Loyola celebrates Thai New Year

By Lisa Fiandaca

The Thai Cultural Organization of Loyola University Chicago will be celebrating Thai New Year in CFSU at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Thai New Year, or Songkron, is an important three-day celebration in Thailand that is family oriented.  One tradition during Thai New Year is a water fight.  People try to get their friends and family as soaked as possible, which symbolizes a cleansing of the bad.

The Thai Cultural Organization will provide authentic Thai food, music, entertainment, and there will also be a traditional throwing of water.

Improvements planned for CTA Red Line

By Kathryn Hills

Residents of the 49th Ward, including Rogers Park, voted last week in favor of projects costing $1.3 million in order to improve the CTA Red Line.

RedEye reports that out of 65, 000 people,  1, 652 residents ages 16 and up voted and selected 14 different projects for the line.

Out of the projects selected, two received official approval from the government.

The first project will add an additional bench and heat lamp shelter on each Jarvis, Morse and Loyola platforms, costing $84, 000.

The second will allow Chicago artists to create murals on 12 underpasses, seven of them on the Metra, and also at Rogers, Fargo, Chase, Touhy, and Greenleaf Avenue underpasses. This will also cost $84, 000, according to RedEye.

RedEye, quoting from Alderman Joe Moore’s Web site, says that the projects will be completed in the 2010 construction season.

Water colloquium makes splash at Loyola

Given the popularity of bottled water, it’s arguably the new “pause that refreshes.”

But a group of Loyola University Chicago students, faculty and administrators would like bottled water drinkers to give pause and consider the environmental and human impact of their consumption.

With more than 50,000 bottles of water are sold each year on Loyola’s three Chicago area campuses, the university certainly leaves a sizeable environmental footprint. On the most basic level, there are the energy costs that go into manufacturing and transporting the bottles, and concerns about how many of the plastic bottles end up in landfills.

But there also is increasing evidence that the private water industry is tapping into public water sources around the world, raising serious environmental, social, legal, ethical and economic issues.

Consider a controversy in Cochabamba, Bolivia, where residents rioted after the government sold its water rights to a private company that promptly raised rates by 60%. Similarly, the residents of McCloud, Calif. blocked a plan by a private firm to bottle water flowing from nearby Mount Shasta.

Growing awareness of these and other water-use controversies has prompted members of the Loyola community to raises awareness on campus, culminating with a week-long colloquium April 12-16  to explore and discuss the issue.

“The goal is to raise awareness of, teach about and debate the multiple controversial issues surrounding this timely, relevant, important local and global issue,” says Nancy Tuchman, Director of the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Policy.

Tuchman organized the colloquium with John Hardt, Assistant to the President for Mission and Identity, along with a steering committee of faculty and administrators. Among the colloquium events: blind taste tests comparing tap water to bottled water; a debate on the issues between Loyola’s Debate Team and Hillsdale College; the screenings of the documentaries Tapped and Blue Gold; various lectures; and the building of sculptures using water bottles.

Student research and involvement began long before the colloquium. Amy Galanter, 22, and environmental science and Spanish major, became involved in the colloquium after taking a Solutions to Environmental Problems (STEP) course.

“In Chicago, we are fortunate to have a source of fresh, clean tap water from Lake Michigan,” Galanter says. “Why should we drink a bottle of water that has been imported from someplace else?”

Erin Cavanaugh, 24, a first year medical student, learned of the Bolivian controversy during a 2005 visit to that country. When she heard the issue being discussed on campus, she became involved.

“As a medical student, I think it’s important to be aware of such global issues,” Cavanaugh says. “I’m not sure now aware Loyola students are of this issue. We need to educate them about the impact of drinking bottled water and hopefully get them to change their habits.”

Man shot in ear in Rogers Park

A 21-year-old man was found shot in the ear Tuesday morning in West Rogers Park, Chicago police told Chicago Breaking News.

Police responded to a call of a person shot at about 1:15 a.m. in the 6200 block of North Washtenaw Avenue, police told Chicago Breaking News. When officers arrived, they found a man shot in the ear,  the report said.

The victim was taken to Swedish Covenant Hospital and later transferred to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. There was no immediate information available about his condition, Chicago Breaking News said.

First provost candidate visits Loyola

By Meredith Garretson 

Joseph Weixlmann resigned after serving seven years as provost at St. Louis University. But he expressed an interest in trying again as a finalist for the provost position at Loyola University Chicago.   

Weixlmann appeared at a Town Hall meeting last week to introduce himself to the Loyola  community as one of three candidates for the provost job. He also allowed time for questions and answers about his candidacy.   

About 30 faculty, staff and students came to the fourth floor of the Information Commons Thursday to participate in a Town Hall meeting with Weixlmann,  a tenured English professor at Saint Louis University. He served as provost of the University from 2002-2009.  

Before the meeting began, some in the audience wondered why  Weixlmann is seeking another provost position after recently leaving one. During the course of the meeting, Weixlmann explained that for six of the seven years he was provost at St. Louis University, he and the president, the Rev. Lawrence Biondi saw eye to eye. This change  in the seventh year, due in part to some differences with Biondi, Weixlmann said.   

“I felt I was able to effectively represent the concerns of the university community during those six years,” he said. “It was during my seventh year as provost that I felt it was becoming more difficult to be an effective advocate for the community and bring meaningful and effective resolutions.”   

When asked why he chose to pursue the Provost position at Loyola, Weixlmann was very adamant that it was Loyola who contacted him when the position became available. He had to make the decision to either taking a senior administrative position, or continue teaching, but not do both, he said.   Weixlmann believes that he can make the strongest contribution as a provost.   

 I am excited about possibly becoming part of the Loyola community. I see the school as poised to move forward. I also believe the University has a clear vision and plan that can be realized, ” Weixlmann said. 


If chosen for the position, Weixlmann hopes to make changes to the Core Curriculum. He would like to infuse Jesuit Catholic character into the curriculum. He would also like to offer faculty development programs including critical thinking and discussion workshops.    

After the meeting, the rev. Robert Bireley, 76, professor of history at Loyola expressed his initial feelings about Weixelmann.  
As a graduate of a Jesuit high school and having worked at a Jesuit college for the past eight years, I have seen the success and good things that comes out of instilling Jesuit principles into students, faculty, and curriculum,” Bireley said. Im quite impressed. He has a lot of experience, but he will have to learn to work with a strong president.

The two other finalists will come to the university within the week. Gail Baker, dean of the College of Communication, Fine Arts, and Media at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, will be in Chicago through Tuesday, and acting Loyola Provost John Pelissero Wednesday-Friday.