All posts by chrisschulz2019

On Northwestern’s campus, men are addressing their role in sexual violence

By Chris Schulz
Medill Reports

The topic of sexual assault and misconduct is nothing new, but  conversations among men about the role they can play in prevention is. For generations, masculine sexual aggression has been dismissed as “boys will be boys” or locker room talk. Now that society is demanding accountability where sexual violence or misconduct occurs, new conversations and allegations are expanding communication and enforcement.

“The most salient issue is getting men to stop abstracting the issue, to stop thinking of sexual violence as something that happens around them rather than something they contribute to” said David Fishman. He is the president of the Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault group at Northwestern University. MARS provides training to fraternities on campus about masculine identity and the role it can play in sexual assault.

“The biggest challenge is getting each and every one of us, myself included, to recognize places that we contribute to a culture of violence.” Fishman said. Continue reading

San Juan outreach program supports local homeless community

By Chris Schulz
Medill Reports
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO –

It’s just before 8 p.m. when we arrive at Iniciativa Comunitaria in the Rio Piedras neighborhood of San Juan.

Every Friday night, Iniciativa conducts Operación Compasión, a nighttime round to serve the local homeless population by providing food, coffee, juice, condoms, clothes, hygiene kits and needle exchange, among other things.

Each week a different member of the organization leads the outreach. Tonight the leader is Emanuel Rivera, a young public health professional, accompanied by his brother Kenneth. Emanuel is already a veteran of the rounds, but this is 17-year-old Kenneth’s first time volunteering. Ivan Figueroa, a local pharmacist who is helping set up but will not join us on the rounds, briefs us about what to expect and what to do while Emmanuel prepares the coffee and juice. Continue reading

Rodriguez wins 22nd Ward seat in decisive victory

By Chris Schulz
Medill Reports

Democrat Michael Rodriguez won the 22nd Ward aldermanic seat Tuesday, with 63.9 percent of the vote, defeating three other candidates.

Rodriguez succeeds longtime Alderman Ricardo Muñoz. After representing the 22nd ward for 25 years, Muñoz announced in July that he would not seek reelection and endorsed Rodriguez’s candidacy. Rodriguez also counted on the endorsement of freshman Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (D-4th), who represented the 22nd ward before Muñoz.

Rodriguez applauded supporters at Home Run Inn Pizza on 31st Street on election night. “We did this together. That’s how we do this, and that’s how we’re going to run our office. Everyone in.”

A lifetime resident of Little Village, Rodriguez is the Democratic Committeeman of the 22nd Ward, as well as executive vice chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party. Previously, he worked as executive director of Enlace Chicago, a Little Village nonprofit.

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Chicago Chill – Temperature drop empties streets as students and commuters stay home

Chris Schulz
Medill Reports

January 30, 2019, marked one of the coldest days in Chicago’s history, with an early morning low of -23 degrees and a frigid high of -10. Schools, businesses, and public attractions all closed their doors against the dangerous cold, encouraging everyone to stay indoors. Downtown Chicago, devoid of its characteristic bustle, looked eerie and abandoned. Continue reading

Misdemeanor court tackles fast-paced flow of cases

By Chris Schulz
Medill Reports

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Robert Kuzas considered 88 misdemeanor cases over the course of two hours at a recent 9 a.m. hearing. That is considered a moderately slow session in Branch 43, as the county’s misdemeanor court at 3150 W. Flournoy St. is known. Two more sessions filled that day with 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. court calls.

“Efficiency is the priority in most courtrooms,” said Joy Tull, one of the public defenders working at Branch 43.

To get through all those cases in the time allotted, the courtroom runs like a well-oiled machine. Assistant state’s attorneys and prosecutors stand shoulder to shoulder in front of the judge’s bench and consider case after case.

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Volunteers and survivors of sexual assault help other survivors

By Chris Schulz
Medill Reports

Medical advocates always hope they will not receive this notification during their shift. Even though they have trained for the scenario, are certified by the state to respond and have volunteered their time for this exact reason, it is still heartbreaking. The notification means that someone, somewhere in a hospital in Chicago has just disclosed that they survived a sexual assault.

Medical advocates are dispatched on these calls by the organization they volunteer with, such as YWCA-Chicago or Resilience, notified directly by staff at the hospital.

Although she stresses that every case is different, Lindsay Cogan always tries to start her interactions with survivors by communicating: “This isn’t your fault. I believe you. You have options.”

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