Category Archives: Campus News

10 Ways to Brighten Up Your Winter Quarter

Winter Quarter at NorthwesternPolar vortex got you down? Here are 10 things going on around campus to make Winter Quarter your favorite quarter.

10. Northwestern Basketball
Football season is over, but the Big Ten athletic action continues at Welsh-Ryan Arena–a brisk walk or quick shuttle ride away from the main Evanston campus. Admission is free for students, so check out the full schedules for the men’s and women’s teams and come support your Wildcats!

9. Ice Skating and Skiing at Norris
Even if you didn’t make the cut for Sochi 2014, you can still strap on some ice skates and take a spin around the Norris Center ice rink. And while you won’t find any black diamond runs on campus, you can always rent cross-country skis from Norris Outdoors and glide along the snowy lakefront.

8. Free Admission to the Art Institute of Chicago
Thanks to a new partnership with the University, undergraduate students now have completely free access to the Art Institute of Chicago during normal operating hours. A “Northwestern Night” kicking off the partnership will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 23. All Northwestern alumni, faculty, staff (and their friends and families) will have free admission that night, too!

7. NU Nights
Superman or Batman? Marvel Comics or DC Comics? Dress up as your favorite caped crusader for “Superhero Bingo” at 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17., at Norris.

6. Block Museum of Art Reopening
If the Art Institute didn’t give you enough of an artistic fix, the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art is reopening at 2 p.m. Jan. 18, after being closed for renovations. Check out the full lineup of winter exhibitions, including “The Left Front: Radical Art in the ‘Red Decade,’ 1929-1940″ and “Steichen | Warhol: Picturing Fame.”

5. Shrek the Musical
The 72nd annual Northwestern Dolphin Show is all about the timeless journey of an ogre and a talking donkey rescuing an unconventional princess. America’s largest student-produced musical opens Jan. 24 and runs through Feb. 1 at Cahn Auditorium.

4. New Treats at Starbucks
The Starbucks in Norris underwent a facelift over the break and now features pastries and hot breakfast sandwiches from La Boulange. Cozy up to the fireplace or big-screen TV and enjoy a hot chocolate or your favorite coffee concoction.

3. Board Games Night
As long as you’re at Norris, you might as well stick around for Board Games Night with Dead City Productions. There’s nothing like a good round of Settlers of Catan to take the edge off of a cold winter night.

2. Dance Marathon
It’s the biggest fundraiser/dance party on campus and marks the beginning of the end of Winter Quarter. This year’s beneficiary is Team Joseph, which raises money in the fight against Duchenne muscular dystrophy. If you’re not already involved as a dancer or committee member, stop by the NUDM tent to watch the fun. Will another fundraising record be broken this year?

1. Snow
As you’ve already noticed, Northwestern gets lots of snow in the winter. Make sure you take some time to enjoy it! Organizing a snowball fight, making snow angels or just creating some footprints in the fresh powder while walking around the snow globe-like campus are great ways to blow off steam and embrace the beautiful side of the cold weather. Happy winter!

University Library in Winter

Bringing TEDx to Northwestern

Nikita Ramanujam, a junior double majoring in learning and organizational change and French horn performance, is the student organizer of TEDx NorthwesternU 2014. Read about why she wanted to host the “genius talks” event at NU and how you can get involved. The event is scheduled for April 12 in the McCormick Tribune Center Forum.

This summer while interning in Boston, I watched A LOT of TED talks. They were my way of keeping grounded and staying inspired. I noticed many of these talks were taking place at universities and I wondered why Northwestern didn’t have a TEDx event. Over the past two years at NU, I had heard some of the most insightful, educated and brave thoughts coming from my peers and professors. We’re a world-renowned institution and our alumni are some of the most recognized across a variety of fields and disciplines. As the TED Talks slogan says, Northwestern definitely has ideas worth spreading.

I submitted an application last July and on Sept. 23 I received a phone call informing me that my license had been approved. From there I began to search for a faculty advisor and a student executive board. I came across Michele Weldon, the director of the Public Voices Fellowship and assistant professor emerita in Medill. We selected our executive board from over 55 student applicants and began planning TEDx NorthwesternU 2014. I’ve been so fortunate to meet some of the most qualified, passionate, and humbling people at Northwestern through this experience. I’m constantly learning from them, and it’s already been such a wonderful journey.

Together we hope to provide a platform for ideas to be heard and passions to be shared. This is going to be an event that unites our community and we truly can’t wait. We will be featuring nine speakers: three students, three faculty members and three alumni. Applicants can submit a one minute video with a description of their talk on our website by January 15, 11:59 PM. Applicants will be notified by February 1st.

What’s NU: Halloween Edition

Wednesday, October 30

Peter Singer: Effective Altruism: What It Is and Why We Should Do It
7-8:30 p.m., Harris Hall, Room 107
Peter Singer, a professor of bioethics at Princeton University, will speak at the event. He serves on the advisory board of Academics Stand Against Poverty and of Incentives for Global Health. Singer as also published various books. Join the Buffet Center, NUCHR, One Book One Northwestern and the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities for this exciting event! Admission is free.

“Nosferatu” Screening
9 p.m., Dittmar Gallery at Norris University Center
Attend a free screening of the classic silent film “Nosferatu.” Light refreshments will be served, and the film will be accompanied by live music performed by DJ, Mufasa the Philofasa.

Halloween Spooktacular
11:45 p.m-1 a.m., Alice Millar Chapel
Celebrate Halloween with an assortment of spooky organ music, singing and storytelling! Costumes are encouraged and there are free treats! Doors open at 11:30 p.m. Admission is free.


Thursday, October 31 

 The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (repeats Friday and Saturday)
7:30-10 p.m., Theatre and Interpretation Center
Enjoy the tunes and laughs at this hilarious and touching Tony Award-winning musical! Directed by Northwestern University alumnus Adam Goldstein, the show’s characters learn that winning isn’t everything and champions come in all shapes and sizes. Tickets are $30 for the general public, $27 for seniors and NU faculty/staff, $10 for full-time students and $5 for NU students (advance purchase only).

Contemporary Music Ensemble
7:30-9:30 p.m., Pick-Staiger Concert Hall
Listen to the beautiful sounds of contemporary music, conducted by artistic director and co-founder Alan Pierson. Pierson regularly collaborates with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw and John Adams. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students.


Friday, November 1

Free Play Game Day
12:30-11:30 p.m., Game Room at Norris University Center
Enjoy free gaming, free popcorn and the chance to win a free video game of your choice! The drawing will be held on Monday, Nov. 4. This social event is free for students.

Field Hockey v. Ohio State
2-4 p.m., 2247 Campus Drive
Come support your ‘Cats as they play the OSU Buckeyes. Admission is free for undergraduate students.

Halloween Kirtan Dance Party
7-9 p.m., Parkes Hall, The Oratory
Come experience kirtan – live music that includes audience singing and dancing! There will be guest musicians from NU and Chicago, featuring instruments from around the world. This night of transcendence is hosted by the Bhakti Yoga Society.

The Hundred Dresses (repeats Saturday)
7-9 p.m., Theatre and Interpretation Center
In this musical adaptation of Eleanor Estes’ book, watch the story of Wanda Petronski and explore what it means to have courage. Directed by acclaimed Northwestern faculty member Rives Collins, the show is $10 for adults, $8 for kids and $5 for Northwestern students.

Hang Out at the Block Spot, Engage with the Arts

The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art unveiled a new space last week where the Northwestern community and museum visitors can relax, study and meet with friends. Known as the Block Spot, the new lounge in the first-floor lobby of the museum features wi-fi, comfy chairs, chalkboard walls and study spaces. Watch the video below to take a peek inside the new space and meet Susy Bielak, the Block’s new associate director of engagement, who has plans for new interactive and educational programs when the museum reopens in January. Read more


An Experiential Harvest with One Book One Northwestern

Weinberg senior Tracy Navichoque joined nearly 200 Northwestern students in exploring issues of nutrition, food policy, urban agriculture and other topics in nine faculty-led “learning excursions” to Chicago and Evanston locales as part of NU’s First Season, a day of experiential learning organized by One Book, One Northwestern. The One Book program encouraged the NU community to read Roger Thurow’s “The Last Hunger Season” and organizes programming related to the themes of the book. For the First Season activities, Navichoque led a group of students in the Refugee Resettlement track to learn about assistance available to refugee communities in Chicago. Read her recap of the experience below.

One Book One Northwestern
On Saturday, Sept. 28, Northwestern students traveled into Chicago to explore nine different tracks relating to social change. As a Northwestern University Conference on Human Rights member and One Book ambassador, I was able to lead and participate in the Refugee Resettlement Track. The Refugee Track not only provided students with an introduction to basic terms (such as the difference between a mutual aid association, forced migration, internally displaced people and a refugee agency, to name a few), but we also learned about the history of Bhutanese and Burmese citizens, their status as refugees and their reasons for seeking asylum.

We traveled to a city-owned lot in Albany Park that is now home to the Global Garden Refugees Training Farm. A failed condominium development project–an extension of Ronan Park–was transformed into a one-acre organic farm. The garden project began three years ago with funding from the Refugee Agricultural Partnership Project, a program administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. While the program helps recent refugees to develop sources of income and promote healthy eating, the Global Garden has become a center for cultural collaboration and integration. Farmers yearning for saag, kyang ka bitter melons and other produce unfamiliar to the American market can comfortably grow and sell reminders of their homeland.

After our time at the garden, the Refugee Resettlement track headed to the Chinese Mutual Aid Association in Argyle. Nothing can quite describe the conversations over sweet bubble tea in Argyle after learning about refugee communities and aid efforts. The hour-long discussion with the director of operations provided us with knowledge of the community’s needs and the evolution of local planning work. The Chinese Mutual Aid Association operates under a misleading title because its services go far beyond aid and are not limited to Chinese immigrants and refugees.

Saturday’s trip through Chicago communities allowed me to explore new areas of the city, learn about prominent local organizations and meet new students as well as faculty members. Both organizations offered us occasions to return, volunteer, intern and learn beyond the daylong visit. The Global Garden and the Chinese Mutual Aid Association are always seeking English teachers and conversation partners. The opportunity to interact and engage through global topics and local efforts should continue to guide NU’s events in the future.

Read more about NU’s First Season learning excursions.