Wednesday, May 21, 2008

June 1992 - "Two Roads Diverged In A Yellow Wood..."

June 1992.

Commencement was over. I had my bachelor's degree. I finished my stint at IPFW as Student Body President. I had a plan for the future. That future was not going to be in Fort Wayne - at least - temporarily.

You see, in 1992, the State of Indiana believed that if you wanted a Master's Degree in just about anything (aside from Elementary/Secondary Education), that meant that you had to either forego your education OR you needed to uproot yourself and your family and move to either West Lafayette or Bloomington.

But more on that later. (And much more - I might add.)

A few weeks prior to graduation, I.U. Board of Trustee member, John Walda (a Fort Wayne citizen, lawyer, and all-around - decent human being), had invited me to speak before the board in Richmond, Indiana (Indiana University East).

I had absolutely no clue what I would say. I mean really. I was a chick - from Fort Wayne - who wasn't a traditional student, who had no inclination to suck up to anyone (regardless of who they were), and most importantly - I was a chick who no longer had the official podium as a voice of the student body of IPFW.

Not one to do a lot of preparing (I like to fly by the seat of my pants), I waited until about 2 in the morning (the day of) to pull together my "speech". Thank gawd even Richmond, Indiana had a 24 hour store open. I had to have some props to accompany my last hurrah.


Indiana University East
JUNE 13, 1992

Trustees Present: President Richard B. Stoner, Vice President Harry L. Gonso, Dr. Joseph M. Black, Frederick F. Eichhorn, Milton "Josh" Fineberg, Robert H. McKinney, Ann W. Swedeen, John D. Walda, and Eric A. Todd.

University Representatives: President Thomas Ehrlich; Vice President and Chancellor: Gerald L. Bepko Vice Presidents: J. Terry Clapacs, Judith G. Palmer, George A. Walker, and Douglas M. Wilson; Steven A. Miller, Treasurer, Secretary of the Board, J. Susan Parrish; Chancellors: Gerald Bepko, H. Daniel Cohen, Peggy Elliott, Emita B. Hill, Joanne Lantz, Charlie Nelms, Leon Rand, Lloyd Rowe.

Attendees: Larry Baker, Ray Bonhomme, Ray Casati, Phyllis Clapacs, John F. Dalphin, Walter Daly, Bette Davenport, Tiffany Edwards, Kristina Frazier-Henry, Richard Fredland, Juliet Frey, David Fulton, James L. Green, Charles O. Hardy, Nancy Hardy, Ben Hunter, Margaret Mitchell, Jeanetta Nelms, Norman Overly, Jim Perin, Richard Peterson, Virginia Stoner, James Swedeen, Cliff K. Travis, Tambrey Williamson, Larry Willis; also, Melissa Tarrant, Recorder; and the staff of the University News Bureau. Also present were representatives of the news media.


Remarks from Kristina Frazier-Henry, Past President, Student Association, Fort Wayne

Trustee Walda introduced Ms. Kristina Frazier-Henry, the past president of the Student Association at Fort Wayne. Ms. Frazier-Henry commented that though she has attended Trustee meetings for three years, this was her first opportunity to formally address the Board.

She reported that attending Board meetings had afforded her a clearer understanding of University operations.

In reflecting on the past three years, Ms. Frazier-Henry selected three items she urged the Trustees to consider.

First, she commended the Trustees for holding meetings on the regional campuses biennially, but recommended that one meeting be held on each campus annually.

Second, she stated that being a student at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne is like being the child of two parents who share custody because of the IU-Purdue management agreement. When both universities agree, the students certainly reap the benefits. However, it is very difficult when they do not agree. She stated that IPFW students need Indiana University as an advocate in matters that are not related to fiscal operations. She expressed her hope that the next review of the management agreement would bring better terms for IU's share of management. She recognized that it would be unrealistic to change the fiscal management of IPFW, but stated that she would like to see IU carry more weight in matters relating directly to students' rights.

Third, she addressed the issue of sexual orientation. She reported that all IU campuses except Fort Wayne include sexual orientation as a protected class in their student code of conduct. She stated that she understood that Purdue's legal counsel believes that this class is unacceptable. She pointed out that this class was deleted from the clause on protected classes a year ago, and since then, the IU Board of Trustees has not formally addressed the issue. She expressed disappointment on behalf of the student body at IPFW at the lack of attention to this item. She assured the Trustees that this issue will continue to come up until it is resolved, and she hoped it would be resolved soon.

Ms. Frazier-Henry expressed her gratitude to Trustee Walda for the positive impression he has made on her and other students. She praised his eagerness to discuss the students' ideas and criticisms, and his keen interest in the happenings of the individual campuses. She noted that he has always responded positively to her, even if they did not always agree. She stated that he has allowed the Student Affairs Committee to be a forum for some very important issues, and because of his leadership some of those issues have been resolved. She stated that the incoming student body presidents will bombard him with issues and concerns, she expressed concern because she knows he has many important tasks to accomplish. To assist him at the meetings next year, she presented him with a small troll figure holding a sign stating "Please, I can only do 12 things at once," and she urged him to put it in front of him at the committee meetings.

Ms. Frazier-Henry thanked Trustee Todd for his efforts on behalf of students in the past year. She noted that he had been the unanimous first choice to fill the position of Student Trustee, and that as Trustee, he has far exceeded her expectations. She conveyed her hope that his second year on the Board will be as successful as his first.

She thanked him for addressing the health insurance issue. She presented Trustee Todd with a toy medical kit which he could take to the campuses with him to help out if needed.

She stated that in addition to serving on the Student Affairs committee, Trustee Gonso is in charge of the compensation and benefits committee.

Although Purdue is IPFW's fiscal agent, the campus does have an IU affiliation, so she provided Trustee Gonso with $5 million in play money to give to IU faculty.

She addressed President Ehrlich, noting that he was indirectly responsible for her initial involvement in student government.

She cited a situation four years ago at the IPFW campus involving difficulty between a former chancellor and Dr. Patrick Ashton of the Sociology department. Ms. Frazier-Henry and Mr. James Craig sent a petition containing 3,500 signatures to President Ehrlich.

That fall, Dr. Ashton received tenure and that chancellor left Indiana. She stated that this situation convinced her that change could occur.

To help President Ehrlich deal with frustration, she presented him with a Supersoaker Water Gun, with the assurance that it has a range of thirty feet, and urged him to use it wisely.

In closing, she reported that she is not leaving IU, only changing campuses as she moves to Bloomington to pursue a master's degree in college student personnel administration. She thanked all the Trustees for the knowledge they have shared with her, especially concerning higher education.


Trustee Walda stated that it has been a great pleasure working with Ms. Frazier-Henry over the last few years on multiple issues in Fort Wayne as well as University-wide issues.


Walk On The Ocean - Toad the Wet Sprocket
We spotted the ocean at the head of the trail
Where are we going, so far away
And somebody told me that this is the place
Where everything's better, everything's safe

Walk on the ocean
Step on the stones
Flesh becomes water
Wood becomes bone

And half and hour later we packed up our things
We said we'd send letters and all those little things
And they knew we were lying but they smiled just the same
It seemed they'd already forgotten we'd came

Now we're back at the homestead
Where the air makes you choke
And people don't know you
And trust is a joke
We don't even have pictures
Just memories to hold
That grow sweeter each season
As we slowly grow old