Northeastern Illinois University's student-run newspaper

The Independent

Student Disability Services – Here to serve NEIU

Lenyea Williams, Staff Writer

September 6, 2012


Filed under News

    The Student Disability Services office (SDS), an academic support center founded in 1990 to accommodate the special needs of students and facilitate academic success, provides services to all students with disabilities within the Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) community. The SDS is in compliance with section 504 of the rehabilitation act of 1973. Located in Building D room 104, SDS offers the following services for qualified students: Academic advisement, academic goal setting, early registration, assessment and testing, auxiliary aid service, social activities, employment opportunities, life planning options, examination proctoring, guided campus tours, photocopy sign language access, automatic doors, campus ramps, closed caption television, designated parking spaces, technical assistance, elevator access, modified restrooms, enlarger copy, TDY telephone, taped text book access, tutor support and note-taking assistance. In order to receive services, students must be enrolled in NEIU. NEIU students are required to self-identify their disability providing documents of proof to submit to the SDS office. Students requiring disability services can contact Roosevelt Gordon at [email protected] or call (773) 422-4595. They may also contact Effie Sturdivant at (773) 442-5496. SDS is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m....

Snack Rage Strikes NEIU Student Lounge

Emily Haddad, Editor-in-Chief

September 6, 2012


Filed under News

    The machine was left damaged, but the majority of the snacks appeared untouched. Vending machines can weigh more than 400 pounds, it is recommended that students not pound on or tilt the machines if vending fails to occur as serious injury could occur as a result....

Road Closure – Detour in Education

Melissa Brand, Staff Writer

September 6, 2012


Filed under News

  Construction will be winding down around most parts of the city in the next few weeks, except around Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU). During a three-phase construction job that started Aug. 4, 2012 and continues through October, Foster Avenue, one of the two main conduit streets NEIU students use to get to campus, will undergo major construction. Old sewers that date back to the 1920s will be replaced to help stop flooding issues in the area. The City of Chicago Department of Water Management stated that “in-house work will begin in late August, and we expect to be done installing the new sewer in mid-October. Restoration of the damaged streets/parkways will follow,” in a memo dated July 10, 2012. This meant street closures and travel detours for most students and residents around NEIU just as the Fall semester started. The City originally coordinated with Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to reroute the 92 Foster bus to travel down Lawrence from Kimball to Pulaski until Oct.10, 2012. The bus stop closest to campus would have been at Kimball and Foster, potentially inconveniencing hundreds of NEIU students, employees and neighbors. Concerns were raised about students with disabilities that depend on the CTA being disproportionately affected by the rerouting. However, as of Aug. 27 the CTA rerouted the 92 Foster bus to stop much closer, near the intersection of Bryn Mawr and Central Park. Besides the Foster Avenue detour, the plans included a parking ban on Bryn Mawr to ease the extra traffic flow. The Bryn Mawr parking ban went into effect on Aug. 22, 2012 and according to the posted signs, will remain until Sept. 22, 2012. NEIU students and employees that normally park on Bryn Mawr must find alternate parking or face tickets, towing and the hefty fines associated with them. According to an Aug. 8, 2012 memo from Mark Wilcockson, VP for Finance and Administration at NEIU, “A temporary Level II parking permit will be made available to the NEIU community for purchase during the duration of the closures.” The temporary permits will cost a flat rate of $35. Daily parking permits will still be available for $5 for those that drive only occasionally. Also during the week of Aug. 22, 2012, a new turn lane was created on Bryn Mawr to help the flow into the main campus entrance. The initial work started on St. Louis at Foster and had St. Louis closed just past the WTTW building. The second phase started Aug. 14, 2012 which closed Foster from the east side of St. Louis to the east side of the NEIU access road. Originally, the Foster entrance was to remain partially open until Sept. 10, 2012 but in a campus memo released the week of Aug. 22, 2012, a change in the schedule was announced and the Foster entrance was to completely close as of Aug. 27, 2012. Dana Navarro, NEIU Director of Public Relations stated that during this phase, “There will be no access from Foster at all. Cars should use Bryn Mawr and allow extra travel time.” NEIU also released a second memo saying they were working with the City of Chicago to provide an additional option for people leaving the campus. Effective Thursday, August 30 at 9 a.m., vehicles may exit the main campus from the access road onto Foster going westbound only. The NEIU Foster entrance will remain closed to all incoming traffic as well as outbound traffic toward the east. All dates of this project depend on the weather and any unforeseen challenges the construction teams may find. NEIU will post signs and reminders with updates around campus, on the university’s website and social media pages. The NEIU community should be alert to more traffic and changes in traffic patterns when driving or walking around campus....

LGBTQA Resource Center: More Than Just A Center

Juan Manuel Gonzalez, Staff Writer

September 6, 2012


Filed under News

  The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender Questioning and Allied (LGBTQA) Resource Center is the first of it’s kind here at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), and Director Anthony Papini can’t wait to show NEIU what he has in store for this exciting new school year. After the opening of the Pedroso Center in June of last year, many under-represented groups on campus rallied for a space to call their own, and now a year later their visions are coming to fruition. Papini’s excitement and dedication is evident. His goals for the new year mainly center around “outreach and visibilty. “If at the end of the year, students find the LGBTQA Resource Center to be a safe, comfortable place to hang out and we build awareness on campus about issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and ally development then we did a good job!” When the question of what the center will be doing further into the future, Papini responded that he“would like to see the center grow and match the needs of the university, which might include hosting an LGBTQA Research Symposium, working with alumni of NEIU to develop a scholarship for queer-identified students, or seeing the center doing greater outreach into the community to help increase recruitment and retention of LGBTQA students.” Papini has planned a Big Gay and LBTQA Picnic on Thursday, Sept. 6, which is a part of Fall Into Fun week as well as an “amazing Guest Speaker for National Coming Out Day” on Oct. 11. Along with these major events, the center will be hosting regular coming out support groups, as well as transgender/queer discussion groups, held weekly. Papini looks forward to working with the Pedroso Center and other outlets in order to help promote awareness of the center and those involved. “We absolutely are going to collaborate with the other Resource Centers – after all, it is the five Resource Centers that make up the Pedroso Center. It's at the root of who we are as a division and department. We are all interested in exploring the intersection of identities and want to challenge NEIU students to think about their own identities as well as the identities of other members of the community.” To which he added “After all, everyone has a sexual orientation, a gender identity, and a racial or ethnic identity!” Papini encourages anyone interested in learning more about the center to visit their facebook page which can be found by searching for NEIU LGBTQA Resource Center, as well as their website at: www.neiu.edu/~cdia/LGBTQ_Resource_Center.html...

Drought Hits U.S. Midwest Hard

Christos Liardakis, Assistant Opinions Editor

September 6, 2012


Filed under News

  This summer, the United States experienced one of the worst droughts in history since the dustbowl. Farms went weeks on end without a drop of rain, particularly in the Midwest and, combined with high temperatures, resulted in a significant drop in harvest-ready plants. The drought affected numerous parts of the nation’s industrial sector as well as countries outside of the U.S. The United States has ample agriculture, if one part of the U.S. is experiencing drought and crop loss problems, then the whole food industry suffers as a result. While droughts are not uncommon, this summer the drought conditions were felt all over the United States, leaving almost all farms affected. As the image shows, the majority of the United States experienced at least an abnormal dryness level. The Midwest and Southwestern parts of the United States were particularly hard-hit, experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions. The drought conditions were persistent and occurred during the maturing and harvesting periods of the country’s most important crops- corn. The USDA estimated the drought damaged crops enough to lower corn production to by 13 percent when compared to 2011 crop numbers. Corn and its by-products, is used for wheat in food, fertilizer, ethanol, beverages, animal feed and biodegradable plastics. Director of the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative at the University of Iowa and Agricultural Economist Kevin Kimle explained that “corn matures by about Labor Day, but what happens in dry conditions is it shuts down early if it doesn't get any moisture. When the cost of a base ingredient like corn goes up, it fundamentally affects everything.” The EPA mandates that 13.6 billion gallons of bio-fuels such as ethanol to be produced. At 26 pounds of corn per gallon of ethanol, the amount of corn necessary to meet the EPA’s mandate of could exceed 40 percent of the total corn crop for 2012. The number of beef and dairy cattle also reached 90.8 million head according to the USDA. Cattle typically eat 8 pounds of supplemental feed, mainly corn, in addition to 20 pounds of hay per day. The drought will result in higher prices for both corn and hay up, and potentially force ranchers to cut the amount of feed, the resulting smaller animals. The overall scarcity of feed and beef will negatively affect the consumer beef and dairy market, bringing eventual price increases. Farmers are at a slight advantage during the drought, being covered by federal programs and crop insurance. The livestock industry (beef, poultry and pork) was affected by the drought and subsequent higher feed prices and is not typically covered by insurance. Ranchers face being unable to feed their livestock for the coming winter, and may be forced to thin out herds, creating an excess of meats on the market and lowering prices. Brian Fuchs, a climatologist at the National Drought Mitigation Center acknowledges that this may seem like the one good thing to come out of everything, but he also warned that these tough decisions “create a glut of meat and force prices to go down in the short term," Fuchs says. "Once that glut is gone, prices spike from lack of supply, and it will take several calving seasons to build that supply up again." The United States will not be the only country affected. Every year, the U.S. ships thousands of tons of grains as foreign aid to impoverished third world countries. These countries include Afghanistan, India, Congo, Nepal, and many more. The full list of countries that rely on U.S. food aid can be found at http://foodaid.org/food-aid-programs/food-for-peace/. While the U.S. has pledged not to decrease foreign aid foodstuffs, the increase of prices could have a devastating effect on countries with food stability issues that rely on purchasing grain from overseas....

YOU are the Force Behind Campus Safety!

Linda Monacelli, Staff Writer

September 6, 2012


Filed under News

  So maybe you're fresh out of high school, new to college, and ready to explore and tackle the world of higher education. Or perhaps you're a professor on campus, looking forward to an exciting semester with a fresh batch of eager minds. You could also be an administrator, member of the maintenance...

Student Activities Office Transitions to Student Leadership and Development Office

Juan Gonzalez, Distribution Manager

September 6, 2012


Filed under News

  For students, a new school year comes with new faces and new changes. The Student Leadership and Development (SLD) office also experiences the same changes we face. This year, not only have they gone from being the Student Activities office to the new Student Leadership and Development office,...

New Department, New Director: Sharron Evans Heads Student Rights and Responsabilities

Linda Monacelli, Staff Writer

September 6, 2012


Filed under News

  Former Director of Student Leadership Development (SLD) Sharron Evans is now the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities (SRR), as of July 1. The SRR office, B-129, is located within B-119, in the B building, between the computer lab and Pedroso Center. The Student Rights and Responsibilities...

NEIU Ranks With Top Universities on Affordability

Melissa Brand, Staff Writer

September 6, 2012


Filed under News

  Newsweek’s annual edition of “College Rankings 2012” ranked Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) as sixth in the U.S for Most Affordable Schools. Not only is NEIU ranked high on the list, but the company the university keeps is impressive. The five universities preceding NEIU according...

El-Centro to Move to New Facility

Sean E. Dotson, Staff Writer

August 19, 2012


Filed under News

  The El-Centro campus will move to a brand new building in 2013, according to Maria Luna-Duarte, Interim Director of El-Centro, and Dana Navarro, Director of Public Relations for NEIU. The campus will move from the current leased location at 3119 North Pulaski Ave. to land purchased by NEIU near the intersection of Avondale Ave. and Drake Ave. The El-Centro campus provides services for just over a thousand students each semester, according to Luna-Duarte. “We definitely needed more space. It just so happened our lease was expiring and this was a perfect opportunity.” The current lease on the property, owned by the not-for-profit ASPIRA Association, expired on June 30, 2012, though it was extended for one year with an option to extend an additional year. According to a report from NEIU President Sharon Hahs to the Board of Trustees (BoT), the current El-Centro location is limiting the University’s ability to serve NEIU students. In April 2011, the University initiated the search for a new location, one with “adequate space to meet the growing student demand; increased classroom, computer, and student support space; adequate parking for students, faculty and staff; and improved access to El Centro for those using public transportation,” President Hahs wrote in her report. The University purchased the land for $11.5 million after fielding proposals from four potential sites. “This is super exciting for us.  This new location is going to offer a lot of visibility for the campus,” said Navarro. “Anybody who drives down the Kennedy expressway is going to see our new building.  It’s going to be big, and it’s going to be flashy.” The facility itself, with an estimated cost of $15 million, will be three floors, and include 17 general purpose classrooms, 3 seminar rooms, an art/music specialty space, a small multi-use auditorium, open and closed office spaces, one student computer lab, a learning resource center, a community-focused meeting space, a lounge, and a welcoming lobby.  All teaching spaces will have digital projection capabilities, and there will be building-wide wireless Internet. “The building is going to be state-of-the-art, and it’s going to be eco-friendly,” Luna-Duarte said, indicating that the new campus will be certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, building. LEED is a national third-party certification program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. One of the University’s primary goals, according to Navarro, is to create more space for classes.  Students, she said, are sometimes unable to register for courses they need because the space to hold classes does not exist. “We are busting at the seams here.  With this new El-Centro campus, we’re going to be able to offer a lot more classes.  We’re hoping to be able to offer classes students are really going to need in order to graduate, in the time frame that they need.” The BoT authorized $28.5 million for the entire project.  Reports estimate the cost of land, demolition, and construction at $27 million. The University will pay for the project through University debt with potential support from tax increment financing funds. The project has not been without troubles. The existing El-Centro campus leased its facility from ASPIRA for $220,999 per year. The one-year extension currently in place costs $228,000, and will go up to $236,700 should the University seek another extension. The University does not anticipate any interruption in service during the moving process.  When asked for a firm date on which the new campus will open, Navarro couldn’t confirm one. The university initially wanted to open by Fall 2013, however, that date has since been pushed back.  “You have to get approval from this office; then you have to get approval from another office, and then another office.  Some of those approvals took longer than we initially anticipated, so that has pushed back the date for when we can break ground to start construction,” said Luna-Duarte. “We were approved for the zoning, but there’s still one more process that needs to be completed before we can actually break ground. Everything has to be in place,” said Luna Duarte, “But of course we’ll make a big deal about it and you guys will definitely know when we’re at that point.”...

NEIU Police Blotter

April 27, 2012


Filed under Police Blotter

  Theft less than $300 On April 2, 2012 at 3:17 p.m. at the Student Union Building, an unknown offender stole a victim’s cell phone after it was left unattended in the bathroom. On April 5, 2012 at 2:42 p.m. at the P.E. Building, an unknown offender cut a bike lock and stole the tires...

Roosevelt Students Rally at Thompson Center for Jobs

Janean L. Watkins, Editor in Chief

April 17, 2012


Filed under News

              Students from Roosevelt High School gathered outside of the James Thompson Center on Tuesday, April 3, in protest of the lack of summer jobs for youth. The protesters demanded answers from city officials as to whether or not there would be an increase in job opportunities for youth in Chicago. Students held signs that read “Invest in the future,” “More jobs = less violence,” and “Travel to my neighborhood & I’ll tell you what I want.” According to Chicago Reporter, since 2008, 530 youths have been killed in Chicago. This same source reports that in 2010, a whopping 26,984 juveniles were arrested in the city. These startling statistics are juxtaposed against the lack of jobs available to youth during the months, when the majority of criminal activity is on an incline. Northeastern Illinois University’s Center for Labor Market Studies prepared a study for the Alternative Schools Network, which states that in Illinois, the youth employment rate went from, “50 percent in the 1999-2000 periods to 36 percent in 2007 and to only 27.5 percent in 2011.” Young adults are speaking out for themselves about what their needs are. Yesenia Nova, an affiliate of Put Illinois To Work, said, “What we need is the motivation. That’s what really helped me personally; to have a job, to be important as a young adult, to have the skills to succeed in our careers.” In January, Chicago Urban League held a Youth Joblessness Hearing. At this hearing, youths were able to speak out on their own behalf regarding the dire situation of the lack of jobs for youths. “These jobs would help us become better parents and be more responsible,” said Myhara Primrose. Students all over the city expressed a desire to find employment for a variety of reasons that range from the need to care for their small children, to keeping them out of the prison industrial complex. “I have two little ones to take care of, so I have a lot of responsibility,” said Dorothy Howard, representative of Jobs for Youth. “… By me having a job, I think it will be a good step for me toward being independent.”  ...