Board of Trustees favor Learning Center plan that would downsize library space

By Syeda Sameeha, News Reporter

The Elmhurst College Board of Trustees seem to lean towards downsizing library space for summer renovation despite not having any set plan at their Saturday, March 10 meeting.

Trustee Kent T. Dahlgren spoke about the Learning Center’s move to the first floor of the A.C. Buehler Library. 

“I think libraries tend to be less effective as books have become little bit of yesterday’s technology, so I think this will be a great use of space, and it will be great for students,” said Dahlgren.

Trustee William A. Nelson, however, questioned whether this move would take up space that students utilize.

“I frequently go to the library whenever I’m here, what I always find striking is that I have to struggle to find space,” explained Nelson. “My question is maybe a lot of commuter students use that space for studying and working, so will this decrease the place for commuter students or any student to really have a quiet place for studying?”

EC President Troy VanAken supported the idea of condensing space and books in answering Nelson’s concern.

“I think the answer is that we are trying to actually make it so there is some more space, so part of that is that you condense the books, or you come with other ways that increases floor space. And there’s a lot of additional opportunity for that to happen in the library,” said VanAken. 

VanAken also touched on the collaboration for this project being the reason for the planning process taking longer than anticipated.

“We’d love to have it all wrapped up in a nice solid proposal to you so you could approve the exact plan that we would begin doing this summer, but part of that is we’ve been having a lot of discussions with the librarians and other individuals impacted there, so we can try to take into account into all those considerations.”

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty April Edwards agreed.

“This is a collaborative effort to make sure that this improves services for our students and other resources,” said Edwards.

In an interview after the meeting, Dahlgren in response to a question of where in the first floor of the library will the Learning Center move to said “The plans are really preliminary, but I think they are thinking about moving that kind of fishbowl part. It’s still so early in the process, so I couldn’t tell that for sure yet.”

Additionally, the board approved of revisions of the faculty manual at the meeting. 

In a unanimous decision, the board voted in approval of these revisions as per the Academic Affairs Committee recommendation. These revisions were regarding lecturer positions, teaching load for full time faculty, and terms of appointment as well as teaching responsibilities of faculty. The vote approved the new lecturer position at the college.

The board also approved the college’s strategic plan which is a charter detailing the college’s plan for the next five years.

VanAken talked about the next steps.

“We want this to be a living breathing document, so additional comments and revisions can be done, but we’ve been very transparent with everybody that this is our strategic plan and this is what we are going to do,” said VanAken. “The next step is really inform the operating plan, and that is another opportunity for us to continue to add more detail to what we are going to be actually doing. This is great and it will read nice, but we all know that there is another piece to this that well be talking about which I believe is next for you at the June board of trustee meeting.”

EC’s mock trial team takes second place in Midwestern regionals, advances to national championship tourney

  Photo courtesy of Mary Walsh   The EC mock trial team poses with their trophy after taking second place at the Midwestern regional tournament. 

Photo courtesy of Mary Walsh

The EC mock trial team poses with their trophy after taking second place at the Midwestern regional tournament. 

By Kenneth Edison, Editor-in-Chief

Follow him at @krazo1

For the second time in EC’s history, the underdog mock trial team looks to capture a national championship as they travel to Ohio for the national tournament on March 23.

The 10 person team, one of the nation’s smallest, qualified for the opening round of the national mock trial tournament (ORCS) when they placed second at the Midwestern regional tournament, beating out teams from Northwestern University and University of Michigan.

“Since we’re a small team we kind of all talk and think the same way,” said EC senior Gina Lealil, a second year member of the team. “When we’re in the middle of a trial we can’t really talk to each other because we’re in front of a judge and you have to treat it like a courtroom, but we can just shoot each other a look and our teammates already know what we’re thinking.”

Many of the larger schools often view the EC mock trial team as an easy win, which Leali pointed out as an aspect that makes their victories that much more satisfying.

“When we go against Northwestern or University of Michigan everybody downplays who we are and what we can do,” she said. “They think ‘oh this is going to be an easy round’ and they relax a little bit and then we come in and took the ballots from both of those schools and they got mad as hell afterwards.”

The de facto coach of the mock trial team Judge Thomas Dudgeon attributed the groups recent success to the experienced nature of the current roster, as most mock trial students usually only participate for a single season.  

“What makes this group special is that with some of these members they’ve been with us for two seasons. I haven’t had a team yet were we’ve had a real core of people that have been with us for two years,” he said. “They’re not cocky, but they know what they can do. And they’re not going to be intimidated even when going up against the powerhouses of what we do.”

As the date of the ORCS tournament draws nearer, the members of the mock trial team have begun a new level of preparation as they prepare to make their attempt at history.

“It feels like it’s almost kicked into another gear, we know that all the competition that we’re going to have in this tournament is going to be top notch. So we’re really trying to prepare for that,” said EC senior Ali Ahmed, one of the second year members of the team.

Despite the heavy level of preparation, the competitors will not actually know who they are competing against, or whether they will be defending or prosecuting until 30 minutes before the actual trial.

“You find out your opponent 30 minutes before the round starts and it’s up to you to run and grab your phone to figure out what you’re up against,” said Leali “You don’t know if you’re prosecution trying to put someone away or if you’re defending your client. So we just have to flip a switch in our brain 30 minutes before.”

“The toughest part is that we don’t even know who the witnesses are either,” added Ahmed. “We are given a pool of witnesses beforehand and only three can be picked and you don’t know who they’re going to pick until 30 minutes before. And then from there you have to prepare cross-examinations for that.”    

Despite being one of the smallest teams in the nation, the members of the mock trial team claim to use their underdog status to their advantage.

“A lot of schools are so big they have an A team and a B team, some of them even have a C team and a D team,” said Ahmed. “It’s an advantage and a disadvantage. On one hand there’s less minds, less things to bring to the table, but at the same time it’s more cohesive because there’s so few people that we just work better together.”

Art Education Program is removed in proposal made to academic counsel

By Victoria Martin, News Editor

The Art Education program will be closed as of Sept. 2018 according to a memo passed through academic council and approved during a faculty meeting on Friday, March 2.

With a major drop in enrolment and budget cuts, the program cannot afford to continue according to Chair of EC Department of Art and Director of Art Education Mary Lou Stewart’s memo.

“[...] Although there has been enhanced interest in the program,” Stewart wrote, “the art department is unable to maintain this small program due to past budget cuts and lacking a critical mass of students to teach the required methods courses.”


“[This decision] is not an easy outcome for me, I [have] been directing this program for over twenty years and we have some terrific art teachers”

-Mary Lou Stewart


Over the past seven years, according to the memo, the number of enrolled students in the program has dropped from 13 in 2010 to five in 2018 with an average of two students all the other years.

On top of the decreased number of enrolled students, the Illinois State Board of Education [ISBE] plans on making changes to their program standards that would make licensing difficult on a department whose staff is 53 percent adjunct.

“ISBE requires a full time faculty member to be responsible for each content/licensure area and therefore this position cannot be assigned to an adjunct faculty member,” Stewart wrote.

Stewart had discussed the changes and issues prior to faculty meeting with Dean of Faculty April Edwards, who did not comment due to time constraints when asked by The Leader about the changes being made to the program.

“After discussing these issues with [Edwards],” Stewart wrote, “she contacted the Education Department and Admissions and she shared with me that they confirmed their support for closing the Art Education program.”

 Despite the changes and closing of the program, Stewart plans to continue “to support the current art education students’ progress through the program.”

“[This decision] is not an easy outcome for me,” Stewart writes. “I [have] been directing this program for over twenty years and we have some terrific art teachers working in the community [...].”

Author and television personality Rick Steves maps out the connection between travel and politics

  Photo by Cheyenne Roper   TV personality Rick Steves uses visual aids in his lecture on travel and politics on Friday March 2.

Photo by Cheyenne Roper

TV personality Rick Steves uses visual aids in his lecture on travel and politics on Friday March 2.

By Cheyenne Roper, News Reporter

Rick Steves visited Elmhurst College to discuss how travel can be used as a political act at his rescheduled lecture on Friday, March 2.  

 Known for his popular PBS television show, Rick Steves Europe, Steves’ lecture discussed how traveling can have a way of opening one’s eyes to the different ways of life across the world. 

“My mission is to inspire and encourage Americans to go beyond Orlando,” joked Steves.  

He went on to continue how Orlando should not be a life-time travel destination, but rather recommends branching out to places such as Sweden or Portugal.  

Steves, through his many years of traveling to-and-fro Europe, feels that there is so much more than staying at trendy hotels and visiting popular tourist destinations while traveling abroad. 

“The pinnacle of the Maslow’s Hierarchy of travel needs is to get out of your comfort zone and gain an empathy for the other ninety-six percent of humanity,” said Steves. “And then you come home with that most beautiful souvenir and that is a broader perspective.”  

Americans who “travel as a political act” are capable of having the times of their lives while in an unfamiliar country and can return home with a clearer understanding of the interconnectedness of today’s vast world, according to Steves.  

“Another great thing about travel is you meet people you wouldn’t normally meet, you get out of your comfort zone, and hang out with people who see things differently. It’s healthy, and to me it carbonates your whole experience,” said Steves.  

With many different perspectives under his belt, and observing many various ways of doing things across the nations, Steves notes the similarities and differences between the things he perceives in Europe as compared to back in the U.S.  

Steves continued by explaining one of the sights he recently saw in Germany.  

“I was recently in the train station of Munich, taking pictures of the trains in the station – specifically what used to be cute little birds, squished on to the windshields. I thought: this is a surreal image, a bird squished to the window of a train,” noted Steves.   


“If you interact with people, or come across situations that you normally wouldn’t, it’s definitely something that can broaden your perspective, and you can come back with a better understanding of the world.”

-Rick Steves


One of his anecdotes included an observation of how one would never see a thing like that in the states. However, in Europe something like a bird being the equivalent of a bug on a car windshield is not uncommon. 

The differences between what is noticed abroad as compared to what people are used to back home, even something as small as a “squished bird” on the train, gives a broader understanding of the world live, as Steves points out as one of his main principles for utilizing travel as a political act. 

EC Senior Fransisco Jiminez, who will be traveling to Amsterdam for spring break, spoke on how he viewed travel as a political act.  

“If you expand your horizons, things seem a lot less scary,” Jiminez said. “If you interact with people, or come across situations that you normally wouldn’t, it’s definitely something that can broaden your perspective, and you can come back with a better understanding of the world.” 

Jiminez continued by making the comparison of how he views Rick Steves as “the Bob Ross of traveling” and revealed that Steves’ lecture made him feel more comfortable to step out of his “American bubble” while in Amsterdam, and truly enjoy and absorb the full experience of being in a foreign land.  

“When we take home that most beautiful souvenir, a broader perspective, and when we implement that broader perspective here, in this great nation of ours,” Steves concluded, “we’re making travel a political act and that has never been more important.” 

New vending machines bring fresh food to campus

  Photo by Abby Robb   An EC student makes a purchase from the Farmer’s Fridge vending machine in the Frick Center.

Photo by Abby Robb

An EC student makes a purchase from the Farmer’s Fridge vending machine in the Frick Center.

By Syeda Sameeha, News Reporter

New vending machines have been placed around campus that offer students healthier snacking options.

Farmer’s Fridge vending machines have been recently installed at Elmhurst College with three campus locations: Faganel Hall, Frick Center, and the A.C. Buehler Library Cafe.

Director of Dining Services Kelly Schmelter feels these new vending options give an answer to the difficult to solve problem of healthy after hours meal and snacking options.

“We struggle I think a lot with the after hours options for the students and this was a great option for them, so that’s kind of how the idea to bring Farmer’s Fridge to campus came about,” said Schmelter

Through a partnership with the company, EC received the three vending machines free of charge. A percentage of the vending machine profits go to the college while Farmer’s Fridge receives the rest of the revenue. Schmelter declined to comment on the percentage EC takes.

According to the Farmer’s Fridge website, the Chicago based company has a mission to provide people with easy access to healthy food through their fresh salad jars and snacks vending machines.

Each vending machine provides an assortment of fresh salads and healthy snacks made daily in Chicago’s Fulton Market district with local produce.

The vending machines are restocked with fresh goods at 4:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. All foods that are leftover by the end of the day are removed and donated to a local pantry of the company’s choice as stated on its website.

With its mission of sustainability, the new vending machines have sparked a lot of interest.

“I’m  especially excited because they have a special compartment in the machine where you can put your empty jars in after you used them and I believe the company reuses or recycles these jars. I think it goes very well with our sustainable efforts on campus,” said Lisa Dubin who is student leader for Food Recovery Network, the organization on campus that leads sustainable efforts. 

The Fridges have particularly been popular with student athletes at EC, who usually look for healthy options. 

First year student and member of the EC Men’s Lacrosse team Ryan Moran agreed.

“I know a lot of guys on the team really like them. It provides healthier options than a cookie or a muffin and its good stuff.” said Moran.

“There was a soccer team that came in from out of state and they were taking pictures with the vending machines because they never seen it before and thought it was a unique idea,” said Schmelter. 

With the concept relatively new, EC is working to increase the number of users.

“We are working with the Farmer’s Fridge company to format their machine, which now only takes credit card, to also accept J-Pass,” said Schmelter. “Eventually students would be able to use their credit card or their J-Pass, which we hope will be a big draw.”

Schmelter agreed food options from the Fridge, a salad costing $8, may be a little pricey, but said you’re getting your money’s worth because it’s a good meal.

“I’m all about healthy and trying to get the kids healthy and sustainable food, which is really important to me. I wouldn’t promote this if I didn’t stand behind it,” said Schmelter. 

The Rev. L. Bernard Jakes brings MLK into 21st century with social and political similarities

 The Rev. L. Bernard Jakes gives his lecture on the importance of Martin Luther King’s message in the 21st century on Wednesday, Feb. 21 in the Founders Lounge.  Photo by Matthew Gans   

The Rev. L. Bernard Jakes gives his lecture on the importance of Martin Luther King’s message in the 21st century on Wednesday, Feb. 21 in the Founders Lounge. Photo by Matthew Gans

By Alveena Siddiqi, News Reporter

After saying how the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s relevance is present in movements like Black lives matter, LGBTQ rights, the “Me Too” movement, and the changing of DACA, the Rev. L Bernard Jakes received a standing ovation on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

In his lecture “Is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 20th Century Voice Relevant in the 21st Century?” Jakes integrated excerpts from King’s speeches to address the nation’s current social and political climate that mirror circumstances during King’s life.

“‘It is a time of double talk, when men in high places have a high blood pressure of deceptive rhetoric and an anema of concrete performance. We cry out against welfare handouts to the poor, but generously approve an oil-depletion allowance to make the rich, richer’,” he quoted.

“Sounds familiar?” he asked the audience.

About the current government administration, Jakes added: “We are living in a time when people wish to make America great in word but dastardly in deed.”

Jakes also mentioned the role of King’s voice in an issue of recent relevance - the fight by “concerned citizens” and students for gun regulation.

In an interview with The Leader, Jakes, who has previously advised Illinois lawmakers on gun policy, argued that the same racial politics present in King’s life have played a significant role in the inability of the 21st century U.S. government to change gun laws, even after events targeting children such as Sandy Hook.

“With Sandy Hook, one, it was looked at as an isolated incident, and two, we had a Black President. There was no way this country was going to allow a Black president to change the laws that would affect gun control,” he said. “The NRA wasn’t having it.”

“But from Sandy Hook to now, it’s becoming commonplace,” Jakes continued. “When you have 17 or 18 shootings in schools by [Feb. 20], it’s a projection of worse things to come.”

During his post-lecture question and answer session, Jakes also offered advice to EC student activists and how to engage those who deny modern relevance of poverty, disenfranchisement and oppression of black people in America.

“[...] In order to do it from a practical standpoint, get in your vehicle. You don’t even have to drive to Chicago, drive to Maywood. You don’t even have to drive to Maywood, talk to some of the students here at this college,”  he said. “Find a student, doesn't have to be a person of color, that is living in poverty, that is homeless and goes to school. [Mention] that the conversation has come up about possibly starting a food pantry on campus, because there are so many students on this campus that are devoid of food.”

World In Review - 2/27/18

 Students at Tam high school hold a candle light vigil for the victims of the Parkland shooting.  Internet Photo

Students at Tam high school hold a candle light vigil for the victims of the Parkland shooting. Internet Photo

By Alveena Siddiqi, News Reporter

17 people were killed and 14 wounded when a former student opened fire with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Feb.14.


19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, who was previously expelled from the school for unspecified disciplinary reasons, arrived on campus by Uber at 2:19 p.m., according to the New York Times.

He began shooting outside, and then proceeded inside the building, where 12 of the victims were killed. Cruz was apprehended by police at 3:41 p.m. while walking down a residential street, after blending into the crowd to escape and stopping by Subway and McDonald’s.

Cruz, who has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, has appeared in court twice since the shooting. As of Feb. 24, no further hearings had yet been scheduled for the case.

Cruz made several social media posts revealing his intentions prior to the shooting. He commented on a YouTube video five months prior to the attack that he was “going to be a professional school shooter one day,” commented “I’m going to do what he did” on a documentary about the 1966 University of Texas shooter, and regularly displayed a collection of guns on his Instagram account.

The FBI received multiple tip-offs, many of them from people close to Cruz, who expressed concern that he was likely to carry out these plans. The Broward County Sheriff's Office also received as many as 18 concerned calls between 2008-2017. The FBI issued an apology on Friday for failing to investigate and act on a detailed tip-off about Cruz received in January.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has called for FBI director Wayne’s resignation, despite the apology. “Seventeen innocent people are dead and acknowledging a mistake isn’t going to cut it,” he said.

“An apology will never bring these 17 Floridians back to life or comfort the families who are in pain. The families will spend a lifetime wondering how this could happen, and an apology will never give them the answers they desperately need.”

President Donald Trump has called for arming teachers in schools as a solution to the growing problem. Trump argued on Thursday, Feb. 22 that teachers should be trained to "immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions.”

In the aftermath of the attack, multiple armed deputies are under investigation for failing to enter the building during the attack and confront the gunman. Following the resignation of Deputy Scott Peterson, allegations emerged that at least three other deputies were found after the incident also waiting outside the building. This discovery has added to concerns about the list of failures by law enforcement in dealing with Cruz.

Several major companies are openly cutting ties with the NRA following the incident. According to the BBC, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Enterprise Holdings, The Hertz Corporation, Allied Van Lines, North American Van Lines, First National Bank of Omaha, Symantec, and MetLife Inc. are among the first companies to remove benefits and discounts for NRA members.

The incident has also sparked an increase in student involvement in the national debate about gun laws. On Tuesday, Feb. 20, students and staff from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School walked out of classes and marched to a protest in Fort Lauderdale to demand legal action. “We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks,” said student Emma Gonzalez. “Not because we’re going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because … we are going to be the last mass shooting.”

In response to a call for action by the students, high school and college campuses nationwide are planning walkouts and protests on March 14, the one-month anniversary of the Parkland shooting, as a call for stricter gun control laws.

SGA rethinks constitution following mass exodus

 SGA meeting leaves several seats unfilled after many of its representatives resign.  Photo by Sam Dunn

SGA meeting leaves several seats unfilled after many of its representatives resign. Photo by Sam Dunn

By Syeda Sameeha, News Reporter

With a large number of SGA senators resigning, SGA discussed potential revisions to the organization’s constitution to change the way clubs are involved in SGA meetings Thursday Feb. 15.

According to Art. III Sect. 2 of the drafted constitution, the senate shall consist of 21 senators, each senator representing a different department on campus.

SGA senator Laura Rusk expressed concern that this new structure may limit SGA senators in the interests and projects they want to pursue.

“I don't really like the idea of one person assigned to one subject because there are so many of us that are in many different things, are passionate about many different things, and we want to represent so many different things,” said Rusk. “I kind of like how we are a big body of people and we all do the same stuff together.”

SGA Vice President Madiha Ahmed explained this way of structuring was created to more efficiently task out responsibilities and not to limit freedom to pursue projects of interest.

“For example, if you were the senator for IT, it’s not like you can do nothing else. It is to say, if you are IT, you are responsible for IT,” explained Ahmed. “So you are accountable of visiting IT when it's needed. This is to prevent when we don’t have a member or when we say ‘who wants this role,’ but nobody volunteers for the role and its dead silent which is something we have struggled with in the past.”

SGA Senator Angel Madrigal agreed this new structure would increase accountability.

“Creating people who are specific senators for specific positions will give those senators individual accountability for reaching out those individual campus,” said Madrigal.

SGA senator Josh Bucens suggested condensing the list of senators.

“Maybe it's possible we can shrink this. Perhaps from 21 senators to seven senators. Each of the seven senators will be responsible for three different departments,” said Bucens. “I'm just concerned about getting 21 people in the same room, plus board, plus whoever else needs to be here.”

Another section of much discussion was SGA legislators. This part of the drafted constitution holds that recognized clubs and other organizations on campus can send a member to represent them on SGA in order to get money from SGA for their club.

SGA Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Noah Pearson said, “My only concern with legislators is that every single person at this school pays student activities fees and they use those student activity fees according to their need and how they want to use them and to participate in whichever organizations they feel like organizing, but by doing something like costing their funding or their ability to go to co-op or something is essentially saying that if you're not a part of SGA, you don’t have access to student activity fees.”

“That’s the accountability part of it, if you are a club and you want money for your organization you should show up and propose your idea,” said Ahmed. “Co-Op would still exist, but if you want funding from SGA, each club would choose a legislator to attend monthly SGA meetings. This will basically be their forum to express anything.”

Bucens supported the idea of monthly SGA meetings for legislators.

“This would be a way to get more community involvement and also PR opportunities,” he said. “If someone came from every club once a month it would be a lot of collaboration and  more people would know about all of the events. I think it would do great things for us and community would be close knit.”

SGA senator Lisa Dubin agreed.

“We had the issue constantly of knowing whether the clubs are still active or not on our campus. This would also be a great way to know whether or not they are and provide us feedback immediately on whether or not they're going downhill and allow us to get monthly check ins as well as to see what their membership looks like as well,” said Dubin. “I also think the once a month is great, but maybe we can do rotating, so once a month 10 clubs are assigned to come, and then the next month another 10.”

In the end, SGA decided to continue discussion regarding these revisions in the next meetings.

Ahmed encouraged SGA members to give their input and provide feedback for revisions to the constitution.

SGA Faculty Adviser and Vice President for Student Affairs Phil Riordan noted, “Remember all year you have said we need more involvement and senators need greater responsibility. So keep that in mind as you move forward with this.”

Director of library questions Learning Center move

By Victoria Martin, News Editor

In a move that puts her in direct conflict with the Dean of Faculty, the Director of the E.C. Buhler Library is challenging the finer details of the Learning Center planned move to the library.

Previously the Dean of Faculty April Edwards had mentioned that the Learning Center was moving to the library specifically because they were out growing their current location in the Frick Center.

Edwards also said that moving to the library was going to provide many more opportunities for members of the EC community from students to faculty and administration across the campus to interact in a more convenient manner.

Susan Swords-Steffen, however, stated during an interview “that was not true,” in relation to the Learning Center needing more space.

“In the plans that were shown to us, it did not seem to me the Learning Center would not be gaining much more, if any at all, space than what they currently have in their Frick Center location,” Steffen said.

When asked to follow up, Edwards stated that she was unclear as to why anyone would think that.

“No, I don’t think that is correct. There is certainly a lot more space [in the library] and is better configured for [the Learning Center],” Edwards continued. “It also allows for when there is a lot of tutoring in the library for the tutors to expand out into the library as needed.”

No specifics to what the final renovation would look like, as the contractors are still in the early stages of designing a new layout according to both Edwards and Steffen.

However, according to Steffen and confirmed by Edwards, there are three options up for consideration.

“Plan A only focuses on the first floor, while both plan B and C impact the lower level, as well,” Steffen told the Leader.

Steffen also questioned where the money was coming from to do this massive renovation.

“I can’t give specifics,” Steffen told the Leader, “but I can tell you that it is a seven figure number and, last I heard, the college was just coming out of a financial crisis.”

“I love this college,” she continued, “and would hate to see anything happen to it because of an unnecessary renovation.”

Later, Edwards would confirm this large dollar amount.

“The renovation is going to cost a million dollars. But that is the cap for out architects and they are well aware of that,” Edwards said. “There may be a phase two in the next year or, maybe, the next two years.”

Edwards also stated that the million dollar budget was coming from two seperate accounts that the college has allocated for these types of projects.

“[The money] is coming from our reserve account and our operating budget,” said Edwards.

Edwards also stated that the renovation would only be touching the first floor.

“With the time frame and budget, it would just not be feasible to try and do anything else at this point in time,” Edwards said.

With such a large renovation Steffen also questioned why no students were asked about if they thought this was a necessary change to the college.

“[The library] has around three to four thousand students walk in and out of this building, so I am surprised that no one has asked students about this to get their opinions,” Steffen said.

Edwards commented that students were not included in this task force because this project had been in the works for a long time and that a student might not be able to commit to the time required to discuss the project.

“Right now there are not any students on the task force. Partially that was because we weren’t sure what this would all really look like,” Edwards said, “and part of it was that this has been going on for a really long time and students tend to think in terms of semesters. With us starting last summer and going into this summer, it didn't make full sense to have a student commit to that long of a time frame.”

Steffen wanted to make it clear that the library was not against this collaboration and the library was not nearly as nervous about the renovation as it was early in the semester.

“We are not against this new collaboration,” said Steffen, “we were just afraid when we felt our voices were not being heard and that decisions were being made without our input.”

“We wanted to make sure our ability to be where the students are and be accessible for them to ask us for help to be preserved,” continued Steffen. “The plans we have seen thus far would preserve that.”

With no clear plan for a DACA resolution, EC dreamer faces an uncertain future

 EC dreamers are left to cope with the possibility of a future outside from the country they grew up in.  Photographic Illustration by Victoria Martin

EC dreamers are left to cope with the possibility of a future outside from the country they grew up in.
Photographic Illustration by Victoria Martin

By Cheyenne Roper, News Reporter

"DACA allowed me to get my driver's license, I was able to apply for employment, and most importantly it fueled my dreams of attending college," said an EC junior currently protected under DACA, who spoke to the Leader anonymously, on the program approaching its March 5 deadline affecting hundreds of thousands of young undocumented students.  

Originally set up by former President Obama in 2012, DACA was designed to allow approximately 700,000 undocumented students aged 16 and under to apply for protection against deportation and enable them to legally obtain a two-year permit to study and work in the United States.  

After trying to dismantle the original Dream Act, on Sept. 5 of last fall, Trump’s Administration allowed Congress six months to pass a revised Dream Act.  

This would enable the “Dreamers” to follow a path towards citizenship.

The anonymous student expressed their concern with Trump’s decision and the very real fear they face on a daily basis.  

“My work permit expires in March of 2019, leaving me roughly a year until it becomes real," the student said. "If nothing gets done in favor of DACA recipients […], it would mean I cannot be legally employed, and there are also talks of DACA recipients getting deported since the government does have all of our information."

With the thought of their ability to follow their dreams slipping more and more into the distance, the EC junior's biggest fear focuses on no longer having the ability to see their family if deportation were to become a reality.

“My biggest concern is being separated from my family. Because I know that if you're deported it is difficult to gain reentry to the United States,” the EC junior said.  

“It's difficult because my life is here. I have goals and I'd like to accomplish them here at home. It's sad to know that this is something that crosses other DACA recipients' minds,” the student continued.  

What the future holds for them is not certain, however the DACA student still remains hopeful that "something will be passed in congress," in favor of helping the many who share the student's fears.  

While the anonymous EC student is hopeful, DACA still offers no path to citizenship.  

The anonymous EC student has applied for citizenship numerous times with no success and states the DACA student would absolutely become a citizen if given the chance.  

“If an opportunity comes sooner through any legislation for Dreamers, I would definitely take it. No second thoughts,” stated anonymous.  

President of Hablamos and EC Junior Maria Anguiano spoke on how DACA students’ lives could be altered.  

“If you’re working towards your goal and then they try to take away every opportunity that you have, it’s going to deeply affect DACA students, their family, their income, and their own hard work that they put in to everything that they’ve done,” Anguiano said.

“It’s also going to endanger them like if they get deported. They might go to Mexico or any place they came from undocumented and they don’t even know what life is like over there because many of them came as a child,” continued Anguiano.

Elmhurst College has made it clear that it supports the DACA program and what it represents with a rally that took place this past fall.  

It is unclear what the future will hold, but as for everything up until this point in their life, the DACA student would not change their parents' decision for the world  

“I only know that my parents would not have been able to provide as much in Mexico as they have here in the United States. I am grateful for my parents’ decision to come here and seek a better opportunity for our family,” said the EC junior.

The anonymous student continued, “I can say that the U.S has numerous opportunities that cannot be found elsewhere and I have made the best of the opportunities it has given me.”

Art department sees a hopeful future despite the low enrollment numbers

By Victoria Martin, News Editor

Despite low enrollment in the program, the EC art department hopes to continue its expansion over the next few years.

With the recent drop in enrollment over the last few years, the art department at EC has seen a significant drop in their major enrollments.

Art Department Chair Mary Lou Stewart, however, notes that the enrollment of the college is seeing a turn, reaching 2,856 current students attending EC according to U.S. News, and hopes it will spill into the visual arts.

“The past few years, I think the whole college enrollment has gone down. But it has started to turn around and is going back up, so I’m hoping that we’ll see additional art majors in the next several years.”

Stewart also discussed how the department is currently combating the enrollment issue.

“We try to help the students the best we can,” she said in regards to classes not reaching the required 12 students to have a class run.

“We sometimes combine the 300 and 400 level classes to make sure students are getting the classes in that they need. Or if there isn’t an enrollment, sometimes there are independent studies,” Stewart continued.

With this hope for upping enrollment, Stewart sees a future for bettering the art department and what it can offer its students.

“We are working on expanding the amount of equipment the students can use,” she said; giving examples like a 3D printer and a vinyl cutter that all students could use despite their possible concentration. 

Stewart also mentioned that the department is working on “developing an area where students can matte and photograph their work.”

“Adding a spray booth for students who want to spray paint is also a goal of ours,” she added.

World in Review-2/13/18

  Internet Photo   Falcon heavy space shuttle takes off from landing pad 1 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Internet Photo

Falcon heavy space shuttle takes off from landing pad 1 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

By Syeda Sameeha, News Reporter

SpaceX successfully launches Falcon Heavy space shuttle

SpaceX successfully launched its rocket Falcon Heavy on Tuesday. Falcon Heavy, known as the world’s most powerful operational rocket, is SpaceX’s recent innovation. It’s the heavy lift version of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. 

As reported by The Verge, it consists of three Falcon 9 cores strapped together and uses a total of 27 engines. According to the company’s website, the rocket was designed on the outset to carry human passengers to space. In this test launch, the cargo in the rocket was a Tesla Roadster, an idea pitched by SpaceX CEO and Tesla billionaire Elon Musk. 

SpaceX aims to transform space technology and allow humans to live on other planets. The successful launch of Falcon Heavy is a game changer for the company and for the space industry. As stated by CNN, companies before would just discard rockets after each mission. But through SpaceX launches, the company has proved it can safely return rocket boosters to Earth after a launch. This means a rocket can be reused for another mission again.

But, what’s more visionary about SpaceX is that it provides the option of space tourism in the future.

“The idea is to democratize space and to lower the cost of getting to as many destinations in our lower system,” said Bill Nye, CEO of Planetary Society and host of Bill Nye Saves the World.

For now Falcon Heavy is set to deliver a telecommunications satellite for Arabsat, a Saudi Arabian firm and deliver payload to the US Air Force as reported by CNN. 

But Musk stresses on the ultimate goal of SpaceX—sending humans to space, particularly to live on Mars.

In his press conference after the launch, Musk said in regards to delivering humans to space, “we need to be way bigger than that[Falcon Heavy].”

What is an egg? 

Panera petitions the FDA more clearly identify preservatives

Panera is petitioning the FDA(Food and Drug Administration) to define what an egg is. With its long history of removing artificial ingredients from its menu, the restaurant is saying that FDA regulations for defining what an egg is is too loose.

As stated by the petition, Panera states that without clearly defining what makes an egg, companies can offer and sell products that contain additives and preservatives as an “egg.” The company wants to define an egg as “a food without additives or  further processing” according to the petition. The exception to this is any pasteurization treatment to eliminate bacteria.

In an interview with Forbes, Director of Wellness and Food Policy Sara Burnett said, “We looked at the competitive set and people are calling things bacon egg and cheese sandwiches, but we looked at the ingredients and saw the eggs that over half these top brands were using have five ingredients or more. And they’re still calling their product an egg.”

With FDA’s clear identification of what an egg is, President of Panera Blaine Hurst said in the petition, “Responsible companies will be transparent about the food items they serve, even if regulation does not require them to do so.”

Carjackers target EC parent outside Memorial Hall; Two suspects still at large

 Photo by Kenneth Edison  Parent of EC student carjacked at gunpoint outside of Memorial Hall on Jan. 22. Two suspects were apprehended while two more are still at large.

Photo by Kenneth Edison

Parent of EC student carjacked at gunpoint outside of Memorial Hall on Jan. 22. Two suspects were apprehended while two more are still at large.

By Kenneth Edison, Editor-in-Chief

Follow him at @krazo1

The parent of an EC student was the victim of a carjacking at gunpoint near Memorial Hall on the afternoon of Monday, Jan. 22.

According to the Elmhurst Police Department, four male suspects in a maroon Chevy Impala followed the victim as they were picking up a student from campus.

Once parked, two suspects approached the victim while brandishing a handgun and demanded the keys to the victim’s Cadillac Escalade before driving away with the stolen vehicle. The victim was not harmed in the ordeal.

The other two suspects drove away in the Impala but were pulled over on I-290 while heading east shortly afterward. Police took the two suspects, one 18-year-old and one 17-year-old male, into custody and transported them to the Elmhurst Police Station.

The two offenders in custody were released from Elmhurst Police Station on Thursday, Jan. 25 without any charges being filed.

The stolen Escalade was found by Chicago police abandoned in an alley near West Lexington Street in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago.  

Though the stolen vehicle was recovered, the two suspects that stole the vehicle remain at large and are described as black males in sweats with ski masks over their faces.

The campus was alerted to the carjacking at midnight on Tuesday, Jan. 23 via an email from EC President Troy VanAken. The email contained details of the incident and explained that there was no immediate threat to the larger campus and thus, there was no mass alert sent out immediately.

The maroon Chevy Impala that the suspects were driving has also been linked to string of carjackings throughout the western suburbs. According to the Chicago Tribune, police alleged the Impala was also reported as being the vehicle present at carjackings in River Forest and Schaumburg in the days leading up to the carjacking on EC’s campus.

In response to the incident Elmhurst Police Department made a post on their Facebook page indicating an adjustment for heightened awareness.

“The police department is working overtime, increasing officer patrols with both marked and unmarked squad cars in response. Additional time off has been canceled to increase police officer staffing each day,” they said. “Our detectives are coordinating efforts with other affected suburban departments, the Chicago police, and the FBI to identify and apprehend burglary and vehicle theft suspects.”

The Big Move part two: Learning Center to move to EC Library

By Kenneth Edison, Editor-in-Chief

The big move.png

Follow him at @krazo1

Continuing the movement of offices around campus, the Learning Center will be moving to the A.C. Buehler Library over the summer 2018, according to Dean of Faculty April Edwards.

With the Learning Center starting to expand beyond its current office location in the Frick Center, Edwards feels it is time for it to move to a location that not only can allow it to continue to grow, but also would be more beneficial to the campus community.

“The Learning Center has outgrown the space available in its current location,” Edwards said in an email interview. “Moving it to the library also provides more opportunities for interaction with the CPE, Honors, Library staff, etc.”

It was rumored that a potential position for the new Learning Center would be in the middle of the library’s main floor where the Fish Bowl is currently located.

Edwards said in her email that the exact location has yet to be determined.

“The architects are working to develop several options for [the task force] to review,” Edwards wrote.

Director of the Learning Center Susan Roach, however, stated in an email that the Learning Center would not be replacing the Fish Bowl.

The task force Edwards is referring to consists of members of faculty and administration from multiple areas of expertise across the campus. Edwards is currently leading the task force with Assistant Dean Brian Wilhite.

“A Learning Center task force, consisting of the current learning center staff, library staff, CPE and faculty has been working on this project since early in the fall semester.”

Also on the task force is Director of the A.C. Buhler Library Susan Swords Steffen.

It had been brought to The Leader’s attention that some on the library staff were concerned about the Learning Center moving to the library but none wanted to comment until Steffens came back from a J-term trip.

Steffens was unable to comment on the issue before the start of the spring semester.


Revised proposal to open more lecturer positions passed in second faculty vote

By Victoria Martin, News Editor

Faculty revisited and passed the lecturer proposal to open up more stable jobs for non-tenured professors on Dec. 15 after failing to pass the original proposal.

During the original debate back in November, faculty had issues with the unguaranteed amount of tenured positions available as well as there not being any way to protect the lecturers currently at EC when the proposal was not passed.

With the proposal not passing due to what many called an unfair number of faculty actually in attendance, those at the meeting called for there to be a revote with more in attendance.

Dean of Faculty April Edwards, however, did not want to give out what the new proposal stated, saying in an email interview, “I don’t feel comfortable distributing the proposal because it has not been approved by the board yet.”

While the exact details of the new proposal are not known, Edwards did give some information as to what can be expected if the new proposal does get board approved.

“If new lecturer positions are created, adjunct faculty who meet the qualifications and want to work full-time for Elmhurst College will be eligible to apply for these positions,” Edwards wrote.

Edwards also stated that, if approved, “Departments can now request lecturer positions when that is appropriate to meet their staffing needs.”

When asked about how this could potentially solve issues presented by the adjunct union, Edwards wrote that this proposal had been in the works since June 2017 and had nothing to do with the forming union.

“The purpose of the change is to continue to provide a high-quality education to Elmhurst students by hiring more full-time faculty,” Edwards added.

According to Edwards, if the new proposal is approved it would take effect as early as the Fall 2018 semester.

EC hires new Director of Diversity and Inclusion

  Photo courtesy of Jasmin Robinson   New Director of Diversity and Inclusion Jasmin Robinson accepted her position on Jan. 2. Her office is located in room 221 in the center of student activities.

Photo courtesy of Jasmin Robinson

New Director of Diversity and Inclusion Jasmin Robinson accepted her position on Jan. 2. Her office is located in room 221 in the center of student activities.

Jasmin Robinson took up the mantle as EC’s new Director of Diversity and Inclusion on Jan. 2, following Roger Moreano’s sudden departure from the role at the beginning of 2017-2018 school year.

While Robinson has only been on campus for less than a month, she already has some pressing questions for EC as a whole.

“Who is in our community? How do they view experiences at the college and find similarities among difference? What are their values? What are we doing well and what can we do better with as it relates to diversity and inclusion? Those are some questions I plan to explore as I get connected on campus,” said Robinson in an email interview.

Robinson says that though she has not been at EC very long, her initial impressions already reveal areas for growth and education on campus.

“At first glance I see a homogenous community, which can present some challenges when people think about diversity,” she said. “However, diversity and inclusion is multi-faceted and shows up in more ways than just one identity. There are layers to identities that need to be explored, challenged, and celebrated.”

Robinson comes to EC from Lake Forest College where she worked as Assistant Associate and Interim Director of Intercultural Relations.

After accepting the job at EC, Robinson says she has felt ample hospitality in her new position.

“In the 3 weeks I have been here I have been welcomed by a large number of faculty, staff, and students.” Robinson said. “They are openly sharing their experiences at the college and providing some tips for success. It has been a wonderful experience so far, and it’s only J-Term. I can only imagine what Elmhurst will look like when the entire campus returns next week.”

Robinson admits that even though she has only been in the EC community for a short period of time, she is already seeing opportunity for her office to help in the education and growth of the campus.

“A common theme I’ve been hearing is the need to have more space for conversations, trainings, and education around diversity and inclusion.” she said. “In addition, I already have workshops available that I would like to begin offering and I’ve already been speaking to campus student leaders about some of their ideas.”

One of those aforementioned workshops was the racial day of healing on Jan. 16-20 where students were invited to write down their personal commitments to social change and share them in the Frick Center.

With the new semester looming, Robinson says she is looking forward to getting the necessary feedback from student leaders to take the necessary actions for facilitating a more inclusive campus.

“Once I have a full semester on campus I will be able to really identify the priorities of the office. For now, I want to continue to meet with as many students, clubs and organizations, faculty, and staff to determine where to start.”