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Monday, June 24
The Indiana Daily Student

campus student life

Five things you may have missed over break

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Although many students left campus for winter break, life in Bloomington continued on. Here are five key stories from around Bloomington for students returning from winter break to know. 

New mayor is sworn in, takes first actions in office 

Bloomington Mayor Kerry Thomson and four new city council representatives — Isak Asare, Shruti Rana, Hopi Stosberg and Sydney Zulich — were sworn in on Jan. 1, marking the beginning of their terms. Thomson and all the new council members are Democrats. She succeeds former Mayor John Hamilton, who decided to not seek reelection after serving two terms.  

Following her swearing-in, the city removed a homeless encampment at Fairview St. and Patterson Drive on Jan. 4. Thomson, who attended the eviction, said in a Facebook video she spoke to two people living at the camp at the time of the removal. According to Indiana Public Media, Office of the Mayor communications director Angela Van Rooy said resource officers had been speaking to unhoused residents since Dec. 12, and they were given eviction notices on Dec. 29 and Jan. 2. In addition to complaints of widespread littering on the lot, Thomson said the encampment had “significant safety issues.” 

Then, on Jan. 5, Thomson announced that she would launch reviews of city work in a press release. This includes an audit by an outside accounting firm of city finances and spending during Thomson’s first 100 days, a review of current city legal cases and an internal review of department response times to Bloomington’s uReport system, which allows citizens to report issues to the city. She also announced plans to create working groups made up of Bloomington residents to review and advise on projects that would relocate the city’s police and fire department to the downtown Showers West building and create an affordable housing neighborhood named Hopewell at the site of the old IU Health Bloomington Hospital on Second Street.  

Three local businesses close 

Brilliant Coffee Company, Nourish Bar and Capisce Market and Catering announced Jan. 3 on social media that they would be closing permanently.  

“We have been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve all of you over the years,” the social media statement read. “We want to thank you for your loyalty and support. We hope that you will continue to support local businesses and find new places to enjoy coffee and treats.” 

The three businesses formerly located on W. Sixth St. were owned by ReVv and Strum Hospitality Group, which ceased operations earlier this month according to its website. ReVv and Strum co-founder David Howard died in April. 

FAFSA form opens 

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid opened on Dec. 30 after being delayed. In years past, the application had opened on Oct. 30. According to Federal Student Aid (FSA), the 2024-25 FAFSA form will be open for limited periods of time initially to ensure the site maintains functionality. 

FSA said the new form expands eligibility for aid, and that 610,000 new students will be eligible to receive Federal Pell Grants. Additionally, FAFSA applicants will be able to skip as many as 26 questions and could complete the form in less than 10 minutes. 

According to IU Admissions, the FAFSA priority deadline for Indiana residents is April 15, but applicants should still file if they do not meet the deadline. Students from outside of Indiana can determine their application deadline on FSA’s website

Students who wish to receive aid must fill out the FAFSA form each year, according to FSA. Aid does not carry over from year to year, and aid eligibility can change. 

IU Bloomington enrollment up 9% over five years 

IU Bloomington enrollment is up 9% from Fall 2018, according to IU’s annual enrollment survey. The current student population is 47,527. 

Hamilton County overtook Monroe County to become the Indiana county with the highest enrollment. Monroe County saw a decrease in student population of more than 1,300.  

While in-state enrollment has remained relatively consistent in the past five years, the number of students from out-of-state has increased. 47.71% of the Fall 2023 student population was from Indiana, which is down from 52.47% in Fall 2018.  

Enrollment from east coast states like New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut is up. Massachusetts and Connecticut each had nearly 200 students, New York had over 300 students, and New Jersey had nearly 600. Neighboring states Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois had little change, and Michigan had an increase of nearly 300 students.  

IU’s student population from India nearly doubled since Fall 2018, making it the country with the highest enrollment outside of the United States. Meanwhile, China’s enrollment decreased by more than half in the same timeframe. 

RelatedIndiana House votes to strip public funding from IU’s Kinsey InstituteThe Indiana House voted last February to prohibit the state from funding the Kinsey Institute, a research institute at IU aimed at promoting a greater understanding of human sexuality and relationships. 

Special working group is formed to offer guidance on Kinsey Institute 

Provost Rahul Shrivastav announced the formation of a special working group Dec. 15 to offer guidance on the future of Kinsey Institute after the Indiana House voted in February to strip public funding from the institute, according to a press release. The working group is made up of nine IU faculty members, including the Vice Provost for Finance and Administration, professors and members of the Kinsey Institute. 

The IU Board of Trustees intended to discuss plans to separate the institute from the university during its Nov. 9-10 meeting, but members ultimately voted to table those discussions following backlash from the IU community. 

The group will host listening sessions open to members of the IU community on Jan. 17 from 3:30-5 p.m., Jan. 18 from 12:30-2 p.m. and Jan. 19 from 9:30-11 a.m. No location has been set for the sessions, but IU community members can register to attend on the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President’s website

 

 

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