The Gate

On campus, I served as Editor-in-Chief and Elections Editor of the UChicago political journal, The Gate. As Editor-in-Chief, I oversaw an editorial board of over 20 people and production of the print magazine and online journal. I spearheaded efforts to increase readership including a new website and worked to recruit new writers and editors. I personally edited hundreds of articles and generated pitches on local, national, and international elections. As a reporter for the publication I was awarded the inaugural David Axelrod Reporting Grant to report on domestic human trafficking along the West Coast. I reported from the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and road-tripped to Detroit to interview candidates for DNC Chair. One of my final stories for The Gate exposed new information regarding sexual assault allegations against a candidate for Alderman, and was picked up by local publications including Politico’s Illinois Playbook.

As EIC of The Gate I helped found and oversaw the Cook County Jail Project (now the Bridge Writing Workshop), which consists of UChicago students facilitating creative writing workshops at Cook County Department of Corrections (CCDOC) throughout the school year. CCDOC is the largest single-site jail in the country, and the program aims to introduce writing as a tool of self-expression to incarcerated individuals and teach UChicago students about mass incarceration reform and criminal justice. As a reporter for The Gate I wrote multiple stories about health care facilities at the jail, interviewing detainees and conducting reporting trips at CCDOC throughout my time in Chicago.

As the EIC of the Gate and the Communications Chair of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics Student Advisory Board (SAB) I moderated several events over the course of my college career, ranging from intimate students-only workshops with renowned journalists, to a roundtable with Deval Patrick, to a panel with the hosts of Pod Save America in front of hundreds of students. As the Communications Chair of SAB I also advised the Institute on best communication methods, created digital content for the IOP’s social media, and worked with the rest of the board to advise IOP staff on various topics in weekly meetings. At the IOP I also was the 2016 Summer Programs Intern and 2016-2017 Events Intern, organizing student logistics for more than 100 events.

Days Before Election, Allegations Against Krupa Persist

On February 6th, University of Chicago College Republicans President Brett Barbin spoke to David Krupa, a candidate for alderman in Chicago’s 13th Ward, over the phone. They discussed allegations against Krupa made by the candidate’s ex-girlfriend, Juliet Schmidt. These allegations are outlined in an emergency order of protection filed by Schmidt’s family, which has since been vacated. The content of the conversation left Barbin unsettled, and he came to Gate reporters with his concerns.

Former President Obama Reminds Illinois: “Don’t Boo, Vote!”

Former President Barack Obama returned to his hometown Chicago two days before Election Day to campaign for Democrats up and down the ticket. Organized by Democratic candidate for Governor J.B. Pritzker's campaign, Obama's visit, which coincided with the ten year anniversary of his election to the Oval Office, drew more than 5,000 loyal Democratic voters to the UIC Pavilion for a Get Out the Vote rally. At the event, the former president emphasized the difference between the Democratic candidat

"This Year is Different": Casten Challenges Roskam in the Sixth

On a crisp Saturday morning in April, the village of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, was remarkably still and empty, with the exception of the First United Methodist Church, which was bustling with over 600 people. Most came from Glen Ellyn and neighboring villages, but a few camera crews from Chicago lined the side aisles of the church. The day’s main event was a Town Hall for Our Lives held by local high school students, inspired by the March For Our Lives movement following the shooting at Marjory Ston

The Importance of Diplomacy: Jake Sullivan on his Career in Foreign Policy

Jake Sullivan is a Martin R. Flug Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School and a senior fellow in Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Geoeconomics and Strategy Program. Sullivan served in many positions under the Obama administration, including as national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, the director of policy planning at the U.S. Department of State, and as Deputy Chief of Staff to Hillary Clinton during her time as Secretary of State. Sullivan worked on both of Clinto

From Twitter to the Pulitzer: David Fahrenthold on Covering Trump

At 11:00 a.m. on October 8, 2016, David Fahrenthold, a reporter at the Washington Post, received an anonymously sent package that would shock the entire nation and come to define Donald Trump’s candidacy: the “Access Hollywood” tapes. Fahrenthold sat down with The Gate co-Editor-in-Chief Dylan Wells to discuss his role covering the 2016 election, his start in journalism, and the distinctive reporting style that has come to define his work. Fahrenthold told The Gate he was surprised to receive t

Khizr Khan: A Message of Hope

Khizr Khan has been busy. Following his speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention and ensuing rise to prominence, he has made over 150 appearances, normally speaking out against President Donald Trump and the current state of politics in his adopted home, the United States. “This is all pro bono! I am running out of savings,” Khan jokes. Still, Khan would not have it any other way, and feels a need to continue speaking out. “It is important,” he told The Gate, “it is urgent.” At each eve

Obama’s Post Presidency Mission

After two terms in the White House and three months of vacation, former president Barack Obama is back in the spotlight. For his first public appearance since leaving Washington in January, Obama returned in late April to the South Side of Chicago, where he famously worked as a community organizer and served as a state senator. Chicago is a special place for the former president. Not only is it the location where Obama delivered his farewell address and made his first public appearance post-pre

The Institutional Presidency and its Modern Application: An Interview with Professor William Howell

William Howell is the Sydney Stein Professor in American Politics at Harris School of Public Policy and a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. This quarter, he is teaching an undergraduate course titled “The American Presidency,” that explores the issues of governance, power, and the institutional nature of the presidency. His scholarly work has focused largely on the presidency as an American political institution, and the idea of a government centered

“A lot of us don't trust the party anymore”: DNC Chair Candidate Samuel Ronan

Samuel Ronan is a 27 year old German immigrant and United States Air Force veteran who is currently running for chair of the Democratic National Committee. He has an associates degree in applied meteorology science, and previously ran for a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives. Ronan, a strong supporter of the second amendment and religious freedom, and a staunch opponent of  corporate donations, promotes a campaign motto of “American people first, politics second.” The Gate’s Dylan Wells i

“Turn Energy into Action”: An Interview with DNC Vice Chair Candidate Michael Blake

Michael Blake is a candidate for DNC vice chair and a member of the New York State Assembly. Blake held senior roles in both Obama presidential campaigns, serving as associate director of public engagement and as deputy associate director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. He helped create the White House Urban Entrepreneurship Summit, and was recently a fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. The Gate interviewed Blake at the third DNC Future Forum in Detroit, Michigan. The Gate: W

“The Energy is Palpable”: DNC Chair Candidate Tom Perez

Tom Perez served as the US secretary of labor from 2013-2017. Previously, he served as Maryland’s secretary of labor, as the board president of Casa de Maryland, and as the assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice’s Division of Civil Rights. The Gate interviewed Perez at the third DNC Future Forum in Detroit, Michigan. The Gate: What sets you apart from the other candidates for chair? Tom Perez: Well I think everybody who's running for this is a remarkably good person. It disapp

“We've got to fight fire with fire”: DNC Chair Candidate Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and a candidate for DNC Chair. Buttigieg was a Rhodes Scholar, served in the military, and has been called the potential first gay president. Prior to becoming mayor, Buttigieg worked at McKinsey & Company. Buttigieg is the youngest mayor of a city with over one hundred thousand residents, and the Washington Post named him “the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of.” The Gate interviewed Buttigieg at the third DNC Future Forum in Detroit

Translating Activism into Action: DNC Candidate Jaime Harrison

Jaime Harrison is the chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party and a candidate for Democratic National Committee chair. He previously worked as executive director of the House Democratic Caucus, and is a regular guest lecturer at the Brookings Institute. Most recently, he worked as a principle at the Podesta Group. The Gate interviewed Harrison ahead of the third DNC Chair debate at the DNC Future Forum in Detroit, Michigan. The Gate: To start, what would you say is the biggest difference b

On the Track: Sexual Exploitation along the I-5 Corridor (David Axelrod Reporting Grant)

Twenty years later, Robin Miller still remembers her first night “on the track.” Robin’s trafficker had recently brought her from Portland, Oregon to San Francisco, California, and left her wandering through the Tenderloin neighborhood to find clients. Just twenty-one years old, she was confused, terrified, and ashamed of what she was supposed to do: I was walking around the Tenderloin all night, just walking, and I had to use the bathroom, so I asked at a rental car place. They let me use the

Correcting Corrections: Reform and Recovery in Cook County Jail

On Friday, April 8, the Gate led a group of reporters to the Cook County Department of Corrections, the largest single-site jail in the United States. At Sheriff Tom Dart’s invitation, we met with inmates, guards, and administrators. The visit and weeks of additional research culminate in this article. The halls leading to Cook County Jail’s processing room, dubbed “Receiving,” are lined with mismatched patches of worn linoleum. A painted yellow line running down the middle of the floor divides

Cartoon Commentary: An Interview with Matt Wuerker

Matt Wuerker is a political cartoonist for POLITICO and is part of the cohort covering the Democratic National Convention this week. The Gate’s Dylan Wells caught up with Wuerker in Philadelphia, where he discussed his role at POLITICO, demonstrated his artistic skill, and gave us a sneak peek at his cartoons. Please enjoy the images that accompany his explanation below. Gate: What do you do for POLITICO and what is your process for making these cartoons? Matt Wuerker: I am the editorial carto

Clinton, the Safe Pick: An Interview with Ramesh Ponnuru

The Gate’s Elections editor, Dylan Wells, is on the ground at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week. This evening, she caught up with Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor of the National Review and former IOP fellow. Look for more convention coverage to follow in the coming days. The Gate: What do you think it would take from Hillary this week here at the convention to win over some of those voters who are wondering if they should vote for Trump, or maybe a third party candidate

“This is the Alternative Future”: An Interview with Jeff Greenfield

Institute of Politics Spring Fellow Jeff Greenfield is an award-winning journalist and author. Greenfield has reported for CNN, CBS, PBS, ABC, The Daily Beast, and POLITICO, among other sources, and has won five Emmy awards for his work. In addition to his extensive media experience, Greenfield served as a political consultant and speechwriter, and has authored or co-authored fourteen books. The Gate’s Dylan Wells sat down with Greenfield to discuss the 2016 presidential race, alternative politi

Reporting from Gaza: A Conversation with Dr. Wajeh Abuzarefah

Wajeh Abuzarefah is a Palestinian journalist who has worked in Gaza for over 20 years. Currently working for NBC News, Abuzarefah has reported for various international news organizations and served as chief editor for the Shaab news website. An expert in his field, Abuzarefah has consulted as a political analyst for several Arab news groups and trained non-governmental organizations working in Gaza. Abuzarefah lectures at multiple universities in Gaza on polling and campaign management. The Gat
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