COAS Includes Interdisciplinary Course in New Proposal

Written by: Kashay Bowens, Jeran Lantz-Robbins, Charlotte Stefanski, Emily Yager

The College of Arts and Sciences working group recently submitted a proposal in regards to the college’s general education requirement, which included an interdisciplinary education course, something most of the group thought would be a positive experience for students, said Jeff Malanson.

Malanson, the chair of the committee, said the working group spent two semesters on forming the proposal, but one idea they kept coming back to was an interdisciplinary course.

Janet Badia, the director of women’s studies and a member of the working group, said, “In its ideal form it would entail three professors teaching the class together. It would be team teaching importantly in the sense of all three professors being present in the class for all sixteen weeks.”

An example she gave included a class covering the human body. She said each professor would give a perspective from the humanities side, the social sciences side, and the science side.

According to Malanson, the course would be problem based class taken during a student’s freshman year. The course would teach students how experts from each discipline would approach the same topic.

“Instead of an intro to science, it’s a specific issue that they might be passionate about,” Malanson said. “It gives them this opportunity to engage in a more meaningful learning experience from day one that might help them feel more engaged with the university.”

Malanson said the course could also be used as a recruitment tool for the university.

“I’m not saying we’d be the first to ever do it, but it’s not a common thing, and especially not for students who are coming to a regional campus that has far fewer resources than IU or Purdue,” Malanson said.

The group is made up of 16 members, each being from a different department within the College of Arts and Sciences. It was formed in the fall of 2013 when IPFW implemented a new general education program.

“When our general education system changed, it created certain issues in the curriculum that the faculty felt needed addressed,” Nancy Virtue, a French professor and member of the working group, said. “The working group was charged with exploring how we might address certain weaknesses in the current requirements.”

According to Malanson, four of the group members voted against the proposal in its entirety, not just the interdisciplinary course. Those who did not agree with the interdisciplinary course were concerned about the logistics of maintaining the course.

“It probably would be very difficult for smaller departments to lend faculty to teach that course, so it would not have the full flavor of all the College of Arts and Sciences disciplines,” Timothy Grove, an associate professor of physics at the university, said. “I would argue that it’s not really a matter of teaching methods. It’s more a matter of give a dose of this, give a dose of that. It’s more of say filling out a shopping cart list than anything I would consider a teaching method.”

“The next thing up in this process is figuring out how we can actually do this responsibly. We don’t want to adopt a set of requirements that we can’t actually give our students in a meaningful way,” Malanson said.

According to Virtue, the proposal currently sits with the College of Arts and Sciences executive committee, who are currently determining the next steps in how to move forward with the proposal.

Plans for New Tunnel to Reduce Sewage Overflow in Rivers

Written by: Rachel Abraham, Kristine Lindal, Ali Rairigh, Emily Yager

Fort Wayne, Ind.—City Utilities will begin construction of the $240 million Three Rivers Protection and Overflow Reduction Tunnel project in 2017, according to Kelly Bajic, city utilities professional engineer, to reduce the amount of sewage discharged into the St. Marys and Maumee Rivers during storms.

According to a city 3RPORT and Tunnel Works release, the project responds to a federal mandate for the city to reduce combined sewer overflow from 100 billion to 100 million gallons by 2025.

Matthew Wirtz, deputy director of engineering for the city, said during heavy storms, the sewage system overflows and raw sewage mixed with rainwater flows into the river.

According to Bajic, the tunnel will have a capacity of 31 million gallons, although it will primarily be used for conveyance and not storage.

Wirtz said once the tunnel is constructed, the majority of the flow currently discharging into the river will drop into the tunnel.

The 5-mile tunnel will begin south of Foster Park and run to the existing sewage treatment plant on the Maumee River. According to Wirtz, they will drill 150 to 250 feet into the bedrock where the tunnel will run underneath downtown and around Foster Park. The tunnel will convey flows to the wet weather ponds located north of the Water Pollution Control Facility, according to Bajic.

Wirtz said the construction will take 4 to 5 years because they will have to bore the hole underground, come to the surface and connect the existing sewers.

According to Bajic, 13 drop shafts will be constructed to convey the flow from the near surface sewers down into the tunnel.

“The tunnel itself will be done in a few years, but then getting all the rest of that stuff done will take a couple more,” Wirtz said.

Robert Gillespie, associate professor of biology at IPFW, said he and a team of students have been helping the city monitor river water quality during intense events. According to Gillespie, there are some great students who are eager to work on the tunnel project, helping the city accomplish what they couldn’t do on their own.

Gillespie said once the tunnel is completed positive impacts on water quality could be seen after only one season.

Wirtz said in addition to improving river water quality, the tunnel will reduce street and basement flooding and help move water from homes to the treatment plant faster.

“We’ll still have problems in really large storms, but the more normal, small storms will provide much better protection,” Wirtz said.

“It’s trying to fix something that’s been a problem not only in our community but in a lot of midwest communities,” Bajic said. “There’s a lot of different communities that have combined sewer systems, so it’s not just Fort Wayne.”

According to Bajic, the project is currently in the design phase and the next step for the project is getting documents ready for the bidding process by the end of Fall 2016.

Inflammatory Statement Found on Diversity Wall Not Considered Crime

Written by: Kashay Bowens, Charlotte Stefanski, Jeran Lantz-Robbins

After the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs found a racial epitaph written on the diversity wall, the IPFW Police were able to identify the individual who wrote the statement. According to IPFW Chief of Police Julie Yunker, the action was not a direct violation of the law.

Ken Christmon, the associate vice chancellor for the department, said his staff discovered the inflammatory statement on Nov. 18, and he immediately contacted the university police.

“We did a very aggressive thing and put out a statement out to let people know that we’re not

going to tolerate this,” Christmon said.  “There is no threat, there is no intent, it does not rise to the level of mass alerts, but it did have a hate tone to it.”

During their investigation, Yunker said her officers took statements from those in the department’s office and reviewed surveillance footage. They were able to identify the individual who wrote the statement and brought him in for questioning.

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act limits access to a student’s education records, including campus police reports, so the student has not yet been named.

After the investigation, Christmon said the student was not trying to insight fear, but wrote it as a sarcastic statement.

The diversity wall in the department allows students to write their opinions in response to questions and topics proposed by the department in erasable marker.

“The diversity is a free speech wall, we came up with the program because we felt like students wanted to get their voices heard,” said Christmon. “Our original thought was to leave it up there and create dialog at first, because it’s on a free speech wall, but the police department advised us that is was better to take it down.”

“We further affirm that we will not allow a statement of hate to go unchallenged. We will not forget that the words were posted,” Carl Drummond, the vice chancellor of academic affairs, said on behalf of Chancellor Carwein in an email sent out to students. “We remain committed to our cherished values of inclusion and intellectual integrity and to challenging hatred and ignorance with clearer thinking and strong ideas for an inclusive and respectful way of life.”

According to Yunker, what the student did cannot be prosecuted, because it did not fall under the category of a criminal violation.

She said if the student would have used spray paint to write the message instead of the erasable markers provided at the diversity wall, then it would have been a criminal violation. However, since there was no permanent damage, it cannot be considered vandalism or criminal mischief.

Yunker also said the statement could not be considered a hate crime for two reasons, and said, “Hate crimes are actual crimes that exist and have this attribute of some kind of hate against a group. With no permanent damage and no crime, there is no hate crime.”

Indiana is also one of five states to not recognize hate crimes as criminal violations, which Yunker said was another “eye-opener” for people on campus.

With nothing able to be done in a criminal arena, Yunker said the university can take action against the person for having violated the student code of conduct. However, Dean of Students Eric Norman chose not to comment on if he was continuing an investigation.

Is Sacrificing Sleep Actually Worth the Good Grade?

Finals week is here and IPFW students are cramming to get their last minute study sessions in while finishing up assignments. Some even report forgoing sleep in order work through the night surviving on caffeinated drinks and pure stamina.

Daytime sleepiness, sleep deprivation and irregular sleep are highly common among college student. 50 percent report daytime sleepiness and 70 percent attain insufficient sleep.

Hershner and Chervin conducted a study on sleeplessness among college students and found that most people require seven to eight hours of sleep in order to function properly. It has been found that many bodily systems can be harmed by sleepless nights.

According to former nursing student, Caitlyn Mishler, a number of the body’s functions are negatively affected by inadequate sleep such as lack of appetite, slow immune system, erratic mood swings and neurocognitive consequences.

“It [sleep deprivation] can cause about anything under the sun,” said Mishler. “When you sleep, it’s a time for your body to repair itself and heal from stress of the day, you don’t realize it but actually walking around and being awake is quite a huge thing for your body and if you don’t give your body time to repair itself it will turn on you.”

During sleep, the body produces cytokines which are cellular hormones that help fight infections. People suffering from lack of sleep may be more vulnerable to everyday infections like the common cold and flu.

According to Hershner and Chervin there is a link between insufficient sleep and weight- gain. Due to lack of sleep, levels of the hormone leptin which tells the brain enough food has been consumed, are lower while levels of ghrelin, which stimulates appetite, are higher.

Alia Hoyt, who researched how dangerous sleep deprivation could be, stated that other effects of sleep deprivation involve a lower ability to retain memory, lack of better judgment and problem-solving. During sleep, learning and memory pathways become encoded in the brain, and sufficient sleep is necessary for those pathways to work properly.

“I see this [sleep deprivation] in more college aged students,” Mishler said. “They cram and rely on energy drinks and coffee to sustain them.”

With insufficient sleep, the thinking process slows, it is harder to focus and pay attention.

“I am sleep deprived right now,” Sara Williamson, a senior at IPFW said. “I didn’t really see it as a big deal, everyone goes through this at some point in their college career it wasn’t until I started going through memory loss and time jumps that I started to get scared.”

According to Hoyt, those who suffer from sleep deprivation have an easy solution: unstressed rest. Giving the brain and body time to repair itself in the REM stage of sleep is the best possible solution.

“Unstressed rest is the best cure for sleep deprivation, no sleeping aids or amount of caffeine can compare to a natural nights rest.” Mishler said.

IPFW Faculty and Students Support Syrian Refugees

IPFW faculty and students organized two events to support Syrian refugees on Dec. 2, including a rally and a panel. The rally served as a peaceful event in response to Indiana closing its borders to refugees, according to Farah Combs and Nancy Virtue, who organized the event.

The rally allowed students, faculty and community members of Fort Wayne to express their support for the Syrian refugees in an outdoor, open-mic setting.

“I wanted to show Fort Wayne, Indiana and the United States in general that people on college campuses are paying attention to these events and they do support refugees,” Elana Merritt, a junior who helped organize the rally, said.

“Our goals were to speak out in support of the Syrian refugees, and to make some sort of public statement in solidarity and support,” Virtue, who is also a French professor at the university, said. “It was a really great opportunity to introduce a competing voice, and to let people know perception is not uniformly against the refugees.”

Three days after the attacks on Paris, Gov. Mike Pence joined at least 15 other governors around the country and said he would close Indiana’s borders to Syrian refugees until “proper security measures are in place.”

As of Nov. 19, 31 governors said the refugees are not welcome in their state, according to CNN.

During the two-hour period, attendees wrote postcards to Pence and signed a petition to allow Syrian refugees into Indiana. According to Combs, the university’s Arabic professor, 100 preaddressed postcards were filled out and sent to the governor.

Qmr Aldik, a Syrian student who came to the United States in 2011, said, “All I want to tell him is that he might be in this position one day, and it’s not their fault to be fleeing their home.”

Montha Thach, a junior at IPFW, was also present at the event. She said she was supportive of the refugees because her own parents were once refugees.

“I just feel like Syrian refugees are not here to threaten us. They’re just here because they want a chance to live just like we do,” Thach said. “As humans, we should all support each other in times of need, so I feel like Mike Pence should open up his heart instead of shutting them out.”

Steven Carr, the director of the university’s Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, said that he saw similarities in the Syrian refugee crisis and when the United States turned down more than 900 Jewish refugees as they were trying to flee persecution from Nazi Germany in 1939.

“Given that we know what the history is now, do we really want to make those same kind of mistakes?” Carr said during the rally. “Do we want to be so cold hearted and so lacking of compassion that we are willing again, despite the historical record, to turn away people who are fleeing persecution?”

However, not all students at the university support the idea of refugees entering the United States. Alexis Taylor, a freshman majoring in business at the university, agreed with Pence’s stance, and said the United States should help the many homeless Americans in the country first.

“I think we would need intense filtering of the refugees to ensure that none of them are potential members of ISIS,” Taylor said. “Plus, we need to help our people first before we can open up to all of these other countries.”

According to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the vetting process a refugee must go through is a 13- step process including screening from the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, DHS, the Department of Defense and other agencies.

Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement that the refugees have the “highest level of security screening of any category of traveler to the United States.”

The panel held later that night at the university aimed to engage the panelists and audience in a conversation about the Syrian refugee crisis, according to Assem Nasr, who moderated the event.

Nasr, assistant professor in the Department of Communication, posed questions to a group of panelists including activists Sam Jarjour, Caleb Jehl and Amar Masri and university professors Ann Livschiz and Jaime Toole.

Jarjour, Jehl and Masri had recently taken a trip to Europe to film a documentary on the Syrian refugee crisis.

During the panel, Jehl said, “By this point they’ve generally taken a boat out across five miles of sea in a little dingy without a pilot. If they’re lucky enough to survive that, they’ve gotten to Greece and they’re taking another boat to somewhere else to walk their way through Europe.”

“The boats were safer than the land they were escaping, that was a common story we heard,” Jarjour, who is a board chair of the Indiana Center for Middle East Peace, said. “We heard people talking about languishing in camps for four years with no hope and no security.”

According to the UN Refugee Agency, about 2 million registered refugees live in Turkey, more than a million live in Lebanon and over a half million live in Jordan.

Jarjour, Jehl and Masri also said the Syrians they met came from many different backgrounds, with most of them being educated. Some of the people they met included doctors, lawyers and pharmacists, who Jarjour said would be an “asset to our community.”

“They happen to be from all walks of life,” Masri said during the panel. “We met factory workers, we met farmers, we met a tractor driver. They just left there for the sake of safety and for a better life.”

“There’s a rich history of Syrian immigration to Fort Wayne that’s 100 years old, and people don’t even realize this,” Jarjour said. “The notion that we can exclude one nationality when they need us most because of that nationality is antithetical to American values, in my opinion.”

Nasr currently works with a group to resettle Syrian refugees in Fort Wayne, and said it’s a matter of when they are resettled, not if.

“We all miss that we’re human at the end of the day,” Nasr said. “Our biggest goal at this point in time is to talk to people and to bring an awareness of we are having people come into the city. We’re going to need to have all of the help that you can give. If you don’t have enough time, money, or resources, at least be generous enough to be welcoming and hospitable.”

Jefferson Pointe is Home to All Your Holiday Needs

Photo credit: Riley McCullough

December is a month full of shopping, eating and most of all, holiday cheer. With the holidays and end of the year happening simultaneously, most people find themselves overwhelmed with things they need to get finished rather than enjoying the holiday season.

Having a place that offers it all, shopping, eating and cheer, is something that many people would cherish in this fast-passed world we live in. Luckily for Fort Wayne, that place exists: Jefferson Pointe.

Jefferson Pointe offers a wide variety of over 60 retail stores, boutiques and restaurants for all your holiday shopping and eating needs. But, Jefferson Pointe also offers a complete holiday atmosphere like no other.

Brett Gauger, resident of Fort Wayne, said visiting Jefferson Pointe this time of year is “enchanting.”

Katrina Newman, property marketing manager for Jefferson Pointe, said planning for the holiday transformation begins six months in advance, but the actual transformation of the shopping center does not begin until the end of October.

Newman said besides the typical holiday lights and décor, there are three main holiday aspects at Jefferson Pointe: live reindeer, photos with Santa and their title-holding Christmas tree.

The live reindeer are at Jefferson Pointe every Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. They are located between Simply Mac and Victoria’s Secret. Newman said guests are encouraged to bring their own cameras for when they meet the reindeer.

The reindeer are also at Jefferson Pointe for extra hours on Christmas Eve from noon to 2 p.m.

Santa is located in the play area next to Barnes and Noble. Newman said Santa is ready to meet and take pictures with visitors Monday through Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. After meeting Santa, there are photo packages available for visitors to purchase.

Santa, like the live reindeer, is also at Jefferson Pointe for extra hours on Christmas Eve from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There are four miles of lights that wrap the trees at Jefferson Pointe, and Jefferson Pointe is home to the tallest synchronized tree in Indiana.

“The tree is 48 feet tall, and the star on top of the tree is 4 feet tall,” Newman said.

The tree features nightly shows from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Newman said these shows occur every half hour.

“There are six different shows with different songs each show,” Newman said.

This year, Newman chose to add something new. According to Newman, each show is performed with three Christmas songs followed by Star Wars’ theme song. Newman said she decided to incorporate Star Wars’ theme song because of the new Star Wars movie release on Dec. 18.

“My family makes it a priority to stop and watch,” Gauger said. “After shopping, we will grab a hot drink from Starbucks and enjoy the show.”

This is the third year for the synchronized Jefferson Pointe Christmas tree. Each year Newman said they continue to add more holiday aspects that add to the overall holiday atmosphere. Newman said this year new lights were added to both the tree itself and the surrounding trees.

“The tree is definitely making its way to become a Fort Wayne holiday icon,” Gauger said. “It would not surprise me in the years to come that the JP [Jefferson Pointe] tree is as recognizable as the Santa on Main.”

The tree is lit on the second Saturday of November at 7 p.m. Newman said they choose to light the tree early in order to not make visitors choose which lighting ceremony in Fort Wayne to go to.

Newman said this year’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony was “packed.”

“We are up substantially,” Newman said. Only a week into December, numbers are already showing a 26,000 visitor increase for December 2015 compared to December 2014’s visitor count. Newman said this increase in visitors is great not only for the holiday offerings but for the stores in general.

Amanda Prindle, employee at Jefferson Pointe, said she thinks this upcoming weekend will be the busiest of December.

“The weather has been great, and it is the final countdown for shoppers,” Prindle said. “Shoppers and tree-goers will flood JP [Jefferson Pointe] this weekend, I am sure of it!”

Newman said the tree will switch from synchronizing Christmas music to synchronizing “party” music to celebrate the new year beginning Dec. 26. The Christmas tree stays lit through Jan. 10.

Whether it is shopping, eating or snapping photos with Santa, Jefferson Pointe is the place that accommodates your holiday needs. Jefferson Pointe is located between Illinois Road and West Jefferson Boulevard in Fort Wayne, Ind. For more information about store hours or directions, please visit:


Don’t Neglect Your Noggin

Photo credit: Aaron Stevens

Concussions are a growing topic of concern among people due to the ongoing issues present in the NFL with player injuries and problems that the injury can cause long after it has been treated.

Anyone can experience a concussion at any moment on account of the human brain being fragile. Traumatic brain injuries, or more commonly known as concussions, are a becoming an issue that is taking up more and more airtime on news stations and striking up public curiosity.

One of the biggest factors causing the curiosity of concussions is that the NFL, the biggest professional sports organization in the U.S., has been in a longtime legal battle with former and current football players over player safety in regards to brain injury. Professional athletes are not the only people who can experience a concussion. Young people who are still in college athletics suffer from these types of issues.

Josh Blevins, who played football from grade school through high school in Fort Wayne, has experienced three concussions in his life that are still affecting him now as a senior in college.

“I got one in grade school in the middle of a game. I don’t remember anything after being tackled in the second quarter. I woke up at home the next day,” Blevins said. “The other two were at practices for [high school football]. One felt like a normal headache. The one I sat out for, made me feel like I was being put under at the dentist but I couldn’t fall asleep.”

Blevins said that he still gets a “migraine everything month or so.”

Football is not the only way that people can experience a concussion. Playing any contact sport can open the door to head injury. Cheerleading is a sport that can create serious brain trauma because the body is tossed around, which can cause the brain to shake. Violent falls or car accidents are also serious causes of concussions.

Dr. Manny Manalo, a physician with the Lutheran Medical Group in Fort Wayne, says that whether or not there are lasting effects to the body long after a concussion is treated, depends on the level of severity of the head trauma.

“Usually in mild conditions, patients recover fully. In severe concussions, permanent damage to the brain could occur ultimately affecting the rest of the body.” Manalo said.

A concussion is a trauma induced condition that alters the way the brain functions and could cause loss of other bodily functions. A hard blow to head is what usually can cause the trauma, but it can also happen when the body is shaken violently. The Mayo Clinic states on its website that a person can experience unconsciousness when getting a concussion, but most concussions do not cause a person to lose consciousness. Because of this, some people do not realize they have a concussion.

A concussion can affect the body by causing serious headaches, a ringing in the ears, stomach pain, and muscle fatigue. Those are just a few of the immediate problems that could arise from head trauma, but recent research has found that concussions could possibly have lasting effects.

CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), is a degenerative disease that can cause symptoms of dementia, memory loss, anger, confusion and depression. Many of these symptoms appear years later, and in some cases, decades after the multiple head injuries have happened.

In the event of a concussion, the brain can go through many different scenarios depending on the severity level of the injury. Brain swelling is a possibility, and a shift out of its normal place can happen if the hit is hard enough. Symptoms of concussions vary with the level of how hard the causing hit was.

Other immediate symptoms upon getting a concussion can be loss of consciousness, loss of bodily functions, sensitivity to light and nausea or vomiting. Considering that the brain is the control center of the body, a bad enough concussion can lead to loss of feeling or paralysis in certain areas of the body.

“If the pituitary is affected, hormonal regulation would be affected. In terms of the nervous system, the cranial nerves would be affected. For example, if the optic nerve were affected, then vision would be impaired. The effects on these systems depend on where location of the trauma in the brain occurs,” Dr. Manalo said on the effects on the anatomy and physiology of the body.

The disruption of the endocrine system, which produces hormones, can lead to issues down the road. An imbalance of hormones and chemicals in the body can cause disorders like depression, anxiety, insomnia, and mood swings just to name a few according to Mayo Clinic research. Many of the former NFL players experienced many of these problems at the same time.

Before the 2013 football season, the NFL reached an agreement to payout $765 million in concussion-related brain injuries among its 18,000 retired players who were a part of a lawsuit that accuses the league of concealing the problems that come from concussions, and profiting off of the bone-chilling hits that the league uses for its highlight reels.

One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit was the family of Junior Seau, who died of a suicide in 2012. Seau, who had been retired for a few years by that time, had been suffering from injuries he sustained during his playing career which included concussions. The autopsy revealed that Seau had been dealing with CTE as so many former NFL players who passed away were later revealed to have.

Brandon Payton, who also experienced multiple concussions in his life due to his involvement with contact sports, spoke about the affect his injuries had on his vision.

“After I had a constant headache for about two weeks, and whenever light hit my eye, they got really sensitive and my headache got worse,” Payton said.

Dr. Manalo says that in the event of a head injury to be sure to pay attention to symptoms. Not everyone is a professional doctor, and should be sure to go see a doctor when in doubt. He also says to be proactive and not reactive. Take some rest and reduce head movement as much as possible.

Concussions are a danger for anyone because everyone has a brain that is sensitive. Contact sports, accidents and car wrecks are leading causes of head trauma, but even a violent shake of the body can lead to serious injury. College students, kids and adults can get hurt at any time because accidents happen.

If you experience a blow to the head that is hard enough to cause a blackout or headache then you should immediately consult with a medical professional.

Riverbank Erosion and Transmission Corridor Project Delay Rivergreenway Trail Completion

Written by: Rachel Abraham, Kristine Lindal, Alexandria Rairigh

Fort Wayne, Ind.–A 1.2 mile stretch of the Rivergreenway neighboring IPFW cannot be completed until the city addresses riverbank erosion and Indiana Michigan Power finishes their transmission project

Riverbank erosion is an issue for the remaining trail between St Joe Center Road and East California Road, according to the most recent Rivergreenway project status report.

Dawn Ritchie, greenways manager for the city, said there are 400 linear feet of riverbank erosion on the 1.2 mile stretch of uncompleted trail. According to the report, the city must find a solution to the erosion before the trail can be completed.

“There’s nothing that has been done to shore up the riverbank or stop the erosion,” Ritchie said. “We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix this, and nobody has the money to do that, unfortunately.”

Robert Gillespie, university biology professor and an associate of the center, studies the degradation of aquatic communities. He participated in a sub-committee with city utilities that assessed a plan for possible impacts on areas of riverfront development.

Riverbank erosion is one such area, according to Gillespie. He said riverbank erosion will increase suspended solids, organic and inorganic materials that are suspended in water. This can be a problem for almost any aquatic organism because suspended solids get stuck in their gills and can cause suffocation, according to Gillespie. Gillespie said there are many places where erosion is a problem in the Fort Wayne area.

Indiana Michigan Power is currently working on a section of their Powering Up Northeast Indiana transmission project in the same area, according to Tracy Warner, principal communications consultant at the power company. The project is geared towards upgrading and enhancing the system and reliability, Warner said, because some of the equipment dates back to the 1940s.

The trail cannot be completed until the power company finalizes that part of the project, according to Ritchie.

The power company plans to begin construction on their transmission project next year. The project will take two years to complete. Warner said the company does not expect any issues from the erosion.

According to Warner, the power company strives to be a good neighbor to the greenway and the university and will continue to discuss the issue as the project progresses. “We’re looking forward to building this section,” he said.

Bruce Kingsbury, director of the university’s Environmental Resources Center, was involved in a committee for the vision of the riverfront downtown. According to Kingsbury, “Part of that vision includes the concept of environmental stewardship.”

IPFW Improves Campus Community Initiatives with Community Student Portal

IPFW now has a completely web-based software hosted by Symplicity called Community that allows students to manage all aspects of their groups, clubs and organizations. The Office of Student Life and Leadership implemented the software system in August as a way to give students the ability to easily manage their co-curricular activities.

The Office of Student Life and Leadership worked with Symplicity to implement Community in an attempt to streamline the paper-based process that was used in the past for managing student groups.

“The filing system we used before we had Community was a pen and paper process,” Kasey Price, assistant vice chancellor for student life and leadership, said.

According to Price, this pen and paper process was inconvenient for both staff and self-registering students. Before Community was implemented, students interested in starting a campus organization had to print off the application online, fill it out and return that application to the Office of Student Life and Leadership. The office then stored each student organization application in a paper file. If the student wanted to make changes to that application they had to come back into the office and pull their file to make those changes.

“Community now allows us to digitize those records so that the students can easily manage groups, rosters and activities from within the system,” Price said.

Community also gives students within an organization the ability to find out about events on campus, keep track of event attendance and communicate with other members within the organization.

“Community is really beneficial to the members of the Active Minds group because it helps us plan out our events and lets us grow our member base a lot more than recruiting in person,” Manal Saeed, president of active minds, said in an email. “It also lets our current members know what we’re planning in advance, so they can plan to be there.”

Transitioning to Community also makes it easier for students to generate and manage their co-curricular transcripts. A co-curricular transcript is a university document that complements a student’s official academic transcript. Community offers a co-curricular transcript tool that allows students to document all of their student organization participation, membership, study-abroad experiences, honors, awards, scholarships and any other campus-based services students are involved in and have achieved throughout their time at IPFW.

In addition to being able to easily manage a student organization and co-curricular transcript, Community also offers a feature to help the campus move forward in some of the other campus community initiatives by sending out the student newsletter known as “True Blue.” According to Alex Wulpi, communications assistant in the office of the chancellor, the chancellor’s office decided to use Community as a platform to send out the student newsletter because it offers message tracking capabilities.

“The message tracking capability lets us know the percentage of the recipients who opened the newsletter,” Wulpi said. “This comes in handy because this information helps guide our decisions about what content to include and whether to adjust the design or layout to increase reader satisfaction.”

Community also adds more well-crafted content to the True Blue newsletter as opposed to sending it out by email through the student LISTSERV. “We didn’t like sending the newsletter out through the student LISTSERV because it was just a wall of text and links.” Wulpi said. “Community allows us to add basic HTML markup and pictures to make it more interesting and aesthetically pleasing.”

All students can login to Community by visiting and use their current IPFW student username and password to access their personal profiles. Once students are logged on, they can create an event request, co-curricular transcript and find out about other student organizational events happening on campus.

Plans for 100th Indy 500 Already Underway

Changes are already underway at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and speedway president held a town hall-style meeting and a Q&A session with racing fans and media in Fort Wayne to talk about those changes.

Kelley Chevrolet dealership hosted the meeting and president Tom Kelley spoke to the importance of the speedway to Hoosiers.

“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is iconic, it’s a phenomenal asset to those of us that live in the Midwest,” Kelley said to the media.

The changes that are being made to IMS, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are in preparation for the 100th Indianapolis 500. The plan is called Project 100.

According the, there are a multitude of areas at the speedway that are being improved “including seating, technology, gates and entryways, concession and restroom upgrades and new hospitality options.”

Over 50 race fans showed up to hear Boles talk about the improvements to racetrack and how the track looks currently.

“It’s a completely different place right now, we have taken the entire roof structure off the front stretch (grandstands),” Boles said to the media, “They have actually started putting steel up on the north end.”

Boles said in the spring, they plan on working on the gate one part of the project. Gate one is the “front door” to the speedway according to

Plenty of fans that showed up to the meeting expressed their concern for the problem of long lines at gate one in the past few years.

“Part of it, is us working with law enforcement to make sure people know other routes and the real hard part of it is 300,000 people trying to get in the facility,” Boles said.

Boles also alluded to the recent attacks of terrorism in this country and around the world that has led them to be more cautious with security because of the amounts of people that show up on race day.

There are no events scheduled at the speedway until the May 12, 2016 so fans should not be affected by any of the ongoing construction. The construction is now in its third phase according to

The first phase of Project 100 began in 2014 and each phase has been done in between each “500” race.

Phase three of the project includes more seating is being added to the already 300,000 plus seats. Boles said they are adding three more rows of seats to the grandstand and having Wi-Fi put in.

Rick Fletcher who has been going to the “500” for 30 years was against the changes the speedway has made in the past but has changed his tone in recent years.

“The first year I was in those fan club suites I thought you know what, this is pretty cool,” Fletcher said.

The 100th running of the Indianapolis is set for Memorial Day weekend, May 29, 2016.