Semester in Review: Trump, Rogers Park Changes and Loyola Headlines

Trump’s First Months

April 29 marked the 100th day of President Donald J. Trump’s term. He has issued 34 executive orders, confirmed one Supreme Court justice and sparked thousands of worldwide protests by everyday citizens.

Loyola wasn’t absent from these demonstrations. On Jan. 20, about 200 Loyola students, faculty and administrators rallied on the East Quad and marched to Damen Student Center to protest Trump’s inauguration. That same day, a massive protest against Trump occurred across downtown Chicago, where many Loyola students were present.

Rising senior Matthar Bayo participated in the on-campus demonstration for Students for Worker Justice and said he was happy with the turnout.

“It shows that people care. It shows that the Loyola community as a unit cares,” said the political science and international studies double major.

The following morning, Jan. 21, Chicago joined with hundreds of other cities worldwide in organizing its own Women’s March, which was focused on promoting women’s equality.

Rachel Goldense is a rising senior who attended the Women’s March and said she would continue her activism beyond the march.

“I think if there’s enough unrest and protest, at some point [the Trump administration] has no choice [but to listen],” said the English major. “They can’t continue with hateful rhetoric and [legislation] when there are people standing in front of the White House saying, ‘You can’t do this.’”

Trumps’ budget plan significantly cuts funding for Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOGs), which are used by students at Loyola with high financial need. SEOGs cover about $1.1 million for Loyola students, according to Loyola’s Financial Aid Office Director Tobyn Friar.

The undocumented student population at Loyola also still faces uncertainty under the Trump administration. After using harsh rhetoric towards illegal immigrants on the campaign trail, many undocumented students are still worried Trump may abolish DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

DACA, enacted by former President Barack Obama in 2012, temporarily protects undocumented students in the United States who were brought into the country before they turned 16. If abolished, undocumented students may face deportation.

Several conservative students at Loyola have been satisfied so far with Trump’s job as president, citing his economic and immigration policies as reasons they feel happy they voted for him.

Rising sophomore Tiffy Boguslawsky said she thinks Trump’s plans for the country outweigh the criticisms of him.

“I definitely think he has the best interests of the country in mind,” the political science major said.

Rogers Park, A Changing Neighborhood

Rogers Park, one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Chicago and where many Loyola students call home, is starting to transform and some are concerned local residents and businesses are in danger of getting pushed out.

The Woodruff Arcade Building, which houses a Planned Parenthood and many local businesses in Rogers Park, such as The Coffee Shop and The Mustard Seed Christian Bookstore, was sold in December to a new owner who plans on tearing it down and replacing it with residential apartments and first-floor retail space. Businesses currently leasing space there have until the end of the year to vacate.

Tammie Mann, a co-owner of The Coffee Shop, said the situation has been difficult.

“When I left my business career and opened this, I for sure thought this was where I would finish out my work life,” Mann said. “It never occurred to me that I would be having to make … another career decision.”

The nearly century-old building is one of the only remaining arcade shopping centers in the city. The Edgewater Historical Society launched a campaign to persuade 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman to support landmark status for the building in April.

Another development nearby had Rogers Park community members outraged. A proposal to build a Target store, as well as community space, a green room and housing, next to the Caroline Hedger Apartments at Sheridan Road and Devon Avenue would inconvenience senior citizens who use the current community center to socialize.

Other Rogers Park residents and Loyola students voiced their concerns at community forums in February and April that the Target development, called The Concord at Sheridan, would threaten local businesses.

Although Rogers Park remains one of the more affordable neighborhoods to live in, Loyola students said they have still seen median rent prices increase in the past year as development has picked up.

Loyola News

New Loyola President Jo Ann Rooney made several significant actions during her first full semester in office.

In January, Rooney announced that Loyola’s tuition will rise by 2.5 percent for the upcoming academic year. She also announced room and board rates would rise by 2.5 percent and Loyola’s student development fee would rise by 1.9 percent.

In honor of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Rooney and Thomas Kelly, Loyola’s Title IX coordinator, sent out a gender-based violence climate survey to examine sexual assault instances and other gender-based crimes at the university. The results and findings of the survey will be released during the fall 2017 semester, along with actions the university plans to take to address its findings.

Loyola’s chapter of fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon was suspended in March after an investigation by the university following allegations of hazing.

Graduate student workers in Loyola’s College of Arts and Sciences voted 71 to 49 to unionize in February, becoming one of the first unions of its kind at a private university.

CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this story rounded the tuition and room and board increases to 3 percent rather than the actual 2.5 percent, and rounded  the student development fee to 2 percent rather than 1.9 percent.

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