Loyola to ban bottled water sales on campus

By Ana Cordova

Bottled water will no longer be sold at Loyola University Chicago.

The university made the announcement Thursday in the wake of an earlier student vote to ban bottled water sales on campus.

The ban will begin this fall.

The vote was 56.7% in favor of the ban and 43.3% opposed, according to results released March 29 by the Unified Student Government Association following a two-day election.

The student vote was simply an advisory referendum, and not binding Loyola administrators to starting clearing the campus store shelves of water bottles and shutting down the vending machines.

But newly elected Unified Student Government Association president Julia Poirier,  who championed the bottled water referendum in the recent student election, worked with Loyola administrators to move forward with the ban.

Here is the formal announcement released Thursday by the university:

Following a year-long educational campaign, “UnCap Loyola,” on March 28, 2012, a majority of students passed a referendum to phase out bottled water on Loyola University Chicago’s campuses. The campaign, led by the Student Environmental Alliance (SEA), in partnership with Loyola’s Unified Student Government Association (USGA), was focused on the growing concern on campus about local water privatization and  fair access to water on a global level.

“We consider the sale of bottled water on campus in conflict with the Jesuit tradition and Loyola’s mission ‘to be in service of humanity through learning, justice and faith.’ We feel that safe and accessible water is a fundamental human right and must not be handled in ways that put profits over people,” SEA and USGA representatives said in a joint statement.

Following a colloquium on the topic of water, which was conducted by the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Policy (CUERP) in April 2010, and a week-long series of events on campus, the students felt the time was right to take action regarding the social justice, environmental, and economical implications associated with bottled water. The year-long, “UnCap Loyola” campaign included film showings, public service announcements, personal pledges, and distribution of reusable water bottles.

In addition, Loyola’s administration has supported water conservation efforts on campus by distributing reusable bottles to students and guests, installing 35 bottle refill stations at key locations around the Lake Shore and Water Tower campuses and implementing water conservation projects in buildings and on the grounds of Loyola.

“It is exciting to see the leadership and commitment from the students on the topic of water,” said Aaron Durnbaugh, director of sustainability at Loyola. “With our location on the banks of the greatest fresh water resource in the world, our drinking water could be taken for granted, but the students recognize its value and our responsibility to protect and preserve this resource for all.”

The next steps in this campaign to phase out bottled water on campus will be the removal of bottled water from dining service venues and catering starting fall 2012. Bottled water will then be removed from vending and other contracts in 2013.

Loyola is committed to the continued education of the Loyola community on water supply and conservation topics in the protection of Lake Michigan and regional water resources through faculty and student research and coursework.

Rogers Park shop owner shoots alleged jewel thief

By Jose Silva


A man was shot and wounded after allegedly trying to hold-up a jewelry store in Rogers Park.


Here is the story from the Chicago Tribune:


A robber fired two shots inside the small jewelry shop in Chicago’s West Rogers Park neighborhood as he threatened Georgi Layous and frightened Layous’ wife and two grandchildren, even snatching a necklace and a purse from the 4-year-old granddaughter.


Before leaving, the robber turned his back and tried to get surveillance video from a computer. The 66-year-old Layous, paralyzed on his right side from a stroke years ago, said he saw his chance.

He told his wife in Arabic, “Give me the gun.” As his grandchildren cried on a couch behind him, Layous said, he took the .380-caliber pistol in his left hand and shot the robber in the leg.

When police arrived, they found Musa Thomas, 19, on the ground next to a backpack filled with jewelry from the store, including the necklace and the purse, officials said. He was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston.

“I am very, very sorry for him,” Layous said.

Layous said he has known Thomas for five years. The teenager would sometimes come into the Starlight Jewelry store in the 2700 block of West Devon Avenue to sell jewelry.

When Thomas announced a robbery Monday afternoon, Layous said he thought he was joking.

“He came in with luggage, a school bag, and said, ‘Hi, how are you,”’ Layous said. “He opened his bag and took the gun out right away. He said, ‘I’ll kill you.’ And he told me to put the money in the bag right away.”

Layous said he told him, “You’re my friend. How could you do this to me?”

Thomas got angry when he found only $11 in the register, so he jumped onto the counter and pushed Layous to the ground, Layous said. “I told him I don’t have any money, and he pushed me,” he said.

Layous said Thomas also pushed his wife to the ground, telling her he would kill her if she moved. After walking from one room to another, Layous said, Thomas took jewelry from some cases and robbed his granddaughter Sophia.

“He took the jewelry from my granddaughter,” Layous said. “He snatched it from her neck.”

When the robber turned away, the girl grabbed some of her toys and stuffed them into her pockets so “the jewelry bandit” wouldn’t get them, he said.

Layous said he opened two safes as the robber screamed and fired twice, missing him and his family.

While Thomas was at a computer trying to remove surveillance video, Layous said his wife handed him the gun he keeps in the store for protection. “I shot him in the leg,” Layous said.

“If he didn’t get to the gun, I don’t even know what would have happened,” said the children’s father, Joseph Layous.

He is trying to help his children understand the robbery, and he hopes they will recover.

“Not all guns are bad,” Joseph Layous said he told his children.

Thomas, of the 1300 block of South Union Avenue, was charged with armed robbery. Georgi Layous said police took his gun but did not cite him.

Layous said he has operated other jewelry shops on Devon Avenue for more than 20 years.

His daughter Caroline Layous said her father has a kind heart. “He’s always trying to help people.”

Loyola students throw shuttle service under the bus

By Emma Adelman

Many Loyola University Chicago students are dissatisfied with the quality of the school’s shuttle bus service running from Lake Shore Campus to Water Tower Campus.

The Loyola shuttle service operates weekdays, when classes are in session, and during the academic year. It is available for Loyola students, faculty and staff only. Students must show their Loyola I.D. to ride the shuttle. The buses run in a continuous loop between Lake Shore Campus and the Water Tower Campus at approximately 20-minute intervals starting at 7 a.m. at Water Tower Campus and 7:30 a.m. at Lake Shore Campus. The shuttle service ends at both campuses around 12:30 p.m.

Some students wish the shuttle service was extended to the weekends.

“I wish the shuttles ran every 15 minutes, instead of 20. I also really wish they had more service at nights. Service on the weekends would be a lot better too,” said Nick Mahan, 20, a sophomore finance major.

Since the shuttles only run during the academic year, there is no shuttle service during the summer. Some students are frustrated by this absence.

“It is really frustrating that the shuttle does not run during the summer. I take summer classes downtown but live on Lake Shore, so my commute is just so much longer in the summer. It is really annoying and I feel like there is no reason why Loyola shouldn’t run the service during the summer,” said Scott Boynton, 19, a sophomore marketing major.

Many students find the shuttle service to lack efficiency and quality.

“The shuttle is often really overcrowded and stuffy. It never comes on time and is completely inefficient often making many students late to class. Loyola really should look into getting extra buses that run on more regular intervals,” said Steve Carpenter, 20, a sophomore sports management major.

Some students are so fed up with the inefficiency of the shuttle service that they would rather take public transportation.

“I mean they almost never are on time; they leave early, show up late, and I honestly take the L as much as possible to avoid using the shuttle. It’s much more reliable,” said Nick Amatangelo, 19, a sophomore communication and history major.

Despite the many complaints, some students are satisfied with the Loyola’s bus shuttle service.

“I think it is very convenient. The schedule I think works very well. I don’t really have any complaints,” said Erica Garcia, 19, a freshmen Spanish major.