Top Stories

Faculty narrowly approves SOPHIA




One vote was all it took for a three-decade-old plan to become old news.

Now, the challenge is to make it work.

The final meeting for faculty to vote on SOPHIA, Augustana’s new general education plan, was held in the Gilbert Science Center on Dec. 3. The meeting was scheduled to run from 3-5 p.m. with a decision revealed immediately after.

However, the seven-year process of passing a new general education plan dragged on.

History professor and first year experience task force member Geoffrey Dipple waited half an hour after the meeting alongside faculty before they were told that a decision still had not been made. Continue reading…


Community unites to remember lost student

Flowers Candles

The Augustana community has shown an outpouring of love and support this week in response to the death of a student.

Ben Kraft, a 22-year-old senior from Mobridge, S.D., committed suicide early Monday, leaving behind what Pastor Ann Rosendale calls “a real emptiness” in the religion and theater departments in which he spent much of his time on campus.

“I see our faculty and our staff grieving just as much as the students, and they also were really involved in Ben’s life, and he was really involved in theirs,” Rosendale said. Continue reading…


Too much yakking yields little creativity


By now, most students know about the latest social media craze. Yik Yak has taken Augustana by storm, and the crave for anonymous approval has never been higher.

But what makes a good yak? What separates the up votes from the down votes? What makes your yak, better than the rest?

After downloading the app about a month ago, I’ve noticed a few categories that people trend towards. Continue reading…

Girl Scouts mean business with new cookie-finding app

Cookie Finder


Spend any amount of time with me and you’ll find that I like food more than I like some of my more distant relatives.

That being the case, while most of you have hung your stockings and are crossing days off your December calendar, I’m dreaming sweet dreams of another, superior holiday: Girl Scout cookie season.

Those girls have had us in the palm of their hands for years, and they know it. That’s why—rather than be attacked outside a Walmart by a desperate mass of college girls sporting Northface jackets and top knots—they’ve created the Cookie Finder app.

Cookie Finder is awesome in a lot of ways, but I’ll start with the obvious. It leads you to the cookies. Continue reading…


Education through teaching

Soccer coach aims to never stop learning

Augustana head coach Brandon Barkus teaches youth at last summer's 2014 Little Vikings Camp.  Photo by: Augustana Women's Soccer Facebook

Augustana head coach Brandon Barkus teaches youth at last summer’s 2014 Little Vikings Camp. Photo by: Augustana Women’s Soccer Facebook

Ryan Heuer

Brandon Barkus stands on the sideline, bundled up in black Augustana women’s soccer gear. He runs his fingers through his short mop of light brown hair, cheeks rosy from the cold. He calls out orders in a husky, authoritative voice, while also cracking a few jokes with a laugh anyone who has spent time around him would instantly recognize.

Snowflakes dance in the air, but neither the precipitation, the sub-freezing temperatures nor the howling wind can deter Barkus and his team from practicing in the elements in preparation for the Vikings’ biggest game of the season. They were set to play the first round of the NCAA Division-II Central Regional in two days. But he wouldn’t label it as such. Continue reading…