Student Government

The University of Chicago

Student Perspectives Series Meeting Update

Yeju HwangComment

On November 3rd, the inaugural Student Perspectives Series meeting took place with the Board of Trustees. 

Some topics covered in the meeting include but are not limited to divestment and freedom of expression, two pertinent issues on this campus. In order to keep the rest of the student body updated on these affairs, this is to inform you that the summary of the meeting is available for you to read.

Attached here is the summary of the meeting.


If at any time you want to reach out to Student Government or the Board of Trustees, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Response to College Convocation Changes

Eric Holmberg

We were surprised and disappointed by this morning’s announcement of changes being made to the College Convocation. We were especially concerned that students were entirely in the dark leading up to the announcement. This afternoon, we confirmed that no students were included in any part of the extensive planning process leading up to this decision. Student input was not considered before, during, or after the development of changes to the College Convocation. This is yet another instance of students being kept out of the rooms where decisions are being made about our experiences at this institution. As Student Government representatives, we intend to continue lobbying the administration until students are part of the decision-making processes that affect our lives.

What can you do to make a difference today? Please help us represent and amplify your concerns by sending us your thoughts about the College Convocation changes and how they were developed. You can submit a message using this form. We will bring your messages to Dean Ellison and Dean Boyer.

Sincerely,

Eric Holmberg, President

Peggy Xu, College Council Chair

Early Voting for the Election

Yeju Hwang

With Election Day right around the corner, you're probably eager to vote in this year's Presidential Election. (Or not, but it's important to exercise your right to vote, so do it!)

Lucky for you, the UChicago Democracy Initiative (UCDI) will be running early voting buses from The Reg to The MLK Center at 43rd and Cottage Grove. You can also register to vote at this location if you are not registered yet. 

Here are the dates and times you can do this:

Friday Nov. 4th from 3-6:30pm

Saturday Nov. 5th from 12-4pm

Sunday Nov. 6th from 10am-2pm

To sign-up, click the link here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeofhpwS2M-Ufy5Q-zrrowmm-DNAcLcyt5D4aVFZKIwPoE52g/viewform

 

Don't forget to vote!

#UChiUPass: Are you doing it right?

Yeju Hwang

This school year, UChicago SG was proud to introduce to its student body U-Pass. As many may know, U-Pass is offered by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) that allows full-time university students like yourself unlimited rides on the trains and buses for a flat quarterly fee.

As half of this quarter has already passed, have you used #UChiPass?

For those who haven't, there are so many diverse neighborhoods to visit, cafes to study in, and stores to shop at.

Here are a list of some of by favorites:

  1. Eva's Cafe - 1447 N Sedgwick St, Chicago, IL
Pictured here is a caprese sandwich and the iced mango tea

Pictured here is a caprese sandwich and the iced mango tea

Just take the 55 to the Green Line to Clark/Lake, get on the Brown Line to Sedgwick and walk down the street to this cozy cafe that serves amazing tea and sandwiches. Eva's offers spacious study places with lots of seating so that you'll be able to sit for hours doing reading or just enjoying their food.

 

       2. Toni Patisserie & Cafe - 65 E Washington St

A ride from the 6 to Michigan & Madison will take you right to Toni Patisserie & Cafe where you can try out different kinds of French pastries, chocolates, and sandwiches. The ambiance of Toni's is the epitome of the refreshing leave from Hyde Park. Make sure you come here at least once for the pistachio macarons.

3.  Del Seoul - 2568 N Clark St

Located in Lincoln Park, Del Seoul is a great place to try out fusion Korean food, something Hyde Park really lacks. I always go with a trusty order of Kimchi fries, but the kalbi tacos are worth a try and the bibimbap is relatively authentic. If Korean refreshments are also your thing, Del Seoul has tons of Milkis and other drinks. The fastest way to get here is taking the Red Line to Clark/Division, getting on the 22 Clark bus to Clark & Deming. Del Seoul will be about a minute away by walking!

4. Kate Spade New York - 900 North Michigan Ave L1-10

Take the Red Line from Garfield to Chicago and walk a little north to 900 North Michigan Ave, a great, fun place to shop in downtown Chicago. Kate Spade offers students a 10-15% discount if you show your student ID, so if you're looking to treat yourself, this isn't a shabby place to go!

These are just four of many, many more places to go with #UChiUPass. Where do you go with your U-Pass?

Our thoughts on annual awards for SG leadership

Tyler Kissinger9 Comments

I can easily say that the most defining aspect of my four years at the University of Chicago has been participating in Student Government. It's been rewarding beyond words to work to make UChicago a better place for all of its students. And we've accomplished a fair bit along the way, from the U-Pass and the SLRA program to unprecedented growth in participation of graduate students in SG and the passage of a budget that increases support for RSOs, academic teams, and resources for sexual assault awareness.

As a first-generation and largely self-supporting College student who is dependent on financial aid, every hour I spent on SG work came at the expense of my coursework and ability to work a campus job to support myself. Participating in SG is an all-consuming experience -- I'd estimate the average week has me spending 15-20 hours a week on SG-related work. Most of that work is behind-the-scenes, and enables us to allocate funding to RSOs, make sure students are represented on University committees, or participate in university hiring decisions. 

Looking back at my time at UChicago, I wouldn't trade the opportunity for serving in SG for anything. But at times, it made my life very hard. There were weeks when I was more worried about having the money to pay for bills or books than the next paper I had to write or project I needed to complete. I got dropped from classes a few times for missing bill deadlines. I've gone weeks without money in my bank account because I had hundreds of dollars of outstanding reimbursements for SG expenses. For much of my time at UChicago I was unable to engage in the classroom to the degree I wish I could have, and that came as a result of trying to work a campus job while prioritizing my work in SG above all else. While I'm immensely proud of the work that we've done in SG over my past two years as President, I know I could have done more if it weren't for this financial stress.

For a long time, all of this is something that was hard for me to talk about. There is a lot of shame associated with feelings of financial insecurity. But moving forward, as SG continues to grow as an institution capable of improving the experience of graduate and undergraduate students at UChicago, it is my view that these positions need be accessible to students of all backgrounds. Collectively, the three of us in Executive Slate work a total of six part-time jobs.  The amount of time it takes to do the work in these positions will only continue to grow as SG's impact on campus grows. That is why we are proposing for Executive Committee members to receive a small annual award -- essentially the equivalent of a part-time campus job. Many of our counterparts at peer universities see their tuition covered, or receive $10k+ annual salaries. This proposal is a more modest one that would help to guarantee that these positions will continue to be accessible to students of all backgrounds, and to help continue to grow the functions of Student Government.

I recognize that may not be a popular proposal -- it certainly wasn't when I proposed it (in a slightly different form) in Fall 2014. But I hope the past two years of work have shown the unique and important role SG can have in campus life, and I challenge anyone who has concerns about this program to come and talk with me. I'll be in Hallowed Grounds (second floor of the Reynold's Club) from 7-10pm this Sunday, as well as Monday 11am-noon and 3-5pm. I can also respond to emails at sg-president@uchicago.edu.

 

Tyler Kissinger, President

 

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For the most part, the points I have to make are already addressed in Tyler Kissinger's personal statement on the proposal for SG Leadership Awards (above). I write to contribute my personal story to the issue, because I believe it adds some dimension to the issue here, regarding accessibility of SG representation for all students.

To provide some context, I am a self-supporting international student on financial aid. I work a minimum of 14 hours each week across three jobs in order to support myself, and even so I can tell you that concerns regarding financial security are a constant in my life. As such, my biggest worry throughout my past year of service as Vice President for Administration has been a financial one. On weeks where Student Government responsibilities have demanded closer to 20 hours of work, hours spent on either class preparation or work for self-support have needed to give way. With the former, my class performance has suffered, and with the latter I have often gone hungry. (Tyler's account reflects the same.) And being an international student, when tax or visa issues have surfaced to place additional claims on the little available time, this financial insecurity has had me at my worst.

It is possible to do the work that we do without compensation. But for many students--including myself--it is excruciatingly difficult to put forth so much commitment in order to prioritise this responsibility when it functions directly to amplify their pervasive worry about basic sustenance. As a Slate, we stepped into our role with a promise to work toward the equality of campus opportunities for all students--and we have done much to this effect in the past year, among them our efforts to implement U-Pass in the College and SLRA. We hope to end the year on the same principle, by ensuring that elected SG positions are accessible to students of all backgrounds.

 

Alex Jung, Vice President for Administration