News media, IUP students and the strike

An Opinion

Nikki Santiago, from her Facebook page.

Nikki Santiago, from her Facebook page.

By Nikki Santiago

INDIANA — As a senior at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, I have been grouped into the stereotypical party group from the start because, after all, IUP is a party school. For example, Pittsburgh-based, a ranking and review website, ranks IUP among its top party schools in Pennsylvania and rates it B-plus in access to bars.

Family and friends, who for whatever reason decide to mention this fact whenever my parents are present, have bestowed this stereotype upon me. I usually roll my eyes and mumble under my breath that even though, yes, I do go out, that’s not all I do.

But how could I blame them when that’s how news media portray us? Following the 2014 IUPatty’s fiasco and chaos on frat row, my mom called me and asked whether I had been there.

This fall’s Oct. 19-21 faculty-and-coaches strike was no different. Regional media such as WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh showed students drinking and partying at off-campus houses near picket lines where student presence was as prominent as the professors.

Individual students and student organizations brought food, water and coffee to picketing faculty throughout the day to show support. The marching band and a choral group gave performances.

The first two days of the strike coincided with good weather. But the last day was cold, rainy and miserable. However, that did not stop students from bringing refreshments, as they had done earlier.


I COMMEND The Indiana Gazette for publishing a front-page staff-and-wire story detailing how students supported professors by various means, not just by partying the three days away.

The story shed a positive light on students and the school. It reminded readers that the student body includes those who are, in fact, well-informed citizens who care about their education.

Nikki Santiago, a senior Indiana University of Pennsylvania journalism and public relations major, is from Philadelphia.

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