Page 29 – V #107 I #4: Little school under the L, Mayoral Forum, MBB Update


The DePaulia podcast is back with our Multimedia Managing Editor and host, Amber Stoutenborough. Listen in each week to get an inside scoop of the latest news of DePaul and Chicago. This week, Amber talks to Focus Editor, Una Cleary, about her experience at the Chicago Mayoral Forum that happened this past Saturday. Next, Amber discusses with Arts and Life Editor, Lilly Keller, about her latest article, “The little School under the L” and the fascinating background behind the murals under the Fullerton “L” stop. Then, Amber sits down to talk to Sports Editor, Tom Gorski, for an update on the DePaul’s Men’s Basketball Team and its season so far.

Listen on Spotify.

Host: Amber Stoutenborough

Producer: Amber Stoutenborough

Assistant Producer: Laura Katherine Tooley

Editors Interviewed (in order): Una Cleary, Lilly Keller and Tom Gorski

Music: Do it by Paolopavan


Amber Stoutenborough: Hi, my name is Amber Stoutenborough and I am the multimedia managing editor for the DePaulia, as well as the host of the DePaulia’s podcast. Page 29.  

 The DePaul is a student-run newspaper that prints 28 pages each week, covering Chicago news, as well as everything else about DePaul University. This is page 29. 

 Today I have Una Cleary, our focus editor for The Depaulia today. Hi Una.  

Una Cleary: Hi Amber.  

Amber Stoutenborough: Una wrote an article about the women’s Mayoral forum. How was it? 

Una Cleary: Yeah. So, I wrote this story with Jackie Cardenas, and it was a forum with eight out of the nine candidates running for mayor. 

It was at the Chicago Temple yesterday, Saturday. There were two moderators that were there to ask the candidates questions. The questions were specifically about reproductive rights education in Chicago, homelessness, and a couple other issues that they discussed. And we were able to interview some of the candidates such as Jamal. Sophia King and Paul Valis. So yeah, it was super interesting to see them as well as to interview some voters on what they thought of the forum and what they think of the candidates so far, and how they feel about the race .

Amber Stoutenborough: So, I know for Lori Lightfoot, it is not really a happy feeling so far with how most people think of her. What did you see at the event? 

Una Cleary: Yeah. It was pretty intense. There were a lot of candidates who were calling her out on specific issues. As well as a lot of voters that just were not very happy that she was there, I think. 

But it was interesting to also meet some voters that were in approval of her. She still does have a bit of a following. I think she has an 11% approval rating right now. But it was definitely a lot of name calling and it was pretty fun to watch. 

Amber Stoutenborough: Was there anyone there that actually likes Lori Lightfoot? 

Una Cleary:  Yeah, so I was able to interview one woman about her. She wishes to remain anonymous. She said she was not expecting to like Lori going into the forum, that she was leaning towards Valis at the beginning. 

But hearing her speak kind of changed her opinion. She was saying how she thought she was a very tough woman and she had to be very tough these past four years, and that these past four years were very hard. So, I think about hearing her speak again and hearing the toughness as the woman said, changed her opinion. 

Amber Stoutenborough: Which was interesting to hear, I’m sure. Was there anyone that you feel was very loved by the community? 

Una Cleary: Yeah, Brandon Johnson got a lot of applause as well as Jamal Green, but it was hard to say because it was a forum setting. So, it was just based on who was applauding the candidates and who I interviewed. 

But I will say that those were two candidates that I think kind of stood out to me, especially for younger voters. I think Jamal Green is someone, he’s the youngest candidate running for mayor. So I think he is someone that would appeal to younger voters.  

Amber Stoutenborough: I know they went over a couple of hard topics that are happening with Chicago. One of them being public safety and crime. What was one of the topics that you think was the most interesting to hear the candidates talk about?  

Una Cleary: Yeah, education was interesting to hear about. And some of the candidates have experience in education, especially someone like Paul Fallas, who’s the former CEO of Chicago Public Schools. Hearing some of the candidates call him out for his involvement with the public schools and changing them to charter schools, Brandon Johnson called him out for that. And so, I think that was interesting to hear. 

It was also interesting to hear the candidate’s response to abortion rights and reproductive rights. A lot of the male candidates would say that their experience was having wives or daughters. They would preface whatever they were going to talk about with, “I have a wife, I have a daughter who I love very much,” which is great to hear. But it was just interesting how they used that as their first comment in the response to those questions. So yeah.  

Amber Stoutenborough: So, I know you got to interview some of the people running for mayor, which is exciting. One of them was Jamal Green, right? 

How do you feel after talking to him, what was it like? 

Una Cleary: He was someone I think will appeal to younger voters. He’s doing Tik Toks for his campaign, he’s very active on social media. Yeah, he is the youngest candidate to be running. I did really enjoy speaking with him about stance on education and crime. Something that he said about crime is that he wants to use CPD as a support system, but not as a front runner. And truly trying to invest in communities. Putting CPD first, which I thought was a little bit different than what I heard with some of the other candidates. 

But yeah, he grew up in Chicago. He said that he had his family on the south and west side, and he’s always been here. He also talked about how he slept under viaducts during the polar vortex with some people, who were experiencing homelessness. So it was interesting to hear how they weren’t allowing those people to sleep in the police stations, when it was that cold. And so that was something that I think really influenced him on his crime approach and his safety plan. So, yeah he has a lot of personal experience with that too. 

Amber Stoutenborough: Well, is there anything else that you think listeners should know about the mayoral race this year? 

Una Cleary: Yeah, I think you should, if you can, go to some of these forums. I learned a lot from it. It is really cool to see the candidates in person and what they’re all about. See them talk and try to keep up with what is happening, it is going to be an interesting election for sure. 

Early Voting will begin February 13th and run through election day February 28th. 

Amber Stoutenborough: All right. Well, thank you so much, Una.  

Una Cleary: Thank you! 

Read Una’s article here: Chicago’s bunch

Amber Stoutenborough: Today. I have Lily Keller, the Arts and Life editor for The DePaulia with us today. Hi Lilly. 

Lilly Keller: Hi Amber. So good to be here! 

Amber Stoutenborough: This week, Lilly Keller wrote about the pillars underneath the Fullerton stop that Brother Mark Elder painted. Who is Brother Mark Elder?  

Lilly Keller: So he’s been a faculty member of DePaul’s staff for 28 years now, and he has actually done a number of iconic murals throughout the DePaul campus, which everyone’s seen. Including the big Vinny on McCabe Hall, which you can see when you’re on the Fullerton platform. But he has definitely been involved with a lot of public art community projects centered, the Vince Sentient heritage, while also getting members of the community staff and students involved, which can also be seen in his most latest creation, the little school under the L, 

Amber Stoutenborough: That’s really cool. I also did not know that he did the one on McCabe Hall. 

Lilly Keller: It’s interesting because he also did one in the Vincen headquarters in Rome. So, he’s very involved with not just art, but I think the Vincen heritage too, which is cool just to be able to do both and leave such a lasting impact. 

Amber Stoutenborough: I obviously have never met him before, but I know that he’s made a lot of impact on other students. What did they have to say about him? 

Lilly Keller: Yes, so one of the students I interviewed was Senior Meg Sampson, and it was meeting Brother Mark and learning of the project that made her want to pursue art as a major because she wanted to get involved with the murals. 

He was actually not offering the mural class anymore, but she was really enthusiastic about it and reached out to him. From then on, she got to be one of the select students involved with it. 

But then I also talked to other students such as Tayvia Ridgeway, who was involved with the project since her freshman year. She was one of the main players in helping construct the murals during the school year and over the summer. And interestingly, she was the only student who got to design and paint their own pillar, hers was titled “The End of Trails,” which commemorates all the names of all the students, staff, and community members who aided in the mural’s creation as well as a homage to herself as a black woman native to Chicago. 

Amber Stoutenborough: So, what exactly is on these pillars? 

Lilly Keller: So, on the pillars, it’s a mixture of both portraits, but also landscapes and symbols that represent figures from DePaul’s history, but also clubs, communities, and organizations that are centric to Chicago, like the CTA. Some of the earlier pillars are portraits of figures such as Father McCabe. 

Elder wanted to feature lesser-known figures. One that I found really interesting was he did a portrait of the first woman graduate, which it’s interesting, there is actually not a photo of her out there. So they did get a little creative with it. 

But basically, she was teaching at the age of 16, back in 1880, but wanted to further her education and teach higher levels of school. And in 1912, DePaul was the only school that allowed her to get that education as a lay woman.  

Amber Stoutenborough: The fact that he tried to do a mural without a picture of someone is inspiring, I guess to say the least. What was it like talking to him? I know there’s a lot of other characteristics about him. Like he’s a real cowboy?  

Lilly Keller: Yes, I was looking on his website to find more information about him, and I found pictures of him on actual horses and in like a rodeo because he always wears his famous cowboy attire. He’s really claiming the aesthetic, but it’s legit. And I think that was also very visible in his personality. He’s very charismatic but also very knowledgeable about DePaul’s history as well. He actually told me that people from the library archives started calling him now for information rather than what it started out as being the other way around.  

Amber Stoutenborough: Sorry, what a flex. Having the library call you, that’s amazing.  

Lilly Keller: Definitely.  

Amber Stoutenborough: Besides seeing the pillars underneath the “L” train, there is an actual studio as well where they displayed, right?  

Lilly Keller: Yeah, in the Richardson Art Gallery, which is right off the entrance to the library on the Lincoln Park campus, there is an exhibit going on there titled “Behind the Pillars,” which allows viewers a smaller glimpse of each of the murals on the pillars they’re on, 25 canvases around the room. 

So, it allows just a more detailed look into them. Also, if you don’t normally go by Fullerton, you too can witness the art and not just have to take the train to go see it.  

Amber Stoutenborough: Did he tell you what he is doing next? I mean, this was a big project that he’s been working on. 

Lilly Keller: So, they are not teaching the mural class in the spring, obviously, because there is not a big project on hand. But he told me he’s going to do some aspects based on this project. But I think it’s the same route of DePaul’s history and bringing it to DePaul, making it more accessible to understand. 

Amber Stoutenborough: How long is the Art Gallery open for? 

Lilly Keller: It’s currently open now and it’s running until March 9th, but I believe visitation days are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from one to five. But if that doesn’t work out for you, Brother Mark said you could just reach out to him to schedule a private tour. 

Amber Stoutenborough: Aw, that’s really cool. Thank you so much Lily.  

Lilly Keller: Thank you for having me. 

Read Lilly’s article here : “The Little School Under the L”

Amber Stoutenborough: Next we have our sports editor, Tom Gorski, with us talking about the men’s blue demon’s basketball games and how they won this past week. Hi Tom.  

Tom Gorski: Hi. How are you?  

Amber Stoutenborough: Good. It was a big game this time. 22 game losing streak?  

Tom Gorski: Yes, DePaul finally beat the big bad Villanova squad. Villanova beat them 22 straight games. Stubblefield finally had a big statement win, and that might be the biggest win of his career so far since he’s been here at DePaul.  

Amber Stoutenborough: It is a little disappointing though because right after this big game they played again on Saturday, and they lost. Can you talk a little bit about it?  

Tom Gorski: I mean, it’s always tough when a team loses, but it was kind of something a lot of people saw it coming cause in sports, after you have such an emotional win, the very next game you tend to kind of just drop it and it’s just because there’s so many emotions involved.  

I don’t know exactly how to explain it, but it happens in football, baseball, basketball, any emotional win, the very next game, there’s a high percentage chance of that. That team is going to lose just because of whether they overlook their opponent, they’re still coming off of the excitement and emotion from the game before. Yeah, it’s just a thing in sports that kind of happens.  

Amber Stoutenborough: So, it was to be expected? 

Tom Gorski: It was to be expected. And Seton Hall’s a very tough team. And DePaul, they’re having a very solid season, not great season, solid season, but it was very unlikely for them to beat both Big East Conference opponents because they’ve struggled with the Big East under Stubblefield before, but more so two in the same week is very unlikely. 

Amber Stoutenborough: So besides that, what else has been really big that’s happening this season?  

Tom Gorski: So, obviously I feel like it’s with Tony Stubblefield and his coaching staff, I feel like they have adjusted very well with the amount of adversity they’ve had to face. They lost a Grad student, Nick Ongenda just two days before the season. He suffered a wrist injury, was sidelined. And then he was reevaluated eight weeks later and they determined that his wrist would require surgery. So he’s not expected to be back this season. He has a chance to come back for the Big East tournament, but I feel like they’re more than likely just going to redshirt him. 

So, he gets another year of eligibility and then they lose another starter, Caleb Murphy. He had surgery on his wrist in the off season. So like weeks before Ongenda’s injury happened. And he still has yet to see the court this year. So you’re looking about two out of the five starters are out. 

And then Nick Ongenda’s replacement, Yor Anei, suffered a foot injury a few games into the season and he was out for about a month and he came back for the Christmas Day game against Creighton. So they missed two of their centers, which is very important.  

Amber Stoutenborough: So, a lot of injuries. This has been an interesting year for them so far. 

Tom Gorski: I guess that’s probably been the biggest takeaway in why this season’s been so fascinating is with just the amount of adversity the team has had to face. 

Amber Stoutenborough: And I know you’ve written a lot about how it’s been mostly a two-player game; can you talk about that a little bit? 

Tom Gorski: Yeah, I mean, unfortunately with the way the roster is constructed, it’s been heavy on Javan Johnson, who is a transfer from Iowa State. This is his second year at DePaul, he’s taken over the Javon Freeman-Liberty role, who was DePaul’s best player a year ago.  So, he’s taken over and really become the team’s go-to scoring option. They live or die without him.  

And then for Umoja Gibson, he’s a transfer from a big school and a sixth year, like Johnson, who’s a fifth year. So, DePaul’s really leaning towards the veteran guys. And those two have ultimately been DePaul’s. Go-to guys, every game. You look at the box score, they are the two leading scores, so the team really relies on them.  

Amber Stoutenborough: You said it was Nelson’s breakout for this one? 

Tom Gorski: Yes. It was Da’Sean Nelson, the junior college transfer. He really had a breakout game coming off the bench. He scored, I believe 24 points against Villanova off the bench, which was even more impressive. He’s played very well this season. 

But his defenses lacked a little bit and that’s why against Seton Hall, that game was so fascinating because he scored 13 first half points, but he didn’t see much playing time in the second half.

So, when I talked to Stubblefield post-game about it, he said his biggest concern was Nelson’s lack of playing time in the second half was because he’s not rebounding enough or playing well enough on defense, and they lost by just a few points. So it makes you think a little bit did Stubblefield maybe kind of like out-coach himself in a way, you know? So yeah, I mean there’s been a lot of up and downs with this team, but I would say outside of the two main obvious breakout, Da’Sean Nelson has looked phenomenal and he’s been a really nice piece because when you look at someone at the college level, a transfer, you know, they come from a D1 school, right? 

You’re coming from junior college, that’s nowhere near D-1 talent, right? So the fact that he’s been able to make the adjustment and the transition at this level, has really been impressive and just as a writer of the team, you know, it’s been really enjoyable to watch.  

Amber Stoutenborough: So, looking forward to the rest of the season, what are you expecting from the team?

Tom Gorski: Obviously, expectations have not exceeded, they are not where they were a year ago, but when you include all the injuries and the adversity that they’ve faced, I would say that, what people should be looking forward to is that this team’s going to play hard. You are not gonna see a lot of blowouts. You may see a lot of losses, unfortunately, but you’re gonna at least see an entertaining team from beginning to finish. They’re gonna go out there, they’re gonna fight, but you know, at the end of the day, if you can’t level the playing field with certain talents because the Big East is such a big conference and it is so talented too and DePaul has been just trying to get back to the top for 20 plus years and it’s just a process. 

So I would say expect the team to really just battle it out. You know, don’t get discouraged by the wins and losses, because this was always a rebuild once Stubblefield was hired from Oregon. So just really enjoy the games, look at the talent, enjoy it, come out to win trust, and you’re gonna see a good product on the court. You are not gonna see a team that lacks effort.  

Amber Stoutenborough: All right. Well thank you so much Tom.  

Tom Gorski: Thank you for having me. 

Read Tom’s article here : Blue Demons split week

Amber Stoutenborough: You can read all of these stories and more at or picking up one of our print newspapers this week. My name is Amber Stoutenborough, and this is Page 29. Thank you so much for listening.