Wednesday, March 11, 2009


One of this university's main attributes is its location within Chicago.   Often times when asked, students, faculty, and administration will say that "Chicago is our campus."   This generally refers to all of the fantastic resources available to us:  

  • Fogged over Lake Michigan as a background to a student film
  • Chicago Board of Trade internships for number crunchers on the edge 
  • High profile visitors, like Angela Bassett, who will be honored later this spring by the Theater school. 
  • Claiming territory with the President of the United States 

The list is endless.   

There's another population pounding the pavement on our urban campus who might not know as many fanstastic resources.  Some do not speak to us; and some do not even make eye contact.   Any of us might easily ask a good samaritan for a dollar in a pinch, but those requests are well rehearsed for this group.  

 Some ask, and some merely suggest their need by the bite-marked styrofoam Dunkin Donuts cup held out in hopes of collecting lunch money.  

This is William, whose birthday is today.   He tells me he is 35, and spells out his birthdate, "Eleven - twenty-two - seventy-three."    

Even after mistaking the date, I still handed out 94 cents as a thanks for the message of "God's Love," bundled in a bunch of compliments which preceded his plea for L fare.  

Sitting closeby enough to observe drool on his chin, William represents countless homeless people who stroll around "our campus;" - DePaul the university, or DePaul the Vincentian agency of social change;  one might wonder if this school has a reputation for kindness amongst those who successfully panhandle outside our doors from day-to-day. 

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