Annual Wish with the Chancellor takes a new direction

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paper lanterns
Students lighting off the now-illegal lanterns at last year’s Wish with the Chancellor event. Photo/Sarah Whitehead

Staff Writer

Every year, students of IU South Bend gather with Chancellor Terry Allison to make wishes.

The event, called Wish With the Chancellor, will continue this year. It is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the University Bridge, but with a slight change.

Typically the event would include the lighting of Chinese lanterns, those things that float off into the sky when you light them. But this year students will throw carnations into the St. Joseph River instead of releasing lanterns because of an ordinance that prohibits the lanterns.

The 2014 ordinance that forbids the lanterns in in the Indiana Fire Code. “No person shall release or cause to be released a sky lantern with the intention of causing the lantern to lift into the atmosphere unless the lantern is anchored or tethered to the person’s property such that the lantern cannot freely lift into the atmosphere,” according to the code.

Director of Alumni Affairs and Campus Ceremonies Moira Dyczko discovered the ordinance when she called the fire marshal before planning the event.

“We can tether them but that is not quite the effect we are looking for, and the lanterns we happened to have are not meant to be tethered because that turns them over,” said Dyczko. “So we are going to take a new direction this year.”

To keep the ceremony as similar to the traditional event as possible SGA President Stephen Salisbury suggested that flowers be dropped into the river.

Just as the traditional event, those interested in being a part of this ceremony are asked to meet on the south side of the bridge where Chancellor Allison will begin with a few words and a wish for the campus.

Following the chancellors’ wish will be the wishes of those attending with the dropping of their carnations into the river.

Being IUSB’s jubilee year, a guest speaker has also been invited to share a few words.

Posi Tucker will be sharing a few thoughts about her experiences as a member from the first graduating class of IU South Bend in 1967, said Dyczko.

“We are celebrating 100 years of classes being offered in South Bend, 50 years of degrees being conferred and 25 years of the School of the Arts,” said Dyczko. “We had degrees given prior to 67 but they were given through IU Bloomington.”

The event is open to the campus community, students, staff and faculty. Alumni are also being invited to come back to share thoughts to the current study body, said Dyczko.

The university will serve s’mores at River Crossing Student Housing after the ceremony.

Wish with the Chancellor began in 2013 at the start of Chancellor Allison’s time at IUSB, and since then has become an annual event that takes place during Spirit Week.

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