North Central News

Media seeks out subject-matter experts from North Central

Kelly Murphy

Aug 28, 2020

As times of uncertainty have continued to take society by storm, North Central College has become a popular source for information on a broad range of topics of interest to our nation. Recently that has included student move-in amid a global pandemic, the anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement and national politics, and the College’s subject-matter experts have shown themselves ready and willing to educate the public.

Dr. Kimberly Sluis shares COVID preparation ahead of first-year student move-in

It’s that time of year again where students across the nation return to their homes away from home to start a new year at college. While at many colleges and universities, first-year student move-in might have been met with some apprehension this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for North Central College, students and parents alike were very enthusiastic and excited to be back on campus.

ABC 7 Chicago came to North Central to see its first-year and transfer students on their first day on campus. The media outlet spoke with Dr. Kimberly Sluis, vice president for student affairs and strategic initiatives, on how the College has prepared campus for the return of its students. This media segment aired during both the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. broadcasts on Tuesday, August 18.

“The protocols in place address the kinds of things (the University of North Carolina at) Chapel Hill is seeing even to the monitoring on our own campus, what's happening in the community, what's happening at the state level, and looking at whether a change of course is necessary," said Sluis.

Rebecca Skirvin talks the anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement

The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women's constitutional right to vote. This historic centennial offers an unparalleled opportunity to commemorate a milestone of democracy and to explore its relevance to the issues of equal rights today.

Rebecca Skirvin, coordinator of archives, spoke with the Daily Herald to share how suburban leaders pushed movement for women's votes.

For one example, 1888 is the year when three women and two men founded the Naperville Equal Suffrage Club. Many of those who later got involved were students at what's now called North Central College. “The college from its founding was coeducational, allowing in both women and men and laying the groundwork for considering women as equals in many ways," said Skirvin.

Dr. Suzanne Chod talks Joe Biden’s pick for Vice President

Former Vice President Joe Biden has chosen Sen. Kamala Harris of California to join him on the Democratic ticket, fulfilling his pledge to select a female running mate and making Harris the first Black woman and first South Asian woman ever to appear on a major party ticket. Biden’s selection of Harris, 55, lends racial diversity, gender parity and generational breadth to his campaign. It also represents a strategic decision by the 77-year-old former vice president to keep his ticket firmly within the more moderate wing of the Democratic Party.

Suzanne Chod, associate professor of political science, discussed the historic pick for VP on both WGN News and ABC 7 Chicago.

“It became apparent that this was a moment in time for Joe Biden and for the Democratic Party to say … this ticket represents the people that it actually represents,” Chod said.

Dr. Stephen Maynard Caliendo discusses the Democratic National Convention

The Democrats geared up Tuesday, August 18 for day two of their virtual convention with a focus on leadership. For the Illinois delegation, women leaders and women's rights were the highlight as they come off an impactful first night highlighted by a speech from former First Lady Michelle Obama. Tuesday's plan included two former presidents who championed Joe Biden's experience and reputation. They continued their efforts to portray Biden as everything President Donald Trump is not.

Virtual meetings, however, are presenting a challenge for firing up voters and generating the post-convention bounce, Dr. Stephen Maynard Caliendo, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of political science, said in an interview with ABC 7 Chicago.

"It's hard to generate that; the cutaways to people in their living rooms and watch parties applauding after the speeches were probably the best attempt that could have been done because people can't be together, but it still falls rather flat when you're at home watching it on television," Caliendo said.

Dr. Caliendo spoke with ABC 7 Chicago again ahead of presidential candidate Joe Biden’s speech at the Convention on Thursday, August 20.

Biden called for unity, promising to build America back up if he is elected president. He said this campaign is about winning for the heart and soul of America, promising not to be a Democratic president, but an American president.

During the convention many of the speakers focused their remarks on attacking President Trump, with some of the harshest criticism coming from former President Barack Obama. Dean Caliendo said that's part of what needs to be a two-pronged approach by the Democrats.

"In some ways a referendum on the existing president when things are not going well isn't a bad strategy," Caliendo said.  “In other words, are you better off than you were four years ago? Is the country better? Did he fulfill his promises? If not, you can't vote for him again.

"That's one strategy, but typically we think you have to give somebody a reason to vote for someone not just against someone else."