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.
Claire Bugos, Feb. 28, 2017
Ryan Foreman and Jordan Moore perform in “A Hoop Dream.” The Black Lives Black Words play festival featured 10-minute pieces written, directed and performed by students.

Student writers, directors and actors brought their experiences of being Black in America to life Tuesday night in the university-level debut of Black Lives Black Words.

Twelve actors approached the question, “do Black lives matter today?” through a series of eight 10-minute plays performed at the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts. These original pieces included monologues, spoken word and musical performance.

Black Lives Black Words (BLBW) began in Chicago in 2015 as a platform for artists of color to comment on racial issues through professional performances. Since its inception, the show has been performed internationally. This was the first collaboration with a university.

“I think by giving these college voices the opportunity to speak on such important issues such as Black Lives Matter, it causes the next generation to have a ...


Margaux MacColl, Feb. 27, 2017

Photos by Virginia Nowakowski / North by Northwestern

What animal can count to ten, teach their children and lie to females to have sex? The answer: chickens.

That’s how Clarké Snell, Chicago Grassroots Director of the Humane League, began her presentation in University Hall Monday night. The Humane League is a national organization that works to reduce animal suffering, and Snell’s speech, organized by Real Food at NU and Engineers for a Sustainable World, aimed to educate Northwestern students about animal agriculture.

After discussing the intelligence of farm animals, Snell began to discuss their treatment in the American farming system.

“Your typical chicken factory is going to have 100,000 hens,” she said. “That’s 100,000 hens in about one New York City block.”

She referenced specific farms, talking about how, for example, Prestage Farms keeps their animals in gestation crates. According to Snell, these crates greatly restrict the movement of the animal.

“They stand in the same ...


Maggie Harden, Feb. 24, 2017

In a statement made on Facebook on Thursday afternoon, Northwestern's Interfraternity Council Executive Board denounced the actions of its IFC senators at an ASG meeting Wednesday night. At the meeting, IFC senator Mike Seethaler and three substitute senators from Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) walked out as the senate prepared to vote on a sexual assault accountability bill, which disrupted quorum and consequently prevented a vote. 

The statement said IFC Exec Board "thoroughly condemns" this action, and that the walkout was a "direct insult" to both ASG senators and the survivors of sexual assault who look to ASG as a source of support. Furthermore, the statement said IFC will be taking swift and immediate action to ensure similar events do not happen again.

IFC reached out to ASG to endorse the bill the Senate was attempting to vote on Wednesday night. The bill, among other resolutions, calls for the University to hold organizations responsible if any individuals within the group ...


Margaux MacColl, Feb. 24, 2017
Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Khizr Khan stood before thousands last July at the Democratic National Convention (DNC), telling the story of his son’s death and criticising Donald Trump. Khizr Khan stood tall as Donald Trump fired attacks against his family. On Thursday night, Khizr Khan stood on the Harris Hall stage in front of Northwestern students.

“I have no doubt,” he said. “I stand before the future of this world, of mankind.”

Khizr Khan was the father of Captain Humayun Khan, a soldier in the Iraq War who died from a car bombing in 2004. He and his wife, Ghazala Khan, both Muslim Americans, spoke at this year’s DNC. He came to Northwestern Thursday as a part of Discover Islam Week, a week of speakers organized by the Muslim Cultural Students Association.

Khan spent part of his speech detailing the story of his son’s death. To save the lives of his fellow soldiers, Khan said, Captain Khan ...


Maggie Harden, Feb. 23, 2017

In an email sent to students on Thursday evening, Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia Telles-Irvin affirmed Northwestern's support of transgender students in light of actions taken by President Trump yesterday.

Trump rescinded legislation passed by former President Obama that allows transgender and non-gender-conforming individuals to use the bathroom or facility of their choice in schools. In doing so, Trump ignored initial advice from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, because he said state governments should decide school policy, not the federal government.

In the email, Telles-Irvin said Northwestern "is committed to being a welcoming and inclusive community for all" and that the contributions of LGTBQ+ individuals "help make this institution a better place." She also said that while some students or community members may prefer Northwestern not get involved in political issues like this, the University believes it's important to act if members of the Northwestern community are being affected.

She added that while Northwestern's key goals ...


Margaux MacColl, Feb. 23, 2017

Photos by Virginia Nowakowski / North by Northwestern

On the Harris stage sat six students, all representing different activist groups, all representing different passions and battles against oppression.

“We are certainly going to have some robust conversation,” Jessica Disa, who also goes by her performance name FM Supreme, laughed before the discussion began.

Disa, a rapper, poet and activist from Chicago was the moderator of the Panel on Student Activism hosted by the Northwestern Community Development Corps (NCDC) in Harris Hall on Wednesday night.

The students started off by explaining how and why they got into activism.

“I'm fighting for my own liberation,” Labelle Darcelle, a junior doing work for Black Queer/Trans Rights, said. “I'm not just going to let the oppressions of the world rage around me.”

Although students represented a variety of organizations ranging from the The People's Lobby to Real Food at NU, they all stressed the intersectionality of their causes. However, as much ...


Maggie Harden, Feb. 22, 2017

During ASG's four-hour meeting on Wednesday night, senators debated a bill addressing the university's policy regarding sexual assault. The bill, as it stands now (it may still be amended or reworded since it has not been formally passed), calls for the Northwestern administration to make sexual assault prevention a "priority," and for the university to issue a cease-and-desist order against Sigma Alpha Episilon fraternity. It also urges the university to permanently remove any individuals found guilty of purchasing, possessing or using a date-rape drug, among other actions.

Senators discussed the bill, which was proposed after reports of sexual assault were filed against SAE and another unidentified fraternity, for nearly three hours. Several SAE members were present, and they engaged in the discussion by proposing amendments of their own, particularly relating to specific word choices within the bill. SAE representatives especially argued that calling for a university-issued cease-and-desist order would be unnecessary, as the fraternity's national headquarters have ...


Yoonjie Park, Feb. 22, 2017
Photos by Claire Bugos / North by Northwestern

“I really feel like a professor standing up here,” the first female Muslim Olympian to medal for the U.S., Ibtihaj Muhammad, joked, as she started her speech for the second day of Muslim Cultural Students Association's Discover Islam Week. Over 100 people attended the event held in the Technological Institute LR2.

Muhammad’s speech started with the story of how she first became involved in fencing. Growing up, she had always been required to play a sport, but with one restriction – she had to be completely covered, except her hands and face. She “stumbled upon fencing by chance”, when she and her mom “saw athletes who had on long white jackets and long white pants.”

Muhammad had initially never thought much about becoming an official Olympian, as she had always been jokingly called one in the past. But when a fan came up to her, calling her an Olympian, Muhammad’s ...


Virginia Nowakowski, Feb. 21, 2017
Photos by Virginia Nowakowski / North by Northwestern

At first glance, Jeremy McLellan hardly seems like a candidate to open for a week dedicated to learning more about Islam. However, the self-identified white, male, Christian comedian from South Carolina opened Discover Islam Week with an hour-long stand-up routine followed by a question-and-answer period in McCormick Foundation Center on Tuesday night. More than 60 people attended.

His appearance and background may have initially given some audience members doubts, but his descriptions of eating biryani, a mixed rice dish popular in South Asia, and easy-going manner quickly gained laughs in the auditorium.

“I didn’t know anything about Jeremy McLellan before this event,” said McCormick sophomore Ayesha Rahman. “I was very pleasantly surprised; he was really funny, really tasteful, not offensive, but really funny – spot on with all his jokes.”

The evening started out with light barbs about biryani, as well as some discussion of McLellan’s home state and his experience working ...


Maggie Harden, Feb. 19, 2017

This week, Northwestern's Muslim Cultural Students Association (McSA) is hosting "Discover Islam Week" to promote awareness about the experiences of Muslims and their allies. As part of the initiative, a variety of lecturers will be giving speeches this week discussing different topics relating to Islam, particularly in line with the week's "We the People" theme. McSA members will also be passing out lemonade at the Rock all week. 

Image courtesy of the Muslim Cultural Student Association

Tuesday: A Night of Comedy ft. Jeremy McLellan (McCormick Foundation Center, 7-9 p.m.)

Stand-up comedian Jeremy McLellan will perform Tuesday night to kick off the week. McLellan is known for tackling topics ranging from race to Santa Claus during his routines, and he has won several awards in his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina for his performances.

Wednesday: En Garde: Ibtihaj Muhammad's Journey (Pancoe, 7-9 p.m.)

Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim woman to win an Olympic medal for the ...


Mia Zanzucchi, Feb. 18, 2017

A planned one hour event ran almost twice as long Friday night, as The Daily Show’s Aasif Mandvi spoke about his religious evolution, career and more in Ryan Auditorium.

According to South Asian Student Alliance (SASA) Co-President Justine Hung, about 200 students and community members attended the talk, SASA’s annual co-sponsored event with the Muslim Cultural Student Association (McSA). Mandvi talked for almost an hour, had a moderated conversation with history associate professor Dr. Rajeev Kinra and answered several audience questions.

Throughout the whole event, Mandvi talked about heavy issues (like how he went back to his Muslim faith after 9/11) while mixing in humor (“and then suddenly, I was Muslim!”).

“It’s hard to do comedy in the way we used to back in, I don't know, the early part of 2016,” Mandvi said, calling it “quaint” to make fun of former President George Bush years ago.

Mandvi, who grew up in a Muslim household ...


David Gleisner, Feb. 15, 2017

Joan Slavin, Director of the University Sexual Harassment Prevention Office, and Amanda DaSilva, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students, gave a presentation at Wednesday’s ASG meeting about what the office does, the University’s sexual misconduct policies and the complaint resolution process.

Slavin began by stating that the office is not able to discuss any ongoing investigations, in regards to the investigation of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity and another fraternity unnamed by NU for alleged incidences of drugging and sexual assault. She added, however, that any students who have information or know others who have information about the alleged incidents should come to the office with that knowledge.

The two talked about the new centralization of all matters of sexual misconduct within the office, the revised sexual misconduct policy that was rolled out in September and the data published in their first annual sexual misconduct data report.

DaSilva outlined that the office can still offer assistance ...


Maggie Harden, Feb. 14, 2017

On Friday, Sigma Alpha Epsilon's (SAE) national headquarters officially put a "cease-and-desist" order in place on NU's chapter in the wake of sexual assault allegations, according to the Chicago Tribune. SAE spokesman Brandon Weghorst told the Tribune that the fraternity has been ordered to "cease and desist all operations," and it can no longer hold chapter meetings or attend social events. The order will remain in place until the investigation into the sexual assault complaints has been completed. 

Weghorst said this doesn't mean the chapter will be closing permanently, and that residents will be allowed to remain in the house due to a leasing agreement with the home's private owners. Additionally, the SAE letters will remain on the campus house unless the chapter is eventually disbanded altogether. Weghorst said in an email that the cease-and-desist order "means that normal (or daily) chapter operations must halt until further notice. When we, as the national organization, suspend a ...


Priyanka Godbole, Feb. 13, 2017

Medill junior David Gernon gives an opinion on the resolution to ban Greek life on Northwestern’s campus.

Photo by Virginia Nowakowski / North by Northwestern

At 7:30 p.m. on Monday, members of Northwestern University’s Political Union student group gathered in the Buffett Institute to debate a campus-wide topic of contention: Greek life.

Amidst a crowd of 40 students, moderator Aaron Gordon prefaced the resolution by stating that in light of recent events, the intention of this debate was not to have a discussion about the ongoing sexual assault allegations against SAE or try to speak on behalf of the survivors, but rather to focus on Northwestern’s Greek life as a whole and its role on campus.

With that being said, the opening speakers – Edmund Bannister (against) and David Gernon (in favor) – each took four minutes to convince the audience that their stance was more favorable.

Gernon began by questioning if the collective benefits of the Greek ...


Rachel Frazin, Feb. 10, 2017
SHAPE outreach chair and Communication senior Amanda Odasz thanks survivors and supporters for coming to the march after going from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house north campus to outside of East and West Fairchild, across the street from the SAE National Headquarters at Sheridan Road and Hinman Avenue. Photo by Mia Zanzucchi / North by Northwestern

Sexual assault survivors discussed their experiences, physical and emotional bruises and lasting pain at a protest called Stand with Survivors: March Down Sheridan. At the event, which took place on Friday, students marched from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house to SAE’s national headquarters. The immense crowd then listened to survivors share their stories.

This protest was a response to allegations of drugging and of sexual assault that took place at SAE and an unnamed fraternity. Four women reported being drugged with a date-rape drug at SAE and two reported that they were sexually assaulted. Another woman reported being sexually assaulted with the ...