Judicial board trial, women's basketball moves to Wintrust and our last newsletter of the quarter

Plus some lessons we've learned over the past year

Hey everyone! Welcome back to our final COVID-19 Updates Newsletter of the Quarter! After this week, we’ll be breaking until mid-June. In the meantime, we’ll be reworking this newsletter to make it as relevant and useful as possible. If you have feedback for us, you can let us know via this Google Form.

In the meantime, it’s your newsletter team — Francesca, Robin, Elly, Kate, Aneesah, Claire, Cam — back for your Monday updates.

5 Things we Learned from 1.25 Years-ish of our COVID-19 Updates Newsletter

  1. Flexibility is Key – Over the past year or so, the news cycle has changed drastically from day to day. From early news about what COVID-19 was last March to nationwide protests for Black Lives, the 2020 Election and more, we learned that a good newsletter can pivot and respond to the needs of its readers whenever. 

  2. Good News is Important, Too – Throughout our time working on the newsletter, we found that our readers valued uplifting stories – human interest pieces, stories about community, TV recommendations – just as much as updates about COVID-19.

  3. The Way We Consume News is Changing – Time was a precious resource in the past year, and not everyone has the ability to sit down and pick through a lengthy article to get the information they need. Tools like a newsletter provide important access to vital information.

  4. Newsletters are a Great Way to Engage with Readers – We got a lot of emails from y’all! Many of which were praise, others had questions and suggestions for the weeks ahead. Being in your readers’ inbox each week provides excellent opportunities for engagement.

  5. Newsletters are a Great Place to Experiment and Learn – We tried a lot of new things here, some of which really worked and others didn’t. But we had fun! We learned a lot! And more publications should embrace the newsletter platform as a space to see what works. 

Chicago Headlines

  • According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Cook County is set to hold a vote today to officially rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day despite the Cook County commissioner’s request to delay the final decision, pending acknowledgement from several First Nation tribes on their history of enslaving Black people.

  • Father Michael Pfleger was recently reinstated at St. Sabina Catholic Church after an investigation — into allegations he sexually abused three minors in the 1970s — found “there is insufficient reason to suspect” the senior pastor of wrongdoing. You can check out Archbishop of Chicago Blase Cupich’s letter to the St. Sabina community here.

  • Drafts of Illinois’ redistricting maps were released last weekend with public hearings scheduled over the next two days before final versions are put to a vote by June 30, reports NBC5 Chicago.

  • After hours of debate, a joint City Council committee decided not to vote on an ordinance aimed at increasing transparency between the public and Chicago Police Department (CPD), writes Sun-Times reporter Manny Ramos. The proposal would have created a database on closed CPD misconduct cases dating back to 2000.

DePaul News 

Students enrolled in at least one class this summer can opt-in to the Summer U-Pass program. Students that opt-in to the program will be charged $86. Undergraduate and graduate students will have their U-Pass activated from June 14 to August 22.. Law students will have their U-Pass activated from June 7 to July 30. The last day to complete the opt-in form is July 20. 

The women’s basketball team will be permanently moving their home games to Wintrust Arena starting this next season. Previously, the women’s team split their home games between McGrath-Phillips Arena on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus and Wintrust Arena. Beginning next season, Wintrust Arena will be home to both the men’s and women’s basketball teams’ home games. 

DePaul announced a partnership with the University Center of Lake County at the College of Lake County’s (CLC) Grayslake campus for working adults looking to receive an affordable education. Students will start with an associate’s degree from CLC and then end with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Studies with a major in business administration from DePaul. The program will be hosted entirely at CLC’s Grayslake Campus. 

Students involved in this program will pay a 25 percent lower tuition rate than DePaul’s undergraduate tuition. 

Tomorrow, May 25, DePaul will be hosting a virtual off-campus housing fair. Students will have the opportunity to virtually visit Chicago-area properties and meet with the staff of those properties. More information and registration can be found here

A reminder to graduating students to return any borrowed or loaned materials to DePaul’s library or other I-share libraries. Graduating students can also obtain a DePaul Alumni ID if they plan on accessing any alumni privileges. 

If you haven’t already, submit your COVID-19 vaccination records through Campus Connect. DePaul announced on May 13 that it will be requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for all students who plan to be on campus beginning fall quarter. Records can be submitted through Campus Connect > Student Resources > Immunization Status. 

Shortly after the results for the Student Government Association elections were announced, a protest regarding a candidate’s campaign was filed. SGA had previously stated that its judicial board would be looking into the complaint, but was “still meeting and figuring out proceedings” on the matter. However, in a statement emailed today, SGA President Alyssa Isberto clarified that the board would be meeting this Thursday to conduct its trial.

For an update on the results of the judicial board’s trial, check back in with 14 East at fourteeneastmag.com on Friday!

National Headlines 

  • The Los Angeles Times reports that President Joe Biden is sending Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken to the Middle East for peace talks. Blinken will visit Israel, the West Bank, Jordan and Egypt for high-level meetings and work with regional partners to give immediate assistance to Gaza. 

  • The Washington Post reports that Belarus forced a plane to land using a bomb threat to detain journalist Roman Protasevich. The bomb scare was made by President Alexander Lukashenko in order to arrest Protasevich, 26, who ran a popular social media Telegram channel, Nexta, which exposed police brutality during anti-government demonstrations last year in Belarus. Protasevich faces more than 12 years in prison, and many are calling for his immediate release, including Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.

  • Half of U.S. states have fully vaccinated at least 50 percent of adults according to CNN. White House senior COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt said deaths have gone down dramatically and can go even lower if the country keeps up with the pace of vaccinations. The state with the most vaccinated citizens is Maine with more than 62 percent of people over 18 vaccinated. 

  • The Guardian reports that there’s an outcry over Emily Wilder’s firing at the Associated Press over her pro-Palestinian views. The AP fired Wilder, a news associate, for allegedly violating the company’s social media policies. This resulted in a backlash from other journalists when it became clear that AP targeted Wilder for her pro-Palestinian activism in college. Wilder previously worked for the Arizona Republic after graduating from Stanford University. The Stanford College Republicans tweeted a thread highlighting her activism, which included critical views of Zionists. Wilder, who is Jewish, said, “There’s no question I was just canceled.”


First up is an album that I didn’t see myself listening to initially. However, I was pleasantly surprised with Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album, SOUR. In SOUR, Rodrigo has definitely positioned herself as a front-runner in the evolving pop scene while also creating lyrics that resonate with girls and women of different ages.

Next, with hot girl summer fast approaching, H-Town rapper Monaleo has provided us with a strong contender for song of the season with  “Beating Down Yo Block.” With lines like “And I taste like sugar, but ain’t a damn thing sweet b—h,”, Monaleo sets the pace for a summer full of us not answering that “Where you at?” text from our boyfriends when we’re outside with the gang. | Aneesah Shealey


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 have opened more free COVID-19 testing sites in the city and surrounding counties, which are listed with more information here.

  • In the spring, 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). 

That’s all from us, everyone. Thank you so much for tuning in the past year and a quarter(ish!) The support of our community and our readers has made this newsletter a weekly joy and honor. We’ll catch you back here in about a month — new and improved!

Francesca, Robin, Elly, Kate, Aneesah, Claire, Cam

Interested in shaping how we approach the newsletter? Let us know your thoughts by clicking here or copy and pasting the following url into your browser: https://forms.gle/UbvMtBvHc1C6TNiU8