I’m loving IU, but this place is a far cry from Nappanee, Ind.
We thought it was fairly radical when students at my high school were actually supporting Barack Obama, and even crazier when our Republican incumbent had a tight race on his hands to keep his seat in the House. The comfortable ideological spectrum back home is about the size of my pinky.
So suffice it to say that IU is quite the change of pace. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a very good thing. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I chose IU.
As a moderate, I used to get excited back home when someone tried to debate with me on the merits of the stimulus package or the war in Iraq, and it would usually turn out that we really didn’t disagree on too much in the end. That’s not the case here.
Talk all you want about the fairly small scope of political ideology in America, but it’s certainly bigger here than anywhere else I’ve been.
I got into a discussion with a true socialist the other day. He probably knew more about the system than I know about capitalism and the American system, and he presented his points extremely well.
I still cringe at the thought, but just the fact that the discussion took place was incredible to me.
This is what I love about the university system. I could’ve gone to any number of small, liberal arts colleges where I’m sure my ideas would have been challenged, but I’m not so sure my perceptions would have been changed as they have been here. Even though my socialist friend couldn’t convince me he was right, he did convince me that he knew what he was talking about. That’s the beauty of this place; not only can you find a group of like-minded people to fit in with no matter what your interests are, but you can talk to people on the complete opposite end as you – and learn so much more about the world in the process.
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I have always had a special affinity for art in places where art “isn’t supposed to be.” Certainly, most of us enjoy an afternoon browsing a gallery or museum, but there is something really nice about finding art in unexpected places.
I was pleased to see Matthew Cinkoske's recent column about domestic violence at IU — "Is IU mishandling student domestic violence?" June 14, 2015.
I would like to bring to the attention of the IDS the fact that harassment of disabled students occurs regularly at IU Bloomington. I personally know of physically impaired students who have been harassed in Ballantine Hall for taking the elevator up or down one floor. And they aren’t just harassed by fellow students; faculty and staff are guilty, too. Just because someone looks healthy, doesn’t mean that they are. Invisible disabilities are any of a number of chronic conditions that significantly impair normal activities of daily living while showing no outward signs of the illness. I also know of a physically impaired student who was made fun of recently for riding a scooter in Forest Residence Center. This is a student who can barely walk—and only for short distances—and only when feeling physically up to it. This same student was also harassed in the Forest parking lot by someone who didn’t think a handicap parking space should be used by a disabled student, even though the appropriate IU parking permit was displayed in the car. Harassment may be reported to the IU Incident Teams at (812) 855-8188 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I mention these incidents because they happened to students I know. And if they can happen to them, they can happen to anyone. I ask the entire campus community: How would you feel if someone you cared about was ridiculed or harassed because they had a disability? How does it feel to learn that members of the campus community, whether you know them or not, have to deal with harassment at IU Bloomington on a daily basis? I urge us all to think before speaking, show some Hoosier compassion, and offer to help instead of contributing to an intolerant environment. I also urge the IDS to investigate and report on the harassment of disabled students on this campus. As an IU alumna, IU employee, and IU parent, I hate to think of Indiana University’s reputation being tarnished by charges of harassment of any kind. Melissa Thorne Bloomington