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Hidden talents come out to shine

1 May Alex Fridge hosts Open Mic Night on Friday night on the 5th floor of Kindlon.
Photo by Donald Kirk

by Saimah Shareef, Staff Writer

Alex Fridge hosts Open Mic Night on Friday night on the 5th floor of Kindlon. Photo by Donald Kirk

Alex Fridge hosts Open Mic Night on Friday night on the 5th floor of Kindlon.
Photo by Donald Kirk

The second and final Open Mic Night of the 2012-2013 academic year took place here at Benedictine University on the fifth floor of Kindlon Hall on Friday, April 26th. Beginning at 8:00 p.m., the event was free and open to all. It was sponsored by ResLife and organized and hosted by BenU senior, Alex Fridge.

Advertising and appearances of Open Mic Night on social media made most aware on campus that it was coming up months in advance. 20 participants took the stage to dance, sing, recite poetry, and perform live music. With all 200 seats filled at the event on Friday night, the turnout met the expectations of organizers.

“Actually seeing all of those people come and participate was truly humbling. I’m just thankful that everyone who wanted to perform got the chance to,” Fridge said.

This second show was a way to work out the kinks that had occurred in the first show. It was a second run to make sure the best production was made. Fridge said he wanted to make this show spectacular by adding different details, using as many professionals as possible and making it as big as possible since it was going to be his last before graduating.

One of the participants, BenU student Gurpreet Singh, played the dhol at the event. The dhol is a North Indian instrument from Punjab, similar to a drum. It is usually played at festive occasions, ranging from weddings to celebrating the new harvest in the villages. Singh said that in general the dhol is used as an instrument to bring people together for joyous events, and he felt it was no different at Open Mic Night.

“I would say that these are the moments that I will forever cherish. What made my performance memorable was fusing the East and the West. As I was playing traditional beats on the dhol, the band behind me that was brought in for this event started to blend into the background. With one performance, we were able to bring two different parts of the world together for one cause, which was to spread peace and share each other’s love for one another,” shared Singh.

Although Fridge, the main force behind this event, will be graduating this year, he hopes to pass on the torch so that programs at Benedictine University can continue as they have traditionally been. He hopes that those who have assisted him throughout the process will keep things going so he has the opportunity to come back and watch.

“What I want BenU to retain is an appreciation for the arts and not lose sight of the art of expression. That idea has been my main motive behind operating this whole event!” Fridge said. He was pleased to see a full house and experience the diversity of talented individuals that partook in the event.

State: Illinois lawmakers crafting concealed carry bill

1 May

By Donny Kendal

After a federal appeals court ruled against a statewide ban on concealed carry, Illinois lawmakers are scrambling to craft a comprehensive bill before the June 9th deadline.

Illinois is the only state where people have no right to carry concealed firearms. This was deemed to be unconstitutional by a federal appeals court late last year. Lawmakers have until June 9th to create new laws that allow some sort of concealed carry before existing laws expire. According to an Illinois Times’ article, a Democratic caucus was told people would be able to carry weapons into the statehouse with no repercussions if laws were allowed to expire.

Currently, representatives are constructing a bipartisan bill. A NRA-backed bill was rejected earlier this month.  In the Journal-Register, a lobbyist from the NRA said, “I guess there are enough people that think they’re not going to vote for anything and the best thing to do is go over the cliff.” This is in regards to the fact that if no plan is made at a state level, the responsibility would go to the local governments.

However, there is still time to make a bill. The Chicago Tribune reports that a two-tier system is being considered to please representatives of both urban and more rural areas. Under this plan, high-population areas would be subjected to extra safe-guards. For example, if a concealed carry applicant intended to carry in Chicago, he or she would be subjected to an extra review by the state police.

While details of any plan are far from established, lawmakers will surely put new bills up to vote in the coming weeks.

 

National: Immigration reform debated in U.S. Congress

1 May

By Donny Kendal

A bipartisan group of Senators, dubbed the “Gang of Eight,” has introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill that many see as long overdue.

The plan has not been finalized, but advocates are excited by the progress. In an ABC News article, Representative Xavier Becerra said, “You’re not hearing a lot of talk about amnesty and self-deportation any more. You’re hearing talk about how we get this done.” The plan would create faster routes to citizenship. This includes illegal immigrants that were brought to the U.S. before the age of 16. The bill is also said to enhance security on the border.

The immigration proposal is causing a rift in the Republican Party. USNews describes the conflict between the Republicans. Marco Rubio suggested reform should be tackled in a “step-by-step approach” while Chuck Schumer has advocated for one large bill. Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte agreed with Rubio when he said a step-by-step approach “will help us get a better bill that will benefit American and provide a workable immigration system.” Schumer said, “the best way to pass immigration legislation is actually a comprehensive bill because that can achieve more balance.”

Even with split Republican support, the bill may have enough backing to pass congress. The Hill reported Republican Sen. John McCain has been attempting to garner support from business leaders. During an immigration reform summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, McCain said, “We need all of you, we need all of the people you represent to be actively engaged in the community.”

The bill would require 61 votes. “I think that’s very doable,” McCain said. Voting on the reform bill is expected in early May.

Texas town rocked by explosion

1 May

by Syeda Zahra Khan, Staff Writer

On April 17th, an explosion of the West Texas Fertilizer Company Plant rocked the tiny town of West, Texas, a small town of 2,500 people 75 miles outside of Dallas. This explosion left 14 people dead many of who were first responders from the fire department of West, more than 160 people were injured, and at least a dozen buildings including a nursing home, an apartment complex, and a nearby middle school was destroyed.

Investigators have not yet determined what started the explosion or whether or not it was intentional. The damage according to foxnews.com is estimated to exceed $100 million. Many are now wondering what exactly caused this explosion that almost wiped out an entire town, but according to salon.com the fertilizer plant was not inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) since 1985. The owners of the plant also stored a large number of potentially explosive fertilizers and the most recent partial safety inspection of the plant in 2011 led to a $5,250 fine.

Just recently the owner of the fertilizer company in West, Texas is being sued by four separate insurance companies and a woman whose apartment and vehicle was destroyed in the blast. The first lawsuit was filed April 19th by insurance companies who seek an unspecified amount of damages for, “negligent acts and omissions”, which allegedly caused the explosion. The second lawsuit was brought by a single mother who lost her apartment and all her possessions, including her vehicle, and is seeking $500,000 to $1 million dollars in damage.

The tragedy of that happened in West, Texas is very devastating to hear, especially just days after the Boston Marathon Bombings; it is very heart breaking. Though it is unclear what exactly might have led to the explosion, one possible thought might be due to the chemicals that were contained in the fertilizer. The plant stored a large number of explosive fertilizers; these kinds of fertilizers contain either Anydrous Ammonia or Ammounium Nitrate, both of which are inorganic fertilizers. Looking closely at these chemicals, Anhydrous Ammonia is a gas that causes severe burns when it comes in contact with skin, but does not burst into flames however, when Ammonium Nitrate is mixed with a fuel and ignited it can become a powerful explosive. What could have led to this explosion might have been due to the fact that since there was a lot of fertilizer in the plant, some of the fertilizers might have spilled and came into contact with other chemicals that caused the explosion.

The people who are in charge of the fertilizer plant should face some charges due to the fact that they failed to have a full safety inspection by OHSA, and the time that they had a “half inspection” they were forced to pay a fine for safety violations. Clearly these are dangerous volatile chemicals that they are dealing with, and they need to take extreme precautions otherwise dangerous things such as an explosion can happen. The people in charge of the plant must be very careless and lazy otherwise something like this would have never happened.

 

Police Reports

1 May

 

Wednesday, April 24th at 5:37 p.m.

 

University police responded to a report by a student who had personal property taken from the Rice Center locker room. BenU police coordinated with the cellphone that was stolen to track, since the phone had been left on. It was found located at Walgreens on Maple, where the credit card was also used to purchase gift cards. Images were captured of him and his vehicle, and it turned out to be the same individual responsible for numerous park district thefts, including North Central College, Lisle park district, and Downers Grove park district. Forensic software was used to enhance the surveillance camera to get the license plate number and the individual. The individual was led to have an extensive criminal history, and warrants are pending for his arrest.

 

Friday, April 26th at 10:35 p.m.

 

University police responded to a call at the sports complex for a possible sexual assault. There were three Wheaton female athletes that were at the north end of the field in the sports complex. Suddenly, out of the woods came an older male, who lunged toward the girls. The description was an older male, which was spotted running in the Neuzil parking lot running towards a car. One officer chased the man, while another followed in the police car. When the man reached the car and was approached by the officer, he began driving away. The police car forced the other car onto the grass, but the man fled down Maple, where he was later caught on Maple and 53rd. After an investigation, this turned out to be an exposure, rather than a sexual assault. Investigation also revealed the man had 12 prior sexual related charges in Cook, Kankakee, and Will counties. He is in the DuPage county jail with a $10,000 bond.

 

Student Senate President

1 May

by Amanda Jarzynski, Staff Writer

Benedictine elected Joe Ward as the new President for the Student Senate on Thursday, April 25th.

“I honestly feel great.  This is one of the best accomplishments of my life. It really is a dream come true to say the least,” Ward reacts to the news of the election.  “Every moment of hard work that I have put into to the community at Benedictine all ended up paying off.”

Already an active member of the BenU community, Ward has several ideas to make BenU a more exciting and safe campus to attend.

Ward said his overall goal is to make weekends more exciting on campus to provide students not only with a good education, but memories that will last a lifetime.  His ultimate goal is to start the Benedictine University Half Marathon.

“I really want to get the whole area involved in a 13.1 mile run around the Lisle/Naperville area,” Ward explained his idea.

Ward has some ideas to improve the living conditions on campus.  Previously, he has led the renovations of Ondrak Hall last summer.  He is still striving to make sure the dorm buildings are in the best condition they can be in for the residents.

“I also want to work on the food on campus too.  So that everyone is satisfied with dining options,” Ward said.  As of now, the only options for students are the CoalBen, the Cafeteria in Krasa, and the marketplace in Kindlon.

Keeping the students’ safety in mind, Ward has the idea to create a shuttle service for residents to get to and from campus unharmed.

“I am hoping the shuttle service will prevent drinking and driving to allow Benedictine students to take a shuttle rather than worry about drinking and driving,” Ward explained further.

Currently the Treasurer for the Student Senate, Ward will be sworn in as the President on Tuesday, April 30th.

Summer 2013 Fashion Trends

1 May

by Lauren Tabakhi, Staff Writer

 

Sunglasses and sandals ahead for a sunny summer fashion. Photo credit LetsTalkTrunk.com

Sunglasses and sandals ahead for a sunny summer fashion.
Photo credit LetsTalkTrunk.com

With only exam week remaining and the beautiful Chicago weather we’ve been having, summer is so close we could almost taste it! Although we will all definitely be in our most comfortable attire throughout finals week, there are definitely some gorgeous summer trends to look forward to!

High-Low dresses are great because they can be worn both formally and casually, and the flowy material is fun and flirty! Keep it simple and slip on some flip-flops or pair it with heels and a belt for a more put together look.

Statement Sunglasses are fun summer accessories, and you don’t need to spend a fortune to rock this trend! Colored specs or unique shaped frames add some originality to your look and keep your eyes protected from harmful UV rays.

Bright Bold Prints are always a summer favorite, but this year stripes are the print of choice! Vibrant prints are sure to make a statement, and the bolder, the better!

Ankle Straps are everywhere! Sandals, heels and wedges are all about the strap this summer. Ankle strap flats are probably the newest and most original trend, and I personally can’t wait to get my feet in a pair!

Peek-a-boo tops and dresses have the ability to be flirty or sexy depending on the rest of your ensemble. Perfect for a date or a party, this trend is sure to turn heads.

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