EC chooses new Vice President of Student Affairs, set to take over position in July

Internet Photo

Victoria Martin

A new Vice President of Student Affairs has been chosen to start at EC in July.

Phillip S. Riordan, currently the vice president of student affairs at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., said he was attracted to EC for “our strong academic reputation, our ‘outstanding faculty, staff and students,’ and the ‘family’ atmosphere that [other candidates] described during his interviews,” EC President Troy VanAken said in a campus wide email.

Riordan has a doctorate in educational leadership and policies, a master’s in college student personnel and a bachelor’s in political science.

With more than thirty years of experience in higher education administration, Riordan has introduced a staff and peer mentor program for students at Lynn University, opened a women’s center and started Lynn’s Office of Multicultural Affairs.  He also founded the Student Affairs Cancer Foundation and the Conquer Colon Cancer Foundation. 

While at Lynn, Riordan’s responsibilities included overseeing student life at the university.  This area includes campus safety, housing, recreation, student involvement, health and counseling, spiritual and religious life.

Under him, Lynn’s Division of Student Affairs received recognition in 2014 for serving the community and placing more students on the path of civic engagement, according to the Lynn University website.

In his email, VanAken expressed his excitement for Riordan’s joining EC writing: “We look forward to welcoming Dr. Riordan when he joins the College this summer.”

ECIC renewal board seeks student input

Victoria Martin

News Editor

SGA members and one other student from EC met with two members of the ECIC renewal board on March 16 to give student feedback on the ECIC system.

The students stressed that the ECIC system requirements work for the more open majors like English or business, but are difficult for those in more specific areas such as the Education or nursing program.

EC Junior Niki Patel brought forth the issue of classes with tags being more involved and more major focused.

“I found a lot of these courses that I have fallen into to fill the ECIC requirements were so much more involved than my major classes,” Patel told the members of the renewal board.  “I have had professors that are not so understanding [about struggling].  Because of this I am not getting the grades I should be.”

President of SGA Esther Pereira added to the conversation by mentioning her challenges in the Education program.

Pereira, while having some issues with the ECIC program, felt lucky to have a counselor who understands the system and helped her plan out her four years at EC. However, other students have not been so lucky.

“The advisors aren’t well prepared for the ECIC,” Pereira said. “Students have to keep track of their own ECIC without the help of their advisors and it has delayed their graduation.”

Meanwhile, Patel commented on there not being any way to get ECIC credit for newly tagged courses without having to petition and possibly risk being set back because of it.

“Newly approved ECIC courses that I have taken in the past, there is no grandfathering in,  which is very frustrating,” Patel said. “As a second semester Junior, I am focusing on graduation and cannot afford to be here another semester because of [a missing tag].”

A follow up meeting to continue getting students input will be held on March 29 in the President’s Dining Room in the Frick Center.

Correction from March 14 Issue

In the story titled “EC students receive Fulbright Scholarship”  in the Mar. 14 issue, it was reported that two EC students had received the Fulbright Scholarship. The two students were actually semi-finalists for the scholarship at the time of publication. Additionally, one of the semi-finalsist’s names was mispelled. She is Isabel Juvan, not Isabelle as was incorrectly printed. 


Furthermore, in the story titled “Accelerator exhibit blends art and science” in the same issue, the artist Lindsay Olson’s last name was misspelled as “Olsen”. 


The Leader deeply regrets these errors. 

Jon Faverau comes to EC

Victoria Martin, News Editor

Jon Favreau discusses the rhetoric behind President Donald Trump’s and former President Barack Obama’s speeches and the similarities behind the messege each got across. Photo by Stefan Carlson

Jon Favreau lectured on the rise of President Donald Trump and how it was possible in Hammerschmidt Chapel on March 9.

As the speechwriter for former President Barack Obama, Favreau stated that his “best guess” as to why Trump won the presidential election was the “high number of undecideds breaking heavily for Trump,” which was the the same thing that won Obama the 2008 election.

“Trump didn’t win because of all the negative, but despite all of it. He won because he was the most likely to bring change to the White House,” Favreau said during the lecture.

With this similarity between Trump and Obama, Favreau pointed to three lessons he learned when it came to good public speaking and standing out amongst your competitors in his working with Obama: being comfortable, not playing it safe and communication inspiring emotion.

A speaker has to be comfortable in their own skin and speak “like a normal human being” Favreau told the audience.

“Politicians who have been in [politics] for a while speak like how an automaton thinks a human sounds like,” Favreau said. “If you wouldn’t say it in a bar, don’t say it. And no amount of slogans or snappy sound bites will matter if it does not reach the normal person.”

Trump had a way of being comfortable with what he was saying and making it accessible to the average person, according to Favreau.

It was also important to him that a good speaker not play it safe.

“People are terrified of taking risks,” Favreau said. “The greatest enemy to storytelling is caution.”

He continued to tell the story of how Obama, despite being told by many to avoid the topic, made a speech about race in 2008.

While this lesson requires honesty, Favreau made the point of honest not necessarily involving accuracy. Pausing momentarily to let the audience laugh at his jab at Trump.

His final lesson was on effective communication and how it should inspire emotion.

“Obama inspired hope. Trump inspired fear and anger, thus inspiring hope in the people. When you can inspire some kind of emotion you can inspire the people to believe in a change,” Favreau said.

Trump, according to Favreau, had a way of communicating to a lot of people during his campaign and people underestimated him. However, Favreau continued, he should not be overestimated in his abilities after the election.

“Trump is either going to follow through with his campaign promises or he is not,” Favreau said during the Q&A session. “At the end of the day it isn’t about what offends people, it’s how he affects people.”

SGA addresses commuting students

SGA representative Katie Najdi suggests new ideas to better incorperate commuter students in EC events. Photo by Stefan Carlson

Getting commuter students more involved and making EC more inclusive to the commuter community was discussed during SGA on March 2.

In a previous meeting, SGA suggested giving the commuters a place designated to them like the honors lounge in the EC library. It was suggested that SGA would try and get the faculty lounge to be turned into a commuter lounge.  

The idea of a commuter lounge was dismissed not wanting to force any group out of their designated space on campus.

To come up with new ideas on how to include commuter students on campus, President of SGA Esther Pereira came up with having a newsstand in the Frick Center with free coffee and doughnuts in the morning to get out information about events on campus. 

“A news stand on Tuesday mornings to give out coffee and have [SGA members] give it out might be a nice way to keep commuters and residential students informed about campus events,” Pereira said during the meeting.

Two SGA representatives, Katie Nejdi and Daniela Barca,  also came up with the idea to put newsletters in bathroom stalls around campus.

“Tinkle Tales was what we called in high school and it was a big hit,” Nejdi said. “People would get so upset when it wasn’t updated. It became a great way to get students informed and involved with the school.”

While no program was finalized, Pereira suggested starting a new committee of SGA members to continue the process and discussion outside of SGA. When asked to take charge, no members volunteered to be on the committee.

Advising office adds walk-ins to spring advising schedule

Christina Matthias

Staff Writer

An e-mail from the Office of Advising explaining walk-in advising and scheduled hours of available meeting times was sent to all students Feb. 23.

With academic planning of the 2017-2018 school year underway, these sessions took place for anyone questioning their major or wanting to add on another major or minor.

Many new students were unfamiliar with walk-in advising, and it’s still a relatively new experience for upperclassmen too. 

“[The program] was piloted in the 2015-2016 school year with weekly selected hours and departments represented throughout most of both the fall and spring terms,”  Director of Advising Janis Williams explained. “Due to scheduling issues, it was not offered in the fall of 2016. Our office plans on making the two week model a regular part of each spring and fall semester going forward.”

According to Williams, this initiative is a further resource to aid students along with their assigned advisors.

“The Advising Office is continually looking for new and/or enhanced methods of providing holistic advising to the traditional undergraduate student,” she said. “This does not replace any current advising practices, but is in addition to what EC already does which includes assigning every student an advisor, providing a wide variety of advising tools, faculty advisors providing regular office hours, etc.”

Even with this program, Williams still suggests students meet with their faculty advisor before making any official decisions on classes, majors and minors.

SGA leads in student and faculty discussion

Kenneth Edison & Alveena Siddiqi, Managing Editor and Staff Writer

Students and faculty split into groups to discuss the issues and differences in the political sphere of America. Photo by Annie Williams

Students and faculty split into groups to discuss the issues and differences in the political sphere of America. Photo by Annie Williams

In the current atmosphere of heightened political tension, Student Government Association (SGA) attempted to build bridges by bringing students and faculty together for a civil conversation in Founder’s Lounge on March 8. 

The discussion was conducted in the form of several talking points presented on a projector screen to stimulate conversation between the students and faculty in attendance. The attendees discussed their concerns about the implications of the new presidential administration, and shared their opinions on issues such as climate change, gender inequalities and communicating across political lines.

Chaplain Scott Matheney highlighted the challenges that faith leaders have been faced with in dealing with the deep divisions that the 2016 election season has left behind within their communities.

“I was just with our new rabbi in our campus community and she said to me, ‘You know, I have to be really careful when I speak, because one half of the congregation is really pissed off about what’s happening under Trump and the other half of the congregation feels like they have to keep their mouths shut because they supported Trump,’” he said. “So what do you do when you have to walk on eggshells like that? It’s tense, it’s been really tense.”  

Director of Intercultural Student Affairs Roger Moreano stressed the importance of acceptance on campus during this political climate in particular as a way of keeping the campus united.

“What we haven’t acknowledged yet is that there is something that has changed on our campus since the last election. And that is the experiences of our students from traditionally marginalized groups,” he said. “What the rhetoric of this last year has done is created fear in these groups that have historical marginalization. ”

Sophomore Josh Brucens, who identifies himself as being part of the majority as a “straight male on campus,” questioned his own place in discussing these issues, explaining that it can be difficult to be empathetic without being a part of a marginalized himself.

“So it’s difficult for us to be more understanding — it’s not that we don’t want to be open or that I don’t want to be open to understanding these issues,” he said. “They’re very complex, and if you don’t have someone that you know closely sharing their personal experiences, how are we supposed to better create an environment for learning and acceptance and moving in the right direction?”

Professor Bhoomi Thakore, director of the EC sociology program, expressed the dangers of shying away from honest and civil conversation in the current tense political and social spheres. 

“It ends up feeling like your voice doesn’t matter, your perspective doesn’t matter. So if you feel alienated in this current political climate and people don’t want to hear that, or people don’t want to engage in that conversation, then it ends up feeling like your perspective doesn’t really matter,” she said. “Which is what I think are the implications of our inability to communicate across political lines.”

EC students recieve Fulbright Scholarship

Two EC students received the Fulbright Scholarship for the first time in the college’s history.

EC seniors Mary Dickey and Isabelle Juvan have been given the chance to study in Germany and Slovakia.

The Fulbright Scholarship, a government sponsored program, is usually awarded to one student every two to three years at EC, said Dickey.  A student who receives this scholarship has the opportunity to study for an extended period of time abroad immersed in the community and culture of the country they get placed.

The scholarship pays for living expenses, travel and gives those who are participating a food stipend for the duration of their stay, according to Dickey.

As a history major, studying German and having an interest in German military history, Dickey will study for ten months in Germany, teaching English to students as a teaching assistant.

“While I had the option to go to other places, I fell in love with Germany when I visited Berlin during my study abroad in England and knew I wanted to spend more time there,” Dickey said.

While in Germany, Dickey will be required to be a part of the community and have the opportunity to take classes at a local university.  She, however, does not think she will be able to participate in taking classes.

“The experience is meant to have [the recipient] be immersed in the culture and community of the country they are sent to,” she said. “The point of this program is to have an inter cultural exchange and the best way to do that is to be a part of the community you are teaching in.  To share the American identity and in return the identity of the other country.” 

Juvan will teach English in Slovakia, according to Dickey.

The Leader could not get in contact with Juvan to get more information on what she will be doing while in Slovakia.

World in Review

Kenneth Edison & Christian Canizal, Managing Editor and Staff Writer

Drake announces release date for future project More Life

Drake’s long delayed playlist More Life finally has an official release date after the Toronto rapper announced the project would be finished by March 18.

The announcement came in the form of an instagram post on the morning of Saturday, March 11 showing Drake traveling the world before concluding with the March 18 release date. 

Fans of Drake have been anxiously awaiting the release of the project for weeks, something that Drake acknowledged at a concert in Hamburg, Germany on Friday night where he apologized for the playlist’s delay.

“I know it’s taken me a while, but I’m going to the hotel tonight to finish this More Life shit so I can give it to you as soon as possible,” he said.

The project will feature appearances by several guest vocalists such as 21 Savage and has been described by Drake as “a body of work [I’ve] been working on to bridge the gap between any major releases.”

Chicago rap artist Chance the Rapper has been outspoken about his displeasure with state support for Chicago public schools  Internet Photo

Chicago rap artist Chance the Rapper has been outspoken about his displeasure with state support for Chicago public schools  Internet Photo

Chance the Rapper donates $1 million to CPS programs after meeting with Bruce Rauner

Hip-hop artist Chance The Rapper donated $1 million to Chicago Public Schools last week after meeting with Illinois governor Bruce Rauner the prior week.

The duo met on March 3 to discuss Rauner’s plans with regards to CPS funding but according to Chance, the meeting did not go as planned. 

Shortly after the meeting, Chance tweeted, “Chicago Public Schools and I did not lose today. Please don’t let that become the narrative. Monday morning I’ll have a plan.” 

The Chicago-born rapper announced his plan to donate $1 million to Chicago Public Schools arts and enrichment programs at Westcott Elementary School, a couple of blocks away from where he was raised. 

“Governor Rauner broke his promise to Chicago’s children when he vetoed $215 million in funding. Chicago Schools were counting on [it] to close out the school year,” Chance said during the press conference. 

Along with the $1 million donation, the Grammy-award winning artist announced that his nonprofit organization Social Works will also donate $10,000 for every $100,000 raised. 

He also donated $10,000 each to nine elementary schools on the South and West sides of Chicago. 

Floyd Mayweather announced on Saturday, March 11 that he has officially ended his almost two year retirement in order to fight with Conor McGregor. Internet Photo

Floyd Mayweather announced on Saturday, March 11 that he has officially ended his almost two year retirement in order to fight with Conor McGregor. Internet Photo

Floyd Mayweather ends retirement, eyes fight with Conor McGregor

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced that he is coming out of retirement to fight UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor on March 11. 

“Today, I’m officially out of retirement for Conor McGregor,” Mayweather said to FightHype. “We don’t need to waste no time. We need to make this sh*t happen quickly. Let’s get it on in June.” 

UFC President Dana White offered to pay McGregor and Mayweather $25 million each back in January, which was money Mayweather laughed at. 

“They know what my number is. My number is a guaranteed $100 million,” Mayweather said, according to ESPN. 

Mayweather has not competed since his September 2015 win over Andre Berto, which drew lackluster pay-per-view numbers.

McGregor is coming off of a knockout win over Eddie Alvarez in November 2016, but announced afterwards that he would be taking a sabbatical to support his girlfriend through the birth of his first child.  

An agreed price for the potential fight has still not been set. 

Moruzzi adresses growing equality in Iran

Norma Claire Moruzzi discusses the increasing social equality between women and men in Iran in a lecture on Wednesday, March 1 in Founders Lounge. Photo by Kenneth Edison

Social, political and quality of life issues in Iran were among the key talking points at Norma Claire Moruzzi’s lecture titled Women in Iran Today, held in the Founder’s Lounge on March 1. 

Moruzzi, who is the director of the international studies program and chair of the Middle East and Muslim Societies Cluster at the University of Illinois at Chicago, concentrated on the ever changing nature of the Iranian lifestyle after the country’s revolution in 1979.

“When I first started going to Iran, most of the people I interacted with told me ‘It was a paradise before the revolution,’” she said. “But as I started doing more research I found out [that] at the time of the revolution Iran was a majority illiterate country and there was a huge literacy gap between men and women. And one of the things about literacy statistics is that they tell you about general social development and differentials between men and women.”

Moruzzi compared the previous literacy rate in Iran to more recent numbers to show Iran’s strides toward a more modern and developed society. 

“By 1986 [literacy ]is already well above 50 percent and that includes the entire population,” she said. “So by the time 2011 comes around rates are up to about 84 percent, which is pretty decent.” 

Moruzzi also used the rising median age of married women in Iran as a sign of improvement regarding social circumstances in Iran. 

“Since 1986 when the post-revolutionary state had already been pretty well established, the median age of marriage goes down a little bit but then starts rising for men, but for women it just keeps going up,” she said. “So after a few decades following the revolution not only is there very little difference in age of marriage between urban and rural populations, but there’s also very little difference between men and women. ”

Moruzzi stressed that in the face of the changing social climate in Iran, it has ultimately yielded a society where women are experiencing an increasingly equal social role with men. 

“This is again an indication about the fact that women are educated, women are empowered and they feel that sense of equivalent access with men to things like education for instance.”

In a one on one interview, Moruzzi took a look at the larger scale of Iranian life, and concluded that the changes currently being seen in Iran are a result of the progress made in all aspects of that society. 

“If you want women to be more involved in the paid economy then you also have to pay attention to what kind of support there is for things like domestic life. That means everything from health care to child care to elder care and transportation and all sorts of things that deal with how people can function,” she said. “We know looking globally that countries that do these things well tend to have more women in the work force. It works, but you have to put in that social commitment.”

EC Participates in National Women's Day

Photo by Stefan Carlson

EC faculty and students of both sexes organize a discussion about Women’s Day rather than protest by not going to work.

Kenneth Edison & Stefan Carlson

Managing Editor & Photo Editor

In observance of International Women’s Day, both male and female members of the EC community met in the library cafe to discuss the importance of women’s issues in society on March 8. 

The gathering was organized in lieu of participating in the Day Without Women strike where women collectively did not go into work for a day to demonstrate the importance of women in everyday life. 

Philosophy chair Katrina Sifferd explained the rationale behind hosting the discussion rather than not coming into work. 

“I really respect all the women who had the opportunity to fully participate in the strike today and not spend moneyand not go to work, we tossed around the idea and we decided that not teaching our classes today probably wouldn’t be the best way to support the spirit of the day,” Siffered said. “But we wanted to show our support for the cause by wearing red to show our support and signal to the college at large the importance of having a day that highlights the role of women, which is often invisible.”

Director of the library Susan Swords-Steffan explained the tradition of wearing red is a homage to the roots of International Women’s Day which began as a part of the Labor Movement in the 1900s.

EC Senior Nicole Suhm, who is organizing an EC Feminists group, explained the importance of forming a collective group to voice the concerns pertinent to women in this political climate.

“We started a Facebook group around January because after the election a lot of us felt really scared,” she said. “And it was really important to us the day after the election to go to class and listen to professors words of comfort and things that we can do to make a difference. We’re college students, we don’t have a lot of money and we don’t have a lot of time, but we wanted to be sure to support each other.”

EC Junior Jonathan Alfonseca was one of the few men in attendance, though he argued that men always have a place at events meant to empower women.  

“For me, it’s kind of like a no brainer to come to these kind of events,” Alfonseca said. “It’s basically just a question of whether or not you support human beings. And for me that’s a yes. So that’s why I’m here.”

Suhm would later explain that President Trump’s attitude regarding women was a major cause of concern that sparked the creation of the Feminist club. 

“Being a woman in this kind of political climate where we just elected a president who has openly talked about sexually assaulting women, it’s a really scary time,” she said. “So it’s important for women and their allies to all get together and show their support.”