Category Archives: Events

Voting Starts October 6th Register by October 5th

This is a multiple-anniversary year for suffrage in our nation! Indiana residents must register to vote by October 5th. See our state voting requirements here.

In the last century, only 50-60 percent of eligible citizens voted in United States presidential elections. It was around 80 percent in the previous century.

PercentVoted

According to the Constitution of the United States, voting is a right and a privilege. It is not mandatory. Our Constitutional Congress followed English Common Law, which restricted voting by class well into the 19th century: the UK National Archives states that in 1780 less than 3 percent of the population could vote.

U.S. citizens have never voted directly for President: we vote for a slate of Electors. The Supreme Court affirmed during its last session in Chiafalo v. Washington that these Electors may not change, but must vote for the candidate they pledged to. Read the decision here.

In the early days of our republic, Election Day was a holiday in many states and remains so in some, including Indiana. That it is not a federal holiday today is a cause of concern, as people’s work schedules often prevent their voting. Our subscription database Opposing Viewpoints in Context covers current controversies over elections in the United States.

Originally, citizens in different states voted at different times for their presidential Electors, from the beginning of November up to the meeting of the Electoral College in December. In 1845 Congress passed the Presidential Election Day Act, setting the date for “the Tuesday following the first Monday in November.” Elections for the House of Representatives were then moved to this same day.

In 2020 we celebrate several anniversaries for voting rights. African-American men were enfranchised in 1870 by the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Women were granted suffrage in by the Nineteenth Amendment, ratified by the states in 1920.

The 1924 Snyder Act granted citizenship to Native Americans born in the U.S., and thus conferred on them the right to vote. However many states still denied Native people enfranchisement. The state of Maine was the last to comply, prompted by the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This act prohibited the use of poll taxes and tests that were infamously used to disenfranchise African Americans.

2020 is also the 50th anniversary of the Kent State shootings, when students protesting the Vietnam War were killed and wounded by Ohio National Guardsmen. Read a historical summary of the event from Kent State faculty here. At that time, men could be drafted into military service at age 18 – three years before the legal voting age of 21. A majority of people came to feel this was unfair: “Old enough to fight, old enough to vote” was the slogan. The Twenty-Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, quickly proposed and passed during the spring of 1971, lowered the voting age to 18.

This federal government webpage provides general information about who can vote in federal elections. Some citizens are excluded.

Current voting rights campaigns are focusing on felons, whose voting rights depend on their state government. Only Maine and Vermont allow imprisoned persons to vote. Most other states restore voting rights after sentence has been served, but the person must re-register. And some states deny felons the right to vote indefinitely. To find out more about the voting rights of convicted felons, visit this webpage from the bipartisan National Council of State Legislatures.

During the last year, arguments have raged about voting by mail. The current bill in the House of Representatives, the Universal Right to Vote by Mail Act, was first introduced over ten years ago. You can track legislation using the website Congress.gov: simply choose Legislation at the left of the search box and type in your search terms.

Absentee ballots are also handled by mail. They can be requested in all states; some states require that an excuse be given in writing. In Indiana, absentee ballot applications must be received by your county board of elections by October 22nd this year.  Here is absentee ballot information for Indiana voters.

The Library of Congress has primary source document sets with teaching materials for all the presidential elections. This webpage contains many useful links to their other resources on elections.  These include a slideshow of past presidential campaign posters  (requires Flash player). And the National Archives maintains  links to all the Presidential Libraries.

Sources used in this article:

The American Presidency Project. University of California at Santa Barbara. (n.d.). Voter turnout in presidential elections. https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/statistics/data/voter-turnout-in-presidential-elections

National Archives (Great Britain). (n.d.). Getting the vote. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/citizenship/struggle_democracy/getting_vote.htm

50th Anniversary: Pride Marches

lgbt flag
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

June is LGBTQIA Pride month. This commemorates, in part, the June 28th, 1969 resistance by gay and trans people to a police raid on a popular bar, Stonewall, in New York City.

One year after the Stonewall resistance, a parade was held in New York City to commemorate it. Called the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade, after the district where many gay bars were located, it is considered the first Pride Parade. The Library of Congress has recently released online the documentary video of this parade made by Lilli Vincenz.

This year, fifty years after that parade, we are celebrating affirmation by the Supreme Court in “Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia …”  that gay, lesbian, transgender, intersex, and queer people may not be denied employment on the basis of sex. This is an interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. One case that created precedent for this determination was brought against Ivy Tech Community College. Read about it at FindLaw: Hively v Ivy Tech And read Ivy Tech’s current statement on diversity, equity, and belonging here.

The Library of Congress has gathered resources on a Pride Month research guide.  This includes links to their collections relating to famous and significant LGBTQIA people: Walt Whitman, Aaron Copland, Margaret Mead … and so many more. It is a reminder of the important contributions that LGBTQIA people make to our society.

Your Ivy Tech library has many LGBTQIA resources. Begin by searching the broad term sexual minority in Discover or IvyCat and limit the search results by format, date, additional key words. For help with more targeted searches, contact your librarian.

Explore Resources on Faith and Sexuality, compiled by Dawn M. Burns of the Ivy Tech Warsaw Academic and Learning Resource Center

Explore the Digital Transgender Archives online: https://www.digitaltransgenderarchive.net/

“Sexual minority” is the Library of Congress Subject Heading applied to LGBTQIA resources. Read about resistance to this, and other classification issues, here: Cataloging Lab and Homosaurus

While we pause to express pride, we know there is more work to do.

#pridemonth2020 #pridemonth

To Overcome Racism, We Must Talk About Race

Talking, and listening to others talk, about race is difficult. But we must keep those conversations going as we work together to overcome racism, because we will only find answers to our social issues by learning from each other.

We find this resource from the National Museum of African American History and Culture helpful. It is concise, with options to go more in depth. It is for educators, parents, anyone who may need to lead a conversation about race, and individuals wondering where to start.

screenshot-nmaahc.si.edu-2020.06.04-10_45_15

Ink Cloud 2020

Click HERE to download!

It is my pleasure to present to you Ink Cloud 2020.  It has been a gift during quarantine to put this edition together for those who were able to participate.  

Please take a few moments to enjoy the transformative effects of art created by Ivy Tech students, faculty and staff. We do not typically receive much traffic on this blog, but if you do stop by and one of these poets or artists reaches you, please let them know in the comments!

Let’s give everyone a reason to keep creating and sharing.

National Poetry Month


“The poet is the priest of the invisible.” — Wallace Stevens

In 1996, the Academy of American Poets designated April as National Poetry Month “to remind the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters.” Twenty-four years later, during this uncertain shelter-in-place April, we turn once more to poetry. 

Poet Mary Catherine Harper, who gave a reading on the Warsaw campus in March, shares that during this time especially, “Poetry reading is a vital part of my daily routine. Poetry sustains me.” Adjunct English professor Shari Benyousky, who thinks of poems as conversations, says that writing poetry, “is really helpful therapy these days of being cut off from so many people.”

This year both the Warsaw and Fort Wayne campuses are actively celebrating National Poetry Month. Ivy Tech Warsaw is posting a poem a day to its Facebook page drawing from a range of poets, styles, and themes, including Lynn Ungar’s timely poem “Pandemic.”

Meanwhile, the Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Library is encouraging students, faculty, and staff to write and contribute poems to Ink Cloud, the annual poetry publication which showcases campus poetic and artistic talents. With an extended deadline of April 19th, time remains to submit!

Interested in exploring poetry and making it a sustaining part of your life? Here are some resources to start with.

This April and every month, be well and read more poetry!

Ink Cloud

While we all adjust to the uninvited consequences of the pandemic, please consider investing time in your creativity. Few explorations are more transformative and empowering than cultivating your art.

Submissions for the 2020 Ink Cloud publication will remain open until April 19th. Please share your original poetry with us. Original artwork for the magazine’s cover remains just as welcome.

Contingent on student and staff interest and time, the Ink Cloud Open Mic is still possible, but the venue would be moved online. Expect those specifics mid-April. In the meantime, stay safe and create.

Details: library.ivytech.edu/inkcloud
Questions or suggestions: rwierbiki@ivytech.edu

What is Ink Cloud?

That relies on what you want to say!

What started as a poetry contest to celebrate National Poetry Month in April of 2015 has become an annual Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Library publication. Ink Cloud showcases the poetic and artistic talents of Ivy Tech Fort Wayne students and staff.

This year we embrace the non-competitive nature of the art of poetry by dedicating the event entirely to its contributors. A poem’s merit can speak for itself. But unlike its merit, poetry expects only one thing from you: You will share it.

Anyone who has shared their work knows that the spirit of poetry waits within its release. So share with us! If you choose to share with us, you can expect to be included in 2020’s publication of Ink Cloud. Then join us and your fellow Ivy Tech poets at the Ink Cloud Poetry Reading to listen and be heard!

Find the details here: https://library.ivytech.edu/inkcloud!

In addition to poetry, participants may submit original artwork to be considered for the Ink Cloud cover. We are also looking for talented graphic designers to reimagine the Ink Cloud logo.

NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH, Part 2

Whether or not you have committed to the herculean task of scribing 1,667 words daily for a month, you have surely shared the existential dread that comes with an incomplete paper or essay staring back at you.

During NaNoWriMo‘s campaign, accomplished authors are invited to contribute insights or pep talks for fellow writers. The following are some tips that most resonated with me. If you are stuck or could just use a break, these reflections might be helpful to you too.

Jason Reynolds
When you make it to the 3/4 mark of your novel, if you are anything like me, you’re saying one of two things to yourself:

1. I’ve come far enough… to stop. I mean, seriously, I basically wrote a whole novel. I could at least tell people I wrote a whole novel. It’d be a lie. But I wouldn’t feel bad about it. At least not too bad. Because it’s basically whole.

Or 2. I can see the end. I can actually see it. So now I’m going to teleport there. . . .

Anyway, the point is you are ready and willing to cram the next five chapters into the next five sentences.

Don’t do either of these things.

Marie Lu
Just Keep Going.

Write an entire monologue with your main character if you have to. Spend a chapter just exploring the life story of an antagonist. Write a scene with nothing but dialogue between your hero and your villain. Write a steamy love scene between your favorite couple. They don’t have to be scenes in chronological order. They don’t even have to end up in your book. But they will help you to keep going.

Andy Weir
Sometimes, when you’re writing, things come together easily and you can crank out 2,000 words in an afternoon. But other times, it’s torture just to crap out 300 words. In those rough patches, here’s something to keep yourself going: When you read the pages later, you won’t be able to tell which ones you wrote with good flow and which ones were hard. You’re creating the same quality of work in both cases. You might not believe me, but the next time it happens to you, check the results later. You’ll see for yourself. So when you’re having a rough patch, it helps to remember that you’re making progress toward a goal. The words you’re putting down aren’t wasted. They’re just as good as the rest.

National First-Generation College Celebration, Nov. 8th

Library display about first generation college students

All this week we are celebrating first-generation college graduates. This includes many of our Ivy Tech staff, and graduates.

We have a display of selected books by famous first-gens, including neurosurgeon Ben Carson, First Lady Michelle Obama, Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas, General Colin Powell, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. The books are already getting checked out, so come take a look soon!

The most recent data available (from 2016) shows that 24% of all college students are first-generation. At community colleges, the percentage is 64%. Data also shows that while most first-generation students get financial aid, they do not partake of other college services like academic support and counseling at the same rates as other students (US Dept. of Education). As these helps are often crucial to success in college, this gap is concerning.

College is a new culture, no matter how academically prepared one is. We are having some fun with this by asking people to write down words or phrases that they had to learn – or learn a new meaning of – when they started college. My favorite is “citation”! (I’m sorry, Officer …)

What are some college words you had to learn? Leave a comment here, or come in to the library and help us out with this.

National Novel Writing Month

Remember all those moments in which an idea brightened your mood and refreshed your outlook? Did you ever wonder where those ideas go after you let them go?

Nowhere! They have all been waiting in the back of your head, neglected but banded together in solidarity as your most loyal supporters. Well, it is that time of year again, time to rally them together to produce your masterpiece!

This year, join writers of all varieties in sharing your story of ideas during National Novel Writing Month! The goal is the same every year: 50,000 words in 30 days. Start at the harrowing finale; explore a thesis; develop compelling characters; or just practice your prose!

Even if you have not committed to all 50,000 words, it could not be a better time to join the community: https://www.nanowrimo.org/. Expect reminders, writing prompts, tips, and encouragement right here on Ivy Tech Library’s blog throughout the remainder of the month!