DePaul employees included in Phase 1c, online graduation and yet another snowstorm
Plus some online videos and games to keep you occupied during your snow day.
Welcome back, everyone! For those of us reading from Chicagoland, we hope you are safe, warm and out of the snow (and getting dibs, for those who practice). And Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!
In case you missed it, Pueblo published the Amor Issue last week. Check out the pieces here — a celebration of familial, communal, ancestral, platonic and romantic love. There’s also a playlist of made by the Pueblo team themselves to tune into to support the amorous energy as you read, check it out:
There’s a lot more to get into this week, so here’s the news.
14 East COVID-19 Reporting form and updates
Last week, 14 East reported that Chicago’s 1c phase of vaccine rollout is “projected” to include higher education employees. The city is currently in Phase 1b of its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. This stage makes it possible for frontline essential workers to receive the vaccine. At the end of March, the city is expected to begin Phase 1c, which broadens eligibility to “all other essential workers.” Projected to be included under phase 1c are DePaul’s faculty, staff and on-campus student employees. This is all subject to change, and updates may be found through the city’s COVID-19 vaccine website.
This week, 14 East is rolling out our Vaccine Guide as the first of what is anticipated to be more consistent reporting on Chicago’s vaccine rollout. You’ll find more coverage in our weekly publishing, in this newsletter, in guides and in our next Public Newsroom (more details on that soon!).
As such, we’re looking to you, dear readers, to guide our reporting. What do you want to know about the vaccine? What do you find confusing? Have you noticed anything vaccine-related in your neighborhood? If you have ideas, thoughts or questions about Chicago’s vaccine rollout, we want to hear it, so please fill in and share our Google Form.
In the past day, Illinois reported another 1,420 cases, bringing Illinois’ total tally up to 1,163,574. However, the numbers are looking up overall: today, Chicago’s positivity and death rates have dropped, with a 3.7 percent positivity rate being the city’s lowest recorded since July. Additionally, over 351,000 vaccines have been administered to Chicagoans, part of a seven-day rolling average of 66,320 vaccines administered statewide.
Right now, there’s a winter storm warning across the city with a potential for 8 to 13 inches of snow by tonight, NBC5 Chicago reports. Make sure you’re stocked up and bundled up!
In unexpected Valentine’s Day news, a baby was born at O’Hare airport yesterday morning. A Chicago Police officer thought he was encountering a stranded vehicle, but discovered that the woman inside was giving birth.
A temporary vaccine center has opened in North Chicago and is expected to serve 1,700 senior citizens in the area. In a similar vein, Chicago has opened four vaccine sites for Chicago Public Schools teachers, in order to comply with CTU’s reopening agreement.
A DPU Alert reminder: All in-person classes have been canceled from February 15 to 16 due to extreme weather conditions. The Student Center and the Ray will remain open with reduced hours. All other campus buildings will be closed. The Student Center hours for Tuesday are as follows: 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Ray’s hours will be 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
For the second year in a row, DePaul’s graduation ceremonies will be held online due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, those searching for some face-to-face graduation recognition will be given the opportunity to receive it through a series of “celebratory on-campus activities.” Currently, few details are available on what these activities will consist of, but they are currently projected to take place over 10 unspecified days in May and will all be held outdoors, with full consideration given to COVID-19 safety protocols. News and updates on these events will be announced on DePaul’s commencement website.
As with last year’s ceremonies, graduates will be recognized through personal slides shown during online graduation presentations. Each college will have their own virtual ceremony, which will include faculty and student speakers. Students wishing to apply to be a student speaker for their college can do so here.
Though students won’t be walking across the stage at Wintrust Arena, they’ll have the option of purchasing a cap and gown through Herff Jones. That’s right, purchasing — not the traditional rentals. No more being tracked down by the graduation coordinators to return the physical emblem of your academic accomplishments (though there is a current Change.org petition for DePaul to go further to cover the cap and gown cost for students, out of respect for the financial burdens and hardships faced by students over the past year).
Prices range from $66.98 for a bachelor package to $124.98 for a doctoral package, not including taxes and shipping. International stoles, graduation announcements, tassels, class rings and more are also available for purchase. The purchasing of a cap and gown is not required for graduation but is being made available to students who desire traditional graduation photos and keepsakes.
DePaul’s Career Closet, sponsored by the Career Center, provides free professional attire to students in need to best equip them for job interviews and the professional workforce. Since the campus went remote, the closet has been closed to students. That is, until a recent migration of the closet’s supplies into the student food pantry located in the Lincoln Park Student Center (LPSC).
Though scaled back, this temporary rehousing of the Career Closet ensures that students will have continued access to its resources such as suit jackets and dress shirts. The student food pantry is in room 326 in the LPSC and is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. A student ID is required for access to the room. Donations to the student food pantry can still be made by dropping off nonperishable items inside the west entrance to the LPSC.
This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. Traditionally, this event, which begins a 40-day period of reflection leading up to Easter (not including Sundays), is commemorated by the smearing of ashes on parishioners’ foreheads by clergy members. In a socially distanced world, this will be replaced by the contactless sprinkling of ashes atop heads, per Archdiocesan guidelines. A full list of where ashes and blessings will be distributed at DePaul and Lenten Mass services can be found here.
The Los Angeles Times reports that congressional support is growing for a Capitol riot commission similar to the one following 9/11. After former President Trump’s second acquittal there is bipartisan support for an independent Capitol riot commission to ensure insurrections don’t take place in the future. The concern is whether creating this commission would divide lawmakers even further.
Trump’s acquittal is polarizing GOP factions, according to the Washington Post. There are Republicans who no longer want anything to do with former President Donald Trump, while there are others who continue to openly embrace him. With Trump vowing to return to politics, how the party split will affect politics is yet to be determined. The seven Republican senators who crossed the aisle are already receiving backlash from Senator Lindsey Graham (SC).
Two Republicans who voted for former President Trump’s conviction were censured, according to Vox. Republican Senators Bill Cassidy (LA) and Richard Burr (NC) are the censured senators. Their choice to convict Trump is likely due to a recent win by Cassidy and Burr’s choice not to run for reelection.
CNN reports that the World Health Organization (WHO) Wuhan found possible signs of a larger original outbreak in 2019. The lead investigator for WHO mission, Peter Ben Embarek, said that there are several signs of the spread, including over a dozen strains of the virus in Wuhan in December. The WHO mission consisted of 17 WHO scientists and 17 Chinese scientists that examined genetic material from the virus — some from early December and other partial genetic samples that led to the discovery of 13 strains in China.
Plant Salon — If you’re like me, you’re constantly looking for more plant babies to expand the growing jungle in your home. In Chicago, there is no shortage of great, locally owned and operated florists, gardening shops and nurseries. With such a large selection to choose from, the choice of where to spend your money might be overwhelming. Yet, few stores offer something as unique as Plant Salon, a Black and woman-owned plant and natural beauty shop located in West Town. Their plant collection features affordable foliage, fun pots and planters and all your gardening essentials, while their beauty collection promotes ethically sourced products that nourish your skin and help the planet. Whether you’re a plant or beauty lover — or both like me — this boutique has a wide variety of plants and products that you’re sure to love. So next time your green thumb is itching, head to Plant Salon to adopt the newest leafy addition to your household. | Claire Malon
GeoGuessr — Maybe it’s my geography major brain, but GeoGuessr has to be one of the best ways to fulfill a specific type of procrastination: the kind where you’re procrastinating one task but doing another, less urgent one. The free online game drops you into a random location on Google Maps and the goal is to guess as closely to your location as possible with only your surroundings. You can play timed versions or just practice — either way, this game is a fun way to see something new while we’re still spending our days inside. | Francesca Mathewes
Chateau renovation videos — In the past few months, I’ve found myself wandering into the “a middle-aged white couple renovates a rundown chateau that they purchased in the English/French countryside” area of YouTube, and I’m truly not disappointed. While there’s a dearth of chateau renovation channels, my favorite has to be “Doing It Ourselves,” which documents a family and their in-laws’ attempt to renovate a massive chateau in northwestern France, completely by themselves, without professional help. The episodes are just a tick above your garden variety reno video, without the sometimes aggressive personalities of HGTV hosts or stock music and with a nice touch of dry humor, historical discoveries (like old bottles of wine from the early 1900s) and, occasionally, hearty recipes. | Cam Rodriguez
Remember: Landlords are required to keep apartments at adequate temperatures throughout the winter — buildings must maintain 68 degrees from 8:30 a.m to 10:30 p.m and 66 degrees from 10:30 p.m to 8:30 a.m. There is a $1,000 fine per day for landlords not maintaining proper temperatures. If your landlord is violating this rule, call 311 for assistance or report them here.
Warming Centers and Weather Safety
Englewood Community Service Center
1140 West 79th Street, Chicago, IL 60620
Garfield Community Service Center
10 South Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60612
Dr. Martin Luther King Community Service Center
4314 South Cottage Grove, Chicago, IL 60653
North Area Community Service Center
845 West Wilson Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640
South Chicago Community Service Center
8650 South Commercial Avenue, Chicago, IL 60617
Trina Davila Community Service Center
4312 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60639
For suburban warming centers, click here.
All of these testing sites can be accessed for free and without insurance. For information on how to receive a COVID-19 vaccine within Chicago, click here.
Howard Brown offers free, walk-in COVID-19 testing at multiple locations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, in addition to mobile testing sites that are updated weekly, which you can access here.
The Illinois Department of Health and the City of Chicago have opened more free COVID-19 testing sites in the city and surrounding counties, which are listed with more information here.
In the spring, the City of Chicago partnered with CORE response to set up free drive-thru and walk-in testing sites in the city, primarily on the South and West sides, with appointments available Monday through Friday. Register here.
The city has also updated its COVID-19 testing program with more mobile sites, which change weekly. More info here.
Mental Health Resources
At Open Counseling, there’s a list of people and nonprofits with counseling services available for free or low cost.
This website compiles mental health resources, including therapist/counselor directories and other online resources.
The Center on Halsted offers behavioral health, anti-violence and educational resources for LGBTQIA+ people.
Howard Brown Health offers anti-racism resources and sliding scale counseling specializing in the LGBTQ+ community.
This document is a resource for Black people experiencing racial trauma. This master list includes specific resources as well as protesting tips and donation links.
This link is a directory of Black therapists in Chicago.
This link is a directory of Black therapists in Chicago who provide services for under $75.
And the Trans Lifeline’s Peer Support Hotline is a resource operated by transgender and nonbinary staffers for the trans community: 877-565-8860.
The Center for Religion and Psychotherapy in Chicago is a nonprofit that provides affordable, sliding-scale counseling. Call (312) 263-4368 extension 9081 to schedule an intake appointment (counseling is not religious-centered).
That’s all from this week’s team — Justin, Francesca, Cam, Robin, Aneesah and Claire — enjoy the rest of your Monday and we’ll see ya next week! ❄
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