IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

March 22, 2021
IU in the News is a daily review of the important news stories relating to Indiana University. It is not intended to be an all-inclusive gathering of news, and no editorial revisions are made to the content, which is presented as it was initially published or broadcast.

IU Voices in the News

Indianapolis Business Journal

Michael McRobbie: Universities provide leadership in vaccine rollout

Written by Michael A. McRobbie, president of Indiana University. Earlier this month, Indiana passed the one-year anniversary of its first reported case of COVID-19. In that year, we have tragically lost more than 12,000 Hoosiers and seen the virus sicken hundreds of thousands. However, that year also brought one of the greatest scientific and medical achievements of recent times: the development, in record time, of highly safe and effective vaccines. Built on medical and biological research at the world's great research universities, these vaccines spell the ultimate end of the pandemic. But this will only happen if all who are able get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.

The New York Times

There is no rung on the ladder that protects you from hate

(F)or decades, policymakers and government leaders have historically treated Asian-Americans as if they were invisible. That was in part because of the diverse makeup and smaller size of the group, which made it challenging to gain influence and attention. Ellen Wu, a history professor at Indiana University, said Asian-Americans had to compile data just to prove that they were minorities who suffered from issues like discrimination. Being recognized has been an uphill battle ever since. ... Ms. Wu said she had noticed unity in the last year even among Asian activists who usually butted heads. She mentioned groups that have been fighting fiercely over the future of affirmative action in higher education. Both sides published statements condemning Mr. Trump's racial slurs about Asians spreading the coronavirus. "There's something about the Covid issue and the anti-Asian hate issue that presents this common denominator, a point of convergence," Ms. Wu said. "There is a certain baseline where, across the board, there does seem to be recognition and fear that bad things are happening to people of Asian ancestry, undeniably."

Related stories: NBC News, BBC, Today, Minneapolis Star-Tribune


VIDEO: Rise in anti-Asian violence: How local Hoosiers are making a difference

There is a significant rise in anti-Asian violence nationwide. According to the Stop Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Hate Organization, nearly 4,000 hate incidents occurred in the past 12 months. Experts believe this is likely a result of covid-19 stereotypes. Dina Okamoto is a sociology professor at Indiana University Bloomington. She explains that this number may be even higher, because many go unnoticed. "I think we are not even seeing the half of it because many people do not report these activities and crimes," Okamoto said. "I think some people if they are harassed, they don't know who to turn to or what to do about it." ... Ellen Wu is the director of Asian American Studies Programs at Indiana University Bloomington. She is also a part of Indiana's chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF). She is hoping to make an impactful change here locally. "We launched a statewide petition asking Governor Holcomb to condemn and recognize anti-Asian hate incidents and asking the governor in his authority to begin taking proactive measures to support Asian American Hoosiers who have been targeted by these incidents," Wu said.

USA Today

'Risks have been minimized': How March Madness is being pulled off amid COVID-19 pandemic

The easing of protocols come as the state has experienced a decline in COVID-19 cases and deaths, mirroring the national trend: Indiana saw 966 new cases Wednesday with a positive test rate of 2.3%, according to the state's Department of Health, and more than 890,000 residents are now fully vaccinated. "I think they've really done their homework on this," said Thomas Duszynski, the Director of Epidemiology Education at Indiana University's Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health (at IUPUI). "The risks have been minimized as much as they can, not only through the efforts of the city, county and state but also because the disease prevalence is going down across the state of Indiana, just like across the country."


IRS: Pandemic, old technology, understaffing leave millions of 2019 tax returns untouched

Greg Geisler, a professor at Indiana University Kelley School of Business, says the IRS will be lucky to get through its backlog by the fall. "This is highly unusual. My best guess is when they shut down for the pandemic, they did not answer the mail for three months and now taxpayers are paying the price." The professor says the agency is understaffed and using outdated technology. Adding to the backlog is the pressure to get stimulus checks out the door. "Their backs are against the wall, and they need to fight their way out of it, and taxpayers are the ones suffering," Geisler said. 

The Conversation

What is a hate crime? The narrow legal definition makes it hard to charge and convict

Written by Jeannine Bell, professor of law, Maurer School of Law, Indiana University. Hate crimes and hate murders are rising across the U.S., but long-term polling data suggests that most Americans are horrified by bias-motivated violence. They also support hate crime legislation, an effort to deter such attacks. Yet officials often resist the quick classification of incidents as a hate crime. Hate crimes have precise qualities, which must be met in order to satisfy legal requirements. And even when police and prosecutors believe the elements of a hate crime are present, such crimes can be difficult to prove in court.


AUDIO: Relating and communicating through emoji

Gender, age and culture can all play a role in which emoji best suits a conversation, and relationships between people influence how it gets interpreted in context. Host Anita Rao talks about how emojis get created with Charles Carson, the managing editor of Duke University Press' linguistics journal, American Speech, and a member of the Unicode emoji subcommittee. Susan Herring, professor of information science and linguistics at Indiana University Bloomington, also joins to talk about the linguistic use of emoji.

The Indianapolis Star

Health experts: Packed crowds at 2021 NCAA Tournament could create uptick in COVID cases

New coronavirus cases in Indiana have fallen to fewer than 1,000 a day, but some states including neighboring Michigan have seen cases start to rise again, said Gabriel Bosslet, an associate professor of clinical medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine. "If I'm honest, I think we're letting our guard down too quickly," he said. "But who knows what's going to happen? I don't think anybody knows." While hosting the entire men's NCAA tournament is a huge opportunity to showcase the city, he said "the timing is really, really odd." "We are really close to, hopefully, to the end," he said. "But I don’t know. Other states around us are starting to surge. The uncertainty is just absolutely stifling."

The Indianapolis Star

Indiana AG Todd Rokita files brief to stop California cities from setting climate policy

Jim Barnes, a retired environmental law professor at Indiana University said he was somewhat surprised to see Indiana filing this brief. "I suspect in other circumstances, Indiana would be much more protective of state's rights and a state's interest in having what it considers to be matters of state laws to be heard in Indiana state court to make those decisions itself without another state coming in and telling it what to do," Barnes said. Still, he said he would not be surprised to see the Supreme Court take up this case because there is a legitimate legal question as to whether this kind of lawsuit needs to be heard in federal as opposed to state court.  

IU Making Headlines


IU study looks into how Covid-19 impacted local Indiana jails

A new study found that changes made by jails in Indiana and around the country in the early days of coronavirus outbreak had an impact on inmates and staff. The study from the Center for Health and Justice Research at the IU Public Policy Institute also found that changes made in 2020 because of coronavirus could last longer than the pandemic. The study, Effect of Covid-19 On Indiana Jail Populations & Operations, compared jail populations in 19 Indiana counties with jail populations across the country. Researchers also interviewed Sheriff's and jail administrators about how they managed.

Related stories: WBAA, WANE

The Bloomington Herald-Times

Poet Ross Gay's new album comes with music

Landlocked Music will be selling autographed copies of a new album by a renowned poet, Indiana University's Ross Gay. Gay reads his poetry from several books with musicians' accompaniment on each track. ... Gay teaches at IU and has received honors for "The Book of Delights," released in 2019. Ever reminding his readers of the pleasure of thanking and reveling in the ordinary, he has written four books of poetry: "Against Which"; "Bringing the Shovel Down"; "Be Holding"; and "Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude," winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His recent book-length poem, "Be Holding," was released last year. "Over the last 12 years, Ross Gay's poems have given us indelible images and phrases of radical empathy and unabated gratitude about community, collaboration, connectedness and hard work," Heath Byers, Landlocked Music's owner, said in an email.

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