For the past four years the Augustana Student Association (ASA) and the Augustana Co-Curriculum Council have collaborated to craft an International Theme for the school year. In 2009, students studied issues on Guatamala. In 2010, the theme was “Norway” and last year in 2011 it was “World Poverty and Hunger.”

“The goal of the theme year is to expose the students to a culture that they are unfamiliar with,” sophomore Taylor Lambert said. Lambert is part of the ASA theme year committee that is in charge of increasing awareness of the theme.

This year’s theme is “China and Globalization.”

“With the increasing influence of China, the increase of Asian immigrants in Sioux Falls, and the increased connection we have with the rest of the world, it was an easy to choose ‘China and Globalization’ as our theme year topic,” Lambert said.

A meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 14, encouraged student group leaders to sponsor events related to the theme and also explained how ASA will be rewarding mini-grants to those groups interested.

“I hope to see more involvement from student groups in the theme year,” sophomore Megan Raposa, also an ASA committee member, said.

“If students learn about the theme through groups they are already involved in, they would hopefully be more inclined to participate in theme-related activities.”

The mini-grants can be up to $500. One was already given to the International Programs Office funding speaker Deborah Fallows on Thursday, Nov. 15, during international week.

“Especially with the increase of globalization, the amount of opportunity for our students to become connected around the world has been increasing exponentially,” Lambert said.

“The theme year committee wants to give the student body the opportunity for their first steps into getting connected with the theme year by opening their minds to ‘China and Globalization.’”

Student groups may apply for a grant through ASA President Thad Titze via an email including: the name of your organization, the academic year, the title of proposal with a brief description and the funding requested.