Loyola student teachers locked out by strike

By Jess Livinghouse

Some 350,000 students in Chicago will continue to miss school as the Chicago Teachers’ Union strike carries on into its second week. However, Chicago Public School students are not the only ones being affected by the protest.

Loyola University Chicago School of Education students are also locked out by the strike.

Loyola junior Catharine McCarron, an education and history double-major, is one of the students feeling the effects of the strike.

“We are supposed to start our ‘clinicals’ on Oct. 15,” she said, “however with the strike taking place the teachers will not have enough time to get acquainted with their students before we come in to student teach.”

In an email to Loyola University Chicago students, Chris Skrable, Loyola’s service earning program manager, instructed students, “not to cross the picket line” or to be “functioning to replace or substitute for the normal teaching activities of CPS teachers.”

Skrable also stated in the email that Loyola has asked instructors of these service-learning courses to be accommodating in the event that the strike continues and students are unable to meet the minimum hour requirements.

For Loyola’s School of Education students, clinical experiences generally last for five weeks and are a crucial part of earning a degree in education as they give students with an opportunity to gain first hand teaching experience.

As to where Loyola students will be teaching, McCarron says that’s up in the air.

“We’ve been told they’re looking into charter schools or possibly making up missed hours by teaching on Saturday’s but at this point nothing is certain. Student teaching is nerve-racking enough as it is, but all this uncertainty makes it that much more stressful.”

Despite this anxiety, McCarron is careful not to pick a side in the debate just yet.

“It will be very interesting to see what happens after this issue is no longer on the front page. Will the teachers continue to fight for what is best for students, or will they just settle for higher salaries?”

Loyola to hold memorial for deceased student

John Versnel
Loyola University Chicagowill hold a memorial service at 7:30 p.m. Monday for senior John Versnel IV, who died Saturday when he fell onto the third rail of the Red Line L near the school’s Lake Shore Campus in Rogers Park.

Here is the announcement from the university:

Tonight, Monday, September 17, Loyola will host a memorial service for senior John Versnel IV who passed away on September 15.  The memorial service will be held in Madonna della Strada Chapel at 7:30 p.m.

Following the service, a reception will be held in the Mundelein Center Cardinal’s Suite.

Here are the details of Versnel’s death from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Versnel, 21, of the 6500 block of North Lakewood Avenue, was pronounced dead at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston at 1:29 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Minutes earlier, he fell onto the tracks at the Loyola Red Line station, in the 1200 block of West Loyola Avenue, police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Police said he’d been drinking with friends earlier when he exited a train at the station, bumped into a pillar on the platform and stumbled onto the electrified third rail, according to the Sun-Times.

Versnel was not hit by a train, CTA spokesman Brian Steele said. The incident halted trains for about an hour, requiring riders to take a bus shuttle between the Addison and Howard stations, the Sun-Times reports.

Versnel was a native of Mercer Island, Washington, and attended St. Monica’s Parish School from kindergarten through 8th grade, then attended nearby parochial school Seattle Prep in Seattle, where he graduated in 2009, according to Patch.

He is survived by his  father and mother, John and Suzanne Versnel and younger sisters,  Margaret and Annie, all of Mercer Island, according to Patch.