Applying To College With A Criminal History ‘Ban the Box’ Update; Best of Midwest Music; Christmas Tree Shopping

December 05, 2019
 
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Main Quad

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Main Quad

Travis Stansel/Illinois Public Media

When you apply to college, many schools will ask if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime. Now, the University of Illinois System has announced that instead of getting rid of the question, they will be moving it on their application. Plus, we’re recapping some of the year’s best music by Midwest artists. Also, this time of year it seems like there’s a Christmas tree lots on every corner. We find out more about the people behind the trees and how they run their businesses.

An Update on Ban the Box Regulations

Many colleges and universities around the country have made the decision to “ban the box." That’s the box on college applications that asks students about their criminal histories. 

The University of Illinois System announced this fall that it would not be banning the box, but rather, moving it on their application. Prospective undergraduate students will not be asked about their criminal histories until after they’ve been admitted. Students applying for the fall 2020 semester will have already seen this change on their application.

Lee Gaines, is an education reporter at Illinois Public Media and Illinois Newsroom she has been reporting on this over the past year. She joined us to give the latest updates to this policy. Chris Miner is pursuing a masters degree in social work at the University of Illinois, and he also joined us.

Best of Midwest Music

Most people stop seeking out new music by their 28th birthdays.That’s according to a survey from music streaming services.  

But discovering new music can be good for you. In fact, studies show discovering new music can lift your mood and even create new pathways in the brain. So if you’re looking for some recommendations, we have some suggestions for you. 

Tim Crisp is a Chicago Music Writer and the host the “Better Yet” music podcast. He joined us to offer some of his favorite music recommendations from 2019 all from Midwest artists!

Here is Tim's list of artists and songs that we talked about on the show:

  • Greet Death - "Crush"
  • Oozing Wound - "Surrounded by Bleeping Idiots"
  • Elton John Cena - "Rat Poision"
  • Dizzy Fae - "No GMO Mixtape"
  • Purple Moutains - "All my Happiness is Gone"

Christmas Tree Shopping

It’s that time of year again, maybe you felt the slight shift in the air last week as you wrapped up your Thanksgiving dinner. Christmas is just around the corner. Whether you break out the plastic tree from storage, head to a local lot or even cut down your own at the farm, the Christmas tree is one of the most iconic images of the season. 

We wanted to hear more about the farmers and the business owners behind the trees. 

Bill Inks is the owner of AB Hatchery & Garden Center in Bloomington. Bill and his team sell hundreds of trees on their lot every year. 

George Richardson and his family have been farming in Spring Grove, Illinois since 1836. Every year they welcome thousands of visitors to Richardson Adventure Farm to cut down their own Christmas trees near the border with Wisconsin. 

WBEZ Chicago’s Monica Eng also joined us. She spoke with some of the folks behind the business in Chicago for a Curious City listener.