(Ball State Daily News – Page 5 – February 4, 1992)

Assistant Diversions Editor

For some Ball State students, membership in only one organization is a challenge. Senior David Speakman, however, is an exception.

Speakman, who says he is “very active” in six campus organizations, is a senator in the Student Association’s Student Senate, vice president of the University Democrats and founding president of Delta Lambda Phi. He is also involved with Ball State’s Lesbian and Gay Student Association and SCPB’s Diversity Committee.

“Ball State is my home until I get my degree,” Speakman said, “and I don;t like the way it is right now. Ball State can be improved on, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Speakman has been responsible for several improvements on campus. As a member of Student Senate, Speakman has involved himself with an investigation of the environmentally harmful smokestacks on campus. Speakman was heavily involved in a recent Student Senate resolution condemning establishments with discriminatory hiring policies.

Speakman was also responsible for staring the Lesbian and Gay Student Association, which is described by Ball State’s Student Organization as providing “programming to expand the awareness of students at BSU while helping students to adjust.”

“It’s not fun. but it IS fun at the same time,” Speakman said, explaining the work involved in his many achievements.

“I really like really like the recognition from doing something good,” Speakman said. “Not only from other people, but from myself. I’m really, really tough on myself and on other people.”

“Sometimes I’ve had to skip a couple of classes,” Speakman said. “I probably shouldn’t have done that.”


“I’m a politician, very obviously, and I play the political game as well as anyone. To be a good politician, you must have a healthy ego because you have tons of people around you, telling you that you’re worthless.

“It takes a lot of guts to put your name on a ballot and hope that enough people will vote for you. If you don;t win, it’s kind of embarrassing. It takes a healthy ego to say, ‘yeah I think I can win,’ even if you get disappointed.”


Speakman considers himself a self-supported student.

“I’m not one of those rich people whose parents pay for everything. I’m one of those poor people who has to take out loans and who has to work his butt off for an education.

“When you’re in college, the majority of learning is done outside the classroom. Class is great, but what’s written knowledge? I’m more interested in the stuff you can apply. If that makes a person take another year to graduate, so what?”


Speakman, a homosexual, and outspoken gay rights activist, has found importance in downplaying his sexuality in organizations not directly involving gay issues.

“I assume that I’m working at a minus. I try not to bring up homosexuality unless it’s needed. I really want to focus on credibility.

“I’m open about it, and I’m not open about it. I don;t constantly remind people. It’s not a big deal.

“Look, I’m serious about this stuff. I’m not here just to talk about gay issues. I’m also a student and I represent all 20,000 Ball State students.

“People need to realize that gay men and lesbians are concerned about other things besides their plight on this campus. I think that’s where I’ve made the most strides.”


“The ideal behind political correctness is that if you implement the policies of being PC, you will offend nobody. The problem is that people don’t take into consideration the fact that people are allowed to believe anything they want. When you have speech codes with a list of words people aren’t allowed to say, you’re infringing on rights.

“People get overzealous about it, especially when spelling ‘women’ with a ‘y’, buy I understand it. It’s giving people their own space.

“The idea behind PC is good, but I think it went into the wrong direction.”


“Diversity is more important than unity. If we recognize the diversity of our population, we’ll achieve unity.”

(Ball State Daily News – Page 1 – July 1, 1991)

Chief Reporter

INDIANAPOLIS – The second annual Celebration on the Circle promoting gay and lesbian pride attracted over 3,500 people for the all-day event, including about 25 students from Ball State, according to David Speakman, Student Association off-campus Senator.

The Lesbian and Gay Student Association from the university sponsored one of the 47 booths at the event, handing out fliers and brochures about famous homosexuals throughout history.

“One of the goals of LGSA is to educate the gay community about itself,” Speakman said. “Everyone is ignorant about gay people. When you think gay people, you think Liberace and Rock Hudson. We just want to show that gay people are respectable.”

The event was sponsored by Justice, Inc., an Indiana state lobbying group that represents gay and lesbian citizens.

A group of about 50 religious protesters marched around the circle for about two hours at the beginning of the celebration carrying signs that said, “Sodomy is a sin,” “Got AIDS Yet? (acronym for gay)” and “There is something queer about this rally.”

Later on the protesters took the stage, only to be run off by hundreds of people chanting, “Go home.” The protesters left soon after and did not return.

There were no arrests or violent incidents.

Security for the event was doubled from last year’s security on recommendation of the city of Indianapolis, said Eric Evans, committee chair for Celebration on the Circle. Justice, Inc. hired about eight off-duty Indianapolis police officers to supplement the on-duty officers.

Democratic mayoral candidate Sen. Louis Mahern was on hand to let the gay and lesbian community know that he was supporting them. IN a speech he promised a “proclamation from the mayor and I will read it at this event (next year).”

celebration of circle - goldman campbell“What this country is all about is the constant progress toward real civil liberties, real opportunities for everyone in this country,” Mahern said. “We’re not there yet, but we’re moving there in the right direction. This celebration today is what a city is all about.”

Mahern also said that if elected, he would “sensitize” police on delicate matters such as gay and lesbian rights and minorities.

“There is a tremendous political power within your community,” he told the crowd.

Afterward, Mahern said how he plans on handling the gay and lesbian issues he promised to address.

“I will meet regularly with the leadership of the gay and lesbian communities to make sure that the complaints that they have are being treated treated by the city,” he said. “There will be an open door in the mayor’s office.”

Mahern said he would deal with each complaint on a case-by-case basis and take whatever action is necessary for that situation.

Other speakers stressed AIDS education, gay pride, “coming out” and telling their parents they were homosexual.

Between speakers, entertainers pleased the crowd with songs and dances. The Indianapolis Men’s Chorus began their first song with men individually saying where they were from or their occupation. The men who were a truck driver ans registered nurse got rousing applause from the crowd.

A dance followed the speakers and entertainers and many gay and lesbian people took advantage of this rare opportunity to dance and express themselves in public.

Many other groups had booths that informed the gay and lesbian community about their service and how they could help. Several of the booths dealt with AIDS education and preventions.

The Marion County Health Department, in its second year at the event, distributed 5,000 condoms last year and was doing the same Saturday. IN addition to handing out free condoms, lubricants, dental dams and brochures about safe sex were available.

Barbara Burcham, Assistant HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator, stressed education as a string method of AIDS prevention for everyone. “It’s not a gay disease anymore,” she said. “It’s important to know that no matter who you’re having sex with to use a condom.”

The Indiana State Board of Health distributed brochures and conducted a survey to help develop new AIDS prevention and education ideas.

(From Ball State Daily News)

Chief Reporter

As Student Association election winning names were read Thursday afternoon, relieved sighs and smiles came from several candidates.

Election Board Chairman Mike Jeffries announced the winners of the student senate election to less than 25 students at a meeting in the Student Center Terrace Lounge.

A few newly elected senators said they were surprised by the vote totals.

“I was really surprised that I had the second highest (number of votes) said Lisa Corbin, who ran for an at-large position. “Now I can work for my goals that I have set.”

Even some of those who spent much of the day campaigning seemed relieved by the outcome.

“I just didn’t know what to think,” said Amy Pfafflin, elected for an off-campus seat. “I was out all day yesterday. I got a lot of positive feedback and a lot of negative feedback.”

And Robin Rothman, who was elected as an at-large senate seat, said “I’m happy that I made enough of a showing as a Freshman to get on (Senate).”

One student said dedicated constituents helped him get elected to senate. David Speakman, a newly elected off-campus senator, added that since he was non-greek, his campaign concentrated on groups such as Common Ground, which he said were liberal.

“My constituents are pretty loyal,” said Speakman. “I’m kind of pleased I got 20 percent of the vote.”

A total of 1,126 students voted in the election. That total please new senators and Jeffries.

“I thought voter turnout was very good,” Jeffries said.

At the beginning of the meeting, Jeffries announced with mock surprise who won the presidential election.

“To end all suspense, Brad Hastings (who ran unopposed) did win the presidential election,” Jeffries said.

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(S.O.S. – Page 1 – October 30, 1990)

Andi Christenson is a woman with big plans for her future. As a graduate student working toward her M.B.A. degree, she looks back on her education at Ball State and lessons well learned.

“I want to own a magazine,” Christenson says. She graduated with a journalism major in May 1989.

“I enrolled in the 3/2 program because I don;t want someone to know my business better than me,” Christenson explained.

The 3/2 program is offered by  the College of Business for liberal arts and sciences majors who want an even more salable major.

The program allows a student to get an undergraduate B.A. or B.S. degree and an M.B.A. in five years. The first three years are spent on the undergraduate degree with the remaining two years devoted to the master’s candidacy.

Janice Steele, coordinator of undergraduate programs for the College of Business explains the ideals behind the 3/2 program. “We were looking for way to expand the focus of the College of Business, and this was a way to help those students in the liberal arts who wonder is they are going to b able to get a job when they graduate,” Steele said.

Admission into the 3/2 program requires a 3.2 GPA and a passing score on the GMAT, an SAT-like test needed for M.B.S> hopefuls.

“Don’t let the GMAT scare you,” said Christenson. “It’s not bad, but you should study for it.”

“The 3/2 program is good, but graduate level courses are different fro my undergraduate work. It’s easy to get wrapped up in my business program and lose track of my journalism,” Christenson said.

To better stay in touch with her journalism skill, Christenson sought out a job as a graduate assistant (GA) where her journalism degree would be utilized.

“I work in the Office of Student Life with Barb Jones. I create the Insider, a four-page newsletter designed to help student organizations run more efficiently. I also work on brochures and surveys,” Christenson said.

A graduate assistantship pays well too. “A GA pays all tuition plus a stipend for living expenses. It also gives you access to professors and an office to work from,” Christenson said. “People who want to be a GA should apply early and talk to department heads. They know what the job is and will remember you.”

Her job also requires computer skills. “There is a lot of Mac work. The Macintosh classes really helped. I really like the emphasis that the journalism department has put on computers. But it’s best to know the limits of computers – where they are useful and where they are not,” she said.

Christenson explained the transition from journalism to business. “The hardest part is going from a writer’s perspective to numbers. People who are not math-oriented may have it rough in he program – especially if they had problems in MATH 125,” she said.

“Accounting was really hard. I had to take it twice. I never had to repeat a class in undergrad,” Christenson said.

“But the 3/2 program i good for people in the writing business,” she explained. “I want to be able to look at a financial statement and tell if it has been done right. I want to be able to tell if things are running right.” – David Speakman

(Ball State Daily News Page 1 (lead story) – October 18, 1990)

Chief Reporter

Students passing through the Scramble Light were shown an uncommonly blatant message Tuesday when a Lesbian and Gay Student Association banner was defaced and placed on the “fly swatter.”

“Don’t Challenge Bigotry – Dike and Fag Student Association,” read the altered sign displayed from morning to night after an unknown culprit managed to post it on the sign pole by North Quad.

The banner, which originally hung from the Student Center, read “Challenge Bigotry – Lesbian and Gay Student Association” before it was altered.

Ironically, following the Lesbian and Gay Student Association’s “Coming Out Week” homosexuality awareness campaign Oct. 7-11, the incident is considered a “hate crime” by the organization.

“It’s kind of like a slap in the face,” David Speakman, chairman of the LGSA’s anti-discrimination committee said. “We felt we had broken down a lot of barriers last week, but sometimes education programs don’t work when people don’t listen. This obviously shows there is discrimination on this campus and it is violent.”

A University Police report lists the defacement as a case of criminal mischief, though police Captain Bob Fay said the situation “appears to be a hate crime or bias incident.”

“That is a case which appears to be motivated by bias or prejudice,” he said.

Dean of Students Don Mikesell called the act “totally unacceptable.”

“We’re talking about respecting the dignity and worth of all people,” he said.

LGSA representatives said they are not going to take the defacement sitting down.

“We are going to pursue this as far as we can,” Mikesell said. “When we find out who did this, they will regret it. Ball State does not tolerate hate crimes.”

The vandalism comes at a time when LGSA has been pushing to include sexual orientation into Ball State’s anti-discrimination policy. The university’s current Affirmative Action code does not include protection of gender specifics.

To emphasize the importance of such a policy, LGSA representatives said they spoke with various administrators about the incident Wednesday. Speakman said a more satisfactory response about the issue was received than in the past, when administrators told them discrimination did not exist.

Due to the strong feelings of students and faculty on the policy, Mikesell said an Affirmative Action code change could be designed.

“We’re trying to find a way to move that legislation through,” he said.

SA Vice President Brad Hastings said University Senate is “looking into” a proposal to achieve the same result.

“It will be a long process to get this changed, but at least we’ve got a foundation laid down,” he said.

But the mystery of who performed the vandalism remains.

After Comoing Out Week was over, Speakman said LGSA was supposed to pick up the sign from the Student Center, but instead found it on the flyswatter.

“I don’t really understand how it got out of the Student Center,” he said. “It could have been an inside job from the Student Center, which employs many students.”

Joanne McClean, Student Center coordinator, denied such allegations.

“Its really simple for anyone to cut down those signs from the Student Center lounge,” she said. “We’ve never had sign-stealing before.”

Since the defaced sign was tied over another banner, an employee of the Office of Student Life theorized vandals probably climbed the fly swatter to attach it there rather  than obtaining a key necessary to lower the pole.

Hastings said the defacement, sporting replaced letters of the same style as the original, was professionally done, despite the misspelling of the word, “dyke.”

“You can’t ask for literate vandals,” he said.

(Ball State Daily News – Page 2 – July 5, 1989) 

Staff Writer

An alumnus was recently announced to be a finalist for the Indiana Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching.

If Gary Emmert, a Teacher’s College graduate, wins the competition, he could receive a $7,000 grant to be used for classroom needs and a trip to Washington, D.C. to be recognized by President Bush, the Indiana Department of Education announced.

Emmert was nominated by David Shull, principal of Ben Davis Junior High School in Indianapolis. Shull had previously nominated Emmert for the award in 1988.

“Gary is an outstanding educator. He’s very dedicated and effective at teaching all ability levels. He believes that all kids can learn,” said Shull.

This year Emmert is one of three Indiana finalists for the award in mathematics teaching. State Superintendent of Public Instructions H. Dean Evens said that the winner would be announced during the first week of September.

A national panel of scientists, mathematicians and educators will judge the finalists on the basis of experience, education and professional memberships, recommendations, essays, and proposed use of the awards for classroom activities.

Emmert, nominated for the National Science Foundation award for the second time, works well with others, Shull said. Emmert is also well regarded by fellow teachers. This year he was nominated by his peers for the Wayne Township teacher of the year award.

“Gary is a good team player. He’s no prima donna. He is still humble and admits freely that he learns from those around him,” said Shull.

Emmert also incorporates principles of physics onto his math classes, Shull said. This past year Emmert had his classes do such projects as create a capsule that would protect a raw egg when dropped from the top of the school and design and build boats for a race after the students estimated the amount of water displacement would be caused by the weight of the team.

Emmert also acts as the faculty advisor and founder of the Ben Davis Junior High chapter of Odyssey of the Mind, a national student problem-solving organization.

This year, the team was challenged to come up with a machine that would perform twelve tasks on its own. The team’s gadget won the state championship and placed in the top 15 in the national competition in Boulder, Colo.

The three years of Emmert advising Odyssey of the Mind teams has produced three state championships and placement in the national top 15 twice.

“In the four years that Gary has been at Ben Davis Junior High, he has stood for academic excellence,” Shull said. “I wish we had a school full of teachers like Gary Emmert.”

Emmert is on academic leave for the summer, according to Ben Davis Junior High, and could not be reached by the Daily News for comment.