‘Love trumps hate’ during night of dueling campus speakers

Charlie Kirk, Turning Point USA founder, speaks at the Kovalchick center in Indiana, Pa., April 9, 2018. Photo by Logan Hullinger.

By Logan Hullinger

INDIANA — Two speakers drew crowds to the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus on Monday evening with some expecting divisive rhetoric about racism. The contrasts between the two messages were sharp, but contrary to early fears of violence, both events passed peaceably.

The university boosted a speech by Holocaust survivor Moshe Baran, whose appearance was moved onto campus, upgraded to Fisher Hall and followed by breakout discussions and free pizza in a nearby classroom building.

The visit by Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, in contrast, was moved off-campus to the adjacent Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex. Ten mounted officers and more than 20 state and university police patrolled the grounds and supervised two admission-ticket checkpoints. Officers blocked adjoining streets and corralled protestors.

Attendance told a tale of the tape: Baran’s speech drew 640 people; Kirk’s event drew about 150.

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The First Amendment, white supremacy and IUP students

An opinion

March for Our Lives, Washington, D.C., March 24, 2018. Photo courtesy Getty Images.

March for Our Lives, Washington, D.C., March 24, 2018. Courtesy Getty Images.

By David Loomis

INDIANA — Power to the students. They are once again in the vanguard of social and political change. On Saturday, March 24, they were leading March for our Lives rallies at venues far-flung and near-by.

Their numbers and their eloquence exhibit the pressure they are applying to the bleeding wounds of U.S. gun violence. It is producing results.

On the day of the marches, The Indiana Gazette, in the heart of small-town Pennsylvania, home to voters who “cling to guns,” according to Barack Obama’s famously infamous 2008 description, published on its front page an Associated Press story headlined, “Poll: Support soars for gun control.”

The militantly middle-of-the-road AP reported that the new nationwide poll, conducted March 14-19, in collaboration with the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago, found 69 percent of Americans want stricter gun laws, up from 61 percent recorded a month before the 2016 election. The new poll reports that 54 percent of gun owners also want stricter gun laws, and so do 50 percent of Republicans.

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IUP, police, partners prep for IUPatty’s ’18

Indiana University of Pennsylvania administrators, off-campus landlords, police and other borough officials on Monday at a meeting of the Indiana Area Collaborative Team in the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex. The agenda: the annual unsanctioned IUPatty’s student revel scheduled for March 22-25. Photo by Logan Hullinger.

 

By Logan Hullinger

INDIANA — Indiana University of Pennsylvania students who join annual IUPatty’s parties this weekend won’t notice much change in policing, according to local officials attending a strategy session on Monday at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex. But revelers should expect to see an increase in campus-sponsored, alcohol-free alternate activities.

Members of the Indiana Area Collaborative Team, a town-gown group of public and private officials, emphasized deterrence of alcohol-fueled parties off campus and encouragement of alcohol-free alternatives on campus.

I-ACT formed shortly after the 2014 IUPatty’s weekend that made national headlines for its rowdiness. The group represents police, landlords, borough officials and university administrators.

On Monday, IUP administrators unveiled an “IUPLeads” program that offers financial incentives to student groups that encourage sobriety and personal responsibility. The March 19-25 “positive engagement campaign” offers up to $250 to each student organization that satisfies a six-point checklist of requirements:

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Gun-control debate comes to IUP

Todd N. Thompson, IUP English professor, chaired an ad-hoc committee created by APSCUF, the faculty union, to express support for campus gun-reform advocates. Photo taken March 7 in Thompson’s office in the Humanities and Social Sciences building. Photo by Logan Hullinger.

By Logan Hullinger

INDIANA — Since Jan. 1, 14 school shootings have been recorded in the United States. Now, Indiana University of Pennsylvania groups are bringing a nationwide debate here.

They agree: Action is needed.

On Thursday, IUP College Democrats, a university-recognized student organization, met in Wallwork Hall to finish drafting an official statement on the issue of gun control. Jesse J. Brown, an IUP history major, Student Government Association senator and the organization’s vice president, provided a copy of the written statement in a Thursday email.

“IUP College Democrats stand with the more than 33,000 victims of gun deaths per year in the United States,” the statement reads. “We support comprehensive gun reform that will save lives in the future.”

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Students, profs, managers rally for more higher-ed funding

Students and faculty from all 14 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities packed the Capitol rotunda stairs on Thursday during a Thursday rally in support of Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget, which calls for a $15 million increase to higher education spending for PASSHE schools. Photo by Logan Hullinger.

By Logan Hullinger

HARRISBURG — Students and faculty from all 14 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities struggled to fit onto the Capitol rotunda stairs on Thursday. But they had no trouble amplifying their message throughout its halls.That message?

Increase funding for higher education.

On Feb. 6, Gov. Tom Wolf proposed a 2018-2019 budget to the General Assembly. Among its provisions was a $15 million increase in higher education spending for PASSHE schools.

On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing on the budget. Right after giving closing remarks at the committee hearing, PASSHE interim Chancellor Karen M. Whitney went straight to the student-rally podium.

She was cheered on by nearly 200 students and faculty members from across the state system.

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The HawkEye honored for library-weeding coverage

Reporter Logan R. Hullinger

By The HawkEye staff

INDIANA — The HawkEye’s 2017 coverage of a contentious plan to remove more than a third of the books in the Indiana University of Pennsylvania library was honored today by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association in its annual Keystone Awards for collegiate journalism.

Between September and December, reporter Logan R. Hullinger wrote four stories about the proposed library-weeding — supporters call it “de-accessioning” — and the opposition to it.

IUP administrators appointed a roughly 10-member task force to study the issue. The group met twice before the start of the spring semester, and additional meetings were scheduled, according to a source close to the process who spoke off the record on Jan. 23.

The controversy attracted the attention of the Associated Press, which published a Feb. 7 story that ran in newspapers in the United Kingdom and around the United States.

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Indiana borough poverty and ‘statistical porn’

A Jan. 18 Harrisburg news story that reported Indiana borough, Pa., had the state’s highest poverty rate among 35 towns. (Click to enlarge.)

By Logan Hullinger

INDIANA – The headline in the Jan. 18 Harrisburg newspaper read “The 35 Poorest Towns in Pennsylvania.” And the poorest of them all, according to the Jan. 18 PennLive story?

Indiana borough. That is, if one draws conclusions from skewed statistics.

Citing U.S. Census Bureau data, the staff-written news story reported the borough’s 2016 population was 13,975, the number of people living in poverty was 6,009, with a resulting poverty rate of 43 percent.

The math is right. But the conclusions drawn from the data are wrong.

Nevertheless, the article has been shared more than 11,000 times and has been a hot topic among the respective local communities on social media.

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IUP celebrates new multicultural center

Guests celebrate on Friday morning at a ribbon-cutting on Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s new $2.7 million Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement in Elkin Hall. Photos by David Loomis.

By The HawkEye staff

INDIANA – University officials cut a ribbon Friday morning on a new multicultural center in an old building at the campus’ northwestern boundary. A diverse crowd filled the lobby of the renovated Elkin Hall to hear speeches and to brunch on breakfast sandwiches in an adjoining meeting room.

The $2.7 million Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement (MCSLE), or “muscle” as speakers abbreviated it, provides space for administrative offices, for student groups, a multipurpose room and a dance studio.

MCSLE director Theodore G. “Theo” Turner thanked students for helping to design the space.

“’We want a dance studio,’ is one of the things they said they wanted,” Turner said. “We made that happen.”

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‘The Post,’ the press and the Third President

An opinion

Tim Hayes, IUP JRNL ’82.

By Tim Hayes

PITTSBURGH — In the new film “The Post,”   the Nixon White House in 1971 attempts to squash release of the Pentagon Papers, a secret and unflattering government assessment of the Vietnam War.  The administration threatened the publisher and editor of The Washington Post with contempt – a federal offense, punishable by imprisonment – should they decide to publish their reporters’ stories.

During the internal deliberations, the newspaper’s attorneys argue that if publication of those documents occurs, then The Washington Post would “cease to exist as we know it” – to which Ben Bradlee, the editor, counters, “If we let the government tell us what we can and cannot publish, then The Washington Post has already ceased to exist as we know it!”

Freedom of the press was enshrined in the Bill of Rights as the First Amendment.  Not the Second, the Fifth, or the Ninth, but the First.  There’s a reason for that.  Just ask that tall, red-headed fellow holding the quill and parchment.  I yield the floor to my colleague from Virginia, the right honorable Mr. Thomas Jefferson:

             “No government ought to be without censors; and where the press is free no one                   ever will.”

As Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black noted, in the ruling that supported the right of the press in the Pentagon Papers case, “In my view, far from deserving condemnation for their courageous reporting, The New York Times, The Washington Post and other newspapers should be commended for serving the purpose that the Founding Fathers saw so clearly. In revealing the workings of government that led to the Vietnam War, the newspapers nobly did precisely that which the founders hoped and trusted they would do.”

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A night at Phi Kappa Psi

A Civic Project story

Deandre L. Easterling, a defensive lineman for Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s football team. Source: IUP Athletics website.

By Rachel Brieve, Madison Longenecker and Laura Scott

INDIANA –  On Saturday night, April 29, Deandre L. Easterling, a defensive lineman for Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s football team, attended a party at Phi Kappa Psi, a social fraternity at 220 S. Seventh St.

It was the last weekend before the final week of spring-semester classes. Music was blaring. Guests were drinking. Another party night on frat row.

Shortly after midnight, the scene turned violent.

In the early hours of Sunday, April 30, a fight broke out between fraternity members and football players. Police came. They issued citations. They left. A melee erupted. Police returned. Then left. Then returned a third time.

 

THE STORY OF THAT early Sunday morning, as told by witnesses, university officials, borough police officials, police documents and court records, provides a local look at a widening national narrative of the troubled relationship between Greek social fraternities and college campuses around the country.

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