Payroll and perks for IUP student pols

A Civic Project story

Indiana University of Pennsylvania Student Government Association executive board, left to right: Caleb N. King (chief Justice), Carson F. Nicholas (vice president), Brian H. Swatt (president), Vincent Lowerre (treasurer) and Brandon H. Rager (secretary). Photo from IUP SGA Facebook page, Oct. 16, 2016.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania Student Government Association executive board, left to right: Caleb N. King (chief Justice), Carson F. Nicholas (vice president), Brian H. Swatt (president), Vincent Lowerre (treasurer) and Brandon H. Rager (secretary). Photo from IUP SGA Facebook page, Oct. 16, 2016.

By Allyson Rae Null

INDIANA – Maria J. Donofrio, a 22-year-old hospitality-management major, expressed surprise and concern when she learned that Indiana University of Pennsylvania has a Student Government Association whose leaders are elected — and paid — by students like her.

“It actually scares me that I’m giving these guys my money when I have no clue what they do for us students,” said Donofrio on Nov. 28 at her Wayne Avenue apartment.

Donofrio may not be alone in the dark about SGA’s existence. A recent unscientific Facebook poll asked IUP undergraduates about the elected government of, by and for the students. Fewer than a dozen responded.

Like Donofrio, unfamiliarity may breed contempt among students who discover that SGA officers occupy salaried positions that are funded by activity fees paid by every student.

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An Indiana-area medical-facilities report card

A Civic Project story

Lindsey C. August, Dec. 1, 2016. Photo by Nicolette Querry.

Lindsey C. August, Dec. 1, 2016. Photo by Nicolette Querry.

By Nicolette Querry

INDIANA – During Homecoming weekend 2016, Lindsey C. August, 22, an accounting major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, sought treatment for head pain at Indiana Regional Medical Center after the campus clinic told her she needed care it could not provide.

August went to IRMC that Sunday morning, Oct. 16, she said. Later that morning, she left with a bill but without a diagnosis.

The community hospital’s nurses told her she should receive a brain scan, August recounted later. But the IRMC physician who examined her ignored symptoms of concussion.

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The face of heroin addiction at IUP

A Civic Project story

Former Indiana University of Pennsylvania freshman Kira Jadann Marie Heitzer, March 2016. Photo by Kira Heitzer.

Former Indiana University of Pennsylvania freshman Kira Jadann Marie Heitzer, March 2016. Photo by Kira Heitzer.

By Victoria Moran

INDIANA— Kira Jadann Marie Heitzer was 18 and a first-year freshman archaeology/anthropology major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania when she dropped out of school two months into the fall 2016 semester.

Heitzer, from Somerset, Pa., had been struggling with drug use and heroin addiction since her sophomore year of high school. After attending rehab for two months in 2014, Heitzer said she was using only on occasion.

Until she arrived at IUP.

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Student anxiety, depression trend upward

A Civic Project story

Autumn E. Race, child development and family relations major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, in her off-campus apartment, Dec. 5, 2016. Photo by Nina McNavish.

Autumn E. Race, child development and family relations major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, in her off-campus apartment, Dec. 5, 2016. Photo by Nina McNavish.

By Nina McNavish

INDIANA¬ — Autumn E. Race, 20, an Indiana University of Pennsylvania junior, child development and family relations major, was a freshman when life took a turn for the worse.

“After going through the craziest break-up of my life, I had no idea what to do or who to talk to,” Race said during an interview Nov.1 at her off-campus apartment.

She had trouble sleeping, she said. She had no desire to attend classes. She lost her appetite.

She was clinically depressed.

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Weapons policy challenged at IUP

A Civic Project story

Indiana University of Pennsylvania student Rita M. Cramer holding her 40-caliber, Smith & Wesson M&P Shield pistol at an off campus apartment in Indiana, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Photo by Lynette Larssen.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania student Rita M. Cramer holding her 40-caliber, Smith & Wesson M&P Shield pistol at an off campus apartment in Indiana, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Photo by Lynette Larssen.

By Lynette Larssen and Mackenzie Winebold

INDIANA — Rita M. Cramer, 21, an interior design major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, exercises her Second Amendment right every day. During the fall 2016 semester, the exercise included carrying a concealed pistol to class four days a week.

Cramer’s weapon is a 40-caliber, Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, a 6-inch, one-pound, stainless-steel-and-polymer model with a capacity of up to eight bullets. She conceals it in the small of her back in a holster clipped to her waistband.

She carries it for the personal safety described on the permit she recently acquired at the Indiana County Courthouse.

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A post-election ‘silence’ at IUP

An Analysis

Indiana University of Pennsylvania President Michael A. Driscoll during a Nov. 11 "mid-semester briefing" in Sutton Hall. Photo by Logan Hullinger.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania President Michael A. Driscoll during a Nov. 11 “mid-semester briefing” in Sutton Hall. Photo by Logan Hullinger.

By Logan Hullinger

INDIANA — Donald J. Trump’s Nov. 8 election set off a storm of protest that spread across the country, including college campuses. At Indiana University of Pennsylvania, however, silence ruled.

One reason is that administrators declined to discuss the election outcome, and they discouraged faculty members from speaking about it outside their disciplines, according to a Nov. 16 email from an anonymous source who asked to be described as someone familiar with inclusion issues at IUP. (See sidebar on The HawkEye’s anonymous-source policy, below.)

On Nov. 11, three days after the election, faculty members received within a half-hour period two emails addressed to them from top IUP administrators. An email from President Michael A. Driscoll, citing remarks he delivered earlier that day, described what he said were recent incidents of uncivil campus behavior.

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Islamic center open house draws friendly crowd

More than a hundred residents flocked to the Indiana County Islamic Center open house on Saturday evening, Dec. 10. Photo by Logan Hullinger

More than a hundred residents flocked to the Indiana County Islamic Center open house on Saturday evening, Dec. 10. Photo by Logan Hullinger

By Logan R. Hullinger

INDIANA — The Islamic Center of Indiana, the community’s only mosque, held an open house on Saturday evening that featured a question-and-answer session and a sponsored dinner.

The event brought in well over a hundred Indiana residents, including elected representatives from the borough and the county. Their vehicles filled the mosque parking lot and a neighboring lot on U.S. Route 422 west of town.

Several Indiana University of Pennsylvania faculty members led the discussion, including Waleed E. Farag, Ph.D., a computer science professor, and Michelle Sandhoff, Ph.D., a sociology professor.

Attendees also joined two Islamic prayers — the Maghrib, or sunset prayer, and the Isha, or nighttime prayer, two of five daily formal prayers performed in Islam.

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‘Inclusion’ draws campus administrators, faculty, students

IUP President Michael A. Driscoll addresses a crowd of more than 60 gathered in front of the campus library on Thursday night in a demonstration of support for racial and religious inclusion. Photo by Logan Hullinger.

IUP President Michael A. Driscoll addresses a crowd of more than 60 gathered in front of the campus library on Thursday night in a demonstration of support for racial and religious inclusion. Photo by Logan Hullinger.

By Logan Hullinger

INDIANA –- On Thursday night, Indiana University of Pennsylvania administrators, faculty members and students doubled down on campus efforts to fight discrimination, during a “Vigil for Inclusion” in front of the campus library. The group held light sticks against a damp, windy night with temperatures in the mid-30s.

IUP President Michael A. Driscoll addressed the group and repeated the phrase “the IUP way,” a refrain borrowed from his hour-long Nov. 11 mid-semester speech That speech defined the phrase as “we know how to disagree with respect and civility . . . The IUP way is what sets us apart from everyone and everywhere else, so it seems right now.”

Rachelle R. Bouchat, an assistant professor of mathematics, and Theodore M. “Ted” Cogar, assistant director of student conduct and LGBTQIA advocacy, organized the event.

It was the second of the day at the spot overlooking the Oak Grove. Earlier in the afternoon, the Racial Justice Coalition for Change led another in a series of monthly Stand Against Racism events that began in January.

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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 Niche.com, 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.

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The Trump rally in Johnstown

An Opinion

Eve McInerney. Photo by David Loomis.

Eve McInerney. Photo by David Loomis.

By Eve McInerney

INDIANA — Friday, Oct. 21, was the beginning of a weekend which saw both presidential candidates visit Pennsylvania. This is one of the most important swing states in the election, and they came to fight for undecided voters. It was on this day that I traveled to Johnstown, to attend a rally for Donald Trump.

On my journey into Johnstown I was struck by the human landscape, dominated as it was by derelict factories, and by artifacts showing the mining history of this fascinating city. It felt like taking a step into a museum of America’s proud industrial past. It also felt like a city which was stuck in time, still trying to find its place in the 21st century economy.

Johnstown was in many ways the perfect place to witness Donald Trump, a man who has undoubtedly appealed to the victims of American deindustrialization and of globalization. His appeals to forestall the export of American industrial jobs must have been music to the ears of the people of Flood City.

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