An Inside Look at the IPSGA All-Branch Meeting

The IPSGA student senate held an all-branch meeting on Monday to discuss banded tuition, Spring Fling and suggestions on campus.

The student senate tries to hold at least one all-branch meeting every semester. Some branches included are the executive branch, media board, and the student activities board.

Victoria Spencer, IPSGA coordinator, said they generally have two all-branch meetings a year depending on what is going on at IPFW or IPSGA itself.

“This is a chance for all the branches of IPSGA to check in with each other to see what is going on,” Spencer said. “This is to see if there is anything that needs (to be) addressed or give branch reports.”

Last week, the IPSGA media attended an IPFW Banded Tuition Panel and discussed the proposed tuition changes.

Diana Jackson, director of administrative business services, said the biggest part is to have students register for a full load of classes, which is 15 credit hours.

“The banded tuition can be looked at as a flat rate,” Jackson said. “If the student takes 12 to 18 credit hours, they will pay a one cent amount.”

IPSGA members also discussed updates on Spring Fling and had an open discussion about suggestions from other branches on ways to improve campus for students.

Spencer said the focus for the meeting was to talk about things that organizations need help with, such as finding people to help plan Spring Fling in a couple months, and give the executive officers a chance to provide information about banded tuition.

“Basically if there are some changes coming up that will affect students, our officers usually work with the university to get more information to share with the branches,” Spencer said. “That is typically why we like to meet.”

James Hoppes, vice president of finance, said the meeting is not just for updates but an opportunity for members of other branches to meet everyone involved in IPSGA.

“We also like to have these meetings so we get to learn who everyone else is,” Hoppes said. “Also the more input that we receive from other branches, the better we can work on improving the campus.”

Sara Wegmann, media board editor, said this was her first time being involved in the all-branch meeting.

She started working for IPSGA this spring semester and did not realize how many programs are in the student government.

“I think this was very beneficial,” Wegmann said. “I got to personally learn a lot more about IPSGA and some of committees that I did not know existed before now. It provides information to everyone in the branches that we usually do not hear from during the week.”

Wegmann said this meeting also provided a lot of information about upcoming changes to campus she was not aware about, such as the banded tuition and Spring Fling.

She also did not realize how many volunteer opportunities there were on campus that the members were sharing during open discussions.

“It was extremely helpful for me and knowing that there are other things I can volunteer at other then my specific spot at the media board,” Wegmann said.

Though this is the only planned meeting of the semester, IPSGA officials said there will be another all-branch meeting if needed.


Fort Wayne Men’s Volleyball Team Continues Its Winning Streak

The Fort Wayne Men’s Volleyball team played No. 11 in the country George Mason at 7 p.m. Friday night.

Going into the game, Fort Wayne had a record of 1-8 to George Mason’s 4-2.

J.W. Kieckhefer, the Mastodons’ assistant coach, said their first win from the week prior will help with confidence issues and give them a good attitude for this game.

“I think it’s hard not to be more confident once we’ve had a win under our belt,” Kieckhefer said. “At the end of the day, I think we’re doing some really good things, and we just need to continue what we’re doing to get another win.”

Coach Kieckhefer said he did a scouting report on George Mason’s team to see what they were up against.

According to the report, Kieckhefer found George Mason’s go-to player is their right-side hitter #20 Jack Wilson. Going into Friday’s game, Wilson had attacked 50 more balls than anyone else on his team this season. Wilson is also an All-American candidate with a hitting percentage of .296.

Kieckhefer said the key to defending him would be to slow down their left and right side attackers, since they don’t set their middles in close-game situations.

Gabriel Quinones, a senior computer science major for the Mastodons from Dallas, said through their past losses and mistakes, they have prepared mentally and physically for this team.

“We don’t have to play amazing every time,” Gabriel said. “As long as we play consistently then wins will come and I really think that’s what we need to do.”

Gabriel said to succeed against a good team like George Mason they would need to start out early with confidence.

“I think the key is going to be the first set,” Gabriel said. “It’s an emotional kind of mental rollercoaster when a game starts, but once that first set is over and you win, you can go into the second set with confidence, which will ultimately be a big part in helping us win the game.”

That they did, as Fort Wayne won in three straight sets, shocking George Mason in a sweep.

“It was really just a combination of everything. Not one specific part sticks out, we just really played unbelievable volleyball tonight,” Coach Kieckhefer said following the win. “I really think that’s the best volleyball we’ve played in probably two years.”

Coach Kieckhefer said the saying “winning is contagious” definitely applied to the Mastodons this weekend, as they continued their 3-game win streak into Saturday night’s game against NJIT, resulting in another 3-0 sweep.

Fort Wayne now holds a record of 3-8 for the season as they go into conference play at home this weekend against McKendree and Ball State.

Thousands Participate in the Women’s March on Chicago

Over 250,000img_1043-jpg women and allies gathered in downtown Chicago carrying vibrant signs for the Women’s March on Jan. 21.

Event Emcee Fawzia Mirza said the march was cancelled due to the unexpectedly large turnout that created a safety issue, and was instead a standing rally.

But people were still marching. Supporters formed small groups and marched independently through the packed streets, where other supporters were participating in the standing rally.

“If a woman’s right is affected or at stake, it’s important for everyone to show up,” Mirza said. “That’s why we’ve been hearing from the organizers that allies are welcome. Allies are needed. Allies are important.”

img_1164-jpgHundreds of these allies filled the provided seats to watch an array of speakers and performers present onstage.

These speakers included Broadway performers Ari Afsar and Karen Olivo from the cast of “Hamilton”.

One of the performers, Vernon Mina from So Chi Voices, said his group was there to represent issues that minorities and women face.

Mina said he was told to expect around 3,000 people, and was shocked when he heard there were hundreds of thousands in attendance.

“You see little girls and little boys with signs that say ‘stand up for my mom,’ or ‘women’s rights,’” Mina said. “It tells you that despite what’s happening in the government right now, there’s so many people here ready to fight for all these rights.”

Volunteer Betimg_1093-jpghany Williams said the event, held the day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, was meant to create a sense of unity and support amongst women and minorities whose rights are being threatened.

President Trump recently proposed plans to build a border wall with intentions of keeping immigrants out, as well as targeting women’s healthcare.

Two days after the marches, President Trump reinstated the “global gag rule,” banning U.S. funding to international healthcare organizations that provide abortion information or services.

Men, women and children were carrying signs with positive messages on them, but not all of the signs were as optimistic.img_1281

Some signs included more negative messages, such as one sign that said “sexual harasser in-chief” and “not my president.”

Despite some of the pessimism displayed on the signs, Mirza said she considered the march a success.

The Women’s March on Chicago was one of hundreds of women’s marches that were held worldwide. The total attendance was in the millions, making it one of the largest marches in history.

“Women’s rights are human rights,” Williams said.

The phrase was chanted loudly by the thousands of women and allies, reinforcing the inclusive message of the march.