14 East’s Most-Read Stories of 2021

Just like that, 2021 is coming to a close. These last few days are a great time to reflect on what the year has brought us, including all of the great writing and reporting that the 14 East staff, editors and contributors have published throughout the year.

So without further ado, here’s 14 East’s top stories of the year.

Header Illustration by Bridget Killian

10 – 14 East and Pueblo’s Vaccine GuideStaff

Published: February 19

When COVID-19 vaccines were first emerging at the start of the year, many people had questions – including the 14 East staff. We took the opportunity to crowdsource questions from DePaul students, faculty and staff, and 14 East readers across Chicago, to provide information in English and Spanish about vaccine availability, testing locations and more.

Header Image by Justin Myers

9 – The Landscapes of Jens Jensen: Dynamism in NatureJustin Myers

Published: June 6

COVID-19 has brought us closer to many things, including nature. In this longread, former event planner Justin Myers looks into the designs and constructions of Jens Jensen across Illinois and Chicago, and how his philosophy toward human interactions — with themselves and with nature — impacts the built environment.

The DePaulian Yearbook 1939, DePaul University Special Collections

8 – The Un-Undefeated Gridders of Lincoln ParkCam Rodriguez

Published: June 6

In this historical deep dive, Managing Editor Cam Rodriguez, digs into university archives to take a look at DePaul’s storied football team, which played games in Lincoln Park and across the city until the 1930s, when it was suddenly axed by university leadership.

Header Illustration by Bridget Killian

7 – Watch Out Tiffany’s — Small Jewelry Shops Are on the RiseMica Du

Published: March 5

Despite the economic impact of COVID-19 on many businesses, the shift to a virtual world has provided a unique opportunity for some small, online-only jewelry shops. Reported by contributor Mica Du, the piece accounts how the owners of three small businesses found success selling quality jewelry for an affordable price during the pandemic.

Header Illustration by Yusra Shah

6 – 14 Eats: Fight Capitalism and Not Fast-Food Workers over the $15 MinimumRobin Mosley

Published: January 22

The first installment in former Associate Editor Robin Mosley’s series, “14 Eats,”  explores “Fight for 15” — the movement advocating for pay equity and a $15 federal minimum wage. Mosley breaks down some of the misconceptions surrounding work in the food industry, and with a carefully crafted argument, outlines why everyone deserves to be paid a livable wage, regardless of title, rank or position.

Header Illustration by Phoebe Nerem

5 – Fiona Apple, Ahead of Her TimeMonique Petty-Ashmeade

Published: March 5

In this commentary, contributor Monique Petty-Ashmeade writes about the luminary who is Fiona Apple and her freshman album Tidal. Using examples from the album, Petty-Ashmeade illustrates the songwriter’s lyrical and vocal prowess — demonstrating just what it is that separates Apple from the rest in her class.

4 – Isolated: Inside DePaul’s On-Campus Quarantine HousingElly Boes

Published: October 1

In this in-depth news feature, Senior Associate Editor Elly Boes investigates the university’s COVID-19 housing policies and on-campus isolation protocols. Through interviews, Boes reveals the unique experiences of two students quarantined on DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus.

Photo by Isabel Perkinson, 14 East.

3 – Metra Employee Morale at ‘All Time Low’ Amid Salary Stalemate, Big Payday for CEOHector Cervantes, Justin Myers and Cam Rodriguez

Published: October 22

In a collaboration with Radio DePaul News, the members of JOUR 515: Transportation Reporting spoke with transportation union members, conductors and riders of Metra amid conductor contract disputes and a pay raise to Metra’s CEO, despite alleged pay inequities within the agency.

Header image by Samarah Nasir

2 – How Bo Burnham Unpacks Politics, Pop Culture and the Pandemic in his Newest Netflix Special, “Inside”Charlie Carey

Published: July 8

The runner-up for this year’s most read story is a review of Bo Burnham’s award-winning comedy special Inside. Written by contributor Charlie Carey, the piece details how this latest special differs from Burnham’s previous work, serving as an exploration of his thoughts on everything from politics and social issues to the pandemic and pop culture.

Header image by Bridget Killian

1 – Buzzer Beater for J. Cole Fans With “Off-Season”Jewel Calimlim

Published: May 21

Our most read story this year was a music and entertainment piece from 14 East’s Business Manager, Jewel Calimlim, on J. Cole’s recent documentary, Applying Pressure: The Off Season, and album of the same name. Calimlim breaks down J. Cole’s career, past and future, both with regards to his talent on the stage and on and off the court.


And some honorable mentions: 

30 Days: The Voices of Hunger Strikers Fighting Environmental Racism Richie Requena

The Anonymous Voice of DePaul’s Student BodyAva O’Malley

Vaccine Phase 1C “Projected” to Include Most, But Not All, University EmployeesCam Rodriguez, Claire Malon and Francesca Mathewes

Evictions, Organizing and Paying Rent: A Conversation with a Tenants Rights Advocate Francesca Mathewes



Header photo by Cam Rodriguez