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 LoyolPhoenix.com

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

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.

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

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.

DACA unresolved as shutdown ends

When Alejandra Duran Arreola was 14 years old, she and her four younger siblings walked from their home town in Mexico through the Arizona desert with their mother. After crossing the border, they eventually settled in Georgia, where they did what work they could find, harvesting onions and eventually starting a small cleaning business… Full story at LoyolaPhoenix.com

Undocumented Loyola Medical Student Joins Durbin at State of the Union

An undocumented Loyola medical student traveled with Illinois Senator Dick Durbin to Washington, D.C. Tuesday for President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address.

Cesar Montelongo, a third-year student at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine, is the first student in the MD-PhD program protected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)… Full story at LoyolaPhoenix.com.

White House Terminates DACA Program

The White House announced Tuesday it will end the program that defers deportation for undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors, leaving dozens of Loyola students in uncertainty… Full story at LoyolaPhoenix.com

Undocumented Students Relieved They Will Not Be Deported

Many of Loyola’s undocumented students are breathing a sigh of relief after the Donald J. Trump administration decided to allow them to remain in the country for the time being, but they are still unsure of their long-term future… Full story at LoyolaPhoenix.com.

Illinois Trust Act Extends Protections for Undocumented Students, Families

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law Monday to protect undocumented immigrants statewide. It offers a new level of security for many of Loyola’s almost 150 undocumented students and their families… Full story at LoyolaPhoenix.com.

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

“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.

Mock Border Wall Sparks Immigration Dialogue

“Build the wall” has become a rallying cry for millions of conservative Americans who feel left behind by an increasingly diverse America. And “build the wall” is exactly what a group of Loyola students did, but for a very different reason than some conservatives might… Full story at LoyolaPhoenix.com.