Wednesday, November 30, 2011

OMSA Advisory Board Meeting Highlights!

The OMSA Advisory Board meets bi-monthly to address the concerns of UChicago’s multicultural community. It is an important asset in helping to ensure that OMSA and the university administration is effectively meeting the needs of the diverse student body. In order to make sure that broader campus community is aware of the concerns the Advisory Board are addressing, the OMSA Blog includes meeting highlights!

Meeting Date: November 15, 2011

Special Guests:
  • Kim Goff-Crews, the Vice President for Campus and Student Life/ Dean of Students
  • Yusef Al-Jarani, Student Government Liasion
  • The OMSA Advisory Board is making changes with its strategy in approaching student concerns. Be on the look out for any upcoming events or presentations in your RSO meetings!
  • University of Chicago has contracts with CTA that allows the 170, 171, and 172 to run with no cost for students. As such, this is why the University does not have the CTA UPass of some form. This was actually determined several years ago based on students preference from surveys. If you have questions concerning transportation or the CTA UPassfeel free to contact the new Director of Transportation & Parking, Theresa Brown
  • The Board expressed concerns over the recent controversy of freedom of expression. They asked: How do you strike the balance between the freedom of expression for students with the institution?
  • Goff-Crews stated: Students are always trying to bring in different aspects of the events from very controversial to popular among the community and they are encourage to do so. The administration enjoys and appreciates students expressing their beliefs and passions, all the while ensuring that students are safe and secure.
  • She asks groups to be very prepared in order to run successful protest or demonstrations and that is what the university strives for. Overall, Goff-Crews and the university staff supports protests and student’s willingness to speak at events, but asks that student groups prepare for all outcomes that could arise
  • Students should also be aware the University’s policy for demonstrations and protests
  • The Board has previously expressed concern over what the message of where to travel in Hyde Park was being distributed. They asked Goff-Crews how the message of “don’t go to these places” could be given to not limit students to travel around the community.
  • Goff-Crews responded that the University’s position is that one can travel wherever they please so long as they do so safely. There is no reason why students should be limited to where they travel, but they do have to be mindful of their own safety.
  • There is the Safety Awareness Program and the Common Sense Manual that students can use to become more aware of the community and how to travel. The university strives to make sure that students are aware of their communities and activities that may be taking place but not to scare students and prevent them from traveling to certain places.
  • The Board expressed concerns over how Goff-Crews attends to the concerns of undergraduate and graduate students. How does her department balance between both and how do they attempt to integrate the different graduate schools between each other?
  • Goff-Crews has departments that are dedicated to targeting both undergraduate and graduate students equally. She tries to address the specific and unique needs of different students by attending to their needs and requests. An example is there is a bigger issue for undergraduates in terms of housing specifically, where undergraduates will live if the incoming class keeps getting bigger. Many of the issues will not have short-term results, but are being looked at for the long-term solution.
  • Goff-Crews has met with students from each of the various departments in the graduate divisions to better understand and address graduate needs. The primary needs are academic and career support and social support. Campaigns are being held to raise funds for more social support and activities.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Conversation With "Let's Talk" Counselor, Bindu Seth Heck

1. Tell me a little about your professional background.

I am currently completing my second year of a part-time post-doctoral fellowship at the Student Counseling Service. I was awarded my doctoral degree from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and my dissertation focused on issues of belongingness and the lived experience of individuals within the Gender Queer and Transgender communities. I completed my pre-doctoral internship at SCS and have also completed training programs at Northwestern University, Northtown Rogers Park Mental Health Center, and Elgin Mental Health Center.

2. What is “Let’s Talk”? What happens at a visit to “Let’s Talk”?

“Let’s Talk” is a program that provides easy access to informal and confidential consultations with counselors from the Student Counseling Service. A student can simply walk-in during the designated time—there is no appointment or fee necessary. A student can remain anonymous if they would prefer not to give their name. During a visit, I typically ask if there is a particular issue or concern that is bringing a student to “Let’s Talk,” and provide support, perspective, and suggestions for resources.

3. Who should visit “Let’s Talk”?
This service is open to all University of Chicago undergraduate and graduate students. “Let’s Talk” is the best fit for the following people:students who are not sure about therapy and wonder what it’s like to talk with a therapist; students who are not interested in therapy but would like the perspective of a counselor; students who have a specific problem and would like someone with whom to talk it through; students who have a concern about a friend and want some thoughts about what to do.

4. How is “Let’s Talk” different from psychotherapy at the Student Counseling Service (SCS)?

Therapists at SCS provide short-term therapy, which usually consists of weekly 45-50 minute appointments. “Let’s Talk” is not formal therapy: it is a drop-in service where students can have an informal consultation with a counselor from time to time.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Weekly Schedule: Nov 5- 10

Saturday, November 5
Teacher Workshop: Art and Activism
Presented by: The Smart Museum
9:00 AM-3:30 PM
Smart Museum of Art, 5550 South Greenwood Avenue
Rebirth of a Nation: Race & Gender Politics in Media
Presented by: Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture (CSRPC)
Max Palevsky Cinema, Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 East 59th Street
South Asian Student Association Culture Show study break
McCormick Tribune Lounge of Reynolds Club, 5706 South University Ave.

Monday, November 7
Library Book Sale
Presented by: Joseph Regenstein Library
9:30 AM-4:30 PM
Joseph Regenstein Library, 1100 East 57th Street
ORCSA Presents: Sundaes on Mondays
Presented by: ORCSA
12:00 PM-1:00 PM
Reynolds Club, 5706 South University Avenue
Urban Teacher Education Program Info Session
Presented by: Urban Teacher Education Program
4:00 PM-5:00 PM
Room 240 of Biological Sciences Learning Center, 924 East 57th Stree

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chicago Careers in Journalism (CCIJ) - 2011 to 2012

Chicago Careers in Journalism (CCIJ) is a non-competitive program open to all students and alumni of the College. It strives to work with students at all levels of interest, those interested in journalism as a profession and also those interested in it as extracurricular experience. Journalism focuses on what is new and different in the world. It involves every subject—politics, policy, science, culture, art and even travel and food. It may be conveyed through newspapers, magazines, television, radio or the Internet. It’s all journalism.

The CCIJ program mentors students to earn internships and jobs, holds skill-building workshops, provides Metcalf and CCIJ grants to help students afford unpaid, full-time journalism internships, and brings professional journalists to campus to meet with students.
  • To sign up for the CCIJ list serve for opportunities and announcements, go through Chicago Career Connection to your profile and check the CCIJ box AND the journalism industry box.
  • CCIJ web page:
CCIJ Program Director Kathy Anderson has worked at every level of journalism - national and local; broadcast and print. For 20 years she was in daily journalism, primarily with ABC News, and for eight years she wrote and produced documentaries, mostly for national PBS. While at ABC News, Kathy won a William Benton Fellowship to study at the University of Chicago and her master’s degree is from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
  • To make an appointment:
    • Use the “Counseling Appointment” shortcut on Chicago Career Connection
    • Email Program Director Kathy Anderson at
Come to CCIJ's Fireside Chat:

How to Get A Journalism Internship w/CCIJ
Tuesday November 8 from 3:30 to 4:30 pm at 5710 South Woodlawn

Interested in journalism? Find out the best way to get an internship and network in the field from Kathy Anderson, an award-winning journalist and CCIJ Director.