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BenU Student Assaulted After Receiving Anti-Gay Taunts

15 Mar

By Marissa Perez

Editor in Chief

Editor’s note: This article contains language some people might find offensive.

A Benedictine student alleges he was assaulted Saturday due in part to his sexual orientation.

“I was hit from the side. I just know they both jumped me but the main guy hit me in the eye,” said the victim.

The victim, a Benedictine senior whose name is being withheld, stated he and his friends were going to an apartment and were followed by two men that they didn’t know.

According to the victim, everyone had entered the apartment and started to socialize until one of the two unknown men started to use offensive language towards him.

“We started playing around and the main guy started to get mad and the ‘fag’ word started to come out of his mouth, I didn’t let him just speak to me like that so I defended myself,” said the victim.

The other unknown student tried to calm things down and then the two left. The victim said that he and his friends walked out as well and this is when things started to escalate.

“He and his friend started getting physical despite them just being calm in the room. I guess they needed a crowd,” stated the victim.

According to the victim, the main instigator ran up the stairs and started fighting with him. All of a sudden, the second male student grabbed the victim’s sweater and pulled him down the stairs. He landed on his knee and ankle and was struggling to get up when he was then punched in the eye.

The police were called and the victim was taken to the police department for questioning where he told the police his side of the story.

“The University Police and the Residence Life staff responded to several incidents this past weekend involving students and their guests,” said Marco Masini, Vice President-Student Life in an email to The Candor.  “Immediate care was provided to the students involved and individuals who violated BenU policies were trespassed and/or ticketed. The incidents remain under investigation.”

“I have noticed that hate crimes are more prevalent in our school as of late,” said the victim. “They were using the fag word too loosely and that’s when I had to stand up because I notice how people are a victim of hate crime at our school or being made fun of for who they are and our school does not ask if it’s a problem.”

“Hopefully this [incident] helps them to take charge,” said the victim.

 

Students for Justice In Palestine Host Open Mic Night During Apartheid Awareness Week

15 Mar

Nabiha Asim

Staff Writer

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), part of Apartheid Awareness Week, hosted their annual open mic night on March 8 in Coal Ben, where students from various backgrounds shared their feelings through spoken word, embraced their culture by performing a dabke dance, and even got the audience to laugh with a standup comedy act.

“There are a lot of people who personally have families who are going through the apartheid, so raising awareness about what’s going on is very important. At the same time, there are a lot of people who don’t know what’s going on at all, so educating the people comes along with the awareness,” SJP president Abdel-Rhman Mohamed said.

Although the issue isn’t personal to Mohamed, he said the board members understand that the oppression that is happening in Palestine requires attention from all.

“That’s what I like about this club…. So personally, I’m Egyptian and my country is going through its own personal problems…but we have people on the board that aren’t even Arab, and we have few who come from a different country but we all come together with the same thought that Palestine as a country has been through so much that it deserves our primary focus and our primary attention to raise awareness for it,” Mohamed said.

While raising awareness through a cultural event, a scavenger hunt, and a documentary about social injustices taking place in Palestine, Mohamed said he wanted to make sure students have fun and gain knowledge at the same time. For Mohamed, the most powerful thing about the week was the picture event during their general body meeting.

“During our GBM we went around holding pictures of things that are happening in Palestine. So you would see destroyed homes and other things and you’d ask people what are your opinions on what’s going on in the picture….I had a picture that had a used grenade with a flower in it, and that was the picture that I was holding. People looked at it and said it’s a flower pot, and it’s that simple, but the reality behind it was that it was a used grenade. Because the land is a warzone, something as simple as a flower pot, their only resources to do that are used grenades found on the floor which are very common. So that really hits home for me,” Mohamed said.

Seeing the SJP events throughout the week, freshman, Iqra Majid, said she decided to stand in solidarity through spoken word during open mic night.

“I’ve seen [SJP] around campus and I really wanted to support them and I also like poetry and that is one way I could support them…I talked about the conflict and what we can do to change it and how we can love more, not hate more and to basically look at each other as humans,” Majid said.

Commuter Appreciation Month: Annual Free Commuter Breakfast

15 Mar

Lina Zhu

Staff Writer

On Wednesday, March 8, Benedictine Commuter Service and Student Activities and Leadership Development hosted their monthly free breakfast for commuters in the walkway of Kindlon on the second floor to kick off Commuter Appreciation Month.

The breakfast ran from 9:00-10:30 am, with servings including; muffins, donuts, cinnanon rolls, fruit cups as well as drinks such as coffee and orange juice.

The breakfast became crowded around 9:30 am, when the majority of the students get out of their first class.

“They (Commuter service) do a pretty good job. Donuts are my favorite,” said Shrjia Raghavarapu, who found out about the event from the Commuter Service Facebook page.

“The food choices are pretty good. I like the coffee and donuts. But sometimes it runs out early. And we need to come here early,” Sanian Raheem described.

Photos by Lina Zhu

“Anytime I don’t have to spend money on food, that’s great. The food itself is fine. I’m not going to be picky because it’s free,” said Genevieve Murray, who lives 45 minutes away from school. Murray usually gets breakfast on her way to school or at the Kindlon coffee shop. Therefore, the free breakfast is very attractive for her.

Commuter Student Appreciation Month takes place in March and is dedicated to commuter students, which is a Commuter Assistance Program supported by Student Activities and Leadership Development.

“We want commuter students to feel appreciated and involved in the Benedictine community. Enhancing the experience of Commuter Students through services, programs, and advocacy while encouraging them to become active and engaged participants of the Benedictine University community,” stated Janet Beltran, the Student Assistant of the Commuter Service.

There are more events to come this month in honor of Commuter Appreciation Month. Some of them include a free commuter lunch on Thursday, March 16, and make your own sign on Wednesday, March 29. Students can check out the Commuter Service’s Facebook page or the Benedictine Student Activities website for details on the upcoming events.

 

Women’s Lacrosse Get First Win of the Season

15 Mar

Logan Hanson

Sports Editor

Junior Midfield Jasmine Moreno runs with the ball in the Eagles 10-6 victory over Trine University on Saturday afternoon in Lisle. Photo Credit: Benueagles.com

The Benedictine Women’s Lacrosse team defeated Trine University 10-6 Saturday afternoon at the Lisle Sports Complex. The win marked the first of the season for the Eagles and the first career victory for new Benedictine Head Coach Kaitlyn Liccion.

“I think that getting the first win under our belt showed the team how successful we can be if we continue to play with confidence and as a whole unit,” said Liccion, “There are still some things we need to work on, but we are looking forward to what the season holds.”

It was a battle early on in the game for the Eagles. The Eagles drew first blood on a goal by Freshman Attacker Emma Redfern with just over 23 minutes left in the first half. But a good run by Trine in the middle of the half gave them a 2-1 advantage. Benedictine responded late in the half with a three goal run of their own started on a goal by Sophomore Midfield Madison Horan with 3:04 left in the half. After a late goal by Trine, the Eagles took a 4-3 lead into the locker room at halftime.

After giving the lead up on a Trine goal early in the half, the Eagles defense responded. After another goal by Redfern, the Eagles held a one goal advantage. The Eagles would go on another three goal run late in the game and earn the 10-6 victory.

“The team came out with great intensity because we knew Trine would be good competition,” said Junior Midfield Jasmine Moreno, “An awesome way to get the season started!”

The Eagles will be on the road for the first time this season for their next game when they play Elmhurst College on Wednesday afternoon in Elmhurst.

 

March Madness Bracket Breakdown

15 Mar

Daniel Dalenberg

Staff Writer

The Men’s Basketball Division I Final Four is being hosted in Phoenix, Arizona the first week of April. The logo is pictured above. Photo Source: Phoenixfinalfour.com

On Sunday, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship bracket was released.  So whether you’re filling out a bracket or just looking forward to watching the madness, here is the breakdown of “the bracket.”

Notice:  All stats and information were gathered using ESPN’s college basketball database.

The East Region:

Favorites:

Villanova Wildcats (31-3) 1 seed:  Villanova was last year’s National Champions, and now are this years’ top overall seed. It seems the Wildcats are ready to make a run at a second straight national championship. Villanova is led by National Player of the Year candidate, Josh Hart, who averages 18.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Villanova’s mixture of talent, toughness and experience will make them a tough team to beat.

Duke Blue Devils (27-8) 2 seed:  Despite being the fifth seed in the ACC tournament this past week, Duke managed to rattle off four wins in four nights to win the tournament.  Prior to the tournament, many questioned if Duke’s talent could translate into winning games in March. It seems after an injury-riddled season, Duke’s talent is coming together. If the ACC tournament is any indication of the NCAA tournament, Duke is a team that can win it all.

Sleeper:

Southern Methodist University Mustangs (30-4) 6 seed:  SMU won both the Conference USA regular season title and the conference tournament.  Although they are not from a “Power Five” conference, SMU is a talented team that could make a run.  The Mustangs best player is a Duke transfer, Semi Ojeleye, who was Conference USA player of the year. If SMU can play up to its potential, they will be a dangerous team to face in the tournament.

The Midwest Region:

Favorites:

Kansas Jayhawks (28-4) 1 seed:  Kansas finds itself back in a familiar spot, a number one seed.  The Jayhawks have had another fantastic season and have plenty of talent.  Kansas is highlighted by National Player of the Year candidate, Guard Frank Mason III.  Mason is an electric scorer who can get to the rim in a flash, averaging 20.8 points per game. The Jayhawks are a threat to win it all, as they are every year.

Louisville Cardinals (24-8) 2 seed:  Louisville finished fourth in a great ACC and will be a tough team to beat in the tournament.  The Cardinals trademark is their incredible length and depth.  But, the key cog to Louisville’s machine is Guard Donovan Mitchell.  Mitchell can light up the scoreboard and his defense is also a game-changer, as he averages 2.1 steals a game. Therefore if the Cardinals offense can follow suit, they could make it out of the Midwest region.

Sleepers:

Iowa State Cyclones (23-10) 5 seed:  It is hard to call a team that just won the Big 12 tournament a sleeper, but their seeding warrants the mention.  This Iowa State team is very similar to those of years past in that they can really score. The Cyclones are 27th in the country in points per game. If this team can get to the sweet sixteen and face Kansas, it could be interesting as they defeated the Jayhawks on the road February 4.

Michigan Wolverines (24-11) 7 seed:  Michigan is another team coming off a conference tournament championship.  Michigan won four games in four days to win the Big 10 tournament, just one day after being in a plane crash. But, the team came together to play their best basketball of the season, playing up to the potential many saw in them all year. While the road will be tough, this team seems like they still have some March magic left in them.

The West Region:

Favorites:

Gonzaga Bulldogs (32-1) 1 seed:  Gonzaga is coming off one of the best seasons in school history, in which they only lost to BYU in their final regular season game.  The “Zags”, as many call them, tore through a weak West Coast Conference that only had one other team make the tournament.  However, the Bulldogs have big time non-conference wins over Iowa State, Arizona and Florida. It will be interesting to see how they respond to playing elite level teams.

Arizona Wildcats (30-4) 2 seed:  Arizona is coming off a PAC 12 tournament title in which they defeated both UCLA and Oregon.  Arizona has been a fixture in the top ten rankings all season.  Arizona has been an elite defensive team, with great athletes throughout their roster. However, Arizona is ranked 108th in points per game, therefore they must be able to score more consistently if they want to break into the Final Four.

Sleepers:

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (25-9) 5 seed:  Notre Dame is fresh off a trip to the ACC tournament championship game in which they took an incredibly hot Duke team down to the wire.  Notre Dame has been to the Elite Eight the past two seasons and has a veteran coach in Mike Brey.  The Irish are a battle tested team that is versatile offensively. If they can get a shot at Gonzaga, there is a real chance they pull an upset.

Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (26-7) 14 seed:  More commonly known as “Dunk City,” for their Sweet Sixteen run as a 15 seed in 2013, the Eagles could be a team to watch as a potential upset pick.  FGCU is matched up with Florida State in the first round, a team that has been struggling as of late. The Eagles have won 12 of their last 13 games. Along with this, they travelled to Michigan State early in the season and only lost by one. Anything can happen in March and FGCU could be a team to consider as a first round upset.

The South Region:

Favorites:

North Carolina Tar Heels (27-7) 1 seed:  The Tar Heels were the ACC regular season champions and were consistently a top team throughout the season.  The Tar Heels are a team that when at their best, could beat any team in the country.  They are 12th in the country in points per game, 1st in the country in rebounds per game and 2nd in the country in assists per game. This team is one of the favorites to win it all and for good reason.  The Heels could very well be cutting down the nets come early April.

Kentucky Wildcats (29-5) 2 seed:  Kentucky had another successful year under Coach Calipari.  Kentucky constantly has top recruiting classes with multiple “one and done” players.  This years’ Freshman phenoms have led the Wildcats all season.  Freshman Malik Monk is one of the best scorers in all of college basketball and is expected to be a lottery pick in this years’ upcoming NBA draft. While as talented as anyone, Kentucky’s success will rely on how Freshman respond to tough situations against hungry tournament teams.

UCLA Bruins (29-4) 3 seed:  UCLA basketball seems to be back and for good reason.  They are led by the most talked about player in the country, Lonzo Ball.  Ball could be the top pick in the upcoming draft.  Ball is a National Player of the Year Candidate and is known for his supreme passing ability, averaging 7.7 assists. While the Bruins can score with anyone, their defense will decide just how far they can go.

Sleepers:

Butler Bulldogs (23-8) 4 seed:  Butler is known for their 2010 and 2011 Cinderella runs to the National Championship in which they lost both times.  Since these runs, Butler has built a perennial tournament team, and this years’ team has the ability to beat any team in the country.  Butler beat Villanova both times they faced in Big East play and defeated Arizona early in the season. While they may not have the same talent as the favorites in the region, they have proven they can play with any team in the country.

Witchita State Wheat Shockers (30-4) 10 seed:  Witchita State is another team that is no stranger to success. With back to back tournament runs in 2013 and 2014, the Shockers know how to be successful in March. The Shockers rank in the top 20 in the country in scoring, rebounding, assists and defense. The Shockers go nine deep and will give whoever they play more than they will be in for.

A Nation on Opioids: Why the Opioid Crisis Needs More Attention in our Community

15 Mar

Omair Ali

Perspectives Editor

There is an increasing trend in deaths related to heroin and opioid overdose in the United States. Adapted from a Mother Jones article, which sourced its data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than car accidents and shootings, drug overdoses have become the leading cause of unintentional death in the United States. Among all the issues that drug addiction presents, opioid addiction is the major culprit, responsible for at least 91 deaths a day or more than half of deaths related to drug overdose.

Opioids aren’t your typical, over-the-counter painkillers—they are highly effective at reducing pain, but are also highly addictive and highly lethal. They act by binding to specific receptors found in the body that block receptors, but opioids are not without side effects. Opioids cause a rapid buildup of tolerance accompanied by an insatiable physical dependence, constipation, nausea, and respiratory depression, which can lead to death. And let me tell you this: opioid withdrawal is one of the most excruciating ordeals to deal with, with a sobriety success rate of only 5% success rate after immediately withdrawing from opioid use.

By now, most of us know that opioid abuse is a significant public health issue. It’s covered heavily by local press outlets as well as national media outlets. But despite the amount of attention being given to this issue, the evolution of the opioid abuse crisis has been overwhelming for far more communities than previously anticipated, and the problem appears to be growing as the access to opioids has proliferated nationally during the past decade. Now, solving the opioid epidemic is paramount and requires the collective efforts of every community, including our university.

How is the Opioid Epidemic Affecting Our Community?

Today, deaths related to opioids, both prescription and illicit, are  occurring throughout the country; predominantly in the southeast, southwest, and western regions of the United States where deaths are becoming commonplace. But what about our community? Perhaps you would be surprised if I said that opioid abuse is even ravaging our communities.

A Daily Herald article outlines just how bad the opioid problem is becoming in our local area. The abuse of fentanyl, an opioid that is stronger than heroin, is becoming more prevalent in Will and DuPage counties. It is suspected that synthetic opioids like fentanyl are being illegally produced in China and distributed via illegal markets, some of which exist in Chicago. Many residents in these counties access these drug markets via the “heroin highway,” or the I-88-I-290 route that leads to the west side of Chicago, is a well-known path that drug users take to acquire heroin and other opioids from dealers. What remains to be answered is how many people are abusing opioids right now through this means.

While elaborate drug trade schemes remain a threat to public health, people are also acquiring drugs through other ways that are more difficult to monitor. 90.1% of reported cases of prescription opioid misuse in 2015 have happened through abusing prescriptions or receiving a drug from a friend or family member. The act of sharing opioids with others or abusing opioid prescriptions has made the opioid epidemic a situation that transcends law enforcement, which is limited to overseeing large-scale illicit drug operations.

It is also important to consider how parents that abuse opioids are setting their children up for failure. The number of children that have been poisoned by opioids has increased at an alarming rate, Because of this and the general misuse of opioids by parents, many parents have had to forfeit their rights to care for their children, resulting in thousands of displaced children ending up in the foster care systems or relocating to relatives’ households. In other words, opioids have unprecedentedly encouraged poor parenting, which is systematically reshaping how children grow up in this world and how they perceive their parents, which could lead to life-long ramifications.

Our Duty as a Community  

Many people addicted to opioids, regardless of socioeconomic background, want to quit but are trapped by the chronic physical dependence, which would take several weeks, if not months or years to overcome. And most people that have died from opioid overdose didn’t intentionally choose death over life.

So, let’s face it: Opioids are an evil that indiscriminately threaten the state of our nation, which means that we must be prepared for terrible consequences in our own community. Not only that, law enforcement has no means of cracking down on all illegal opioid activities as the problem has grown into a behemoth that can’t be stopped anymore by the mere use of force. However, communities have the capacity to resolve this growing crisis through creating initiatives and programs that can help individuals in need.

Either we can watch the horrors of the epidemic continue to overtake our communities from the sidelines or we can try to do something to improve the lives of people that live in our community.

And I vote for the humane approach.

 

Democratic Empiricism is the Proper Way to Approach Civic Engagement

15 Mar

 

Omair Ali

Perspectives Editor

We are all familiar with the politically-charged rhetoric on both sides that has found a new place in American society. In many ways, the presence rhetoric in our society is fueling hatred between different groups that has led to several hate crimes over the past few months. As an active citizen, I am very concerned with these prevailing attitudes that are fueling nationwide discord, and how we can stabilize this tension.

One plausible approach, albeit to the displeasure of many people, would be to adopt a more objective, fact-based approach to civic engagement and public policy to normalize but how can we sift through these emotions and feelings and come to a consensus? We can do this by agreeing to facts and logic-driven thought, treating all people fairly and equally, and constructing policies that best fit the needs for most Americans without hurting others in the process.

Thinking vs. Feeling

How can we normalize civic engagement so that people aren’t focused on attacking each other, but rather working with each other? The only way is through adopting objectivity as the primary approach to civic engagement, and more specifically, public policy.

The Myers Briggs Personality Inventory, a well-known personality test, assesses one’s personality, then assigns the test taker a 4-letter code to indicate their personality. These letters signify one’s personality tendencies, such as thinking or feeling for decision-making. Thinkers tend to base their decisions on facts and logic, and can be apathetic towards emotions in the decision-making process. On the other hand, feelers tend to be sensitive to others’ feelings or concerns, and often strive to maintain peace in their environment. Some people, including myself, are thinkers, but there are others who instead operate on feeling. In terms of general decision-making scenarios, neither personality type is better than the other because both can result in pleasant outcomes.

However, we have seen how feelers have operated in the political realm. Look at the feelers in our society: violent, criminal activists; populists and xenophobes, radicalized terrorists, individuals that don’t identify as male or female; bureaucrats; white-collar workers; blue-collar workers; professors; students; normal people– you get the gist. Indeed, it does not take a lot of finger pointing to realize that so many people (not everyone) operate with the tendency to feel emotionally rather than think logically, and we have seen how this has impacted the stability of our social climate.

Fundamentally, both decision-making styles would approach civic engagement in fundamentally-different ways. Feelers would approach public policy in a qualitative way, most likely concerning themselves with every case out there (others might be worried about specific groups of people or ideas). Whereas, thinkers would take all the concerns into account and determine the logical, course action to serve the needs of the people while upholding fairness by treating everyone equally.

But to cater to the needs of all these people, and everyone else out there, we ought to standardize our laws to meet the needs of as many people. This is because approaching public policy by addressing everyone’s feelings and concerns would be exhausting and unproductive, especially when there are over 324 million needs in our nation.

As a society, we have been acting democratically and empirically for many parts in our history. But lately, many people have been using their feelings and concerns to operate as feelers rather thinkers, resulting in widespread disagreements and conflicts between various groups. I describe thinking in the civic sense as democratic empiricism, the mode of decision-making by which one objectively makes decisions based on: the most common concerns of citizens; information driven by evidence and facts; and Constitutional law. In my opinion, approaching civic engagement and public policy in this manner is the most feasible, because it is not skewed by opinions or feelings that could potentially benefit some groups and not others. For instance, some feelers—who might staunch supporters of income equality because they feel this is best for society– may argue that taxing the rich heavily could bring benefit to many Americans; but that would come at a great cost in multiple ways that would not only harm the rich but also harm the economy, thereby being an improper course of action.

On the other hand, Civilians and bureaucrats would benefit from the thinkers’ approach to public policy because they would use concrete evidence (data compiled over the years by researchers and the government) to bring forth conclusions about society, such as drug use, the failures of public education in many rural and urban communities, crowded prisons, etc. With all that is happening in our country, we ought to speak about the facts, and set aside feelings because they don’t provide an accurate picture of our nation. At least facts provide concrete information that can be translated to public policy.

Restructuring Expectations for the Sake of Civic Progress

With the recent surge feeling-oriented bureaucratic and civic, we are at a crossroads in terms of how we want to approach governance in our nation. You can disagree with me with the notion that facts ought to take priority over feelings, but to avoid inconsistencies and flaws in public policy, we ought to support facts and logic more often than feelings. And if we all want to live in a society that’s fair for all Americans, then we all should consider approaching our issues in an objective manner that can be fit everyone’s needs. In other words, adopting democratic empiricism is how we would avoid the civic discord that we are dealing with in society.