Stories from Dan Zweig
The IIT Rock Climbing club took an unorthodox trip to Southern Illinois to help a nonprofit rock climbing company called Access Fund establish a newly acquired rock climbing location: Holy Boulders. Holy Boulders, first revealed to us by the light of our headlamps, is an accumulation of beautiful sandstone boulders that offer some of the best bouldering problems and rock in Illinois.
This Spring Break the IIT Rock Climbing Club ventured south to Kentucky to climb in warmer weather. The group of twelve carpooled down on Friday after midterm exams were all done, and drove the eight hours to Miguel’s Pizza; the last cars arriving at 3 a.m.
Spring break is quickly approaching and if you haven’t already made plans, you probably won’t be able to pull off anything spectacular; sign-ups for ASB’s spring break with Habitat for Humanity or the Rock Climbing Club’s trip to Kentucky are long over, most airlines have already jacked up their prices if you were thinking about Vegas, California, Florida, or Cancun, and most of the academic conferences are booked and registered.
Between IIT’s crowded calendar of networking workshops, professional events, and career related development, it becomes clear that IIT is dedicated to improving students’ odds of getting a job during or immediately following graduation. There were two notable events in January, that both encouraged students to understand the reality of life after college that I would like to throw light upon.
If you’ve ever had a class with Professor Snapper you would have heard about the Zhou B Art Center on 35th and Morgan. The Zhou Brothers are prominent contemporary Chicago artists, originally from China, who are internationally acclaimed as perhaps the most accomplished artists today. Together they started the Zhou B Art Center, “to promote and facilitate a cultural dialogue by organizing contemporary art exhibitions and programs of international scope.”
In Bloomington, Illinois; a company named Upper Limits has re-purposed an old grain silo into something a little unexpected: a rock climbing gym.
After cutting doorways into the base of the silos through one foot of solid concrete, and drilling thousands of holes on the inside to attach different climbing
holds, they transformed these 70 foot storage containers into one of the tallest climbing gyms in the country. It has been a few years, but the gym is also known for creating giant ice waterfalls off the side of the silos so ice climbers can practice ascending with ice axes in a more controlled environment.
Everyone thinks they know what Greeks are all about, they’ve heard stories, seen movies, and read articles about what the college Greek experience is and has been for the past few decades. Most people have no idea what Greek life is like at IIT, or that it exists at all.
The IIT Rock Climbing Club, after planning for over six weeks with Finance Board and the Office of Campus Life went to Red River Gorge in Kentucky the weekend of November 2, 2012 to rock climb outdoors. About sixteen climbers joined the club for the weekend, which included eight hours of driving there, one and a half days of climbing, and an eight hour drive back to IIT. When planning an outdoor camping and climbing trip months in advance you have to cross your fingers when it comes to weather. This time we were not the luckiest, but it could have been worse.
This semester, the American Society of Architecture Students (AIAS) and the Rock Climbing Club at IIT co-sponsored an event to design a new rock climbing venue. Every semester, the AIAS typically hosts a design charrette that teaches students how to work in teams to competitively design a project in collaboration with other architects and engineers. A few years ago, it was to design a new campus center at IIT, this time it was to reinterpret an existing landmark -- Crown Hall -- into a rock climbing gym.
On Friday, a friend and I jumped on our recently refurbished bicycles and headed north from IIT towards Daley Plaza to participate in Critical Mass. Critical Mass is where cyclists from Chicago get together on the last Friday of every month and ride on a different route through the city as a mass. This inevitably blocks traffic for minutes at a time as the group travels collectively through green lights, even after they turn red. We just caught the group as they passed near Monroe and State, and joined in the mass.
After a seven-hour drive after classes on Friday the group arrived at a campsite just outside of Red Wing to snatch up the last remaining campsites.
On Saturday March 3rd four climbers competed in a regional rock climbing competition representing IIT and the IIT Rock Climbing Club. Brian Lynch, Anahi Tapia, Brandyn Osborne, and Dan Zweig went to Vertical Endeavors in Warrenville, IL, to compete with hundreds of climbers in a four hour climbing event titled “No Holds Barred”. Dan Zweig competed in the advanced level and Brian, Anahi, and Brandyn in the intermediate level.
Greek organizations nationwide are dedicated to service and philanthropy and improving their immediate communities. On March 10th Tony Iaccino from Sigma Phi Epsilon participated in his fourth year of service to an outstanding organization, Face the Future Foundation, that supports children who cannot afford facial surgery. He fundraised for the Craniofacial Center at the University of Illinois Medical Center.