March 2012 Archives

HackWith just shy of 3 million people, Chicago is the third largest city in the United States. UChicago Press has two recent books by Chicago authors - Dmitry Samarov and Martin Preib - both of which describe the city from unique perspectives. In doing so, both come to a similar conclusion about Chicago: as bustling and crowded the city may be, many people living in the city find themselves lonely and depressed.

A Time to Celebrate the Leaders Among Us

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Nominate exemplary community partners, faculty, staff, and houses

Relationships are the lifeblood and foundation of the work we do at the University Community Service Center (UCSC).  Through the years, we have seen how outstanding partnerships can make lasting, significant change at  the University of Chicago and in Chicago communities.

Partners come from many walks and play many different roles.  They are university students and employees.  They are community leaders working with kids and the elderly, civic institutions working hand-in-hand with the University and community activists challenging the University to think about how it can be a strong, supportive neighbor.

Engaged faculty challenge, energize, and support students to learn about and work in Chicago neighborhoods.  Staff take on vital roles grounding University initiatives and student efforts in communities.  Students, whether as individuals or part of groups like House communities, roll up their sleeves and put on their thinking caps in service to our neighbors - in nearby areas Woodlawn, Kenwood, and Hyde Park, but also neighborhoods as far flung as Rogers Park or Roseland.

Community partners - individuals working on their own or with organizations - welcome our students, share their knowledge, wisdom, and expertise, and create opportunities for our students to make meaningful contributions throughout the city of Chicago and beyond.

As we move into the final quarter of the academic year, it is important that we reflect on and recognize the strength of these partnerships and the individuals, groups, and organizations which sustain them.  UCSC continues its rich tradition of honoring students, community partners, faculty, and staff at the 15th Annual Volunteer Recognition Reception this May. 

Please take a few moments to recognize the energy, innovation, and good will of those whom you know have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to public service.

Nominations for the awards below are due by midnight on Sunday, April 15, 2012.

  • Faculty Service Award - This award recognizes the extraordinary commitment of faculty in either direct service or in the support of students engaged in civic-minded scholarship. Selection criteria include strong recommendations from students across campus.
  • Staff Service Award - This award recognizes the extraordinary commitment of professional staff in either direct service or in the support of students engaged in civic minded scholarship. Selection criteria include strong recommendations from students across campus.
  • Community Partner Award - Community partners provide interesting volunteer opportunities, challenging internships and a forum for the community and university to engage. This award recognizes superior commitment connecting the university and the broader Chicago community.
  • Edward R. Turkington House Service Award - The Edward R. Turkington House Service Award is given annually to a House within the University of Chicago Undergraduate House System that has demonstrated a deep, ongoing commitment to service in surrounding communities and the broader Chicago Metro area.

Radical Hospitality at the Rock

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by David Hays, Assistant Director

"Cooking for other people is an act of love," said 4th year Amy Woodruff in the Uncommon Room in Rockefeller Chapel.  She came to last night's reading of Soup and Bread: Building Community One Pot at a Time to connect with like-minded students, staff, and community members.  The event, featuring author Martha Bayne, was sponsored by the University Community Service Center (UCSC), the Chicago Studies Program, and the Spiritual Life Office.


The Soup & Bread book grew out of an event that Bayne created at the Hideout - a bar and music venue on the Near North Side.  According to Bayne, Soup and Bread evenings were hatched when she realized that early Wednesday evenings were a slow time at the bar.  She suggested to the bar's owners bringing soup and asking for donations to organizations addressing hunger.  The owners, who see the Hideout as a community building space, immediately jumped on board.  The first Soup and Bread event had about 20 attendees and raised money for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

From these humble beginnings, Soup and Bread has grown over four years into a weekly tradition attracting upwards of a hundred weekly attendees.  Everyone from big-name chefs to artists and musicians has donated soup and bread over the years.  The list of local hunger relief efforts that have benefited continues to grow.