Lack of Transparency Allows Campus Police to Operate Without Oversight

Lack of Transparency Allows Campus Police to Operate Without Oversight

In April 2006, a rookie Chicago cop named Alicia Roman opened fire into the walls of her estranged husband’s home. She was fired from the force later that year, but hired as a sworn police officer by Loyola’s private police department, Campus Safety, in 2008.

The same year Roman was hired at Loyola, Campus Safety officers allegedly accused four minority students of having fake student IDs and called them “gangbangers.” During the unrest on campus that followed, many Loyola students of color said they’d had similar experiences.

Similar things were happening at the University of Chicago, where allegations of racial profiling snowballed into a student-led campaign to reform the university’s police department.

At both universities — and at the majority of colleges in the United States — campus police are sworn officers with the same powers as municipal cops. But their salaries are paid for by universities, not taxpayers, and officers are only accountable to the schools’ boards of trustees.

Continue reading at LoyolaPhoenix.com

NFL prospects send well wishes to ailing South Elgin teen

NFL prospects send well wishes to ailing South Elgin teen

As a dedicated football fan, 13-year-old Ty Hawkinson of South Elgin was eager to watch Thursday night’s NFL draft. But he never imagined that, in addition to watching rising stars get their shot at becoming pros, he’d hear from so many of them himself.

Ty, who was diagnosed with a rare cancer two years ago, learned Monday he’ll need additional tests to determine if his cancer has returned. He asked his doctors if they could hold off on the tests until after the draft. They agreed, and while he anticipated the big night, the people who’ve cared for him since his diagnosis started planning.

It started with an idea: to have a player call Ty during the draft.

Continue reading at DailyHerald.com

Dist. 34 bus driver’s fate remains uncertain

Dist. 34 bus driver’s fate remains uncertain

The fate of a bus driver for Antioch Elementary District 34 remains in limbo Friday after district officials took no action following an incident involving a student who had a replica grenade on his bus.

A week after he found a replica grenade with one of his elementary students, bus driver Kevin Garfinkle said he was called into his supervisor’s office and told he was being suspended without pay for insubordination because he spoke to parents without permission. Continue reading at DailyHerald.com.

Rauner says he’ll order state lawmakers to stop handling tax appeals

Rauner says he’ll order state lawmakers to stop handling tax appeals

This article appeared in the Jan. 19 edition of the Illinois Politico Playbook

Gov. Bruce Rauner called on legislators to prevent state lawmakers from receiving income from property tax appeals, promising an executive order to fix what he called the “unfair property tax system in the state of Illinois.

Continue reading at Dailyherald.com

Loyola Campus Safety Chronically Underreports Crime

Loyola Campus Safety Chronically Underreports Crime

Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus and its surrounding areas see their share of violent crime. But the last five years of data from Loyola’s own police force, Campus Safety, only show part of the picture, and what was reported by Campus Safety often contained missing or inaccurate information.

Continue reading at Loyolaphoenix.com

Trump Administration Move Could Mean Changes For Loyola Sexual Assault Policy

Trump Administration Move Could Mean Changes For Loyola Sexual Assault Policy

This article appeared in the Sept. 20 issue of the Illinois Politico Playbook. 

The Trump administration may change rules for how colleges handle sexual assault allegations involving students, raising concerns at Loyola that protections for victims could be rolled back.

President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, recently criticized Obama-era policies that told schools that receive federal funding, including Loyola, how to handle allegations of sexual misconduct. She argued they “failed” students by forcing schools to assume someone accused of sexual assault is guilty.

Continue reading at Loyolaphoenix.com

Undocumented and Unsure: Under Trump Presidency, Undocumented Students at Loyola Face Uncertain Future

Undocumented and Unsure: Under Trump Presidency, Undocumented Students at Loyola Face Uncertain Future

I’ve reported on Loyola’s large undocumented population since President Trump was elected. Here is some of my reporting on their experiences at Loyola.

“I consider myself to be a citizen; I was five years old when I came here. This country is my home, but now it feels like everything could change,” an undocumented Loyola student said. She requested her identity be concealed because of her immigration status.

She is one of about 150 undocumented students at Loyola… Full story at LoyolaPhoenix.com.