Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington Today (Wed Aug 28)

Don’t miss this event:
Today, Wed., Aug. 28, Student Life is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, which originally culminated with Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Viewing starts at 9 a.m. in Building U, U111.

Will we have a Smoke-Free campus?

Recently, the campus has announced new smoking areas (take a look at this map for the locations). There has been a task group on campus looking at smoking issues and considering whether or not MVCC will become a smoke free campus.

This is a topic that Sarah, one of our librarians, wrote about in April of 2012 (see “Smoke-Free Campus?”). There are many campuses that are going smoke-free, and the health consequences of smoking are not really a secret.

For more info, take a look at Sarah’s post where she includes interesting data and resources  (see “Smoke-Free Campus?”).

What Does the End of the Patch Mean for Our Area?

**UPDATE 8/20/13: The editors from the local Patch sites have contacted us to assure us that the Patch sites for the South suburbs are not closing. They are open and covering local news. This is great to hear! **


Some big news that may impact local journalism around MVCC! Last week, AOL announced that it would greatly reduce its local news network known as The Patch (see “AOL lays off about 500 at Patch local news unit“).

The Patch has become a major source of local news covering many events that the Tribune and Sun-Times do not cover. Local government, school boards, business openings, cultural events, and other events have been covered by local journalists who live in our communities. This includes events held by Moraine Valley!

Here’s a list of the local Patch sites.

Palos Patch (Twitter: @PalosPatch)
Orland Patch (Twitter: @OrlandPatch)
Tinley Park Patch (Twitter: @TinleyParkPatch)

Why is the Patch shutting its virtual doors? Well, basically it comes down to money. It is increasingly apparent that news sites cannot operate on advertising revenue alone. There just isn’t enough ad dollars to support the operation. For a more detailed look see this article from Nieman Journalism Lab, “The newsonomics of Patch’s unquilting (by Ken Doctor).”

Highest Point In Chicago Just Down the Street

So, the story below from WBEZ ran last week (June 28th). It turns out that the highest point in Chicago is just down the street from Moraine Valley. This story also touches on some local geography. Those of you who grew up on the east side of Moraine Valley’s district will definitely know the spot they determine to be the highest point! It is a local treat! Where is it? You’ll have to listen to find out.

Curious City: The sweet spot at the top of Chicago
What is the highest point, geographically, in Chicago? Mollly Adams seeks out to find it!

Academic Gowns, an 800 Year Tradition

This Friday (May 17) is graduation when we honor Moraine Valley’s newest alumni!

When a student graduates, it is traditionally the faculty to bestow the degree on the students. The faculty as the keepers of their academic disciplines confirm that the students have completed their course work and have earned the degree. This is why the faculty process into the ceremony in their fancy robes.

Of course, this always leads us to to the question about the crazy, colorful, and sometimes eccentric looking robes worn by faculty members and graduates. The academic regalia (as it is known) is an 800 year old tradition dating back to middle-ages Europe. At that time, monks were the keepers of knowledge, and they lived in old, drafty monasteries. Their robes were practical at first (to keep warm), but over time, the robes evolved into academic fashion statements.

If you are interested in learning a bit more about the meaning and history behind academic dress, take a look at this video from the UCLA Newsroom: Decoding Graduation Caps and Gowns

UCLA explores the meaning and mystery behind graduation attire.

Angels in America at MVCC

Angels in AmericaLater this week, an MVCC production of Tony Kushner’s groundbreaking play about Reagan-era America during the height of the AIDS epidemic debuts at the John and Angeline Oremus Theater here on campus.

This year (in fact, this month) marks twenty years since Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, Part 1: Millennium Approaches won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Three years earlier, in 1990, the play premiered in workshop form at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Here’s one of the earliest reviews from that production, from way back when the play was just a lowly work-in-progress and before it capitulated Kushner (who incidentally snagged an Oscar Nom this year for penning the screenplay for Lincoln) to the forefront of American theater: “STAGE REVIEW A Novel ‘Millennium’” (Sylvie Drake, Los Angeles Times; May 21, 1990). (I found this review using ProQuest National Newspapers by going to the Library homepage –> Research Tools –> News [under Databases By Subject] –> National Newspapers).

The library holds multiple copies of Angels in America–parts 1 and 2–along with some literary criticism. Find them all listed in the online catalog here.

For more lit crit, MLA International Bibliography is always a good choice (Library homepage –> Research Tools –> Literature Resources [under Databases By Subject] –> MLA International Bibliography).

Experience French Culture at the Field Museum

Chicago is a city filled with plethora of cultural centers. One of these sites is The Field Museum. The museum’s newest exhibit Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux, is open for viewing. The wall art that was discovered in a French cave was painted over 30,000 years ago. The Field Museum invites you to “experience” the prehistoric paintings by a “walk through exact cave replicas by flickering light, marveling at full-size copies of the paintings-including some never seen by the public-and see them through the eyes of ancient artists. Deconstruct the paintings’ many layers of complexities, meet a lifelike Stone Age family, and discover why the true meaning and purpose of the caves remain a mystery even today.”

Check out the MVCC library for additional information on this subject.

Find Your Candidates for the April 9th Elections

The April 9th consolidated elections are just two weeks away. Local elections may not be as exciting or glamorous as the big national elections, but they are just as important. So in order to make it as easy as possible for you to find out information about who will be on your ballot we have put together this helpful guide. We are focusing our attention on the 26 communities that make up the Moraine Valley Community College District and that are predominantly in Cook County, so if you live farther away and need information you may need to check out your local county website. (Will, DuPage)

First off, to find out who will be on your ballot you can go to the Cook County Clerk’s website and find your sample ballot either by using your last name and address or by using your last name, birthday, last four digits of your social security number and/or a state ID number.

Address Search
Address Search
Birthday Search
Birthday Search

Next you will find a number of tabs of information beginning with the Registration Status tab which will show you the location of your polling place. Clicking on the Sample Ballot Candidates tab will give you a list of all the candidates you will choose from when you go to vote. Clicking on the Sample Ballot Referenda tab will show you any local issues being put to a public vote.

Voter Information
Sample Ballot

Now that you know who you have to choose from on your ballot, how do you find out information about the candidates to help you choose? On your sample ballot, if you see a candidate’s name show up as a hotlink (i.e. blue and underlined) you can click on it to see a Candidate Statement. This statement may also contain links to additional information about the candidate. But not every candidate will have a statement. Additional information is sometimes available through local news sources. For example, the Southtown Star has questionnaires answered by the candidates in its readership area. But, again, not all candidates submitted answers to the Southtown Star’s questionnaire.

If you live in a community with a local Patch website, you might find more information there as well. Here are a few of the local Patch election sites that I was able to find.

Finally, if all else fails you can try your hand at using Google, Bing, or another search engine. Try putting the candidate’s name inside quotation marks and adding the word Candidate to your search. Most importantly, we hope you get out on April 9th and cast a ballot.

Tomorrow Chicago Welcomes Home the Veterans

592335_422858364446671_904719216_nIf you have time, I encourage you all to make it down to Grant Park for the Chicago Welcomes Home the Heroes parade, tomorrow at noon.
It has been 1 year since the end of the Iraq War, let’s give our soldiers a well deserved welcome home.

Read my previous post about the Parade, from August and November.

Juvenile False Confessions in Chicago

This past Sunday, CBS’ 60 Minutes had a show false confessions in Chicago (see below). They noted that Chicago has the highest rate of false confessions for juveniles in the entire country. Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez was interviewed. In the past, Ms. Alvarez has spoken in our library for Hispanic Heritage Month. You can hear her lecture on our Podcast page–Volume 3 Number 2 or you can download the MP3 here.

The 60 Minutes piece also discussed the The Innocence Project. Here’s a link to an article in Ebony (September, 2012), Free at Last, that discusses the Innocence Project and recently exonerated men.

Chicago: The false confession capital (December 9, 2012)
Description: It’s hard to believe people would confess to a heinous crime they didn’t commit, but they do — especially teenagers — and there is no place in the U.S. where this has occurred more than in Chicago. Byron Pitts reports.