More transparency for candidates running for CDO

By Cory Lesniak

A pool of over 50 applicants has been cut down to just four candidates competing for the inaugural position of Chief Diversity Officer.

Jonathan Locust, Jose Amaya, Sheila Radford Hill and interim CDO Christina Perez are all still in the running. Each one recently met with faculty, staff, students and administrators in small groups so Dominican community members could gain a better understanding of the candidates’ qualifications and potential fit.

President Donna Carroll said, “We are looking for someone who has a strong sense of mission and provides strategic leadership for diversity planning efforts in a way that’s sensitive to our culture.”DU

Perez has been interim CDO since summer 2014, when an offer to Kenneth Durgans was quickly rescinded after circumstances made administrators question his departure from Indiana University-Purdue University. The search for CDO was restarted shortly thereafter.

Carroll said: “We have a strong if not a stronger pool than it was the first time around. We will be even more vigilant then we were the first time. It’s always important to follow up with references.”

The goal this time, Carroll said, is to be more transparent with the candidates. Carroll said: “I have learned personally that I will ask all candidates, as part of my search process, is there anything in your career history that I should know or anything that might be a concern to the institution that I haven’t already asked you or hasn’t already been transparent.”

Perez has been a part of many key events on campus, most notably the “die-in,” where students gathered in the Lewis Link to show support for the “Black Lives Matter” campaign. Perez would be an easy option to promote to CDO, but Carroll insists on doing things the right way, even if it means doing more work. She said: Christiana would be the first too tell you…do a public search and be transparent and find the best pool and choose a candidate from that pool. Not doing a full search would be against the whole diversity effort.”

The search committee is in the process of assessing the final four candidates. Carroll will ask the committee for the two strongest candidates and she will make the final call. “Our goal…is to have candidates by July 1,” Carroll said.

Former Dominican student charged with murder of University of Illinois student

By Cory Lesniak

A former Dominican student has been arrested and is being held on a $2 million bond in connection with the murder of Vicente Mundo, a 20-year-old University of Illinois student.

Daniel Gonzalez, 21, of Cicero and Reginald Scott, 21, of Champaign were arrested Feb. 2 in connection with the shooting death of Mundo. Gonzalez attended Dominican from Fall 2011 to Spring 2012 before transferring to The University of Illinois, where he attended Fall 2012 to Summer 2014, until transferring to Parkland College.

Dominican senior Ana Enriquez said: “[Gonzalez] was very social, from what I remember. He talked to and met a lot of people at [freshmen orientation] and even went on the Emerging Leaders retreat.”

Mundo, a Chicago native, was last seen Jan. 25 when he left a campus apartment to meet a friend. He was wearing a red Chicago Blackhawks baseball cap, a blue coat and a red backpack. His family offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to his whereabouts after reporting him missing Jan. 27.

According to police, Scott hid in the trunk of Gonzalez’s car while Gonzalez sat in the driver’s seat and Mundo sat in the passenger’s seat. Scott then slid into the back seat of the car. When Mundo attempted to escape, Scott fired a single gunshot to the back of his head, which was later determined as the cause of death.

Gonzalez and Scott drove to dispose of the body by a roadside in Tolono, Ill., where a woman walking her dog discovered it the following Saturday morning.

Police questioned Gonzalez after uncovering online conversations and text messages between him and Mundo on Jan. 25, the day Mundo was last seen.

After Gonzalez was questioned again, he confessed to his and Scott’s involvement.

While police were executing a search warrant in Scott’s apartment, he returned home and was arrested in the parking lot. Scott later admitted to the crime during a police interview.

Gonzalez was charged with first degree murder, intent to kill and armed robbery. If convicted, he faces a minimum sentence of 35 years or maximum of 75 years in prison.

Scott was charged with first degree murder, discharging a firearm and armed robbery. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 45 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.

A preliminary hearing for a trial will take place Feb. 23 at 3:00 p.m. at the Champaign County Courthouse in courtroom B.

(Contribution reporting by The Daily Illini)

Parisian magazine attacked

By Melissa Rohman and Sara Scheler

On January 7, havoc shook the grounds of Paris when two French Islamist gunmen, Saïd Kouachi and Chérif Kouachi, forced their way into and opened fire on the Paris headquarters of the satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The New York Daily News reported that the Kouachi brothers “bragged to witnesses at the murder scene that they belonged to Al Qaeda while chanting “Allahu akbar” (God is great) when committing their terrorizing attack.

The Kouachi brothers managed to kill 12 in the attack: five staff cartoonists, one economist, two editors, one guest, one maintenance worker and two police officers, and wounded 11 others.

Junior and French exchange student Quentin Becquey was in France on the day of the attack. He said French police and media were on high alert that day. “It took three hours to get to Normandy from my home on the train instead of the usual thirty minutes,” Becquey said.

This is the second attack against the magazine; the other occurred in 2011. Both attacks were assumed to be responses to controversial Muhammad cartoons that the magazine has published in its issues. Although the Quran, the holy Islamic text, does not explicitly forbid images of Muhammad, there are a few supplemental teachings that prohibit Muslims from creating visual depictions.

Dominican French professor Elizabeth Landers was traveling on the day of the attacks when she saw the attacks on TV in the airport. Landers, an active reader of French news, said reactions to the attack are continuing to filter through France and other European countries. She said the attacks have “heightened a lot of tensions” and provoked a variety of incidents in schools and neighborhoods, causing French and European police to tighten surveillance.

French president François Hollande described the attack as a “terrorist attack of the most extreme barbarity.” These actions of barbarity and tragedy brought the concept of free press to the forefront of many minds. After the attack, President Obama said, “The fact that this was an attack on journalists, an attack on our free press, also underscores that these terrorists fear freedom of speech and freedom of the press.”

Both Becquey and Landers support the principle of free press but have hesitations. Becquey said: “I do support free speech but I don’t support what the newspaper was doing, the kind of work they publish I don’t like it. Freedom from censorship is important, but just because you can say something doesn’t mean you should say it.”

Rallies took place in France on January 10 and 11 in response to the attack. According to ABC News, over 3 million people led by world leaders silently marched in response to the tragedy, many carrying flags and signs with the now internationally famous slogan and hashtag “Je Suis Charlie,” which means “I am Charlie” and is now used to support free press. Becquey said, “The marches were a moment of unity.” After the attacks, the French government granted nearly €1 million to support the magazine and to help release their next edition entitled the “The Survivors’ Issue.” According to officials, the publication resulted in protests by Muslim demonstrators in Yemen, Pakistan, Senegal, Niger and other countries. The cover features a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed crying as he holds a sign saying “Je suis Charlie.” Beneath the photo, the headline reads in French “All is forgiven.”

According to CNN, the government of Jordan, where 95 percent of the population follow Sunni Islam, said continuing to publish “offensive drawings” of Mohammed would “hurt the feelings of the Muslim communities everywhere” and “does not represent the freedom of expression, which is based on the foundation of the responsibility and the respect of religions.”

The day after the attack, the remaining staff of Charlie Hebdo announced that publication would continue and that the print run would be increased from three to five million copies, due to a huge increase in demand. Revenue is allegelly doing to help the victims’ families.

According to Landers, Charlie Hebdo was struggling financially at the time of the attack. It looks like the magazine will now receive state subsidies to keep publishing. Landers said this says more about the French government’s policies on free speech than the French public’s taste.