On being public enemy No. 1

An Opinion

A screenshot of an April 12 FADE post with visual and written references to the flight of stairs to the IUP Journalism Department on the top floor of Davis Hall. Commenters’ responded with ad hominem references to author Sam Posega, a journalism student.

A screenshot of an April 12 FADE post with visual and written references to the flight of stairs to the IUP Journalism Department on the top floor of Davis Hall. A commenter responded with an ad hominem obscenity directed at journalism student Sam Posega.

By Samuel Posega

INDIANA — A few weeks ago, the weekly assignment in my Opinion Writing class was a humor piece. I reached for low-hanging fruit — the social media app FADE and the stupidity of posting illegal activities on public social media.

I spent far longer grazing through the app than I feel comfortable admitting for research. But my research was deemed HawkEye-worthy and was published March 27.

Flash forward to April 10: The app’s users were put on blast and finally see my opinion piece. IUP-student Faders responded in true FADE fashion.

Student Austin Menhart posted the article, splicing words to say that I have small penis. I laughed. It’s refreshing to see young comedic talent come up with such original, quality material.

The comments on the post were mostly more juvenile name-calling. I continued to laugh. A handful didn’t like the writing. One said I didn’t do enough research. I shrugged them off.

Then I saw the death threat.

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‘Faders’ darken IUP’s social-media door

An Opinion

Screen shot of post to social medium FADE this week.

Screen shot of post this week to social medium FADE.

By Samuel Posega

Social media have done the world a lot of good. The Arab Spring uprising was organized through Twitter.

On the other hand, there’s FADE.

FADE, whose slogan is “Nothing Lasts Forever,” is a social media app focused on colleges and the college experience. Posts, which can be a photo/video and/or text, have a 24-hour lifespan, which can be altered in one-hour increments by up-or-down voting by other users.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania this week ranked ninth all-time among colleges for FADE activity, according to the app itself.

It is this brief lifespan that has brought out the IUP student body’s inner white devils, in addition to just their bodies.

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Yik Yak plays cat-and-mouse with cops during IUPatty’s

Screen shots of anonymous Yik Yak posts on Saturday, March 21, 2015.

Screen shot of anonymous Yik Yak posts on Saturday, March 21, 2015.

By Adam Harring

INDIANA — Yik Yak, a Twitter-like app that allows users to post messages anonymously, found a new purpose last weekend as Indiana University of Pennsylvania students took to the social medium to warn others of police movements and party busts.

The app, which displays users’ posts based on location, is often a source of reproachable postings and vile language—due in part to the anonymity. However, during the IUPatty’s weekend, it served as an early-warning system to students participating in the festivities.

Some students tuned in to the police scanner and then took to Yik Yak to post warnings to their peers both on and off the IUP campus.

One such message was posted just before 8:45 p.m. on Saturday. It alerted residents of Northern Suites: “251 Northern, police are coming for you.”

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A shovel for IUPatty’s crowd control

An unidentified South Fifth Street resident uses a shovel to shoo IUPatty’s celebrants from property near South Fifth Street and Grandview Avenue in Indiana, Pa., on Saturday, March 21, at 3:43 p.m. Photo by Casey Kelly.

An unidentified South Fifth Street resident uses a shovel to shoo IUPatty’s celebrants from property near South Fifth Street and Grandview Avenue in Indiana, Pa., on Saturday, March 21, at 3:43 p.m. Photo by Casey Kelly.

By Casey Kelly

INDIANA – At ground zero of IUPatty’s celebrations on Saturday afternoon, an annoyed resident appeared amid revelers near Grandview Avenue and South Fifth Street. He wielded a shovel and ordered green-T-shirt-clad partiers off his property.

The unidentified resident emerged from his home in the 700 block of South Fifth at 3:40 p.m. as a crowd reported to number up to 700 overflowed into his yard. As cameras video-recorded the incident, the man shoveled beer cans and liquor bottles from his yard.

The man also used the tool to shoo away the crowd, including one young man whose backpack was struck by the implement.

The crowd began chanting, “A—hole!” The man marched up a hill to a nearby Pennsylvania State Police SUV and spoke with officers who were among about 20 police in cars and on horseback in the neighborhood for much of the afternoon.

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IUP ‘expectations’: higher tuition, lower standards

Molly VanWoert

Molly VanWoert

An opinion

By Molly VanWoert

Academic expectations for acceptance at Indiana University of Pennsylvania – whose motto is, ironically, “Beyond Expectations” – have been amended in the university’s new Strategic Plan.

The latest plan, whose first draft was made public in December, advises the university to “examine alternatives to standardized test scores for admission for otherwise qualified and capable students.”

This, according to Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Timothy Moerland, means steering admissions officers away from standardized tests such as the SAT and the ACT, and focusing instead on high school GPAs.

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Whose right to know at IUP?

 

An opinion

Andrew Milliken

Andrew Milliken

By Andrew Milliken

The circumstances surrounding the death of Michael Brown at the hands of police officer Darren Wilson have been in and out of headlines both print and electronic since it occurred Aug. 9.

An issue stemming from last summer’s events in Ferguson, Mo., was police detention of journalists on grounds that were, according to journalists and photographers, infringements on the media’s responsibility to film police and the public’s right to know.

Being able to know what the police are up to is fundamental to the difference between a democracy and a police state. How else are we as a society to ensure that those who enforce the law do so fairly?

Enter Lt. Douglas Campbell, Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s head of criminal investigations and recently appointed interim director of public safety on the campus.

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IUPatty’s and tuition (II)

The Hawk Report, March 22, 2015, WIUP-FM

April 5, 2015, Indiana Gazette story on post-IUPatty's police report.

April 5, 2015, Indiana Gazette story on post-IUPatty’s police report.

The program aired at the end of the annual IUPatty’s weekend and led with an IUPatty’s story, followed by a follow-up on the tuition story we reported on Feb. 22:

IUPATTY’S:  For IUP campus administrators, Indiana borough authorities and other local officials, avoiding a re-run of last year’s IUPatty’s public-relations debacle was a top priority during the weeks and months leading up to this weekend’s annual student-sparked St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. How did student revelers respond to the official finger-wagging? As in years past, they used social media. But instead of Tweeting about flash mobs and party venues, they used social medium of Yik Yak as a tool for playing cat-and-mouse with cops. Hawk Report producer Adam Harring monitored weekend messaging.

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Civic Project story wins another Keystone Award

Cody J. Benjamin, IUP junior Journalism major. Photo by David Loomis.

Cody J. Benjamin, IUP junior Journalism major. Photo by David Loomis.

By The HawkEye staff

The HawkEye online newspaper  has notched another award for its reporting, the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association  announced late last month.

Journalism student Cody J. Benjamin, a junior from Lititz, Pa., won honorable mention for sports reporting. His Dec. 18 story reported favoritism, financial contributions and family connections in IUP’s NCAA Division II  football program.

Benjamin contacted more than 40 sources for the story, including nearly two dozen current and former players, seven university administrators, four coaches and seven other sources, to verify allegations made by the program’s players.

Readership statistics show that the story is the most-read in The HawkEye’s history.

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IUPatty’s 2015 foretold

An opinion

Samuel Posega, journalism student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Photo by David Loomis, March 3, 2015.

Samuel Posega, journalism student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Photo by David Loomis, March 3, 2015.

By Samuel Posega

Coming soon to Indiana University of Pennsylvania: the March 2015 edition of IUPatty’s, an annual off-campus revel that last year gave the university a big black eye.

Late last summer, Pittsburgh news media drew additional attention to the evident behavioral problems by focusing on discount-coupon books distributed free to IUP students. WTAE-TV reported that Robert Muir, an Indiana lawyer, advertised in the coupon book by offering 10 percent discounts on alcohol- or drug-related offenses, plus arrest-record expungement.

Given IUP’s reputation as a school for party-inclined students, these coupons naturally raised a tumult, with some claiming that the coupons promote partying.

Another Indiana lawyer who advertised in the coupon book recently speculated that Muir may have worded the coupons to reach students ignorant of legal terminology. The lawyer, who asked to remain anonymous, also blamed much of the media controversy on “poor word choices.” And the anonymous attorney suggested that the coupon semantics simply may be a way to drum up legal business.

While IUP may have a problem with its reputation, lawyers trying to drum up business by catering to the marketplace is the least of the university’s concerns.

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Transportation and tuition

The Hawk Report, Feb. 22, 2015, WIUP-FM

The news program’s first broadcast of the spring semester focuses on two local stories:

— Alternative transportation plans for Indiana, Pa., would expand bike paths through town and campus. The plans were showcased last week at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex  in Indiana, Pa. Hawk Report producer Adam Harring attended and reports.

—  Indiana University of Pennsylvania administrators are pitching a pilot per-credit tuition payment plan as more fair than the existing flat rate. Critics, however, deride the tentative plan as a “stealth tuition hike.”

Hawk Report producer Juliette Rapp delivers the first in a series of two stories on the tuition issue.

To hear the podcast of this show, click below.

A workshop participant ponders a planning map at the Community Design Workshop at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex on Feb. 19, sponsored by the Indiana County Office of Planning & Development. The event was part of the Indiana Multimodal Corridor Study scheduled for completion in March 2015. Photo courtesy of the office’s Student Planner Program on Facebook.

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