Masks still required in DePaul classrooms, a new The Theatre School dean, Chicagoans show solidarity with Ukraine
and Biden nominates a new supreme court justice
Hey there, reader! Your 14 East newsletter team — Claire, Elly, Mariah, Kate, Eiman, Richie, Emily, Grace V., Grace DV., Aneesah and Cam — is here with the news you need to start your week.
Today we have a feature story on DePaul’s latest masking guidance, updates on DePaul’s search for a new dean for The Theatre School, your weekend sports recap, the low-down on Chicago’s recent COVID-19 policies, news from Ukraine and another media recommendation from our resident columnist.
Once again, we want to take a second to thank you all — our readers — for your continued support. You’ve kept this newsletter going over the past two years and we can’t thank you enough. If you want to increase your support for 14 East and “In the Loop,” we invite you to donate directly to our newsroom. Whether it’s a one-time contribution or a monthly gift, every cent helps us build a newsroom that serves you, our community, and we get 100% of your donation.
Before we get into it, we just want to say we understand that the news may be more overwhelming than normal this week. Though you may feel the need to stay up to date on things 24/7, we all need breaks. If you’re trying to tackle misinformation on your feed, review this piece from Heather Kelly at the Washington Post. And we all need a break from the news, especially when things get intense – if you want pointers on how to check your news consumption, Doreen Dodgen-Magee, Psy.D. at Psychology Today has some for you to check out.
Masks Still Required in Classrooms at DePaul, Despite End to City, State Mandates
By Elly Boes, Mariah Hernandez & Kate Linderman
Last Friday, DePaul released its updated mask policy as both the state and city prepare to lift mask mandates on Monday. Beginning today, masks will only be required in classrooms and labs until the end of Winter Quarter. Outside of these spaces, masks will be recommended, but not required.
DePaul will also no longer require proof of vaccination in dining areas, athletic events, and at The Ray since Chicago’s vaccine mandate ended today. All students, faculty and staff are still required to get a booster shot by March 1, per a January 13 announcement.
According to a recent update, DePaul’s Housing and Residential Education Departments will now allow students living on campus to have up to two visitors. A form of identification and proof of vaccination will still be required for residential hall guests. Guidance for Spring Quarter is expected to be released on April 4.
Indoor mask requirements for Spring Quarter will be updated by the university in the coming weeks. Around Chicago, guidance on city and state mandates still varies widely at colleges and universities.
Some Chicago universities have announced that they will sustain their current indoor mask mandate. Loyola University announced last Wednesday that masks are still required indoors and any changes would not go into effect before March 14. Meanwhile, the University of Illinois at Chicago announced February 17 that their mask mandate would continue, but testing requirements loosened. A negative COVID-19 test within 72-hours prior to an in-person event and pre-approval for essential university travel will no longer be required.
Like DePaul, the University of Chicago plans to “transition to ‘mask optional’ for much of campus beginning March 4” but retained its policy for masking in “classrooms and other instructional settings.”
Northwestern University announced February 21 that their indoor mask mandate would end today, but masks are still required in instructional settings until March 19, the end of winter quarter for most Northwestern students. After March 19, masks will be optional.
Across the state, universities have elected to forgo their mask mandates concurrent with Illinois’ decision three weeks ago.
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Illinois State University, Northern Illinois University and Eastern Illinois University have all made announcements. Masks will still be required for in-person instructional settings, health centers, some research facilities and any other contract-mandated or federal-mandated areas.
This is a developing story. 14 East will have additional updates on masking protocols across DePaul’s campuses later this week.
By Mariah Hernandez
New Dean Announced for The Theatre School
Martine Kei Green-Rogers has been named as the new dean for The Theatre School at DePaul. Green-Rogers is currently interim dean of the Division of Liberal Arts at the University of North Carolina School for the Arts. The seat of the interim dean is currently filled by Coya Paz Brownrigg, who has held the position at DePaul since July 2021. Rogers will become dean on July 1. DePaul’s announcement can be found here.
TedxDePaulUniversity Returns for its Sixth Year
This year’s TedxDePaulUniversity event will be held on May 4 at the Holtschneider Performance Center. The event will have six speakers, including undergraduate students, professors and a clinical social worker. This diverse selection of speakers talks will be on the theme of “Metamorphosis.” Tickets will be available to purchase in March. You can find updates on tickets and the event schedule here.
Celebrate Ash Wednesday on Campus
March 2 marks the beginning of the Christian holiday of Lent. Ash Wednesday events will be held in both the Lincoln Park and Loop Campuses. There will be several Catholic Masses held starting from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. There will also be ashes and blessings and a Ecumenical Workshop. Times and locations for each of these celebrations can be found here.
Lastly, here is your weekend sports update (February 26 to 27):
The women’s tennis team won against Georgetown 7-0 on Saturday.
The women’s basketball team won against Creighton 90-84 on Sunday.
The men’s basketball team won against St. John’s 99-94 on Sunday.
By Eiman Navaid
Mask mandate ends in Illinois – As of Monday morning, the mask mandate has been lifted in the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago. Masks will still be required on public transportations and places such as hospitals and day cares. Schools are not required to have a mask mandate, though schools such as Chicago Public Schools are choosing to continue their enforcement. In addition, the city of Chicago will remove the business requirement to check for customer vaccinations. Restaurants and businesses, however, can still require masks and vaccine cards if they choose. The Chicago Tribune Staff has the details.
In new CDC guidelines, Cook County is considered of lowest risk – The decision to lift the mask mandate in Illinois and Chicago comes after the CDC’s new guidance. The CDC’s evaluated individual counties’ level of the virus based on the number of new cases and hospitalizations of COVID-19 in the area. From this, counties are divided into three categories – low, medium, or high. Chicago fell under the lowest category. Counties in the low level are recommended by the CDC to stay up-to-date with vaccinations and get tested if they display symptoms. They can wear masks if they choose, but it is not required. Kelly Bauer of Block Club Chicago reports.
Hundreds gather in Ukranian Village to rally in solidarity with Ukraine – Hundreds gathered on Sunday in Ukranian Village to rally in support with Ukraine against Russia. The rally started around Saints Volodymyr and Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church and went on to a march in the Loop. Many carried symbols of Ukrainian culture, such as the national flag and flower crowns to show their support for the Ukrainian people as their country faces Russian invasion. Izzy Stroobandt of Block Club Chicago has the details.
CPD still working on foot-pursuit policy — After the fatal shootings of 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez earlier last year, the Chicago Police Department started working on amending their foot-pursiit policy. The past Friday was one of the final sessions of the process to finalize the policy. Paige Fry and Annie Sweeney of the Chicago Tribune report.
By Richie Requena
The White House lifts its mask mandate for fully vaccinated people – With both Chicago and Illinois lifting their mask mandates this morning, the White House also announced they too will be lifting mask requirements for vaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated persons will still be required to mask up and socially distance. Chris Cameron of the New York Times reports.
A Chicagoan, back home to visit Ukraine, trapped by invasion: ‘We need help. This is real war.’ – Ukrainian native and Rogers Park resident Olga Tsoi returned to Ukraine for a visit for the holidays but is now struggling to get out. She and her mother are just two of nearly 500,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine since Russia declared war on them. Tsoi was able to leave Ukraine for Poland on Monday. Manny Ramos of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
People, planet 'getting clobbered by climate change,' UN official says of new report – The United Nations put out a report Monday written by their intergovernmental panel. One of the chair members says, “Any further delay in concerted global action will [mean] the brief and rapidly closing window to secure a livable future.” The report also says 3.3 to 3.6 billion people live in areas that are “highly vulnerable” to climate change. Stephanie Ebbs for ABC News has the details on the report.
Biden nominates Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to be first Black woman on Supreme Court – President Biden announced on Friday Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black female nominee for the Supreme Court. Jackson, 51, has been vetted and confirmed by the senate three times for the federal bench. Devin Dwyer for ABC News has more details on her career.
Hey, Check This Out!
With Featured Columnist Emily Soto
If you loved Murder on the Orient Express, you just might enjoy the next film based upon the novels of Agatha Christie: Death on the Nile.
This story follows yet another mysterious case tackled by the great Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. This time he was hired by a young couple on their honeymoon, heiress Linnet Ridgeway and her new husband Simon Doyle, who fear that the woman who has been stalking them will bring danger to themselves and their guests. As he joins them on this trip down the River Nile, what Poirot initially determines to be empty threats and needless concern, shifts to distress and panic on one fateful night.
In typical fashion, the film takes its time to set the scene, introduce the characters and lead you through the complicated web that is their history with each other. In fact, this is the longest, most important part of the film. It’s where you are also observing and finding clues alongside Poirot himself. So if you are hoping to figure out the mystery before he does, make sure to pay attention.
But once the murder is committed, it is not long before Poirot begin his chase and the killer is left covering their tracks.
I think what is most interesting in this film though, is that we are allowed to take a deeper look into the mind of Poirot. We are able to see his emotions and how they can interfere with a case. Even a man of such precision has moments of weakness and confusion.
So with great performances by Kenneth Branagh, Gal Gadot, Letitia Wright, Russell Brand and many more, you are drawn into the story — so much so that you may realize there may actually be more than one mystery.
Need resources regarding warming centers, rental assistance, COVID-19 testing and vaccines or mental health? Check out our complete list here. And as a reminder, if you need to cut back on your news consumption, we won’t blame you, and don’t forget that misinformation, especially relating to ongoing military conflicts, can be rampant.
Well, there’s the news for this week! We hope you’re enjoying this unusually warm Chicago weather and taking care of yourselves. We’ll see you back here next week with more updates, recommendations and a new episode of The B-Side. Peace!
The 14 East Newsletter Team