‘A-term’ debuts at TU

Staff Report

With August term officially over, and fall term in full swing, the Transylvania community is left to evaluate the inaugural three-week session meant to introduce first-years to campus.

“I thought it was a great success,” said August Term Director and Professor of Classics John Svarlien. “[August term] moved towards some of its goals and moving students from high school towards college.”

During August term, first-years underwent a three week course designed, according to Svarlien, to increase critical reading skills and bridge the gap between high school and college. The courses, which followed a credit/no credit grading system, had students looking critically at selected readings.

It wasn’t all academic, though. Students enjoyed concerts in Back Circle, a carnival and volleyball tournament, lectures about diversity and safety, and various other events.

First-years also spent a Saturday morning completing community service projects, in efforts replace the previous pre-orientation programs that took place before the start of fall term.

Transy traditions such as the Greet Line, still remained.

“There was a good balance between socializing and academics,” Svarlien said.

While the effect, and success, of August term will be tracked for months – even years – initial results are optimistic. The success rate for the August term course, according to Interim Vice President & Dean of the College Kathleen Jagger, was extremely high.

Anecdotal evidence, too, hints at success.

“All the teachers that I’ve talked to about it have been positive about it,” Svarlien said.

Work still needs to be done, though, and focus groups are currently being formed to discuss the details and opportunities for change, according to Svarlien.

“August term is potentially a new tradition at Transy,” said Svarlien.



Howe to address fellow Transy graduates at Commencement

Erin Brock



This year’s 2012 student Commencement speaker, candidate for graduation Ashley Howe, smiles for the camera as she eagerly awaits graduating with her peers.

Another academic year at Transylvania University is coming to an end, and that means that graduation is just around the corner. And with any graduation ceremony come speakers—this year’s commencement speakers are alumna Bianca Spriggs and candidate for graduation Ashley Howe.

Spriggs and Howe will speak during the commencement ceremony, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 26.

“I had not ever considered submitting a speech for commencement until two individuals I really respect recommended that I write one. Writing my speech was challenging because I had to figure out what message I thought would be most applicable to our entire class,” Howe said. “I enjoyed the writing process, however, because I had to sit down and reflect on what I have gained over the past four years, which calmed a lot of the anxiety I have been having about graduate school.”

Candidate for graduation Anderson Salinas, the other finalist to speak at commencement, also wanted his speech to reflect his entire experience at Transy. “I always felt like we’ve always learned a lot outside of class but graduation doesn’t really recognize that. So I wanted to write something that gave a nod to all the things we learned when we weren’t in class.”

Howe and Salinas submitted their speeches several weeks ago, along with other seniors, and performed them in front of a group of peers. This group then rated each speech and the top two voted speeches passed on into the next round, where they performed their speech for members of the administration on Tuesday.

“Presenting for the Deans is a lot more intimidating than presenting for other seniors. They don’t stare you down but they’re a tougher audience,” Salinas said.

Both Howe, who will be attending the Washington and Lee University School of Law in the fall, and Salinas, who plans to take some time off and apply to law school in the fall, credit their friends with helping them prepare to deliver their speeches.

“My friends really have been supportive of me trying to speak. They ask me all the time if I’ve found out yet. They all wanted me to perform for them so they could give me some tips and also tried hard to be as ridiculous as possible so I could work on keeping my composure. They were a big help,” Salinas said.

“I was lucky to have been able to participate and to have received such great support from my friends, who patiently listened to each part of my speech about twenty times,” Howe said.

The week leading up to Commencement holds many activities for seniors as well, including a Senior Challenge picnic before a Lexington Legends baseball game and the senior toast.

Check out http://www.transy.edu/commencement/ for a complete schedule of Senior Week, or Columns for more information about Commencement, including dress code and rain ticket information.



Rambler announces ’12-’13

Staff Report

Rising senior Jacob Hawkins has been named the new editor-in-chief of The Rambler, the student newspaper of Transylvania University in production since 1915.

Hawkins, a Writing, Rhetoric and Communication (WRC) major, has worked on the newspaper staff since the start of his college career, first as staff writer, then as news editor and served this year as the paper’s managing editor.

Serving with Hawkins is fellow rising senior and WRC major Molly Crain. Crain, who was the paper’s news editor for most of this year, has also served as a columnist for the paper.

Both Hawkins and Crain were selected from a cross-departmental committee of faculty and staff. The committee included Publications Writer and Editor Bill Bowden, Instructor in WRC Martha Gehringer, Digital Recruitment Coordinator Laura Rudolph, and outgoing editor-in-chief and candidate for graduation Erin Brock.

Student Media Adviser Terri McLean facilitated the interviews, but did not have a voice in the final decision of The Rambler’s top two positions.

“I am absolutely confident that Jake and Molly will carry on The Rambler tradition in great form,” McLean said. “They had a great role model in Erin this year, plus they’ve both immersed themselves in every phase of production this year.”

Hawkins and Crain worked together to set the editor staff for next year, interviewing dozens of candidates to select the final staff.

Rising junior Scarlett Blevins will lead the campus life page, rising senior Cory Collins will serve as sports editor, and rising junior Ameka Menes will serve as the editor of the Arts and Entertainment section.

Current designer for The Rambler and rising sophomore Rachel Smith has been promoted to design editor.

Finally, rising sophomore Emily Martin will be the opinion editor and will also serve alongside Hawkins and Crain in the paper’s editorial board, the group of newspaper staff that guides the editorials and official stances of The Rambler.

“Of the positions we were able to fill, I am really confident,” said Hawkins. “We’ve got a good mix of experience amongst the editors we picked, and we will all complement each other well.”

The positions of news editor and photo editor, however, remain vacant and applications are still being accepted for those positions.

“These positions are paramount to the function of the paper, and I hope someone in the campus community can step up and apply,” Hawkins added. “Without staff, the paper simply wouldn’t be able to function.”

Also vacant is the position of Student Media Adviser, after McLean announced her resignation to devote more time to her position of news editor of KYForward.com, the new web-only community newspaper in Lexington.

“I’m leaving with mixed feelings, but I know that Transy is committed to filling the position and further helping students strengthen their voice on campus,” McLean said.

SGA addresses problems with upperclassmen Senate elections

Jake Hawkins

Managing Editor

Next year’s Student Government Association is all set with 26 upperclassmen senators, but not without a few hiccups in the process.

Candidate for graduation and SGA President Josh Edge for the 2011-12 academic year, who oversaw the elections, originally contacted 27 students congratulating them on being nominated to the organization.

“It wasn’t a problem at first,” said rising senior and newly elected SGA President Charli Fant, “because one person immediately dropped senate.”

However, a problem soon became apparent when Fant and other newly-elected SGA officers realized that one of the remaining 26 senators who were sworn in received fewer votes than rising junior Sydney Katz, who wasn’t sworn in.

“We don’t have protocol for this,” said Fant, who then explained that the student without enough votes willfully stepped down to allow Katz to be sworn in.

“I think we handled it appropriately,” said Fant.

The mistake was described as an oversight and Fant said that next year’s election will require more careful eyes to check names before anyone is sent.

In an email to The Rambler, Edge failed to acknowledge any discrepancy in the election he oversaw.

This was the first year that students were allowed to vote on their personal computers through a Surveymonkey link sent campus wide.

SGA didn’t release the name of the student incorrectly sworn in.


Vetter steps down, LoMonaco takes position

Jake Hawkins

Managing Editor

Professor of Anthropology Barbara LoMonaco will replace Mike Vetter as Dean of Students, according to an announcement posted on Columns Daily.

Vetter, according to the posting, will stay on and report directly to the president for special projects. LoMonaco will still remain a voting member of faculty and teach some classes.

Requests to Vetter for comment on the matter were unreturned.

The Rambler will follow-up over the summer and return next year with more information as it becomes available.

Drunk driver crashes on Broadway

Tyler Baker

Staff Writer

It turns out the power outage that took Transylvania students by surprise Sunday night and again early Monday morning had more to its story than a night without power.

At 10:15 p.m. Sunday night a red, 1998 Toyota crashed into the power line pole between Forrer Hall and the International House on North Broadway. When Department of Public Safety officers arrived at the scene, the driver of the car had fled the accident, but the story has just begun.

Lt. Brian Miller of Transy’s DPS described the events that took place before and after the accident.

“The driver of the car was going down Broadway drunk and struck the pole,” said Miller. “Witnesses said the man then left the vehicle and proceeded to walk towards Clay Hall, and DPS began to patrol the area looking for him.”

The man who crashed was 29-year-old David Vest of Lexington. Vest, who has been charged with a DUI before, was described as a white male wearing a dark shirt, dark hat and shorts.

“Ten minutes later a call came out (to police) from a pay phone at the Rally’s on Georgetown Street, and the caller said that he was robbed, beaten up and his ’98 Toyota was stolen,” said Miller. “We then realized that the guy at Rally’s met the description of the man who left the scene of the accident.”

The man who wrecked the car didn’t want to receive a DUI, so he walked to the payphone by Rally’s and made a phone call giving his false story.

“(Vest) said he was robbed in Castlewood, which is two miles from the pay phone he made the call to the police from,” said Miller. “We knew his story was false.”

Vest was charged with leaving the scene of a crime, DUI and possession of narcotics.

Sunday also delivered another turn of events: an early morning power outage. Between 2 and 6 a.m. the power in Forrer Hall, Rosenthal Residence Complex, Poole Residence Center and the Campus Center was turned off to fix the damaged pole.

Senior April Myers, a resident of Rosenthal, was unexpectedly affected by the power outage.

“I had to spend the night in the computer lab in Forrer because I was working on an Excel document and I didn’t save it on any other computer before the power went out,” said Myers. “It was a last-minute project that I was expecting to finish by 3 (a.m.), but instead I had to spend the power outage in the dark waiting to get my project off the computer.”

Miller explained how the power outage began.

“The crew had to turn off the power so they wouldn’t be electrocuted,” said Miller. “The problem was that the crews didn’t alert Transy that they were turning the power off.”

By the time students arose Monday morning to go to classes the accident was cleared, the pole was replaced and the power had returned, but Miller expressed his hope that Transy students learned a lesson from the event.

“Drinking and driving is not safe. There were people on the sidewalk where the accident happened that could have been hit, and the culprit would be looking at manslaughter charges and 20 years in prison.”

Williams supports FACE IT petition

Molly Crain

News Editor

President R. Owen Williams is asking Transylvania’s campus to join him in signing the FACE IT petition — “Seven White Men: That’s Ridiculous” — which aims to pressure Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg into adding women to his all-male board of trustees.

Feb. 1, Facebook announced a $5 billion initial public offering (IPO). For a website whose most active users are women, many are frustrated that the homogenous board doesn’t accurately represent the user population.

Alice Baumgartner, a 2010 Yale University graduate, is one of the leading members of the FACE IT campaign and was able to encourage others to support the endeavor, according to Williams.

“I was actually involved from the ground level,” said Williams. “I felt that it was such a worthy cause, and thought I should be involved.”

Last week, the FACE IT campaign teamed up with women’s rights group UltraViolet to gain signatures.

UltraViolet, which identifies as “a community of women and men, fighting to expand women’s rights to combat sexism everywhere — from politics and government to media and pop culture,” sent a petition to its 300,000 members. Within 24 hours, 28,000 had signed.

The petition can be found through FACE IT’s Facebook group, which directs you to the UltraViolet petition link.

From an April 7 post on Baumgartner’s blog entitled “Putting a Face on Women,” she describes a memory that reminds her of why she remains steadfast in pushing the FACE IT campaign forward.

“One afternoon, at the end of my first semester at college,” Baumgartner wrote, “a group of men from my philosophy class were studying for our exam in the dining hall. Since I had questions about Kant’s ‘Metaphysics’ — actually, about most of the readings — I decided to ask if I could join them. But, as I approached the table, the men grew silent. I asked if I could sit down, and then waited uncomfortably for a response. They said nothing, and after a few minutes, I walked away, confused and most of all, embarrassed.”

Afterwards Baumgartner ran into a friend who was in the study group. He apologized and said that the men at the table had agreed not to study with women. Eventually the group dissolved, but Baumgartner realized she’d never be invited to that study group.

“It was a question of networks — not abilities,” Baumgartner wrote.

The FACE IT campaign has expanded its reach as many news sources have noticed its influence, including Forbes, The Hill, CNET, WebProNews and the Los Angeles Times.

“The composition of Facebook’s board is a problem,” said a general email PDF that was sent to Williams to encourage campaign participation. “It is also an opportunity. Catalyst statistics have shown that the percentage of women on corporate boards has remained constant at 15-16 percent over the last six years. But it’s not just senior women in business. It’s government. It’s medicine. It’s law. It’s Hollywood. This campaign will start a conversation across the world — not just about Facebook’s board, but about those making decisions across all industries and professions. If you want to be judged by your abilities, not your gender, join us.”

“I am at the helm of a college (where) 60 percent of its students are women,” said Williams. “I want to do whatever I can.”

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