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DESCRIPTIONTHE INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF HAMLINE UNIVERSITY | SPECIAL JANUARY EDITION | HAMLINEORACLE.COM
THE INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF HAMLINE UNIVERSITY | SPECIAL JANUARY EDITION | HAMLINEORACLE.COM
CONTRIBUTORS: Jake Barnard, Megan Bender, Preston Dhols-
Graf, Josh Epstein, Jena Felsheim, Jordan
Fritzke, Bre Garcia, Marisa Gonzalez, Maria
Herd, Laura Kaiser, Gabby, Landsverk, Andrew
Maas, Hannah Porter, Steven Rotchadl, Kristina
Stuntebeck, Lauren Thron.
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For the second consecutive year, !e Oracle presents our special edition J-Term magazine.
Last year was our first in recent memory that we chose to publish a full color magazine on 28 pages of glossy paper. It served as a great learning experience for all who were involved, and provided an opportunity to showcase our talents in a more impressive medium than our weekly issues could.!is 32-page publication is the culmination of many long hours of planning
and production. Not that our regular weekly issues are not, but there are many fresh challenges inherent to tackling a completely new design style and format, with nearly three times the number of pages were used to.!e success of last years magazine was recognized when !e Oracle won a sec-
ond place award in the special issue category at the Best of the Midwest college journalism convention. We hope weve managed to build upon last years accom-plishment. A"er all, if we arent learning, improving and producing a high quality publication, theres not much point in all this toil.
We hope you enjoy our 2013 magazine, and that it does justice to our 125 years of Oracle tradition.
Preston Dhols-GrafEditor in Chief
VOLUME 125 | SPECIAL EDITION | JANUARY 2013
Meet the board
Safety & Security
Cover photo by Marisa Gonzalez
TABLE OF CONTENTS
R oaming the walking streets of Thailand one ought to expect to salivate over the aroma of pad Thai, be captivated by the gaze of the mystical nagas, enjoy the art of Thai traditional dance and fall in love with the smiles of the local people.
As I venture into my new life here in Chiang Mai there is one thing I have come to learn that Eyewitness travel guide could not capture for $24.95. The overwhelming feeling of loving kindness has manifested as the greatest wonder of the world to me as I experience a culture, religion and language far from my own.
Would life have meaning without religion, one of the Buddhist monks asked me at the Wat Sun Doi, the temple I teach English at for my internship. This question has been posed to me many times as a Religion major at Hamline. Hoping I would sound eloquent and well composed, I told him I did not think it could because then I would not be able to understand Thailand. He smiled, and nodded his head
as he accepted my response with a sense of compassion.
The smile said more to me than I believe his English could have, because I had seen it many times before. A similar smile is painted in precise brush strokes on the lips of the Buddha statues at the Doi Suthep, it is on the street vendors faces as I greet them with my most terrible Thai grammar, and even on the elephant that I fed a banana to.
I am certainly not the first or the last person to write about the country famously known as the land of smiles. Furthermore, I am sure the people behind the smiles may not all be happy all the time and they must have trials of their own, but from my interpretation the Thai people try to not be concerned with the little things that can wear us down in life.
My Buddhist friend at the temple asked me how my life has been improved with Skype, Facebook and text messaging. I couldnt answer that it had honestly made me a better person. But, I could tell
him that now we can smile behind our technology through use of emoticons. I was not smiling with this response, but instead my mind drifted to the next email update I had to send to my family.
The mantra of the Spring Semester in Thailand program is The time is now and the place is here. My study abroad has just been nearly two weeks and I have already learned to say the famous Thai phrase mai pen ray meaning that it doesnt matter, no worries. I smile to myself now with the confidence that Thailand will teach me more than I can ever hope for, from my stay with my host family, planting crops with the village tribes of the north, meditating in the forest temples and teaching English to the Buddhist monks.
Being tone deaf in a country that uses five varying tones in its l native language lends itself to lots of smiles. Next time I ask for fermented pork instead of water, I will just smile and say mai pen ray, I am Thailand in this moment.
Story and photos by Megan Bender
a different kindof classroom[ ]
6Major changes could be coming to Hamline in 2013 as school officials discuss Hamline Plan revision and pro-gram prioritization.
John Matachek, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said there will be an examina-tion of Hamline Plan requirements to see if they are the most effective and beneficial for the future. He said that the Undergrad-uate Curriculum Committee (UCC), the main body responsible for making deci-sions regarding the Hamline Plan, will be in charge.
The V.P. of Academic Affairs tasked UCC to look at the undergraduate curriculum to see if there are any things that need revi-sion, Matachek said.
The UCC constantly reviews the Hamline Plan and proposals for potential changes to it, though any changes are voted on by the undergraduate faculty before being implemented, according to the Hamline website.
Matachek said that writing intensive and cultural breath are two of the re-quirement areas being reviewed for their relevance to certain majors.
Students may choose to continue on with the original Hamline Plan or opt for the new requirements when changes are made, Matachek said. He added that the Hamline Plan is still under review, and no formal decisions have been made regard-ing changes.
The process of program prioritization is also in its beginning stages, according to Provost Eric Jensen.
Jensen described the concept of pro-gram prioritization as a gathering exer-cise to determine how different aspects of Hamline, such as stand-alone minors, certificates and food service, fit into the mission statement of the university.
Its a way of examining what we do at a fairly disaggregated level, Jensen said. This process will help us identify opportu-nities as well as problems.
Jensen explained that program prioriti-zation is essentially a cost/benefit analysis
that will help determine how to divide up the fixed budget between programs.
Every dollar spent on one thing is a dol-lar away from something else, Jensen said.
Jensen stressed that there is no target area for the process and that everything is under evaluation. He said this process is not designed to eliminate lower priority programs.
The notion that were going to iden-tify programs and cut them is a mistake, Jensen said.
He said that the programs determined to be of lower priority will not necessarily be eliminated, but that they will be looked into and potentially changed in some way.
Matachek said one factor that could make a program a lesser priority is if it involves a very small number of students. He identified
combining small classes as one potential change that could occur in such a pro-gram.
Matachek said that a program with fewer students will not necessarily be a lower priority unless it is not beneficial to the program or students involved.
Where we start to pay attention is when there are classes that are continually four or five students that there really isnt a ra-tionale for, Matachek said. It gets expen-sive for the university.
Matachek explained that certain pro-grams require more students in order to have the dynamic required to make the program viable. If not enough students are involved to make the program beneficial to them, then it is not practical to offer it, Matachek said.
Faculty and staff will discuss program prioritization in February and decided changes will be implemented in April, ac-cording to Jensen.
Jensen said that student opinion mat-ters, but the exa