Ball Bearings Magazine Volume 7 | Issue 1

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in this issue: a shift in support • the voice behind the vote





photo: emma rogers

TABLE OF CONTENTS LETTER FROM THE EDITOR PAGE 04 Letter from the editor, Miranda Carney



A transgender woman’s journey to self-acceptance

PAGE 05 Briefs on issues currently in the news



PAGE 19 More Millennials are parenting in extended family households

THE ROARING 20S PAGE 08 One Gen Xer’s view on why your twenties still matter


PAGE 11 Millennial trust is driving the sharing economy

WHERE WE LIVE NOW PAGE 42 The American Dream now has an urban setting


PAGE 07 Stereotypes and realities about Generation Y



Ball State is home to the largest project of its kind

PAGE 34 The youth vote will leave a big impact on the 2016 election


TEAMING UP WITH NASA PAGE 45 University scientists study the effects of spaceflight





Millennials aren’t as techsavvy as they seem

Muslims continue to face prejudice in the United States

The faces and places of life in Cuba




hen I was 11, I received something my grandmother never would have imagined holding as a little girl – my own iPod mini. I felt like I had the world in my hands. No more clinging to a case full of CDs on the bus. Any song I wanted could fit into the front pocket of my jeans. Once I was a teenager, I received my first iPhone. In high school, my Algebra class full of tweeting, chatting 16-year-olds, was abruptly silenced one day when our teacher told us that our generation would never know the value of hard work and life without technology. Well, we are coming. Millennials (those now between the ages of 18 and 34) are predicted to take over the Baby Boomers as the largest generation in the nation this year. At 75.3 million strong, we are the largest generation in the workforce. We are set to be the most educated generation in history. The majority of us favor same-sex marriage. We are the most diverse generation with only 56 percent of the population being white. There’s no doubt about it: the




SENIOR EDITORS Ben Beckley Lauren Donahue Jeremy Ervin Alex Kincaid Sara Niccum STAFF WRITERS Keagan Beresford Kourtney Cooper Saige Driver Anthony Lombardi Samantha Stevenson

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huge generation gap left by the Baby Boomers means we are changing the way Americans work, live, and think. In our newest Ball Bearings issue, I invite you to learn more about how Millennials are changing America. Our cover story explores the impact our generation is about to make on all aspects of life across the nation. Twice as likely to identify as LGBT, Millennials deal with finding

CONTRIBUTORS Caitlin Burkus Victoria Ison Christina Mackey Michele Whitehair


PHOTO EDITOR Maggie Kenworthy PHOTOGRAPHERS Samantha Brammer Taylor Irby Emma Rogers Trenton Scroggins Arianna Torres


LEAD DESIGNERS Hannah Dominiak Jessica Goldy DESIGNERS Megan Axsom Tyson Bird Rachel Brammer Stacie Kammerling

public acceptance and their own identity more than previous generations did (“A Shift in Support”). Most Millennial parents are intentionally raising their children differently than the way our parents raised us (“It Takes a Village”). The Millennial vote will gain importance as the 2016 election approaches (“The Voice Behind the Vote”). We’ve created a conversation online about what it means to be a Millennial. We are leaving traditional religion in mass numbers. We are getting married later than our parents. We are grappling with what it means to be a “digital native.” This is a conversation about the largest generation in history. There’s no avoiding it: Millennials are taking over. Our aim with this issue of Ball Bearings is to tell you why that matters. We are coming. And we are poised to change America.

MIRANDA CARNEY editor-in-chief

Eric Quaintance Stephanie Redding Alex White Liz Young


COPY CHIEF Miller Kern RESEARCH EDITOR Jessica Pettengill SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR Jessika Zachary COPY EDITORS Samantha Bohannon Caroline Delk Lindsey Farley Melissa Jones Seth Madden ADVISER Brad King



FEMINISM story: jordan n. hurley

“Hey, hey, ho, ho, victim blaming has got to go,” students chanted around Ball State’s campus on September 25. The students wore as much or as little clothing as they preferred. They were marching as a part of the annual SlutWalk, an event that is part of a national feminist movement to end sexual assault and victim blaming. SlutWalk made its debut in 2011 after a Toronto police officer suggested that in order to avoid sexual assault, women should “avoid dressing like sluts.” Since then, the movement has expanded to cities across the world. Participants dress in revealing outfits and partake in various activities including the march, dancing and listening to music, taking self-defense lessons, and listening to the stories of sexual assault survivors. According to a 2015 report by the Public Religion Research Institute, only 47 percent of Millennial women identify as feminist and 22 percent of Millennial men do. A report by Stanford University says feminism on college campuses is actually growing. The difference is that feminists on college campuses are taking action on a range of social justice issues, not solely sticking to women’s issues. Students march around Ball State University on September 25 for the annual SlutWalk. The event began in 2011 as a feminist movement to bring awareness to sexual assault victim blaming.

SCHOOL SHOOTINGS story: miranda carney

On October 1, 2015, a 26-year-old gunman at Umpqua Community College shot and killed nine people, injured nine more people, and then killed himself. This incident isn’t a rare one for the Millennial generation—their world has been shaped by school shootings since Columbine. Since the beginning of 2013, there have been 142 school shootings, according to Evertown, a pro-gun regulation group.

Although every generation has grown up with fears and hardships, the number of school shootings has increased more than 10,000 percent in the past 50 years. Older generations have dealt with fewer and fewer notable school shootings. In 1960, there was only one notable school shooting, in the 1980s there were 27, in the 1990s there were 58, and from 2000 to 2012, there were 102. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce published a report stating that despite the tragic events and hundreds of school

photos: emma rogers

shootings that have shaped this generation, 41 percent of Millennials are satisfied with the way things are going in the country compared with 26 percent of those over the age of 30. The Handbook of Intergroup Communications even names Columbine for a reason Baby Boomer parents may have been more protective of their children growing up. Research on Millennials points to the fact that shootings like the one in Oregon continue to shape Generation Y into the group of people they are today.



story: samantha bohannon

Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Christian Taylor are only a few of the many individuals killed by police shootings. These men were young, unarmed, and still had a future. Their deaths, along with several others, have resonated with Americans across the nation, sparking conversations about an issue many believed to be buried long ago. After the shootings and signs of police brutality in Ferguson, Missouri, social media has taken off with hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter, #ICantBreathe, and #HandsUpDontShoot. African Americans aren’t alone; American Muslims face discrimination as well, much to 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed’s dismay. Shortly after bringing a homemade clock to his high school in Irving, Texas, he was arrested in the school office. Despite the claim that Ahmed was harboring something dangerous, the school was not evacuated or placed on lockdown. Class continued as normal. According to a report by Pew Research Center, the Millennial generation is the most racially diverse group in the nation’s history; the Census Bureau predicts that by 2043, the majority of the U.S. population will be non-white. The same report suggests that, with the exponential growth of the non-white population, more Millennials will lean toward democratic or liberal views versus republican or conservative views. In the last year alone, Americans have witnessed riots, autopsy reports, and live footage of police brutality. Millennials in particular seem to be acutely aware of its effects.


story: lauren hansen

Many musical artists and entertainers credit their fame to the current twentysomethings. Almost half of them are considered multiracial, and that reflects in the world’s trending topics. At the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, rap artist Big Sean was presented the Social Justice award for his song, One Man Can Change the World. His song highlights the topic of social change in

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photo illustration: erika espinoza The majority of the Millennial generation celebrated on social media and at public events when the Supreme Court lifted the ban on same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015.


story: betsy kiel

At this year’s 67th Emmy Awards, Transparent’s director and creator, Jill Soloway, won the Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series award. She then used her speech to highlight critical issues within transgender rights in America. “We don’t have a trans tipping point yet,” she said. “We have a trans equality problem.” She spoke of her parent who came out as transgender, saying that in 32 states, her parent could try to get an apartment, but be legally turned away because of her identity. A study by multi-platform media company, Fusion, found that 50 percent of Millennials believe that gender exists on

a spectrum, and shouldn’t be limited to strictly male or female. This year, social media was flooded with rainbow-filtered profile pictures, and political wars broke out after the Supreme Court lifted the ban on same-sex marriage on June 26. Eye of the Tiger played in the background and crosses were lifted in the air when Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, was released from jail after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Generation Y has an attitude shift: nearly seven in ten Millennials favor same-sex marriage, a Public Religion Research Institute study reports.

race relations and encourages young people to go after their dreams. Many of today’s musical artists are multicultural and young, just like their fans, a Nielson study reports. The report says Millennials believe and admire celebrities that engage with their fans in authentic ways. Lady Gaga’s song and music video Til It Happens To You depicts the realities of sexual assault on college campuses. After the video debuted, it immediately became

number one on the Billboard + Twitter Trending 140 chart. Throughout the week after it was released, it received tweets from celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Fight Song singer Rachel Platten. Celebrities like Nicki Minaj, through her music, and Michelle Obama, through her Let Girls Learn campaign, have changed the face of feminism. Whether that be through overcoming insecurities, or racial and sexist biases, people are taking a second look at how society says people should be treated.

UNMASKING MYTHS The Millennial generation has been labeled with several stereotypes. Three common myths about the Millennial generation are broken down to reveal the realities behind them. story: christina mackey

Stereotypes say Millennials are...






• Millennials spend an average of 18 hours a day online, according to the marketing platform Crowdtap. This generation might seem shallow, but they care about other issues beyond their self image, as seen in several studies.

• In 2013, The U.S. Census Bureau found that one in five young adults ages 18 to 34 were in poverty. Most of them hold a minimum wage job, even though 58 percent earned a bachelor’s degree.

• Millennials are the first generation to grow up with technology, which is why they are sometimes termed “digital natives.”

• A Millennial Marketing study showed 52 percent of the generation believes being a good parent is the the most important goal in life. • Millennials are more politically active and more than a third of the generation cares about the environment by choosing ecofriendly and energy efficient options for cars and appliances, according to the Reason-Rupe poll and Clinton Global Initiative.


• While around four in ten Millennials are still in college, high school, or trade school, many more plan to further their education someday. Pew Research found that 36 percent of Millennials were living with their parents so they could save money because of college debt.

• The consumer measurement company Nielsen found that in 2014, around 74 percent of the generation felt that having constant access to technology made their lives easier. But while many people believe Millennials only value updating statuses online, the study showed that the generation is engaging in technology online in ways that will be important for the future.

• According to a study by T. Rowe Price, an investment firm, 67 percent of Millennials stick to a budget compared to 55 percent of Baby Boomers.

• Millennials spend much of their time online investing in stocks and online banking, and spend most of their time networking when on Facebook, according to the Nielsen study.


The Roaring

A Generation Xer’s view on why your twenties are the most important years of your life. story: professor angela jackson-brown


hen I was 26 years old, I was first diagnosed with a mental illness. Just saying those two words is daunting, so imagine how it felt being in my twenties and having a doctor say to me words that felt like a death sentence. I was married. I was a mom. I was a graduate student. I had dreams of being a writer. At that moment, it truly felt like my life would end. But, of course, it didn’t. What I learned about being twentysomething is that even though so many people feel like the twenties represents a time in our lives when we don’t have a sense of who we are and where we are going, in fact, the twenties is truly the period in which we often must dig deep and show the world our greatest strength. I often say to people, my youth saved me during that dark time in my life. As a 47-year-old, I sometimes wonder if I am currently strong enough mentally and physically to fight the battles I had to fight in my twenties. Could I keep juggling all of the balls I had to juggle back then? The wife ball. The mommy ball. The graduate student and teacher ball. There were so many balls for me to juggle during that time of my life that I get dizzy thinking about them, but I was not alone in living

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this circus-like existence. There were tons of other twentysomethings around me doing the same thing. Students who worked multiple jobs to put themselves through school. Students who played sports or were active in student government. Students with dual majors who were determined to not only graduate but to graduate on time. And even now, students all over Ball State University and campuses throughout the country and the world are becoming expert jugglers, too. They are finding the strength to keep everything moving at the same time and I can’t imagine doing those things so successfully at any time of my life besides my twenties. As a teacher of twentysomethings, I have seen it all. I’ve seen single mothers and fathers pushing themselves to become stronger and wiser parents by finishing their education. I’ve seen students with disabilities who have trouble just putting one foot in front of the other, literally and figuratively, but still they find the drive and the courage to keep going. I’ve seen first generation college students who come to Ball State unsure of anything and everything, yet every day, they keep going. There is something about the twenties that forces people

to step up and embrace the person they are becoming. There is something about the twenties that demands us to push past those things that have the potential to topple us over. So the question is, what is that thing that happens to us when we leave the safety of the teen years and enter into the sometimes overwhelming twenties? Part of what happens to us is simply the natural order of life. Many of us leave home for the first time. For some, we are taking on jobs or going to college, or both. In other cases, we are starting families of our own. So, out of necessity we must bravely determine who we are and where we want to go with life. We don’t always succeed, but nonetheless, we strive to embrace the adult that life has forced us to become. The twenties demand active engagement, and for some of us, we didn’t do very much of that when we were teens. Our parents and teachers shaped who we were back then and albeit reluctantly at times, generally, we didn’t

fight them too much as they attempted to turn us into copies of themselves, or in some cases the antithesis of who they were at our age. The twenties is the time in our life when we decide if we are going to accept the identity they created for us or if we are going to forge out and design a whole new persona for ourselves. Growing up, my father wanted me to go into business. He never indicated what type of business, he just knew being a “businesswoman” as he called it, would ensure my future. But I didn’t want to be the next Bill Gates. I wanted to be the next Maya Angelou. But, out of respect for my father, I allowed myself to follow his dream. For a time. But once I hit my twenties, I figured it out. I knew that my destiny did not include fulfilling his dream for me. And I see this happening all of the time with my students. They come to my office saying they hate their majors and want to try something totally new. I’m sure this epiphany moment isn’t just happening in my office, but in offices all over the world. Just like it was for me,

these students are feeling what I call “the fire in the belly,” which is the drive to do something so much that one is willing to alienate and ostracize everything and everyone that might stand in the way of attaining that dream. The 1920s were called the “roaring twenties.” It was called that because it was a period of time in our history when prosperity seemed to reign throughout the United States, as well as Canada and Europe. It was a time when the world itself seemed to be finding out who it was. It was a time of grand discoveries and unadulterated enthusiasm for life. There are a lot of similarities between this time in history and being 20. Twenty is a time when the sky truly is the limit AND it is a time when selfdiscovery is on the rise. Every day is like a new day and every day provides an opportunity for twentysomethings to define and refine who they are and who they will become. The twenties are not easy, but if you let it, it can be the greatest time in your life.

illustrations: stacie kammerling



percent say technology makes life easier


54 percent say


percent of employers think recent college grads are prepared to stay on top of technology

technology makes them feel closer to friends and family

percent of Millennials sleep with their smartphones

NOT QUITE NATIVE After more than 30 years spent growing up with technology, Ryan Bitzegaio challenges the “digital native” label given to his generation. story: ryan bitzegaio, associate director of the digital corps | photos: megan hilaire and liz young


n 1984, a couple of monumental things happened: the original Macintosh computer debuted, and a few months later I was born (one of these milestones might be slightly more noteworthy). Because of this convenient timing, I, along with all of my contemporaries, have been fortunate enough to come of age alongside the digital revolution. We’ve actually shaken Polaroid pictures, but we’ve been using Photoshop since our early teens. We’ve experienced the agony of waiting for a tape to rewind to hear our favorite song again on our Sony Walkmans, but we’ve had iPods in our pockets since high school. We’ve handwritten letters to friends, but we were part of the exclusive group that had the .edu email addresses required to create accounts on a brand new website called While I feel like I fall somewhere in a gap between generations, my birthday generally lumps me into the Millennial

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generation – a generation that is frequently labeled as “digital natives.” This label isn’t entirely inaccurate, but it carries some connotations that aren’t quite true. It’s often assumed that Millennials possess some inherent understanding of all things digital – as if we were fed a steady stream of binary in the womb and were born speaking in code. If anything, I’d argue that the run-of-the-mill Millennial – who was raised on graphical user interfaces and touchscreens – actually knows less about the inner workings of a computer than individuals from older generations, who first experienced computers via punch cards and command-line prompts. For older generations, the “digital immigrants” that grew up in an analog world powered by mechanical technologies, exploring and experimenting with technology was risky behavior that could result in physically breaking things. For those that are unable to shake

this mentality when sitting in front of a computer or poking at a smartphone, learning to accomplish new tasks using digital tools can be a real struggle. Because Millennials are used to being kept at a safe distance from the code that makes our devices tick, we feel very comfortable exploring and experimenting with new technology because we know that we’re usually no more than an “undo” away from making right anything we’ve wronged. This fearless approach to using technology is what makes other generations perceive Millennials as digital natives; that our primary language is technology, when in fact, we’re just as likely to be uncomfortable using a spreadsheet as our grandparents are. Perhaps the generation that follows Millennials will think in code and dream in binary worlds, and we’ll be able to legitimately call them digital natives, but I don’t think we’re quite there yet.

Relying on

STRANGERS Overall trust is at an all-time low, but Millennials are putting more and more reliance into driving the sharing economy.

story: saige driver


his summer, when Jeremy Stookey, 25, spent three months traveling across the country, he camped in tents. But occasionally, he slept on strangers’ couches. It was an old, wooden, rickety house in Kentucky that made him question how much he really trusted where he was about to stay. When he pulled up and saw the two-story house, he didn’t get out of the car immediately. First, he checked his phone for reception. “If I had to, I wanted to make sure I could call somebody,” said Jeremy, a senior physics and computer science major at Ball State University. His phone had service so he went up to the house and knocked on the door. He was greeted by a couple who used to live in Chicago. While touring the grounds, the well in the yard seemed odd to Jeremy. It was in the process of being fixed and was completely exposed with a broken cement lid. Jeremy could see inside the well – it went about 15 feet down. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘Well, this is where I am going to end up dead,’” he said. Jeremy used the website CouchSurfing to find this location. After connecting with a Facebook account and paying $20, he was able to locate places to sleep with the click of a button. Jeremy is just one of many Millennials who plays a fundamental role in the sharing economy by using services like Airbnb, Uber, Etsy, and CouchSurfing. A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the largest professional services firms in the world, revealed that the Millennial generation is the most excited about the sharing economy. After the Great Recession, many began to rethink owning items, thus leading to the the sharing economy, where items are rented instead of owned. A survey by BAV Consulting, a brand consulting group, showed that 77 percent of Millennials preferred a simple lifestyle with fewer possessions. Overall trust by Americans is lower now than at any point in the last four years, according to the General Social Survey, a survey used to collect data on attitudes of residents of the United States. Despite lowering levels of trust,

the sharing economy is growing every day. PwC’s report projects that by 2025, companies that are a part of the sharing economy could be making as much as $335 billion in global revenue. Cecil Bohanon, an economics professor at Ball State, explained that although trust by Americans is so low, the sharing economy is soaring because many people don’t want to own something for 365 days a year when they only need it for one day. He said that this “new” economy isn’t so new, and it isn’t as good natured as it seems to be. “It’s a sharing economy, but it’s not a sharing economy in the sense that everyone is cuddly wuddly and loves each other,” Cecil said. “That’s not the point. The point is we have effective ways to monitor what happens – in ways we couldn’t before.” PwC reported the same thing, stating that while trust in individuals and institutions is decreasing, trust in the aggregate is growing. In reality, customers aren’t trusting the person who is renting them their condo or the stranger giving them a ride home. Instead they trust the five out of five rating the other customers have given that Uber driver or Airbnb host, Cecil explained. After guests leave, they write a review on the host’s profile. In the review, they can outline what the house looked like and how friendly the host was. They can also write a paragraph about their experience at the house. This rating system is what customers trust. Not the small profile picture and short description on the host’s “about me” page. Later this year, Jeremy will be using another service driven by the sharing economy, Airbnb, to stay in a condo. This rental service is a marketplace where people can list and book unique accommodations around the world. For him, the driving factor is that it’s cheaper than a hotel, his stay capping at $12 a night. The only downside for Jeremy is that he has to share the condo with a stranger. He’s not too nervous about sleeping a couple feet away from a complete stranger, though. He, like many other Millennials, trusts the reviews he has read online.

photo illustration: rachel brammer




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SUPPORT One transgender woman’s journey to finding self-acceptance story: anthony lombardi | photos: taylor irby

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KATHRYNNE HORINE SAT ON THE CREAMCOLORED CARPET OF HER LIVING ROOM FLOOR IN NOBLESVILLE, INDIANA, ON AN OCTOBER NIGHT IN 2012, STREAMS OF TEARS FLOWING FROM HER HAZEL EYES. In her left hand, she clenched a loaded Smith & Wesson. She was 26 years old, five-feet tall, 150 pounds, and for most of her life she felt like a prisoner inside of her male body. Her girlfriend of three years had left her earlier that day, after hearing Kathrynne express her feelings of femininity. Despite her girlfriend rejecting her, Kathrynne didn’t blame her. She knew most people, upon learning their partner identified as transgender, would act in a similar fashion. The television screen against the back wall caught enough light from a lamp that Kathrynne saw her reflection staring back at her. She closed her eyes and placed the tip of the gun’s barrel on her bottom lip. She inhaled through her nose and slid the pistol into her mouth. ‘What is the point of living?’ she thought. ‘No one accepts me for who I am.’ Her finger inched toward the trigger. At that moment, she heard a voice – a woman’s voice – coming from inside her head. ‘Just give me a fucking chance,’ the voice said. ‘Just let me come out and let me be you. I promise you’ll be happy. You’ll be free. You don’t have to live a secret.’ In 2011, the Williams Institute of the UCLA School of Law analyzed four population-based surveys and estimated that Kathrynne is one of about 700,000 transgender individuals in the United States. Like Kathrynne, 41 percent of pre-op transgender and gender nonconforming individuals have attempted suicide. These numbers are probably lower than reported, as some people never express their feelings for fear of ridicule and rejection.

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Growing up in Huntington, a rural town in northern Indiana, with conservative parents of faith, Kathrynne did not hear the term “transgender” until her last year in college. From a young age, however, she felt a disconnect with her male figure. “I always knew that there was something different about me,” she said. “That there was some feminine presence in my body, in my mind, and I just never knew what it meant. I figured everyone had that and it was normal.” In middle school, Kathrynne created a female profile on an online chat room. The joy brought by being recognized as a girl far outweighed the private embarrassment felt for posing as one. As middle school became high school, fitting in became even more difficult. Researchers from the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force found that 78 percent of transgender and gender nonconforming children experience varying forms of harassment in grades K-12. Fifteen percent of the time, the harassment becomes so severe that the bullied child leaves school. Kathrynne never dropped out of school, though there were times she wished she could. She was often the brunt of other kids’ jokes and comments at recess and after school. One Friday, in the fall of 1998, a 13-yearold Kathrynne was spending the night at a friend’s house for a Mario Kart tournament on the Nintendo 64 with four other boys. Evening turned to night, and as bedtime approached, the intensity of each round magnified. “Out of my way, fag,” one of the boys said to Kathrynne, running her off the track. She was used to the homophobic slurs by now, though she never understood why her peers singled her out. In her mind she was only acting as herself. ‘I even like girls,’ she thought. As usual, she buried her pain, anger, and confusion inside. Kyle Kittleson, a psychologist at Ball State University and the project coordinator for the school’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning ally program SAFEZONE, said the actions of the children who teased Kathrynne are a byproduct of the culture they were raised in. “There’s something about when people don’t fit into gender norms that makes people very uncomfortable, and they sometimes act poorly to that uncomfortable feeling,” Kyle said. After dealing with harassment throughout grade school and high school, Kathrynne



was ready to escape Huntington and go to college. During her freshman year in 2003, Purdue University’s enrollment was 38,847, which was more than twice the population of her home city. One early afternoon in May 2007, Kathrynne took her normal spot in the far right seat of the front row in her sexual education class. As she looked around, she noticed that a table with three chairs facing the students had been added to the front of the room. The professor entered with two men and a woman, none of whom Kathrynne recognized. He introduced the trio – a gay man, a lesbian woman, and a female-to-male transgender – as members of a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender panel. Kathrynne’s curiosity heightened, and she sat up in her seat as the transgender individual began to speak. Kathrynne felt an immediate connection with this stranger. His childhood stories of loneliness and rejection compared to her own experiences. “Being transgender means being true to yourself,” the transgender speaker said, as he ended his presentation. The hairs on Kathrynne’s neck stood up. Over the next few days she determined she was a woman in a man’s body, but scared of what people might think, she continued portraying herself as a male in public.


Kathrynne’s father died of a stroke the summer before she contemplated suicide. She never told him how she felt. She was frightened what he would say and what he would think of her. Fifty-seven percent of gender non-conforming and trans people experience significant family rejection after coming out, according to researchers from the National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. In July 2013, Kathrynne, in the living room of her home in Noblesville, told her mother she was a woman in a man’s body. She hadn’t planned to, but her mother sensed something was on her child’s mind. “What’s going on?” her mother asked. “Are you on drugs?” Having never taken an illegal substance, Kathrynne shook her head and continued packing her belongings in preparation for her move to an apartment in Indianapolis. “Are you sure you’re not on drugs?” her mother persisted. “No, I am not on drugs,” Kathrynne replied, as she piled dishes and crammed silverware into brown moving boxes. “Well, are you gay?” her mother asked. Unable to contain herself any longer, Kathrynne blurted out her secret. “Mom, I’m transgender. I’m a girl.” Her mother leaned against the side of one

SELFIE LOVE Transitioning typically takes about two years, and Kathrynne is in her 18th month. She said for the first time in her life, she feels pretty. She documented pretty days by taking selfies.

January 17, 2015

August 25, 2015

September 17, 2015

September 19, 2015

of the room’s couches, unable to support herself. She attempted to muster a response, but nothing came. Each passing second felt like an eternity to Kathrynne, as she waited for an answer. When it became apparent that no reply was coming she turned her back and tried her best to hide her tears. After not speaking to each other for a week, Kathrynne invited her mother to lunch at a Mexican restaurant in downtown Indianapolis. As the hostess led them to a booth toward the back of the restaurant, Kathrynne desperately thought of a way to break the tension with her only close relative, but her mother spoke first. “Alex,” she said, calling Kathrynne by her birth name. “You’re not transgender. You’re a boy. I gave birth to you. You’re a boy.” Kathrynne fought back a sea of tears. “I know I am transgender, and I want to transition to a woman,” she said. The waiter approached, placing a basket of tortilla chips in the middle of the table before retreating to the kitchen. “It’s against God’s will for you to pursue this,” her mother continued once they were alone again. “You have demons inside of you, and if you go down this path you will go to hell.” Kathrynne burst into tears, and several heads turned their way. “You don’t understand. You’re not in my mind,” she said. “I’m in my mind every fucking moment of every fucking day, and I’m miserable.” Chris Bojrab, the president of the Indiana Health Group, said the denial Kathrynne’s mom experienced when her child confronted her with being transgender can be explained by the cognitive dissonance theory. “When someone comes across a situation or an idea that is so out of their norm, your brain has a hell of a time trying to integrate that into your story of how the world works,” he said. Against her mother’s wishes, Kathrynne began hormone replacement therapy in February of 2014. But despite the personal satisfaction of finally being able to express herself as a woman, Kathrynne still felt unable to fully connect with society, even within her own community. One night in April of 2014, Kathrynne was using the women’s restroom at a gay bar in Indianapolis called the Metro. She opened the stall’s door and made her way toward the sink, passing a lesbian who was waiting near the back wall. As Kathrynne washed her hands she looked in the mirror and noticed the woman staring at her. She turned off the faucet and faced her. “Can I help you?” Kathrynne asked. “You don’t belong in here,” the woman said. “You are a guy.”

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I ALWAYS KNEW THERE WAS SOMETHING DIFFERENT ABOUT ME. Kathrynne’s male transgender friends had told her stories of their experiences with public discrimination in male restrooms, but she had never experienced it before. She did not expect the first time she would find herself in the situation would be at a gay bar. “You don’t need to be in here,” the woman continued raising her voice. Unsure if the woman, who was twice her size, intended to become violent, Kathrynne did her best to keep her composure. She dried off her hands with a paper towel and made her way to the exit. As she opened the door she turned back around. “I am a woman,” Kathrynne said. Kathrynne’s experience with public harassment compares to those the majority of transgender people in America face as 53 percent reporting being verbally harassed or disrespected in a public setting. This minority group has little to no laws protecting them in most states. Abuse is not only tolerated, but has become commonplace in many areas of the country. Oftentimes, transgenderspecific issues can be lost amidst the issues of gays and lesbians, a larger and more vocal subgroup.


Transitioning usually takes about two years to complete. Kathrynnne is currently in her 18th month and said she has never been happier. “When I look in the mirror, I see me for once,” Kathrynne said. “Who I am on the

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outside matches who I am on the inside. For so long, people had preconceived notions of who I was and how I was expected to act, just because I looked like a boy. Now, people see me and they talk to me, and they expect me to act like a girl. I’m just happy I can be myself for once in my life.” Every Tuesday, she visits the same bar in downtown Indianapolis. The bar’s employees would kick out anyone who verbally harassed her. Now, Kathrynne says she doesn’t receive the same level of hate and ridicule in public because of how well her transition has gone. As a transadvocate, Kathrynne travels to universities across Indiana and spreads awareness on the struggles facing so many of today’s transgender and gender nonconforming individuals. She feels that sharing her experiences will make the world a better place. She also assists with the Indiana Youth Group, an LGBTQ ally, to create a centralized transgender community and resource center in Indianapolis. Myranda Warden, IYG’s program manager, said the sooner support starts, the less likely gender variant individuals will engage in the risks associated with the population. Kathrynne knows those risks, having experienced many firsthand. She will never forget the day she placed that loaded gun in her mouth. It was the day that changed her life. In the end, her ultimate choice was life. She stayed true to herself, and to Kathrynne, that is what being transgender is all about.

When Kathrynne started her transition, she would dress in very feminine clothing. As she found comfort in herself and her new identity, she found a style that she liked more and that fit her.

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UNIVERSITY THEATRE APRIL 1-2, 5-9 AT 7:30 P.M. APRIL 3 & 10 AT 2:30 P.M.


It Takes a

VILLAGE Millennials are framing the way parenting is viewed by raising their kids with extended family and taking a more hands-off approach to parenting. story: alex kincaid | photos: samantha brammer

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Two-year-old Brigette plays at Cooley Park in Muncie, Indiana. Her mother, Brianna Kern, said Brigette is always full of energy.

BY THE NUMBERS 62% of Millennial moms believe it sets a positive example for children when the mother works outside the home.



wo-year-old Brigette threw a tantrum in protest. She insisted that Grandma come to bed, too. Brianna Kern, drained of all energy and ready for her daughter to get some sleep, hopelessly tried to get Brigette to stop running back to Grandma and get in bed. Brigette was not having any of it. She screamed and stomped her feet. She didn’t want to go to bed while Grandma was still awake in the living room. She motioned her hand toward Grandma and whined for her to come with them. Brianna sighed. She knew getting Brigette to sleep would be a hassle, especially because they sleep in the same bed. Brianna is a 24-year-old stay-at-home mom who lives with her mother, stepfather, and older brother. She is one of the 25 percent of Millennials who are already parents, according to Millennial Marketing, a Barkley-owned website that uses research to inform marketers of trends about the Millennial generation. Millennials are more likely to raise their kids in the same house as extended family, like Brianna does, or nearby extended family. Pew Research Center reports that this multigenerational style of living is making a comeback,

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and in 2011, Millennials between the ages of 25 and 34 were most likely to live in multigenerational households compared to all other age groups. In 2012, nearly 57 million Americans lived in multigenerational homes. This is in contrast to the decline of extended family households that happened throughout most of the twentieth century. “It’s a village,” said Brianna. “Everybody’s helping [with Brigette], nobody’s upset that she’s there or is inconvenienced in any way.” Bonnie Harris, a parenting specialist and director of Connective Parenting, says that living with extended family is the best way to raise a child, as long as the family agrees on how. She said there is a lot to be learned about parenting from tribal cultures, and raising a child with extended family is, in a sense, raising children the way many tribal cultures did. Brianna’s mother, Marilee Creech, loves getting to see her granddaughter every day. She doesn’t have to worry about missing any part of Brigette’s life, and she is there to help Brianna when she needs it. However, she thinks there is a lack of privacy that comes with living with her

of Millennials believe kids should be raised in gender-neutral ways, or in ways that do not foster societal gender roles.

29% strictly monitor kids’ junk food intake.

82% of Millennials want their children to know possessions do not cause happiness. sources:,,

children and granddaughter. At times, she wants a break from taking care of Brigette and just wants to be the grandma who spoils her granddaughter. That isn’t always possible because there are so many people living in the same space. Marilee wants Brianna and Brigette to read more and to do more imaginary, interactive play instead of passive activities, like watching TV. She thinks that teaching Brigette through playing with her is important for her development. She also doesn’t want Brianna to miss out on having play time with Brigette – something she won’t have forever. Additionally, Marilee is more worried that Brigette could get hurt when she plays on her own and thinks she should

be more supervised. Brianna, on the other hand, isn’t as concerned that her daughter will get hurt when she plays on her own and tends to be more laid back. “Sometimes Brianna gives her a little too much range,” said Marilee. “She can destroy a house in ten seconds without enough guidance.” Brianna didn’t always have her family there to help. Brianna just moved back home in February 2015. Before that, she lived in Virginia with her husband. Brianna would ask her husband to do dishes, bathe Brigette, clean the house – things a working husband might not normally do, and he did them. Although Brianna felt she ran most of the household, she knows it would

have been more difficult if her husband hadn’t pitched in, too. At night they would climb into bed, and Brigette would sleep in a basket between them – a routine that began just after she was born. Brianna could not get out of bed to tend to her newborn after having a Caesarian section. They tried the crib for around a month, but Brigette slept better next to her parents. The “team” parenting style is not uncommon for Millennials. Millennial Marketing found that 50 percent of Millennial moms and 64 percent of Millennial dads believe parenting should be shared equally. Six in ten Millennials also say they want to raise their kids differently than how

Marilee Creech holds her 2-year-old granddaughter, Brigette, at Cooley Park in Muncie, Indiana. Marilee likes that her daughter and granddaughter live with her because she doesn’t miss a single thing in Brigette’s life, and she can help Brianna when she needs it.

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BONNIE HARRIS they were raised. Although this statistic is relative to how the parents themselves were brought up, Millennials lean toward more unstructured playtime, less junk food, and a more hands-off approach to parenting, according to Millennial Marketing. Millennial Marketing states this handsoff approach may be in reaction to the helicopter parenting style, which was characteristic of Baby Boomer parents. Bonnie says a hands-off approach to parenting is a positive thing, because often parents don’t realize how much children can learn when they have unstructured play. The amount of structure and supervision given to Brigette is one conflict that has come

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up while raising her with extended family. Being a stay-at-home mom allows Brianna to witness every milestone and new experience in her daughter’s life. She gets to watch Brigette grow a little more every day without missing out on anything. This was Brianna’s plan until her divorce. Being on her own, Brianna knew she would eventually have to start working again and wouldn’t get to be a stay-at-home mom forever. Not being with her daughter during the day wasn’t as concerning knowing that her family would be there, until she realized that meant she couldn’t be there for all of her daughter’s events. During the summer, Brianna started

school at Ivy Tech to be a massage therapist. Three times a week she is gone for the day and doesn’t get to see Brigette as much. This experience is difficult, but rewarding. Brianna said it is a way to show her daughter that she can be whatever she wants to be and doesn’t need to be dependent on a man for anything. Going to school seemed like a painless decision. That is, until class conflicted with Brigette’s tee-ball schedule. One Monday in August, Brianna sat in class, anxious and on the edge of her seat. All she could think about was how much time remained until Brigette’s game. She knew it was impossible to make it home in time. She would have

How generations parent differently • Parents who have never shared a picture of their children on social media 19 percent of Millennials 30 percent of Generation X 53 percent of Baby Boomers • Parents who have purposefully bought genderneutral toys for their children 50 percent of Millennials 34 percent of Generation X 34 percent of Baby Boomers • Parents who think their friends’ children participate in too many activities 36 percent of Millennials 50 percent of Generation X 53 percent of Baby Boomers poll by time and surveymonkey Two-year-old Brigette plays at Cooley Park in Muncie, Indiana on a Sunday afternoon. Her mother, Brianna Kern, takes her to this park often to play.

to miss it and hear all about it later that evening from her family. She turned to her close friends and vented about how upset it made her, completely distracted from the work she was supposed to be doing. Tears welled up, but she fought them off. This was no time to cry, she was in class to benefit her family – this was just one of the sacrifices she had to make for Brigette. Focusing on classwork was hard enough while she was away from her daughter, but it was much harder because she was missing her game. She would be absent for a milestone in Brigette’s life – an experience that she would never get back – because she needed to be in school to make a better

life for herself and her daughter. “It’s hard. We live in this society where you just can’t win,” said Brianna. “If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you’re lazy. If you’re a working mom, you’re abandoning your kid.” Later that month, Brianna and Brigette went to a local park to play, like they often do. Brigette pulled herself up onto the playsets and went down slides. She climbed over every obstacle and swung from bars on the playground equipment, smiling and laughing as she ran from place to place. Brianna sat on the side and watched her daughter run back and forth. The chill of fall lurked in the air, Brigette’s hair was mussed, and she had dirt on

her clothes and on her cheek. That didn’t matter to Brianna. Brigette fearlessly approached older kids and played on contraptions much too advanced for a two-year-old. But somehow, she managed to climb to the top of an apparatus more than twice her size and was holding on with both hands. An uneasy expression emerged on her face as she looked at the ground below her. Brianna just watched. “Scary!” Brigette yelled to her mother. It was then that Brianna stood up and walked over to help her daughter down. When she did, Brigette sprinted off in another direction and started to climb again.

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story: kourtney cooper individual photos: emma rogers

nside Elmcroft of Muncie, an elderly man and woman sit doing a crossword puzzle, their heads pressed tightly together. Three other residents at this assisted living center doze off in front of the television, the volume turned all the way up. Another woman stares blankly ahead in the corner. Mary Dixon, 89, wobbles toward the front door, her hands gripped around her walker. Today is a special day. She gets to sit outside on the porch, one of her favorite things to do. As Mary and several other women are led outside, they sit down on the wicker furniture and comment on the warm September air. Before long, they begin laughing and talking about their pasts, transported back to a brief moment in time, when they were young. In 1999, the oldest Millennials were graduating high school while the youngest were turning two years old. It was also the year that the Baby Boomer generation, which has always had an outsized presence, peaked at 78.8 million. In 1999, Mary Dixon, then 73 and a member of the Silent Generation, watched the landscape of America change as the Baby Boomers took over. Today, as Mary sits on the porch, she talks about the way things were 70 years ago. She grew up without a computer, without a college degree, and with strict moral rules put on her by her mother, which was common for her generation. She has no idea what an iPhone is and she can’t imagine a single mother having children outside of marriage, but her generation has long since lost its voice. From left to right: Ana Batres, Percy Ford, Victoria Myers, Sean Chen

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As Mary sits outside, enjoying the many years that have passed since she retired from the workforce, several Millennial employees at Elmcroft pull up in their cars, swipe their cards at the front door, and give a friendly hello to Mary and the other women sitting outside. The Millennial kids who were between the ages of two and 18 in 1999 are now all adults – taking over all aspects of life, love, work, and education. At a projected 75.3 million, Millennials are surpassing the Baby Boomer generation, now projected at 74.9 million people. For the first time in years, a new generation – the largest generation – is on the way to changing America.

CHANGING THE WORKFORCE The parents of 23-year-old Percy Ford, both members of the Baby Boomer generation, want him to move back home after he graduates in May. They want him to get a nine-to-five job, establish himself, and find a career he can stay at. He has other plans. Percy wants more than a paycheck every two weeks. He wants a job that is fulfilling, means something, and allows him to follow his passions, which include traveling to places beyond his hometown. As he starts a job with these ideals, he will join the largest generation in the workforce. One in three working Americans is now a Millennial, and within ten years, this generation will make up as much as 75 percent of the workforce. Those who hold power today will no longer hold power, and the world will look dramatically different. Tamara Montag-Smit, a professor of management with a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology, said Percy’s ideals and values are common in the Millennial generation. She said this Millennial mindset will lead to many workplace changes in several different areas because Millennials have different values. “If you’re a Baby Boomer, you might look at a Millennial and say they have

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poor work ethic,” Tamara said. “If you’re Millennials, you look at your life and you say, ‘I have balance. I know how to work when I need to work and have fun when I want to have fun.’” Tamara described the way Percy feels as he approaches work with his own set of values. Percy said other generations might not understand his desires. “I think that’s why so many people of older generations say we’re self-centered and kind of just focused on ourselves; when we are coming out of college and growing in the workforce, we aren’t afraid to ask for things our parents weren’t asking for before,” Percy said. “We have different demands and different expectations of our employers and we want those wishes to be respected.” John Graham, a Millennial marketer and analyst, is one Millennial who searches for fulfillment in the work he does. At 35, he is at the older end of the Millennial spectrum, but he said everything he does stems from his generation and having the Millennial mindset. He works as an analyst during the day and also owns his own company, Ego Free Media, with several personal projects on the side. Part of his job includes looking at and researching what Millennials need in the workplace. He said the way Millennials view work has changed by the way the recession in 2007 impacted them. After the recession in 2007, national unemployment rates went up to 10 percent, putting many Gen Xers and Baby Boomers out of jobs, and leaving many Millennials with the message that they had to change the way they approached a job. This recession caused John and many other Millennials to look for “side jobs” in addition to a nine-to-five job. Because they are digitally inclined, John said many Millennials took to the internet to create businesses when the recession hit. This provides young people with the ability and access to create their own revenue stream. He has used these tools to create what he calls “side hustles” and has his own video studio where he records videos about the Millennial generation. Millennials are approaching work and envisioning success in a different

way than any generation before. Mark Zuckerberg, the richest Millennial CEO and owner of Facebook illustrates this. A report by Brookings connects Mark’s actions to the way a world dominated by Millennials and their values might look. Tamara said that as Millennials like Mark take on leadership roles, workplaces will become dramatically different. “If you compare a place like Facebook, run by Mark Zuckerberg, and Amazon, run by Jeff Bezos, who’s not a Millennial, you see two totally different perspectives and ideals.” Jeff Bezos, she said, focuses on strong work ethic and the fact that hard work is the only way to get ahead. Mark’s company message is that hard work is important, but that it’s also important to enjoy your job and make sure family needs are met. She said the biggest values of Millennials are a focus on worklife balance, personal care, and wellness programs, all of which are on the rise. The demands of this generation have led Millennials to leave jobs at a faster rate, John said. He said that the average time period of a Millennial employee is four and a half years at any one company because Millennials will go somewhere else if they aren’t fulfilled in their current job. Or, like in John’s case, they will create side projects and jobs for themselves. “You can merge the two and your passion becomes your profession,” John said. Tamara said these changes in the workplace won’t happen without hesitation from older generations. But for the Baby Boomers, who are already on the way out of the workplace, her answer is simple: they will retire. “People are choosing retirement for strategic reasons now,” Tamara said. “Being that things are more financially stable, if you’re a Baby Boomer, your 401k probably looks okay at this point. It might’ve looked really bad seven years ago and you didn’t want to retire then, but I think now people are considering it and they’re moving on. We’re realizing too that it’s time for a new generation to lead the workplace, and maybe their ideas aren’t so bad.”

How do Millennials Compare to other Living Generations? 3.5 MILLION












(Before 1928)





(1998 – present)

graphic: stephanie redding sources:,

Current American population GREATEST GENERATION Life influencers • Children of the WWI generation and fighters in WWII • The Great Depression Traits & values • Strong sense of personal civic duty, so they’re more likely to vote Family & love • Marriage is for life; divorce and having children out of wedlock were not accepted Career values • There was no retirement because they worked all their lives • They avoid debt, save, and use cash Technology • Age of radio and air flight; they were the generation that remembers life without airplanes, radio, and TV. • Most of them grew up with modern conveniences • 52% use cell phones

SILENT GENERATION Life influencers • Korean and Vietnam War • New Deal • Space Age • Experienced hard times while growing up, but were followed by times of prosperity Traits & values • They are disciplined; avid readers • Job stability, fiscal responsibility • Law and order • Patriotism, trust in government, and loyal Family & love • Traditional nuclear • Marriage is for life

BABY BOOMERS Life influencers • Civil Rights • Vietnam War •Sexual Revolution • Cold War • Space Travel •American Dream Traits & values • Anti government • Believe in equal rights and opportunities • Idealistic, optimistic, and team oriented • Competitive and challenge authority Family & love • Highest rate of divorce and second marriages

Career values • A long term career where socialization is important • Work for 30 years, retire, and live off of pension or savings

Career values • Want to build a stellar career with work ethic and “face time.” • Hesitant of taking too much time off work for fear of losing their job • Money tends to be a motivator

Technology • 77% use cell phones • 48% desktop commuters • 32% laptops

Technology • 84% use cell phones • 62% use desktop computers • 49% use laptops

GENERATION X Life influencers • Watergate • Energy Crisis • End of Cold War • Activism • First generation that will not do as financially well as their parents did. Traits & values • Balance and diversity • Entrepreneurial • Highly educated • Lack of organizational loyalty • Ethical and confident Family & love • Dual income families and single parents • Late to marry and quick to divorce • First “day care” generation Career Values • Work smarter and with greater output, not work longer hours Technology • 94% use cell phones • 67% use desktop computers • 63% use laptops

MILLENNIALS Life influencers • Digital Media • 9/11 terrorists attacks • Grew up more sheltered than any other generation • First generation of children with schedules Traits & Values • Avid consumers • Civic Duty • Extremely technology savvy, spiritual, and confident • Best educated and independent Family & Love • Merged families • Coddled kids Career Values • Entrepreneurial • Effective workers but view work as something that fills the time between weekends Technology • Digital first • 96% use cell phones • 55% desktop computers • 70% laptops

GENERATION Z Life influencers • American melting pot • New culture Traits & values • Savvy consumers; they know what they want and how to get it • Oversaturated with brands Family & love • Multiracial families • In the 1700s, the most common last name was “Smith” but now it’s “Rodriguez” Technology • Web-based learning • Children leave behind toys at a younger age • Have never known a world without computers and cell phones

sources:,, wmfc. org,


photo: emma rogers The Millennial generation is the most diverse to date, with around 43 percent being non-white according to Pew Research Center. Pew Research states a major factor of this trend is due to the large wave of Hispanic and Asian immigrants whose U.S.-born children are now entering adulthood. From left to right: Cassie Gabriel, Ana Batres, Percy Ford, Danah Qunfuthy, Sean Chen, John Filip, Victoria Myers.

THE MOST EDUCATED GENERATION When Victoria Myers, now 23, was in high school, she had no idea she would end up in graduate school after receiving her bachelor’s degree. No one in her family had ever gone to graduate school and her mom never went to a university, working to a be hairdresser instead. Victoria is now a part of the half of Millennials who go on to earn a professional or graduate degree after earning a bachelor’s degree. As they enter the workforce, Millennials are on track to be the most educated generation ever. About four in ten are still in college, high school, or trade school, and two-thirds of 18 to 29-year-olds who are not in school plan to go back someday. Today, Victoria looks back on the four years she spent at Ball State University as an undergraduate and remembers one thing in particular: her parents attending the Dean’s List Ceremony for her every

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semester. Maintaining above a 3.5 GPA throughout college is something Victoria said she is most proud of. She said she thinks there is a greater emphasis on education for her generation. Tamara said the greater emphasis on education stems from the jobs available now compared to thirty years ago. “[For] the average Baby Boomer, when they started their first job, most jobs were factory and industry. It’s now tech and white collar. We have a much more educated work force,” Tamara said. The emphasis on education has increased for women over the years as well. Pew Research reports that 27 percent of 18 to 33-year-old women are completing a bachelor’s degree, compared to 20 percent of Generation X women and 14 percent of Baby Boomer women. Many Millennials are choosing to stay in school due to the smaller job market. Millennials with a master’s degree are making 23 percent more than those of the same age in 1984, Pew Research reported.

Victoria spent many nights studying for the GRE and making sure her GPA was up, in order to go to graduate school. Right after high school, she said many people see college as a requirement, especially recently. As the first person in her family to go to graduate school, Victoria chose to pursue more higher education after earning her degree. “I wasn’t really satisfied with just earning my four-year degree, I wanted to learn more. I’m so intrigued with speech pathology that I want to be the best professional I can be, and grad school would fulfill that for me.” Although she said she thinks an undergraduate degree can be enough in most cases, she thinks her degree will help her seek a job more easily than just having a bachelor’s degree. Tamara said that in today’s job market, there’s a greater emphasis on innovation. She said advanced education helps with that because it encourages people to think differently and more creatively.

Millennial: Victoria Myers Age: 23 (Born: 1992) Words she uses to describe her generation: Responsible, independent, committed, connected, optimistic about the future, setting high standards TEACHING THE NEXT GENERATION • Victoria is a graduate student studying speech pathology. • She worked at Camp Achieve over the summer, a day camp that teaches social skills to children with autism. At the camp, she bonded with 6-yearold Atticus. “I would look forward to working with him every day,” Victoria said. “I saw his improvement from the beginning of the summer to the end and seeing that almost brought tears to my eyes because I was a part of that.” • After working at the camp, Victoria continued to babysit and tutor Atticus. Victoria hopes to debunk some of the stereotypes about her generation by showing she cares for children like Atticus. Millennials will shape the way members of Generation Z like Atticus learn.

ABOVE: Victoria Myers, 23, tutors 6-year-old Atticus. She started working with him over the summer at a camp that works with kids on speech development, but she wanted to continue helping him. LEFT: Victoria said working with kids on their speech has taught her to grow as a professional and a person at the same time. Patience and positivity are two attributes Victoria said she has learned from tutoring. photos: maggie kenworthy


A LOOK AT DIVERSITY Cassie Gabriel, 20, wants to be a teacher, but many people tell her this will come with a problem—she has tattoos they say she will regret. Cassie doesn’t feel the same way. To her, the tattoos are a way of expressing who she is. “Every day [that] I look down at my tattoos, they remind me of how strong I am,” she said. Cassie is one of the four out of 10 Millennials who has a tattoo. Individuality and diversity are some of the most defining characteristics of this generation. The number of inked individuals decreases steadily with the generations. Thirty-two percent of Gen Xers and fifteen percent of Baby Boomers say they have only one tattoo. Only six percent of Mary’s Silent Generation had a tattoo. Mary never had a tattoo, but she sees it as a way of expression today. In mid-September at Elmcroft, the assisted living center put on an event called Second Wind Dreams, where residents can live dreams they weren’t able to carry out when they were younger. Mary rolled up the legs of her pants and revealed a peeling, rainbow, temporary tattoo. “I got this last week,” said said, smiling. While very few people in Mary’s generation had a tattoo, she is satisfied with her temporary body art – a symbol of something she was never able to do in her youth. Millennials, as well as the other generations, prefer hidden body art. Pew Research reports 70 percent of Millennials with one tattoo say they keep it hidden. Millennials also lead the generations in piercings: 23 percent say


CASSIE GABRIEL they have a piercing outside of their earlobe. This is a small insight into the way Millennials are expressing themselves. Today, Millennials are a part of the most diverse generation to date, with only 56 percent of the population being white, CNNMoney reports. Seventy-nine percent of the Silent Generation was white, 72 percent of the Baby Boomer generation is white, and 62 percent of Generation X is white. Physical individuality isn’t the only statement this generation is making. Half of Millennials describe themselves as political independents and almost three in 10 say they aren’t affiliated with religion, Pew Research reports. Despite this, Generation Y is voting on many issues older generations don’t show the same support for, whether it’s legalizing marijuana or same-sex marriage.

Millennial: Cassie Gabriel Age: 21 (Born: 1994) Words she uses to describe her generation: Free-spirited, independent, wanderers, lost but dettermined, distracted, awakened

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REDEFINING RELATIONSHIPS When Riley Gray came out to her parents as bisexual her sophomore year, the mood was light and easy. The conversation was unplanned. In an emergency surgery, Riley had just had her gallbladder removed and was under heavy pain medication. “It just came out,” Riley laughed. Her mother responded gracefully, “You are who are you are, and I love you exactly the way you are.” Her dad and siblings also responded positively. In her immediate family, nothing changed. When Riley began opening up to her extended family members, they were accepting, but not promoting. Riley is still not able to be open with some members of her family. Riley’s great-grandmother is a member of the Silent Generation. She was married at age 16, which was typical at that time. Between the ages of 18 to 32, 65 percent of the Silent Generation was married, according to Pew Research. Twentysix percent of Millennials married at that same age. Although she never went to college and never entered the workforce, she worked diligently every day to maintain their home, cooking and cleaning, and to take care of their four children. She believes in strict, conservative values, meaning premarital sex and homosexuality are both immoral. “It breaks my heart, that my greatgrandmother will never really know 100 percent who I am.” Riley said. “But I would still rather have her in my life thinking I’m straight, than to pass away and hate me.”

Riley thinks it’s too late for her great-grandmother to understand and accept her sexuality. Bisexual was not a term her great-grandmother knew or understood growing up, or a term she will ever know. “You can’t teach or explain an idea they’re so resistant to,” she said. Tamara said that naturally, people are less likely to adapt as they get older. “If you thought the sky was blue for 80 years and someone finally told you it was purple, you’re gonna say ‘I don’t care about the sky anymore.’” Older people do not adapt well, but that is not the case for young people, Tamara said. Riley’s peers, for the most part, have always been accepting of her bisexuality. Except for the occasional straight male who sees her as a fetish, she feels that her sexuality is embraced and celebrated. As a generation, Millennials accept many different types of sexualities. From rainbow-filtered social media pictures to adapting the “love is love” slogan, the majority of Millennials display their support of acceptance and use social media to do so. In fact, Millennials are the only generation in which the majority favors the legalization of gay marriage, at 59 percent, compared to 33 percent of the Silent Generation. Riley said unlike her mother, who grew up in a Catholic family with 12 kids, she was not expected to marry and have children at a young age. She said this shift in ideas is changing the dynamics of

Millennial: Danah Qunfuthy Age: 19 (Born 1996) Words she uses to describe her generation: Driven, takes charge, ready, fun-loving, hardworking, takes initiative



RILEY GRAY CHANGE IS COMING Millennials’ relationships. The number of adults who have never been married is at an all-time high according to Pew Research, and Millennials are waiting longer to enter marriages. In relationships, there are many options, Riley said. Unlike her parents and grandparents, who followed a strict step-by-step process of dating, engagement, and marriage, there are more possibilities for Millennials. Relationships can range from just the enjoyment of sex without an emotional bond to serious dating relationships, and all are accepted. “The end goal isn’t always to get married,” Riley said. “The end goal might just be finding someone who understands you in a way that other people don’t. Or finding someone that you just enjoy spending your time with.” Millennials don’t follow a cookie cutter outline for relationships and many are even label-free, contributing to the delay in marriage. They also don’t feel the need to have children at a young age. According to Pew Research, the birth rates for women under age 30 have been declining for more than a decade. Riley doesn’t plan to have children in the future, but she said that could change. She is certainly open to change.

As the rest of the Baby Boomer generation continues to retire, a major shift will take place in America. Generation X, often called the “middle child” between two larger generations, will not have the impact Millennials will have as the Baby Boomers start to dwindle and leave the workplace. As young immigrants continue to add to Generation Y, this generation continues to grow. By 2036, Pew Research projects the Millennial population will peak at 81.1 million. At Elmcroft of Muncie, Mary’s porch time is almost up, and soon she will be led back into the assisted living facility. Time on the porch is a special treat for residents, especially on a day like this one in September. She points to a tree in the distance. “The leaves are already turning colors,” she says, smiling. “Things are really starting to change.” And they are. As the most diverse generation to date, Millennials are already leading the workforce. They are emerging as the most educated generation, changing the way politics and religion are viewed, and causing a major shift in life and love. It is as if, with their numbers still on the rise, this group of Americans is saying “we are coming,” bringing so many changes to the way life now runs in America.

Millennial: John Filip Age: 22 (Born: 1993) Words he uses to describe his generation: Confident, driven, fearless, entitled, skillful, persistent, determined

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A VOICE FROM THE SILENT GENERATION Born between 1925 and 1945, the Silent Generation was made up of children born into the Great Depression. During World War II, this generation watched America become a global superpower and gain relief from its economic conditions. Similar to Generation X, this generation was sandwiched between two better-known generations, The Greatest Generation and The Baby Boomers. They are also the only generation not to occupy the White House. Now in their 70s and 80s, this generation’s population was estimated at around 26.82 people in 2014. Mary Dixon, 89, said she has noticed many changes in the generations since hers. From their use of technology to their lifestyles, she said things were much different when she was younger, especially for women. “People got married at 16,” Mary said. That’s too young. They haven’t lived yet. Go to school, see more of the world, meet different people.” Mary has never owned a cellphone and never worked on a computer. She also grew up under strict rules from her mother. She knows things are changing, and she said she thinks it’s amazing that the younger generations can adapt to technology and lifestyles.

Mary Dixon, 89, enjoys spending time on the porch of Elmcroft of Muncie, an assisted living center where she lives. When women in the Silent Generation were between 18 and 33, only seven percent had a bachelor’s degree, compared to 27 percent of Millennial women that now have a bachelor’s degree. photo: emma rogers



Born between two larger generations, Gen X is often overlooked.

Those born after 1997 are a part of the generation still being born, Generation Z

Generation X, filled with those born between 1965 and 1980, is stuck between two much larger generations – the Baby Boomers and Millennials. These two generations are so drastically different from each other that Gen X is often overlooked. This generation of adults, between the ages of 35 to 50, won’t outnumber the Baby Boomers until 2020, when their population will reach 64.6 million, Pew Research reports. Pew Research predicts the Millennial population won’t peak until 2036, at 81.1 million. Tamara Montag-Smith, who has a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology and teaches management at Ball State University, said this group of adults is oftentimes overlooked. “People talk about Millennials all the time, they talk about Baby Boomers all the time, but what about Gen Xers? They do get skipped over,” Tamara said. A nationwide fascination with Generation X began in the mid 1990s. They came to age during events like Watergate, the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, the Vietnam War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the end of the Cold War. These events are what many say caused this group to be labeled cynical and untrusting.

When Paul Taylor of Pew Research Center spoke on The Daily Show, he talked about the nation’s youngest generation: Generation Z, now all under the age of 18. “If you can name the generation beneath the Millennials, I will take you out to lunch,” Paul told Jon Stewart, “Because usually it’s magazine cover writers who figure that out.” Since then, Pew Research reports experts and marketers have tried to label this generation, calling them names like Generation Like and the Selfie Generation. Other suggestions include The Rainbow Generation and the 9/11 Generation. A report by the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) said that as the last of Millennials graduate college, the focus will turn to Generation Z, the children of Generation X and the oldest of which are just beginning college. ACUI reports 50 percent of this generation will work in jobs that don’t currently exist. They grew up in a post 9/11 world and consider diversity as broader than gender, race, and sexual orientation. They, along with Millennials, are also termed “digital natives,” because they grew up with technology. The differences in Generation Z continue to be studied and researched as this group of kids comes of age.




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Millennials have shown increasing interest in voting, and this generation may have the biggest effect on the country’s political future. story: keagan beresford

photo illustration: maggie kenworthy and alex white


NEXT YEAR’S GENERAL ELECTION MARKS THE FIRST TIME THE MAJORITY OF THE MILLENNIAL GENERATION WILL BE ABLE TO VOTE, BUT MORE THAN THAT – THE WINNING CANDIDATE WILL NOT SUCCEED WITHOUT THEIR SUPPORT. Eighty percent of the Millennial population in America intends to vote in the general election next fall, amounting to a little more than 60 million people, according to a survey conducted by Niche in 2014. Millennials already narrowly outnumber

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the Baby Boomer generation, but as more of them come of age, their political influence begins to hold serious sway. Daniel Reagan, the department chair of political science at Ball State University, applied some historical context to this notion, skeptical of the statistics. “The younger an American is, the less likely she’ll turn out to vote, so generally speaking, younger, and economically poorer people are less likely to actually vote,” Daniel said. “So in terms of their impact on the election, seasoned political pros always worry about young voters [so] they spend time trying to attract them. As a group, they just don’t turn out.” Despite this trend, Daniel said there is evidence that when properly engaged, younger voters are not an impossible demographic, referencing Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in the 2008 election. He said that with the aid of digital media, President Obama appealed to the younger generation in a way that previous candidates had not, and it contributed to his election. “That traditional truth has been changing a bit as of lately,” he says, “but it’s not clear if the change is permanent or how dramatic it will be.” U.S. Government Census data suggests

that young adults typically have a low voting turnout, but in recent years, voting in 18 to 24-year-olds has been on the rise. Of those going to to polls, the Niche survey says that the majority of them plan to vote Democrat, with 50 percent indicating democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, and 24 percent indicating another democratic candidate. So, why the overwhelming sentiment for the left? The primary reason so many young people identify with the democratic cause seems to be that leftist candidates address their chief concerns, more so than their counterparts on the right. A survey conducted by Fusion polled Millennials on what they want their next president to address, and the top three issues were economy and jobs at 19 percent, healthcare at 10 percent, and education at seven percent; seemingly appropriate for an age group with a daunting unemployment rate and high levels of student debt. In her official platform outline, Hillary Clinton has already voiced her intent to work toward making jobs, affordable healthcare, and affordable education available to everybody, echoing many of the same policy ideas as the Obama administration. Even further left than Hillary,


photo: ohio democrats group College Democrats at Ohio State pose after attending a Hillary Clinton event on September 10, 2015.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is the leading challenger for the democratic nomination. Senator Sanders is a selfdeclared Democratic Socialist, and proclaims the most outwardly liberal agenda of anybody in the presidential race. At the core of his campaign, Senator Sanders voices his intent to fight wealth and income inequality, money-driven politics, and job shortages, as well as more controversial issues like racial injustice, all of which other candidates have avoided thus far. In a September poll conducted by ORC International, Hillary still leads over the Senator among democratic voters at 42 percent favorability, compared to his 24 percent. Earlier polling from the same group suggests that gap is widening in Hillary’s favor, but that comes as current Vice President Joe Biden considers a late entry into the presidential race, which would further offset the numbers. At the opposite end of the political spectrum, the Niche poll indicated 39 percent of Millennials intended to vote for a Republican candidate in next year’s election. Ball State College Republicans chairman Joshua Marsh is part of the statistical minority of Millennials that consider

themselves politically conservative. “It makes me want to work harder; I’ve got to change their minds,” he said of the liberal majority in his generation. “There was a saying that I’ve heard multiple times that ‘liberals are young conservatives,’meaning that as you grow older, the trend is to become more conservative.” Within that majority, Ball State graduate student Todd Blevins says he plans to vote for a democratic nominee in next year’s election. He said that he has mixed feelings about the American political system, questioning whether it is a good way to enact social change. “It’s tough to identify where to place blame in the voting system,” Todd said. He said he believes Millennials don’t vote because they don’t believe in the “cynical” political campaigns. Despite their disposition though, Todd says that Millennials still hope for the best. “I think that we’re a generation that, despite all the cynicism and frustration that we have, we still try to go after new ideas and new goals. We want to believe that things can be better and that things can work out for everybody.” So does this detachment from traditional politics apply to everybody, or just a disillusioned few? A survey conducted

by the Pew Research Center in 2014 said that 50 percent of Millennials consider themselves political independents that are unaffiliated with a traditional political institution. This is up 10 percent from the same survey taken in 2007, marking the largest jump of any of the generations represented in the study. Daniel, examined this question using a political science philosophy. “Generally what’s said of Millennials is that they say they’re less interested in traditional politics than the generations that came before them, including the ones that immediately came before them.” Daniel said. “But on the other hand, they’re very sort of civic-minded, and kind of public-spirited; they tend to shun joining with political institutions and existing organizations.” For the first time, Millennials have the opportunity to use those traditional channels to make themselves heard. What remains to be seen is whether they will continue the trend of turning out to vote in low numbers because of their dissatisfaction with the system, or whether they will make the compromises necessary to use their influence to its full potential. Regardless, the power to vote lies in the hands of Millennials.



DIVIDE Many Muslims continue to feel prejudice in the United States.


story: victoria ison | photos: maggie kenworthy

V Land is blaring inside Post 19 of the American Legion in Muncie, Indiana. Horses trample across the screen and cowboys stand up in their stirrups, shouting to one another and shooting. No one seems to be watching this rerun of Walker, Texas Ranger, but the volume on the TV that looms high on a shelf in the corner would be loud enough to hamper conversation – if there were any in the room. On this Monday afternoon, the lights are dimmed over the 70s-style wood tables and chairs that fill most of the club. The only movement is at the bar, where one gray-haired, short-statured white woman disinterestedly turns the pages of the day’s newspaper. A heavyset bartender in his 70s fills her glass, then lumbers out from behind the bar to sit on one of the stools, stare into space, and think. The cowboys keep on shooting. While the program moves into a commercial break, doors open at a different gathering place in this town of 70,000 people. Four miles away, beyond the White River, the Ball State University campus and a boulevard of fast food restaurants, the Islamic Center of Muncie awaits a round of worshippers. Men with reverent attitudes, many of them with dark hair and bronze or olive-colored skin, file inside. Their feet tread the thick white carpet and they kneel, praying and listening to a sermon that instructs them to love one another, sacrifice and have self-discipline. Some of those attending the mosque are recent immigrants from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and elsewhere, now making their homes in the American Midwest. Some are converts. Some plan to live their whole lives in Muncie; others are only here for school or work.

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All are part of a population of American Muslims that has more than doubled in the past 20 years. And, like any minority group that grows within a majority culture, they haven’t been without opposition. Fahad Aseery arrived in the United States from Saudi Arabia in mid-August 2009 as a doctoral student in Ball State University’s special education program. An avid fan of American movies and all sporting events, he was pleased when he learned that admission to Ball State men’s basketball games is free for students. With a wave of his student ID, he walked past the ticket takers, into the cavernous hall of the arena, and through one of the many curtains that hang at the entrances to the court and viewing area. He looked around and saw some open seats several rows up. Glancing down at the action already taking place on the court, he picked an open chair and sat down. Less than 10 minutes later, he sensed someone was approaching him and looked up. Three middle-aged men were moving toward him. The first stopped just short of Fahad’s knees and held out his ticket. “You’re in my seat,” Fahad remembers hearing the man grumble. Embarrassed, Fahad stood up. It was his first American basketball game at this institution or any other, and he didn’t know how the seating worked. “I’m sorry,” he said with an accent five years removed from his accent of today, which still makes him self-conscious. “It’s my first time.” The men behind the speaker grumbled and watched as Fahad turned to leave. When he looked

Fahad Aseery considers himself a big sports fan. He remembers being excited to watch his first Ball State basketball game, but the experience ended with racism and hate.



WALTER STEPHAN back, he saw a menacing look on the first man’s face. “Go home,” the first man said. “Go back where you came from.” Fahad knew the man was talking about more than his off-campus apartment. Snap judgements because of the color of Fahad’s accent or physical appearance aren’t unusual to him. They aren’t uncommon to most Muslims; in fact, when researchers from the Pew Research Center surveyed Muslims in 2011, 43 percent said they’d had at least one type of discriminatory experience in the past year. These experiences could range in severity from suspicious treatment to a physical attack. Fahad and his wife have had about one encounter with discrimination per year since that first experience at the basketball game. These have ranged in severity from his wife being ignored at a department store to a full-on verbal fight between Fahad and another patron in a gym. Like one in five Muslims, Fahad has been singled out by airport security. In a post 9/11 America, relations between Muslims and those of other faiths have been strained at times. In February, a man knocked on the door of a home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. When it opened, he shot the first people he saw in the head, killing three Muslims. Though these kinds of violent acts are few and far between, they garner plenty of media attention and give meaning to the statistics of fear. Some of the numbers show the ways in which Americans fear or dislike Muslims more than almost any other religious group. In one study, researchers from the Pew Research Center randomly selected a sample of more than 3,000 adults in the U.S. They asked them to rank eight religious groups on a scale from 1 to 100,

where the lower numbers represented colder (negative) and the higher numbers warmer (positive) feelings. The results, released in July 2014, show considerable coldness toward Muslims. With an average rating of 40, the group ranked lower than every other group, including atheists. These statistics come as no surprise to Bobby Ellis, a 24-year-old newspaper photographer at the Frankfort State Journal in Kentucky who converted to Islam in 2012 while he was studying photojournalism at Ball State. A Hoosier by birth, he grew up in Shoals, Indiana, a town with a population of 736 and few enough non-white residents that they could be counted on one hand. When he came to college, Bobby relished the opportunity to interact with people from various backgrounds. After meeting Muslims from places such as Afghanistan and Tunisia and being impressed by their morals and understanding, Bobby decided to learn more, eventually making his declaration of faith. His conversion wasn’t easy. While his college friends were largely understanding, Bobby’s mother, an attorney, didn’t want the news of his decision to become public in their home county because she feared that it would tarnish her public image. Often, Bobby overhears conversations in which people speak derogatorily of Muslims, never guessing that the brownhaired, blue-eyed American standing nearby is one of them. The battle is most difficult, Bobby finds, when waged against prejudiced Republicans and those of the older generation, like many who live in his hometown. Republicans and older Americans (ages 65 and older), as well as those who identified as Evangelical Protestants, ranked Muslims last, giving


Graduated from a school in Saudi Arabia with a BA in special education


40 •



them scores between 30 and 33. Bobby has seen this with his grandma, a senior citizen and member of the Republican Party, who doesn’t actually know her grandson is a Muslim. “I don’t think her little heart can take it,” Bobby said. When he was thinking about converting, Bobby visited his grandma’s home, hoping to test the waters. They sat down at her round kitchen table and he tried to be casual. “I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been learning about Islam at school,” he said. “I’ve actually been reading some of the Quran.” “Oh, those people murder their children,” she responded. “I hope you don’t end up with a bomb on your chest from reading that.” Bobby said he doesn’t always broadcast his religious affiliation. In fact, he said he wants to wait to become more open about his religious views until some of the negative attention given to Islam in the news media has died down. At that point, he hopes, the conversation could turn from indignant questions asking how he could support terrorism to a real dialogue about Islam, its beliefs, and practices. In this, he aligns with a third of American Muslims, who, in the 2011 Pew study, ranked “negative views about Muslims” and “negative media portrayals” as the most important problems facing American Muslims. The conflict between Muslim immigrants and Americans isn’t a surprise to the country’s leading social psychologists. In fact, Walter Stephan, an oft-cited researcher of intergroup relations, called it “expected.” In the 1990s, Walter published the Intergroup Threat Theory. Its premise: feelings of prejudice are caused by

Applied for admission at Ball State University


Started the Visa application process for his family


Fahad didn’t let his first visit to Worthern Arena stop him from enjoying one of his favorite past times. He spent many evenings with his family watchitng sporting events in the same arena, choosing to move on from the memory of his first visit.

feelings of threat. The theory describes four major ways in which people and groups feel threatened: realistic threats, symbolic threats, intergroup anxiety, and negative stereotypes. “It turns out to be very difficult to end stereotypes if they’re well-established,” Walter said. “People tend to trust what they already believe.” Eliot Smith, an Indiana University professor of psychology and cognitive science, said ignorance plays a role as well. “The evidence is very clear that getting to know someone who is a member of the group reduces your prejudice against that group,” Eliot said. But it can be hard for non-Muslim Americans to have meaningful contact with Muslims. Less than 40 percent of Americans can say they know someone who is Muslim, according to data from the 2014 Pew Research Center study. Even if they go to school in a diverse environment, their interactions with people of other religions may be limited, like Brandy’s, to passing glances in the hallway and on buses. Compounding the problem are the nearly half of U.S. Muslims who said most or all of their close friends are Muslim. Like Fahad, who moved his family 40

minutes down the interstate to Fishers, Indiana where there is a larger Middle Eastern presence, many immigrants subscribe to a “stay with the pack” mentality. Common in minority groups, it happens in part because there’s less risk of experiencing intergroup anxiety if members of one group don’t have to interact with members of another. There comes the paradox: members of a minority group who want to preserve their home culture risk alienating wary white Americans, thereby setting themselves up to receive more discrimination. The multiculturalist efforts of the late 1980s and after may have had some effect; adults aged 18-29 tend to rate Muslims more positively and have more Muslim friends. But those of the older generations – and even those younger adults who have received their schooling and have entered the workforce – sometimes have few opportunities to get to know people of different races or religions. Back inside the American Legion in Muncie, the man resting beside the bar, José Gaitan, adjusts his long, gray ponytail and the blue bandana folded and tied around his head. He gets up to place a Coors beer on the bar in front of the club’s newest patron, 52-year-old Brian Brinkman, who’s

stopping by the Legion on his way home from work. Neither of the men know anyone who is Muslim. Brian pauses, mentally scanning his list of friends and acquaintances. He comes up with nothing. “I wouldn’t say I’m racist,” Brian said. “More than anything, I’m just wary, because I don’t know what they believe. I’m sure they’re not all bad, but if you blow up a building or put a bomb on a train, that doesn’t help you much. You know, there’s always that one guy who gives the whole group a bad name.” Sometimes, Brian and his wife and two high school-age daughters will visit one of Muncie’s Walmarts and see a Muslim woman wearing hijab or another head covering. “I’ll just give them the white guy head nod and move on about my business,” Brian said. He glances at his watch, then up at the TV. José cocks his head, apparently unable to remember any conversation that he’s had with Muslims. Then he breaks a smile and says to Brian, “Hey, you know a Jew.” The two laugh, satisfied to have some diversity in the mix. They change the subject and get back to their beers.

Arrived in Muncie with his wife and two kids

Plans to complete his doctoral program

Received Visa







As individuals in each generation move out, the suburban lifestyle takes a backseat to city-dwelling dreams. Millennials are branching out to take on the city life more than any generation before. story: caitlin burkus

The American Dream has a unique meaning to each generation. For the Baby Boomers, it was the white picket fence and a home in the suburbs that became the ideal lifestyle. This dream has slowly faded as the largest generation in history has begun urbanizing. Millennials are seeking out large cities with cultural amenities outside their front doors versus the quiet suburban lifestyle. Sixty-two percent of Millennials prefer living in large cities and urbanized areas compared to rural areas, and 40 percent want to live in an urban area in the future, according to Nielsen’s report “Millennials - Breaking the Myths.” The main appeal to the city life is the convenience of having everything within a close range. From shopping and nightlife to schools and businesses, cities have an advantage over suburban areas when it comes to being social and interactive in a community.

The Internet and social media have made it possible for people to connect regardless of distance. But to Millennials, being connected on the Internet is not enough, and they still desire social interactions that don’t involve a cellphone or computer, according to a Millennials report conducted by the Council of Economic Advisers. City life is able to offer them the connectivity they need in society. While suburban areas are able to offer affordable housing, this aspect alone is not enough to keep this emerging generation from making the move to city life. Millennials would rather rent and be near the amenities they want than own their own homes and be outside of the city. Cities are also offering something that many suburban areas are not able to: more opportunities. With markets limited in rural and suburban areas, millennials are moving to areas with diverse job opportunities, which are

generally found in large cities. Another major reason why this generation is making a move to the city is for the public transportation systems. Millennials are using public transportation more than any other generation, according to the 2014 Mobility Attitudes Survey. Because of dense population in large cities, public transportation systems are major resources to those who don’t own vehicles and need transportation on a daily basis. They also provide reliability, timeliness, and cost effectiveness, the top three aspects that Millennials look for in methods of commuting, according to the survey. Until suburban areas offer the cultural amenities that Millennials look for in cities, this emerging generation will continue to make the move toward urban lifestyles. For Generation Y, the American Dream will continue to morph into skyscrapers and the hustle-and-bustle of the big city.


Each generation is on the move, whether they’re moving to a house with a white picket fence or a loft in a city. Find out where each generation is concentrated across the U.S.


20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69

GENERATION AGE RANGE Millennials 18-34 Gen X 35-50 Boomers 51-69 graphic: hannah dominiak

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THE MILLENNIAL HOT SPOTS Millennials are seeking out larger cities, but they’re not looking toward the stereotypical metropolitan areas. According to a Forbes research study, there is a lag in Millennial population growth in the so-called ”hipster capitals” of the country. The Millennial “boomtowns” are starting to become popular in previously unpopular metro areas. Take a look at the growth of Millennials in these cities and how some big cities are lagging, based on the rankings.



Millennial boomtowns tend to centralize across southern states in an area known as the Sun Belt.

The cities that were thought to be the most popular among the millennials show little population growth. These cities tend to reel in the Millennial demographic, but they also tend to lose them over time. The following hipster capitals rank further down the list than many expect.










WHY WE THINK NEW YORK IS NO. 1 The five boroughs that make up New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island) are thought to be some of the largest hot spots for Millennials. People aren’t necessarily wrong to think this either. Research shows big metro areas like New York City aren’t as popular for Millennials as a whole. However, Jed Kolko, a chief economist from the real estate site Trulia, has a theory. He suggests that the Millennials who move to New York City are those who are young and media-savvy.


8.3% sources:,



Ball State’s geothermal energy system is the largest of its kind. The goal is to reduce the unviersity’s carbon footprint and lead the way toward energy conservation. graphic: tyson bird

Ball State University is home to the nation’s largest ground-source, closedloop district geothermal energy system. Once completed, this project will allow Ball State to shut down its four coal-fired boilers.ANTHONY This will reduce campus carbon emissions by 85,000 tons and will result APARTMENTS in a $2 million savings on annual energy costs, according to Ball State’s website.



Over the summer, pipes were installed under Riverside Ave., in West Quad, Burkhardt Building, and Ball Gymnasium. The project will be complete in the summer of 2016 after construction continues on several other campus buildings. This ground-source system can be used in every state, so what Ball State is doing will demonstrate what other states can do




CHILLED WATER LOOP brings earthcooled water to cool 47 buildings across campus HOT WATER BE LOOP TH brings earth-warmed E water to heat 20L AV EN buildings across campus U


2a. Warm water radiates heat into a building

environmentally and economically. This project is a part of fulfilling the university’s sustainability mission. Thirty-two percent of Millennials describe themselves as environmentalists, according to Pew Research Center. After the project is complete, the campus will be heated entirely by this system, the largest of its kind in the United States.


BOREHOLES are series of pipes 400-500 feet in the ground that circulate PARKING water to and from the heat pumps

OR 2b. Cool water absorbs heat to cool a building

1. Underground water is kept at a consistently comfortable temperature

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Teaming Up with

NASA Ball State scientists work with NASA to find the effects of spaceflight on the muscles. story: michele whitehair

One of Ball State’s lesser-known areas of research takes place not only at the university, but also in space. For over ten years, the Human Performance Lab at Ball State has worked with NASA to research the long-term effects of spaceflight on the body’s muscles. The lab has performed research on astronauts who flew on the space shuttle Columbia in 1996. This 17-day-long Life and Microgravity Spacelab mission completed 40 experiments on human physiology, space biology, and microgravity science. According to the mission’s website, it looked at the causes behind the physiological changes a body experiences in space. The Human Performance Lab has also worked with astronauts aboard the International Space Station on six-month trips. According to a 2013 published study Scott Trappe, the director of the Human Performance Lab, contributed to, the results of those experiments “are the first to evaluate the effects of prolonged space travel on the activity of metabolic enzymes and muscle substrates.” Astronauts, according to the lab’s research, experience fatigue while they are weightless. This is partly because of declines in the body’s rate of oxygen consumption and muscle tissue wasting away. In 2009, the researchers looked at the effects of lower body exercises on the body’s muscles while in space. The researchers had nine astronauts perform different amounts of squats, heel raises, and deadlifts at different frequencies each week for the six months they were in space. They found that those exercises didn’t completely protect calf muscles, but that it did decrease muscle loss compared to a previous mission. Researchers at the Human Performance Lab continue to work with astronauts aboard the International Space Station. So far, researchers have published three articles on the changes muscles go through during spaceflight. Through this research at Ball State, NASA can work with astronauts to ensure that their muscles are kept intact while in space.

DEEP SPACE EFFECT A 2011 report from NASA shows the need to examine the influences sex and gender have on physical or behavioral changes that occur due to space flights. As NASA sets its sights on longer-duration spaceflight deeper into the solar system, the health effects for astronauts grow more complex.



WOMEN: astronauts (to date) do not exhibit clinically significant visual impairment

MEN: Show slight bias towards speed vs. accuracy in response to alertness test

MEN: astronauts exhibit clinically significant visual impairment

WOMEN: Show slight bias towards accuracy vs. speed in response to alertness test

WOMEN: astronauts are more susceptible to orthostatic intolerance MEN: astronauts are less susceptible to orthostatic intolerance

MEN: suffer more from hearing loss with advanced age WOMEN: suffer less from hearing loss with advanced age

WOMEN: Urinary tract infections are more common in astronauts MEN: Urinary tract infections are less common in astronauts

WOMEN : Large individual variability to muscle and bone loss MEN: Large individual variability to muscle and bone loss

MEN: mount less potent immune responses WOMEN: mount more potent immune responses

MEN: Calcium oxalate kidney stones more common WOMEN: Struvite kidney stones more common source: NASA graphic/illustration: megan axsom/thinkstock




Only two months after travel to Cuba was expanded for Americans, 14 Ball State students traveled to the cities of Havana and Trinidad. The students spent the first week of March exploring the country as some of the first Americans back in Cuba since the 1960s.


photos: trenton scroggins 1. Many residents in Cuba do their laundry by hanging it out of their apartment windows. The average take home salary for most Cubans is $20 a month, according to The Brookings Institution. 2. Cuba is known for its antique American cars, many functioning as taxis. Bicycles are a common form of transportation for residents. 3. Raw meat hangs from the ceiling at a meat shop in Havana. Many Cuban dishes are made from chicken or pork. 4. Despite the high rates of poverty in Cuba, its education system is one of the best. Education is free at all levels, no matter what a family’s background or income level is, and expectations are high. 5. Havana, Cuba border the Gulf of Mexico. Just 231 miles from Miami, Florida, Havana prepares for the large number of American tourists who will be visiting Cuba now that relations have improved. 6. A woman in Havana, Cuba calculates the price of tomatoes for a customer. Less than five percent of Cubans have access to the internet, and many business owners don’t even have email addresses because of this.

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