Michael Nowakowski / NBN
For students who need to use medical marijuana, the Illinois medical program has done little, and decriminalization would be an imperceptible change.
North by Northwestern Staff, March 4, 2019

Hello! You are currently on the older version of the northbynorthwestern.com website. We have made significant changes to prioritize content and reader experience, which you can check out at www.northbynorthwestern.com! In the next few weeks, this site will be replaced by the new one.

There are still components of the new site under development. We appreciate your patience as we add finishing touches!

For any comments or questions, email [email protected]


Julio Vazquez, March 4, 2019

On Sunday, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held a rally at Navy Pier in Chicago.

Similar to his 2016 campaign, Sanders called for an end on tax breaks for wealthy corporations and for closing tax loopholes. He also proposed establishing a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour. He was also emphatic about lowering drug costs to make them affordable for everyone and called for free education for people attending public colleges and universities because “good jobs require good education.”

Before a crowd of 12,000 people, the Vermont senator recounted his time as a student at the University of Chicago in the early 1960s. Sanders described it as critical to his political development.

“I learned more off campus than in lecture,” Sanders said. He saw how wars could be started, and he better understood racism and social inequalities.

During his time at UChicago, Sanders participated in a number of protests. In 1963, he protested the city’s decision to put ...


Maya Mojica, Feb. 28, 2019

Christopher Watson

Photo by Northwestern Now

On February 21, Christopher Watson was appointed Northwestern’s dean of undergraduate enrollment and associate vice president for student outreach by Provost Jonathan Holloway. When he officially takes office on April 16, Watson will be replacing Michael Mills, who has served as Northwestern’s associate provost for university enrollment for 14 years. As dean of enrollment, Watson will be in charge of recruiting, evaluating and yielding applicants for admission, as well as overseeing Northwestern’s financial aid program.

Watson, currently the dean of undergraduate admissions, will continue to serve on President Morton Schapiro’s senior staff, reporting directly to Jake Julia, Northwestern’s vice provost for administration. Unlike in his previous position, the entire enrollment division of Northwestern will now report to Watson. Julia said he is looking forward to working with Watson, who, according to Julia, on top of doing great work for Northwestern undergraduate admissions, has a great sense of humor and ...


Yoonjie Park, Feb. 26, 2019

Three faculty members at Northwestern University were awarded Sloan Research Fellowships for support and recognition for their past work, and future potential in various STEM fields. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awarded Bao Le Hung, a mathematician, Raffaella Margutti, an astrophysicist, and Jonathan Rivnay, a biomedical engineer, $70,000 fellowships over two years to each faculty member.

Sloan Research Fellowship recipients must first be nominated by their peers and are then chosen by a panel of senior scholars.

“Sloan Research Fellows are the best young scientists working today,” said Adam F. Falk, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “Sloan Fellows stand out for their creativity, for their hard work, for the importance of the issues they tackle, and the energy and innovation with which they tackle them. To be a Sloan Fellow is to be in the vanguard of 21st-century science.”

Professor Bao Le Hung: Mathematics

Professor Bao Le Hung researches the Langlands program, which tries to bridge the ...


Masha Dolgoff, Feb. 23, 2019

“Do all of you go to Northwestern?” might have been a rhetorical question from singer-songwriter Kaina at Thursday’s benefit concert put on by A&O Productions, but the fired-up crowd still volunteered its collective voice in enthusiastic agreement.

Kaina, like the other three artists performing at the Evanston SPACE venue Thursday night, is from the greater Chicago area. With fellow opener DJ King Marie, she set the tone for an intimate environment that was energized by the musicians’ love for their hometown.

Weinberg senior Whitney Tesi, who is head of development at A&O, said that the executive board wanted to represent a diverse range of genres at the benefit. “We have a DJ, a few R&B artists and a rapper. They’re all people of color. We wanted to show Northwestern kids the Chicago scene.

In particular, Tesi said that she was excited about Kweku Collins, a producer and rapper who went to Evanston Township High School ...


Julio Vazquez, Feb. 21, 2019

This Thursday, Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor David Hogg hosted a panel to discuss gun violence in the U.S. joined by local high school student Mollie Hartenson and Violence Prevention Coordinator of the BRAVE Youth Leaders Lamar Johnson at Beth Emet The Free Synagogue.

Photo by Julio Vazquez / North by Northwestern

In his opening remarks, Hogg remembered Joaquin Oliver, one of the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting that took place last February. “I fight for him,” Hogg said.

Hogg believes that two important measures must be taken to reduce gun violence. First, mental health care and treatment must be improved in and out of schools, especially for men, given the stigma against them expressing themselves on an open and emotional level. Second, new legislation needs to address the source of gun violence, the weapon itself and who has access to it. The crucial first step to achieving this, Hogg explained, is to counter the National Rifle Association ...


Maya Mojica, Feb. 18, 2019

Medill’s Local News Initiative finds that subscribers, not advertisements, generate revenue for local news organizations.

Medill’s Local News Initiative at Northwestern, working with Medill’s Spiegel Research Center and Northwestern’s Knight Lab, recently conducted research analyzing reader behavior in the context of local news sources. The results showed an interesting conclusion – that establishing a consistent foundation of readers improves the state of local news organizations much more than advertisements do.

“What makes people subscribers is a lot more about their relationship to the media organization,” said Joe Germuska, Executive Director of Medill’s Knight Lab. “It’s not just about their simple behavior in terms of clicks.”

Tim Franklin, a senior associate dean at Medill, former president of ...


Alexis Lanza, Feb. 18, 2019

Photos by Alexis Lanza/ North by Northwestern

The African Student Association hosted a celebration of African culture on Sunday. Northwestern students and community members alike came together to perform and celebrate the diversity of African culture. Performers included the Swahili Singers, the Afrothunda dance troupe, Maudlyne Ihejirika, who read an excerpt from her book, Escape From Nigeria: A Tale of Love, War & Faith, and more. The performances were followed by a dinner of traditional African cuisine.


David Deloso, Feb. 17, 2019
Photos by Cynthia Zhang / North by Northwestern

The Chinese Student Association and Taiwanese American Students Club brought a diverse lineup of Asian and Asian-American performers to Cahn Auditorium for Celebrasia 2019 on Saturday. Celebrating Lunar New Year, the event showcased a wide array of dance, comedy and music.

The Chinese Year of the Pig, which began Feb. 5, served as the show’s theme. Between performances, a parody of Avengers: Infinity War was played. Entitled Avengers: Infinity Boar, the film told the story of “Hamos,” who collected stones named for aspects of Asian culture including chopsticks, bubble tea and Subtle Asian Dating.

Both student groups and celebrity guests performed at the event. The show’s organizers were excited to bring a variety of performances to the stage.

“I think it’s a pretty good lineup,” said Weinberg senior and TASC president Jacqueline Wu. “We have a singer, we have a comedian, we have a beatboxer (which is always super hype ...


Lauren Velasco, Feb. 14, 2019

Teams of students are preparing for the Associated Student Government’s second annual Improve NU Challenge.

Improve NU is a contest open to all students in hopes of getting their ideas for change at Northwestern implemented. Students will present their ideas to a panel of judges on February 24. The competition will be held at Kresge and the Block Museum from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 35 administrators will serve as judges. Three winning projects will receive cash prizes of $750, $500 and $250 for first, second and third place, respectively.

“It might feel like you can’t make a change on campus, even if you have an idea of something that you want to do,” Director of Improve NU and Weinberg sophomore Ayelet Chavel said. “It’s hard to get funding and it’s hard to have connections to faculty and admin that can help you make it happen.”

Chavel explained that Improve NU helps connects ...


Maya Mojica, Feb. 11, 2019

Shortly following the reopening of the U.S. government after the longest shutdown in history, President Trump delivered his 2019 State of the Union address to a newly divided Congress on February 5. As predicted by several Northwestern professors, the issue of border security was at the forefront of Trump’s speech.

Jaime Dominguez, an assistant professor of instruction in the department of political science in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, teaches and researches on topics like race and ethnicity, immigration, urban politics, Latinx politics and Chicago politics. Dominguez made a prediction about the role border security would play in the State of the Union address.

“Border Security will be front and center of Trump’s speech,” Dominguez said. “He will make his case, once again, for the wall. And, in an effort to bypass the Congress, Trump will make the case for why he will use his emergency executive powers to get the wall project funded ...


Yahan Chen, Feb. 10, 2019

Northwestern Chinese International Student Association (CISA) hosted its first Spring Festival Gala on Feb. 9 to celebrate Chinese Year of the Pig. More than 250 students gathered in the Ryan Family Auditorium for a variety of performances.

Tony Zhou, president of CISA, said that the goal of the gala was to give Northwestern Chinese students a feel of home.

“As the biggest festival in China, Lunar New Year often marks family reunion,” Zhou said. “Although we are far away from home, I hope that CISA can become the second home for Chinese students in Northwestern.”

The gala lasted for about three hours and featured musical, dance and comedy performances, with student groups such as Treblemakers, Refresh Dance Crew and K-Dance.

McCormick sophomore Siyuan Chai participated in a Chinese comedy “Journey to Northwestern” that arose big waves of laughter from the audience. Adapted from the famous Chinese novel “Journey to the West”, the comedy featured Chinese students in Northwestern as well ...


Margaux MacColl, Feb. 8, 2019
Photo by Margaux MacColl / North by Northwestern

On Friday afternoon, Northwestern Ph.D. student Kalonji Nzinga recited J. Cole to a group of students at the Rock.

“What good is takin' over,” he said. “When we know what you gon' do?” The students yelled back before descending through the Arch, posters in hand.

“The only real revolution happens right inside of you.” Nzinga was speaking Friday at a march he helped organize to protest the presence of psychologist Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa on campus. The protest, organized by Critical Contexts, Black Lives Matters NU and other student groups, was followed by a seven-hour teach-in at Swift Hall.

Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist spending his year-long sabbatical at Northwestern, has been a source of controversy for months. Kanazawa, who teaches at the London School of Economics and Political Science, is infamous for his 2011 Psychology Today blog post titled, “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” His research, condemned by ...


Maia Brown, Feb. 5, 2019

Graphic by Maia Brown / North by Northwestern

Northwestern has submitted an official comment on behalf of its undergraduate population in response to the proposed changes to the Title IX policy. The comment incorporated individual student feedback that were received following a Jan. 11 information session on the changes.

While the overall session was organized by leaders from ASG, MARS and SHAPE, specific instruction on effective comment writing was provided by Illinois advocacy groups VOICES Violence on Illinois Campuses Elimination Strategies and CAASE Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation.

During and after the panel, Northwestern students were encouraged to submit feedback that highlighted “the regressive nature of the changes proposed by the Department of Education.” Any comments submitted during a 60-day period would be read and considered by the U.S. government.

Specific concerns from students that were in the submitted comment included allowing cross-examinations during Title IX hearings, narrowing the scope of cases to those that occurred on campus and re-defining ...


Maya Mojica, Feb. 4, 2019

Even in the face of a strong scientific consensus, disagreements regarding climate change continue to persist – ones that run largely along political lines. Recently, Northwestern researchers James Druckman and Mary McGrath investigated the rationale behind these opposing views through an article in the peer-reviewed journal, Nature Climate Change.

Druckman, a political science professor, and McGrath, an assistant political science professor, co-authored a review article that aimed to provide an alternate explanation for a partisan divide in climate change beliefs – an explanation that could contribute to real environmental change through the political arena.

“Climate change is an extremely political issue,” McGrath said. “It’s one that is surprisingly far down the list in terms of most people’s attention in the political world.”

According to Druckman, most Democrats have accepted human-induced climate change as valid, while some Republicans are still dubious of the idea. In the past, these political differences have been attributed to motivated reasoning, which means that those who ...