IUPUI hosted their 15th annual Curtis Memorial Oratorical Contest (CMOC) on Dec. 6. This is a contest offered to students currently enrolled in R110. The Contest was founded by Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies, Richard Curtis, and his wife, Beth, to honor the memory of his brothers, Robert and Dana, both of whom were killed in war. This contest offers IUPUI undergraduate students the opportunity to give speeches focused on a commitment to peaceful resolution of conflict.
This year's finalists were Casey Suarez, Tanya Ma, Dakota Jobe, Kennedy McCormack, Blue Schaeffer and Theint New Nyein. Each finalist had the opportunity to give a speech on a topic of their choosing as long as it centered around creating a peaceful resolution to a conflict. All finalists were given scholarships for their participation. The placement for the contest is as follows in descending order: Theint New Nyein ($600), Kennedy McCormack ($500), Blue Shaeffer ($500), Tanya Ma ($400), Casey Suarez ($150) and Dakota Jobe ($100).
Despite the inclement weather, the IUPUI campus remained open on Jan. 25, one of the few universities in Indianapolis to do so. Some classes and events, however, canceled, and services including Paw's Pantry closed.
On Monday, the anti-abortion organization Indianapolis Right to Life hosted the Indiana March for Life with Students for Life of America. The marchers began at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral, the oldest Catholic parish in Indianapolis and went down Georgia St., then went down Meridian Street, around Monument Circle and around the Indiana Statehouse, holding a rally in front of the building. Numerous political figures joined the march, including Senator Mike Braun, State Treasurer Daniel Elliot and State Representative Timothy West, with others including Indiana Representative Jim Banks, Senator Todd Young, Attorney General Todd Rokita, and Secretary of State Diego Morales making an appearance at the rally. Braun, Young, and Rokita spoke, in addition to activists including Indianapolis Right to Life President Marc Tuttle and motivational speaker Mark Hublar. The event was first held in 2018. Watch the video of the march here. Watch the video of the rally here. The national March for Life was in Washington D.C. on Saturday, the first to be held following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade on June 24 of last year. Judge Kelsey Hanlon issued an injunction against Senate Bill 1, the Indiana abortion restriction law in late September and the Indiana Supreme Court heard oral arguments over one of the two lawsuits filed by the Indiana ACLU over the bill on Thursday.
On Sunday, the Black Student Union (BSU) at IUPUI hosted the 54th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, to celebrate the life of the civil rights leader and inspire students to carry on his legacy. The night opened with the Black National Anthem sung by Kennedy Halliburton. An opening and closing benediction and prayer was offered by Rev. Philip Person Sr, and the keynote address was delivered by NAACP president Derrick Johnson. The mistresses of ceremony were Sydney Hilton and Jasmine Beamon, and the MLK chair and co-chair were Demondrick Velez and Mi'Chal Patterson. There was also a spoken word performance by Mariah Ivey. The first Martin Luther King Jr. dinner was hosted by the BSU a year after his passing and two years prior to the formation of IUPUI in 1971. The organization has played a prominent role on campus since its inception, lobbying the administration to take action to support students of color and the surrounding community. The first president of the Black Student Union at IUPUI was Anthony Tate, and Chelsea Fitzpatrick is the current president.