By Daniel Kaplan
JCUA Community Organizer
On April 14th, JCUA delivered 200 signatures collected from our members, community partners and allies, to University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer. We want to share more with you about this successful action along with other updates from the past month. We also want to give you more follow-up opportunities, so don’t forget to check them out at the bottom of this blog!
JCUA members and other members of the Trauma Care Coalition entered President Zimmer’s office dressed up as Moses and Miriam. Singing, “Go down Moses,” we presented the signatures and called for President Zimmer to meet with the broader Trauma Care Coalition. Check out photos from this action here and a video here.
After this action , the University of Chicago called our office and offered to arrange a meeting with a U of C Vice President (Cristal Thomas) and a senior adviser to President Zimmer (Susan Sher). While we were excited to secure this meeting, the broader coalition had already met with these administrators several times, and the university’s delegates have never followed through on agreements produced in these meetings. The University of Chicago has never agreed to include a key decision maker in any of these meetings, such at President Zimmer, Dean Kenneth Polonsky, or University of Chicago Medical Center President Sharon O’Keefe.
After seeking the inclusion of a decision maker in this meeting and stating our intention to include representatives of the broader coalition, Vice President Cristal Thomas’ office reneged on their commitment to meet with us two days before our scheduled meeting.
On one hand, we’re incredibly proud and appreciative of everybody who worked to make this action possible. Whether you signed our petition, helped make costumes, or joined us for the delivery, we’re grateful for you moving this campaign forward with us.
On the other hand, we’re disappointed in the University of Chicago. Their noncommittal approach to engagement with the broader coalition reflects a lack of serious regard towards the demands and needs of the surrounding community.
If you are upset by the University’s approach, take action! Here are some steps that you can take to hold the University accountable:
- Call Susan Huie, executive assistant to President Robert Zimmer. Dial 773-702-8002, express your disappointment, and ask President Zimmer to join a meeting between the University of Chicago and the Trauma Care coalition. Mention that you are a JCUA member, a university alum, donor, faculty, and/or staff.
- Write a letter to President Zimmer. Use this template to draft a letter and email or mail it to him at:
- Robert J. Zimmer
The University of Chicago
5801 S. Ellis Avenue, Suite 501
Chicago, IL 60637
- Robert J. Zimmer
- If you haven’t yet, become a JCUA member and join us as we organize for a Level-I adult trauma center at the University of Chicago.