The Independent

Aspirations of the Women’s Resource Center

October 17, 2012

By Syed Ahad Hussain – Senior Staff Writer The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is a place to get answers, help and guidance for all NEIU students regardless of their gender, despite the center’s name. The WRC is in affiliation with the Pedroso Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs, and is led by Joanna Snawder and her two student aides; Annett Zlotorzyzki, a senior environmental studies major, and Tracy Barfield, a junior social work major. The staff of the WRC sees themselves as the first point of contact, a clearing house for references and answers for the students, and a friendly office which can act as a bridge for students. WRC is a place to go if students “have a very serious issue, perhaps they got assaulted, or need help finding housing, looking for child care options, or maybe they just want to learn about women’s rights or social justice. So all of these concerns are our concerns so we are here to help by either providing the resource directly to the student or connect them to it,” says Joanna Snawder, “we help students find resources in variety of ways, physical resources, by giving them brochures, handouts, pamphlets of the local organizations. We also help students find [resources] through events and programs, and also, as the director, I serve as the advocate of the students; so if a student does need help to navigate a process here on campus, I can help the student navigate that process.” Joanna Snawder recently came to Chicago from Denver, Colo., with a seven-year background in working in campus-based women’s centers, including one such center in a California Catholic school, and a women’s resource center in Colorado’s Metropolitan University in Denver. Snawder was very excited to take this position because the WRC was new for NEIU, and also because it gave her an opportunity to design the service this campus needed from the ground-up. NEIU has lacked a resource center after the closure of Adult and Women’s Services office in early 2011. Snawder discussed her experiences as the director, and then highlighted how being under that umbrella of inclusion and the guidance of the leadership at the Pedroso Center helped her look at diversity of identities in a very multifaceted way. The WRC’s upcoming events include a gently-used all sizes women’s professional clothing drive event in partnership with the El-Centro campus, which will help female El-Centro students to prepare to dress for job interviews and the work environment. Snawder has also submitted several of innovation grants, one of which will enable the center to offer students a salary negotiation workshop. The center is partnering with the Women’s Studies faculty for a film screening of ‘Pink Ribbons Inc.” about breast cancer awareness. The film is a critique of the pink ribbon products being sold supposedly to benefit breast cancer, and is being shown by the WRC on Oct. 24, at 5:30 pm, location to be announced. The WRC will celebrate ‘Love Your Body Day’ which will focus on body image awareness and acceptance. “This year [the WRC] is taking an unusual angle by focusing on African-American women and the politics of black hair,” said Snawder. “[African-American women] will share their stories about what sort of assumptions get made in the way they choose to wear their hair. However, everybody has a hair story, so everybody is also welcomed and encouraged to come ask questions and share their stories.” “I want women of NEIU to know that they have an advocate, an ally, a space that is theirs. First and foremost the center is about making [students] comfortable and having an inclusive experience here,” says Snawder. “I want them to stay at school and finish their education, I’ve worked with a lot of students in seven and a half years and I understand the reality of not getting some of the needs met. I remember working with a student who was living in a tent and she contacted the center because she wanted some advocacy with a professor and getting some special arrangements with a class. I wanted to encourage her to find a different housing option but she told me that she was fine living in a tent and she wanted to focus on her education because she saw that as a pathway out of her situation, I thought that was very inspiring.” Snawder said NEIU owed it to the students to supply them with as many tools, skills and resources as possible so that they could be successful and finish school self-sufficient and resilient. “We want students to know that the WRC is a non-judgmental safe space so they can bring their issues here,” said student aide Zlotorzyzki. The Women's Resource Center is located in B-130 inside the B-119 suite near the Angelina Pedroso center....

Baked Cajun Maple Bacon Recipe

October 17, 2012

By Emily Haddad Ever wake up in the morning and decide that bacon simply isn’t bad enough for you? To remedy that, try this ridiculously tasty recipe that transforms ordinary bacon into a crisp, spicy-sweet taste bud festival. This recipe was inspired by Brazilian Steakhouse Zed451’s legendary Cajun-maple brunch bacon, but takes it a step further by crystallizing the maple sugars directly onto the bacon. Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 20-25 minutes. Ingredients: I package thick-cut bacon (butcher cut recommended) 1 cup pure maple syrup Paprika Black pepper Red pepper Garlic powder Onion powder Salt Materials: Cookie pan with edges Aluminum foil Basting brush Preheat the oven to 425 and completely cover the cooking surface of the cookie pan with aluminum foil or the pan will be destroyed. Lay out the bacon with ½“ between each strip. Liberally sprinkle paprika, black pepper and onion powder onto the bacon. Use care when sprinkling the red pepper (it packs a punch) and sprinkle the garlic and salt sparingly. Pat the mixture gently to help adhere it to the bacon. Use the basting brush to dab syrup onto the bacon, taking care not to wipe the dry rub spices off in the process. Flip the bacon and repeat the entire spicing and maple syrup-ing process with the other side. Bake the bacon for 10 minutes before flipping it over onto the other side. Depending on liking flexible or crisp bacon, bake an additional 10-15 minutes, checking the bacon frequently to prevent sugar burn. The bacon should turn dark reddish brown as the maple sugars caramelize. Let cool for 5 minutes after removing pan from the oven, peel from foil, and enjoy....

A Taste of Hawaii in Chicago

October 17, 2012

By Emily Haddad – Editor-in-Chief The words ‘Hawaiian Fusion’ bring to mind brightly colored flowered shirts, tiki torches and wicker furniture, but Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine was anything but the expected kitsch and camp. Roy’s is an upscale concept restaurant just off of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile that offers a superior dining experience and a pleasant environment for cocktails and chat. The décor is Madison Avenue, with deep brown tones and champagne accents, abstract art and low mood lighting. The exception to the tastefully dim lighting motif was the open kitchen. The chefs were easily viewed cooking and arranging plates behind the black marble counters, and both the sizzling sounds and smells freely circulated the restaurant, raising the anticipation of the coming meal. The signature drinks are tropically themed, such as the Mango Mojito, Hawaiian Martini, Roy’s Island Mai Tai, and the 1988 – a drink paying tribute to the restaurant’s original opening in Honolulu with a refreshing citrus vodka and tequila mix coupled with lychee. They also have a respectable wine list and full bar service. The friendly and attentive wait-staff at Roy’s are knowledgeable about wine pairings for the entrees and happy to recommend vintages. The majority of the appetizers are fish-based, with the notable exception of mushroom truffle dumplings (gyoza), the Korean flatbread with kim chee and shortrib, and the Lakanilau sushi roll containing tender Waygu beef. A dab of wasabi and the Lakanilau was a dynamic flavor combination of savory beef, mellow asparagus and salty sesame miso. The salads took advantage of the contrast between sweet and salty (goat cheese and candied pecans) or dressed up more traditional vinaigrette offerings with a fusion of Asian ingredients (bok choy and shiitake with a sizzling soy vinaigrette). Entrees at Roy’s pay homage to the restaurant’s Hawaiian origins with offerings of Red Snapper, Mahi Mahi, Ahi Tuna, and various shellfish. The fish is amazingly fresh, lightly seasoned with accommodating ingredients that highlight the fish’s natural flavor, and comes beautifully garnished. Roy’s Blackened Ahi had a spicy mustard sauce that beckons the attention of the taste buds. Also on the menu are offerings from land. While the seafood accents were sharp and piquant, the pork chops, tender beef cuts and styles of chicken took the rich and savory route. The Asian Style Coq Au Vin (chicken in wine sauce) was marinated in Japanese sake rather than wine, and slow-baked with potatoes in a clay crock to seal in the mouth-watering flavors. The crockery and rich gravy lent the dish a comfort food feel. For those who wanted to sample from both land and sea, Roy’s offers several surf and turf options. Roy’s also has a spectacular seasonally changing price fixe menu, an opportunity to have your choice of three complete dinners (starters, entrée, dessert) for just $36.95. Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine really lives up to its name by artfully combining Hawaiian flavors with traditionally European cuisine. This restaurant is pricy, but it’s an excellent choice for special events, a special evening with a loved one or family get-togethers....

Step Into Merla’s Kitchen

October 17, 2012

By Desiree Dylong - Copy Editor Students looking for something different to fill their bellies with in between classes should check out Merla’s Kitchen, which provides a unique experience and quality Filipino cuisine. At first glance, Merla’s Kitchen is rather small, but sometimes the best...

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