Students petition for 24-hour prayer room

In an effort to increase the Christ-centered environment on Indiana Wesleyan University’s campus, a group of students is petitioning for a 24-hour prayer room in the Barnes Student Center.

These students are the leaders of the Prayer Furnace, IWU’s on-campus prayer ministry. Currently, the Prayer Furnace is held in the Green Room of Old College Church. Due to construction of a new building, however,  the OCC is scheduled to be torn down this summer, leaving the Prayer Furnace without a home.

“We really desire some kind of room for the whole student body, no matter what ministry.” said Jeff Stuttler (sr), worship leader for the Prayer Furnace. “It’s not a Prayer Furnace ministry. The Prayer Furnace is just pushing this because we’re about prayer.”

The group is working with the Dean of the Chapel’s Office for use of a room on campus.

“I have sought to share a vision from God with our students in hopes that one or more of them would grab onto the vision,” said Dr. Jim Lo, Dean of the Chapel. “And then allow them to have great freedom to plan and move forward with the vision to make it become a reality.”

Members believe the concept of constant prayer fits closely with IWU’s mission statement:

“Indiana Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered academic community committed to changing the world by developing students in character, scholarship, and leadership.”

The room will work just like the three 24/7 study rooms located across campus. There will be a card swipe so that students are able to access the room at any time of the night to pray and worship.

Sue Wampner, coordinator of prayer initiatives and personal adviser to the Prayer Furnace, said she desires to see students unite in prayer as a community.

“I know that there are students praying in their dorm rooms,” said Wampner. “Just because they don’t connect with the Prayer Furnace or they aren’t real visible about it doesn’t mean that it’s not there. We just want to engage it more; we want to have more community in it.”

On Wednesday, April 13 the Prayer Furnace students met with Vice President Todd Voss to propose their idea.

“The meeting went very well,” Stuttler said. “Dr. Voss was extremely open to our suggestions, even pitching in with the dreaming process of where the location of this prayer room could be.”

Hoping to have a full petition, the Prayer Furnace has set up a table in the Mallway with signs, drawings and the petition for students to sign.

“I already signed [the petition],” said Julie Ruse (so). “There is [the Williams Prayer Chapel] and the dorm chapels, but when you just have that time when you’re out and about, I think it would be convenient to have it in the Student Center as well.”

The 24/7 prayer room would be different than the Williams Prayer Chapel in a few ways. The room would have worship music playing and would be much more conducive for group prayer.

“The difference between the prayer room and the Williams Prayer Chapel is that Williams is really devotional; it’s a place for contemplative prayer,” Stuttler said. “It’s not conducive for communal prayer or worship music being played, which I believe is a powerful combination with prayer.”

Those involved in developing the prayer room are passionate about prayer and bringing more of it to the IWU campus.

“I love the passion of the Prayer Furnace students,” said Wampner. “I want to see the passion that these students have shown just continually engage other students.”

If approved, the Prayer Furnace hopes to have the room in place by fall 2011.

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‘Little Women’ cast forms close relationships on and off stage

In a musical that centers on the story of four sisters, cast members of Indiana Wesleyan University’s production of “Little Women the Musical” have understood new aspects of family as part of a hardworking crew.
“[The cast] has exceeded our wildest expectations at every turn both in the acting and the singing and have actually been early in meeting production deadlines,” said music director Dr. Tammie Huntington, music director.

As they develop their characters, the cast members have grown together as a group, particularly when it comes to the four actresses playing Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March.

As if mirroring the musical itself, Elizabeth Potter (fr), Ellie Glorioso (fr), Rachael Stuckey (fr) and Elise Duncan (so), the four IWU students playing the March sisters, have begun to see each other as family.

“They’ve just been really encouraging,” said Glorioso, who plays young Beth March. “It’s good having those family figures on set.”

The cast’s close relationships were needed when the production process became frustrating. The cast spent hours on end memorizing lines, practicing their songs and capturing the right emotions. Dr. Greg Fiebig, Dr. Huntington and Dr. Michael Flanagan have been by their side the whole way with directing, coaching and support.

Still, the actors themselves have had to understand their characters on a deeper level in order to give their best performances, often drawing from personal experiences.

“I have a wonderful memory of my mother reading ‘Little Women’ to my sister and me before we went to bed every night, when I was about 6,” said Potter, who plays the part of Jo March.

Jo is a headstrong, independent girl who wants to change the world through her writing. Loyalty to her family, especially her sisters, and friends is a clear priority and she takes her relationships very seriously. Potter feels as if she can relate to Jo in many ways.

“I identify with her love of story and seeing the world through imaginative eyes and seeing the impossibilities as possible,” said Potter. “I really like that about [Jo] and what she stands for.”

In the musical, Jo has a particularly strong relationship with her younger sister, Beth March, played by Glorioso. Beth’s character is more timid, but has a motherly instinct and is the peacemaker in the family.

“I see some similarities between myself and Beth,” said Glorioso. “I took a little bit of liberty to give her a broader spectrum of her character so I’ve been able to make her more like me.”

While it is necessary for the cast to focus on the production, members have to remember their studies as well.
“I’ve been pulling some pretty late nights just trying to do work alongside rehearsals,” said Potter.

The performances will be held in the Phillippe Performing Arts Center Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. starting on March 24 and going through April 2. Tickets are on sale at the PPAC Box Office and are $12 for general admission, $10 for senior citizens or IWU faculty, and $6 for IWU students.

“There’s been a lot of great work that’s been put into it,” Potter said. “I’m really thankful for the opportunity to worship God in this way and to be a good steward of the talent He’s given me.”

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Students, Marion orchestra to host 50s sock hop

IWU is going back to letter sweaters and poodle skirts. On Sat., March 19, the Barnes Student Center Commons will transform into a 1950s dance hall reminiscent of the soda shops of “Happy Days” and “Grease” for an old-fashioned sock hop.

The entire campus is invited to the event, but there’s a catch. To be admitted into the dance, students must attend the James Dean tribute concert put on by the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra. The concert will be held in the Chapel Auditorium and costs $5 for students, compared with the regular $18 ticket. For $3 more, the students can enjoy the dance afterwards as well.

“The goal is to get people to come to the James Dean tribute concert,” said Allison Kelbaugh (jr). “But the bigger goal is to get younger people interested in [the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra].”

Kelbaugh is one in a group of four team members planning the sock hop. Erin Bean (sr), Michael Lepetri (sr), Maryn Young (sr) and Kelbaugh are all students in COM-431, Campaigns and Cases, which is the capstone course for the public relations major.

“The whole class is a campaign project,” said Kelbaugh. “Instead of working with pretend clients, it’s giving us the real-life experience with a real client.”

Dr. Denise Ferguson, chairperson of the Division of Communication, and newly elected MPO board member, is the faculty adviser for the project and said she’s proud of what the students have been doing.

The Campaigns and Cases class has put much effort and planning into producing the event. Starting with research, the group pinpointed the MPO’s major needs. After that, students distributed a campus-wide survey dealing with students’ opinions of orchestras and symphonies.

“They then developed a campaign proposal and pitched it to the MPO. “The class presented its campaign proposal to the Committee two weeks ago,” said Ferguson. “The committee members were extremely impressed with the creativity, detail, comprehensiveness and professionalism of the proposal.”

Students at IWU are impressed with the idea as well, and the required orchestra concert before the event itself does not seem to be a deterrent.

“I’d be OK with [the concert,]” said Stephen Weeks (fr). “I love orchestras.”

That is exactly what the MPO hopes to hear from students. Their main desire right now is to get younger audiences to attend the concerts.

To go along with the James Dean-themed orchestra concert, the music for the dance will be top 100 pop music from the 1950s.

“I think it’ll be a lot of fun,” said Jordan Wible (so). “I love that era of music. It’s really great.”

There will be instruction on how to dance at a sock hop, with dances like the Jitterbug. Kelbaugh hopes students will really get into the era and dress up for both the concert and the dance.

“Basically I’ll dress up like the Fonz,” said Weeks. “I’ve got a Fonzi leather jacket, a white T-shirt and some boots.”

With the date quickly approaching, the group focuses on the final result.

“It’s stressful right now but I know we’ll be really proud of it at the end,” said Kelbaugh. “So we just keep our eyes on the goal.”

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Doerr, Morrison in two-way race for SGA President

Aaron Morrison

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” These famous words, spoken long ago by Mother Teresa, are important to SGA presidential candidate Aaron Morrison (jr). In fact, the quote is the focus point of his campaign.

Morrison, a junior pre-law and economics major at Indiana Wesleyan University, is currently a resident assistant in South Hall Complex East. This job allows him to be a mentor and friend to 18 freshman men as they navigate their way through their first year at IWU.

“Being an RA gave me a sense of the gravity of responsibility like no other job I’ve ever had,” said Morrison. “It really pushed me in a good way.”

Noah DeMoss (fr), a resident in Morrison’s unit, has known Morrison since elementary school, when they went to the same church.

“He would be a great president,” said DeMoss. “He knows everybody on campus, he’s responsible and he’ll do what he thinks is right.”

His RA position is not the only experience that has provided the leadership background to be a student body president. Morrison is a part of the John Wesley Honors College, has been a camp counselor, an RA for the Summer Scholars Program and was a senator for Reed Hall his freshman and sophomore years.

It takes more than just experience to be elected for SGA president, however. According to current SGA President Cory Sprunger (sr), some of the qualities that a president must possess are heart, guts and managing skills.

“[The candidates] should first and foremost care deeply about the success of IWU, and see the representation of student voice in landmark issues as crucial to that success,” said Sprunger.

One of Morrison’s biggest goals is to represent the student voice at IWU.

“I want to continue finding ways to get the student voice across,” Morrison said. “I want to continue to listen, to be in good communication with the students, as well as the faculty and administration.”

An issue Morrison will pursue in his presidency is that of more foreign-language classes. He hopes to see programs such as French, Arabic, German and Mandarin Chinese be introduced into IWU’s course catalogue.
Along with this specific goal, Morrison has a general theme for his presidency.

“The overarching goal is to empower more dynamic student life here at IWU,” said Morrison. “I want to empower students to think more creatively, to be more innovative and to challenge themselves.”

Austin Doerr
An hour and a half before the deadline, everyone thought that the 2011 SGA student body president election was going to be a one-man race. Thirty minutes later, Austin Doerr (jr) turned in his application and the race was on.

“I thought about what I would do and what I wanted SGA to become,” said Doerr. “I thought about if it was something I could really make a difference with, it is. [Student body president] is something that’s really worth the effort put into it.”

Doerr, a transfer student last year, took some time before choosing IWU as the right school for him. After attending the University of Akron, a large state school in Ohio, for the first year and a half of his college career, he decided he needed a change of pace.

“I didn’t want to be in that kind of environment,” said Doerr. “I wanted to be in an environment where I can praise the Lord, where I can really grow in academics and my spiritual walk.”

Set to play golf for Grace College, Doerr visited IWU with his sister. He ended up loving the school and began attending during the spring semester of 2010. Now, just one year later, he is running for student body president.

Jim Hary (so), one of Doerr’s suitemates in Scripture Hall, said Doerr possesses the qualities of a good president.
“He seems to have very good ideas,” said Hary. “He’s a good leader, he’s good with people, and I know he’s very determined.”

One of Doerr’s goals is to have the video game policy reviewed. He wants to instate a committee of faculty and students to review certain video games, just like the movie reviewing committee. Doerr hopes the committee would analyze and lift the ban on popular games such as “Call of Duty” and “Halo.”

Doerr wants the student body to know that students can create change and that their ideas will be heard.
“I want to empower [the students] to be empowered by the SGA,” said Doerr. “I want them to be able to see that their thoughts and feelings matter and that we’re actually doing something about it.”

Current Student Body President Cory Sprunger is staying neutral for now and offers training and advice to both candidates.

“We’re trying to provide more consistency from year to year,” said Sprunger. “It’s a very important year to make sure we get a good person. It’ll be a fun campaign, that’s for sure.”

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