Archive | December, 2011

Al Atkins, Director of Student Conduct and Community Stardards

21 Dec

By Rick Belbutoski

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If a student didn’t know where it was, it wouldn’t be hard to walk right by Alphonso Atkins’s office on the fourth floor of The North Meridian Center. What used to be a Student Life and Development storage closet is now the home base for the new Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

The goal of the office is to celebrate our unique community of diverse learners and professionals by maintaining the college’s commitment to academic and personal integrity, civil and ethical conduct, and institutional equity and inclusion.

Atkins took over these responsibilities early during the fall 2011 semester. As he assumed his new office, another change was made at Ivy Tech that will affect the students. A new Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities was adopted. The 39 page pdf can be accessed by clicking on the “about” tab at the top of your screen when you land at www.ivytech.edu and then clicking on “student rights” in the drop down menu. Students, staff, and faculty are being encouraged to become familiar with this new document.

If a student is accused of breaking the code Atkins is responsible for presiding over the investigation. There is a wide variety of sanctions he is allowed to impose, “But I’m not trying to kick students out of school,” Atkins said.

Atkins up to this point has been spreading the word about his goals by passing out pamphlets. However, he hopes that information will be more easily accessible in the near future.

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Safe Zone Protects All Sexual Orientations

21 Dec

By Jen Burnham

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Safe Zone was first created in 1992 at Ball State University where it was long-awaited. There have been different versions of the name, “Safe Zone,” but the idea of mutual respect for all students remains the same. The idea, which was conceived by the Lesbian, Bisexual, and Gay Student Association, was intended to serve as an outlet of education for those heterosexual students, staff, and faculty who wanted to help end homophobic discrimination.

Being able to provide support to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) students was the other main objective this program was, and still is, concerned with. Diversity on any campus is expected, and that’s why it is so important to create the awareness of equality.

Bullying is not acceptable at any college, and this type of harassment is no exception. Since 1992, this program has spread across the nation. Now, we are welcoming this program at Ivy Tech. Safe Zone creates awareness for all students, staff, and faculty about those who are GLBT. Anila Din, Emily Good, Debbie Ann Koliba, Kirsten Morrow, and Carissa Cartwright are the five people who are in charge of Safe Zone and plan on how it can become most effective. Koliba and Good were already a part of Co-Exist, which is also a support network. Din, Koliba, and Cartwright feel that there are many students who suffer from harassment because of their sexual orientation. This type of harassment can range from inappropriate name calling to secluding that student during group work.

“There were multiple occasions last year of student’s dropping out of school after speaking with me because they were so frustrated,” Din said. Safe Zone believes that no students should feel as if they are less deserving of a fair, comfortable, and safe education.

Safe Zone is there to help GLBT students deal with emotional abuse, but those who have just “come out,” or made their sexual orientation known to their families could always benefit from speaking to someone about it. Din knew that something had to be done, and by August of this year she teamed up with Koliba to begin spreading awareness of those who are gay, bisexual, lesbian, or transgender.

The women were determined to spread the word of mutual respect so they began creating flyers, pamphlets, and compiling terminology for our student body to familiarize themselves with. Some of these terms include: “gay,” “lesbian,” “transgender,” “MTF” (male to female), “FTM”(female to male), “cross-dresser” or “transvestite,” and many more. These terms are crucial to the success of Safe Zone. They are looking for students whowould like to be an “Ivy Ally,” a heterosexual student who will stand against discrimination. Students interested in participating as an “Ally” will receive training to help their efforts to stand against harassment.

Din, Koliba, and Cartwright hope to have established training for staff and faculty by the spring semester. Professors and directors who complete this training will receive a laminated Safe Zone poster to hang up for others to know they are advocates for mutual respect among all students. This will help those who are suffering feel more comfortable and more connected.

“There is support for you here. It is our responsibility to make sure the students feel supported,” Koliba said.

Bowen Scholarships Help African-American Students Graduate

13 Dec

By Erica Leipus

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The Bowen Scholarship is sponsored by The Bowen Foundation, with the goal of helping to provide the same educational opportunities to everyone, regardless of race orfinancial standing. The Bowen Scholarship is available to African-American students who have a high school diploma or GED and who attend or plan to attend Ivy Tech, MedTech College, J. Everett Light Career Center, or Vincennes University.

To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must have a high school GPA of 2.0 or hold an earned GED certificate; preference is given to residents of Marion County. The scholarship is available for a maximum of 70 credit hours or thecompletion of an associate degree or certificate, whichever comes first.

“We are expecting to graduate eight of our 25 Bowen Scholars by August 2012, with the rest of the scholars persisting towards graduation sometime in the future,” Cheri Bush, Nina and Bowen Scholars Manager, said.

Application deadlines are June 1 for Fall semester and November 1 for Spring semester at Ivy Tech and Vincennes University. Students wishing to attend MedTech or J. Everett Light Career Center wilneed to check with those universities as the application deadlines differ from Ivy Tech. Like the Nina Scholars program, all applicants for The Bowen Scholarship must also first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before applying.

For more information on the Bowen Scholarship, check out www.ivytech.edu/financial-aid/scholarships.html or www.bowenfoundationinc.org. You can also stop by the Nina and Bowen Scholars office at NMC 511 or call 317-921-4617 for information on either program.

Mother Goose

13 Dec

By Bronte Villalua

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Bad Kid

Kicking your teen out of the house is an ineffective punishment. When teens are banned from their own homes, their options no longer display a bright future. Most kids that are thrown out are still in high school; they’re unable to make a living. With no car, and no home, staying at a friend’s house is normally the first option. A lack of financial stability causes many homeless teens to get involved with prostitution and drug dealing. Everything becomes about survival.

Many youth are kicked out by their parents, not for their actions, but because of their way of being. The youth that don’t follow expectations, such as pregnant teens, gay teens, or teens that simply don’t agree with their guardians, are not statuses that should warrant eviction. They’re being punished for who they are.

When disciplining a teen, two things need to be avoided:

The first is humiliating the teenager; the second is inconveniencing the teen. While home, teens learn how to build relationships and get along with others. Concentrate on what teens do well instead of what they do wrong. It’s important to let our teens know, come what may, we’re going to stick by them. Around this age is when teens need you the most to prepare for living on their own.

Make sure punishments are reasonable:

“You’re grounded for the rest of your life,” is ridiculous. Your bad day at work, financialstruggles, and personal issues have nothing to do with your teen. The love children have for their parents is unconditional, but don’t abuse it by thinking you can get away with abusing your children by taking your anger out on them.

Prioritize:

As a student, provider, and a full time parent, the one thing there isn’t enough of is time. Your child should always come first. You schedule around your child. They don’t schedule around you. Schedule work and school hours during time your child is in school/daycare. Look into after-school care programs. Don’t overwork. Just because you have a great babysitter that is able to look after your kids 24 hours a day, seven days a week, doesn’t mean that’s how much you should work. The key is for your children not to notice you’re even gone. If you work while they’re in school, or take the night shift, they won’t miss you. Be sure to make quality time a priority. Kids grow up so fast.

Be sure to take care of you:

It’s easy to get burnt out being the Alpha parent, so schedule an hour or two out of your day (preferably when your child is asleep) to do what you want. Listen to music, watch your favorite TV show, or enjoy the weather. Appreciate the simple things, and you’ll find that it’s easier to think through and handle stressful situations. The social life is easily neglected when life takes its toll. Keep life going by associating with other parents and their children. This gives you time to talk to another adult, and your children a chance to associate with someone their own age. It may not seem like much, but it makes a huge difference.

For the younger parents, it may be hard for your friends, who don’t have children, to understand how demanding your life is. When your friends ask, “Why can’t you just get a babysitter,” let them know, “Even though I’m young, I’m a parent none the less, and I have responsibilities.” True friends will include your children in plans and be understanding. Don’t be afraid to let them know how it is.

Being there for your kids is what good parenting is all about.

Ivy Tech’s Health and Wellness

13 Dec

By Jen Burnham

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Push for fitness center at North Meridian Campus gains momentum

Questions about whether there will ever be a health and wellness center at the Indianapolis Ivy Tech Campus have been circulating. A health and wellness center offers a place to become emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy. Research shows that if students are physically active, they are more likely to be more clear-headed during class, focused on homework, motivated to pursue higher goals, and less stressed which all leads to fewer personal problems.

Adrienne Garcia, the assistant coordinator of Student and Life Development, is asking the student body of Ivy Tech: “Who will step up to the plate?” She is waiting for one courageous student to come forward to start a petition and to seek help from the Student Government Association (SGA).

The more people there are who can sign the petition (non-electronically), the greater chance there will be of persuading the school to invest in a wellness center. In order to petition, students must first know exactly what they are looking for in a health and wellness center. Without a large number of student signatures on the petition, there won’t be good reasoning for why the school should invest in the center. Students can also take the nitiative of looking for outside donations because money is a big factor on adding a center to a campus. Creating a whole new building can cost a lot of money, so that is why Garcia thinks it is necessary to utilize the space we have now. She has been in contact with a Zumba instructor and plans on having Zumba classes available for students in the near future. There are also Stress Relief Exercise Workshops that are currently being provided on Mondays and Wednesdays at Lawrence and on Fridays at the North Meridian Campus.

Students can contact Garcia for additional information. Garcia is looking for students to join the health and wellness task Ivy Tech’s Health and Wellness Push for fitness center at North Meridian Campus gains momentum. Exercise equipment for students and staff in the Lafayette Campus’s Health and Wellness Center force that she recently has been working on. This is her first year working at Ivy Tech, and she really wants to see student involvement increase. This committee will ideally consist of students and employees from different areas who can learn from one another and help promote healthy lifestyles at Ivy Tech.