Author: Jessica Xi

Organization Highlight: GlobeMed

Organization Highlight: GlobeMed

Interested in the healthcare professions? You may want to check out the chapter of GlobeMed at Loyola, an organization dedicated to connecting student leaders interested in health and justice with international grassroots organizations.

Truth be told, I’m not in GlobeMed myself, but I have lots of friends who are in it. I mostly know what they do from two sources: my friends, talking passionately and excitedly about what they’ve discussed or done with the organization, and also the countless sales they have in Damen Student Center of some tasty treats.

Most recently, they had a sale for Sprinkles Cupcakes, one of the best cupcake places in the city. (Their downtown location has an ATM!)

But I also know from firsthand experience that they sell Empanadas and other take-away snacks I can munch on on my way to class.

 Here’s a recent flyer of theirs.

More about GlobeMed itself. The students work with Centro Romero, a Rogers Park-based community organization looking to help out immigrants and refugees and create sustainable solutions. You can check out more here at their website or here on their twitter.  

I really recommend looking more into GlobeMed, who supports other organizations on campus to work together during Hunger Week, and hosts speakers like Bushra Amiwala. If you haven’t heard of her, she’s incredible – she ran for public office at age 19!

GlobeMed, like a lot of other organizations on campus, strive to make a change in our community. And from what I’ve seen, they work hard to make it a success!

Departments and Support – for You!

Departments and Support – for You!

You may have already heard that Loyola students have advisors during their first and second years, and then a more specialized one in their major or field of study when they get there. I’m not going to contradict that, no way, it’s super great!

But yet another thing I love about Loyola is that the professors here go above and beyond just being like: oh, you’ve got a question? Go ask your advisor.

Specifically I speak with knowledge of the History and Global and International Studies departments, but I’m 10000% certain this applies to other departments because I see flyers for their events too, all the time. (I just don’t go to any other events because, well, those two are my majors.)

Recently I attended an event thrown by the head of the History department – a ‘What do I do after Graduation with a History Major?’ thing where students of all ages, from freshman (wow) to seniors like myself went to just talk about how to apply a history major to, well, the rest of the world. While academia and being eternally up to your eyeballs in history sounds exciting, it’s not really a viable life course for everyone.

I thought it was super neat because we split into two groups – law school, and grad school. There was intended to be a group about finding a job, but since there was so much interest in those two paths the lady who was there about career paths figured she could better help the other two discussions. In this way, I was able to ask the department head questions in a smaller group, and we ten or so talked about a bunch of things. Is a professor going to remember me if I took their class from four years ago? What does a good mentor do? How do you craft a good statement of purpose?

Plus, I mean, there was free pizza. I’m sure a lot of schools and universities also do the same thing, so no matter where you go, this is another thing that I totally encourage you to take advantage of. The clock is ticking for me, ticking down to graduation, and although I can sort of ignore it (although I really shouldn’t be) I know I’ve got to keep my focus and keep looking ahead.

I wasn’t really considering grad school too strongly, but who knows? After this event, I feel better equipped to take a look, and if I love the thought, then I’m certainly more knowledgeable than I was.

Chicago, Loyola, Libraries

Chicago, Loyola, Libraries

What sort of classes do they teach here at Loyola? Well, a bunch, and they’re all fun (at least, to me!)

This semester, I’m taking a class called the Newberry Library Undergraduate Research Seminar. What does that mean?!? It’s a class they hold every year with a different topic and a different set of professors, teaching students from all over the Chicago area – Roosevelt, UIC, DePaul, you name it! It takes place at the Newberry Library (where I’m interning, but that’s for another post) which is located downtown. This semester, the focus is on Chicago art and literature from 1900-1960, taught by Professor Bradshaw from Loyola and Professor Pohlad from DePaul, a creative writing professor and an art history professor respectively.

The class has been a lot of fun, because I’m certainly learning and reading a lot about a time period I didn’t really know a lot about before. Plus, we get to use the Newberry’s enormous archives to supplement a research project on a topic of our own choosing. How cool!

We regularly get curators and historians from the Newberry giving us guest lectures about topics with archival materials such as Ernest Hemingway’s actual letters to a Chicago publisher, or Ben Hecht’s Oscar, which is super interesting and also the only one they have in the entire library.

Have you ever wanted to go around a museum with someone who actually knew a lot about the pieces? Because that’s what we got to do. I mean usually I do alright in the classical art section (history major, that’s me) but we were focusing on the modern art stuff since the class is about Chicago, 1900-1960. I admit, I wouldn’t probably even go into the modern art section without Professor Pohlad going like: come on, it’s interesting, just look, okay? I’ll tell you about it and why it matters and so on.

 (There he is, explaining a DuChamp. DuChamp is the very same guy who infamously said that a urinal he bought and put on its side was art.)

So the class did. If you haven’t heard, Loyola students get into the Arts Institute for FREE, and I always wish I went more. Tragically within the class time we only had enough time for the Modernists, and barely enough, really, but I fully intend to go back soon and look at the Roman and Greek marbles for as long as I want.

I haven’t been on a class field trip in a long time – once in Tai Chi class in China, and a few times in Rome for history class, but it’s always refreshing to get out of the classroom. Keep the Newberry Seminar in mind when looking at classes, and for sure don’t forget about Chicago’s art!

Study Abroad and More!

Study Abroad and More!


A lot of people ask me what it’s like to study abroad, but have you ever wondered… what it’s like, coming back from studying abroad? I know, I know, I didn’t either. I was like: heck yeah! I’ll come back (I guess, if I have to… I’d rather just have stayed… But…)

There’s certainly ups and downs. One of the downs, it feels like, is that suddenly you don’t see the people you saw every day for a whole semester every day any more. Whaaat, we don’t live in the same building any more? Life is busy and it’s hard to make plans now that we can’t just run into each other in the lounge? We can’t just plan a weekend trip to another state because we have jobs and increased homework now?

Preposterous. Luckily, the Study Abroad office here has social events covered. I went to the Study Abroad Alumni social there and ran into not only my closest friends (with whom I had already arranged to meet there) but also some friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time, friends that I saw often while I was abroad but, because I was abroad again and they weren’t, I lost touch with.

The Study Abroad Alumni social wasn’t just open to alumni – nope, it was totally cool for people interested in studying abroad to attend too, so I got to talk with some students who wanted to talk with people who had been abroad. The event was held in Ireland’s – it’s the campus bar, right in our Damen Student Center, a pretty cool place to do your homework until (if you’re over 21) the night comes and your friends arrive but you don’t want to go off-campus. Plus, I mean, they had free food from Felice’s, our student-run pizzeria, so how could anyone say no?

The Study Abroad office was also hosting a raffle contest, open to students who answered a question or two about their study abroad experience on camera. So look out for a video from them soon, if you’re curious! I can’t guarantee they’ll put me in there, since they did interview a lot of students, but I did win a t-shirt for doing so. (It’s like, a really cool shirt. It’s got that Tolkien “Not all who wander are lost” quote, which is really taken out of context, but I love it anyway because I’m a huge Lord of the Rings nerd.)

So, the moral of the story is: Loyola takes care of her students who go abroad, from the moment you decide to go to when you come back, if you so wish. But it was really fun! If you’re even thinking about studying abroad, no matter what school you go to, I definitely recommend chatting with students who have already gone. I mean, I met a girl who had spent the semester in Russia! I didn’t even know we had a program that could send students there! Way cool!

What’s the Story – of Emmett Till?

What’s the Story – of Emmett Till?

Reading this blog sometimes, it may come across as if Loyola is just constantly hosting events about sad things in the world – I mean, I went to the Kristallnacht memorial, the session about the war in Yemen, and last week I went to an event called “Let the People See: The Story of Emmett Till.” Of course it isn’t, it’s hosting events that increase awareness of the injustices of the world, and memorials so that we don’t forget, as a collective. Among other events.

If you haven’t heard of the story of Emmett Till, I really recommend looking it up. I can’t tell it all in this blog, but … It’s good to know it. When I was there, an older gentleman I met – the spouse of a Loyola professor, who was at the basketball game going on while he was there at the talk – asked me why I was there.

“Well,” I replied, a little bewildered, “Academic interest.” I am a history major, after all. But as we got to talking more – about the topic, about Loyola life, even so far as to discover he was also a John Felice Rome Center alumnus and he was going to visit his son in China in the summer – I realized that I was also there out of a keen sense of I Should Know More. Just because something didn’t happen in my lifetime, like Trayvon Martin, like the events of Ferguson, and so on and so on, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be educated about it, shouldn’t be seeing the repercussions and understanding how it has affected us to this day.

That’s.. definitely my Jesuit education talking, but it’s right. The Story of Emmett Till event was hosted by the Loyola Library and presented by Elliott J. Gorn, who has published a book of the same title. He told us the story, as promised, and answered lots of questions that the very, very full house wanted to ask.

It helped, I’m sure, that there were refreshments served, and one professor with her entire class showed up. But there were people of all ages – from students to Loyola alumni to interested faculty and Rogers Park community members, all there to learn a little more from an expert on the Emmett Till story.

As long as I am able, I want to keep taking these opportunities to educate myself. So maybe I don’t listen to literally everyone’s advice about going to a professor’s office hours (I know, I know.) But Loyola presents so many opportunities to learn and grow that I can hardly keep up with them all!



Local Fave Restaurant: Yeowoosai

Local Fave Restaurant: Yeowoosai

Oh yes, I’m back with another Asian restaurant recommendation!

It’s entirely because I mostly just go out to eat at Asian restaurants, since that’s a cuisine I can’t really cook at home (yet). Yeowoosai is a student favorite because it’s really family-style, it’s not too expensive, and it’s a short Lyft ride away!

Sometimes, it’s just nice to not have to walk somewhere.

Yeowoosai is delicious and fantastic. I went with all three of my roommates – we went because one of my roommates, a HUGE foodie, had never been yet! The thing is, Yeowoosai doubles as a bar on the weekends, but we went on a Monday night and it was just us. The owner is always there too, cooking, serving, and so on, and he’s really cool and easy to talk to. Plus there’s karaoke! We didn’t do it, but it’s good to keep in mind.

We ordered SO MUCH and it was GREAT. We got kimchi fried rice, two flavors of popcorn chicken (yesss! Korean fried chicken is AMAZING!) and la-beokki, rice cakes on top of ramen. I was too busy devouring them with my eyes and drooling as I waited for it to cool (didn’t wait long enough) to take pictures, but here are some pictures from the Yelp page. 

Y U M.

We left with full stomachs and leftovers for the next day, happy and so sated, as we usually do. If you’re a student on campus, you can’t miss the experience. Bring lots of your friends so you can try everything!

Here’s the link to their yelp page, if you want to get your mouth watering! I can’t say enough good things about their food – it reminded me exactly of my trip to South Korea this summer, so you know it’s good!




Organization Highlight: Alpha Psi Lambda

Organization Highlight: Alpha Psi Lambda

Yes, yes, I know – there’s been an awful lot of posts about the holidays at Loyola. We can’t help it! You know what they say, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

So, I wanted to talk a bit about one of my favorite organizations on campus, Alpha Psi Lambda National, Inc. They’re a co-ed Latinx-interest fraternity and as I write this, I have some sort of feeling like I’ve already made an appreciation post about them… but I went and checked and didn’t see anything, so that’s good.

I see a lot of Alpha Psi Lambda because they’re another multicultural interest group (not exclusive) like my own sorority. Their members are sweet, driven, fantastic, and beautiful (I only think they’re alright, can you tell?) and all of their events are super fun.

In fact, over the weekend, they had two events that I had so much fun at!

The first was making Christmas stockings for children of the Boys and Girls’ Club: they provided the items, from crayons to little toys to bubbles and so on, and personalized stockings (giant stockings!) for the kids, they just needed a few hands to help fill them. And fill them we did! After we finished, there was even gingerbread houses to make and hot chocolate to drink. The Boys and Girls Club is Alpha Psi Lambda’s dedicated philanthropy, and they have several events and fundraisers over the year to help them, as well as volunteering directly. I’m always impressed by what Alpha Psi Lambda does and how many of them show up to support their events, given that everyone has busy and involved schedules!

The second event was the Latinx Wonderland, a night of delicious food, karaoke, board games and laughter! It was planned, organized, and presented by their one associate member – like a member in training – and I went with two of my roommates and had an absolute blast! Most every semester they have an event like this, and it never disappoints. We played musical chairs and balloon-popping games too as a group, with Alpha Psi Lambda members from all around Chicago. Honestly, I was busy having too much fun to take pictures, so these are all from the first event.


Winter Festivities at Loyola

Winter Festivities at Loyola

Loyola loves a good celebration. And we also love winter!

So that’s why, every year, we set up a big ol’ holiday tree in the middle of our Damen student center. Yes, we are a religious school in name, so it’s called a Christmas tree and it gets blessed, but it’s mostly there for the pictures students trip over themselves to take pictures in front of.

Along with the holiday tree comes a great celebration when the lighting goes on and the string lights across it go on (you know, for the pictures.) That’s today! It’s a fun, free, public event that always clogs up walking traffic a little, on account of the crowd it gets.

I mean, Loyola rolls out a chocolate fountain for it. Who wouldn’t stop by, just for a bit? Santa Claus also makes an appearance and sits on a chair in front of it (you know, for the pics) but he’s not there all the time, just at the Tree-Lighting Event. After it’s over, you know students will be all over posing in that thing!

This Tree-Lighting also marks the start of when the Damen Student Center can start playing holiday music for all hours of the day. Just kidding, it doesn’t play music all the time, just… most of the time. If you walk through there at eleven o’clock in the evening after a theater performance or an organization potluck, there will probably be students there, concentrating really hard but not hearing anything. Later than that, and it would be just spooky to hear, I think!

What has got to be my most favorite aspect of the holidays at Loyola (besides the cute garland decorations everywhere, even in the gym) is the fact that we remove approximately half of our tables and put in… an indoor skate rink! I got a picture of it empty, before people start flooding onto it, so you can see how big it is. It’s free skating, as opposed to the cute (but probably colder) skating you can do downtown right next to the Bean.


If you’re visiting Loyola during this wintry season, don’t worry – this charm is year-long! It’s just that without the lovely decorations of the natural world, Loyola adds the holiday touch, and it sure does make students smile. Trust me, I’m one of them!

Campus Culture: What are the clubs like?

Campus Culture: What are the clubs like?

Loyola’s students can be described as highly-involved, passionate people who are always doing something!

Well, to be honest, some students aren’t about that life. Some people have their core group of friends they stuck with since high school, or from freshman year, and they go to classes, and that’s it. Not being engaged with the student activities life is totally normal and a-okay.

But for the potential students, whether or not joining clubs is in your plan, I thought I’d tell you a little about what it’s like! Of course, every club is different. But I’ll try to give you the basics so it makes sense.

The first step of joining a club, or even knowing it exists, is going to the Organization Fair! It takes place in the first week of every semester, and every club shows up. Clubs get a table and then from there advertise themselves however they want, whether it’s with a trifold of information or by handing out fliers, and so on. It’s a multi-hour phenomenon so students of all schedules, ages, and levels can flit in and out and prowl the tables to learn about what you can do at Loyola. From the Greek Life section to Field Hockey Club to Quidditch Club and the Classics Club, everyone shows up. So if you’re even a vaguely interested student, you gotta go! Or get a trusted friend to go and pick up people’s fliers so you can decide yourself, but without all of the crowdedness. I’ve seen plenty of people do that.

After that, well, it’s a matter of showing up and showing out. Maybe you got on someone’s email list, or their paper told you that their first meeting would be the next week. Explore! Many people go to one or two meetings of clubs and never show up again, and that’s alright. Other ones show up halfway through the semester, and most clubs are okay with that too! Truthfully, the typical Loyola student is in more than one club anyway. I was in six my freshman year. Although I couldn’t give my all to all of them, I had a good time any way.


All of the clubs are mandated to have a Constitution and an Executive Board to keep them running, which means smooth officer transitions and a pretty easy sense of consistency. Each year new presidents don’t generally have to start a club that has been around for fifteen years from the beginning again. If there’s any issues, the Student Activities and Greek Affairs department at the school can help out, whether it’s with budgets, event planning, or just recruiting. Plus.. they can also be used if you want to start your own club! Many people might find that they have a hobby but there isn’t a club for it. It can be made, no problem! Just this year, Loyola’s History Club was re-founded… we haven’t had one for many, many years, but a few dedicated people have given it new life.

What happens after you join a club is up to you. Maybe you attend only the mandatory meetings, or do what you can because you’re too busy to do a lot, or you become the Secretary your sophomore year, or you stop going after two months. Whatever way you do it, you’re guaranteed to meet new people and have some experiences you wouldn’t have without them (even if it is just learning how to deliver a good punch from Boxing Club.)

Chicago and the Holiday Season

Chicago and the Holiday Season

Love to get a little festive, get jingly with it?

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, there’s a thousand and one ways to light up the dark nights here in Chicago and feel the cheer and good vibes of the holiday season.

My favorite? The Holiday Train!

That’s ride, for the price of one ride on the L (or your U-pass, if you’re a student) you could ride on the CTA L, but the L decked out to the max. It’s got lights. It’s got Santas. It’s got festive decor as far as the eye can see. It’s got a schedule, so you can check it and time your ride just right to feel the fun! It costs nothing extra to the rider and is just a way for Chicago to make you smile.

Word on the street is that it’s been a tradition for over 25 years now, and started as a way for the CTA to bring care packages and food to people in need. Now there’s not only a fully decorated train with Santa on it, but there’s a ‘Elf Workshop’ one too that runs as well, making it twice as likely for you to catch one, and twice as fun! Plus there’s a holiday bus roaming around Chicago – well, I say roaming, but it’s actually just following its regular route – so you can be festive any way you ride. For a fun video featuring the train, check out this youtube link to see something from someone who’s actually ridden it a few years ago and what it looked like then. I for one haven’t been lucky enough to catch it yet, although all of my roommates have!


If you come to visit Loyola this winter, I highly recommend trying to get on it. What a way to feel the season!