would like SCS to help you find
help outside the University, while this can be hard to do, reaching out at the first sign of a
problem is the best way to get help within a somewhat reasonable time frame.

and inpc1ti§nl treat menJ
Sometimes, mental illnesses can be dangerous and require immediate treatment. If you feel
like you might be in danger of hurting yourself or others (or a friend is) this is a medical
emergency, and you can walk into the emergency room. Just tell the receptionist how you
are feeling and that you are worried about your safety. After a while in the ER, a psychiatrist
will come talk to you and decide whether you need to be admitted. If you have a feeling
about this one way or the other, advocate for it! If you say that you think you need to be in
the hospital, they will almost certainly admit you .
If you are admitted to the hospital, you will be be transferred to Chicago Lakeshore Hospital,
a private psychiatric hospital on the north side . People have mixed experiences with this
hospital, but it will keep you safe and is an important resource when you need it. Make sure
that you have a friend who knows where you are who you can call and who can help you get
in touch with other people. Write down their number on a piece of paper before you go, because you will not be able to have your phone with you, so you'll need to call from the phone
in the hospital. Most people stay at Lakeshore for a few days, but you and your doctors will
discuss the best plan for you, as well as a plan for how to get more care when you leave.

more detailedinfo on Lakeshoreat:


self-cane and o ngoing management
Dealing with mental health takes many forms, not just going to talk to a professional, doing
a regimen of therapy or taking medication. Yoga, meditation, acupuncture and being outside
in the sun can all help keep you feeling good. Rockefeller Chapel offers meditation everyday at 8 am, Wednesdays at 6 pm, and yoga at 5:30 pm on Tuesdays and 4 pm at Bond. In
addition, eating, sleeping, going outside, and seeing other people are very helpful for most
It can also be very helpful, both for figuring out your treatment plan and for managing your
mental health while things are stable, to talk to other people about it. You'll find that most
folks are surprisingly open about their mental health, so ask lots of questions. Hearing what
other people are doing can help you get ideas and reduce the stigma of mental illness for
everyone. Learning to deal with mental illness can be confusing and frustrating, but there
are many resources available to help.


If you're unhappy with your relationship with substance use, there are many places to turn
for help. Specialized addiction services are not provided through the school, but an SCS
counselor can talk to you about your issues with substance abuse and connect you with
other resources. If you want to keep the school out of your business entirely (a perfectly viable option) , there are lots of resources around campus . A good list of recovery groups (AA,
NA, SMART recovery, Gamblers Anonymous, etc.) can be found by Googling "UChicago
Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Support Groups."

ieaving .s~hool

(this part is by baci)

There may come a time when your mental illness prevents you from being able to fulfill
your academic obligations. We tried to write a full-length section on leaves of absence,
but it didn't come together; for now, I'll give the briefest of overviews and talk about my
experience .
There are two main types of leave: voluntary and involuntary.
Many, many students choose to go on a voluntary leave, usually taking a quarter off,
sometimes two or more. At its best, a voluntary leave can be a powerful moment of agency:
you take stock, consult the people in your support system, and make the decision to give
yourself a break. Then you can catch your breath and try to deal with the shit going on in the
rest of your life that's preventing you from doing homework.
If you go three quarters in a row without finishing at least three classes, you'll be placed on
a year-lon g involuntary academic leave. Because of all the intermediate stages leading up
to getting kicked out, you'll probably see this one coming-but when it actually happens, it
can feel like a punch in the gut. For me, it took being forced on leave to realize how deeply
in denial I was about my mental health in an academic setting . The string of W's on my
transcript had become meaningless; I was completely paralyzed, trapped in a near-absolute
passivity. Going on leave was exactly what I needed to lift that veil.
This is not true for everyone . If you're a low-income student, if your home isn't a safe place
for you, if your college friends are your main support system, and/ or if you have an illness
or trauma or disability that prevents you from working, going on leave can put you in a very
precarious, even scary situation . UChicago is more home than home for many students;
it can feel like the school is failing you by placing you on leave when you need the most
support. And you're right - it does suck . I wish I had more detailed advice for each of these
situations .. . The one thing I can say is that you're not alone. The other thing I can say is this
stupid metaphor:
College is kind of like a highway. you mostly just gotta keep going straight, and you have to
keep up with the speed limit - going too fast or too slow, or swerving too much, will put you
in jeopardy . but ! highways have exits ! you can get off the highway for a bit, drive around
the side roads, take the scenic route. yeah, it's a detour, but it doesn't mean you're not headed
anywhere. Something something journey, not destination.
Okay that's enough of that metaphor. There's a lot more to be said on this topic . If you want
to talk about leaves of absence / connect with others
who 've taken them , email me at baci@uchicago .edu
also, some uchicago-sanctioned useful info:
college.uchic ago.edu/advising/leave-absence-withdrawal


- - ---- '

feeling good:



Learning the best ways to take care of your physical health in college can be challenging,
but there are several fairly good resources available to UChicago students to help you do
this. This section will go over a few ways that you can get good healthcare, find ways to be
active, and love your body.
- Alexandra Berthiaume

Q{IVJ~ ling stydenj b§alth


Student Health Services (SHS) is the place on campus where most students get primary
care. Right now, they employ several doctors and nurse practitioners, as well as a sports
medicine physician and a nutritionist. It provides a number of services for "free" (paid
for by the Student Life Fee), and those services are listed below - for those, you can come
and get healthcare without even thinking about insurance. In addition to that, they also
provide other basic primary care services for which they take whatever insurance you're
on, whether that's U-SHIP (University -pro vided insurance) or another plan. Those are
also listed below.

14 3

free with student life fee

insurance required

Health and medical care visits with any
SHS provider


Allergy injection visits

Prescriptions/ medica tions

Annual Pap tests

Radiology procedures

Routine physicals

Medical supplies

Annual gonorrhea/chlamydia


Heart station procedures

Annual anonymous and confidential HIV

Specialist care outside of SHS

Flu shots

Travel & routine immunizations

Limited physical therapy

ER Care

Travel health consultations

Medical record copying/ certificates

Limited lab services

Most lab tests

Free condoms, lube, & dental dams

Drug testing

how to make an appointment
It can sometimes be difficult to make an SHS appointment, especially if they're understaffed
or if it's a busy time of year for student sickness . Because they make appointments on a firstcome, first-serve basis, the best time to call for an appointment is the time they open at 8am
on weekdays and 9am on Saturday. You can do this by calling 773-702-4156 and asking for
a time that fits your schedule . If there's nothing available for a few days and you need to be
seen today, you can do a "walk-in" appointment by simply going to SHS and waiting there
for a few hours - they'll eventually fit you in to get you an appointment that same day.

when to go to SHS vs. the ER
Most of the time, most students will be able to find the healthcare they need at SHS. When
in doubt about whether you're sick enough to make an appointment, it's generally good to
just do it - it doesn't cost you anything for a basic doctor's appointment. However, emergencies do happen, so it's important to be informed about the local emergency room - the
Mitchell ER. There are some cases where it's obvious you need to go to the ER - if you're
going in to anaphylaxis, bleeding heavily, or are passed our drunk, you need emergency
attention. But in cases where you're not sure, you can call the SHS Nurse Hotline after SHS
hours at 773- 702-4156 and talk over your symptoms, and a nurse will tell you whether
you need to go to the ER. If you live in Housing, you can call yot1r RA or RHs, and they
can help you with this phone call. It's important to note that the Mitchell ER has long wait
times - six to eight hours in most cases - and can be much more expensive than a visit to
Student Health, so you should only go if you're sure you need to.

how to manage sickness in college
While in most cases healthcare is key to maintaining your health , there will be some times
when a virus goes around the dorm and there's not much you can do but drink fluids and
wait for it to pass . In these cases, here's a few tips for how not to let sickness derail you .


(Side note: I may be a pre-med, but I'm not a doctor yet, so don't take this as real Medical
Advice and always consult a doctor about medical issues).





rest. Your body will thank you for putting down your problem set and getting a full
night of sleep . There's no need to push yourself when you're sick, because you can
always ....
get an extension. You might think your professors hold you to impossibly high
standards, but most are actually really understanding in the event of sickness . E-mailing them to say that you'll need to miss class or get an extension on your assignment
is completely fine. In the long run, you'll do better work if you give yourself time to
rest and get better , rather than stretching yourself thin and feeling awful for weeks .
Even if your professor is not understanding, you can e-mail your advisor and ask for
an extension through them, and they'll have to give you one . Contacting your advisor
works even for midterms and finals exams - part of their jobs is to handle these situations and work out alternate ways and times for you to make up work .
drink fluids. There's a reason your parents told you to push fluids while you're
sick. It replaces any water you might be losing and helps your body fight sickness.
Of course, if you're in the throes of bad vomiting, maybe hold off until you can keep
stuff down.
eat. Sometimes you're hungry but feel too sick to move from your dorm room to
the dining hall. If you 're on a meal plan and living in a dorm, you can get your roommates or RA to bring you a boxed lunch. Also, if you have friends with extra Maroon
dollars to spend, you can ask them to bring you saltines or something similar from
Bart Mart/South Mar t.


of your body

Loving your body and taking care of it means different things for everyone, but it's
important not to forget your health and wellness as you pursue the life of the mind. You
can do this by finding an activity you enjoy, remembering to eat and drink regularly, and
trying to get good sleep.
There are many ways to stay active at UChicago. You can get involved in all kinds of
sports, from basketball to broomball, with your house's IM team, or you can join a club
sport like crew or tae-kwon-do. There's a big dance scene at UChicago, and trying out for
no-cut auditions like RBIM or UC Dancers or getting involved with cultural shows like
SASA can be really fun. The Athletic Department also offers regular "FitChicago" classes
every quarter, including offerings like Zumba, Pilates, and Yoga, which are free to students
and a great time (especially Zumba). If you like to work out, we have two gyms - Henry
Crown is great for a more solitary work-out, and Ratner has a pool and a ton of cardio
machines and weight -liftin g equipment, as well as a dance studio.
It's also important to eat good food and drink water regularly. Try to get in three
meals a day, and make sure you include fiber, fat, and protein to stay full during classes.
Filling half your plate with fruits and veggies - and/or taking a regular multivitamin - will
make sure you get good nutrients. It's also important to drink water throughout the day,
especially if you drink a lot of coffee. Carrying a water bottle with you to class can make
this second nature.
Finally, try to sleep every night for at least 6 hours - more if your body needs it. It
may seem impossible with your workload, and you shouldn't kick yourself for needing to
stay up super late during a midterm week, but sleep will help you feel better and do better
work. You're human: you need sleep.




cr1t\caL& inclusive.

/\ sex positiv ity
Mari Cohen &Olivia Adams
Bare bones (bare ass?) sex positivity is pretty simple. It's a way of approaching human
sexuality with two basic principles . First, you've got the belief that sexual expression can
be a meaningful part of an individual's life. And second, the conscious acceptance that it
doesn't matter if you participate in the particular sexual expression or act in question, as
long as you affirm that those expressions and acts are valid (as long as they're consensual) .
Just two ingredients for your no-bake platter of sex positive goodness!
The term is really vulnerable to misinterpretation (that can is there for a reason, kids!),
but once you've gotten a hold of it, it's a pretty great way to think about not only your
own sexuality, but others' as well! Which is important if you'd like to have sex with other
people, not to say that going solo isn't "sex positive ." Get it?! Good .
When you adopt a sex positive attitude towards life, a couple of things might happen
to you. For one, because sex positivity celebrates all forms of (consensual) sex act and
expressions, you might feel the urge to explore your own sexual recipes without restraint .
Warning : things could get messy. And that doesn't just mean with a co-star . Exploring
things like 1nasturbation is a great way to find out how your body responds to stimulation .
So if you do find your bed (or kitchen counter, or bathtub, or breakfast nook ...) more
crowded than usual, you can communicate what you know works for you. Adopting this
mindset (for the low, low price of open mindedness!) also means embracing the preferences and decisions of others even if it's not your thing . Super into anal? Slay all day. Can't
get enough of missionary PI V? That is vanilla realness. Fucking stoked about a romantic
relationship but could care less about holes and skin flaps? Flawless*""'. Because at the end
of the day, we all just want to enjoy ourselves. And, sometimes, each other.
The terms sex positive and sex negative were first coined by Wilhem Reich, a twentieth
century Austrian psychoanalyst. For him, the terms categorized different societies and
their approaches to sexuality; the former embraced human sexuality as a positive force,
while the latter did not and sought to repress sexual expression that occurred outside
of narrow norms. Much of the sex positive social movement was informed by the "Free
Love" movement, one that rejected the norm of heterosexual marriage as the only
appropriate realm for sex, and a specific type of sex at that -- procreative and, as a result,
penis-in-vagina (PIV).
The 1960s ushered in the sexual liberation movement at a time when that same rejection
of the marital norm reached a boiling point of sorts. Parallel movements, like LGB T
rights, were also interested in what sex positivity had to offer. In short, a judgement-free
mentality towards the wide expanse of (consensual) sexual experiences and desires.


Today, many feminist spaces define themselves as "sex positive ."
Sex positivity, very briefly and generally, is the idea that sex shouldn't be thought of as a
negative, shameful, immoral activity, but as a positive, fun, and even empowering one .

Wf"y --:::10
we reed sex positivity?
In our culture, women and queer people have historically been shamed as "sluts" or "deviants" for enjoying an active sex life. Sex positivity is intended to counter this and to ensure
that it's not only cis straight men who are encouraged to enjoy sex and engage in it when
they want to.
It's crucial to stop shaming people for having and wanting sex. HOWEVE R, whi le sex
positivity is important, it sometimes devolves into the uncomplicated, uncritical stance
that "all consensua l sex is good and empowering" and even "having as much consensual
sex as possible is part of being feminist ." But this form of sex positivity can end up being
harmful and replicating existing power structures, given that it excludes people who don't
always find sex good and empowering for various reasons. For example:
People who are asexual may prefer not to engage in sex, and it's important not to erase
their experiences .
Many people would like to have sex, but often have painful or upsetting experiences, even
when they have consented to a sexual encounter.

Wf y are sexLial exper ie ...ces s0111et
imes _,.pseiti" g or ,nerJoyat,le. eve,..1wr en .3cersor cor ser ts?

In the U.S., sex education and cultural discourse on sex is set up to the benefit of cis
straight men. For example, penis-in-vagina (PI V) sex is considered the default form
of sex, even though many people with vaginas can't orgasm through PI V sex alone,
and many queer people don't ever have PIV sex.

Straight men are considered to have high sex drives and crucial sexual needs, while
women and queer people are discouraged from exploring their sexuality. This has led
to a phenomenon called the "orgasm gap," in which men's orgasms are prioritized in
heterosexual encounters . Given the myth that men's sexual needs are more urgent
than women's, women might feel pressured to provide a lot of sex, even if a man has
never been threaten ing or demanding.

Having good sex can require a lot of communication and sometimes exploration of
our own bodies to figure out what we like. For example, some people have better sex
when using sex toys with a partner. But because society stigmatizes open conversations about sex, it can be embarrassing or scary to start these conversations . And
because society stigmatizes female masturbation, it can be hard for some women to
feel comfortable exploring .

Past trauma can make sexual experiences difficult .

Many people experience pain with sex, and in the case of pain disorders that affect
people with vaginas, research is often poor and doctors give ignorant or harmful

And, if someone doesn't enjoy sex, they might feel like something's wrong with them
or they 're not being a good enough sex-positive feminist because they're not being
empowered by sex.


THE BOTTOM LINE When people enter a bedroom together, a whole host
of societal po,ver dynamics enter too, and we can't just erase those by being extra
positive about all sex, or by assuming that all consensual sex is good sex. Instead,
sex positivity must include a commitment to erasing these power imbalances and
promoting a vision of sex that's not just consensual but also equitable and truly
enjoyable for all parties involved.
Until we get there , it 's not enough to ju st assume that con sensual sex is inl1erentl y
good . We mu st work to n1ake it good. We should strive toward s not ju st sex
po sitivity, but critical and inclu sive sex po sitivity.

Wh:::~ are sor·-,e tL--ll"tCJS
I ca.-, do to ed(J..ess tr.is? Itrequiresalotofwork
at the societal level, including better sex education that addresses sexual pleasure and
addresses the needs of women and queer people . But here are some ideas for promoting
"critical and inclusive sex positivity."

Try to stop using the word "sex" to just refer to PIV sex. Many other sexual behaviors also count as "sex," and many people-including queer people and people who
experience pain with penetration-have
a lot of sex without ever having PIV sex.
We need to normalize the fact that sex isn't just PIV sex so that people don't feel
pressured to engage in PIV sex if it's not right for them, and so that people can feel
empowered to seek out other types of sex.

In conversations about sex with your friends, listen and be respectful when they talk
about struggles to have enjoyable sex. Don't shame them or judge them or assume
they aren't sex-positive . Let them know that you understand and you're here for
them and it's not their fault.

Learn about common myths, like that men have more urgent sexual needs than
women, or that all good sex must result in orgasm, so that you can counter your own
thinking and inform others .

When advocating for sexual consent and sexual health, don't forget to advocate for
making sex not only consensual but positive and enjoyable . (This shouldn't take time
away from efforts around sexual assault and consent but should be an addition to
them .) According to a quote from Maya Dusenbery, editorial director of Feministing, "God help us if the best we can say about the sex we have is that it was consenSU al . "

I reaL ly rel-2te
I 1n~c,rove rr'y

to the


prob le1 · s d1sct)ssed

t·, 1s sect io · 1. How


ow,,..1 sex Ja l exr::,e rie'1ces?

An article from Scarleteen called "When Sex is just a @#&!ing Bummer" has a lot of
really good information and advice for dealing with bad sexual experiences .


I read

r1 o ..e art icles



st ....f?

"The Game Is Rigged: Why Consensual Sex Can Still Be Bad" by Rebecca Traister

''A Call for Cliteracy" by Emma Preston and Let's Not Only Talk About Sex by Olivia
Adams (both Maroon articles by UChicago students!)
"3 Reasons Why Sex Positivity Without Critical Analysis is Harmful" by Melissa Fabello


Sydelle Keisler & Ryn Seidewitz
This information applies to whether you are asking for consent or are being asked . Everyone, regardless of their gender, sexual experience, sexual orientation, and/or social status,
deserves to be asked for their consent!

Consent Must Be:

Freely -given - Given without coercion, under a clear mind, with the knowledge that
"no" is also an acceptable answer.

Reversible - Given with the understanding that it can be taken back at any time .

Informed - Given with the knowledge of all relevant infor1nation about participants'
health (e.g. if having unprotected sex, the knowledge that no participants have an

Enthusiastic - Given with a clear, excited, resounding "Yes!"

Specific - Given with a shared understanding of what the specific sex act entails.

(The FRIES acronym was borrowedfrom Planned Parenthood)

Consent Is Never :
• Ambiguous - If it is unclear

that consent has been given, then consent has not been
given! There is never any harm in checking and double-checking if your partner(s)
are OK with what is about to happen.

Unwilling - I f someone has said "no," in words or body language, then they have
not given their consent. I f someone's body language contradicts their words--(for
example, they are saying yes but their body language tells you they are scared or uncomfortable)--stop, check in, ask how they are doing and if they are sure they want
to continue .

Assumed - If someone has given consent for something in the past, it cannot be
assumed that they will give it again .

Valid if the Person is too Intoxicated - If someone is too intoxicated to clearly
understand the world around them, articulate their desires, and remember what has
happened in the morning, they are not capable of giving consent.

A "mood- ruiner:" Don't worry about consent "ruining the n1ood." Nothing "n1ins
the mood" 1nore than crossing so1neone's boundaries and 1naking them feel uncom-


fortable or scared. Asking for clear consent can enhance your partner's pleasure by
making them feel safer and more comfortable .

Coerc ed - If consent is given under duress or threat, it is not valid consent .
Examples of coercion include:

Lying in order to produce the 'yes' (a 'yes' given under false pretenses is not a

Explicitly or implicitly threatening use of force, a tarnished reputation and social
standing, etc.

Guilting someone (example : you "owe" me!)

If. 3t ar1y tirre . yo1 feel 1r1cor''1fortz:3t
le i•'1a sex 1Jal sit1ation.
yo J ALWAYS ~'1ave tr'1e ri;1r1tto stoc.
Wh en sex is consensual. but ...
If you've had a sexual encounter which has left you feeling uncomfortable, but still meets
the definition of consensual sex, then you are not alone . Often, even consensual sex can
include complex power dynamics and feelings of obligation that all parties are not able to
vocalize at the time . Sex is not always a good, positive experience and that is OK. Due
to lack of sexual education, the deluge of complicated n1essages about sex we receive every
day, and the fact that many of us are having sex for the first time, sex,just like any other
experience, is often a mixed bag. If you are feeling uncomfortable, harmed, or upset after
a consensual experience, you can, if you feel comfortable, talk to your partner, a friend, or
a counselor.


painful sex
Mari Cohen & Olivia Adams

I Just started having sex. and it really.really hurts. Is that supposed
to hapoen?
There's a cultural myth that pain is a normal part of sex, especially for people with vaginas
during the first time having penetrative sex, and that you should just "grin and bear it'' the
first few times or "relax and have a glass of wine" and hope that it goes away. Sometimes, sex
is painful the first time, but for many people it isn't. And for many peop le, sexual pain can
persist beyond the first time . But pain is not an inevitable fact of sex, and no one deserves to
put up with pain during sex.

Why is this happening?Is there son1ethingwrong with me?
First of all, there's nothing "wrong" with you. Sexual pain is very common, and it doesn't
mean that you're "abnormal" or "defective:' This pain doesn't define you, and it certainly
doesn't make you an inferior person or a bad partner. While sexual pain is sometimes caused
by easily fixable issues like dryness, it can often come from an underlying medical condition.
One common source of sexual pain is vaginismus , a condition in which penetration causes
pain in the vagina . Some people find that it's not possible to insert objects of any size into
the vagina, including tampons, while other people might insert tampons without a problem
but find sex or pelvic exams painful. Unfortunately, like many issues that primarily affect
women, medical research on vaginismus is problematic and limited, and many doctors don't
know much about it or give incorrect advice that causes more harm. For example, people
are told that vaginismus comes from anxiety or trauma related to sex, even though that's
not always the case. Patients are also often told that it happens because they're not relaxed
enough . While it's true that vaginismus is related to the vaginal muscles not being relaxed,
telling someone to "just relax" is unhelpful advice and doesn't address this.

I think I might have vagnisrnus or anorher sexual pain condition.
What do I do?
First of all, it's important to communica te with sexual partners and let them know when
something is painful for you , and to stop doing it. It's hard, but you don't have to feel guilty
or ashamed . You don't deserve to experience pain in the act of pleasing your partner, and a
supportive sexual partner will understand that and won't want you to be in pain .
Second of all, you may consider seeking treatment. Conditions like vaginismus can sometimes be successfully treated with physical therapy, and there are doctors and physical
therapists in Chicago who can help .

At UChicago Medicine OB-Gyn, there is a clinic called the PRISM clinic that addresses
sexual pain for women . Dr. Stacy Lindau can make a diagnosis and can refer you to


physical therapy. (The website says that the PRISM clinic is for women with sexual pain
related to cancer, but they'll see people without cancer, too.)

Recommended pelvic floor physical therapists in the area:

Christi Christian, Symmetry Physical Therapy in Irving Park

Rene Lederman, UChicago Medicine

For conditions like vagnismus, you can also order equipment like a dilator set (available
on vagnismus .com or even Amazon) to practice with on your own.

Keep in mind that doctors can sometimes misdiagnose or offer incorrect advice for these
conditions. If something isn't helping or doesn't seem right to you, don't be afraid to get a
second opinion.
However, you don't have to wait to finish treatment, or even choose treatment at all, in order
to build a pain-free sex life. Even if a certain type of sex, like PIV sex, is painful, you can
choose sexual activities that aren't painful to you and still have an enjoyable sex life.
Some doctors or people you know might try to convince you that you must have penetrative
sex in order to have a successful relationship or sex life, but that's bullshit. It's completely
possible to find sexual partners who will commit to engaging in sexual activities that are
enjoyable and pain-free for both of you . (Or, if you're not really interested in any kind of sex
but would still like a romantic partner, it's possible to find that too!)

I stopped doi11gthe sex.Jal act that was painful for me. but I still
feel really Jpset about everythi'1Q.
Unfortunately, experiencing pain with sex can often heavily impact mental health. The pain
might create negative associations with sex. You might worry that you're being a bad sexual
partner or that you'll never have an enjoyable sex life or find a romantic partner who will
accept you. You might be ashamed of your sex life or worried that people will find out. And,
because sex isn't always an acceptable conversation topic, it might be hard to talk about it.
All of your feelings are valid and understandable, and you're not alone. This is difficult, and
it's so okay to feel sad and frustrated. If you feel comfortable, consider talking to a trusted
friend or counselor .
You'll find that sexual pain is very common, but it's hard to know that because so few people
talk about it. Hearing from other people going through the same thing can be very reassuring. Reading about others' experiences, or talking to others about their experiences, can
make you feel like you aren't alone.
An article that might be helpful: "Everything I Wish I'd Known During a Decade of Painful
Sex" (note that this is about a cis straight woman dealing with pain during PIV).
Feel free to contact Olivia Adams (oadams@uchiago.edu) if you want to talk to a peer
Note that while there's a lot of good writing about this on the Internet, there 's also a lot of
incorrect or limited information.
If you have a regular sexual partner, educate your partner about your pain and talk to them
about how they can support you. Check in with them about how your sex life is working for
them and if they have any concerns. Let them know if there's anything they can do to help,
like reassuring you that you're not a bad sexual partner.
When talking to your partner about your pain, try to avoid saying "sorry" too much, because
that will make you internalize the idea that you did something wrong . The pain isn't your
fault and you didn't do anything to make it happen.


sexual assault
Sydelle Keisler & Ryn Seidewitz
If you've been assaulted (or feel deeply uncomfortable with a consensual sexual encounter),
the first thing to know is: You

are not alone.

While the official statistic states that one in five women and one in sixteen men are raped in
college, we know this is not representative. Nonbinary, trans*, and gender nonconforming
people are excluded from this statistic, though they statistically experience assault
more frequently than their cisgender peers. In our experience, stories of seuxal assault,
ambiguously consensual and/or traumatic sexual experiences are never far away. More often
than not, we bear these experiences in silence and, subsequently, we never know that our
assault is not an isolated event. We exist in a larger culture that silences victims and allows
perpetrators to go undetected.
If you have been assaulted, know:

You are not alone. You are never alone. We

believe you.
Questions to ask yourself if you think you may have been assaulted:

Did you want the sexual contact?

Were you asked for your consent? Was it clear to you and your partner that you were
present and engaged in the sexual contact?

Were you in a state where you were able to give consent? Were you sober, conscious,
and unafraid when you gave consent?

If the answer is no to one or more of these questions, you may have been assaulted.

Options if you·ve been assaulted:

If you think there is a possibility you want to report, and have any physical evidence,
collect it (sheets in bags, take pictures of any injuries, go to the hospital for a rape kit,
etc.). Physical evidence can be important if you ever decide to go to a disciplinary
hearing or trial. That being said, many assaults will leave little to no physical evidence.
Lack of physical evidence does not lessen your experience.

Seek out support. This may come in the form of friends, loved ones, and/ or student
counseling services.

Know your rights. If you have been assaulted at the university, you have the right to
report your assault to the administration and have it adjudicated fairly. You also have
rights to special accommodations, like a no-contact order against your assailant and
various academic accommodations. For more details on your rights, see the University
Policy: Title IX and Bias Response sections.


Wh at to d o if think you have assaulted someo ne
While no one likes to think of themselves as an assailant, people often commit sexual assault
without even realizing it. If you think that you may have violated someone's boundaries or
hurt someone, the most important thing to understand is that it is no longer about you . The
only thing you can do at this point is to defer to the person you hurt.
If the person you hurt wants to talk to you about it: Show up, listen, and apologize .
If the person you hurt does not want to talk to you: Respect their wish and leave them alone .
Either way, educateyourselfon consent by talking to your friends, doing research online, and
seeking counseling.

Tips for All ies o f Sexual Assault Survivo rs

Anybody can commit sexual assault and anybody can be sexually assaulted, regardless
of their gender identification, body parts, or sexual orientation .

Believe them! Trust their account of the events .

Don't write their story for them. Allow them to process the events on their own
timeline, in their own framework.

It is okay if they aren't sure if what happens to them qualifies as "assault:' Instead of
getting caught up in the language of whether or not they were assaulted/raped/etc,
focus on how they are feeling and what they need. Focus on what happened, not what it
could be labeled .

Do not share their story with anyone without their consent.

Do not pressure them into any specific route of action (reporting, seeking disciplinary
action, etc).

Do your best to understand and remember their triggers so you can be an ally in
academic and social spaces.


Drug Education & Harm Reduction
Tim Juang

You may have the intention to try drugs. Drugs arefun. Drugs are exciting. Drugs open

your mind.
You may be trying to avoid drugs altogether. Drugs are addictive.Drugs are dangerous.

Drugs are artificial.
Different people use different drugs for different reasons. So too do they abstain from
drugs for var ied reasons. The multitude of attitudes and behaviors toward intoxication is
not only okay- it ought be valued as part of the diverse richness of human experience .
Diversity in the context of drug use carries the same weight as it does throughout this
guidebook: it must be something that is challenging, and something you must engage with
in order for it to be valuable.
Whatever your particular personal feelings toward them , drugs will be part of your university experience. Why? Because drugs are prevalent throughout the culture at large, and
you will find that there are drug-behaviors that are privileged and others that are marginalized, some drug cultures that are celebrated while others demonized . Indeed, you will
find that the 'people who do drugs' may not be the people your parents or middle-school
teachers warned you about, and that UChicago is but a microcosm of America's drug
culture, potentiating some aspects and muting others.
This article is split into two parts, one in the Theories & Perspectives section and one in
the Community section. The purpose of this section is to provide resources for maximizing pleasure and safeguarding the well-being of yourself and others when using drugs.
After all, drug activity, like sexual activity, can be a pleasure and can be an abuse; it can
feel ecstatic and it can feel violating. Responsible drug use means having a thoughtful and
careful approach to your own activity.
I am not an expert and this should not be taken as expert advice. I was merely a college
witness to responsible and irresponsible drug use, and a student that read books on drug
theory. Therefore on some topics I have choice words, and on others I have none. My B.A.
thesis in college concerned the psychedelic experience and I naturally have the most to say
about that. For further questions, you may contact me at timothy.juang@gmail.com.


General Harm Reduction Tips

Drugs affect every person differently. The effects are inseparable from the unique
biochemistry of individual bodies, from personalities and mood (set), the physical and
social environment they are taken in (setting), and the larger cultural interpretation of the
drug-effect. Just because your friend or an anonymous forum poster had a good experience with X drug does not mean that you will. Therefore:


Take time and do not rush into any drug experience. Do your research before trying
any unfamiliar new substance. Read peer-reviewed scientific articles and books, read
other people's good experiences and awful experiences, and please read whether they interact with your OTC or prescription medications, especially if you're on SSRis or MAO Is.
Erowid.com is a go-to starting resource. Set yourself up to have a positive experience by
arming yourself with knowledge and realistic expectations. Furthemore, it's wise to dose
low and test your reaction before increasing dosage on subsequent occasions.


Know what you're taking and know the dosage.


Find reputable sources. The street economy for drugs is not incentivized to protect your safety or well-being. The safest source for illicit substances appears to actually be established Darknet vendors. The darknet remains creepy and unsavory to many,
but its cryptomarket distribution networks are safer than conventional networks, both
in terms of violent crime and quality of substances. [1] It is prudent to buy an online
testing kit for whatever drugs you are taking


Invest in testing kits and scales. The drugs in your personal network may have
exchanged many hands and have been cut with other chemicals. Unlabeled powders,
pills, and tabs can always have the potential to be something other than you expect,
including something lethal. Test your drugs before you take them. Kits can be bought
easily on the internet, as can microgram scales. "Just eyeballing it" is like using the Pull
Out Method. If you don't do it correctly, you're taking a big risk.


Unless you are a medical professional in an exceptional circumstance, never dose
someone else with psychoactive drugs without their informed consent.


on UChicago's

popular drug cultures

A 1 CO hO 1 . Every student initiated through 0- Week will probably witness to some
extent the peculiar, distinctly American coming-of-age ritual that takes place on college
campuses: binge drinking. On balance, alcohol is the "hardest", most dangerous drug that
will impact students at UChicago. This has less to do with the chemical properties of the
drug itself than the culture of binge-drinking and partying that accompanies it. Responsible use can be a great time. Stay hydrated, know your limitations, and be aware that
alcohol intoxication reduces a person's capacity to consent to sexual activity.

Ca ff e i n e . This drug is explicitly encouraged by UChicago's tour guides and marketing material. Caffeine-houses are ubiquitous, and heavy coffee habits are normalized.
Baristas tend to quickly accumulate social capital. Caffeine can be euphoric, but it can also
be harsh on your digestion and cause dependency. Pay attention to your habits. If the acidity of coffee is doing a number on your empty stomach, try having it with food and adding
cream. Or you could switch to tea.

Ni CO ti ne . In the wake of booze and caffeine inevitably comes tobacco. The cig-


arette culture is centralized outside Cobb, the Reg, the Div School, bar-night, and the
back-porches of apartment parties. Yes, it is habit-forming and damaging to the organism.
Enough ink has been spilled on the scientific effects and nature of nicotine. For a perspective from literary criticism, see Cigarettes are Sublime (Klein 1995).
As for e-cigarettes - vaping is less common, but appears to be an effective method of quitting cigarettes. As of 2016, the effects of chronic use of e-cigs are still under-researched,
but there is some evidence that suggests that vaping is linked to other health-risks. Proceed with caution.

Can n ab i S . Common and accessible in a variety of social circles. You are likely to
have a high-functioning stoner or two in your honors classes. First-years can often be detected smoking behind the Law School or stinking-up dorm hallways. Good-neighbor advice : take it outside, or vape with a sploof (DIY scent -mask er made by putting dryer shee ts
into a cardboard tube). As with alcohol, if you're new to cannabis, take it slowly, and
consume in a safe and comfortable environment. Go especially slow with edibles, as dose
amounts are highly unpredictable. Paranoia and anxiety are common negative side -effects
and can be potentiated by alcohol (especially in new-users). If you're high and uneasy , it is
advisable to reinstate yourself in a comforting and familiar environment . Remember that
the effect is temporary and will soon be over.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that UCPD is lenient with pot, but you should nonetheless be
attentive and take care when medicating in public.

. Appears to be popular in certain dorms and fraternities on campus. There will
be folks rolling during the Summer Breeze concert. The variabili ty of th e MDMA altered
state is lower than other psychedelics, making it seem more appealing for recreational
usage. The neurotoxicity of MDMA is a hot debate and gives reason for preparation ahead
of time. Not only should one stay very hydrated during the experience (most deaths related to MDMA are linked to overheating and dehydration), prepare for your come-down
by pre-loading and post-loading with vitamins and supplements. Please see : http://www.
P S y Che de 1 i CS . At the Life of the Mind, a small but significant minority of undergraduates experiment with "mind manifesting" drugs. While these drugs may be used
recreationally, at higher doses they are mostly associated with transpersonal and spiritual
domains. McKenna, a noted psychedelic exp lorer, has written that what the telescope was
to the discipline of astronomy, psychedelics are to the discipline of psychology.

Psychedelic experiences vary wildly due to the nature of the experience, the uncontrolled
quality of black/gray market psychedelics , and a lack of education and preparation. With
this in mind, take great care concerning set and setting of your trip. Taking these drugs
in recreational settings or with large groups of people is discouraged (college trippers
commonly conduct this experiences this way). Choose instead one or few well -selected
friends in an intimate setting . Experienced users have found that taking psychedelics in
an environment of solitude and sensory-deprivation may be fruitful . Many have encouraged meditation and fasting to prepare for a psychedelic trip. For a quality introductory
resource on conducting a psychedelic trip, see The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide (Fadiman
Inducing a psychedelic state with proper conceptua l and ideological background in a
supportive environment may result in a deeply meaningful th erapeutic or spiritual expe rience. This has been richly documented not only in preindustrial societies across the Old
and New World (Grinspoon 1979; De Rios 1984; Stewart 1987; Guzman 2008; Wasson


1967; McKenna 1993), but also in modern laboratory and experimental settings (Aaronson and Osmond 1967; Dyck 2008; Pahnke 1966). Contemporary work suggests that
psychedelics may be effective for autognostic purposes (lit . self-knowledge) i.e. 1) religious
or spiritual practices, 2) self-knowledge and self-in spection and 3) self-medication (Moro
et al. 2011).
On campus, many gel tabs and blotter papers being sold as LSD are LSD-analogues, socalled "research chemicals" of the 2C family and others. 4-AcO-DMT ('synthetic mushrooms') is common in the form of whi te powder. Psilocybin mushrooms and pure LSD are
uncommon, and DMT is rare. While most psychedelics are non-toxic (psilocybin, LSD,
DMT, etc.) some of these research chemicals can be fatal even at the range of 1-2 tabs. Test
your drugs and go slow.
Research into the psychedelic drugs has only been re-opened in the past ten years, leading
some researchers to call the current period a "psychedelic renaissance." It is my personal
belief that the psychedelic experience will develop as a critical subject in the disciplines
of medicine, law, psychology, and religion. The psychedelic literature is expansive, and
there is no lack of quacky, quirky and faulty information (an example of the latter is the
media-fueled moral-panic over LSD 'flashbacks: Such a phenomenon called hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) exists, but is very uncommon). Journeys into
psychedelics are serious may be intensely discomforting. Please take care .



Cocaine HR tips: https:/ /www .verywell .com /harm -r educ tion-tips-for- cocaine -u sers-21993
Safer Cocaine Administration: http://www.lycaeum.org/leda/

docs/ 12959 .shtml ?ID= 12959

Adderall / amphetamine HR guide : http:/ /www.brainprotips .com/adderall -n eurotoxicity/
Heroin/ Opiates HR guide: http:/ /harmreduction .org/wp -content/uploads/2011/12/HisforHeroin.pdf

[l] See Martin, J."Drugs on the Dark Net: How Cryptomarkets are Transforming the
Global Trade in Illicit Drugs." Palgrave Macmillan, 2014


Notes on Addiction
'J\m I addicted?"
It is a hard question to ask oneself, and one in which I as a non-expert feel unqualified to
speak much about. Yet, prompted by one's own destructive habits, or by the concern of a
loved one, it is worth having the courage to confront and answer honestly. In order to do
so, the following section provides some notes on the meaning of 'addiction'.
Health professionals and academics conceptualize addiction in different ways and with
different viewpoints . If one concept of addiction does not seem to work for best resolving
your personal situation, there may be other ways of approaching the issue. Here are three
ways to begin to conceptualize addiction
On one end of the spectrum is a scientized, "hard" view of addiction-a medical model.
Addiction in this view is monitored by cravings and by measured by increased usage over
time, increased tolerance to the source of craving, and the presence of withdrawal symp toms. Under this viewpoint, the addict is often seen as losing their own free will and control of their choices, hence justifying an intervention on behalf of the "patient" or "victim''.
Compulsions such as drugs, sex, internet, or food may all be sources of this "disease:'
On the opposite end of the spectrum is a socio-linguistic view that sees the reality of addiction as a "myth:' Addiction is not something that happens to people like contracting an
alien infection, but is a state negotiated through channels of human desire and intention.
According to this view, the "addict" is defined as someone who is forced to use the language of 'addiction' in order to flourish in the world, whether that means obtaining social
sympathies or services (Davies 1992). Under this view, the subject does not lose their free
will, but rather deploys languages of addictions in specified contexts to accomplish certain
goals, but this language speaks not to the "truth" or "identity" of the individual.
Between these two poles-the medical model and the linguistic model- is a view of
addiction that may be called the isolation model. Here, the opposite of addiction is not
sobriety, but rather connection . The problem of addiction is a problem of isolating oneself
from others. In other words, addiction is not a substance disorder, but a social disorder.
Addiction signifies a lack of human trust and attachment to others, and it is hence not
enough to be sent to a psychiatric institution for a chemical treatment. Rather, the process
of overcoming addiction means that one must find a way to re-connect meaningfully in
one's social world .
This last perspective seems to me the most fruitful model of dealing with the problem
of addiction. For the individual questioner, it means asking oneself, rather than "Am I
addicted?': "Is this habit a crutch for my social connection, and is my habit damaging my
meaningful social relationships?" and "Do I want to change the course of my relationships
by changing myself?"
For loved-ones and companions, it suggests that one ought not use methods of shame,
nagging, surveillance, or forced intervention, for these may exacerbate the root causes of
the addiction. Rather, in love, what is needed is to build connection and trust. Accept the
choices that your friend makes, and let them know that whenever they want to make a
change to their life, you will be there to support them.


"i had to, i'm sorry

(Yes, it does happen!)
Jake Bittle

In a serious way, going to parties as a student at the University of Chicago is Very Important : for many people parties are a primary way of relieving stress, see people you're
too busy to see during the week, dance with more liberty than you can in the library,
and generally feel connected to a larger circle or maybe even community of people with
like-minded interests and comparable temperaments and souls to yours. Moments and
feelings like these are sometimes hard to come by when you're in an environment where
everyone is studying . This school sucks sometimes, but there is another side-sore, shuffling, beautiful. I think I learned this by going to parties .
There are a whole bunch of disclaimers one could put at the start of this section about
the validity of other people's experiences, the immense variety of different experiences
one could have in a given party situation, the total viability and perhaps even desirability of never going to any parties at this school or never even drinking or ingesting any
substance, and the dire importance of regulating both the volun1e and frequency of one's
alcohol consumption . I will include them as they occur to me but in general please know
that despite this guide's being intended to be useful particularly to an incoming first-year
student, this section being no exception, everything I am saying I am nevertheless saying
as me, not as any being with any kind of pretense to omniscience, and that in general you
should question anything that does not jive with what you, yourself, feel about something .
My two credentials are that I love partying at the University of Chicago and that I was
asked to write this.
This "guide"will proceedonly only the most general terms. Shouldyou ever have a question or want
advice about a particular place, topic, instance, or other detail re:partying at UojC or anything else,
I guess,please do not hesitate to contact me at 8134664712 or at jakebittle@gmailcom.


AM I REALLY GOING TO GO TO FRAT PARTIES The simple truth is that, despite
the very frequently justified horrible reputation of many of the fraternities at UofC, many
or even most first-year students will, somehow, probably during 0-Week, end up going
to a frat party. My personal advice as a fourth-year would be to avoid these altogether and
try to make your own way, but maybe you like them, maybe you want to go Greek . I and
almost everyone I knew, even people who didn't drink, went to frat parties during our first
year. Going to these early parties is actually a great way to bond with your housemates
during 0-Week, too, and even to (gasp!) meet people. You can all help each other figure
out what makes you feel good and where you're not comfortable. I t's like an impromptu
support network, and it's good to have someone you can count on to take you home the
first time you get drunk, and it's even better to be that person .
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF FRAT PARTIES More generally, frat parties are good
if you aren't 21 but still want to drink, and especially if you really want to dance . There
is usually dancing . Sometimes you can even talk over the music to meet people. They're
almost always more, how to say it, intense than apartment parties and certainly more
intense than dorm parties (but probably on the whole are much tamer than fraternity
parties would be at other schools, where the houses are more than glorified two- and
three-flat apartment build ings).
There is probably a far better dossier of info about specific fraternities in the "Greek Life"
section, if that exists in some other corner of this guide, but here is a general prin1er about
what to expect at which frats, so you don't drown in random Greek letters:

PSI U, DU, PHI DELT, FIJI The big ones on Frat Row (University from 56th to 57th,
DU accessed via a weird alley on 57th between University and Woodlawn), all with big
annual themed parties, probably sketchy mixed drinks in a big bowl, ridiculously loud
music usually played off a laptop by some third-year who thinks he's a DJ, lots of red cups
and tomato-faced guys. This is the real McCoy . They go pretty late . Generally "guys" $5,
girls free- I don't want to talk about how stupid this is.
NB Phi D elt suffered a tremendous shame/scandal last year (2015-16) and has had its
charter revoked, which means they have to depopulate the fratern ity as everyone graduates and probab ly can't have parties anymore. Which is fine, they weren't that good.
NB 2 Fiji (Phi Gamma) had its building on 56th and University literally condemned
for being derelict . That building is being repaired and they usually have parties at
some shoddy off-campus apartment on Drexel I think . Truly the end of an era.
SIGMA CHI , SIG EP, DKE , ZETA PSI , AEPI , LAMBDA These are smaller frat
"houses" (in many cases ((Sigma Chi for instance)) just big apartments) with parties that
aren't usually quite as intense as the big ones on frat row but still usually include a lot of
booze and a decent amount of dancing . I ordered them in decreasing order of how much
fun they usually are. AEP I , the Jewish fraternity, suffered a really noxious scandal last year
so I don't know if they're still going to be throwing parties, but when they did, they often
threw parties on Thursdays. In general it might be better to go to parties at these frats if
you have any kind of low-level social anxiety, generally can't handle or don't like a ~really
fratty atmosphere~, or want to drink without being jostled around or pressured to dance
too much .
Both of the above "categories" will generally announce parties via Facebook events, sometimes with lot s of stupid acronyms, sometimes with useful information . This is truer for


the first set than the second set. Otherwise, ju st go by hearsay. That is to say, I don't think
a ru1nor about a frat party has ever been false, per se. Sometimes they just turn out to be
really lame and/or smaller than you imagined, esp at a place like Sig Chi . But generally,
give it a shot . Sometimes it's better to try and fail than spend Friday night playing Apples
to Apple s in your house lounge.
ALPHA DELT Not technically allowed to throw actual parties, so they just throw, like,
"music events" on Wednesdays. This is called Bar Night . It happens every Wednesday
starting around 11pm and features a cash bar in the basement . It is very sticky and often
very crowdy, but is attended by hipper, more woke kids . Is certainly the most laid back
and, ahem, least fratty of the frat events . Even for tho se who hate frats, $1 glasses of PBR
are hard to resist . Smoking is allowed inside, which means your clothes will smell like
smoke for a day or so afterward . Worth a go if you're stressed out on a weeknight . First
and tenth weeks are always the most crowded of the quarter, mid-quarter always the least
crowded .
-I could probably write a whole book about Bar Night . I 've been there more times
than anyone I know and I 'm incredibly ashamed about how 1nuch I love it . But I'm
going to stop here . If it 's for you, it's for you. I f not, not . You never know 'til you go.

ABOUT THOSE DORMS UofC, at least as of a year or two ago, has comparatively lax
policies on alcohol being consumed by underage persons inside college dormitories. I f
things haven't changed (which they may have: things change quickly here), then your RH
and RA will tell you that they more or less look the other way: as long as you aren't drinking in the hall or the lounge, you don't make an ass of yourself, and you don't stink up the
halls with the smell of marijuana or whatever, you probably won't get in trouble .
When I was a first-year (2013) there was even a rule about how you could have an
RH-sanctioned party in your dorm room if you gave the RH enough notice. D on't
assume that's the case, though .Just to say, things are way less strict here than at other colleges. If you bring your booze into the dorm in a plastic or paper shopping bag, the desk
people aren't going to ask you to open it . You're technically, I think, allowed to have it. It 's
much better to do this if you have a fridge, though, because no one likes warm vodka, and
it will be vodka during your first year.
PREGAMING (VERY IMPORTANT!} Generally dorm rooms are used for pregarning,
i.e. drinking with your friends before you all go to a party together. I t's a bunch of people
sitting around drinking in a circle, suggesting songs to be played on your roommate's
bad speakers and begging everyone to play some card-based drinking game or other.Just
kidding, pregames are more often than not very dear, intimate, memorable and fun spaces
for you to drink with your close friends and housemates-they're
a great way to make
entering a party a little easier on your nerves, and helps you withstand the cold during the
winter . Sometimes they get so fun you won't ever leave.
Just go easy on the shots, because when you're just sitting around it can be tempting to
just keep drinking . And make sure to be judicious about drinking other people 's alcohol
and/or compensating them for it .Just because someone has a fake ID doesn't mean they
should always be the one buying Svedka for the whole gang . Being too gluttonous may
get you disinvited.


Writ/ all of the above, the same rules generally apply to marijuana as do to alcohol. You
can totally smoke in the dorm rooms if you want, and likely will,just open a window and
put a towel underneath your door . Your RH , unless the rules have changed, will likely look
the other way. Marijuana is also cool at frat parties, I think, and at the apartment parties
where smoking is allowed (see below) .
ACTUAL "PARTIES " IN DORM ROOMS Non-pregame parties are generally pretty
limited in scope because of, um, the size of a dorm room. That one girl from your Hum
class will probably try to throw a birthday party with colored lights hanging from the
ceiling . Maybe go just for the hell of it . There are also parties in the apartment/suite
things that are in some of the dorms. These can get pretty big, and since there are generally upperclassmen in the apartments they sometimes have a decent amount of booze,
but they also have to stay pretty quiet. Sometimes in more insular dorn1s like H itchcock,
parties can span entire floors, but this is rare. But hey, you don't have to go outside to get
there, which can be nice.

WHAT ARE THESE The holy grail, the best kind of party, and, in all likelihood, the kind
of parties you will be attending for most of your college career unless you get really into
Greek life or start going to nightclubs, in which latter case you'll have to find some kind
of guide to partying everywhere else on earth .

It's hard to speak unilaterally about this species of party-the only thing that unites all
apartment parties is that they, you know, take place in apartments. This can mean anything from a 20-person potluck for a club or sports team to a lOOs-of-people party put on
by an RSO as a fundraiser . For this reason, you never quite know what you're going to get:
sometimes you'll show up and it'll be really lame, other times you won't be able to move.
A word about what makes these good : when you're at smaller parties with your friends,
on hardwood floors, with beer and a little to drink, and you go out back on the porch
(all good Hyde Park apartments have rear porches) to have a smoke and get into a good
conversation, or if a decent dance floor gets going (generally this is a good indicator of a
medium- to large-sized party, one to which you could invite friends or friends-of-friends),
there's nothing better at school. It's pure fun, with people that you love-it feels like community . I spent years going to mediocre parties chasing the wonderful, beautiful feeling
of one that goes right . It has the spontaneity and spark of a frat party, but the intimacy of
drinking in the dorms . It's like a cliche scene of a house party, but you're on the inside of
the cliche, so it means everything. Stumbling down from north Hyde Park, through the
quad to your dorm-these are the most youthful moments of youth. I don't mean to wax,
but it 's these parties that legitimize partying as a discipline, as a practice, at this university.
Anyway, since these parties can be any shape, size, or vibe, there's no point in trying to
classify them, so I 'll just try to offer some basic advice that apply in most situations.
When to show up: If you are really good friends with the people hosting (or if you
hear specifically from them or a friend who knows them that it's cool-as in, if you are
invited), then maybe 10:30 or at the earliest, 10. Again, unless otherwise specified. I f not,
on the later side of the 11 :00-11:30 range . It helps to have a pregame situation organized
(this is way easier once you move off campus, at which point it feels way less weird to just
drink in your house) so you don't end up staring down 12 strangers sitting on the floor.

Apartment parties generally end by 1:30 or 2am, at which point the police usually come


if the music is still loud . You're now maybe thinking, why would I show up at a party at
11:30pm if I'm just going to leave by 1:00am or 1:30am, but trust me, those two hours
are priceless. Plus then you get to stagger back with your friends, go to Bart Mart-and
besides, you have to wake up the next day and go to the Reg.

How to find these parties: Either there will be a Facebook event that someone'll
invite you to (giving these events-how many people are invited, whether they're all
cracking inside jokes on the page, whether it says "this is for the crew team" in the
description-a cursory glance is also a good way to figure out what you're getting into /
if you should even go), or hearsay. The latter is generally more risky. Sometimes you and
your buddies will end up in an awkward situation, somewhere where you're really not
super welcome. That's fine. Just feel it out-take it on a case-by-case basis, and don't go
out just to go out.
What you do if you show up and there 's no one there that you know: This can
be remedied by never, ever, ever going to one of these parties alone, and this is coming
from a very outgoing person who has tried to do it a number of times . Anyway, the worstcase scenario is that you and your friend will show up, not know anyone in the front room,
not know anyone in the back room, one of you vvillgo to the bathroom, the other will
wait, you won't know if you can take a beer or where the beer is. Don't panic . It's fine to
leave, it's fine to feel uncomfortable, it's fine to not know what's your place, and it's fine
to have nights that are complete failures. But, in the interest of politeness, not making an
ass out of yourself, general human decency-do introduce yourself to the people hosting
the party, even if it seems like they might not give a shit about who you are. Since you're
in their home, it's better if you say who you are, how you heard about it-be honest . Who
knows, you might 1nake friends. Probably not-this is still UofC, after all-but it makes
your inevitable departure twenty minutes later much more graceful and respectable .
Some things to not do at these parties: Come alone, come too early, touch people's
books, touch any of people's stuff generally, go in rooms you don't have a reason to go into,
invite loads of people without asking, bad-mouth the hosts (they're standing behind you),
stay in the same group of five people the whole time, make out with someone (unless it's
really really dark ... ), complain about a lack of alcohol, be afraid to ask for a glass of water,
take alcohol from a kitchen fridge or anywhere else without permission, break something
and not tell anyone, smoke inside without permission, grab the aux cord (or the wireless
AirPod transmitter or whatever the fuck) and change the music without permission, open
or close doors and windows, toss your coat somewhere other than the designated spot,
okay, you're getting the idea,just stay in your lane, always ask the hosts for permission,
don't be rude . It's easy.
Some things to do at these parties: Stay for five minutes at least, even if you're not
sure it's good, go outside every now and then to the back porch or else you'll never see the
people who are outside smoking, bring a 6-pack or some alcohol for yourself, introduce
yourself to people you don't know, join conversations you overhear if you feel comfortable
doing so, ask where the beer is, thank the hosts, have fun, hear people out, have good
arguments, dance if you feel comfortable doing so, get around cynicism for just a minute,
and whatever else you want that doesn't hurt or annoy others, ask people to coffee if you
have a good conversation with them, find your favorite spot of the room, enjoy your youth
before it disappears .


There are more expanded sections within this guide about sexual assault and harassment, alcohol
and drug use, and mental health, and probably a lot more important stuff that is relevant, related, or tangential to "partying," "drinking," and ''socialsituations." Please consult these sections
should you feel it necessary or appropriate to do so.

Always have someone at the party, or out with you, or in touch with you, who knows

what your plans are for after the party . This way if you veer off course or get into
trouble they can check in on you.

Also, have a plant least some kind of plan, and communicate it. You don't have
to set an agenda or anything, but if you knovv you want to get trashed, set a time
limit or a drink limit . If you're going to meet up with someone, make sure your
phone is charged, and follow through . Voice your intentions and emotions so
the people you're going out with are in sync with you, responsive to your needs,
more prepared if things go wrong .

On the flip side of this, be ~that person~ for others you go with . You don't have
to formalize this,just keep an eye out for people. You might be wary of being
nosy or overly parental, or of getting in your friend's business, but this really is
what friends do for each other . There 's no other way to say it .

By the same token, if you see a stranger in a situation that looks unsavory,
harass-y, or in any way nonconsensual, or in an unhealthy or unresponsive state,
it is almost always better to pay attention, check in on the person, and, if you
think it's necessary, intervene, than it is to leave them alone and hope for the
best . Maybe you'll come off as a dickhead, but look, some people are going to
think you're a dickhead no matter what you do, so just trust your gut.

Frankly, if you're at a frat party and a member of the fraternity invites you to join the
crew upstairs or something, think very seriously about this. Maybe don't go alone. I
don't have much experience with this stuff (I do not get along super well with most
fraternity brothers) but this is just an educated guess .

Furthermore, if someone seems like they might be being creepy, they, uh, probably are.

If you can't remember how many drinks you've had, it's a good time to stop. As a
general rule, you should stop 1naybe one drink before you feel like you're at your
limit . You don't need to be blasted to have a good time .

The only way to figure out where your alcoho l limit really truly is, is to pass the
limit . There 's nothing that says you ever have to do this . Drunkenness, unlike
Marx's vision of 1noney, does not have to beget drunkenness .

Avoid mixed drinks in large bowls (if"jungle juice" sounds appetizing to you, you
should probably think long and hard about that) - take shots of vodka in the dorms
instead, it tastes nasty but at least you know how much you're having.

Don't leave your drink unattended when you go to the bathroom or accept any drugs
fro1n someone who is anything less than a friend of a close friend or a close friend


of a friend . Or so1nething like that. I mean, do whatever you want, just be carefulpeople aren't usually horrible and evil, but someti1nes they are.

If you're at an apartment party and you want water, so1neone will be happy to get it
for you . If you're at a frat it's, uh, way less likely-fill up before and hold your urine,
or bring a water bottle, I guess, if you're into that .

Don't argue with a door guy at a frat-they are always looking for people to lord
over, mess around with, get mad at, not let in .

If someone tries to fight you, don't fight them .

If you're at a party that gets shut down, the immense likelihood is that the UCPD
are not going to arrest you . Leave in a safe, efficient, and not-freaked-out manner.

Be careful when in contact with the following : balconies, staircases, black ice .

Places open late where you can get stuff if you need it : CVS on 53rd, Open Produce
on 55th and Cornell (until 2am), Bartlett and Midway Marts .

The quad is a good place to puke or to pee . Also, the alley you take to get to DU, but
be quick . Also, alleys in general, but make sure you've got someone nearby-those
things can get confusing if you're new in town .

Make sure you know if you're on 54th Street or 54th Place .

Even though dealing with the police and the hospitals is an absolute nightmare,
takes a long ass time, and ends with everyone scratching their head and going to
bed at 5am, it is always better to be safe if you think so1neone might need medical
attention . The biggest thing to look out for is unresponsiveness : belligerence, while it
can be hard to deal with, is usually a better sign than someone being out cold . Don't
be afraid to give them a little slap if you really can't decide .

Keep your stuff (phone, wallet, keys) on you at all times, obviously, but 1nake sure
your jacket (and, if it's an apartment, your shoes) go somewhere where you can get
them in <2 minutes, because plans change quickly. Never bring your ~best~ jac ket to
a frat or a large apartment party, because, again, people can be shitty .

Leaving and walking home without a jacket in the winter = almost always a bad
idea, even if it ~doesn't feel that cold outside .~ See if you can find someone with
an extra layer, or wait for a shuttle.

Really, though,just your gut. It's all you have. Sometimes you'll get really drunk and your
gut will go a little out of whack, but still, trust it. You are a human being, with under standing of other human beings, which means that at least to some extent you know your
own body, your own mind, the bodies and minds ofyour friends . It also means you know
how to read situations and deal with unexpected problems, at least sometimes. Do this.
Sometimes bad things will happen- it isn't all glamorous, this "partying" stuff But you
grow from it.

OK that's about it dance your little overworked quad-blend-soaked hearts out xoxo


• •


/ nur banu simsek
Spiritual Life Office.
Our name tends to scare people, not gonna lie. Just saying Spiritual Life, people immediatel y think we are providing spaces and services for religious students only. Those who
have daily rituals, stubborn convictions about God(s), and strong faiths . Not searching,
not meditating, not curiotts. People who check off a few boxes, have certain labels, and are
here to find people who think and belie ve in the same things.
Of course, this is the farthest we can get from what the Spiritual Life Office (SLO) actuall y
does . The SLO is located in the ground floor of Ida Noyes Hall, recentl y renovated, with a
bright and welcoming air . Next door is the meditation room. Across the street, Rockefeller Chapel houses other rooms for Hindu Students, for Muslim Students, and an Uncommon Room for hosting meetings, available to anyone and everyone ranging from the Hyde
Park Pagans to the Secular Alliance .
Some more mainstream religious groups are privileged to have institutions supporting
them elsewhere on campus, e.g. Catholics have Calvert House and Jews have Hillel and
Chabad. The SLO works with these institutions in directing students to the right spaces ,
and also collaborates with them on events like Interfaith Harmon y Week and Spirit Week.
But if you don 't feel like you belong to a certain group, or your group has only four people
on campus and two of them are graduate students, or you are not supported by a national
organization who has a building on campus, then the SLO is the perfect place for you.
For example, a recent group that found space and comm1mity in SLO is the Confucius
Commons . The Office provides the group with resources and outreach help as well as food

16 7

and, of course, a meeting space . And the good thing is this: all of these spaces, within and
without SLO, are open to all students at all times.
Inside the office, you are greeted by an SLO team member, who could be a student like
you, the director of the office, or a spiritual advisor. Then what you do is up to you -- you
could read, do mindfulness activities, drink some tea, color some mandalas, talk to a
spiritual advisor, just chill on a comfortable cushion .
There are endless opportunities here . And a great community, I can guarantee it. Coming
to UChicago was a little scary for me . I am a practicing Muslim and I wasn't sure if I
would fit in with the vibe that almost all non-denominational colleges give off. There is
no room for ~religion~ in our science-driven quest for knowledge! Spirituality? What is
that? A hobby?
You know what I am talking about?
So ... as you can imagine, I v.•as immensely happy about the existence of SLO. I didn't real ly understand all that it did before coming to the university, but I was consoled by the fact
that there were enough students who wanted the services it provided for it to exist . And
really, the SLO is only the beginning of spiritual life in the college.

You can branch out and discover so many amazing communities and incredible events .
People who want to start their days grounded and at peace, people who ask hard questions in brave spaces, and people "vho challenge each other . Here are some examples:

Twenty Minutes Still, daily meditation for t,-venty minutes, takes place every
weekday at 8 am throughout the academic year in Rockefeller Chapel.

Wake Up UChicago offers an hour of mindfulness meditation on Sundays, in the
Spiritual Life Office (Ida Noyes 034) .

Zen Buddhist meditation and dh.arma talks take place every Wednesday at 5 pm
in the Rockefeller Chapel.

For me personally, the highlights of my year were :

Mawlid: This is a Muslim celebration for the birth of the Prophet (pbuh). The SLO
worked ,-vithRockefeller Chapel and organized a beautiful night for Muslim students and
community members by bringing Al-Firdatts Ensemble -- a multicultural sufi music group
based in Granada . They performed lovely songs and praises for us and we all participated
in some of them in remembering the Prophet . It was one of the most emotiona lly fulfilling
things I have experienced .

Spiritual Life Council: This is a group I applied for that brought people of different
backgrounds together and met every week to engage with difficult questions and current
events. We also did service projects and had speakers, workshops, and case studies on
things like interfaith conflict resolution, and the power of art in theology etc. The people
who made time every week to come and be a part of this circle were incredible people and
I learned a lot from them.

3. A film sc reening of Sita Sings the Blues: This is rather specific but the SLO puts
out a fev.• quarterly events depending on the season and in the v.rinter we had a screening
of this really interesting animated movie called Sita Sings the Blues. The movie combined
the epic Indian poem Rama yana with blues music, and depicted a personal story in the
form animated Indian shadow puppets. Afterwards, we had a discussion about gender
roles in organized religions.

------ ------- - -


/ nur banu simsek
Muslim pra yer room -- Ida Noyes Ground Floor
Frida y (Jumu 'ah) pra ye rs for Muslim students take place in Bond Chapel, and ha ve
two sessions to be more accessible.

Muslim Student s Ass ociation -- acti ve weekl y through the year, has stud y breaks ,
lectures, speakers , and halaqa s (discussions). Also hosts an Eid Banquet every year.

/baci, mari cohen, aryeh bernstein
"Je\-\>ishcommunit y" can mean a lot of things. Maybe you don 't know what you want it
to mean, or how much you want it to mean. Well, here are som e of the communitie s you
might find on campus. It 's prett y lon g, but surprisingly not exhausti ve! Sorry about that .
...Yep, that 's my openin g. Here we go:

campus institutions: hillel & chabad
• Hillel is the main space in which student je wish life happens, and lots of it happens on
• On Frida y night, the y've got Reform , student-run Egalitarian (will be familiar to
Conservati ve students) , and student-run Modern Orthodox Shabbat services. On
Saturda y mornin g there 's usuall y Modern Orthodox & Egalitarian services .
Time for my very biased opinion: I've found the Egalitarian Jewish
community to be uniquely super-special and amazing. They 're somehow
able to be simultaneously dedicated to all of the following: observance,
community, intellectual pursuits bothjewish and secular, and social justice .
For, like, >99% of the people reading this, this community won 't be yours, but
I do think it's pretty cool to know that something like this exists. -baci
• Also on Frida y night there 's a nice big Shabhat meal , open to an yone who wants,
Je"vish or not . Saturda y lunch is usuall y a smaller & more student-generated affair, but
still welcome to an yone.

• Stud y space - there 's basicall y alwa ys someone in the building during the week,
working on a problem set or \-\rritingan essa y (or watching youtube videos).
• Lotsa programming - "lunch&learns, " fun evening events, etc . Hillel tries to connect
with yotu· Judaism on man y levels, so you can opt in to whiche ver aspect you're most
dra,¥11to , be it academic , cultural , etc.

Note : A lot of the programming will be Israel-themed, which may be upsetting to some .
It 's tough because Hillel as an organization is the main source of those very necessary
necessary ingredients for developing Jewish religious life on campus: mone y and space .
At the very least, stay informed & critical. Also, if you feel alienated for any reason, know
that Jewish life does flourish in HP without Hillel's help--see below for more .

• Chabad will meet you where you are - the y're a genuinel y kind & big loving family.
• Baila cooks amazing Shabhat meals , so if you need a break from Hillel's Friday night
offerings, get over there!

• Cafe Shira operat es out of the Cha bad building - bagels & lox & other good stuff to
nosh on, for ,.vhen you're sick of the dining hall or just ,.vant to hang out.


community synagogues: KAM II & rodfei zedek
Hyde Park has active Jewish community with lots of history. Plug in and take the oppor tunity not to be constantl y surrounded by 20 -somethings! Get invited to shabbat meals!
The community has two synagogues, K.A.M. Isaiah Israel (Reform) and Congregation Rod.fei Zedek (Conservative) ; both congregations have features typical to their
movements, as well as surprising, unique, independent flavors. Both communities have
regular Shabbat services (and daily morning min yan at CRZ), that are highl y partici patory , ½rith lots of singing, as well as classes and cultural programs, and students are
always welcome. KAMII has a stunning and famous building, recognized as an official City
Landmark for its striking Moorish architecture. It also has an award-\.vinning community
garden which deli vers thousands of pounds of fresh produce to local soup kitchens and
shelters. It 's a great volunteer opportunity. CRZ participates in a neighborhood Sukkah
Walk on the Shabbat of Sukkot (Oct . 22), and sta y tuned for its One Book, One Rodfei
community learning program. Both congregations invite students for free entrance to
High Holiday services .

other hyde park jewish institutions
Akiba -Schechter Jewish Day School , a diverse, energetic, educationall y progressive,
Orthodox, Nursery-8 day school, sharing a campus with Rodfei Zedek. There ma y be paid
tutoring opportunities here!
Jewish Enrichment Center, an inno vati ve, state -of-the-art, Reggio-Emilio and project-based learning oriented supplementary Jewish school for nursery through 6th grade
students . Teaching and artist positions may be open for this extraordinary program,
housed in the Rodfei Zedek building!
Hyde Park JCC: Pretty much what it sounds like. Check out opportunities, including
school vacation day program staffing, and more.

independent, unique, jewish urban spots beyond hyde park
We will highlight three urban congregations and one educational center to check out,
none affiliated with a denominational movement:

Mishkan Chicago -- a 5-year-old, progressive, very musical spiritual center that has
radicall y transformed the map for alternati ve Jewish living in Chicago, captured by its
slogan, "I nspired, Down-to-Earth Judaism ". Mishkan meets in various locations in the
north side Lakeview neighborhood and is led by Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann, a Hyde Park
native .
Beth Shalom B'nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation , a 100-year-old
congregation serving the Israelite community (one term used by some African -American
Jews) and led since the 1980s by Rabbi Capers Funnye (who is Michelle Obama 's cousin).
The congregation has a rich set of traditions, some of which \.\rill strike you as being on the
"right " of a Jewish religious spectrum and some on the "left". Regardless of your racial
identity, you are welcome at BSBZ, which is in the Southwest Side neighborhood of Chicago La"vn (67th and Kedzie).
Tzedek Chicago , in its two years of life, has established itself as probably the most
explicitl y political and activist Je½rish congregation in the Chicago area, proudly identified
as non -nationalistic (including non-Zionist) and committed to solidarity, equity, nonviolence, and spiritual freedom . Its Shabbat services are usually in the north side Lincoln
Square neighborhood and it is led by Rabbi Brant Rosen, who is also a co-founder of the
J e½rishVoice for Peace Rabbinical Council .
S'vara , "a traditionally radical yeshiva dedicated to the serious stud y of Talmud and
committed to the Queer experience ". With a small full-time program and a large weekly


study program co-hosted with Mishkan (the "S & M Beit Midrash "), S'vara, led by Covenant Award-,vinning Rabbi Benay Lappe, cultivates an ''environment that recognizes as
crucial the insights oftransgender, intersex, queer, lesbian, bisexual and gay Jews as well
as those of other religious backgrounds ." Classes challenge and nurture students of a wide
range of backgrounds and experience .

jewish organizations

for progressive


The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA) is a member-based organization
committed to combating poverty, racism, and anti-Semitism in Chicago. Always joining
campaigns led by directly-impacted populations, JCUA is presently a member of the
coalition for a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, recently signed into Illinois law; and the
campaign to bring a Level-1 Trauma Center to the UChicago Medical Center, ,vhich the
U of C aggressively rejected for years, before agreeing last year to open a center, which
recently broke ground. JCUA also supports the campaign for a Civilian Police Accountability Council , engages in Muslim-Jewish dialogue programs, and runs a summer teen
program, Or Tzedek. Join and find out ho,v you can get involved!
IfNotNow is a national, grassroots, young adult-led movement to end American Je,.vish
communal support for the Israeli occupation. They run trainings and actions in Chicago
and around the country.

Jewish Voice for Peace , a national organization "seeking a just peace between Israelis
& Palestinians based on equality, international law, an end to occupation, and respect for
the common humanity of both peoples", and which supports the international Boycott,
Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, has a Chicago chapter with actions, meetings, and more.
Jewish Solidarity and Actions (JSAS) is a local, grassroots group mainly n1nning
monthly Havdalah and study evenings about different social justice issues.

a note on the history of jews on the south side
Today, you can count the South Side's synagogues on one hand . But it wasn't always that
way. During the Jewish immigration boom of the early 1900s, a large, poor and working
class J ewish community grew sout heast of here, in South Chicago, while a more prosper ous one grew here in Hyde Park. By the 1950s, there were 14 synagogues south of 71st St.
and east of Stony Island Ave., in neighborhoods such as South Shore, Jeffery Manor, and
Chatham, in addition to four congregations then in Hyde Park. By the mid-197os--well,
you probably know what happened . The Southeast Side J ev.rishcommunity faded av.1ay, as
housing restrictions on Black people fell, predatory contract selling realtors found profit in
flipping neighborhoods, and bank and government policy favored keeping neighborhoods
segregated . The muscle of the U of C, used actively to integrate Hyde Park in the way it
wanted, prevented Hyde Park from falling prey to the same realtors. However, the U of C's
social engineering tactics have always involved other versions of racism, classism, and discrimination in housing and otherwise. The South Side Jewish community has always fallen
on both sides of these dynamics . One way to learn about the history of Jews and changing
demographics on the South Side is to find the former synagogues that are now churches.
To learn more, read Arnold Hirsch, Making the Second Ghetto; Beryl Satter, Family Properties; Louis Rosen , The South Side; and Ta-Nehisi Coates, "The Ghetto, Public Policy, and
the Jewish Exception" . Also, Regenstein library special collections has lots of really interest ing Jewish archival materials from Chicago Jews if people want to study this more .


----------------------------------------------------------------christian campus ministries
/ dominic surya

united church of christ/ disciples of christ
Univer sity Chur ch (UChurch). Across from Bartlett dining hall. Diverse in terms of
race; a black church and a white church merged to form it. Also diverse in terms of age, with
children, students, professionals, and retirees, many from the University. Perhaps the most
active church in Hyde Park for social justice . Always busy, with everything from Fabiana's
Bakery to tutoring to a thrift -shop once a month! With a charismatic if busy pastor, Julian
DeShazier, who doubles as the rapper J .Kv.•est . tb.com/universitychurchchicago

Multi -Ethnic and Asian-American InterVar sity (IV). A network of students
seeking after Jesus Christ through faith sharing, bible study, conversation, and
fellowship; open to all backgrounds. A campus -wide "large group" meets on Fridays, and
small groups meet variously, usually in dorms. More often than not ,varm, sincere, and
conservative . 3rd -year Kelsie Harriman, kharriman@uchicago.edu

Brent Hou s e. A small chapel that also rooms graduate students and a few younger Hyde
Parkers. Decidedly diverse, frequently queer, and generally progressive, so much so that
a few students have left or moved to more conservative communities like Calvert . With a
busy pastor (who doesn't fear discussing sex!) invested in getting to know students and
a few peer ministers. With a traditional service on Sunday afternoon, occasionally in
Spanish, and tea/programming on Wednesday afternoon. brenthouse .org

Urban Village Church Hyde Park -Woodlawn. Effectively non-denominational.
Their worship style is modern, and their ever-repeated tagline is "bold, inclusive,
relevant." They emphasize J esus as countering oppression, and foster opportunities for
local volunteering and activism . They're queer -affirming, diverse, ,vell educated, and
largely young, with a few ttndergrads at a Sunday's service . They have a small group of
undergrads that meet biweekly for a potluck and conversation . It's decidedly open to
anyone regardless of religious background or certainty. Church : urbanvillagechurch.org.
Student group: 3rd-year Valeria Stutz, vstutz@uchicago .edu

Augustana Church. An established, mainline church of Hyde Parkers, with a history
of supporting efforts for justice on Chicago' s South Side. Services have fairly traditional
aesthetics and music (e.g. a small pipe organ!); sermons have thoughtful perspectives
on politics. They're officially "Reconciling in Christ," i.e. LGBTQ-affirming. They have a
part -time campus minister and student peer-ministers; on Thursday evenings, they invite
students for a home-cooked meal and theological discussion. It's rooted in Lutheran
theology, but students' denominations and religiosity vary. Also, they have opportunities
for service through cooking and urban gardening. Church: augustanahydepark.
org. Student group : Divinity School MDiv alum Ryan Fordice, campuspastor@
augustanahydepark .org


Calvert Hou s e. After Hillel, likely the largest religious institution on campus; the place
where the greatest number of Christian students go. Sunday services (masses) are often
full; more people sing the hymns than do at most Catholic parishes. Sermons are dry,
accessible, and avoid politics . Calvert generally v.rashes its hands of avoid politics. Many
students and staff strive to be friendly. calvert.uchicago@gmail.com
Catholic Student s Asso ciation (CSA). With well-attended suppers, service trips,
talks, and more, almost all v.rithin Calvert-although the CSA is officially an RSO of the
University, while Calvert is part of the Archdiocese. (Unlike Catholic students around
campus, the strong majority of students involved in the CSA are socially conservative.
Though if you go to a CSA/Calvert event, conservatism may not be obvious : It's both
obscured and perpetuated because the CSA, like Calvert, avoids politics . Provided you
don't raise uncomfortable topics, e.g. gender, students do strive to be friendly.) calvert .
uchicago@gmail .com
Uof C Progre ss iv e Catholic Outreach (Pro Cath). A few times a quarter, this group
has potlucks with discussion of a progressive Cath olic concern (e.g. women priests, queer
relationships, liberation theology). The group also goes to Sunday services (masses) at
progressive Catholic Chicago churches .P roCath+owner@googlegroups .com
St. Thoma s the Apo stle Church. The local Catholic parish. Fairly representative
of Hyde Park (not only the University). Preferred by students who want a church
v.rithpeople of all ages, esp. preferred by graduate students . Also appreciated for its
architecture and traditional music . Served by Carmelite priests . stapostleparish .org
Lumen Chri s ti Institute. For Catholic thought, on everything from scripture to saints
to society to science, often relatively conservative. It offers talks by noted Catholics, and
informal courses. As an institution, it's young but established . lumenchristi.org
Catholic Theolo gi cal Union (CTU) . One of the world's largest English -speaking
Catholic graduate schools. Training people for lay and ordained ministry (e.g. to work
in colleges, to work in churches, to be priests, to be sisters) . Quite diverse : many
international students, and many progressives . ctu .edu

Hindu Student San gam. A group of self-identified Hindus who meet weekly to chant
bhajans, conduct pujas, and discuss Hindu values, methodologies, and philosophies in the
context of students' lives . Open to students ,.vho are Hindu or curious about the tradition,
in a warm atmosphere. 3rd -year Nayanika Challa, nayanikachalla@gmail.com




faith-based social justice
Pra ye r and Action Collective (PAC). Students ,.vho pray and meet weekly, to hold
the University accountable for building a trauma center that empowers neighboring
communities, and to organize faith -communities with the campaign for a community
benefits agreement around the incoming Obama library. St11dents work v.rithseveral
South-Side faith leaders, houses of worship, and Hyde-Park seminaries (e.g. Seminarians
for Justice). tb.com/tcprayers


Sanctuary at University Church. Since April, UChurch has been involved in one of
the nation's leading sanctuary cases, and Chicago's first in decades . These sanctuaries
host refugees fleeing their home country due to unsafe circumstances (Immigration and
Customs Enforcement, ICE, has a policy of not deporting people who are in churches
or schools). In this case, Jose Juan Frederico Moreno is seeking refuge from the U.S.
orders that he deport himself to Mexico. He is the sole breadwinner for his wife and five
children; President Obama 's promise to deport "felons not families" is far from fulfilled .
With UChurch, Organized Communities Against Deportation (OCAD, of the Little Village
neighborhood) hopes to rally support for his case, and to revolutionize how deportations
are perceived in this country . Pragmatically, Jose Juan is accompanied around the
clock by volunteers, many of them students. Students and Chicagoans also have vigils
and advocate for his case. No,~, that the summer has ended, more help is needed.
sanct11aryvolunteers2o16@gmail .com
UChicago Coalition for Immigrant Rights (UCIR). They volunteer on the third
Friday morning of the Broadview Detention Center, where immigrants are deported.
UChicago students arrive early to help families understand what how they will be able to
see their loved ones off. With the Interfaith Committee on Detained Immigrants, and the
Archdiocese of Chicago Immigration Ministry. Social Service Administration PhD student
Angelica Velasquillo, avelazquillo@uchicago.edu

sort of everything
Blue Gargoyle. Located within University Church . This community center ,.vasclosed
for a few years, following decades of social service and activism . The Blue Gargoyle had
fostered everything from anti-Vietnam demonstrations to a feminist anti-rape initiative
to a Teamsters union oft1ni versity staff. Plus, back v.rhen the University did not allow
gays and lesbians to have coffees and dances on campus, the Blue Gargoyle hosted them.
Anyway, this year the Blue Gargoyle has been revived . It has after-school tutoring and
weekend arts/culture activities, and looks to grow, provided people volunteer to help!



Olivia Stovicek, Rohan
Goyal, & Kiran Misra

Dear first-years,
As you enter this university, none of you will be members of a house called Tufts-or
Maclean, or Palmer, or any of the eight houses that were moved to North Campus and
renamed at the beginning of this academic year. You won't live in Broadview, or Blackstone, or New Graduate Residence Hall, or Maclean. And if you're a new Breckie, you'll
find Breckinridge House not in Breckinridge Hall but in International House. These major
changes to housing aren't the first time dorms have been closed or houses renamed (RIP
Pierce, the Shoreland, Woodward Court. .. ), and it probably won't be the last, but they're
important, for two reasons.

FIRST:The changes were made with minimal student input and largely did not
address student concerns. Th is is part of a larger, long-term trend of UChicago admin
refusing to engage with students' voices on the issues that affect us, whether that's Title
IX violations, accommodations for students with disabilities, or upheaval of the housing
system. Because th e housing change affected such a broad swathe of campus at one time, it
made the university community more aware of this ongoing dynamic.
The justification for University policy is the idea that the future of housing is in
strengthening the Resident Master model and housing more College students closer to
campus, according to University spokesperson Marielle Sainvilus. However, as a Housing
RA explains, "Housing has not been at all sensitive to residents' feelings about the move.
They simply tell residents what's happening, and then they deal with the aftermath." "Definitely people felt marginalized during the process;' a first-year from Tufts summed up.
SECOND: A lot of us love our houses (and hope you will, too). For this reason, we
are deeply concerned about how these changes will affect house culture, and by extension,
the culture of the University as a whole.

Houses mean a lot to UChicago students . More than just rooms where people sleep,
houses are the first communities for students here, and for many, become their most
important communities . The satellite dormitories were particularly unique-they were
located at a bit of a distance from the main quad, they often had smaller houses or a single
house to a dorm , and each dorm developed its own tight-knit community with its own
culture . The satellite dormitories were incredibly varied -from single-house dormitories
like Breckinridge and Maclean, to the apartment-style rooms and suites found in Stony
Island and Blackstone, to the worn glory of the former gentlemen's hotel of Broadview,
and to the mixture of graduate and undergraduate students in International Hou se. Each
of these communities offered incoming students the opportunity to choose their UChicago experience and strongly contributed to university culture as a whole . The satellites


were known for their strong presence in the annual Scavenger Hunt (see Breckinridge,
Maclean, and BroStoMP), and they gave a strong sense of identity to the students living in
these buildings .
The University's long sought-after transition from a collection of neighborhood
buildings to a centralized campus cluster comes with other drawbacks as well, including
distancing students from the neighborhood they reside in. Satellite dorms were one of
the best ways that UChicago students developed a sense of belonging to the Hyde Park
neighborhood, and to both the South Side and Chicago as a whole . Often located close to
transportation and important neighborhood initiatives, and slightly farther away from the
"UChicago bubble;' the satellites allowed residents to step back and get a better sense of
the relationship between UChicago and the surrounding community . The way in which
UChicago's actions affected the surrounding community was tangible to satellite residents .
Although the house system at UChicago itself hasn't changed, the satellite experience
is something that has been almost entirely lost to future generations of UChicago students .
With only Stony Island and I-House remaining, the latter in an altered form, a unique set
of experiences has been lost: many new students will never know the thrill of coming back
to their house after a long walk from a long night at the Reg, the enriching interactions
with the large international graduate student community living in the same building as
you, or the satisfaction of painting quotations from your favorite authors on the walls
of your dorm. Marion Talbot, Norman
Maclean, and James Hayden Tufts, among
others, names that held both academic and
"We can see why [people]
sentimental values for whole communities,
really love it here. Because will not hold any meaning for entire classes
of future UChicago students .
we wouldn 't give this up
Additionally, satellite dorms provided
for the world : And really
essential variety to the housing options
for first-years . Private bathrooms, which
feel like we shouldn 't and
used to be available in many of the satellite
we don 't want to."
dorms, are no longer an option (with the
closest alternative being bathrooms shared
- Harper Graf
by suites, or single-user bathrooms shared
by an entire house). These bathrooms were especial ly important for students who value or
need privacy, like some trans students. With the move to North, the possibility of a firstyear receiving a single is drastically reduced. Whereas housing used to work for a lot of
different types of people, now it primarily caters to someone who wants social interaction
most of the time, who likes to share space, and who doesn't mind communal bathrooms .
Even more importantly, the closure of the satellites makes it clear that while the
University of Chicago continues to send admissions brochures touting the benefits of the
house system and the uniqueness of each community, its actions show that it would rather
take away students' ability to choose their own experience in favor of a system that is impressive to donors and to ranking lists. These types of actions make it clear that UChicago
is more concerned with improving its household perception than actually providing the
best opportunities for out-of -classroom growth for its students . The repeated evidence of
this attitude make students feel instrumental - only valued in use to the end of making
UChicago look good, and not valued in themselves .
That's why it matters . Now here's what happened ...


On April 20, 2015, Dean of the College John Boyer and then-VP for Campus Life and
Student Services Karen Warren Coleman announced Housing's biggest change to date:
the closing of five dorms situated at the edges of campus and Hyde Park, called "satellite"
dorms . This represented an unprecedented contraction of campus housing buildings,
coinciding with the opening of the University's largest new dorm, Campus North - an
800-student-capacity megaplex located on the former site of Pierce Tower, another dorm
that closed at the end of the 2012-13 school year. Beginning in the 2016- 17 school year,
the dorms of Blackstone, Broadview, and Maclean would be sold to private investors,
while New Grad and Breckinridge would be repurposed for other campus uses, with New
Grad becoming the new home of the Harris School of Public Policy, opening in autumn
2018. New Grad residents had been told the previous November that the dorm would
close, and the possibility of the other dorms' closing had been mentioned briefly during
0-Aide training in 2014, but with no communication on the topic since then, most dorms
were blindsided by the final decision - Breckinridge had even scheduled a meeting to
discuss their dorm's future with Boyer and Coleman the following week, with the understanding that decisions would not be finalized before then .
University communications framed the sweeping changes as part of a plan to ensure
all houses had access to Resident Masters and to house more students closer to campus.
College Housing admins met with the affected houses in the following days, and as they
answered questions, they posited a need for "parity'' in amenities between dorms and
denied that finances played a role in the decision .
A student and alumni organization, Save Our Satellites, quickly farmed to organize
responses to the announcement, fighting for certain dorms to stay open, for houses to
keep their names, and for "cultural, geographic and structural diversity of dorms for
future generations of UChicago students:' Despite efforts to contact administrators and
organize various means of protest, S.O.S. was never able to meet with administrators to
discuss student grievances .
With the major changes already set in motion, College Housing solicited student
input on some details : it created a committee to help determine where each house would
be located within North and to plan "celebration efforts" to honor the affected houses .
During the winter of the following academic year, possibly in response to prolonged
protest by the Breckinridge House community, the administration decided that one house
would keep its name and be moved to International House, and the committee was also
asked to share input from the houses on which would be placed there . An equally prob lematic solution, the movement of a house community to International House required the removal of
international graduate students from International
House, calling into question the commitment of
= Strongin
UChicago to the mission of International House,
= Behar
which had previously been the subject of a number of
legal disputes some years earlier.
= Thangaraj
House location placements were announced in
March 2016, revealing that Breckinridge would move
to I-House and keep its name, and new house names
were announced in June 2016.

Fora more comprehensiveoverview of the closing
of the satellitedorms, seegreycity.chicagomaroon
article!the-satellite-dorms-culture-traditions-and-themaking-of home


= Trott

Afreen Ahmed & Michelle Gan

There are several buildings on campus that serve as specializedinstitutesfor student involvement. We'vehighlighted three that you should know about: the University Community
Service Center (UCSC), the Institute of Politics(IOP), and the Center of Identity + Inclusion
(CII) that houses the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA), the Officeof LGBTQ
Student Life, and Student Support Services (SSS).

UCSC has connections to over 200 community organizations and matches
students to them based on their volunteer interests. The office also includes programs like
Chicago Studies that encourage student interaction with city communities.


Chicago Bound is a pre-orientation program revolving around service and community interaction in the city. Applications are released a little bit after admission
acceptance letters.

Service Match is a volunteer program that runs through winter and spring quarters.
The UCSC matches sn1dents with one of 8 partner organizations (all of which are located on the south side) and students commit to volunteering at least once a week for
the entirety of the program. There is no application-just email servicematch.ucsc@
gmail.com for more information!

Volunteer Referral is great for anyone looking for a less structured program. If you're
interested in volunteering but don't know where to start, you can meet with one of
the student interns to discuss what you're looking for in a volunteer opportunity
and they will send you a list of organizations that they think you might be interested
in. You then work directly with the organization to set up a schedule. For more info
email volunteerreferral. ucsc@gmail.com.

Days of Service happen about once a month and give are stand-alone events (normally
around 3 hours). These are great for anyone who is interested in volunteering but can't
commit to a set schedule. For more info, email dayofservice.ucsc@gmail.com.

Seeds of Justice is a year long program that introduces students to social justice
topics. It's a small cohort and only open to first years so it's a good way to get to know
your peers and learn about service .

Summer Links is the summer internship equivalent of the above program, exposing
sn1dents to service, policy, and organizing. Applications come out during spring

UCSC is housed under the Office of Civic Engagement now alongside the Neighborhood Schools Program (NSP), which matches student volunteers with local schools
and shelters to assist with th eir needs and gain a better understanding of urban
education systems.


57th and Woodlawn also houses two important institutesfor students: the Center of Identity
and Inclusion (includes Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) and the Officeof
LGBTQ Student Life in one building), and the Institute of Politics(IOP) right acrossthe


a diverse and inclusive space that is used for hosting events for multicultural groups on campus (like ACSA, OBS, MSA, JVP, SASA, M.E.Ch.A, QuestBridge, OLAS),
supporting first-gen and low income students, and providing safe spaces for students with
marginalized identities. There are 3 sections as outlined above (OMSA/LGBTQ Student
Life/SSS). You'll find students lounging in the building after class, doing homework with
friends, or eating free food at an event in the community lounge. The CII exists as a
resource for minority and multicultural students, so make sure to utilize their staff, leadership opportunities, and funding!
OMSA has 3 main divisions of funding: Allocation Board, Campus Dialogue
Fund (CDF), and the Research Initiative Grant (RIG) .

Allocation Board and CDF oversee proposals from other student groups whose goals
align with OMSA to provide them with funding assistance for events and speakers.
If your student group is planning on hosting a larger event, you should definitely
apply for Student Government funding through SGFC, and if your event aligns with
OMSA missions, CDP/Allocation Board can serve as smaller, additional sources of

OMSA also has a Research Initiativ e Grant for students who want to conduct original
projects in the city of Chicago. Keep in mind that the project must be finished by
the end of the academic year in which you receive the grant so it is directed towards
students finishing up research, not beginning.


The Emerging Minds Project engages students in mindful discussions about identity
and intersectionality, including topics like privilege, disability, religion, and gender.
Applications open during the school year.

The office of LGBTQ student life has a peer mentorship program to provide support
for underclassmen, and applications are open for both mentors and mentees.

The Allocation Board and Campus Dialogue Fund are student review boards, so you
can apply to get on the board or to receive funding from th em .

All 3 sections of the CII have their own advisory boards you can apply to if you are
interested in facilitating resources and helping minority students make the most of
the university: OMSA, Office of LGBTQ Student Life, and SSS.

Access their support services: if you are first gen, undocumented, low income,
LGBTQ, or part of a racial/ethnic minority, these resources are especially important!
The university is not always an easy place for students like this and knowing that
there are staff, funding, and opportunities that exist specifically for you can make
your time here a lot more enjoyable. Email anyone at the office for more info or just
stop by CII and chat, everyone there is super friendly and helpful.



amazing resource for anyone interested in public service! Staff at the IOP
bring in a large number of quarterly Fellows and influential guest speakers every year, and
students have significant agency in developing and executing programs .

Apply to become a cohort member of an IOP subset in the fall! Here are four of the
subset projects you should know about:

Leaders of Color is a student run group created to foster discussion and leadership skills for underclassmen students of color and to encourage minority
participation in the IOP.

Women in Public Service provides support and mentoring to women interested
in public service and encourages their participation in politics .

TechTeam works with political leaders to bring their skills in digital media and
capacity -building to Southside community organizations.

New Americans is a program that trains student volunteers to tutor local citizenship classes and help immigrants prepare for their naturalization exams . No
experience is required to be a New American Ambassador .

IOP Fellows are political leaders that stay at the university for a quarter and host a
series of sessions throughout the 10 weeks that they are here. They hold seminars and
weekly office hours that are great for one-on-one interaction .

Events ambassadors, Fellows ambassadors, News & Views, Chicago Style, and Inter national Policy Program interns all help plan and run IOP events. Applications are
continuous throughout the year, so check the IOP website every quarter to see what's

The institute also produces The Gate, a student publication on policy issues that you
can write for.

The Shriver Program for Leadership in Public Service engages students in social
change in Chicago communities . This program is year-long and provides a stipend to
accepted students . Look for applications in spring .

The IOP also organizes a host of academic year and summer internships and provides opportunities for funding if you have an unpaid internship.

Politics and Identity sessions will be a safe space for students to discuss topics around
the intersection of self-conception and political action . The program is cohort based
(apply in the fall to be a part of the cohort and in the spring to become a P &I facilitator) .

Most IOP events are open to all students regardless of whether or not you are in volved at the institute. Join the listhost to hear about upcoming speakers and how to
get tickets. Just in this past year, we've hosted a range of people from Bernie Sanders
to Jon Stewart to Chance the Rapper!

These institutes can provide spaces on campus to contribute to your growth and involvement in social issues, whether on campus with the CII, within the Chicago community
with the UCSC, or on a national and global scale with the IOP. There are plenty of intern ship, advisory board, and funding opportunities, so make use of them and don't hesitate to
reach out to staff at each institute for help!


gettimg a :roumcilchieago
juliana tu

What's the CTA?
The Chicago Transit Authority is our city's public bus and train system, accessible via single
ride tickets, daily passes, and (for most of us) Ventra cards. It's great for north and west
routes from the Loop, but it's severely lacking going South, Southeast, and Southwest. For
example, driving to Bridgeport takes abou t 12 minutes in a car from Hyde Park , but because
no buses on the south side go diagonally, it takes about 45 minutes on the CTA.
The "t' is the way to go to get to big neighborhoods north of Museum Campus fast, but the
Red and Green Lines are not always the most convenient depending on where you live. Here
is a list of all the ways to get in and out of Hyde Park .

BusRoutesthat go to/from Hyde Park (2, 4, 6, 55, 171,172)
#2 (Hyde Park Express): Operates during early mornings and afternoons on weekdays.
The AM and PM stops differ slightly, but If you can catch it as it drives along S Cottage
Grove Ave, this can get you out of Hyde Park and into the Loop/River North in about half an
hour .

#4 (Cottage Grove):Opera tes daily from early morning to late evening - slower than the
#2 bus because it has more stops, but it has continuous service throughout the day and can
take you north to both Museum Campus and Millennium Park. This picks up on S Cottage
Grove Ave, so if you're living on the west side of campus this can be pretty convenient.

#6 (Jackson Park Express): Operates daily from early morning to late evening - similar
to the #4 bus . Since it takes Lake Shore Drive to get north, however, it's arguably faster than
the #4 bus when there's lighter traffic. This bus has stops along par ts of S Stony Island Ave
and S Hyde Park Blvd, so it's closer to the east side of campus.

#55 (Garfield): Operates daily from early morning to late evening - an east/west bus route
along 55th St. that travels between the Museum of Science and Industry, Green Line, Red
Line, and Orange Line terminals .

#171, #172 (University of Chicago): Operate daily from 6am to 6pm - these buses are
quick ways to get around within Hyde Park and pick up approximately every half hour . Plus,
they're free for University students with a valid UCID . These bus routes are comparable to
the free UGo Daytime Shuttles provided by the University.

ail Routes(Red, Green, Metra)
Red Line: The Red Line parallels the Green Line tracks on a 24 hour train service between
Howard in Andersonville on the North Side and Ashland 63rd in Woodlawn . Stops at Garfield, which is accessible from campus via the #55 bus.

Green Line:The Green Line route services between the Harlem/Lake station on the North


Side and the Cottage Grove stop at 63rd right by South Campus . Stops at Cottage Grove
(accessible via the #4 bus), King Drive, and Garfield (accessible via the #55 bus) stations.

Metra: $3.75 a ride to get downtown . Really fast (15-20 min) to the Loop, but it doesn't run
all the time. The closest stop to campus is on Lake Park Ave between 55th and 57th St, and if
you don't wan t to walk there the UGo Shuttles can take you pretty close. Check the schedule
ahead of time on metrarail.com .

Student UGoShuttles
The UGo Shuttle Program has shuttles that run every 15-30 minu tes throughout Hyde Park
and its surrounding areas . Routes vary between daytime and nighttime . See safety-security.
uchicago .edu/services/transportation _services or the TransLoc app for specific route info.

Uberl lyfJand TaxiCabs
Using ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft can be a fairly quick and affordab le way to get
around the city of Chicago, especially if you pool with others . However, depending on traffic
and the time of day, I've had prices ranging from as low as $4 to as high as $20, so this can be
a bit of a gamble .
I don't know many people who use taxi services around Chicago, but in general this will be
more expensive than using a ride -sharing service . However, if you live in housing, your front
desk staff can help show you how to call a cab if you need one!

The CTA is fairly safe - university students take it all the time!
If you're nervous, just make sure you are paying attention to your surroundings. Don't fiddle
unnecessarily with your phone at stops, know where you are going, and take a buddy if
you're travelling at night, even on the North Side.

UsefulJ.ta nsportat·on
If you or a friend has a smartphone, it can really help you get around!

Google Maps: This is probably my #l transit app. It has fairly precise transit times and
offers pretty decent suggestions for getting around using the CTA.

TransLoe: If you plan to use the student UGo Shuttles, this app offers real-time tracking of
all the shuttles, shows you all of the routes and stops on a map, and even tells you when the
next couple shuttles will arrive at each stop . From experience, I'll tell you that the predictions
and tracking tend to be a minute or two off, so try to avoid showing up to a stop at the last
minute - the shuttle may have already come and left.

Ventra:This is an official CTA App that lets you check and recharge your Ventra Card
balance, buy Metra tickets, and get real -time notifications about arrivals and departures for
CTA and Metra stops.

Other apps like Acehopper, All Aboard, City.mapper, Moovit, Transit, and RedEye all offer
similar useful information about train schedules, bus routes, and potential travel options! If
you check out the CTA's online App Center, there's a lot of information about current mobile
transit apps if you're looking for a specific type of mobile service.


,- ----------------------1




(tbh, the best way to
get around campus)


Zoe KN (2013 )


Places to Find a Bicycle


Protip: Go used. Most places you will be able to find a great used ride for
under $200 including a lock. A new bike stands out like a sore thumb and
isn't worth the extra cash. Get your bike previously loved and pass it on to
an underclassperson on Marketplace.







Working Bikes : Pilsen at 24th and Western Ave.
Fantastic selection of freak bikes. They will let you ride all day and help
find something perfect for you. Check out their website for their selling
hours, they are also a great place to volun teer and learn how to put bikes
together. It's also a fun ride back to campus.

Blackstone Bicycle Works: Woodlawn at 61st and Blackstone.
Small selection of used bikes. They sell on Saturday mornings and
occasionally have sales on campus. Because it's a small selection, it's hit
or miss and there are better options elsewhere if you are up for a ,30
min excursion out of Hyde Park. Your dollars support Woodlawn kids
learning bicycle mechanics, so it's definitely the place to go for tuneups
and fix-ups.

Divvy Bikes: Chicago sharing system.


Newly installed city-wide bike share. You can get a longer membership or
just a day pass, all that's needed is a credit card to sign up. Make sure you
check th em into stations every 30 minutes, you don't need to bring them
back to where you took them just to get to another station around the city
you can reach in half an hour.


Blue City Cycles: Bridgeport at 32nd and Halsted.







These great folks focus on new bikes but also have a decent used selection. The prices are a bit steeper but they also do fantastic frame repair if
your ride gets banged up. Bonus! There is a fat cat who lives there named
Vanya. Grab a coffee at Jackalope next door, learn about cool things
happening in Bridgeport, and if you're over 21, detour the block and stop
at Maria's before heading home.
Protip : Attend Critical Mass. Around 6pm on the last Friday of each
month, thousands of cyclists converge on Daley Plaza Loop. A political
statement, a revolution, a goofy good time, or otherwise, this 2-3 hour
bike ride tours mobocratically through bits and swaths of the whole
Windy City.


Lock It or Lose It
No matter what you ride or when you ride it, you've got to get a good lock
for your bike and learn to lock it properly . Doing so will not only reduce
the chance of your bike being stolen, but also makes a huge difference at the
crowded bike racks outside of the Reg. Slip the lock through the front or
back wheel AND the frame, close it up, and give it a good tug. It should be
snug against the pole/tree/rack so that no one can come in with clippers on
the underside of the lock.
Lock your bike in lit locations, preferably where there are other bikes
locked up. Don't lock your bike to parking meters or short poles as they
can be lifted over. Don't lock your bike to campus railings as facilities takes
pleasure in cutting your locks and taking your bike . There isn't a fee when
facilities takes your ride, but you are in the hole at least $35 because your
lock is now in pieces and they throw away most of the lock leaving you
unable to file a claim at Kryptoni te. Benches and light posts on campus are
technically no-bike zones, but the racks get crowded and I've never heard of
a bike getting moved on the quad . Avoid handicap railings and ramps and
you should be ok.
If your bike disappears from where you parked it, call facilities at least three
times to see if they have it. Go to their bike rack at Ellis and 55th to see if it
is there . Pick it up ASAP as they give the bikes to Blackstone after a while.
If Facilities doesn't have it, file a police report. Your bike might turn up,
probably not. You have a greater chance of getting it back if you register it
with campus security. They offer it on the quad a couple of times a year or
you can call 733 703 6008 to register your bike anytime .

Tip: Use your bike with Chicago public transportation to go lots of places .

BasicSafety /Bike Etiquette

Wear a helmet.
Get a front and back bike light.
Don't ride on the sidewalk (it is illegal and you will get a hefty fine) .
Use your arms as turn signals .
Don't ride with headphones in .
Check your tires regula rly.
Don't shoal (cut bikers off without warning at stops) .
Say "on your left" when passing .
Pass on the left.
Have fun .











pssst . . .

tips & tric ks
& useful ti dbits





'''''" -- "'








This place is expensive: approximately
$200 per class for a full-time student's
quarter. But by making the best use of
campus resources, you can ensure you're
getting the most bang for you r buck!
Here are a bunch of things the University
provides (both well-advertised and less so)
that you should know about ...

compiled by
Corson Barnard

If you work for the university, don 't go co Student Health. You gee much faster and better medical care if you contact the hospital proper and cell them you're staff. If you have
non-university insurance , gee a primacy care doctor in the DCAM.
Having a bike is a great way co get around campus , especially if you live in a dorm chat is far
away from your classes or RSOs! Some great places co find bikes are Blackstone Bikes (61st
and Blackstone -- puts a lot of effort into bettering th e community), Tamago , and marketplace.uchicago.edu! Make sure you also invest in a good lock; Krypconice U-Locks are the
most secure, especially if you add a cable co lock your wheels coo.
The University spo nsors free flu shots on the quad! Wear shore sleeves. They also have free
ST/ testing at SH S.
You can gee help with bills from the hospital if you incur chem. They have a broad financial
assistance program , an d are very helpful if you call.


First of all, join thefreefood listhostfor the most up-to-dateinfo:
freefood@lists. uchicago. edu. But, afew highlights:
Harper Cafe, at closing (5pm on Fridays, tnid n ighc Sun -Thurs), gives our free
coffee. Cobb gives away all their perishable goods when they close at 4:30pm -check Cobb atrium co find it!

Other campus cafes will sometimes gee rid of old baked goods after a few days,
so it's sometimes worth it co hang out there at closing!

Logan Center hoses jazz n ights, art openings , seminars and receptions , 1nosc of
which offer free food and many of which offer free wine . These events usually
don't card if you ace like you belong. The Renaissance Society (on the fourth
Aoor of Cobb) hoses similar events.
Additionally, many academic deparnnents hose seminars char are followed with
free food . Places co check: Logan 1st, 2nd , 8th and 9th floors, Harper 1st and 3rd
Boors , Cobb atrium, and McCormick Lounge .

The Bookstore at 58th and Ellis has a deal where you can gee any size iced coffee or tea,
plus a pastry, for $4 . This deal includes scuffed pretzels which can serve as a full meal!

The Dunkin Donuts on 53rd St (along with every ocher Dunkin Donuts in Chicago) has $1
iced coffee and tea from 2-6pm every day. It also is open 24 hours and will sometimes give
away free donuts after midnight.
The hospital is a great place for lace-night studying {and snacking) . Their Au Bon Pain cafe
is open 24 hours (use the Mitchell entrance at 5841 S. Maryland Ave), and has lots of seating
lace at night. After 10:30pm they also sell all the day's bread at a discount. The basement
cafe, ope n 7ain -7pm, sells very cheap food (no tax!). You can enter at 58th and Ellis if you
make it before 3pm. Even better is the Sky Lobby & Cafe on the seventh floor of the Center
for Care and Discovery {enter at the 57th and Maryland valet parking door) . Just Aash your
UCID co the desk attendant and they will happily lee you pass!
On Wednesdays, che Divinity School hoses a three-course lunch in conjunction with their
speaker series. You can reserve a spot for only $5! Check it our at divinicy.uchicago.edu/
wednesday -lunch .
An hour before the Med bakery closes, they sell off all their bakery stock for $1 a pastry.


One of th e best things about
being a UChicago student is
our ArtsPass prograrn! The
Smart Museum of Art, the
Renaissance Society, and
the Oriental Institute are
on campus ar1d always free
to students. In addition ,
both the Arr Institute of
Chicago and the Museum
of Contemporary Art are
downtown and offer free
admission with your UCID .
The Art Institute will even
comp the cost of special exhibitions! Additionally, the
Court Theater (next to the
Smarr!) and the Hyde Park
Arts Center also provide
reduced rates for students .
Interested in theater outside
of Hyde Park? Sreppenwolf,
the Goodma11, and many
other notable Chicago
theaters offer student tickers.
Check our arrspass.uchicago.
edu for 1nore information!

University of Chicago
Arts Council Summer
Fellowships are designed to
support students undertaking original creative
projects over the sununer.
(Such projects might involve
adaptation , choreography ,
sculpture, painting, writing,
music compos1uon, or

translation -- I got one of
these grants this summer to
write an original musical!)
Generally , projects should
be intended for production
or performance during the
following academic year and
must be handled by enrolle d
students. Each stipend is
worth $1,500 .

The Student Fine Arts
Fund provides small grants
to University of Chicago
stu dents and student
organizations. The Fund
seeks stu dent -initiat ed
projects that would nor
typically receive support
from another orgar1ization.
Priority is given to original
ideas for the creation and
presentation of all sorts of
visual and performing arts ,
to proposals that bring the
arts to 1nore of the campus
community , and to programs chat leverage partnerships among stude nt groups ,
academic departments, and/
or cultural organizations.
The SFAF will assist in the
implementation of imagina tive projects up to $1,500 .
(Students seeking support
for larger projects should
inquire about the UChicago
Arts Grar1ts.)

18 7

UChicago Arts Grants
through the Arts Council
are awarded for original
ideas for the creation and
presentation of the arts. Proposals will be accepted only
from university-based or
-affiliated organizations or
units: faculty, departments
or centers , RSOs, campus
cultural inst itution s, and
other organizations involved
in campus life. Grants range
from $1,500 to $7.500.
Proposals will be evaluated
on the merit of excellence of
artistic project, innovation ,
collaboration , whether with
on- or off-campus groups,
feasibility and logistical
orgar1ization, and student
. . .
TIP: There are really expen sive baby gran d pianos in
the Logan Center, and all
you have to do co get access
to them is show performance experie nce co the
Music Department. 1l1ey're
incredibly underused. There
are also many pianos in Logan ar1d Goodspeed that you
don 't need prior approval for
-- just a UCID!




Harper and the Reg have up co dare issues of the most prolific magazines - I'm ralking The Atlantic ,
The New Yorker, Wired, etc . And if there 's any that they're missing, you can request it onlin e and they
start stocking it.

~ /

You have access to over 80 live-recorded Met operas , as well as over 52,000 sound recordings, through
the Library's Music Collection and Reserves.

Interlibrary Loan lees you gee everything you want: movies , music , books , ere. from other institutions
via the internet. Also your card will get you access nor only co other Chicago libraries bur most major
libraries in America, plus borrowing privileges at Ivy League schools. Use UBorrow or Interlibrary Loan
to gee your textbooks! You never have co pay for textbooks again.
TransLoc is a great app for figuring our and cracking shuttle routes! Boch the daytime shuttles (53rd
Street Express, Polsky Center , Friend/M erra, Midway Merra, Apostolic/Drexel) and the NightRide shuttles (North, South , Ease, Central) are super convenient and make getting around Hyde Park a breeze!
UChicago has a VPN that lees you access databases like JSTOR and Pubmed off-campus. http://cvpn.
You can use chalk.ucbicago.educo find syllabi for old classes, provided they were previously offered.
Just go co the Home Page> Quick Links> Course Catalog. Search by class name or number, or even the
Campus printing is expensive, unintuitive , and all-around terrible. Your first experie nce with it should
NOT be 5 minutes before that paper is due. Put some cash on a card and print a practice page at the first
opportunity so you know what you will need co do at crunch time.
Just for being a UChicago student , you get cons of software for free! Check our http:/ /softwarediscount.
Mose quad buildings and most science buildings are connected via tunnels or breezeways! Ir's possible co
walk all the way from Walker co Cobb and tl1e hospital all the way co the BSLC , with the right keycard
access. (Before 5pm on weekdays , yo u don 't need keycard access co gee from Social Sciences to Cobb!)
And with the right schedule -- including lunch in Harp er or Classics or Cobb Cafe -- you never have co
go outside between classes.
Ryerson Observatory's observation deck and telescope are open co the public on Wednesdays! Go stargaze
and take advantage ; it makes a great dare! Also, if you email th e administrator of th e BSLC greenhouse ,
she will give you a tour.
The Polsky Center has a Fab Lab. Membership is free for students, and you get access co a laser curter,
CNC 1nachine, vinyl cutter , three 30 printers , an electronics bench , and a woodshop.

Reg Lockers are super cheap ($10/quarter) and really useful, especially if you live far from the library.
Having a place co stash books / snacks / an extra swearer can come in handy! You can also stash tampon s
or a toothbrush there , or a blanket in the spring for spontaneous quad sitting.
If you're a science major , the best way to get a job in research is to walk directly up co a professor and ask
them for a job . To help with your pitch, it's worth being interested and know what the professor does!
With work-study, anybody that employs you gets 55% of your salary reimbursed by the government, so
hiring you is insanely cheap.


Home base for many RSOs (Recognized Student Organizations), the Center for Leadership
and Involvement (CLI) is located in the basement of the Reynolds Club . There you will find
printers, art supplies, Mac desktops, etc. Access these by joining an RSO -- or creating one!
You can petition the Committee for RSO status by following these guidelines. New RSOs
are given some money to get starte d, but after th e first year must apply for funding to host
events, pay fees, and print flyers.
Annual Allocations is how RSOs can fund events that they've planned for the upcoming acade1nic year. This can include recurring events/meetings and new events. Annual Allocations
has the funds to cover about 60% of RSO costs funded from the Student Activity Fee in your
tuition , but can't be used for material improvements . Applicat ion s to AnnAI are typically
due in late April of each Academic year. The AnnAI committee is composed of the SGFC
chair, an SG representative, and a CLI representative. Protips: AnnAI is easier than SGFC,
though you need a more thought -out plan. AnnAI has WAY more money than SGFC, so
apply to AnnAI for bigger event s.
Student Government Finance Committee (SGFC) is made up of tho se jerks you voted for
because their chalk ad looked the prettiest in front of Bartlett. Well guess what, now they
l1avethe ability to allocate a massive fund of cash to your RSO for new and upcoming projects. This can be used to purchase material goods for your RSO: projectors, tshirts, copies
of software, etc. Budgets can be submitted each week of the quarter to your CLI advisor via
email, and are defended the following Tuesday at SGFC meetings . SGFC is rolling, which
means you shoul d apply earlier in the quarter .
TIP: Apply 3 weeks before your event. Have a marketing plan . Don't say you're expecting a large community/non -UofC presence . Co -sponsor with other RSOs . Talk about
the "broa d range of student involvement " you expect.
The Uncommon Fund is a $75,000 (in the 2015-16 school year) pot of gold that allows all
students (undergra d and grad) to submit proposals for ANYTHING. This includes events,
capital improvement , projects -- anything you can imagine, you can app ly to get funding
for! Finalists and winners are determined by a combinatio n of student votes and a Student
Government committee . Generally, students submit their proposal in the form of a YouTube
video and advertise via social media . Past funded projects include a silent disco in Mansueto, giant chess, puppies on the quad, and the Sexy Men of UChicago calendar (three years
Community Service Fund (CSF) is a funding body cl1atallocates part of the Student
Activities Fee toward events that are focused on community service. Any RSO can apply
for this funding even if they aren't a CSRSO . CSF supports activities designed to improve
the quality of life of the broader commwlity . Once your RSO has received this money, you
can with draw it out of your account using reimbursement requests , including a receipt , and
detailing the money you spent on an event or purchase for your RSO .




Feminist Forum
Feminist Forum (formerly Gender, Activism,
Learning and Service) is an RSO dedicated to
fosteri ng an intersecrional feminist comm uni ty
on campus. Femin ist Forum hosts weekly
discussion groups on topics related to gende r,
sexuali ty, and feminism, in addition to
organ izing professor din ners, speaker evenrs,
and study breaks to build com muni ty. People
will all levels of expe rience with feminism are
Contact: Elizabeth Dia (elizabethdia@
uchicago .edu) and Katrina Wei nen
(katrinawe inert@uchicago .ed u)
Phoenix Survivor Alliance (PSA)
PSA is a gro up of Un iversity of Ch icago studenrs
who research and collaborate to provide
info rm ation, advocacy, and peer suppo rt to
surv ivors of sexual violence. Contact PSA with
questions abo ut anyth ing related to reporting
sexual violence or getting accommoda tions for
it, or if you would like to get involved in the
gro up's advocacy.
Contact: Simone Brandford-Altsher
(simoneba@ uchicago.edu) or facebook.com/
A suppor t, social, and visibili ty gro up for the
campus asexual and aromantic communities .
Asexuality has tea at every meeting and invites
anyone to join, regardless of orientation .
Discussion generally revolves around sexuality
and relationships.
Contact: Morgan Wintersmith
(amwintersmith@ uchicago.ed u) and Elsa
Mundt (emun dt@uchicago .edu)

Sex Week
Sex Week aims to create an open, safe, and
supportive space to discuss sex and is proud to
provide inclusive information and conversations
aro un d sex to the diverse commun ity here at
UCh icago. Find mo re information at www .
Contact : Julie W u (yjwu@uchicago .edu) and
Zhenying Tian (zhenying.tian24@gmail.com).
Queers United in Power (QUIP )
Queers Un ited in Power (QUIP) engages the
UChicago student body in LGBTQrelated
activism, advocacy, and social justice work.
Contact : facebook.com/quip2
Rubinstein (sararubinstein@uchicago.edu
Queer s & Associates (Q & A)
Queers & Associates is a group for LGBTQ
students and allies, dedicated to creating a
welcom ing queer community through activism,
events, social activities, and discuss ion of issues
relevant to queer life.
Contact : Hex Bouderdaben (bouderdaben@
Tea Time and Sex Chats (TTSC)
Tea Time and Sex Chats is the Un iversity of
Chicago's sex-positive, peer-led sex education
group. TTSC is composed of a panel of peer
educato rs looking to answer all of your questions
abo ut sex and believes that sex is abo ut more
than just putting on a condom!
Contact: Darius Choksy (Dchoksy@uchicago .
edu) and Olivia Adams (oadams@uchicago .
Risk-Aware Consensual Kink (RACK)
Risk-Aware Consens ual Kink (RACK) is the
official kink RSO of the Unive rsity of Chicago.
Contact : Katherine McFarlin {kmcfarlin@
uchicago.ed u) and uofcbdsm@gmail.com



Organization for Students with
Disabilities (OSD )
Organization of Students with
Disabilities (OSD) is a support
and advocacy group for studencs
with disabilities at the University
of Chicago. The group provides
community and support in addition
to lobbying for recognition and
structural change.
Contact: Margaret Fink (mlfink@
uchicago.edu )

Axis is community service student
organization dedicated to raising
awareness about disability and
changing the way disability is
perceived. Axis has Volunteer
Program , a Workshop Program ,
and a Discussion Series.
Students for Disability Justice
Students for Disability Justice is
a Southside Solidarity Network
affiliated with
Organization for Students with
Disabilities. The campaign is
dedicated to addressing issues of
accessibility and ableism at the
University of Chicago.
Contact: Nora Helfand
com) or facebook.com/

Prayer and Action Collective
Students who pray and meet weekly for social change. Members
work with several South-Side faith leaders, houses of worship,
and Hyde-Park seminaries (e.g. Seminarians for Justice) to
further campaigns including a com .munity benefits agreement
for the Obama library and accountability for the University of
Chicago trauma center .
Contact: tcprayers@gmail.com, fb.com/tcprayers
Students for Health Equity (SHE)
Students for Health Equity (SHE) at the U of Chicago has
fought with the Trauma Care Coalition, to change Chicago's
distr ibution of healthcare resources. SHE currently works for
accountability for the UofC trauma center.
Contact: she. uchicago@gmail.com
UChicago Student Action (UCSA)
UChicago Student Action is a campus organization fighting for
economic, racial, and environmental justice on and off campus.
Contact : facebook.com/UChicagoStudentAction
Campaign for Equitable Policing (CEP)
The Coalition for Equitable Policing (CEP) works to ensure
that the University of Chicago Police Department (UCDP)
treats all people under their jurisdiction fairly and equally.
Contact : facebook.com/ equitab lepolicing

Amnesty International (UChicago Amnesty )
UChicago Amnesty International advocates for the
inherent dignity and inalienable rights of all peop le
enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Contact: Gigi Ortiz (jrortiz@uchicago.edu )


South Side in Focus
South Side in Focus aims to give South Side residents a safe space to share their unique perspectives
through pho tography and storytelling.
Contact: Valerie Gutmann (valerieguunann@
Iris is a new theater troupe on campus with a commitment to dialogue and social justice. Iris aims
to create and prov ide space at the Unive rsity of
Chicago for theatrical stories and engagement that
uplifts the voices of peop le of color .
Contact: Leilan i Douglas (leilanid@uchicago.
edu) and Sarah Kim (sarahnayo un gkim@uchicago.edu)
South Side Free Music Program (SSFMP )
The Sou th Side Free Music Program teaches music
to kids &om underserved communities in Washington Park , Woodlawn, and Hyde Park.
Contact: Kevin Yang (kyang3l4@uchicago.edu )

Students Organized and United with
Labor (SOUL )
SOUL works with local and international
labor movements to press for living wages,
accountable labo r practices and democratic
union representation.
Contact: Maria Gan (mmgan@ uchicago.edu)
Fair Budget UChicago
Studenrs demanding a budge t chat puts
people before prestige and profits , fighting
for a living wage of at least $15/h r for all
campus workers .
Contact: facebook .com/Fair-BudgetUChicago - 1023109011047348


AR= ~---==--S -~ \
ArtShould is an arts commun ity service RSO that
aims to promote art on the Un iversity of Chicago camp us and in the Hyde Park comm uni ty.
Members mentor youth in Chicago Public Schools
through after-school art programs and host ere.
auve events on campus .
Contact: Calgary Haines-T rautman (calgary@
uchicago.edu )
South Side Scribblers
South Side Scribblers has been teaching creative
writin g in Hyde Park since 1994 . The program 's
mission is to get kids excited about being creative,
excited about writing, and excited abo ut creative
Contact: Ariella Katz {apkatz@uchicago.edu)

Alpha Phi Omega (APO )
Alpha Phi Omega is a national co-ed commun ity service
fraternity whose cardinal principles are leadership ,
friendship, and service. APO partic ipates in a mix of
social and service events throughout the city.
Contact: Sien Hasker (shasker@uchicago .edu)
Calvert Circle/Homeless Food Run
HFR provide s food and resources to Ch icago's homeless
population, seeing value in personal interaction with
Chicago's poor , restoring dignity to a group often
margina lized by mainstream society.
Conta ct: Fatima Omar (facimao@uchicago.edu)

UChicago Femmes {Females Excelling More in
Math , Engineering, and Scienc e)
FEMMES at the University of Chicago seeks co
engage middle school girls in hands -on activities in
the field of compu ter science in an effon to close the
technology gender gap.
Contact: femmes@uchicago.edu

Neighborhood Schools Program (NSP )
NSP matches University student interes ts with
local schoo l needs to be a University-w ide resource
for all who wish to engage the Ne ighbor hood
Schools, and creates oppor tuniti es for students and
residents from neighboring communities to engage
with the University.
Contact: nspinfo@uchicago.edu
Whatever It Takes (Wll')
Whateve r le Takes (WIT) aims to level the playing
field in test prep by offering free SAT and ACT prep
courses to Chicago-area high schoo l students .
Contact: Sophia Vojta (soph iavojta@uchicago.edu)


Calvert Hou se Tutoring
Calvert House Tutoring provides tutoring services
for local kindergarten to 12th grade students. The
learning environment at Calvert House allows the
group's tutors to give their students one-on -one
tutor ing in a large group setting that also helps
establishe a sense of community .
Contact: Sarah Manhardt (smanhar dt@uchicago.

Women and Youth Supporting Each Other

Friends ofWashiogton Park
Student volunteers mentor and tutor children
from the Washington Park neighborhoods through
academic enrichment packages and homework
assistance .
Contact: Audrey McFarland (amcfarland@

AppUP is the only organization on campus that
specifically targets the college app lication process.
The group's comprehensive year long curriculum
provides a unique combination of one-on-one
mentorship and group sessions.
Contact: Luna Shen (shenl@uchicago. edu)

Splash! Chicago is dedicated to offering exciting
learning opponunities to high school students in
Chicago and teaching opponunities to University
of Chicago students.
Contact: Amy Treber (amycreber@uchicago .edu)

ALMas is a student organization at the University
of Chicago dedicated to helping to reduce the
educational and achievement gap between young
latinos and their peers by providing afrer-school
bilingual pre-k literacy programs .
Contact : Michelle Bueno (mb ueno@uchicago.edu)

STRIVE Tutoring
Strive Tutoring is a community service RSO that
panners with a local non-profit of the same name to
provide free one-on-one tutoring to local Chicago
Public Schools students.
Contact: Megen Cowett (mege n@uchicago. edu)
Students Teaching at Ray School (STARS)
STARS provides one-on-one
mentoring to ESL students in grades K-8 at
Wil liam H. Ray Elementary School. Tutors helps
students with their homework, reading skills, and
communication skills. STARS meets twice a week
for an hour at a time .
Contact: Claire Wang (mingyua n@uchicago.edu )


Socioeconomic Diversity Alliance
SDA is a community of student advocates working
to make campus a welcoming environment for lowincome and/or fuse generation college students.
Contact: Jose Heredia (jheredia@uchicago.edu)
Students for Criminal Justice Reform
Building consciousness and advocating for reform of
the criminal justice system.
Contact: Daniel Kowalski (dkowalski@uchicago.edu)

"WYSE is a national mentoring organization which
empowers young women with the info rmation
and resources they need to make healthy, informed
decisions and become leaders in their communities.
University of Chicago's branch works at Madero
Middle School in Little Village.
Contact: Megan High (mjhigh@uchicago.edu )

Block 58
Block 58 is a student organization seeking to learn
about, engage in, and influence education policy in
Chicago to promote and support strong, sustainable
communities . Block 58 holds discussions open to
the public about different issues in education and
completes relevant projects, often in collaboration
with organizations in Chicago.
Contact: Sarah Gourevitch (sgourevitch@
uchicago.edu )
Moneythink UChicago sends talented studentmentors into high schoo l classrooms all across the
city of Chicago to promote financial capability for
under-resourced teens.
Contact: Dalton Schmit (dschmit@uchicago .edu)

The Fight for Just
The Fight for Just Food is a group of University of
Chicago students who are organizing to end the
University's relationship with food service providers
that profit from prisons.
Contact: thefightforjustfood@gmail.com



~~~~ ~~~,~~

"-"""' ~~
GlobeMed ac the University of Chicago
works coward global health equity
by partnering with ASPAT-Peru to
advocate for high qual ity tuberculosis
care and education. GlobeMed spreads
awareness about global health throu gh
panel discussions and com munity
Contact: Aliya Moreira
(aliyamorei ra@uchicago .edu)

Peer Health Exchange
Peer Health Exchange gives teenagers
che knowledge and skills they need
co make healthy decisions by trainin g
college student volunteers co teach
a comprehensive, fact-based health
education curriculum in Chicago
Public Schools.
Contact : Noah Hellerman
edu) and Namraca Garg
(namracagarg@uchi cago.ed u) and
Active Minds
Active Minds aims co connect studen ts
with the appropriate resources co better
manage the rigors of the University,
create a safe and welcoming space
on campus co discuss mental health,
inform studen ts of the prevalence of
mental health issues nationally, and
provide a forum for chose passionate
about these issues co make a commun ity
Contact: Laurel Meng (laur elmeng@
uchic ago.edu)

MEDL IFE is a commun ity service
organization focused on raising local
and global health awareness in the
University of Chicago community
throu gh fundraising and organization of
mobile clinics and development projects
in Ecuador, Peru, Tanzania, and India.
Contact : Zoe Levine (zclevine@
uchicago.edu )

Blacklight Magazine
Blacklighc Magazine provides a platform for the voices
of underr epresented and traditionally marginalized students on campus.
Co ntact: blacklighcuchicago@gmail.com
South Side Weekly
The South Side Weekly is a nonprofit newsprint magazine dedicated co supporting cultural and civic engagement on the South Side, and co providing educational
opportunities for developing journalises, writers, and
Con tact: edicor@souchsideweekly.com
Mural provides a platform for Spanish-language expression (maintaining an open and bilingual framework)
and promotes the discussion of cult ure, policies, and arc,
especially as it relates co Latin America.
Contact: Daniela Campillo (danielacamp i@uchicago.

Stop Funding Climate Change UChicago (SFCC )
SFCC is calling on UChicago co immediately freeze
any new investment in fossil-fuel compan ies, and co
divest within five years from direct ownership and from
any commingled funds chat include fossil fuel public
equitie s and corporate bonds .
Contact .: Nadia Perl (pe rl@uchica go.ed u) and Will Pol
UChicago Climate Action Network (UCAN)
UCAN is a community organization committed co
achieving social and ecological justice through the
decarbonization of our economy and society. UCAN
understands this goal co fundamentally be a political
chall enge, more so than an economic or technological
one. le is part ofUChicago Student Action.
Contact: Brooke Adams (bwadams@ uchicago.edu )
Phoenix Sustainability Initiati ve
The Phoenix Sustainability Initiative of the Un iversity
of Chicago seeks co actively share and develop
sustainable technologies, policies, and practices with the
surrounding community.
Contact .: Austin Herrick (aherrick@uchicago .edu)


Movimiento Estudiantil Chican @ de Aztlan
(M.E.Ch.A. )
is a student organization that
promotes social justice , higher education,
culture , and history by hosting various events
and campaigns.
Contact: Alyssa Rodriguez (rodriguezalyssa@
uchicago.edu )
Organization of Black Students (OBS)
OBS at the University of Chicago provides an
organizational framework to address issues of
concern to the Black community.
Contact: Atrician Lumumba (lumumba@
uchicago.edu) and Mary Blair (maryblai r@

Al Sharq: Middle East Meets West
Al Sharq: Middle Ease Meets West is an RSO that
works towards raising awareness of prominent
political and social issues of the Middle East, as
well as increasing the appreciation of the diverse
cultural traditions of the region. The group
hoses inclusive discussions , pane ls of appropriate
faculty and scholars, and cultural event s.
Contact: alsharq-board@lists.uchicago.edu
Partnership for the Advancement of Refugee
A student-led organization at the University of
Chicago to raise awareness and to promote the
rights of refugees in Ch icago and across the globe.
Contact: Austin Kohlman (adkohlman@
uchicago.edu )

of Latin American Students

OLAS is a Latina/o student organization
that endeavors to promote awareness, within
and beyond the Latino/a community, that
incorporate s all facets of Latino/a cultu re rooted
in Indigenous , African, and European ancestry.
It is OLAS's mission to promote political, social,
cultural , and ethnic awareness that furthers the
progression of the Latino/a community both on
and off campus.
Contact: Exequiel Manbor Charme (emanbor@
uchicago.edu )

of Chicago
Immigrant Rights
UCCIR volunteers on the third Friday morning
of the Broadview Detention Center, where
immigrants are deported. UChicago students
arrive early to help families undersrand what
how they will be able to see their loved ones
off with the Interfaith Committee on Detained
Immigrants , and the Archdiocese of Chicago
Immigration Ministry .
Contact: Angelica Velasquillo (avelazquillo@
uchicago.edu )

Students for Justice in Palestine
SJP is dedicated to raising awareness about the
injustices concerning the occupation of the
Palestinian people and advocates for democratic
and nonviolent principles to promote justice ,
human rights , equality, liberty, and selfdetermination.
Contact: Leyla Abdella (labdella@uchicago.edu )
PanAsia is a student organization committed
to exploring Asian/Asian American Pacific
Islander identity and culture , as well as relevant
political and social issues. To this end, PanAsia
collaborates with cultural organizations both onand off-campus.
Contact: Raymond Fang (rfang@uchicago.edu )
J Street U
J Street UChicago organizes the UChicago
community to end the occupation and support
a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian
Contact: Rikki Baker Keusch (rivkabk@
uchicago.edu ) and Zachary Spitz (zspitz@
uchicago.edu )


Ableism: a system of inherent
discrimination against people with
disabilities in favor of people who
are not disabled. Might manifest as
employers assuming that disabled
people are not qualified for a job or
lacking accessibility or resources for
disabled persons.
Binary gender system: a culturally
defined code of acceptable behaviours
which teach that there are men and
women who are masculine and
feminine and that there is nothing
outside this system. The problem that
occurs when we talk about gender
issues is that everything is set in the
binary system, but the gender issues
that we are talking about exist in a
multi-genders system and do not
neatly fit into a binary system.
Cisgender : individuals who identify
within or as their birth-assigned
genders and present with a congruent
gender expression (i.e. a non-trans
person). The term "cishet" stands for
"cisgender heterosexual" aka a nontrans straight person. "Cishet" is not a

Citizenship: legal membership in
a political community that grants
legal rights to political participation
and protection by the state. In the
US specifically (as with some other
nations) , this relationship of citizen vs
noncitizen creates an underclass of
individuals of varying statuses with
fewer rights , or without the ability to
exercise their human rights.
Class: a large group of people who
occupy a similar economic position in
the wider society based on income ,
wealth, property ownership , education,
sk ills, or authority in the economic
sphere. Class affects people on both
an economic and emotional level.
Class ally: a person from the more
privileged classes whose attitudes
and behaviors are anti-classist, who
is committed to increasing their own
understanding of the issues related
to classism , and is actively working
towards eliminating classism on many
Class continuum: there are no
hard and fast divisions between
class groups. Incomes, wealth , and


occupational status are on spectra, and
most of us move a little up or down the
spectra during our lifetimes. Immigrants
can change class status from their
country of origin to their new country.
Some people grow up in one class and
live as adults in another .

in. In the past and today , gentr ifiers
have included (usually wh ite) artists ,
hipsters , affluent gay men , and
young professionals. Gentrification
primarily affects/ displaces low-income
communities , especially communities
of color.

Class identity: a label for one category
of class experience , such as ruling
class, owning class , middle class,
working class , poor, etc.

Gender: a social and cultural
express ion of biological sex , based on
soc ially-constructed ideas of tradit ional
gender roles. Gender identity refers to a
person's self-conception of being male,
female , trans , etc.

Class privilege: fruits of the many
tangible or intangible unearned
advantages of "higher'' class status ,
such as personal contacts with
employers, good childhood healthcare ,
inherited money, speaking the same
dialect and accent as people w ith
inst itutional power.
Classism: the systemat ic assignment
of characterist ics of worth or ability
based on social class. It includes
attitudes and behav iours , systems of
policies and practices that are set up to
benefit the upper class at the expense
of the lower classes (resulting in drastic
income and wealth inequality) , the
rationale that supports these systems
and this unequal valuing , and the
culture that perpetuates them.
Ethnicity: a social construct that
divides people into smaller social
groups based on characteristics
such as a shared sense of group
membership , values, behavioural
patterns , language, political and
economic interests , history, and
ancestra l geographic base.
Gentrification: the process of renewal ,
rebuilding , and increas ing property
values that accompany the influx
of middle class or affluent people
into deteriorating neighborhoods
that displaces prior, usually poorer
residents . Gentrification often leads
to lower-income communit ies no
longer being able to afford to live in
the areas they have historically lived

Gender expression: how one
expresses oneself, in terms of
dress and/or behaviors that society
characterizes as "masculine" or
"fem inine" , may also be androgynous
or something else altogether.
Gender nonconforming : individuals
whose gender express ion is different
from the social expectation based on
their assigned sex.
Genderqueer: a term used by some
individuals who identify as between
genders or as neither man nor woman ,
may or may not identify as trans or
pursue phys ical changes.
Hegemonic masculinity: social and
historically constructed idea of what
men ought to be, in a way that links
power to mascul inity.
Heteronormative : a way of looking
at the world with the assumption that
everyone is heterosexual and looks at
the world in a heterosexual way.
Heterosexism: the assumption that
everyone is heterosexual (or should
be). Also , an ideological , social , and
cultural system that inst itutionalizes
heteronormative behaviour such that
people are compelled and assumed
to be heterosexual and persecuted
for all non-heteronormative forms of
behaviour, identity , relationships , or


Institutional racism: the network of
institutional structures , policies , and
practices that create advantages
and benefits for white people
and discrimination , oppression ,
and disadvantage for people of
marginalized racial groups.
Internalized classism : the acceptance
and justification of classism by the
working class and poor people.
Examples include: feelings of inferiority
to higher- class people, disdain or
shame about traditional patterns of
class in one's family and denial of
heritage , feelings of superiority towards
people lower on the class spectrum
than oneself , hostility or blame towards
other working-class or poor people,
and beliefs that classist institutions are
Internalized racism : the personal
conscious or subconscious acceptance
by people of color of the dominant
society's racist or Eurocentric views ,
stereotypes , and biases.
lntersectionality : a theoretical tool that
addresses multiple discriminations and
helps understand how different sets
of identities impact access to rights
and opportunities. lntersectionality
is an analytical tool for studying ,
understanding , and responding to
the ways in which gender intersects
with other identities and how these
intersections contribute to unique
experiences of oppression and
privilege. It starts from the premise that
people live multiple , layered identities
derived from social relations, history ,
and the operation of structures of
power. lntersectional analysis aims
to reveal multiple identities , exposing
the different types of discrimination
and disadvantage that occur as a
consequence of the combination
of identities. It aims to address the
manner in which racism, the patriarchy ,
class oppression , and other systems

of discrimination create inequalities
that structure the relative positions
of all folks. lntersectional analysis
posits that we should not understand
the combining of identities as
additively increasing one's burden,
but instead producing substantively
distinct experiences. It is therefore
an indispensable methodology for
development and human rights work.

lntersex: people who naturally
develop primary and/or secondary sex
characteristics that do not flt neatly into
society's definitions of male or female.
Nationality : the status of belonging
to a particular nation by birth or
naturalization. A person can have more
than one nationality or be nationless.
Oppression: the power and effects
of domination. The term oppression
is primarily used to describe how a
certain group or individual is being kept
down by unjust use of force, authority ,
or societal norms. When this is
institutionalized formally or informally in
a society, it is referred to as "systematic
or institutional oppression." Oppression
is often covert (hidden) and is most
commonly felt and expressed by
a widespread , if unconscious ,
assumption that a certain group of
people are inferior. Different kinds of
oppression often intersect and build off
of each other. Such oppression may
include racism , sexism, heterosexism ,
anitsemitism, ableism, ageism, etc.
Patriarchy: systemic societal
structures that institutionalize male
physical, social , and economic power
over women.
People of color (POC): a term of selfidentification used to refer to peoples
and ethnicities whose ancestral origins
are from Africa, Asia, the Americas,
or the Middle East. The term people
of color is often used instead of the
term minority (soon to be factually
inaccurate , as people of color will


soon constitute a majority in the US).
The term also emphasizes common
experiences of cultural discrimination ,
colonialism, imperialism , racial
discrimination, and racial oppression.
Prejudice: a set of negative personal
beliefs about a social group that leads
individuals to prejudice people from
that group, or the group in general ,
regardless of individual difference
among members among that target
Privilege: unearned social power
accorded by the formal and informal
institutions of society to all members
of a dominant group (such as white
privilege , male privilege, class privilege ,
etc). Privilege is usually invisible to
those who have it because they are
taught not to see it, but it nevertheless
puts them at an advantage over those
who do not have it.
Queer: an umbrella term used by
individuals to describe their sexual
identity and/pre-gender identity that
does not fit the binaries of gay/straight/
bi or male/female , or anyone whose
sexual orientation or gender identity
doesn't match society's expectations.
Originated as a derogatory word and
is being reclaimed and used as a
statement of empowerment by some
people and has different meanings to
different people.
Race: a social construct based
on the false belief that physical
characteristics determine one's
abilities, behaviour, opinions , beliefs,
etc. Racial categories are produced
sociopolitically via power relations
and social practices. Therefore , even
though race is commonly understood
as a "social construct" , this system
of categorizations continues to be
perpetuated by white privilege and
internalized racism among people of

Racism: the systematic subordination
of members of marginalized groups
who have relatively little social power
by members of a dominant racial
group. This subordination is supported
by the actions of individuals , cultural
norms and values , and institutional
structures and practices of society.
Sexism: a form of oppression that
perpetuates the system of patriarchy,
where men or masculine spectrum
people hold power and privilege and
where women and feminine-spectrum
people are subordinate to men.
Transgender : umbrella term that refers
broadly to people who deviate from
their assigned gender or the binary
gender system , including intersex
people, transsexuals , cross-dressers,
transvestites, genderqueer people,
drag queens/kings, two-spirit people,
and others. Trans people do not
necessarily choose to alter their bodies
hormonally and/or surgically and may
or may not identify as FTM/MTF.
Transman/ftm: a transperson assigned
female at birth who identifies on the
male spectrum/has a male gender
Transsexual: an older term which
originated in medical/ physiological
communities , typically referring to
an individual who seeks or has had
sexual reassignment surgery. Currently
perceived by many as inaccurate/
outdated/potentially offensive.
Transwoman/mtf: a transperson
assigned male at birth who identifies
on the feminine spectrum/has female
gender identity.
White privilege: the unquestioned
and unlearned set of advantages,
entitlements , benefits, and choices
bestowed upon people because they
are white. Generally most white people
who experience such privilege do so
without being conscious of it.



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