4 years, hundreds of stories: Best of Campus


Daily file photo by Susan Du

University President Morton Schapiro came to Northwestern from Williams College in 2009. He has made it his goal to bring more “third spaces” to campus, or places where students can study and socialize.

1. Schapiro becomes president

Along with the current class of graduating seniors, Northwestern President Morton Schapiro entered campus in fall 2009. Schapiro brought a background in economics of higher education, and experience as president of Williams College. He implemented a focus on adding “third spaces” for NU students to socialize and study, and has spearheaded major fundraising and construction projects.

2. Diversity issues take center stage on campus

Incidents of racial and cultural insensitivity seemed to dominate campus conversation during the last four years, coming to a head in spring 2012 with a “Beer Olympics” party that, featuring racially insensitive costumes, became dubbed the “Racist Olympics.” Other issues have included a Latina student being mocked on her way home, and NU maintenance worker Michael Collins finding a teddy bear hanging in his office as if it had been lynched in December 2012.

3. Loss of 3 students in one year

The NU community was stunned in late September when incoming McCormick sophomore Harsha Maddula went missing after a night of socializing. His body was found five days after his disappearance in Wilmette Harbor. Alyssa Weaver, a Weinberg junior, was studying abroad in London when she committed suicide in November. Dmitri Teplov, a McCormick sophomore, was found dead in Pancoe Hall on the morning of May 5 with a suicide note in his pocket.

4. CAPS review

The three student deaths raised new concerns about whether mental health services on campus were sufficient. Student Affairs approved three new Counseling and Psychological Services positions in May.

5. Human sexuality class canceled in wake of sex-toy demo

In February 2011, Prof. John Michael Bailey’s 600-person Human Sexuality class, one of the most popular at NU, held an optional after-class lecture on sexual diversity, in which a couple discussed and then demonstrated exhibitionism and the female orgasm using a motorized sex toy. News of the demonstration spread around campus and then to national media. The University canceled the class for the 2011-12 school year.

6. Protess resigns from NU amid Innocence Project controversy

David Protess, former head of the Medill Innocence Project, retired from NU in spring 2011 in the wake of University accusations that he had doctored emails and withheld documents from prosecutors who accused the 29-year professor and his students of ethical misconduct in investigating a murder conviction. The Medill Innocence Project continues under new direction and with different rules, but the controversy cast a wide shadow.

7. Chabad House disaffiliation

NU disaffiliated with the Tannenbaum Chabad House and Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein on Sept. 11, 2012. An investigation found the rabbi guilty of violating NU alcohol policy. After the decision, students and alumni rallied around Klein, signing a petition voicing their dissatisfaction.

8. Dance Marathon 2013 record

Northwestern University Dance Marathon 2013 raised $1,214,632, topping 2012’s total by more than $100,000. $741,394.10 was allotted for the Danny Did Foundation, NUDM’s primary beneficiary.