IPFW students take their message to community

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- Let us learn. That is the message some students, alumni and faculty at IPFW want university officials to hear. Members of the group “Not in Our Future,” are challenging the university’s decision to cut Liberal Arts programs.

Since that announcement was made last month, the group has voiced their concerns on campus. Now they’re taking it to the community.

“We aren’t afraid to stand up for this because this is our university,” said Audrey Leonard, a third year student at IPFW.

Leonard and dozens of others in the group said cutting these programs short changes the students and the community as a whole. The programs on the chopping block include French, Geology, German, Philosophy and Women’s Studies. It also includes cutting a handful of majors and graduate programs.

“It’s scary for me to think about the future of Fort Wayne without those programs,” said Nicki Meier, a recent graduate of the university.

Over the past few weeks there have been demonstrations and protests on campus after it was announced that several liberal arts programs will be cut. They hosted a community forum to help educate people about what’s going on and to hopefully encourage others to get involved in the movement.

“The community needs to care about this,” said Leonard. “This is a comprehensive university. That means everything. This is affecting everything.”

Leonard joined recently after learning her major in Women’s Studies was cut. She said this may seem like the cuts only affect a small few, but it sends the message that Liberal Arts aren’t important. Which sends a ripple effect through the community.

“There’s murals outside everywhere now,” she said. “Those aren’t going to be there if our community isn’t valuing our Liberal Arts students.”

Chancellor Vicky Carwein said previously that she understands students are upset but this is the best option for the university.

The group said there will be more protests and demonstrations as it gets closer to January, which is when the programs will be eliminated.