DePaul vaccine policies, civilian oversight of CPD passed and COVID at the Tokyo Olympics

Plus a video feature on DePaul's first-ever virtual year

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Welcome to the first summer edition of the 14 East Newsletter! You’ve got Aneesah Sheeley here alongside Elly Boes, Kate Linderman, Cam Rodriguez and Claire Malon on our feature story. This week we’ve got updates on DePaul’s latest vaccine policy, city council’s latest attempt to gain civilian oversight of police and of course, a show rec for you. 

(Oh, and be sure check this Only The Family album spearheaded by Chicago’s own Lil’ Durk while you read this week.) 


DePaul’s Virtual Year

For the first time in the university’s history, operations at DePaul were almost completely remote this past academic year.

As the university adjusted to its new medium, there were many challenges — students struggled to adapt to virtual learning, faculty had to navigate online teaching and the administration was forced to transition university operations to function remotely. 

In this video, students, faculty and staff reflect on their virtual year, recounting the obstacles they faced, strategies they used to adjust and ways they persevered. 

For the full story on DePaul’s remote year, be sure to check out 14 East later this week to read Engagement Editor Claire Malon’s reporting.


Chicago headlines

  • Over the weekend, negotiations between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and aldermen revised a deal on civilian oversight for the Chicago Police Department, establishing a seven-person commission that could shape police policy should the draft be ratified by both the Committee on Public Safety and the City Council this week. Block Club Chicago has the detailed overview.

  • A new team — made up of Chicago police officers and task forces from other agencies — aims to charge illegal gun traffickers, track firearm ID revocations and process CPD guns used in shootings in hopes of reducing gun violence in the city, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

  •  Protesters supporting solidarity with recent Cuban demonstrations for economic relief and calls for liberation gathered near Buckingham Fountain on Sunday, Chicago Tribune’s Zach Harris writes.

  •  Shia Kapos of Politico’s Illinois Playbook newsletter highlighted a new sculpture by Chicago artist Gwen Yen Chiu titled “Thought Vortex” which was unveiled today at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Halsted Street. 


DePaul news

Happy Summer! Here are a few updates for navigating campus this summer. 

As of June 14, fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear a mask on campus though masks are still welcomed. Those not vaccinated are expected to wear a mask and social distance at all times when on campus.  

John T. Richardson Library has expanded its hours and services for the summer. The library will be open Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Reservations for computer use and individual study are no longer required. Students, faculty, and staff will have open access to all floors of the library. More information about services can be found via Newsline

If you are taking less than eight credit hours during summer session two and are still looking to use the Ray, student summer memberships are available for $43. The membership will last until September 13 and will automatically reactivate for full-time students in the fall. 

Fall quarter is just eight weeks away! All students planning to be on campus this fall are required to be fully vaccinated. Students should submit their vaccination requirements via Campus Connect. This can be done by logging into Campus Connect > student resources > immunization status > and uploading a photo of your vaccine card. 


National headlines

  • The postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics are set to start on Friday, and already over 55 people "linked to the Olympics," including media, staff and some athletes, have tested positive for COVID-19, according to NPR.

  • Wildfires are tearing across the Western United States, like Oregon's current Bootleg Fire, which so far has burned over 500 square miles of grasslands and forests and caused smoky, hazy skies across the country. The Bootleg Fire is so bad that it's generating its own weather, according to the New York Times, including clouds so hot that it's causing fire tornadoes.

  • Today, a federal judge dealt out the first felony conviction to a participant in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, sentencing the man, who was charged with obstructing the joint session of Congress, to an eight-month prison sentence, according to the Washington Post.

  • Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos is set to travel to space tomorrow on the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, according to the Wall Street Journal. His aerospace venture, Blue Origin, will launch a flight with him and three others at 9 a.m. Eastern.  

  • Wall Street has had its worst day of the year so far, with the Dow falling 725 points at the end of the day Monday, its largest since a 943-point drop in October 2020, according to CNN Business, which cites fears over the Delta variant causing the drop in stocks.

  • An investigation involving The Washington Post and sixteen other media organizations, as well as Amnesty International, found that governments around the globe actively hacked cellphones of journalists and activists using software developed by an Israeli spyware company, including the phones of two women who were close to the late Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was assassinated by agents of the Saudi government in 2018.


Recommendations

In truth, I am not a big reality TV person. I’ve never been a fan of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, or any of its other spin-offs. I never got around to watching Jersey Shore or Big Brother,and I can’t say I’ve watched more than one episode of Real World. The one exception, however, is Love Island.

Love Island starts each season by inviting ten singles — five girls and five guys — into a remote, luxury villa. On the first day, each single chooses to be paired into a couple. From there, new contestants (known as islanders) are introduced with the intention of stirring up drama, creating new couples, breaking others apart and dumping the ones who can’t find love from the villa. The ultimate goal is to find love, win over the hearts of the public and snag the cash prize. 

Also, let me clarify by saying that I’m talking about Love Island: U.K. — not the cheap U.S. version. I make this distinction not only because of the impeccable accents and dumbfounding British slang, but also because it’s justbetter. Love Island U.K. has what all the American reality TV shows lack: authenticity. The Love Island producers know they’re creating a trashy, debased show, the contestants poke fun at their own vanity and stupidity, and the cheesy comedic relief, narrator Iain Sterling, takes aim at the whole show. It’s this self-awareness that makes the show all the more appealing to its viewers. 

It seems to be the perfect compromise between all of the aforementioned reality shows — featuring the trashiness of Jersey Shore, some of the strategy of Big Brother, mixed with the romance seen on The Bachelor and a similar concept to Real World in that multiple strangers move into a shared space and live together. All of these elements make it fun, purely entertaining and addictively easy to watch. Whether you want to watch the newest season now or binge the old ones, you can catch Love Island on Hulu. | Claire Malon 


COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Resources

All of these testing sites and vaccination sites can be accessed for free and without insurance. 

  • Howard Brown offers free, walk-in COVID-19 testing at multiple locations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, in addition to mobile testing sites that are updated weekly, which you can access here.

  • The Illinois Department of Health and the City of Chicago free COVID-19 testing sites in the city and surrounding counties, which are listed with more information here.

  • The City of Chicago partnered with CORE response to set up free drive-thru and walk-in testing sites in the city, primarily on the South and West sides, with appointments available Monday through Friday. Register here. 

  • The city has also updated its COVID-19 testing program with more mobile sites, which change weekly. More info here. 

  • Eligible for a COVID-19 Vaccine in Chicago? Check out appointments via Zocdoc, the City of Chicago’s Vaccine Finder or pharmacy websites such as Walgreens and CVS to see what is available in or around your zip code. 

Mental Health Resources

  • At Open Counseling, there’s a list of people and nonprofits with counseling services available for free or low cost.

  • This website compiles mental health resources, including therapist/counselor directories and other online resources. 

  • The Center on Halsted offers behavioral health, anti-violence and educational resources for LGBTQIA+ people.

  • Howard Brown Health offers anti-racism resources and sliding scale counseling specializing in the LGBTQ+ community.

  • This document is a resource for Black people experiencing racial trauma. This master list includes specific resources as well as protesting tips and donation links. 

  • This link is a directory of Black therapists in Chicago. 

  • This link is a directory of Black therapists in Chicago who provide services for under $75.

  • Here’s 7 virtual mental health resources supporting Black people right now, including Chicago-based community organization Sista Afya’s support groups

  • And the Trans Lifeline’s Peer Support Hotline is a resource operated by transgender and nonbinary staffers for the trans community: 877-565-8860.

  • The Center for Religion and Psychotherapy in Chicago is a nonprofit that provides affordable, sliding-scale counseling. Call (312) 263-4368 extension 9081 to schedule an intake appointment (counseling is not religious-centered). 


And that brings us to the conclusion of this week’s newsletter! Be on the lookout for upcoming articles, essays and maybe even poems from our talented staff. Interested in becoming a part of 14 East next year? Look out for announcements about fall and summer events in the coming newsletters. Until next time, signing off!

Aneesah, Claire, Cam, Elly and Kate

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