‘Rambler’ vows to continuously improve

by Jake Hawkins

The Rambler is an important, integral part of the Transylvania community. We bring news to your attention, ask important people important questions, highlight outstanding organizations, and, on the opinion page, weigh in on important campus issues in an effort to provoke further thought.

We can always be better.

We have a talented, diverse staff representing multiple majors and many backgrounds. They work every day to plan, interview, write, research and edit. We meet often to hash out ideas and capitalize on our team synergy.

We could use more people.

In the past, we’ve broke stories to you about land acquisitions, administrative transitions, new programs and more.

We’ve missed some leads.

At The Rambler, we epitomize the spirit of ‘kaizen,’ a Japanese concept of continuous improvement and change for the better. Every year, every semester and every issue our biggest goal is to improve. To get better. Without a journalism program, we’re self taught and self driven. We learn by doing, asking and reading.

We want to learn more.

We’re challenged, as students of the liberal arts, to connect and integrate knowledge and to question everything. What better medium to put the liberal arts in practice than journalism?! Throughout the year, we’ll strive to ask important people important questions, tell engaging stories, highlight unique events and inform you of vital information. Every story you read in The Rambler will be accurate, relevant and engaging. If something goes wrong, we’ll take swift action to correct it.

We absolutely guarantee that.

We are a student newspaper at heart, and for this heart to beat we absolutely have to have more students. We need a large, versatile staff of writers and photographers to keep stories printing. Being on staff is a valuable experience that teaches many skills, and it is an absolute blast.

We love what we do.

We also need your input. We have a Facebook, we have a website, and we have an opinion page. For The Rambler to exist, we need you to ‘Ramble On’ and contribute to all of these. Is there an important story that you think we missed? Tell us. Are you angry about the way people at Transy treat a certain issue? Use The Rambler as a medium for your voice. Ultimately, The Rambler will be what students make it, what we make it. We are limited by the passion of our student body, our kryptonite is your apathy.

Help us make The Rambler a true pioneer in student journalism.


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.


McLean’s service endorsed

The Rambler, which began publishing in 1915 as the Crimson-Rambler, has had a varying history. For the past four years, however, The Rambler has enjoyed immense success (as evident by scores of intercollegiate press awards, including 30 this year alone), and while she’ll defer accepting any credit, this is thanks in large part to Student Media Adviser Terri McLean.

McLean, who was the first person with the primary designation of Transylvania’s student media adviser, recently announced that she’ll be leaving the university with “mixed feelings.”

Student Media Adviser Terri McLean has instructed Rambler staffers for four years.

“I fell in love with Transy when my son walked into Old Morrison in 2002 on a visit,” said McLean. “On a board in President Shearer’s office, was scribbled ‘Welcome Brad McLean. President Shearer would like to meet you.’”

In addition to advising The Rambler staff members on how to become better journalists, McLean also oversees The Crimson, Transy’s yearbook, and she assists in the public relations office by writing faculty and alumni profiles.

McLean brought an exuberant and contagious amount of enthusiasm to the position, in addition to over 20 years of experience. Before coming to Transy she worked at the Lexington Herald-Leader from 1980 to 2001, after which she worked as a freelance journalist and high school journalism teacher. Then, in 2008, Associate Vice President for Communications and Public Relations Sarah Emmons approached McLean with the idea of becoming media advisor.

“I like to say that the job of student media adviser fell into my lap…Sarah called and asked if I was interested in the job. The interesting thing was, at that time The Rambler had ceased to publish and was in a state of flux,” McLean said.

The state of flux didn’t last long, as McLean quickly came on board and resurrected the paper.

“In a couple of weeks we had a staff of seven to get us started. The only qualification was desire – desire to give students a voice on campus,” said McLean.

With the help and advice of McLean, The Rambler has grown well beyond the staff of seven and maintained a consistent campus presence. During her tenure, McLean saw the volunteer-only, tightly staffed weekly newspaper of Transy receive over sixty awards from the Kentucky Intercollegiate Press Association.

On a personal note, McLean has impacted my life more than any other person on this campus. Her love for journalism – for finding the truth and light in every story – has rubbed off on me and shaped my future. I’ve spent more one-on-one time with her learning, hands on, about writing than anyone else. In addition to teaching me, she has been a friend and an advocate who would put herself on the line to defend what we both knew was right.

In her own words, McLean calls it the “greatest privilege to mentor some of the most accomplished students and watch them grow as student journalists and as people.”

The true privilege, however, belongs to the staffs of The Rambler and broader campus community. McLean, with her office in the basement of a men’s dorm, isn’t the most visible person on this campus, but the positive effect she leaves behind will affect students for years to come.

I am proud to offer her this, my final endorsement as managing editor.

SGA welcomes undergraduates for symposium

Jake Hawkins

Managing Editor

Last weekend, Transylvania University welcomed students from surrounding institutions to a research symposium sponsored by the Student Government Association. The symposium, which brought many disciplines together, highlighted undergraduate research across some of Kentucky’s private colleges and universities.

There were 10 student presentations during the event, five from Centre College, one from Georgetown College, another from Berea College and three from Transy. After students presented, there was an hour devoted to poster presentations from various students.

Pictured left, sophomore Abby Elliston presents a poster for SGA’s Intercollegiate Research Symposium last Saturday.

The event’s coordinator, sophomore Kayarash Karimian, said the idea for the event was spawned from collaboration with Dr. Kirk Abraham, associate professor of exercise science, and Dr. Bob Rosenberg, associate professor of chemistry.

“Last year, SGA’s academic affairs committee put on the first undergraduate research symposium at Transylvania. The event consisted of about four student presentations and some posters. This fall, Drs. Abraham and Rosenberg approached us and asked if we could combine our event with the arts and research forum, which has mostly consisted of students majoring in the sciences,” said Karimian. “After attending two national conferences and a symposium at (North Carolina State University) over the summer as an undergraduate researcher, I was inspired to take the ideas for this event to new levels.”

Karimian made the symposium the main project for SGA’s academic affairs committee.

To select participants, SGA contacted Centre, Berea and Georgetown professors with requests for student submissions. The applications were judged based on the quality of the abstracts that were submitted, according to Karimian.

There are plans to host the symposium next year, and SGA has already begun thinking of ways it can be improved.

“I know that we will definitely change the overall timetable of the event,” Karimian said. “(Next year) we hope to initiate the event-planning process five months before the event. Furthermore, rather than sending applications as email attachments we hope to work with the (information technology) department to create a website for the event.”

PLUGGED IN: Tu students hooked on technology

by Jake Hawkins
Managing Editor

With technology usage on the rise, students, faculty and staff at Transylvania University find themselves increasingly relying on gadgets to get through their day.

“Students are much more connected,” said Dr. Kenny Moorman, program director and professor of computer science. “It is not unusual for a student to look up some related piece of information in the middle of a class.”

Technology usage is evolving too. Gone are the days of the desktop personal computer’s rule, and the laptop is slowly phasing out. Mobile technology, like cell phones and tablet computers such as iPads, is where the focus is shifting to.

“I think that we will continue to see the proliferation of tablet computing,” Moorman said. “Studies suggest that half of the technology we use today will be obsolete in two to three years.”

On Transy’s campus alone, upwards of 1,700 student devices are registered on the university’s network, according to Vice President for Information Technology Jason Whitaker.

This number is comprised of all devices: computers, mobile devices and gaming systems. While Whitaker can’t track the specific devices accessing the network at any given time, he can say what they are accessing.

“Netflix, YouTube and Flash account for roughly 40 percent of our bandwidth usage during a given 24 hour period, with Web browsing at around 35 percent,” said Whitaker.

Transy’s servers see peak usage, of about 500 devices at once, from noon to 2 p.m. and then again from 10 p.m. to midnight, Whitaker said.

Technology does have some drawbacks, though, with many being bothered by the distractions it causes.

Senior Monica Lawson doesn’t think laptops, or any other devices, should be allowed in the classroom.

“The draw to be on Facebook, Twitter or whatever else is too strong,” said Lawson. “Every time I’m in a class where laptops are allowed, I see at least two or three students on Facebook.”

Junior Alex Cheser, however, finds technology very useful.

“I haven’t printed a PDF or syllabus since I got my iPad,” Cheser said. “It’s really handy.”

“Education has always had a love-hate relationship with new technology,” said Moorman. “Technology can support an educator, but it cannot be the end of the discussion.”

SGA votes to end curfew

by Jake Hawkins
Managing Editor

Transylvania University’s Student Government Association unanimously approved a proposal last night that seeks to eliminate curfew for all campus residence halls, save for first-years who opt into a curfew policy.

The proposal, which will be sent to members of the administration, seeks to align Transy with other benchmark institutions by eliminating curfew while maintaining designated quiet hours and preventing cohabitation.

Cohabitation is defined by the proposal as a “student who is not assigned to a room (that) occupies the room for successive nights,” when a roommate or member of the residential community complains or whenever a visitor is storing property in a room.

The proposal also recommends quiet hours begin at midnight on weeknights and 2:00 a.m. on weekends, and it suggests similar measures to enforce quiet time that exist currently.

Senior Josh Edge, SGA president, expects the proposal to be approved by administration with no problems.

“All the major players support this, so it will happen,” Edge said during last night’s SGA meeting.

SGA acknowledged in the proposal that a curfew makes it easier to reduce noise and cohabitation, but it requested that the university address those issues “directly, rather than simply avoiding the issue with a curfew restriction.”

The proposal recommends that the policy change go into effect for the 2012-2013 school year.

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