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Student commencement speaker Amber Kriech discusses her path before and after graduation

Click here to read my most recently published article, where I had the opportunity to chat with IUPUI’s 2017 commencement speaker, Amber. It was an enlightening interview for me as an ambitious young professional and future graduate!

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Dear alumni, you are an inspiration

In the past few weeks, I have been fortunate enough to speak with some members of IUPUI’s class of 2016. One of those interviews formed the basis for my article Catching Up with a Recent IUPUI Grad, and was particularly inspirational for me. As you’ll know if you peruse the article all the way to the end, the graduate has met her goals and, I know from speaking with her, she is very happy about where her life is at one year after graduating college.

Why is this important? 

Graduating college feels like I’m about to be tipped unceremoniously out of wheelbarrow from the top of a cliff with a very small landing pad at the bottom and I’m expected to make it on my own after years of people guiding me.

We, as students, all have our doubts about what’s going to happen when we get that magic piece of paper that cost us years of time and thousands of dollars to obtain. My fears will likely not have truly set in until next fall, when I will be starting my senior year at IUPUI (woohoo!?!), but they do creep up on me sometimes and that dropping-from-a-cliff feeling seems very real.

Graduating high school was not nearly as unnerving; I had a path laid out before me, in the form of a college acceptance letter and some scholarships, so it was not difficult to figure where to go and what to do. Also, I’ve always been pretty good at and enjoyed school, so I was not very concerned about the academic aspect of it. The post-graduation path for me this time is little more than a thin line, and though I’ve never been drunk, I feel that it’d be very easy to misstep and lose my balance.File_000

Which is why, as a future graduate, it means a lot to me to speak with alumni from my university, and I’m so grateful that I had the chance to do so and to put the happiness of said students into words to be published, so that other students may feel the same temporary relief as I have upon reading Grace Perkowitz’s words. So keep being brave and adulting, alumni, and please don’t be shy about sharing your stories with current students (even the bad parts!). We all could use a little bit of reassurance, so if you’ve got the time, go ahead and let us know what you’ve been through, because we’re all just shaking in our young adult boots.

 

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“What’s going on?” – Serial Sexual Assaults on IUPUI’s Campus

On April 24, 2017, as Sexual Assault Awareness Month was coming to a close, IUPUI students were notified that campus police had received two separate reports of sexual assault. The first, which was reported as rape, occurred on April 21, and the second instance, reported as fondling, occurred on April 24.

Two days later, it has been reported by multiple Indianapolis news outlets that a third report of sexual assault was made on Monday, and that police believe the same person is responsible for all three assaults. The description of that suspect was included in the initial email from IUPUI, and is as follows:

“[Victims described] the male suspect as having a dark complexion (possibly Latino), approximately 5’6″ tall and weighing approximately 150lbs. On 04/24/17 the suspect was reported to be wearing a black backpack, black Nike basketball shorts, white Nike shoes and a maroon hooded sweatshirt. The suspected was also reported to have dark brown hair.”

The story, which has now been reported on by outlets such as The Indy Star, Fox 59, WRTV, and WISH-TV, is definitely alarming to me as a student of the university. Lesser so than the threat of sexual assault, but still unnerving, is the fact that as the investigation has continued, students have not heard any further information from their university.

As a female student who often traverses campus alone, I deserve to know that campus police have interviewed a person of interest in the case (as was reported by the outlets named above), and I shouldn’t have to get on Google and search out developments on cases which have directly impacted my fellow Jaguars.

I love and appreciate this university, but there have been several occasions when I have been more than dissatisfied with the way they oversee the security of its students. The Crime Notification emails do well by alerting students of the crimes, but often days later, a delay that I assume is the cause of processing the report. While I am sympathetic to the fact that the university does not want to alarm students by sending notifications prior to some investigation, I feel that being notified of an instance rape three days after the fact is unacceptable.

This delay leaves students like myself feeling unsafe, and at this key point in the semester, finals already have many of us severely distressed. The one email notification has also left me with more questions than answers – How did this happen? How did this keep happening, to the point that there are now three reports with the same suspect? What, exactly, are university police doing as part of this investigation? Who did they interview, and why were they the suspect?

Those are all questions that I believe the university owes its students. However, given the administration’s prior behavior, I’ll probably have to find the answers to those questions somewhere else.