Women’s sports dominate fall season

By Danielle Templin

Sports Editor

The Viterbo athletics’ fall season has been dominated by women’s sports. Women’s soccer and volleyball yielded regular season conference championships, along with top seeds in their conference tournaments.

Women’s Soccer

The top-seeded, women’s soccer team won the Midwest Collegiate Conference tournament championship on Nov. 7 and made history when they qualified for the NAIA National Tournament after defeating third seed Grand View University 3-1. The automatic bid is Viterbo’s first in school history for the women’s soccer program.

In the win, freshman Molly Machometa added to her outstanding season, scoring a goal in the first five minutes of the game and recording an assist in the 69th minute.

The goal was the 31st of the season for Machometa, which set a single season record and broke the previous record of 30, set in the 2004 season by Jen Schlesinger. The goal and assist gave Machometa 71 points for the season (31 goals, 9 assists), which also exceeded a record set by Schlesinger in 2004. Currently, Machometa ranks second in the country (NAIA) in both goals and points scored.

Junior Steph Wisen also put her name in the record books in the team’s championship win. Wisen recorded two assists for the game, and registered her 16th assist of the season, setting a single season record. With the assists, Wisen now ranks number one on the university’s all-time assist record with 28 career assists. Along with leading in assists, Wisen is currently tied for third on Viterbo’s all-time goals scored list, with 43, and total points of 114.

Along with Machometa’s and Wisen’s goals, senior Nikki Reinhart scored on an assist from Wisen in the 64th minute. The goal was Reinhart’s second of the season.

Grand View’s only goal was scored on set play, when they took advantage of a Viterbo foul. Kayla Pitman scored her 11th goal of the season on an assist from Jordyn Thompson.

The MCC defensive player of the week, goalie MaKenzie Guth played all 90 minutes for the V-Hawks, stopping four of the five shots she faced.

For the match, Viterbo finished with a 12-7 advantage in shots, but Grand View had a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks. Freshman Courtney Morgan led the V-Hawks in shots with four, including two on goal, while Wisen finished with three.

With the win, the V-Hawks improve to 15-2-1 overall and will wait for the national tournament bracket to be announced. The lady V-Hawks will be one of 32 teams to play at the national tournament, which starts Nov 17.

Volleyball

Saturday, Nov. 10, the V-Hawk women defeated top-seeded Grand View University 3-1.  With the win, the team captured their first conference tournament title in school history and received an automatic bid to the national tournament on Saturday, Nov. 17 in Sioux City, Iowa.  The V-Hawks found out their opening round opponent on Monday, Nov. 12.

The V-Hawk volleyball team advanced to their conference tournament championship game where they beat Grand View after a 3-0 sweep over St. Ambrose University in R.W. Beggs Gymnasium on Nov. 7.

Offensively the team finished with a .522 hitting percentage for the match, but also recorded 15 hitting errors. Defensively the V-Hawks finished with 5 blocks and 46 digs for the match.

Sophomore Alicia Olson led the V-Hawks in kills with 18, while senior outside hitter, Katie Flock, provided 15 kills for match. Senior setter Stacy Hoffman led the team with 39 assists and 9 kills, while libero Jordan Blaken led the defense with 17 digs.

With the win Viterbo is in their third MCC Championship game within the last four years. Last season the V-Hawks lost to Grand View, 3-1 in last season’s championship game.

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‘Wreck-It Ralph’: Maybe video games can teach life lessons

By Molly Grosskreutz

A&E Editor

and

Valerie Groebner

A&E Assistant Editor

Transported into the unknown and crafty utopia of video games, “Wreck-It Ralph” (directed by Rich Moore) and its vibrant animation tells the story of the quirky ups and downs of video game characters.  Ralph (the voice of John C. Reilly) plays the destructive and disliked bad guy in his home-game “Fix-It Felix” (Jack McBrayer). But once Ralph realizes that he is tired of the villainous lifestyle, he eagerly sets out to prove himself to those who have no faith in him.

Ralph begins his journey and encounters characters of vastly different-themed video games, but things take a major turn when he stumbles into “Sugar Rush” and meets little mischievous and outcast Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman).

Through each other’s company, Ralph and Vanellope realize they have much in common, and Ralph is heartbroken to learn some unexpected facts about Vanellope and her candy-coated world, giving him the opportunity to show his inner hero.

VG: The concept of seeing the world of a video game from the characters’ end was really intriguing, and something I hadn’t ever considered before. The way they made the video gaming world a reality was so unique and eye opening.

MG: I agree 100 percent. The concept of this movie is brilliant, and employs a vast treasure trove of locales and characters that had, up to this point, remained untapped. It was really neat to see iconic video game characters such as Pac-Man and Bowser transplant themselves from arcade screen to movie screen.

VG: I was pleased to see that this film incorporated an aspect of “disabled” individuals (*Spoiler*: Vanellope suffers from
“pixel-exia”). Most children-oriented movies don’t really embrace or demonstrate common imperfections, let alone attempt to send across a positive message, but this movie does both. However, I feel as though this storyline has been used many times throughout previous children-oriented films, and I would have liked for a new or different teaching to come of it.

MG: There’s a lot of talk that “Ralph” is starting a new chapter for Disney. I think that’s true in a lot of ways. Not only is the Disney team redefining animation, they are also making their movies more dynamic than they used to be, shirking away from simple storylines and embracing tough issues.

VG: Although there are many popular video games out there, I was relieved that very few characters from the real world made an appearance in this flick. Should animations from Call of Duty, Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, etc. have shown up, the movie would have had zero originality and spunk.

MG: I admire what the writers did with this storyline. They didn’t use pre-existing games and characters as crutches. Instead, they used those successful examples as archetypes, drawing elements from them but then constructing entirely different worlds.

VG: Fix-It Felix was my personal favorite little character. I enjoyed how his persona matched up perfectly with McBrayer’s other personality, Kenneth Parcell in 30 Rock. Reilly pleasantly called my attention with his “softy” side; I had only ever seen him in suggestive, politically incorrect, inappropriate-for-children essences, but he cleans up nicely.

MG: I thought Reilly was perfectly suited for his role as the well-intentioned ex-villain, but for me, Jane Lynch’s and Sarah Silverman’s voices really stole the show. Lynch shines as Calhoun, a bitter and world-weary alpha female. Silverman’s Vanellope is exactly the opposite: a bubbly, refreshing optimist. I found both characters remarkably endearing.

Final Verdict

VG: Thumbs up.

MG: Thumbs up.

Elizabeth Marquardt: The continually rising divorce rates in the United States

By Jordan Weiker

Campus Life Assistant Editor

“Divorce now happens to one million children every year in the U.S.,” said Elizabeth Marquardt as she presented “Is There Any Such Thing as a ‘Good’ Divorce?” in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre on Thursday, Nov. 8. The event was co-sponsored by the Office of Marriage and Family Life Diocese of La Crosse.

Marquardt is the director of the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values and the editor of FamilyScholars.org (where she also blogs).

Marquardt is also the author of “Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce.” The book was based on a study of grown children of divorce, and was the foundation for her Nov. 8 presentation.

She started her presentation with the fact that divorce rates continue to climb in the U.S.

“The divorce rates really began rising in the 1960s, and by the 1980s, one in two first marriages were failing,” said Marquardt. “My interest, though, has been how divorce affects the children of divorced parents.”

Marquardt’s research was the first conducted study of adult divorced parent children.

What Marquardt found in her research was that children of divorced parents were more likely to get divorces themselves.

They also had more of a struggle identifying themselves as they grew older, she said.

“Two-thirds of children from divorced parents said that after their parents divorced, their parents seemed to have different personalities,” said Marquardt. “This created a struggle in the developing of their own personalities and posed hardships in how they were to grieve the loss of a divorced parent.”

How will the former spouse of the deceased divorced parent react to the death, and how does this reaction affect how the child of the divorcees reacts to death?

“It poses deeper struggles in the already difficult process of accepting dying,” Marquardt said.

Marquardt argued that by being married, it’s the parents’ responsibilities to handle their conflicts.

“If the parents divorce, and they haven’t solved their conflict, the conflict becomes the child’s job to sort through,” Marquardt explained.

While Marquardt concluded that there may be times where divorce is “good” (domestic violence), she said that too often, married couples give up without trying to reconcile. Couples need to understand how to resolve problems within marriage.

She gave three common reasons why couples may be justifying a divorce. These reasons included: a lack of sex; unhappiness with their own lives; and the mentality that their children would still have two loving parents.

Marquardt argued that most problems like these are solvable though.

“What it really comes down to is kids care about their mother and father being there to support them.”

New clubs emerge as a result of growing interest

By Joycelyn Fish

Campus Life Editor

Students across campus have been showing interest in new activities and organizations, resulting in the creation of three new clubs at Viterbo. The Historian’s Club, Student Veterans of America and Women’s Studies Organization all offer Viterbo students the chance to explore new ideas and get involved in something they are passionate about.

Historian’s Club

Since Viterbo’s history major was established in 2010, students in the department have had few opportunities to share their area of knowledge.

Under the supervision of advisor Andrew Hamilton, history professor, the Historian’s Club held its first meeting Tuesday, Nov. 7 and is ready to become an organization that promotes exploring the past

“[The Historian’s Club] promotes the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication and the exchange of learning and ideas among the public,” Tadd Heichel, a history major and Historian’s Club president from La Crescent, Minn, said.

The club is open to all students, no matter their major. Therefore, the organization plans on getting involved across campus through fundraisers and even plans to bring in speakers during the spring semester. The club also hopes to become part of Phi Alpha Theta, the National Honor Society of Historians, as more students join.

“Membership is open to all students. You do not need to be a history major or affiliated with the history department.  All you need is to enjoy history,” Heichel added.

Any students who have questions or are interested in joining the Historian’s Club can email Heichel at theich05408@viterbo.edu or Dat Dang at ddang03133@viterbo.edu.

“I think our group offers a real opportunity to get involved with a group of students that enjoy discussion, learning and fellowship that is academic and intellectual but fun as well,” Heichel said.

Student Veterans of America

As a student and veteran, Scott Nieman, a junior criminal justice major from La Crescent, Minn., experienced difficulty transitioning from military to civilian life, especially when entering college.

With the help of A.J. Myer, an assistant professor of sociology, social work and criminal justice, Nieman wanted to establish an organization on campus that could assist and bring together other students in this situation.

The Student Veterans of America (SVA) organization at Viterbo is just one of over 500 chapters across the nation.

“We want to provide military veterans with the resources, support and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and following graduation,” Nieman said.

The SVA has already established a monthly lunch meeting for veterans as a forum to socialize and voice their concerns or frustrations about issues specific to these individuals.

“The organization is open to all students or faculty who have been involved in the armed forces in some way,” Nieman stated. “The bulk of our membership is students who were on active duty for years; however we have National Guard, reserve students and students who joined a branch of service this summer. We also have spouses and children of military families who have joined.”

On Monday, Nov. 12, the organization recognized Veterans Day by holding a flag raising ceremony and reading a roll call of all veterans related to Viterbo. SVA hopes to continue finding more ways of recognizing these dedicated members of the armed forces and what they do for the Viterbo community.

“By being a part of the SVA, veterans will join a part of the camaraderie that they previously had while in the military. They will be able to network with other students who have gone through much similar circumstances and are willing to help them succeed, not just in class but as a civilian,” Nieman said.

Nieman can be contacted at sniema05894@viterbo.edu for further information regarding this organization.

Women’s Studies Organization

Pulling from history, literature, religious studies, the arts, the health sciences and the social sciences, the Women’s Studies Organization allows students to gain insight on women.

“Women’s Studies promotes the awareness of women’s issues and organizations within the community to be involved with,” Jessica Faith, a psychology major with a minor in women’s studies from Viroqua, Wis., explained.

By exploring various aspects of women’s lives and the struggles they face, Faith and club advisor, Apryl Denny, an English professor, hope to help students understand this complicated subject. They also find it important to volunteer throughout La Crosse with organizations that assist women.

“We plan on getting involved with New Horizons and some sort of community event every semester,” Faith stated.

The club’s first meeting will be held Thursday, Nov. 29 at 2 p.m. in the Krajewski lounge, located in the Murphy Center on the fourth floor. The organization is welcoming new members and invites students to find out more about their mission.

“It is open to all students, men and women. People can get involved by joining the Viterbo University Women’s Studies club page on Facebook, or by e-mailing me at jhiles06010@viterbo.edu,” Faith said

MARAT/SADE brings creativity, raises questions in VU’s Black Box theatre

By Molly Grosskreutz

A&E Editor

From the title, “The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade,” MARAT/SADE by Peter Weiss is not your typical theatrical production. It’s challenging, abstract and wholly unconventional. And if that piques your interest, you should come check out the show this weekend.

Emily Matthees, a senior arts administration major from Rochester, Minn., explains the premise as “a show within a show.” “You’re not going to see your typical boy-meets-girl…it’s telling a story in a different way,” Matthees told Lumen.

The show involves inmates at an insane asylum who put on a performance as part of their therapy, Matthees explained. Aside from that, the show is setting-less. It implies ideas rather than stating them directly.

The show is unconventional in numerous ways. It breaks the fourth wall, meaning that the characters sometimes address the audience directly. It also employs projections and soundscapes to contribute to the overall unsettling atmosphere.

For Matthees, who has been involved with the show as the production manager and assistant technical director since day one, the best part is seeing all of those diverse elements come together with the actors and costumes. “I had seen almost everything separate, but you layer them together and it gets its punch,” she said.

Joe Holdman, a senior theatre tech and design major from Minnetonka, Minn., is the show’s projection designer. “The projections are still developing, but I think they’ll be cool and really interesting,” he said. He’s incorporating prolific photographer Dorothea Lange’s Depression-era photographs to communicate the show’s powerful message. “It’s a mechanism to convey a dark message common to all Americans,” he told Lumen.

Despite having many shows under his belt, Holdman is still excited about this production. “It’s gonna make you think, take a look at our national and international history and evaluate it, and I think that’s something that needs to happen,” he commented.

The show is geared for more mature audiences, so “don’t bring your five-year-old cousin,” Matthees joked.

Matthees says the show is actually aimed toward college students, since it mimics the way our minds process all different sorts of stimuli at the same time. “It involves a lot of multi-tasking…we as college students work that way.”

MARAT/SADE opened last weekend and continues this weekend, with performances Thursday through Sunday in Viterbo’s Black Box theatre. A question and answer session with the cast will be held after Friday’s show.

Tickets are available at the Viterbo Box Office and on the Fine Arts Center web page.

Obama pulls through election

By Jessica Schurmann

Lumen Assistant Editor

The news almost seemed too good to be true last Tuesday evening.

This was my first time voting, and I was passionate as ever to have my say in the election.   The fact of the matter is: we did it! We got out there and we voted. Democrats, Republicans, Third Parties; we all put our voice into these results. And the country has spoken: Obama is staying.

Whether you are happy with the turn out or not, we need to work together from here on out to make progress. The childish games of ‘we won’t agree with anything because our policies are the only things we will accept’ is not going to get us anywhere.

The key is cooperation. Obama has done that from the start of his first term, as he will continue these next four years. He does not immediately throw away the Far Right’s suggestions: he compromises and comes up with the best options for everyone.

Neither side is completely perfect. Both sides have good ideas that can work together in some situations. In others, hard decisions and sacrifices must be made. I trust Obama to continue making these decisions, because I know he is doing it for America as a whole.

Obama won the popular vote. We want him to stay, and we know he will do well by us. Take a look at the facts, and educate yourself on his policies. He is moving our country in a positive direction, but he needs our cooperation.

Whether you agree with the President’s personal opinions on controversial subjects such as abortion and gay rights, the fact of the matter is that everyone has a right to an opinion. We cannot force our views on those we disagree with: what gives one person the authority to disprove all others? We must keep an open mind, and we must accept one another for the main component of human nature: diversity and individuality.

The worst of the discrimination I’ve seen on Facebook. “You can’t be pro life and pro Obama!” So…you can’t support the President because of one (let’s face it: insignificant in terms of what the President can do) personal opinion? What about all the good he’s done? What about his other positive views? How about the fact that he doesn’t write off 47 percent of the country?

Give the man some credit. He has done an excellent job as President, and he will continue to do so in the next four years.

I took a stand, I voted, and I made a difference. Wisconsin has spoken. America has spoken. Welcome back, Mr. President.

Alternate side parking

By Janelle Mathews

Lumen Editor in Chief

As we all know, Nov. 1 marks the beginning of one “season.”  One which I hate: alternate side parking. I cannot help but loathe it every time I go out to my car and see a bright parking ticket on my windshield signaling that I forgot to move my car to the proper side of the road the previous evening, but there is a possible solution for the Viterbo area.

Alternate side parking has been a thorn in my side for several reasons since I brought my car to campus spring of the 2011-2012 school year.

First, I don’t use my car every day, so I’m less apt to remember to move it from one side of the street to the other which usually results in a parking ticket.

Secondly, there has not been any substantial snow on Nov. 1 for this year.  Why should I move my car if there is no snow on the ground yet?  Yes, the city does do leaf collecting, but it is not so frequent that I should have to move my car every day.

Finally, more students are parking their vehicles on the street since a parking lot was turned into Clare Apartments, which causes there to be more traffic and vehicles moving which could potentially result in more accidents happening.

According to the City of La Crosse website, “in September 2009, an addition to the ordinance [9.06 (E)] was passed, creating a limited Test Area for Alternate Side Parking.”  The test area consists of “16th Street up to but not including State Street to West Avenue up to but not including La Crosse Street,” on the City of La Crosse website.  In this test area, people may park their vehicles on both sides of the street when it is not a snow removal or leaf removal period.

Would it be possible to make the area around Viterbo campus a test area as well?  It would lessen the lack of parking on campus a little, and students who don’t use their cars or who are forgetful would not have to worry about moving their car every day to avoid a parking ticket which can be relatively expensive.

The first and second parking tickets within a six-month period have an initial fine of $10 each, and the third, fourth and fifth parking tickets within a six-month period have an initial fine of $20 each.  Any more parking tickets after this doubles the fine for each violation to $40.  Each parking ticket needs to be paid within 10 days of receiving it or the fine increases.

To avoid a ticket, don’t forget to move vehicles before midnight, every single day from now until
April 1.

Viterbo’s newly-formed Hockey Club connects people

By Melissa Freund

Sports Assistant Editor

It is official. Viterbo University now has an ice hockey club. Receiving approval from the university in early November, and advised by religious studies professor Michael Lopez-Kaley, the hockey club is off to a running start.

The first official meeting was held at 6 p.m. on Nov. 8, in the student lounge of the Dahl School of Business. Future meetings are planned to be held Thursday nights at the same time and place, with the next meeting being Thursday, Nov. 15.

For students interested in joining the club, the executive board is also looking for two people to fill the positions of secretary and treasurer. Both of these positions will be voted on at the meeting on Nov. 15.

Lauren Ann Rehrauer, a criminal justice and organizational communications major from Las Vegas, Nev. and the hockey club’s recruiter, stresses the fact that the club is open to hockey enthusiasts of all levels and abilities.

Rehrauer states that the hockey club’s goal is to connect people “who are interested in learning to play hockey, already play hockey or just want to complain about the NHL lockout.”

The first big task that the executive board is working on is a fall fundraiser. In hopes of earning money to put towards club equipment, the members are currently selling long-sleeve T-shirts for $18.

The shirt design is pictured at right. However, the sale will soon be over, as club officers would like the money by Thursday, Nov. 15.

Rehrauer states that this semester’s club events will mainly focus on general information and safety. After increasing the club funds through the shirt sale, the officers are hoping to be on the ice about once a week during spring.

The hockey club is not an intramural sport, so it is not a guarantee that a game will be played every week. This will depend upon how many students attend each practice.

However, the club hopes that as participation increases, they will gain a reputation similar to Viterbo’s rugby club and combine their events with WTC students.

There are currently no club fees. However, members will need to pay the $5 fee for ice time if they choose to attend a practice.

The club currently does not have hockey equipment, so any participants must supply their own. Helmets are required for all participants and any play at practice will be non-contact.

Rehrauer encourages anyone who is “passionate about hockey to please join. Bonds over sports are special; bonds over hockey are extra special.”

For anyone wanting more information about the hockey club, its events or the club t-shirts, they can visit the Viterbo University Hockey Club Facebook page, or email Lauren Ann Rehrauer at lrehra03302@viterbo.edu.

Course evaluations go completely paperless

By Jessica Schurmann

Lumen Assistant Editor

During an interview with Lumen, Keith Knutson, associate professor of history at Viterbo, dug a button out of one of his desk drawers.

It read “Empowerment…Made Simple! Electronic Course Evaluations.” He said he wore it last year, and he will put it on again when the evaluations begin this December.

One year ago in the fall semester of 2011, the switch from paper evaluations to electronic evaluations was put into place, due to student request and environmental impact.

“Students were bringing forth concern that the system they had would allow someone to identify their handwriting,” Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies Barb Gayle told Lumen. “Some students asked if there was a way to make it a more confidential process.”

The other reason for the switch was to save paper.

“We were talking about ways to be good stewards,” Gayle said. The student requests and the environmental concern “collided at once.”

The final decision to go paperless went through the Faculty Council, after being endorsed by Gayle and Viterbo President Rick Artman. “The time had come,” Gayle said.

Viterbo club Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) did a lot of advertising for the online evaluations when the change was first made, which included giving out buttons, Gayle said.

“I’m all for the online evaluations,” Knutson said. “I think now that we’re in the 21st century, we better do things the 21st century way.”

“It wasn’t a matter of if, but when,” Gayle said. “We compared Viterbo to 49 other schools and most of them are already using online evaluations. Institutions have either switched or are in the process of switching just because of the sheer volume of work and paper.”

To give a better idea of the amount of paper used, Gayle explained that each student (undergrad) has about four or five classes, which will require an evaluation in each class. (Five classes multiplied by an approximate enrollment of 2100 students, and then multiplied by two for the copies given to professors.) 40,000 sets of evaluations printed each term, with each set of evaluations stuffed in an envelope by Viterbo administration assistants and distributed to each class.

However, with course evaluations outside of class time, Gayle says in order to get accurate feedback “it does take students’ participation in the process.”

The first semester of online evaluations went really well, with a 77 percent response rate from students, Gayle said. This is slightly lower than the 83 percent average response rate from paper evaluations.

Spring semester of 2012 brought along technology glitches, which caused a later distribution of the evaluations. Students only had a few days to submit them online, and therefore the response rate went down.

“It didn’t work very well in the spring,” Gayle said. However, she said she worked on the technological problems which centered around the “to be announced” (TBA) classes all summer, and the course evaluations for the first half of this fall semester went on without a hitch.

Senior psychology major and philosophy minor Dylan Garrett of Tomah, Wis., does not like the new evaluation format.

“I don’t think I did the evaluations either semester,” Garrett told Lumen. “It was a combination of apathy for the system and the fact that during the time they were doing the evaluations, I wasn’t checking my email as often.”

Garrett said he liked the paper evaluations, “not just because they were on paper, just the fact that we did them in class, because we had to do them. If we spent 15 minutes of class in a computer lab instead, I would totally do it then.”

Chantell Phillips, senior Psychology major from Mauston, Wis. said she did the evaluations for most of her classes.

“I chose them because I didn’t like how the classes were taught. I think it’s convenient that we can complete them electronically, but the only people that are going to take the time to complete them are those that have an issue with the class,” she said.

“The University values the students’ input, and so do we, the faculty,” Knutson said. “It’s the dialogue between the instructor and the student.”

Gayle explained that in order for teachers to improve teaching methods, they need to hear how they are doing in the classroom.

“They really do take it seriously. They try to change, they want to meet those expectations.” (pull quote?)

Reflection, Knutson said, is what the evaluations are all about. “First the students reflect on the teacher, and then the input is for the teachers to reflect on ‘how have I impacted the students?’”

Student evaluations are also part of the portfolios teachers put together when they are considered for tenure and raises.

“This is an important issue to us as faculty because it does impact our professional lives,” said Knutson. At the end of each term Knutson announces the course evaluations to his classes and asks them to participate.

“It’s like voting. It takes some effort. It’s the voice: if students don’t fill out the evaluations then they are forfeiting their voice,” Knutson said.

Lack of enrollment in classes is problematic

By Timothy Metzler

Online News Editor

A minimum enrollment policy in Viterbo classes has been established by Vice-President of Academic Affairs Barbara Gayle.

Viterbo’s minimum class enrollment policy, also known as the eight and 10 rule, is that a class in any department must have eight students if the class is just for the majors of a department, and 10 students if the class is a general education, Gayle told Lumen.

The eight and 10 rule was first introduced four years ago, Gayle said.

“We did try to find the happy medium,” Gayle said.  “But research really shows that eight to 10 students in a class is a good spread for achieving open discussion.”

“The rule is really just a guideline,” Gayle said.  “It’s a goal and a pedagogical practice, but Viterbo isn’t big enough to make the class size minimum a rule.”

Some departments on Viterbo’s campus don’t have enough majors to even have an upper level course that meets the ideal class size minimum, Gayle said.

“I have to look at things to meet student’s needs,” Gayle said.  “Sometimes five students in a class just isn’t enough, but at other times it’s all you can do with a major.”

The religious studies and philosophy department professors at Viterbo fear that some of their
upper-level classes will be cancelled for next semester, Bill Reese, the faculty chair of the religious studies and philosophy department, told Lumen.

The religious studies and philosophy department is struggling, Reese explained, because there aren’t enough majors or interested students to justify some of the upper-level philosophy and religious studies courses.

“Every semester is touch and go,” Reese said.  “We only have about seven total majors between religious studies and philosophy.  Most upper-level classes are directed toward those students and the minors, so those classes will either draw right at the line or fall short and be cancelled.”

“It looks like there are three philosophy classes for next semester that are at risk of being shut down,” Reese said.  One of those classes is Medieval Philosophy, which would be taught by Larry Harwood, a professor of philosophy.

“I’m already concerned about classes next semester—some of my classes,” Harwood said.  “The 300-level courses were always in need of students, but the class size has been raised, so now they’re even harder to fill.”

“Philosophy is a tough sell, especially in consideration of its practicality,” Harwood said.  “But, to back away from religious studies—from philosophy—is to run away from this university.”

“As unfair as the rule seems, it’s got to be there,” Reese said.  “If the rule wasn’t in place, we could easily have a philosophy professor teaching a class with just four people.  The rule has evened the workload for teachers.”

The religious studies and philosophy department is not the only department that has been affected by the eight and 10 rule, Reese stated.

“You’re probably going to run into the same problem in other majors,” Reese said.

Another major affected by the rule is the math department.

Because of the rule, the math department has had to offer some of the courses it used to offer every year on an every other year basis, Rich Maresh, the faculty chair of the Viterbo math department, told Lumen.

“With math, we teach a lot of support courses with about 25 to 30 students,” Maresh said.  “But we only have about six to 10 juniors and seniors in a major at one time, so we only teach two or three upper-division courses in a semester.  To deal with this [lack of majors], we’ve been treated with some leniency in regards to the size of those classes.”

“I think we had one class last year that we had about three students,” Maresh said.  “It was a section on probability and statistics.”

“If there’s a situation where we have five majors that need a class to graduate, I’m positive Dr. Gayle would let us teach the class,” Reese said.

“I think the philosophy major is doing some amazing things,” Gayle said.  “They’re making the credit total required for the major to be about 33 to 35 credits, so nearly any major can double major with philosophy.”

“The truth is that the students are in the driver’s seat,” Gayle said.  “By signing up, they are the ones who decide which classes go and which don’t.”

“I respect Bill and Larry,” Gayle said.  “They do a tremendous service to this university.”

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