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First Year Seminar remains controversial among faculty


As the first official semester of the First Year Seminar winds down, the merits and demerits of the program still divide members of Augustana’s campus.

Some professors say FYS has made them better educators, while others think the program shortchanges certain departments and students.   

 FYS Director Stephen Minister said that while the faculty voted last academic year to enact SOPHIA (the general education plan replacing the Augustana Plan) and FYS for a four-year period, he is open to tweaking the program as more information of its successes and pitfalls becomes available.

One of those tweaks will likely involve the six required tailored experiences, which freshmen must attend and write papers about during their first semester. Minister said he has heard enough negative feedback from students to justify reconsidering the program component. Continue Reading…

senior-interdepartmental-major-evan-richardsRichards uses interdepartmental major to unite passions for art, philosophy, business  


Growing up in Le Mars, a small town in northwest Iowa, senior Evan Richards dreamt of becoming a professional baseball player. But Richards soon realized baseball wasn’t for him. With other hobbies including tennis and drawing, he wasn’t sure where his path in college would take him.

Now a senior, Richards has combined his wide variety of interests, making him the only interdepartmental major at Augustana.

Richards began as a business major because of the program’s versatility but, he also realized he had interests in art and philosophy, leading to decisions pursue three different disciplines.

“The interdepartmental major is the most effective way to complete all three majors in four years,” he said.

Although Richards refers to himself as being invested in all three areas, his classmates and professors in the art department still recognize him as an art student.  Continue Reading…

Letter from the editor: Where’s my money: Scholarship deduction policy needs adjustment

I remember last year when I got the email: Somehow, my friends and I won the apartment lottery and would live in Schoeneman Apartments during my senior year.

I wasn’t thrilled. I was relieved: Not only was I out of the dorms, but I wouldn’t hemorrhage scholarship money for moving off campus.

When you move off campus, you leave 10 percent of your Augustana scholarship behind. If you don’t have the meal plan, you leave 10 percent more. This policy excludes “talent” scholarships, for activities like music and athletics.

Because of this ratio, the more you earn, the more you lose, contradicting the more popular advertising slogan “the more you earn, the more you save.”

If you obtain $0 in scholarships, you sustain zero penalties for moving off campus. If you earn $20,000 in scholarships, say goodbye to $2,000 if you move off, $4,000 if you choose to dine outside the commons.

How is that fair?  Continue Reading…







Women’s basketball win seven straight, including three in the NSIC


The Augustana women’s basketball team is a tight-knit group, and that is leading to success.

Augustana is 8-2 on the year, having won seven-straight including its first three in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play.

“We just click,” senior post Naomi Rust said. “The personalities of this group make it easy to get along. We hang out off the court, and we’re all so close.”

That closeness has translated into wins for the Vikings, who defeated Concordia University and Minnesota State-Mankato last Friday and Saturday. Augustana has displayed a balanced attack on offense, with at least three different players scoring in double digits in each game during the winning streak. Head coach Dave Krauth attributes this parity to the team’s selflessness.

“They look for each other, and it’s very noticeable,” Krauth said. “They’re pleased when someone else makes a big play. It’s a real team effort.”

Having just two seniors graduate from last year’s team, the depth of these Vikings is an advantage they’ve enjoyed, Krauth said. But with those years of experience come high expectations, and despite being 8-2, the team still has things to work through as it gets deeper into the season. Continue Reading…