The Chicago Maroon

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"Welcome Back to My Channel" Searches for Reality in a Virtual World

During May 20–22, University Theater (UT) livestreamed performances of third-year Brandon Zang’s original play Welcome Back to My Channel, which incorporates a mix of live video calls and prerecorded multimedia pieces. The play follows the life of Martha (Tess Ortego, third-year), a popular makeup influencer, as her off-screen relationship with her boyfriend Will (Nick Schwarz, first-year) begins to disintegrate.
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Kate Lu

University of Chicago third-year Brandon Zang’s original play "Welcome Back to My Channel" confronts issues of societal expectations, identity, and how we influence and are influenced in a world dominated by social media.
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The Chicago Maroon

Smoke and Mirrors: Reflecting on Nicotine Culture on Campus

During finals week of my first quarter at UChicago, I found myself utterly overwhelmed. Jotting down the various tasks I had to complete before packing and boarding a train to New York the following week, it seemed that no amount of effort would get me through the quarter unscathed. I laid face down on the floor of my dorm room struggling to come up with something to say about the Epic of Gilgamesh for a final paper due the following evening. On the verge of panic-induced tears, I stepped outside, blessed my lips with a Marlboro, and took a sharp drag. My feet lifted off the ground as I was compelled upward by a wave of pleasure. Suddenly my worries were replaced with joy, confidence, and tranquility. The cold Chicago air seemed to whisper in my ear, Everything’s going to be okay.
The Chicago Maroon

Tackling Challenges On and Off the Field, Ross Is a Standout Student-Athlete

Jackson Ross has set a remarkable standard for what it means to be an impactful student-athlete both on and off the field. Throughout his college career, the Norman, Oklahoma native was a linchpin on the men’s football team and collected the accolades to prove it. From his position as a defensive lineman, he led the team in tackles during the last three seasons, averaging 9.6 per game. Moreover, he was named to the D3football.com All-West Region third team in 2018 and 2019 and selected to the All–Midwest Conference team three years in a row, winning Rookie of the Year in 2017. Translating his on-field success to the classroom, Ross was acknowledged for his strong academic performance by his selection as an Academic All-American and a University Athletic Association Presidents Council Scholar-Athlete.
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The Transit-Oriented Teens Have UChicago Roots

It started with a night of procrastination during finals week of winter quarter. The year was 2017. There was no Poll Party. There was not yet a virus that changed the landscape of an urban city, specifically the operation of the El. Two UChicago geography majors were trying to distract themselves by scrolling the memes of Facebook group “I Feel Personally Attacked by This Relatable Map” when their friend chimed in and asked, “tbh where are all of the jane jacobs/robert moses meme groups??”
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The Adventure of the American Mind

In January 2009, during the final days of the second Bush’s second term, three graduate students at the University of Chicago conceived of a new magazine with an intellectual bent. Founding editors Jon Baskin, Jonny Thakkar, and Etay Zwick hoped to “create a public space that could do justice to the adventure of the American mind,” publishing a broad swath of perspectives to foster intellectually rigorous public discourse. The first issue of this magazine, which editors dubbed The Point after Promontory Point, went out that spring, and 11 years and 20-some issues later, The Opening of the American Mind: Ten Years of The Point collected 21 of its essays together in book form. The magazine comprises three sections: symposium, essays, and reviews. The symposium section comprises prose works responding to a philosophical question posed by the editors, which in the first issue asked, “What are politics for?” Subsequent issues, now totaling 24, have questioned the respective purposes of prisons, church, intellectuals, conservatism, poetry, travel, and science. Essays “blend memoir, criticism and journalism to examine the ideas and beliefs that shape our world,” the magazine’s website explains, and reviews can be about “pretty much anything at all.”
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GSU Secures Faculty Support in Service Fee Boycott, Vows to Continue Campaign

Graduate Students United (GSU) members have vowed to continue withholding payment of the University’s graduate student services fee indefinitely amid a mobilization of faculty support. The campaign began in February and was prompted, GSU members wrote in their pledge, by the financial hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic, a reduction in in-person services provided by the University, and incomplete information on how the University uses money from the fee.
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The Chicago Maroon

Scav Held Virtually, Ends in Its Second-Ever Tie

Scav, the quintessentially UChicago annual scavenger hunt, took place virtually for the second year in a row since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but that did not prevent members of the community from coming together to make this Scav as exciting and convoluted as possible. This year’s virtual Scav ran from...
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Anonymous

The Chinese Students and Scholars Association’s statement advocating for the censorship of Hong Kong activist Nathan Law ignores institutional violence, and it is contrary to UChicago’s commitment to democracy and open inquiry. OP-EDS Amidst a second spike in COVID–19 cases, library employees are being put in danger with nonessential on-site...
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The CCSA’s False Law and Order Narratives

The UChicago Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CCSA) recently expressed its discontent with and opposition to the invitation of Nathan Law, a self-exiled Hong Kong pro-democracy activist, to be a guest speaker at the Harris School of Public Policy. Law started out as a participant in the HK dock strikes and and became a student leader in the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement, calling for true democratic elections. In 2016, he was elected to the Hong Kong Legislative Council but was subsequently disqualified after an oath-taking controversy. He left Hong Kong in 2020 after the imposition of the national security law (NSL) on Hong Kong, which has since been used to jail nearly all of Hong Kong’s democratic opposition politicians indefinitely for such outrageous offenses as indiscriminately opposing the government budget.
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The Chicago Maroon

The CCSA’s False Law and Order Narratives

The UChicago Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CCSA) recently expressed its discontent with and opposition to the invitation of Nathan Law, a self-exiled Hong Kong pro-democracy activist, to be a guest speaker at the Harris School of Public Policy. Law started out as a participant in the HK dock strikes and and became a student leader in the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement, calling for true democratic elections. In 2016, he was elected to the Hong Kong Legislative Council but was subsequently disqualified after an oath-taking controversy. He left Hong Kong in 2020 after the imposition of the national security law (NSL) on Hong Kong, which has since been used to jail nearly all of Hong Kong’s democratic opposition politicians indefinitely for such outrageous offenses as indiscriminately opposing the government budget.
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Undergrads Launch Productivity Company Pollinate, Aim to Help Students Stop Procrastinating

Second-years Jonathan Merril and Jack Ogle, third-year Henry Myers, and first-year Joshua Weisskopf cofounded Pollinate, a company which aims to boost productivity among students, during winter 2021. The service connects UChicago students and facilitates half-hour study sessions over Zoom. Merril and Ogle cited their personal goals to decrease procrastination and boost productivity as their primary motivations for starting the company.
The Chicago Maroon

Tamima Itani

Balloons carry massive environmental consequences that should simply disqualify them from graduation decor.
The Chicago Maroon

Not to Pop Your Bubble, but Balloons Have No Place at Graduation

With graduation just around the corner, it’s essential that the University of Chicago and other celebrators refrain from using balloons. Celebratory balloons—whether biodegradable, latex, or mylar—pose a constant threat to wildlife, and as we approach graduation season, it is incumbent upon all of us to seek alternatives for celebration. Balloon releases in particular are harmful, and Illinois is looking into banning such releases in the near future.
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Tamima Itani

Balloons carry massive environmental consequences that should simply disqualify them from graduation decor.
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Dreams Become Reality "In the Heights"

Fresh off the heights of its original Broadway run, the musical In the Heights was supposed to be adapted into a feature film in 2011. A decade later, that possibility has finally become a reality. In the Heights, directed by Jon M. Chu (of Crazy Rich Asians fame) and produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, opens this June. The film, an energetic, music and dance-filled celebration of the Latine community, is primed to be Hollywood’s first real summer blockbuster in over a year.
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A Slice of Life "In the Heights"

Let me preface this review of In the Heights by admitting that I haven’t seen Lin-Manuel Miranda’s original musical of the same name, but I am listening to the original Broadway cast recording as I write this and have spent copious hours browsing Wikipedia and watching bootleg “slime tutorials” on YouTube. Still, there’s always extra pressure in adapting a beloved intellectual property to the screen, especially given the cultural weight of In the Heights and what it represents to the Latine community. It’s similar to the buzz around Crazy Rich Asians two years ago (the two films even share the same director, Jon M. Chu) in that its success could define Hollywood’s treatment of non-White stories and stars for years to come.
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CPOST Research Finds New Right-Wing Extremist Demographic Trend in Capitol Insurrection

UChicago political science professor Robert Pape found that “everyday” Donald Trump supporters, mostly middle-class and middle-aged citizens without previous connections to the alt-right, formed a large majority of the violent mob at the Capitol insurrection. Pape’s research team at the Chicago Project on Security and Threats (CPOST), a political science think tank housed at UChicago, analyzed over 1,500 documents to study 444 out of approximately 800 insurrectionists. Over 25 undergraduate students contributed to the data collection and analysis, which included publicly available court documents and open-source media documentation.