The Uptown Exchange Fall 2014 Issue #1

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  • Fall 2014 | November Edition

    A Truman Student Publication Serving the Uptown CommunityOne Free Copy Per Person

    The Uptown Exchange

    By Steven Misho | Staff Writer


    S i n c e 2 0 0 5

    Latinos United for Education (LUFE) built an altar commemorating the Day of the Dead in front of the Cafeteria Foyer, which honored the deceased through November 10th. The altar was heavily deco-rated with papier-mache, figurines, symbolic imagery and sugar-sculpted skulls added to the design. Offerings (or ofrendas) such as food and trinkets were placed on the altar, many carrying significance for the deceased, usually favorite foods or personal effects, or what they want in life, explained LUFE Treasurer Andrea Garcia. Electronic candles placed on the altar were meant to guide the spirits of the dead to these offerings.

    Encyclopedia Britannica describes the Day of the Dead as making peace with the even-tuality of death by treating it with familiarity.

    Akin to welcoming an old friend, death is hon-ored through party and merriment, with fes-tivities and parties held in a day of celebration. This is because celebrators believe that during this time, the spirits of the deceased return to visit them.

    The way Day of the Dead is celebrated dif-fers depending on the area. Garcia described a variation in Mexicos state of Michoacn:

    (They would put) candles, flowers in a boat and send it off, whereas others may simply place an ofrenda at the grave of the deceased or within their own home.

    According to LUFE President Cynthia Sanchez, the Day of the Dead is derived from ancient Aztec traditions involving sacrifice to

    the goddess of death Mictlantecuhtli. When the Spaniards conquered the Aztecs in the 1500s in an attempt to convert them to Ca-tholicism, the date was changed to coincide with All Saints Day and All Souls Day.

    Sanchez explained that the ofrenda represent(s) some parts of our culture, and she hoped the display educated students about the nature of the holiday.

    Through Nov. 1st, the altar was dedicated to significant writers within the Latino cultural community, whereas the 2nd was reserved for angelitos (deceased children), followed by suicide victims on the 3rd and general obser-vation thereafter until the 10th.

    LUFE meets in Room 1637 of the Student Activities Center on Mondays at 2 p.m.

    Day of the Dead alter Photo credit: Staff Photographer

    Campus ofrenda honors the dead

    OnlineFollow Uptown Exchange on Facebook: @The Uptown ExchangeTwitter: @UptownExchange

    News 2 Trumans construction projects look to improve campus facilities, but also come with notable inconveniences.

    Entertainment 4Staff artist Kenny Vang honors Truman President Romali through Caricature

    Opinion 7 The Transitional Bilingual Learning Com-munity (TBLC) to create the CardioFitness Workout and Nutritional Tips Fundraiser.

    Sports 8

    Uplift wins Conference but loses in State Playoffs

  • A & E nEwS SECTIOn 2 FALL 2014


    STAFFManaging EditorGina Robinson

    News EditorMarc Prince

    Copy EditorJoanna Kadela

    Staff Writers Claytiana Newman Nia Norris Todd ThomasSteven Misho

    Artist/ CartoonistKenny Vang

    Production and Design ManagerPeter Boateng

    Faculty AdviserBenjamin Ortiz(Assistant Professor)

    Professional AffiliationsCollege Media AdvisersIllinois Community CollegeJournalism AssociationStudent Press Law Center

    The Uptown Exchange


    To pee, or not to peehow long should I hold it? Thats a question crossing the minds of many Truman stu-dents and staff over the first month of the fall 2014 term. The campus is undergoing construction, facility en-hancements and campus-wide visual improvements in key lo-cations throughout the college. With temporary closures of restroom facilities and the campus fitness center as well as the continuing construction at the Wilson Ave. east entrance, frus-tration and concerns began to rise amongst students. Its re-ally unprofessional that the powers that be decided to schedule fixes of this magnitude at such a crucial time of the year said Daniel Voz, a first year student at Truman. It really makes it harder for new full-time students to settle in.

    The seemingly least popular aspect of the makeover is the temporary closure of more than half the main buildings stu-dent restroom facilities. Though the staff restrooms have been offered for students to use during construction, many feel the inconvenient sting of searching for the right one when they have to go.

    A custodial staff member (who wishes to remain anony-mous) recalls, I see young men about to pass out by the time they get to the open bathrooms. Scott Brigham, Truman Col-lege Director of Public Relations and Marketing, revealed that we are to expect a much cleaner, better lit and eye appealing unit of facilities.

    Each floors restrooms will be updated in pre-determined sections, rather than all at once. They are working one quad-rant at a time to modernize and rehab each restroom.

    The most noticeable work site appears in the campus main entrance. A new plaza is near completion and will not only give Truman a fresher look from the street, but finally contain an area outside that is specifically for students. The idea is to allow the college community a space for meeting, relaxing and

    Pardon our Dust Trumans construction projects look to improve campus facilities, but also come with notable inconveniences

    by Marc PrinceStaff News Editor

    studying that separate them from outside elements such as CTA traffic and loiterers.

    When asked about the concern for safety among students, Brigham explained that There have been a lot of complaints and concerns that anyone could sit and loiter on the campusnow, you would actually have to be within campus bounds to sit.

    The east side main entrance will also receive an upgrade. The lobby will see a complete redesign to include new furnish-ings and artwork. The new additions also answer student in-quires as to why they all were required new ID badges this year.

    A proxy card has been embedded into the badges that will allow students to enter through brand new turnstiles (ala Har-old Washington College). The idea behind the change is to the possibility of non-enrolled intruders roaming the halls.

    This will also be the future process for entering the parking garage, though no specifics have been given on that project at this time.

    The temporary closure of the athletic complex is, as Brigham says, nearly complete. With renovation currently ex-ceeding its original date of completion, he promises that our patience will be rewarded. By spring the complex is expected to include HVAC air conditioning throughout.

    This, according to PR Director Brigham, will be the first time the building has ever had central air conditioning. Cur-rently, there are new floors are being laid, topped with newly installed bleachers. The changes with the complex will also af-fect now near-defunct campus theater.

    It will be restored to full functionality for the first time in several years. Though this will not be an extensive overhaul of the theater, new seating, carpets and a stage upgrade is a few of the amenities to should look forward to. All current renovations are scheduled to continue throughout the 2014-2015 term.

    Construction work at Truman College East Entrance Photo credit: Marc Prince

  • A & E nEwS SECTIOn FALL 2014 3

    John H. White signs a photography collection at his presentation and chat in Novar Hall.

    Pulitzer-winning photojournalist talks to Truman students

    by nia norrisStaff Writer

    The Photography Department hosted photojournalist John H. White in No-var Hall on Wednesday for a lecture about the challenges and risks in his field.

    With approximately 80 people in atten-dance, Photography Director Danielle Paz opened the event with a little background his-tory about White as she introduced him.

    Paz said, Johns story impacted my life, and I hope his story does the same for you.

    Once White took the stage, he greeted the audience by asking three times, How is ev-eryone doing today? Once a big portion of the audience yelled Good, and you?, White stated, My father always told me to make a friend a day.

    In 2009 White celebrated his 40th year as a local photographer. According to his own testimony, White began his career at the Chi-cago Daily Newspaper in 1969. He caught the attention of an editor for the newspaper when he entered the Southern Short Course in News Photography competition and won second place nationally in the General News group.

    See, you never know what God has in store for you if you dont put action to your dream, said White.

    White gave an approximate 20 min. Pow-erPoint photo presentation of some of his

    work. The images here have a story to them, he said. The room was filled with different sounds of emotion as he clicked from photo to photo. Some people laughed, some reacted vocally and some even gasped deeply at some of the more graphic images.

    As the lecture came to an end, White said, There are three words that I live by that helps me to stay grounded as a photographer. He goes on to say, Faith (stay faithful to your dreams), focus (precision focus) and flight (spread your wings).

    As people were leaving the auditorium, he shook hands and took pictures with audience members, while saying to them, I love you and remember everybody is somebody.Photo credit: Nia Norris

    John H. White greeted his Truman audience personally and up close. Photo credit: Nia Norris

  • Staff Artist Kenny Vang honors Truman President Romali through caricature.

  • A & E nEwS SECTIOn 6 FALL 2014

    Interfaith Youth Coreleads religion chat on campus

    Members of various faiths responded to the question Is religion the opium of the masses? at a discussion hosted by Gon-zalo Puerta of the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) on Oct. 12.

    Seven students attended the event in room 1647 alongside a graduate from DePaul University, two ac-quaintances of Puertas from the country of Colom-bia and Truman profs RudraDundzila and Olga Ruiz, who sponsored the event.

    by Steven MishoStaff Writer

    After refreshments, Puerta asked the 12 attend-ees for personal introductions and to respond to the topic at hand, which they did with personal spiritual beliefs and life experiences to tell their stories. The discussion fostered camaraderie among the attend-ees, as they joked and sympathized with one another over the subject matter.

    Psychology professor and IFYC adviser Olga Ruiz believes that religious and philosophical discus-sions can enhance the concept of pluralism at Tru-man (and help us understand) our differences and our similarities.

    The IFYC aims to build awareness of religion and philosophy across college campuses through

    religious pluralism, which their official web site defines as respect for peoples diverse religious and non-religious identities,mutually inspiring relation-ships between people of different backgrounds and common action for the common good.

    Humanities professor and IFYC adviser Dundzila also says that we are still discovering the definition of pluralism in the U.S. He explained that the United States was founded by Christian groups that bickered and was then populated by various other faiths and backgrounds over time to make the diverse nation we live in today.

    IFYC meets Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m in room 1947.

  • Since 2008, faculty and students of the Transitional Bilingual Learning Com-munity (TBLC), along with dedicated and enthusiastic donors, have come together in the Fall semester to create the CardioFitness Workout and Nutrition Tips Fundraiser, which is not like any other kind of fundraiser. This is an event that simultaneously raises money for scholarships while raising awareness of the mind-body connection in what we do and what we eat. Led by trainer Dietrich Horsey, participants do circuit training for 30 minutes, followed by a student versus faculty/staff tug-of-war, concluding with a question-and-answer session about nutrition.

    The latest fundraiser, on Oct. 29, raised $1,500. Every single dollar of the $10 ticket goes directly to scholarships for undocument-ed students in Trumans Transitional Bilingual Learning Community. Those who have partici-pated in previous events to support the TBLC Scholarship Fund know that the personal im-pact exceeds its substantial monetary value. The CardioFitness and Nutrition Tips event is crucial for TBLC students because these stu-dents do not qualify for loans or financial aid;

    Why it isimportant to sweat

    by Jazmin MedranoGuest Opinion Writer and

    Truman Alumna

    they have to pay out of pocket for their tuition and books. Because of the generosity from scholarships, undocumented students are able to reduce their financial burdens and pursue higher education.

    Being a TBLC scholarship recipient is more than just receiving a scholarship. Students are involved in Trumans events and organizations; they build their leadership skills, increase their connections to the school and community and stay involved as alumni.

    As a TBLC alumna, I express my sincere gratitude to all the donors who contribute to events such as the CardioFitness Workout and Nutrition Tips Fundraiser. As many students in the TBLC, going to college was a dream to me. My financial situation made it almost impossible, but the TBLC program made my dream a reality. I was accepted into the TBLC in 2006. By that time, I had finished Truman Colleges ESL program, but I was aware that I did not have the necessary level of English proficiency to apply to a university. I learned about the TBLC program through my sister, another TBLC alumna. I was sure that the pro-gram was perfect for me. I saw it as the first step and the best path to take to pursue my dreams.

    The TBLC program prepared me for college-level courses within a period of two semesters. I was able to improve my English

    Trainer Dietrich Horsey leads a nutrition chat. Photo credit: Courtesy of Truman TBLC

    writing and reading skills, I learned the U.S. system of higher education, I made friends that eventually became part of my family and I met a group of dedicated and talented fac-ulty members whom I admire and with whom I still maintain a close relationship. I obtained an Associates Degree from Truman College in 2008. In same year, I transferred to the Uni-versity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and obtained a Bachelors Degree in Spanish Lin-guistics in 2010. Im currently studying for my Masters Degree in Hispanic Linguisti...