IPFW Music School Could Change if IU Leaves

Written by: Rachel Stephens

The IPFW music school could see a shift in governance and prominence if Indiana University leaves IPFW as suggested by the Legislative Services Agency report.

The agency issued a report in January recommending Indiana University transition out of IPFW. This change could cause IPFW to cease offering of an IU music degree.

However, Purdue Trustee Michael Burgoff said, “The two universities would like a solution that allows the music program to continue.”

Department Chair of the Rhinehart Music Center Gregory Jones said the final decision  rests with IU and Purdue. If the universities decide to separate, it will happen despite what IPFW wants. Jones said, “The one thing I can say for sure is that we will have a music department.”

Andrew Downs, presiding officer of the Fort Wayne Senate, said one possibility of sustaining the music program is for Purdue to keep the program exclusive to the Fort Wayne campus. Another possibility would include Purdue creating a music program for all of its campuses under their own governance. The least likely scenario, Downs said, is that IPFW will offer its own music degree.

Purdue does not offer a music degree, they would have to establish new programs to keep music degrees at IPFW. However, according to Downs, “Universities don’t just get to create programs if they feel like it.”

If Purdue takes academic responsibility over the music department, according to Downs it is ultimately up to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to approve a Purdue music program. Down said this process “is not fast by any stretch of the imagination.”

According to Downs, it is more likely that IPFW would offer degrees from both institutions during the process of the degree transferring to Purdue.

If Indiana University separates from IPFW, the university would eventually cease to offer degrees from the IU music program which is ranked one of the top music schools in the world.

John O’Connell, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, said dropping the IU brand would be a significant loss for IPFW’s music department.

Because Purdue has no music degree program and therefore no global ranking, IPFW may have to work to rebuild their musical reputation.

According to Jones, if there would be a conversion to a Purdue program, it would take time for the program to establish a high rank. Jones said a couple of big performances and students continuing to get good jobs would help the IPFW music program eventually regain prestige.

IPFW Students May be Affected by Changes to State Aid Requirements

Written by: Matthew Mannai, Tamula Lewis, Ryan Volkert, Austin Carpenter, Michael Dancler, Juan Alvarez & Micheala Pattison

Frank O’Bannon recipients and 21st Century Scholars may be at risk of losing all or some of their state aid if they do not complete 30 credits each academic year. 

Recipients of the grant can receive a maximum of $3700 for one academic year for 15 credit hours each semester, which covers about 57 percent of the tuition costs. Students who take 12 credit hours per semester or 24 in an academic year will receive a maximum $3,367. Those completing fewer than 24 credits will not receive the grant.

The requirements of the 21st Century Scholarship also states students will lose their scholarship if they are unable to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours per academic year.

Both types of state aid recipients will no longer be eligible for state aid if they do not complete a degree within four years.

The changes to state aid were made as part of Indiana House Enrolled Act 1348. Governor Pence signed the legislation in May 2013 and only applies to students who have been enrolled since 2013.

According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the purpose of HEA 1348 is to increase the number of students who are graduating within four years by encouraging them to take more classes.

These changes are where made to encourage the students already capable of graduating in four years, who are choosing to take the “scenic route” and graduate in five or six years, according to Julie Creek, director of the office of diversity and multicultural affairs.

There are 894 active 21st Century scholars and 976 active Frank O’Bannon recipients at IPFW.

The changes also require all state universities to assist students with graduating in four years by providing a four-year academic map, IPFW uses My Blueprint to meet this requirement.

My Blueprint is an online service provided to IPFW students and faculty to map out degree completions and is accessible through the enrollment section of My IPFW.

Departments like communication, education and nursing has provided students with a four year academic plan before the changes went into effect.

O’Bannon recipient Cassidy Eichmann said, the nursing department helped her plan out her four year degree completion. “I will have summer classes. I will have four credits over the summer with my clinical time.”

However, not all of the IPFW departments have created four year completion plans for their students.

According to Assistant Director of Student Success and Transitions Corrie Fox, IPFW academic advisers were retrained on My Blueprint at the beginning of the Spring 2016 semester.

According to Fox, there has been a lack of campus uniformity in informing faculty and professional academic advisors on the new requirements.

Faculty advisors on the IPFW campus reported knowing very little about changes made to state financial aid.

According to Rhonda Meriwether, academic advising center director, there is no current effort to inform faculty and professional advisors on the financial implications that the changes to state aid may have on state aid recipients.

“We are very concerned about this policy direction. It has the potential to very much impact our student’s ability to continue to receive state support”, George McClellan, IPFW vice chancellor of student affairs said.

However, some students simply cannot take 15 credit hours or more because of other life responsibilities like, working or taking care of a family, according to Fox.

For the majority of those types of students graduating in four years is just not going to be possible or practical, Creek said.

Fox said, she would only advise students who can handle taking 15 credit hours or more to do so.

“If it’s right for you I think it’s great” Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Success and Transitions Krissy Creager said. “If it’s not right for you, I don’t think it is something students should feel like they have to do.”

“If 15 doesn’t work for you don’t do it,” said doermer school of business academic advisor Karen Casazza. “Some people work full time and part time and they can’t do it. If that is your sweet spot, stick with that. It doesn’t matter to us how long it takes you.”

However, some students and advisors are not aware of the financial impact not graduating within four years could have on their state aid, Fox said.

The majority of IPFW students do not fully understand the requirements of the financial awards and loans, Associate Director of Financial Aid, Michael Carpenter said.

According to Fox, it is the student’s responsibility to understand and seek out help about financial aid.

According to Christopher Pine, a financial aid advisor, every student can schedule a meeting with a financial advisor but such meetings are rare.

Pine said students can access information about the requirements for the O’Bannon grant at any time through My IPFW or when they accept the award.

The Frank O’Bannon requirements are not explained to students when they are accepting the award, Fox said.

According to Fox, students don’t even have to accept the O’Bannon grant to receive it. It is automatically awarded and students must opt out of it, if they don’t want it, Fox said.

The only information about the O’Bannon requirements can be found at IN.gov under the higher education state awards and grants tab.

Compared to O’Bannon recipients, the majority of 21st Century Scholars at IPFW are aware of the award requirements when they accepted it in middle school or high school, Fox said.

Students receiving the 21st Century Scholarship are required to sign a pledge. The pledge includes acknowledging the students have read and understanding the 30 credit hour each semester requirement, according to Cicelle Beemon, a support specialist for 21st scholars.

The pledge also includes the academic and personal conduct requirements the students must adhere to in order to keep the award. The 21st Century scholars have to sign the pledge each year they receive the award.

Beemon said 21st Century Scholarship advisors at the high schools and on the IPFW campus remind the students about the 30 a year credit requirement throughout their high school and college careers.

The difference between 21st Century Scholarship and Frank O’Bannon grant is how the state distributes information about the aid requirements, Fox said.

Fox said, she recommends students do their homework on the financial aid they receive and then meet with a financial aid advisor with questions.

These requirements make it more difficult for students receiving the 21st Century Scholarship and the Frank O’Bannon Grant to navigate through their degree completion, according to McClellan.

These changes do very little to help the students who are already struggling to graduate on time, Creek said.

The majority of O’Bannon recipients and 21st Century Scholars are first generation college students with little to no family contribution to their college expenses, Fox said. Many of these student don’t know what question they should be asking in the first place, or how their financial aid works.

Unclear Future for Helmke Library

Written by: Sarah Updike, Kasey Gerding, Rachel Stephens, Derek Ewing, Logan Harris, Cameron Seaman

Dean of Helmke Library Cheryl Truesdell said the library catalog and databases could change if Indiana University separates from IPFW.

In January, the Legislative Services Agency proposed IU leave its IPFW campus.

IPFW Vice Chancellor of Financial and Administrative Affairs David Wesse said, “The two presidents of both Indiana University and Purdue University are currently in discussions formed by legislation to bring about an amicable separation.”

Until the final decision is reached, the library is planning the adjustments needed to make the shift to a Purdue library.

Truesdell said she hopes this change does not take place.

“IU brings its own special contributions to our area,” Truesdell said.

However, according to Truesdell, if Helmke does become a Purdue library, one of the first things to possibly leave is IU’s catalog IUCAT. Purdue’s catalog, THOR, would then take its place. This could be an adjustment to students who are accustomed to IUCAT.

Not only would the catalog appear different on a computer screen, but Truedell said there is also a chance about 332,000 books would need new barcodes to align with this new catalog. This process would include placing a new barcode sticker on the books.

“It’s not just a matter of putting the new barcode on,” Truesdell said. “You have to link the barcode to the record in the catalog.”

Truesdell said this job would take approximately five minutes per book which adds up to about one year of ten people working  40 hour weeks. This process will only be necessary if any IPFW barcode numbers overlap with those already in the THOR catalog.

According to Truesdell, there is no set number for how much keeping all databases would cost; however, she said it would be the most expensive part of switching to a Purdue library.

According to Truesdell, IU currently provides Helmke with 67 to 100 databases that Purdue does not own.

Truesdell said, “We’re assuming that we would have access to some of Purdue’s databases.”

If IPFW wants continued access to IU’s databases, they may have to pay out of pocket or negotiate a contract with Purdue to cover the cost. If neither of those options work, IPFW would have to discontinue their subscription to those databases, according to Truesdell.

Purdue Trustee Michael Burghoff said there is no final decision yet. Due to this, the fate of Helmke Library remains unknown until the universities come to an agreement.

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.

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.”

Student Organizations Find Outside Funding Beneficial When Requesting Funds from Student Government

Written by: Rachel Abraham, Alexandria Rairigh, Jeran Lantz-Robbins, Charlotte Stefanski, Emily Yager

African Student Association received $55 more than requested from the IPFW Student Senate, but according to James Hoppes, the legislative committee chair, the senate encourages organizations to get outside funding.

Eseosa Igbinijesu, African student association treasurer, and Emmanuel Okendu, African student association vice president, requested $245 to fund “A Taste of Africa,” an event which will showcase foods from Nigeria, Kenya, Angola, and the Republic of Congo.

During the senate meeting, Bradley Crowe, the ways and means chair, asked if the amount was enough to fund an event expecting 50 to 100 attendees.

Student senator Logan Torres moved to amend the bill to $300, which student senator Kate Keil said she found frustrating. “We’re not there to amend things to give more money to people that haven’t requested more,” Keil said.

But Keil said she revised her position on the amended bill because it helped the association.

The senate passed the bill and amendment to increase the amount to $300, unanimously.

Student senator Andrew Kreager said while it’s not common for the senate to give organizations more money than they request, he does agree with the senate’s decision.

“If we think something needs to be more funded so that it is a successful event, we should do that,” Kreager said. “That is our part as senators representing the student body to make sure that things are successful.”

Igbinijesu said their organization would not have been able to hold the event without receiving funds from the senate.

“We’re really new so we tried to collect membership fees, but it would not have covered this at all,” she said.

According to Hoppes, student organizations are encouraged to seek funding from outside sources other than just student government.

“We don’t have enough money to fund everybody,” Hoppes said.

Hoppes said the senate would like to fully fund students, but they also want to spread the money out.

Mitchell Olney, president of the rugby club, said he received funding from businesses before going in front of the student senate. He said this helped the rugby club’s case.

“They liked that we were self-sufficient and that we could generate our own funds,” Olney said, “and that we weren’t just coming to them and asking for charity.”

Anthropology club treasurer, Mike Plasterer, said his organization had already raised $150 through donations when he presented to the senate. “I think that definitely gave us brownie points from them,” Plasterer said.

According to Kelsie Gillig, president of the anthropology club, the process of requesting funds from the senate was fairly straightforward.

“Everyone has the same process to go through,” Plasterer said. “Everyone has the same opportunity to get the funds.”

“If there’s a group of students who wants to have a pogo stick competition on campus, it’s not my job to judge whether or not I would do pogo-sticking,” Crowe said. “It’s something they want to do. Therefore, we should be able to help them in that endeavor.”

Kreager said he hopes “A Taste of Africa” gets 100 attendees and the organization is able to engage students in what they are eating and gain an insight into African culture.

“A Taste of Africa” will be held Dec. 2 at noon in the Walb International Ballroom.