Student organization for competitive gaming gains SGA recognition

By Victoria Martin, News Editor

A new Esports team has been recognized as an official student organization at EC as of Thursday, Nov. 30 at a Student Government Association [SGA] meeting.  

EC students Jacob Tiso and Patrick Westerhoff presented to SGA for the already formed team claiming many more were interested.

“We are here to present a club so we can compete against other schools like Robert Morris, [University of Illinois] and Illinois Wesleyan. We already have a [League of Legends] team, along with one for DOTA 2 and Counterstrike,” said Tiso.

One of the reasons behind this organization being officially recognized was the potential of it being a form of recruitment in the future.

“This could be a way to recruit new students in the future and potentially, down the road, offer scholarships for,” said EC Dean of Students Phil Riordan. “This is something new that many other colleges are starting to recognize, Robert Morris being number one in the country, and it is looking like in the next five years the NCAA will also be recognizing this.”

This sparked a conversation on what EC would be able to offer as a D-3 school as the NCAA has already cracked down on past issues at EC.

Riordan assured that this could be considered a D-1 team and would not affect any standings with the NCAA.

“You could make this your one and only D-1 sport. Because there is no specific D-1, the way the league is set up now, they would play what are considered D-1 schools now,” said Riordan.

Later, once more members decided to show up, SGA debated on and decided to postpone the amendment changes to their constitution in response to the recent movement of impeachment and conflict of interest among the SGA board.

 SGA senator Lisa Dubin wanted to keep the ability to present for clubs she represents in SGA. 

“It can be a challenge to find people, especially if the group is smaller, who are equipped and knowledgeable enough to present at SGA,” Dubin said.  “It would be easiest for me [to present for organization] because I know the most and I have the to position at SGA for this reason, to represent my organizations.”

SGA senator Noah Pearson agreed in saying that being on the executive board for his groups he would be the best person to present.

“I feel that in securing a leadership positions, we have constituencies and agendas. And I feel that we would be doing a disservice to not be following those agendas,” said Pearson.

Some senators thought having these changes would make presenting less biased and intimidating.

“The reason that I think the student presenting should not be an SGA rep is that it is going to make it a little more fair and a little bit more easier to have honest discussion about [the organization],” said SGA senator Marissa Gariti.

“When it’s a member of our board presenting, there is a factor of intimidation that could be eliminated,” she continued.

The debate will continue and SGA will propose and make amendments to the constitution in their next meeting on Thursday, Dec. 7.

Elmhurst police arrest three Chicago men in string of area burglaries

Photos courtesy of the Elmhurst Police Department Daniel Deonte was arrested on Nov. 27 after breaking into several cars and attempting to evade arrest.

Photos courtesy of the Elmhurst Police Department

Daniel Deonte was arrested on Nov. 27 after breaking into several cars and attempting to evade arrest.

By Kenneth Edison, Editor-in-Chief

Follow him at @krazo1

Photos courtesy of the Elmhurst Police Department Tyrone Wilson was arrested on Nov. 27 after breaking into several cars and attempting to evade arrest.

Photos courtesy of the Elmhurst Police Department

Tyrone Wilson was arrested on Nov. 27 after breaking into several cars and attempting to evade arrest.

Three young men from Chicago were arrested on Monday Nov. 27 and charged with burglarizing and stealing multiple vehicles in Elmhurst, according to police.  

23-year-old Deanthony Webb, 21-year-old Deonte Daniel and 19-year-old Tyrone Wilson were the subjects of a brief police manhunt after authorities responded to a call from a local Elmhurst woman alleging that her car had been broken into and her wallet stolen. 

A later investigation revealed the three men allegedly broke into 20 cars and garages and stole items before fleeing in two stolen cars.

According to the Elmhurst Police Department, the ensuing car chase between the men and police led to one of the cars crashing with a police vehicle. The other vehicle then crashed into a house. The three men, as well as an unidentified fourth man, were forced to flee on foot. 

Photos courtesy of the Elmhurst Police Department Deanthony Webb was arrested on Nov. 27 after breaking into several cars and attempting to evade arrest.

Photos courtesy of the Elmhurst Police Department

Deanthony Webb was arrested on Nov. 27 after breaking into several cars and attempting to evade arrest.

Elmhurst police then searched the area and found Daniel in a garage with a loaded handgun also being recovered on the scene. 

Authorities then found Webb and Wilson walking down a nearby street. All three suspects were charged with three counts of burglary and one count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle. The three were then taken to DuPage County Jail and given a bond of $250,000. 

The three suspects all have previous arrests and one of the suspects was on parole at the time of arrest.

The fourth suspect has yet to be found.

The ordeal prompted a campus-wide email by the Office of Campus Security warning the campus community that the fourth suspect was still at large and could be in the area near EC.

The email described the unidentified fourth suspect as a black male, 5 feet 8 inches tall, and approximately 20 years old wearing an NFL Jacksonville Jaguar shirt and jeans. 

State’s Attorney Robert Berlin told that these burglaries are a part of a larger trend of similar crimes happening in the fringe parts of the Chicago area.

“In recent months, we have seen an increase in the type of brazen behavior alleged in this case throughout the Chicagoland area, particularly in the collar counties,” he said. 

“The fact that the defendants in this case were quickly apprehended and are now facing a substantial amount of time behind bars if convicted sends the message that if you commit such a crime in DuPage County, you will be held responsible for your actions.”



World in Review: FCC moves forward with vote to repeal net neutrality protections

FCC head Ajit Pai plans to remove net neutrality’s protection status as a title II utility.  Internet Photo

FCC head Ajit Pai plans to remove net neutrality’s protection status as a title II utility.  Internet Photo

By Syeda Sameeha, News Reporter

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced his plan on Nov. 21 to repeal all net neutrality regulations that were created by the Obama administration in 2015.

According to Tim Wu, Columbia University law professor and the man who coined the term “net neutrality,” “Network neutrality is best defined as a network design principle. The idea is that a maximally useful public information network aspires to treat all content, sites, and platforms equally.” 

In 2015, the Obama administration passed net neutrality regulations with this idea in mind - that “the role of high speed internet access is a gateway to modern communication, information, entertainment, and economic opportunity” as stated by the New York Times.

Under net neutrality regulations, the internet is considered a public utility or a Title II - just like electricity and water. Internet service providers (I.S.P) are prevented from setting limitations on internet traffic such as intentionally blocking, slowing down, or charging certain websites.

Pai’s plan to dismantle net neutrality regulations would allow ISPs to block websites that are not approved by them and charge web companies for “speedier delivery of their content” as reported by the Washington Post. 

In a statement on Nov. 22, Pai said, “Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet.”

The plan to repeal net neutrality regulations has received significant backlash. According to the, a website created by activists that connects calls to Congress, almost 760,861 people have called Congress to protest the repeal. 

As Steve Lohr of the New York Times reports, net neutrality supporters are concerned that the internet will become “pay-to-play technology” with two lanes. One lane would have high speed internet occupied by major corporations and households that can afford to pay. The slow lane would be for everyone else who cannot pay for these services. 

The FCC will vote on the plan to repeal net neutrality on Dec. 14. As stated by NPR, the repeal proposal is expected to pass given the Republican majority. 

EC Student submitted survey finds students have experienced some form of unreported sexual assault

Graphic Illustration by Domenica Divietro

Graphic Illustration by Domenica Divietro

By Savannah Koziol, Contributing Writer

On Oct.15, 1.7 million tweets went viral in 24 hours. 

The #MeToo movement came from 85 countries and 12 million Facebook posts made by 4.7 million users responding to the sexual assault allegation against Harvey Weinstein. 

Responses to the original Twitter campaign revealed that incidents of sexual harassment and assault continue to extend beyond Hollywood including college campuses.

A survey posted on Facebook indicated that EC students have or know someone who has been sexually assaulted or harassed both on and off campus.  

The stories victims shared over the last several weeks continue to show perpetrators of sexual crimes exist in every aspect of American culture, and that anyone anywhere can be victimized. 

“Anyone has the ability to be Harvey Weinstein. Anyone can be a predator and anyone can be prey,” said EC senior and Managing Editor of the Leader Roxanne Timan.

Though 78 women and counting came forward with their accusations against Weinstein, many still wonder why it took so long for them to share their experiences.

As a victim of sexual assault, Timan stressed that the answer to that question cannot be easily found. 

She shared her own #MeToo story in the Nov. 21 issue of The Leader about her experience being sexually assaulted two years ago by a woman - a story she says she was reluctant to write about in her column because she believed her incident was such a small occurrence that it could potentially not be worth complaining about.

Even though the #MeToo movement and national statistics highlight the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault, the extent at which the issue occurs on U.S. college campuses may not be accurately reflected in federal reports.

Colleges in U.S. federal financial aid programs are required to submit federal-funded yearly reports of campus violence under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or Clearly Act; aiming to foster more supportive environments for victims to report sexual crimes, according to the Department of Education’s 2014 Federal Register. 

Though this requirement was created with the intention of holding educational institutions accountable, recent data revealed a large percentage of schools may not be giving accurate data and statistics of reported crimes correctly. 

In 2015, 89 percent of U.S. colleges reported zero incidents of rape, according to American Association of University Women’s [AAUW] analysis of data provided by schools to the U.S. Department of Education. 

EC reported 34 incidents related to forcible rape, forcible fondling, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking from 2014-2016 in their 2016 Annual Security & Fire Safety Report. 

“If these numbers were accurate there’d be cause for celebration, but we know for a fact they’re not,” said Lisa M. Maatz, former Vice President of Government Relations at AAUW. 

In order to obtain a more accurate reflection of the prevalence of sexual harassment, assault, and misconduct at EC in 2017, a survey was created to be sent out to the student body intending to assess their experiences with these issues since enrolling at the college and if victims had reported their incidents or not. 

After attempting to speak to several school officials within the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Student Activities and the chair of the Institutional 

Review Board at EC to get the survey approved, ultimately school officials said the subject matter of the survey “Wouldn’t be something that would be ideal to send to student organizations.”

The survey was still sent out informally online via a student led EC Facebook page.

The survey included students of all genders and levels of enrollment at the college; 96 percent of the participants, however, who responded were undergraduate students. 

Additionally, 72 percent of students identified themselves as female, 21 percent identified as male, and 6 percent identified as transgender, queer or non conforming, questioning or not listed.   

While only 81 students responded, the results revealed 40 percent of students reported experiencing sexual assault involving either non consensual penetration or sexual touching and 57 percent reported experiencing sexual harassment. 

Though the majority of surveyed students had experienced some form of sexual harassment, 73 percent of these victims did not report their incidents to any campus or law enforcement officials. 

Though only a small sample of students participated in the online survey, its results could potentially reveal an alarming disparity between the reported and actual number of incidents of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse that have occurred on the college’s campus over the last few years. 

“I have known people who were sexually assaulted on campus and at a campus party and what not, so it’s obviously going on,” said survey participant and EC senior Clayton Spolum. 

Considering 38 percent of students surveyed reported they believed incidents of sexual harassment, stalking, and intimate partner violence were very problematic at EC, students still may not report their own incidents out of fear that they are not important enough to disclose.

“It’s scary to me because a lot of the times my friends will nonchalantly bring that up, ‘Like oh I was kind of raped, or you know I was kind of sexually assaulted’ but it’s always under the table,” Timan continued. “‘A few years ago, it’s fine now’ when it really isn’t,” she concluded.

A survivor’s relationship with the offender also has a strong effect on the likelihood of them reporting, according to a study done by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. 

Of the students who identified as victims in the survey, 59 percent responded that their offender was someone they knew: a friend, acquaintance, or intimate partner.

However, 21 percent of those victims indicated that they did not report their incidents because they did not want to get their offender into trouble given the fact that they knew them. 

Even though colleges have been provided the tools to improve how they respond to sexual violence on their campuses, work still must be done so that survivors feel welcomed to report their incidents and are knowledgeable about resources available to support them. 

“Honestly, knowing your resources, I feel like a lot of people don’t, honestly I don’t,” said Spolum, “I don’t know what the process of it would be. Because we were told the resources and the process years and years ago, and I feel like it needs to be refreshed.”

For students to continue to feel safe to coming forward with their incidents beyond the internet, experts say that organized and tangible efforts must continue to be made between school officials, the government, and all students, especially men, to push for greater transparency from academic institutions in their federal-funded yearly reports and statistics of campus violence. 

“It’s important to know these statistics because people are not alone […] it’s okay to tell people of authority at this school,” Timan paused, “I think it should be okay. It should be okay and I think we need to be more audible about that as a campus, but also the administration as well to make sure it’s a safe space for people who are victims.”

Maceo Ellison, EC’s oldest pupil, marks his tenth year as a senior student

Dr. Maceo Ellison, a attends his music history class in Irion Hall. Photo by Abby Robb

Dr. Maceo Ellison, a attends his music history class in Irion Hall. Photo by Abby Robb

By Syeda Sameeha, News Reporter

“I’m not a very interesting person,” said Dr. Maceo Russell Ellison.

But Ellison is being modest. 

At 90 years-of-age, Ellison, a retired internist, is the oldest current student at EC; attending since 2007. 

“This is one of the high points of my life,” Ellison said on his time at EC. “I can’t think of anything more enlightening, refreshing, enjoyable than being here. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing.”

Ellison was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on August 25, 1927. After his sophomore year of high school, his family and he moved to Chicago for better economic opportunity.

“Grand Rapids was very slow, nothing to do there. Mostly, my father was a waiter at a hotel which didn’t pay very much,” explained Ellison, “My mother was a stay at home mom, everybody was a stay at home mom in those days. She had six children so she needed to stay at home and take care of them.”

In Chicago, Ellison found it difficult to adjust to a big city and was very homesick at first. To his further dismay, the school he attended, McKinley High School, did not have a track for college at the time, so when students graduated they did not have the credits to apply for college.

“That was in an all-African American neighborhood, so that might have been something to do with it,” remarked Ellison.

Even though he knew he did not have any money for college and questioned how he would even apply, Ellison remained optimistic.

“I figured something might happen, fairy godmother-like stuff,” said Ellison.

Ellison transferred to Marshall High School, a college preparatory school, and graduated from there.

But a month after Ellison graduated high school, his father passed away. 

With his three younger siblings and a mother who was unable to work, Ellison became the sole breadwinner for the family after his father’s passing.

“I didn’t see any path other than working. I had to support my family,” said Ellison. “I think it was more of ‘How am I ever going to realize my aspirations, but this is something you have to do. You obviously have to support your family, you are not going to walk away from it and leave them without any financial support.’ That was a defining moment for me, because you’re just going to have to do whatever is necessary.”

Six months after he started working and attending junior college, he was drafted into the Army for mandatory service and stayed till 1947. 

The Army was not an enjoyable experience for Ellison largely due to the prominent racism in the South at the time where Ellison was stationed.

“When I got off the bus, I was from Chicago, and there isn’t that type of discrimination here. I walked into bus station and it said one drinking fountain here is colored and one is white, so I said, ‘To Hell with this,’ so I drank from the white fountain, but it was dangerous,” said Ellison.

While in service, Ellison was part of the medical corp and worked in the hospital for most of the time, so he considers his time in the Army to be not entirely bad. 

After coming home from the army, Ellison went back to junior college and attended Roosevelt University in Chicago.

“From 1946 to 1953, I was working eight hours a day and trying to get enough credits because I was interested in going to medical school,” said Ellison.

Ellison had a love for biology, so he decided to go to medical school. 

With three years of college under Ellison’s belt, he was getting a little desperate because he felt like he was getting too old at his age of 26 then.

With only 93 semester hours and one year short, he applied to medical school to see what would happen and to his shock, he was accepted to University of Illinois Medical School. 

After graduating in 1953, Ellison headed for an internship in Milwaukee and then West Chicago where he worked at a practice for a couple of years. 

He later went back to do his residency at Hines Hospital for two years and another two years at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Ellison considers his greatest accomplishment in life is taking care of his patients and connecting with all of them.

“My practice years were one of the most rewarding years of my life. We were all like one big family and when I retired, I collected all my patients phone numbers and sometimes they call me,” Ellison reflected.

Now, Ellison spends his retirement focusing on his many passions which include reading his favorite author Shakespeare, discussing religion, music, and spending time with family.

In fact, most of the classes Ellison takes at Elmhurst College are music classes.

“I was in band from grammar school to high school and it has been my passion ever since,” said Ellison.

He attributes most of his energy to do all of this stuff to the fact he exercises everyday. 

“Physically I feel fine. I have a lot of energy,” said Ellison. “Recently we moved to a retirement community and everyday I go down to the exercise facility and then I come back to do my housework because I think exercise kicks up my endorphins, I exercise and I have energy for the rest of the day.”

“I think I’m just a half glass full person,” he continued. “I don’t look at anything from the downside part. I think happiness is to certain extent is depending on your expectations, your expectation should be realistic. If you get 80 percent of what you’re trying to achieve; that’s success.”

SGA votes against impeaching VP of Public Relations

SGA Vice President of Public Relations Bri Uriostegui (left) successfully avoided impeachment after a vote was called on Thursday, Nov. 16. 

SGA Vice President of Public Relations Bri Uriostegui (left) successfully avoided impeachment after a vote was called on Thursday, Nov. 16. 

By Syeda Sameeha, News Reporter

Student Government Association (SGA) members voted on the impeachment of Vice President of Public Relations Bri Uriostegui during their meeting on Nov. 16. 

Prior to this meeting, SGA held a closed meeting only open to SGA members and advisors on Nov. 9 to discuss issues leading up to the impeachment.

SGA President Estrella Vargas said, “We had a closed meeting because there had been growing tensions and talks of impeachment, but nobody was saying anything. People have expressed not being able to voice their opinions or were intimidated, this closed meeting was a chance for everyone to say their piece now.”

SGA Senator Joshua Bucens lead the impeachment process and brought forth a petition to impeach Uriostegui on Nov. 8. 

The petition stated, “In her conduct while vice president of public relations of the Student Government Organization of Elmhurst College, [Uriostegui] is in violation of her constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of vice president of public relations of the Student Government Association, has engaged in conduct that resulted in misuse of her high office.”

Along with Bucens, this petition had the signatures of SGA Senators Angel Madrigal, Carlos Cantu, Laura Rusk, Alexandria Schultz, Marissa Gariti, Alexander Finnegan, and Daniela Barca. 

At the Nov. 16 meeting, the plaintiffs who lead the impeachment petition presented their case. Uriostegui also gave a presentation. 

Bucens explained that one of the reasons for impeachment was because of lack of PR to the student body about SGA events and activities.

“With Bri, we just felt like she hasn’t been able to fulfill her duties as assigned by the association, I think part of that speaks to how many people we’ve had at some of these events on campus,” said Bucens.

Bucens also said Uriostegui failed to hold meetings for the Public Relations committee. 

“I’ve noticed the committee meetings have been canceled before because of tests. As far as I know, we hold an elite position within our student body and we know when our tests are because we all have a syllabus,” explained Bucens. “I don’t think we can cancel committee meetings for things like tests. There are things that we need to get done, and it’s important that we meet.”

Bucens also stated Uriostegui failed to execute initiatives that have been suggested and put forth to the board.

Failure to maintain social media was also another reason the petitioners brought forth impeachment.

“The SGA Facebook page hasn’t been updated. That’s something that should be updated weekly. It started in November I believe versus stuff that happened early September. These are things that are so important and need to be maintained. It’s so important to reach our student body,” said Bucens.

Lastly, Bucens cited a portion of the SGA Constitution which said, “Public Relations Committee shall divide, execute, coordinate, and multitask a year long marketing strategy designed to create and promote interest in student government.” 

“I haven’t seen that marketing strategy come forth and I think that’s such an important piece of big picture just because if you don’t have a plan, what are you working on each week,” explained Bucens.  “An agenda is one thing, but we need to see whole plans to make sure we are sticking to that plan and to make sure we are accomplishing and what we are supposed to accomplish with that plan.”

During the meeting, Uriostegui presented a packet to each SGA member that included PR materials for SGA events, minutes, and agendas from SGA retreats and the Public Relations Committee, as well as email correspondence between SGA members and advisors. 

“Even when I was given an event at short notice, I was still able to get some sort of PR out. When someone starts lacking on a job when they are normally on top of things, wouldn’t that bring some suspicion that maybe something is wrong,” said Uriostegui. “I suffer from depression and anxiety and for whatever reason, my depression began to worsen. I chose to step away from other leadership positions and dropped a class, but SGA never was an option for me. I worked too hard to become elected in this position that I am in.”

Uriostegui admits members of the Public Relations Committee were not delegated with tasks at first, but said there was a lack of communication and carrying out of duties.

“Looking to my committee I will admit that I did not give them much to do at first, but when only one person comes to your first three or so meetings and only one person responds to your emails and only one person actually does anything to do delegate, would you really trust the other person with SGA’s social media?” said Uriostegui.

“I have not finished my time in this position nor in this organization just yet. Whether I am on the executive board, a simple rep, or just a student, this is not the last you will hear from me, I am passionate about change and sad that some of you cannot see it.”

After the two sides presented their cases, Uriostegui was asked to step out of the room in order for the board to continue discussion, ask questions to the plaintiffs, and vote on the proposal for impeachment.

Once Uriostegui had stepped out, SGA Vice President of Finance Emma Kaminski questioned the plaintiffs on why impeachment was the first approach.

“After going to the advisors, and they said look at the constitution, first thing you pulled from the constitution was impeachment instead of mediating and bringing people together with the advisors to help lower intimidation?” asked Kaminski.

In the end, impeachment of Uriostegui from the position of Vice President of Public Relations did not go through. In total, there were seven votes in support of impeachment and twelve votes against; not meeting the necessary two-thirds majority needed for impeachment. 

In response to the impeachment meeting, Uriostegui remarked, “I feel the impeachment kind of set the tone of how we do things in the future. I feel like we are all kind of on the same page and we just want to move forward and we want to start collaborating with each other more.”

Vargas agreed saying that she was disappointed that this was the first step taken to make any kind of change and wished that there had been an initial conversation. 

Bucens was disappointed with the results.

“I am concerned with what I feel is the lack of accountability that is seems to be present in our organization,” he said.

Bucens also touched on lack of structure within SGA.

“I think [the impeachment process] was a messy discussion with poor moderation. The whole proceeding was poorly structured, but that is because our constitution right now, is as well.” 


Intruder gains entry to Cureton Hall, steals items from resident’s room

An unidentified intruder gained entry to Cureton Hall where he was discovered by a resident whose room he was hiding in.  Photo by Kenneth Edison

An unidentified intruder gained entry to Cureton Hall where he was discovered by a resident whose room he was hiding in.  Photo by Kenneth Edison

By Kenneth Edison, Editor-in-Chief

Follow him at @krazo1

An EC student woke up to find a stranger in her Cureton Hall dorm room on Friday Nov. 17, prompting a campus-wide email by Vice President for Student Affairs Phil Riordan.  

“I keep my door unlocked most times but now I won’t, for sure,” said EC Junior Faith Burmania. “There are three points of entry before you get to a bedroom door in Cureton, so you think you should be safe but apparently not. I just feel so violated.” 

Burmania, who was asleep when the intruder entered, says that she woke up and, unaware of her presence, surprised the man in her room. 

“I was taking a nap in my room and my friend was using the Cureton study room, so I thought it was her coming into my room, I thought nothing of it,” she said. “And then the next thing I knew I look down and there’s this guy in my room, and I’m just like, ‘what the hell are you doing in my room?’”

She said the man was startled by her presence and claimed to be looking for napkins before hastily fleeing the room. Shortly after, Burmania told her friend, Calleigh Sheeks, what had just taken place and Sheeks claimed the same man asked her for her keys to access the first floor of Cureton. 

After calling campus security, Burmania then discovered that her debit and credit card had been taken from her wallet and then her accounts began to be drained with suspicious purchases.

“After the police were called, I went to cancel my credit card and my debit card and we found out that within the thirty minutes that he took everything that he was spending all my money,” she said. “He first tried using my debit card at Wal-Mart which is stupid because you need a pin number. So then he was successful in using my credit card and he spent like $600 in merchandise.” 

She claims the thief then went to a nearby Delta-Sonic and attempted to buy gift cards using her debit card. This is when Burmania had finally successfully canceled her cards after being notified with phone calls from her bank.  

According to Riordan’s email, the suspect is described as being a black male, approximately 20 years old, with blond tipped dreads. 

Though the suspect has not yet been caught or identified, Burmania says a fingerprint sample was taken from her doorknob and that she will be looking at line-up photos to possibly identify the culprit.  

As far as how the suspect gained entrance to Cureton Hall, Burmania claims she was told security camera footage is being examined to determine who let the suspect in. 

“I just really want people to be aware of letting people in. They said they’re going to deal with the student, because they can see who let the guy in,” she said. “Not just for me but for everyone living on campus. You can’t let people in who you don’t know.”

World in Review

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is accused by several women of sexual harassment and assault.  Internet Photo

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is accused by several women of sexual harassment and assault.  Internet Photo

By Syeda Sameeha, News Reporter

Roy Moore, former District Attorney and the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, is facing multiple accusations of sexual misconduct.

These accusations of sexual misconduct come from a series of women, most recently from Beverly Young Nelson, a 56 year old woman who said Moore assaulted her when she was a teenager working at a restaurant called Olde Hickory House as a waitress. In a press conference, which was reported by the New York Times, Nelson held up her high school yearbook that had an inscription allegedly from Moore. The inscription said, “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say ‘Merry Christmas.’ The inscription is signed “Roy Moore, DA, 12/22/77.” 

Another woman, named Leigh Corfman said Moore was sexually inappropriate towards her when she was 14 years old and he was 32, according to the Washington Post.

Corfman’s story sparked a Twitter hashtag called #MeAt14 where women shared pictures of themselves at 14, in an attempt to highlight how young girls are at that age.

In an interview on Fox News’s Sean Hannity’s radio show, Moore denied he ever touched or kissed Corfman and called the story “completely false and misleading.”

Moore is also facing allegations that he dated multiple teenage girls, some as young as 16 years old, in his 30s and 40s. In the Sean Hannity radio program interview, Moore said in regards to whether he dated underage girls, “If I did, I’m not going to dispute these things, but I don’t remember anything like that.” 

On Nov. 14, Hannity demanded Moore “remove any doubt” in regards to the allegations that he dated underage girls within 24 hours. Moore did not meet the deadline set by Hannity, but wrote an open letter to him which said, “I adamantly deny allegations of Leigh Corfman and Beverly Nelson, did not date underage girls, and have taken steps to begin a civil action for defamation.”

As the special election for the United States Senate for Alabama nears on Dec. 12 and the list of women who are coming forth with stories of Moore’s sexual misconduct, there are calls to boycott Moore and for him to drop out of the Senate race.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a press conference said to reporters, “I believe the women, yes,” and, “I think he should step aside.” 

In a press conference in front of the Alabama Capitol, Moore’s wife Kayla Moore said, “Let me set the record straight. He will not step down.” 

Faculty vote against proposal to create positions for more lecturers

By Victoria Martin, News Editor

A proposal to create more lecturer positions for the contingent faculty on campus, brought forward by Dean of Faculty April Edwards, failed to pass at the faculty meeting on Friday, Nov. 10.

The lecturer proposal promised to create more lecturer positions for contingent faculty, allowing them to have a full time position at EC.

This position would remedy much of what the unionizing adjunct faculty are asking for: four classes per semester, higher pay, office hours to meet with students, and the benefits that come with a full position.

Edwards made it clear that the salary boost would be a “livable salary” and would be higher than current salaries of adjunct faculty, but she did not feel comfortable saying the exact amount.

This proposal would also eliminate the six year term limit imposed on current EC lecturers and allow for a permanent teaching position.

With 88 of the 153 eligible voting full-time faculty present, 79 of those present had to vote in favor of the proposal in order for it to pass.

The first vote, 61 in favor and 22 opposed, did not go through, but had to be re-voted on due to an issue with the electronic voting system.

The second vote, again, did not pass with a 65 to 23 vote.

Prior to the vote, there was a debate on whether or not the faculty should support this addition to the staff.  

EC business professor Roby Thomas mentioned his concern of this being a way for the administration to ease away from the more expensive tenured professor; replacing those positions with lecturers as the tenures retire.

Edwards did not understand the issue and assured that this was not the case, calling Thomas’ logic “circular.”

“If the open position requires a tenured professor, then we will hire a tenure. If we need a lecturer, we will hire a lecturer,” Edwards assured.

After the initial vote, some professors had an issue with the results. Some called it an unfair amount of passing votes to reach, as almost half of the eligible voting faculty was missing. Others wanted to look at specific parts of the proposal and figure out what individuals did not like.

English Department Chair Ann Frank Wake wanted to specifically focus on the elimination of the six year term limit on current lecturers at EC.

“We have six people who are going to lose their jobs in Dec. and we should just vote on taking away the term limit,” said Wake.

Professor of Political Science Mary Walsh thought it would be more beneficial to not eliminate the term limit all together, but instead extend the term until the end of spring semester.

“I think we should vote on extending the term for the current lecturers to the end of the next semester.  This way no one loses their jobs and we can have more time to discuss this issue,” said Walsh.

The room decided to vote on the latter proposal made by Walsh, resulting in a 76 in favor and a 3 opposing vote.

The new vote did not meet the full 88 that were initially at the meeting due to some in attendance having to leave after the meeting went over its initial allotted hour.

Still needing 79 total votes in favor, however, the vote did not pass. 

The Faculty Council has decided to revisit and revise the proposal and will present it again during the December meeting.

Corrections from last issue

In the Nov. 7 issue of The Leader, the story titled “Adjuncts and allies clash with president’s office during rally for unionization”  incorrectly stated that Dean of Faculty April Edwards instructed faculty to contact police if approached about unionization. The article should have stated that Edwards instructed faculty to contact police if they feel threatened by unionizers. 


The Leader apologizes for this error. 

NCAA penalizes EC for awarding athletic scholarships, places school on probation

The 2012 EC football team celebrates their CCIW conference championship win by ringing the bell at Langhorst field, their championship win is now forfeited as a result of EC’s financial aid infractions.  Internet photo

The 2012 EC football team celebrates their CCIW conference championship win by ringing the bell at Langhorst field, their championship win is now forfeited as a result of EC’s financial aid infractions.  Internet photo

by Cole Sheeks, Sports Editor

Follow him at @ColeSheeks

After an investigation determined that the school illegally awarded athletic scholarships to 26 different students over a four year period, EC was punished by the NCAA on Oct. 27 and placed on probation.

The college is claiming it was an “unfortunate clerical error,” however, it admitted fault in committing major violations of NCAA legislation when it awarded five institutional scholarships to athletes on 42 different occasions beginning during the 2012-2013 school year.

Three of the scholarships included athletic based criteria while the other two were awarded by the director of financial aid under the impression that they were in fact athletic scholarships.

Upon receiving that aid, all of those players were ineligible to compete at the Division III level, as schools at that level are restricted from awarding scholarships based on athletics.

EC established two initial athletic scholarships in 2013 and 2014. The first scholarship was created for athletes interested in the medical field, while the second scholarship was intended for football players.

A third athletic based scholarship was created for members of the wrestling team.

According to the NCAA report, “institutional personnel knew that athletic criteria could not be considered when awarding financial aid, but established the scholarships and awarded the aid regardless.”

Paul Krohn, the school’s athletic director, declined to comment on the matter and directed any requests to administration.

Julie Hall, assistant athletic director and head volleyball coach, also declined to comment, citing a need to focus on the ongoing volleyball season.

EC President Troy VanAken made it clear that the school had no intent when creating the athletic scholarships, mentioning that the language of the scholarship agreements was written in 1965, “back when the NCAA wasn’t engineered the way it is now.”

“Where we had an administrative let down was [when] we cut and pasted that problematic language into future scholarship agreements,” continued VanAken.

VanAken went on to add that this was not a tactical maneuver by the school, rather, it was simply an, “unfortunate clerical error.”

In 2014, EC received a warning from the NCAA that said the school may have had issues regarding financial aid rules compliance, yet EC took no action and violations continued.

“The [warning] letter came to the president’s office. The president’s office was in transition at that time,” said VanAken. 

The president in 2014 was Dr. S. Alan Ray, who was succeeded by interim president Dr. Larry A. Braskamp before VanAken eventually took over in June of 2016.

“A lot of things were going on at that time and yeah ... had we got on it at that time, we would be talking about something else, but we didn’t.” said VanAken.

The NCAA report goes on to mention that the school awarded roughly $126,216 of impermissible financial aid to 26 players across 10 sports.

According to a campus wide email from VanAken, the 10 sports found in violation of NCAA rules were men’s cross country, men’s track and field, football, men’s lacrosse, men’s soccer, wrestling, women’s basketball, women’s golf, women’s lacrosse, women’s soccer, and volleyball.

As a result of these actions, the school will face a number of penalties from the NCAA, including vacated wins and records, two years of probation and a $2,500 fine.

VanAken’s email goes on to mention that, “no coaches or athletic staff were involved in any way,” and that, “none of the 26 students was aware that they had received impermissible aid.”

The NCAA report mentions that the director of financial aid felt “pressure” from an EC development staff to award the scholarships.

“We don’t know exactly what that means, when a term is used like ‘pressure’ said Desiree Chen, senior director of communications and external relations. “What we do know is that it was a period of leadership transition and so obviously the financial aid director did not receive the kind of support that was needed to know that what was happening was wrong.”

“I wasn’t here then,” said VanAken, reiterating Chen’s remarks. “We don’t know what specifically took place.”

The report suggests that the development staff’s intentions were to follow “wishes” of the scholarship donors in order to, “award competitive financial aid packages, which would increase enrollment and help realize ‘real dollars’ for the institution.”

EC administration declined to identify any members of the development staff.

The director of financial aid, who EC administration also declined to identify, failed to report that pressure to her supervisor and the NCAA reports that, “she alone was responsible for making the awards that resulted in the violations.”

VanAken noted that EC has been compliant with NCAA rules for the past two financial aid award periods.

“What we can assure you is that today, both last year and this year, people are doing their jobs according to NCAA guidelines and what we’re wanting to see done here at the institution.”

Muslim scholar highlights prominent Islamophobia in current political climate

Muslim scholar Hussein Rashid discusses the misconceptions of the Muslim population during the "The Uncanny Muslim: Real and the Imagined in America" lecture on Sunday, Oct. 29. Photo by Cheyenne Roper

Muslim scholar Hussein Rashid discusses the misconceptions of the Muslim population during the "The Uncanny Muslim: Real and the Imagined in America" lecture on Sunday, Oct. 29. Photo by Cheyenne Roper

By Cheyenne Roper, News Reporter

The forces at work behind the demonization and misinterpretation of Muslim people were brought to light during a lecture by Muslim scholar Hussein Rashid on Sunday, Oct. 29. 

“The Uncanny Muslim: Real and the Imagined in America” was this year’s Al-Ghazali lecture that shed light on the way Muslim culture is understood by Rashid, founder of Islamicate, LC3.

 “There are political forces at work that seem to continue to demonize Muslims both abroad and at home. You can try to combat them head-on. From a community perspective, I’m a little bit more hopeful, but in terms of societal pressures I don’t see that going away anytime soon, in fact, I see this building up,” said Rashid.

Rashid touched on three time periods in American history to exemplify what he means: The early part of American history and imagining the nation, American Orientalism, and the Muslims of today.

A notable comparison in American society mentioned is between that of Jabba the Hutt and the Ottoman of Sultan, a Muslim figure.

“We develop this image of the Ottoman of Sultan who tends to be corpulent and smoking a water pipe with the dancing slave girls around him,” Rashid said. “So we are both recognizing a political reality and this imagination of this other who is so un-Christian, he is sexually deviant, has no sense of control, and he sits very lazily.”

Rashid continued with, “we think sometimes that we have grown past these images. But, the reality is that these images continue to persist because Jabba the Hutt is that Ottoman Sultan who sits with his dancing slave girls and smoking his water pipe.”

Rashid discussed this as being representative of how we construct the ways Americans conceive Muslims in the country today and the similarities to how it has been in the past. 

In explaining how he imagines the country’s history, Rashid said, “When we think about what is the American nation I think a lot of people are quite surprised that when we look at our founding fathers, Islam and Muslims play a very big role in the ways we begin to conceive the nation. Many are familiar with the fact that Thomas Jefferson owned a Quran.”

“When the first Muslim was elected to congress, Keith Ellison was sworn in on a Quran, and people were saying, ‘This is un-American, how dare he.’ and then he got sworn in on Jefferson’s Quran. People were like, ‘Okay what do we do? Jefferson had a Quran,” continued Rashid.

People voiced their opinions on their disapproval of a member of Congress using the Quran as a means to swear himself in. However, when these same folks found out about Jefferson’s Quran (and the fact he even had one), they were much more accepting of the idea. 

The President of the Muslim Student Association of Elmhurst, Obaidullah Kholowadia, spoke of how confident and secure he feels to be a Muslim student of Elmhurst College. 

“I think the school is very welcoming of us. I think even [E.C President Troy VanAken] as of recently has been more involved on campus. The school is very welcoming to us, no one has ever given us a hard time.”

Rashid’s recommendation to young people of the future is to “start building relationships, start building communities, start organizing, find that issue, find those people, make some trouble and anytime someone says ‘Well that’s just un-American’ I’m sorry but this country was founded on trouble. It is the definition of the American to cause trouble, keep that tradition alive.”

Prominent rabbi Jack Moline challenges the integrity of religious freedom laws

By Alveena Siddiqi, News Reporter

Rabbi Jack Moline, president of the National Interfaith Alliance, argued his stance against the use of religious freedom to restrict the legal rights of same-sex couples during his lecture, “Praying With My Legs,” in Founders Lounge on Tuesday, Oct. 26. 

During the post-lecture question and answer session, Moline responded to an audience question about his stance on a recent Supreme Court case between same-sex couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig and Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who refused to bake their wedding cake. The case has been treated as a conflict between state and national laws forbidding discrimination against same-sex couples and the Constitution’s protections of religious freedom and freedom of expression. 

“My right to swing my fists in any direction ends where your nose begins,” Moline responded. “The protection of individual faith and freedom extends only to the point where it does not disable the rights of somebody else with equally sincerely held beliefs.” He also revealed that he recently signed two amicus curiae briefs on behalf of Interfaith Alliance in support of the couple. 

Moline, who was this year’s speaker for EC’s annual Abraham Joshua Heschel lecture – part of the college’s religious lecture series — also emphasized the importance of maintaining a government without a specific religious alignment in ensuring the equality of religious minorities. 

“There is no religious test for leadership. There is no religion that is established or disestablished,” he said. “There is no particular belief that is official to make anyone who holds an ‘unofficial’ belief feel less than or less protected by freedom and law.”

Moline referred to the National Mall in Washington D.C. as a physical representation of the importance of America’s freedom of religion and belief. 

 “You will find no representation of religion on the Mall, and that is because the United States, perhaps the most religiously conscious nation in history, promotes the notion that every citizen, every visitor, brings his or her own faith or philosophy to that wide open space between independence and law, and just as important, every citizen, every visitor carries those beliefs away with them when they leave,” he said. 

“If Congress were to offer to erect, on the Mall, a monument to Interfaith Alliance for its devotion to protecting your faith and your freedom, I would very politely turn them down.”

Tensions in SGA arise over funding conflicts

By Syeda Sameeha, News Reporter

File photo SGA Vice President and President of Hablamos, Maria Anguiano, was accused of attempting to improperly acquire funds for an event taking place on Nov. 1.

File photo

SGA Vice President and President of Hablamos, Maria Anguiano, was accused of attempting to improperly acquire funds for an event taking place on Nov. 1.

Concerns have been raised regarding possible conflicts of interest involving SGA executive board members following a recent attempt to fund an Hablamos event violating SGA’s procedures. 

SGA Vice President and President of Hablamos, Maria Anguiano, intended to ask SGA for $150 at the SGA meeting on Thursday Oct. 26 for Hablamos’ Dia de Los Muertos event which took place on Wednesday, Nov. 1. However, the proposal was postponed due to a lack of time.

Instead on Friday, Oct. 27, SGA Vice President of Finance Emma Kaminski reached out to SGA board members via email asking the board to send in their vote, “since the event will be happening before our next meeting.”

SGA representative Joshua Bucens raised concerns.

“First of all, we had not had time to discuss as a board. Secondly, I did not see how the event benefitted a large enough portion of our campus that warranted committing funds,” explained Bucens in an email interview.  “And thirdly, Maria Anguiano who is the President of Hablamos, also sits on our executive board of SGA and was the one giving the presentation; to me this is a blatant conflict of interest!”

Anguiano responded to Bucens saying that he “believed I was using that  money for something else and that it wasn’t going to benefit the whole student body,” said Anguiano.

In emails provided to the Leader, Bucens cited a part of the SGA bylaws as support for his claims of improper practices.

“I would also say that according to the funding bylaws, the board has not had time for discussion. See article IX section 4 of our funding bylaws,” said Bucens in the email.

Section 4 of Article IX of the SGA Funding Bylaws states, “Student Organizations that are requesting funding from Rollover accounts must complete a Student Government Association Rollover Funding Proposal form, which is distributed by Student Government Association.”

According the funding bylaws document, this form must ask of information that documents the request for funding from a student organization such as “a cost breakdown of the project” and a “timeline of the project.”

While the funding bylaws of SGA lists that all student organizations requesting funding must complete this Rollover Funding Proposal form, Anguiano claims there is no such form.

“There’s not a form or if there is a form, we don’t know what form. The bylaws says follow the guidelines proposal form, but we don’t have one,” admits Anguiano.

Anguiano also continued with discussing that her presentation went over everything Bucens had an issue with as far as the breakdown went.

“My presentation even had why I chose SGA, not Cooperative Funding (Co-Op) because I wanted this event to bring more inclusivity between students and felt SGA had similar values because of its diversity and inclusion position,” she said.

As for Bucens’ claims of a conflict of interest, Anguiano agreed how this could be seen as a conflict of interest for Bucens being a new member of SGA, but admits this was the first time an issue like this was brought up. 

“I know in the past other executive members and board members of SGA held other executive roles outside of SGA and they made proposals here,” said Anguiano.

As of now, the SGA Constitution and bylaws have no direct stated rules against a SGA board member bringing up a proposal on behalf of another student activity that they have an executive position on.

While the Hablamos proposal was approved, in the end, Anguiano decided to redact the proposal. 

“We had majority vote, one no and two abstains. So it was something SGA wanted to do, but with all the conflict going on, I did not want Hablamos to have a bad name and decided not have the event sponsored by SGA,” said Anguiano. “I was willing to pay for it myself because this is an event I wanted for EC students, but thankfully Black Student Union sponsored us and we had a great time at the event.”

File photo SGA representative Josh Bucens was the first to bring the potential conflict of interest in the SGA executive board.

File photo

SGA representative Josh Bucens was the first to bring the potential conflict of interest in the SGA executive board.

Bucens claimed his reasoning behind the whole event was to prevent SGA looking like a corrupt organization. 

“The problem I had was that this procedure violated our bylaws and to an outsider would appear corrupt. Even though there was no nefarious intent,” explained Bucens. “As I said in another email ‘The amount to be allocated is not what’s important - neither is the size of our fund, the way it is being spent and the lack of adherence to procedure and structure is what is important. It is our job to question everything and to evaluate the validity of proposals that come through our organization.’”

“I was most worried about the lack of care that seemed to be present regarding the rules that govern our own organization,” said Bucens.

Anguiano also agreed SGA needs to do a better job of following guidelines.

“This Hablamos proposal was something we had talked about before. I thought people would be okay with it and I didn’t think anything wrong of it. I was asking for $150 out of an account that has more than enough, but it is not about the money, it’s about following the guidelines, something SGA has to work on, because it has not been in doing that in the past SGA,” said Anguiano.

“I think this was a learning experience for us. After this incident, I just decided that if I’m going to make proposal for Hablamos or any other organization I am part of, I’m just going to bring another student to present it, not myself,” said Anguiano.

For many on the SGA board, this incident is an example of the growing tension between members.

“It is clear to see that tension has been building in the group over the semester,” wrote Kaminski in the email to SGA board members after the Hablamos proposal was redacted. 

One example of tension may be because a talk of impeachment going around between SGA members.

SGA Representative Laura Rusk said, “A few weeks ago, Bucens had contacted all SGA representatives about impeachment regarding executive board members.” According to Rusk, this contact was made prior to the Hablamos proposal controversy.

Anguiano also confirmed that a student had contacted board members about impeachment.

“I am aware of this. There’s a representative who is not happy with what SGA is doing, but I don’t know necessarily why. We are a little confused as to why, but if there are reasons we will go through the whole impeachment process,” said Anguiano.

When the Leader asked for confirmation regarding an impeachment process, the reasons for it, and whether this was an active effort, Bucens declined to comment on the matter. 

Both Anguiano and Kaminski stressed better communication and involvement in the board to move them forward.

“We are doing feedback forms, so we want to the SGA reps to tell us what we are doing wrong and what they would like for us to do. I think as executive board members we are trying our best to get everyone involved. A lot of representatives feel like they are not doing something and they are not representing. If they want to do something, they should do it,” said Anguiano.

In the email to the SGA board, Kaminski said, “In order to try and resolve anything, a conversation needs to happen. We are all here for one reason, to help be the voice of the students.”

Adjuncts and allies clash with President’s office during march for unionization

Photo by Abby Robb  President, Troy VanAken, confronts students and non-tenure faculty advocating for an adjunct faculty union outside of his office on Tuesday Oct. 31.

Photo by Abby Robb

 President, Troy VanAken, confronts students and non-tenure faculty advocating for an adjunct faculty union outside of his office on Tuesday Oct. 31.

By Victoria Martin, News Editor

Those working to organize the EC adjunct faculty were met with a volatile response on Oct. 31 from EC President Troy VanAken after going to his office to ask for a restatement of the administration’s neutrality.

That day, fourteen students, adjunct faculty, and Arise Chicago members gathered on the Mall patio outside the Frick Center to march and spread awareness to the campus on the issues the union is trying to fix for adjuncts.

The group held signs reading “Trick-or-treat for job stability” and “Static pay is scary” while chanting, “Organizing is our right, EC faculty unite” and “Blue Jays for fair pay.”

After a march around EC campus and speeches to motivate those involved, a sixth of the original group went to introduce themselves and have a moment with VanAken to ask for a reinstatement of neutrality.

Once at the office, EC senior and student member of Arise Chicago, Sam Davis, knocked on VanAken’s office door.

When VanAken opened his door, Davis started introducing himself to which VanAken interrupted, said he was in the middle of a call and would wrap it up, and sent everyone to wait in the sitting area in the office. 

Executive Assistant to the President, Molly Niespo, was the first to talk to the group awaiting VanAken. 

Niespo felt that the union group circumvented her authority by going straight to VanAken and not first stopping in to talk to her.

“There is a procedure to follow when wanting to meet with the president,” Niespo said. “He normally has an open door policy, so when his door is open anyone can come in and sit down with him, but his door is closed.”

Photo by Abby Robb Costumed protesters gather in front of Hammerschmidt Chapel on Oct. 31 to advocate for a non-tenure faculty union.

Photo by Abby Robb

Costumed protesters gather in front of Hammerschmidt Chapel on Oct. 31 to advocate for a non-tenure faculty union.

Organizer and Communications & Development Director at Arise Chicago Shelly Ruzicka said that all they wanted to do was, “drop off some candy in the spirit of [Halloween] and introduce themselves to the president,” and that, “we meant no disrespect to anyone’s position.”

After, Niespo made it clear to the union that, while she could not speak for VanAken, she would be happy to set up appointments with anyone who wanted to sit down and talk to him.

As she was getting down one of the student’s information, VanAken came out of his office.

“You can’t just bang on doors barge into people’s offices. Its rude and aggressive,” Vanaken said as he approached the group. 

As Ruzicka tried to explain why they were there, as she had before to Niespo, VanAken kept interrupting with reasons why he felt the group was aggressive. 

“Coming in here with megaphones,” he said in reference to the march outside, “and banging on people’s doors is aggressive. And this is aggressive unionizing.”

“Molly,” VanAken continued, gesturing to Niespo, “came into my office telling me she felt threatened and unsafe.”

The Rev. CJ Hawking, executive director at Arise Chicago, made it clear that, that was not their intention and they did not want anyone to feel unsafe. 

“All we wanted to do was to get a statement of neutrality and have a conversation,” Hawking said.

To which VanAken responded that the administration had already given a statement to the college saying that the administration would stay neutral and work with faculty no matter the decision. 

EC adjunct faculty member and union organizer Matilda Stubbs mentioned that the adjuncts are still not feeling the neutrality as an email was sent to the adjuncts at EC stating that if people are approached by a union member and feel threatened they can call the police.

VanAken denied the email sent by April Edwards’ existence and Stubbs offered to send it to him.

In the email provided to the Leader, Edwards encouraged any adjunct faculty member approached by a union representative should call the either the police or campus security.

“I am aware that some of you are being approached by union organizers on- and off-campus. This contact is unwelcome at times, and some of these individuals may be aggressive or persistent.” Edwards wrote. “I urge you to contact campus security at any time, day or evening. If you feel threatened off-campus, please call 911 to alert the appropriate community authorities.”

With that, Ruzika offered VanAken and Niespo a pumpkin bucket with candy and the union group left the office.

Ryan Thoreson places LGBT movement as a beacon for other global human right campaigns

Ryan Thoreson addresses the shift and prominence of the LGBT movement on a global scale in his lecture “Transitional LGBT Activism: Working for Sexual Rights Worldwide” in the Frick Center on Wednesday, Oct. 11.  Photo courtesy of Lauren Altiery

Ryan Thoreson addresses the shift and prominence of the LGBT movement on a global scale in his lecture “Transitional LGBT Activism: Working for Sexual Rights Worldwide” in the Frick Center on Wednesday, Oct. 11.  Photo courtesy of Lauren Altiery

By Lauren Vana, Staff Writer

In a culturally divided world, advances in the LGBT movement “gives some reason for optimism,” Yale Law School Robert L. Bernstein International Human Rights Fellow at Human Rights Watch Ryan Thoreson said at his lecture “Transnational LGBT Activism: Working for Sexual Rights Worldwide” on Wednesday, Oct. 11. 

“Despite significant advances in rights and recognition, LGBT lives are still considered expendable in very different parts of the world,” Thoreson said discussing the rise of populist authoritarianism mentioning countries like Russia, Indonesia, and Azerbaijan.

Thoreson went on to talk about the lessons we can learn from LGBT activism, arguing that human rights workers could learn a lot from LGBT activism.

“It’s a movement that has dealt with popular dislike in a lot of countries, or hostile leaders in a lot of countries,” he said, “and has still managed to win rights, to persuade the public, and to make gains, both at the domestic level and internationally that seemed unthinkable ten or twenty years ago.”

The interest in international LGBT activism began when Thoreson was in college and became an activist during a time when same-sex marriage bans were passing in the United States, yet South Africa legally allowed same-sex marriage relatively quickly.

“I became interested in why same-sex marriage happened so easily in South Africa and not in the U.S.,” he said during an interview prior to his lecture.

Thoreson’s research now focuses on how people use human rights language to argue against LGBT rights and activism.  

“I hope my academic work helps activists think a little more critically about the claims they’re making,” he said during the interview.

Though his research and lecture focus on transnational organizations, Thoreson agrees with the importance of local activism.

“It’s really grassroots movements that are changing hearts and minds around the world,” he said.

World in Review

Harvey Weinstein scandal prompts #metoo trend

Internet photo

Internet photo

By Syeda Sameeha, Staff Writer

On Oct. 5, The New York Times published an investigation revealing dozens of sexual harassment claims against the film producer and businessman Harvey Weinstein, dating all the way back to 1990. What followed was many more women such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie coming forward with accusations of harassment against Weinstein, an audio tape published by the New Yorker magazine online of Weinstein admitting to groping, Weinstein being fired from his company, Weinstein Company, and his removal from  the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

While the Weinstein case is ongoing, it has sparked national conversations on sexual harassment and how we combat it. In the wake of this scandal, Actress Alyssa Milano tweeted out “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.” In a post Milano wrote, “If all women who have been sexually assaulted or harassed  wrote ‘me too’ in their statuses, we might give people a sense of the  magnitude of the problem.” #MeToo quickly became a trending topic on social media, with over 25, 000 responses.

According to Huffington Post, the #MeToo movement  was first started by Tarana Burke, an activist in 2007 when she told Ebony magazine about her movement to reach sexual assault survivors in underprivileged communities such as people of color. 

In an interview with CBS News, Burke said, “‘Me Too’ started, not as a hashtag, but as a campaign from an organization that I founded: Just Be Inc. Empowerment through empathy was the thing that I felt helped me, was that other survivors who empathize with my situation help me to feel like I wasn’t alone and gave me entry to my healing journey.”

The ‘MeToo’ movement was criticized by some, saying if women of color had come out with such accusations, there wouldn’t have been the same outrage.

Burke agreed that it was true. “People of color are usually the last to be supported in these types of situations because of racism, because of oppression, because the way the system works in this country.” In the CBS interview, Burke pointed to Lupita Nyong, the latest actress to come out against Weinstein with harassment claims as,  “evidence that this happens across the board,” and that, “these people who are predators, prey on everybody.”

Mike Ditka postpones lecture at EC amid controversy over racial comments

Graphic by Domenica Divietro

Graphic by Domenica Divietro

By Victoria Martin, and  Alveena Siddiqi, News Editor and News Writer

NFL Hall of Famer and former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, who was invited to speak at EC on leadership and success, postponed his lecture after making a racial comment during a national pregame interview.

With a possibility of protests after Ditka said that, “There has been no oppression in the last hundred years,” on Oct. 9, the college sent out an email on Oct. 12 stating the lecture had been postponed because the atmosphere was not conducive to the free exchange of ideas that EC holds highly.

Administration wanted to make it clear in emails to the Leader that it was strictly Ditka and his management who made the decision to postpone and not solely the college. 

“We certainly did not rescind any offer to speak,” EC President Troy VanAken wrote in an email interview. 

Interim Director of Communications and Public Affairs Desiree Chen confirmed, “Mike Ditka and [EC] decided mutually on Oct. 12 to postpone the lecture.”

Students, however, were under the impression EC decided to postpone the lecture or even had canceled the lecture all together.

One student took to Facebook, sparking a debate on the EC student page, writing it was ridiculous to not allow Ditka to give the lecture.

“Our school and its students need to grow up and understand that people are going to have different views and different beliefs from themselves,” wrote EC senior Costaki Danegelis. “The world isn’t going to be as nice and welcoming as [EC].”

EC senior Jen Anthony responded, “So you think the college should invite people to speak who say that nearly 40 percent of our student body doesn’t experience discrimination? Essentially saying their experience of life is false? That’s rich.”

Meanwhile, students questioned if Ditka’s comment should take away from the topic of his lecture.

“He was coming to give a lecture about leadership, and I feel [his] comment has nothing to do with what he was talking about,” said EC junior Taylor Neidhardt.

Nick Caruso, EC senior, thought the image Ditka created for himself was enough to cancel the lecture because it would have become the focus even if it was not the intended topic. 

“I know there’s debate because his presentation is not about that topic, but it’s still an image you create. When you have a speaker here, you’re drawing them in based on their image, and what they talk about comes second,” Caruso said. “There is no doubt in my mind that if he came here that would be on a lot of people’s minds and that would take away from the presentation and why he was here in the first place and it would be a waste of his time and of our time.”

EC sophomore Jacqueline Miranda thought this could be a learning point for both Ditka and EC.

“If the speech would have taken place, students have the right to ask questions regarding Ditka’s public comments,” Miranda said. “Even if Ditka would have been made uncomfortable, those were his comments and if he was truly apologetic answering uncomfortable questions would not be a problem.” 

Miranda continued, “Postponing the speech doesn’t make the problem go away, it just deflects the issue.”