Faculty Follies: A Blunt Comedy

BY HIEN NGUYEN / Dagligtale Staff Writer

On Thursday, March 28th, Augustana Campus Forum was filled with a crazy long line of students. Wait a second! Is there an emergency happening in the First Year Dorms so students must move? No? What kind of event can lead our busy students to show up at 6:15 pm for an event that starts at 7 pm? Welcome to the Faculty Follies of 2019, one of the most anticipated events of the year!

“An act of foolishness is called folly”. If you are used to your professors’ serious faces in class, you are underestimating them. The Faculty Follies are a chance to see how your professors can entertain you with their foolish acts. I can do nothing more than applaud when seeing many professors on stage. Although our professors are not professional dancers, their dancing styles warmed up the room.

Our Dean jokingly talked about the 3-11, our new curriculum, and the importance of maintaining the Augustana legacy. If three-week classes are still too much for you, he also introduced a brand-new program called “the 24 hour class.” The main advantage of this class is to reduce student stress and make time for the Augustana Faculty to focus on their research. It was ridiculously funny how this course worked, as you had essays due at 10 am on the first day of the class, a midterm at noon, and the final project at 5 pm. You would rarely see your professors because they would only come to class before the last hour to give your presentation marks. And if you don’t like it, you can “go the f*ck to sleep.”

Ok, it’s weed time. If you haven’t heard about the best spots to toke on campus yet, the professors can give you some hints. If the quad or the chemistry lab comes to mind first, then congratulations, you aren’t weird at all! Some people even think about toking it up on the climbing wall, inside the ASA office, or as one professor mentions: “[in] the First Year Dorm, [because then] it actually starts to smell good”. Those jokes are great but be aware that Augustana has two designated areas for cannabis users. Remember: “a friend with weed is a friend indeed”.

Follies, as its name implies, is full of foolishness. However, it is one of the most successful events I have seen on our campus. No food is provided, no games are played; but seeing your professors is enough to uplift your day. I could hardly believe my eyes when seeing my math professor in his green dress, performing like a real dancer to the 1980s background music; or when learning to pronounce the new Dean’s last name; or when thinking about the joke of a liberal arts degree vs. sex. I finally understand why we were all willing to wait for 45 minutes to see it. See you at the Faculty Follies in two years!

Celebrating the Lunar New Year at Augustana


“Hey, will you come back to Vietnam on Lunar New Year?”

I have heard this kind of question several times. Very often, my automatic response is: “Sorry, my classes already started.” Then why I didn’t go back home for Christmas break? I figured I had just been in Canada for a while and it would not be that bad to stay away from home for a little while longer.

For the most part, I am content with my choice. If I had gone home during the break, I would have missed the chance of staying with my lovely Filipino friend and her family. But as it gets closer to Lunar New Year, I cannot prevent myself from being a little jealous of my Vietnamese friends as they are preparing for what is the biggest festival in many Asian cultures. Luckily for me, my kind senior year friend informed me of volunteer position for the I-Week.

My Vietnamese friend, a Chinese girl and I decided to make a combined table called Lunar New Year as Vietnam shares many cultural similarities with China. We sat down together to figure out what activities we do during Lunar New Year and how we could present those ideas on the poster. We then agreed that the two edge sides would have each country’s traditions while the middle one had pictures of the most common things in both cultures, such as family reunion. As we prepared sticky notes for people to write “Happy New Year” in their own languages and stick on the poster, we also put 20 dollars in some of the lucky-money bags to make the game more interesting.


Writer Hien Nguyen standing in front of the dragon head in the Augustana Bookstore. Photo credit: Sarah Laflamme

The I-Week Monday is one of the most memorable days of my journey at Augustana. The coincidence of having I-Week on the same day with Lunar New Year made it more special. I felt a little anxious putting on “áo dài”, a traditional Vietnamese dress, yet the excitement of explaining Asian cultures to foreigners outweighed it. My heart beat fast when people asked me about our custom of releasing fishes, the meaning of the calligraphy that I wrote on the poster or the Dragon head in the bookstore. The sad folk story behind fish-releasing activity as transportation for three Kitchen Gods on their way to heaven in my description was rather funny and messed up than heartbreaking. The point is to portray your culture, not how you tell the story, isn’t it?

When thinking about cultures, we tend to value the differences. What I find more interesting, are the similar aspects within cultural stories. What exactly are those similarities? I can neither find a branch of apricot blossom in this minus-degree temperature nor have more Vietnamese dishes. However, most people here have open eyes. Open eyes to see, to learn, and to respect. Knowing the differences emphasizes the similarities we share as a community. I still remember my professor’s questions about why we must learn English if it is a language of force and colonization. Learning something is perceiving the positive side, and knowing the differences is to shift our mindset to think about what we can build together.

At the end of the day, I am still nostalgic thinking about what I do every single new year back home. I didn’t spend ten hours waiting for Chung cake, visiting temples on the first day of the year, or sharing meals with my family. However, I am glad to have many good friends by my side who broaden my mind and teach me much more things than I can find inside the textbooks. And guess how touching it was when in the first morning of Lunar New Year, a lady knocked on my door, smiling and wishing me in my mother language:

“Chúc mừng năm mới.”


Getting to Know Each Other and Ourselves with the Human Library


On Feb. 11, the Augustana Library celebrated the 21st Human Library. This Winter term brought up new topics that relate to on-going events. I attended the first two sections from 6 – 8 p.m.

Professor Feisal Kirumira shared his human book titled “Encountering misconceptions of being African”. When Kirumira went to German in his early 20s to study, he went to a school where he was the only African. Nobody wanted to sit with him in class and worse, a student said behind his back that him holding a Shakespeare book upside-down was not “a wonder”. The indignation went through his body as he thought, “That if I die, I die, but I will not let anyone disrespect me on my intelligence.” It is with sarcasm that people repeatedly ask him why he is so good at German, pretending to make it compliment: “You are an exception.”

The anecdotes he gave about his experiences may not be on a personal level. Every day, everywhere, many individuals still encounter racial discrimination. Racism is inhumane, yet people, even educated ones, still use it intentionally to set pain on others. It might be easy for you to state an arbitrary comment on someone’s skin, but it takes years for that person to move on. Pains never fade away. For those who have never been a victim of any kind of racism, the only way to understand is to listen more to their stories. Just because individuals whose dignity get violated have a big heart to forgive others does not mean others can keep insulting them. Having the Human Library at the same time as Black History Month gave everybody a chance to understand more about African people. You are the one who decides whether to take the lesson to heart or not.

I was somehow surprised to hear Professor Bill Hackborn talking about “Infidel in the community”. How can a Math professor, a “science person”, be associated with the Baha’i Faith? If it is the first time you’ve heard about this faith, Baha’i is a young, monotheistic religion that initially grew in Iran and the Middle East. Bahá’u’lláh is the founder of the Bahá’í Faith. In the middle of the 19th century, he announced that he was the one who brought a message destined to transform humanity’s spiritual life. Bahá’u’lláh endured 40 years of imprisonment, torture and exile by stating himself the final God messenger. “Bahá’u’lláh” means “the Glory of God” in Arabic. This religion believes that all religions have true and valid origins.

It was such a new knowledge hearing him talking about the significance of number 9 in Baha’i Faith. The symbol of  the Baha’i Faith is a nine-pointed star, The Universal House of Justice (Baha’i Faith’s main institution) in Haifa (Israel) has 9 members, and Baha’i Faith’s followers do the 19 Days Feast. After a year feeling like an infidel, because most people around him had a Christian background, Hackborn chose to be open about his faith and received acceptance from the Augustana community, which back then called Camrose Lutheran College.



How do you feel about this event?

The Human Library event is a great opportunity for students to get to know their instructors on a personal level. The sessions are relatable and get you thinking about your own life from a completely new perspective, allowing for growth outside of the classroom around topics that are otherwise left out of the curriculum: relationships, health, and wealth. I attend the Human Library whenever possible since it is harder to get this kind of information or advice elsewhere.
– Naomi Madhere

Being a Math teacher, what is the role of religion in your life?

Even in Math, there are some deep elements that need some element of faith when it gets right down to the Philosophy of Math. Science only gives one side of thing and then we need moral guidance. We need something to unify and I don’t think I can have it outside of religion.

– Professor Bill Hackborn


All About the Upcoming ASA Elections


Each semester, each Augustana student pays a $65 Students’ Association Fee for grants, awards, and social activities. Since the ASA utilizes our fees, we must care about how they improve student engagement and solve any existing issues. Considering the annual ASA presidential election will arrive in less than a month, let’s see what current president, Taylor Johnson, has to say about the election.

When will the election be?

Nominations for council will be open Feb. 4 – 28. Any time during then, students can come down to the office and just take up a nomination form. They need to hand the paper back before 5 p.m. on Feb 28.

What positions can people run for?

All the positions are open, and anyone can run for any of those positions. Usually, the Spring election will have quite a few students running. There is the President’s position and four Vice President (VP) positions which are: VP Academic, VP Student Life, VP Finance, and VP Communication. Those are the executive positions, and then we have all the council positions open as well. We have two second-year representatives (rep), one third-year rep, one fourth-year rep, an international student rep, Indigenous student rep, and two off-campus reps.

Do you have any information on the candidates?

At this moment, we don’t have the candidates’ information yet. It’s quite soon so we must wait until the end of February.

What are some of the on-going issues?

I think the big thing will be more talking about 3-11 courses for sure. That was the big thing last year and it will continue to be the big thing for years to come until people are happier with what is going on. Sexual assault and diversity inclusion are always concerned topics as well. There will be some discussion about that for candidates. Mental health resources are going to be one as it comes up every year.

How can students vote?

We do online voting. It’s on March 13 and 14. When you receive the email on your Ualberta account, there is a link where you put in your CCID and student ID number, then it will go through all the eligible positions that you can vote for. All students can vote for the presidents and the executives. Depending on what year are you studying in, you’re going to vote for that prospective year rep. If you live off campus you will vote for the off-campus rep, and if you’re international or Indigenous you will also vote for those reps as well.

What should candidates prepare?

All candidates must submit a candidate’s form. Essentially, every candidate must have a small speech about who they are and something that they want to do if they are elected. Then we go to a questions period so that every student can ask any of these candidates questions and the candidates will have a chance to answer. This section will be on March 4.

Your advice for candidates as the current president of ASA?

This is my third year being on the council, so I have run in several of these elections. If it’s something that you’re passionate about, just go for it. It was probably the best thing that I’ve done in my university career. There are a lot of resources and all of us on the council are happy to talk about them.

I would advise candidates to think out of the box because we really can change things that many students don’t fully understand.

Get Involved with Your International Community at Augustana During I-Week


Being an International student, I have always felt welcomed by Augustana’s community. University life is not just about studying but socializing and trying out new roles that I have never thought I could have back home in Vietnam. Integration matters, especially in this fast-changing world, yet it is not assimilation. Everyone comes from different places in the world and have different stories to tell and participating  in International Week, which starts on Feb. 4, lets us share our unique cultural stories.

What is I-Week?

Let’s first get an idea about what  I-Week is. International Week (or I-Week) is a signature event of the University of Alberta. Established in 1986, I-Week strives to create a place for everybody to “hear each other, see from new perspectives, and find solutions together”. It gives students the chance not only to represent their regions and explore cultural diversities but also to address ongoing issues which are happening around the world.

A meaningful event

This year, I-Week will be in the first week of February with the theme of education. Education is not a new topic, yet there is still much to be discussed. While many of us can afford higher education, there are many children out there lacking educational support. Therefore, our campus is trying to donate the money gained during I-Week to the Sahakarini association- a charity that provides funding for projects that assist education and community development for children in countries such as India, Zimbabwe, and Brazil.

Busy and funny

Yes, why not? There are many activities happening  during the week. Starting Monday, Feb. 4, an EXPO will run from 12 – 4 p.m. and it will be a bombshell! If you think this is just an exaggeration, come to the Forum first and check it out. This year, 24 tables will be set up by students from different countries. We have representatives from Asia (such as Korea and Pakistan) and Africa (Ghana), as well as Indigenous students and language clubs, that will bring a new atmosphere to this annual event.

Soup supper and flag raising will take place on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Professor Feisal Kirumira will talk about Black History Month from 1 – 2 p.m. If you want to chill a bit, consider watching “The Pathfinder” with the Nordic Club on the same day from 6 – 9 p.m. On Friday, you may want to try some delectable desserts sold at the bookstore from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Which will be followed by an award ceremony for the Tournament of Nations. The week will then close with a Board Game Night.

A tip: Don’t forget to check the cafeteria menu! You may even find dishes from your home country appear unexpectedly.  A familiar flavour from your continent can brighten your day! Take this one-of-a-kind chance so your stomach won’t blame you for treating it badly later.

We need your involvement

A lot of my friends love pizza. By coming to the I-Week and voting for a continent, country, or region that you are interested in, you will give them a chance to win the Tournament of Nations challenge. Last but not least, wear some fancy garments, take five photos, and try your luck in winning $50 on a photo contest. See you next week!


Student Led Programming a New Initiative For Students to Plan Events They Want


As a student, studying is important, but it is not everything. You build your future on relationships you establish today, the skills you practice, and the activities you get involved in. Free your mind for a while and create something different by joining Augustana’s new Student Led Programming.
A brand-new program
I talked to Sarah McCrae, our Student Experience Coordinator, to learn more about the Student Led Programming. This program was created to promote students’ ideas of planning an event themselves.
“It was thought that students know what they want, how to have fun and how to recruit their friends to do things,” said McCrae. “We want to encourage and support them as best we can”.
Funding opportunities
There are three levels of programming and their funding. The nice thing is that you can use Residence Service’s supplies.
Level one is for a smaller fun social event and is funded $20. You can plan this event with five to 15 people.
“We want a group with more than just your friends, so more people can come,” said McCrae. “The more you and your friends open to people, the larger the number of participants you will get. Your group can organize a movie night, board games with snacks, cookie baking, etc.”
Level two is $40. It is a little bigger and can flexibly be attended by a group of 10 to 20 students. Examples are a Bob Ross Paint night, a Henna party, or Pumpkin Carving.
Level three is a bigger deal and can be up to $60-$100. Your event must be open to at least 30 students.
Here, you have a chance to share your skills and cultural experiences, such as teaching your friends how to cook your lovely dishes, host a coffee house in dorms, bring in pet therapy, etc.
“It’s not just like you get money to make food for your friends,” explained McCrae.. “It’s how you teach things to other people, share what you know, and make the community from it.”
Your idea is worth it!
Whatever comes to mind may turn into an unforgettable moment, so do not hesitate to share your ideas. Begin with questions such as: what is your event, when will it start, and where? Then give more details about other supplies you may need. If you want a cookie night, have you have baking supplies? For henna, do you need more materials?
Talk to your RAs to see if they can help with these supplies and products. Think about how many people can participate in your event and ways to promote it. Will you post your event on social media, put some leaflets around dorms, or chat with others in the cafeteria? Try your best to convince people why your event is worth attending, and the value it brings to your community. I’m quite sure they would love to attend an event like this!
How can I get more information?
Now, the Student Led Programming is not on the campus website yet. The best way to seek for help is team up with your RAs or stop by the daily RA office hours from 5:30 – 8:30pm in the First Year Dorms East 101 office.

Annual One Night in Africa Fundraiser a Cultural Delight


On Nov. 2, the Augustana Afri-Youth Club held One Night in Africa for the fourth time. Organized annually, One Night in Africa is a fundraising event for two charities: Operation Smile and the Edmonton African Centre.

Mr. Mursal, the Operation Smile Representative, began the event with a rousing speech. Founded in 1982 by Dr. William “Bill” P. Magee, Operation Smile has become an international medical charity that helps improve the living conditions of both children and young adults. They are bring smiles and hope to those who are born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities by providing more than 220,000 free surgical procedures in over 60 countries. Along with Operation Smile, the Edmonton African Centre is creating a welcoming environment where the African community can receive support in economic and cultural aspects to fully integrate into Canadian society.  

Whenever you come to a new country, the very first things you experience are costume and food. This is what makes One Night in Africa worth attending . Not only do you got a chance to hear Oyiza Ayira- the President of the Afriyouth club- introduce African countries, but you also see their traditional clothing. Three, two, one, boom and the models appear with impressive outfits, representing different African countries such as Ghana, Cameroon, and Morocco. One example being the “Kente cloth” , a traditional garment of Ghana, whose patterns have unique symbolic meaning. It is hard to take your eyes off those handsome and beautiful models!

Let’s take a glance and see if this menu can make your stomach growl: lamb steak, beef stew, and spiced chicken together with jollof rice. Delicious, isn’t it? Absolutely, because Africa is not only the land of gold but also the heaven of food. This event gave you a chance to taste different flavors in dishes from all around Africa. What made it even more amazing was eating while enjoying the Kekeli dancers and drummers. To the well-rounded, punchy bass sound of drums, the dancers moved vigorously. It wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that they heated the room up with their energy!


The night ended with a surprise dance tutorial where all attendees were taught how to dance in an African way. One night in Africa was not a very long event, but with great planning and preparation, it brought more value to the fund-raising. It gave everybody an unforgettable chance to come, see, and understand a part of African culture and society.    

How do you feel about this event?

“I like the dancers and the decoration is really nice and it looks like they put a lot of effort into it”.

– Eni Okelana, student

“I am very excited with the success of this event. It involves a lot of planning, meeting people, and creating a relationship during the way to get things we needed. It landmarks about our culture and it is nice to see people in Camrose are interested and willing to learn from African, not just from the media or other social institution. It also insists on African student not to stay away, they can express their African heritage and not feel judged or that they are less than other non-African, or they are outcast in Canada. It’s nice to know that Augustana gives students an opportunity to express their culture and heritage without any bias, isolation, and judgment.

– Oyiza Ayira, student

Find Funding Options for Activities with Your Students’ Association


Along with scholarships, grants and awards have always been a kind of motivation for students in every stage of their learning journey. After a long time working hard to prove yourself,  receiving an award or getting a grant can help acknowledge your hard efforts. How can you get one? The answer is being an early bird. Let’s take a glance at the Augustana Student Association (ASA) website so they can lead you to what you want.


If you are on your way to pursue grants, there is some good news for you. The Students’ Association provides annual funds for those who can demonstrate their potential in academic performance, educational, or other extracurricular activities.

There are four specific criteria the ASA Grant Committee will consider funding for you:

  • Your activity should have a positive impact on students’ experience through extracurricular, education endeavors, or through student initiatives.
  • Each university has distinguishable images. What do you think about our Augustana Campus reputation as a part of Alberta? Describe how the activity influences the university’s image as an outstanding institution.
  • How the activity allows Augustana students to maximize their university experience.
  • Finally, why do you believe that this activity will be a chance for students to better themselves and the wider community?

Am I eligible?

The ASA requires applicants to meet all these following conditions when considering their applications:

  • Being enrolled as a student at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus
  • You must prove your commitment to finance the activity. How long will it take you to run this activity? Are you able to keep things on track?
  • You are required to show a cost breakdown and financial need. What is your plan after receiving this grant? How will you separate this amount efficiently?
  • You must have only applied once per granting session.

What is expected?

  • You must provide proof of enrolment or registration for the endeavour prior to receiving any grant funding.
  • Successful applicants shall only receive funding after providing a report on the endeavour. You have worked hard because you know success does not come overnight. Now it is the time to convince them that you are the deserved one.
  • All reports must be submitted to the committee chairperson no later than 30 days after the endeavour has concluded.

Don’t forget the Grants Deadlines:

November 23, 2018

February 8, 2019

March 1, 2019


Every year, the Student Association provides several financial awards. The Financial Need award is $2,000 and administered by the university. The Lone Parent Bursary is up to $2,000, depending on the number of applicants. There are also four Leadership Awards worth $500 each available. These are given out annually at the Spring Leadership Reception. Anyone who makes efforts and contribution to the Augustana Community is eligible to compete for their slots. Recipients are chosen by a committee.

ASA Sponsored Leadership Awards

Award categories include the Betty Ostenrud Award – Faculty, Betty Ostenrud Award – Staff, Heather Huber Memorial Award – Student, Best New Club, Most Improved Club, and Best Overall Club. They are given out at the same time as other awards in the Leadership Reception in April.

Above is some general information that you may find helpful. Please notice that Applications must be handed into the ASA Main Office located in the Forum Lower Level, L1-010. For more specific information, contact the ASA email augsa@ualberta.ca.


Long Service Awards Honours Dedicated Augustana Staff


How long have you been studying at Augustana? Whether you are a freshman or a final-year student, you can complete most programs in Augustana Campus in four or five years. However, the story is different for some outstanding individuals. They have been working at Augustana for a long time and continue to bring more value to our small campus. On October 16th, the Lougheed organized the Long Service Awards to recognize their dedication.

The event starts in a small room. With the sound of soft music, many recipients attend with a smile on their faces. Lilas Bielopoctocky is a special one. She has been working for the Food Services for more than 30 years to provide food in the cafeteria. Her job is purchasing, ordering, and scheduling the menu for the approximately 400 students living on campus.  Students not only find bread and ham inside the cafeteria, but also have a chance to taste the flavor of Asian dishes such as Basmati rice, shrimp Pad Thai, along with the spectacular hot chocolate. It is not easy for our Food Service Supervisor to supply most of the food with local fresh food as it depends on many factors, including prices and availability. However, Bielopotocky’s motivation is inspiring, ” Receiving this award is great because I love the people and I love food. I try my best every day.”  

Valerie Bailey and Paula Marentette received their 25-year awards. If you are interested in the Music Department, you may have known that Valerie Bailey is an Administrative Assistant for Fine Arts and Humanities. For her 25 years working at Augustana, she supports many students who want to take a sight-reading course, practice musical instruments, or participate in the Augustana Choir. Considered to be one of Western Canada’s most successful undergraduate university choirs, the Augustana Choir performs qualitative choral literature drawn from a variety of styles and periods. It takes countless time and effort to build on that success, but thanks to Bailey’s dedication that sustainably improves our Music Department’s reputation. Paula Marentette, Professor of Psychology, teaches most of the psychology classes for second- and third-year students. She puts her life into an example of what she teaches and how she teaches. With her interest in cognitive development, she instructs students on the projects that involve gesture and language. Although Marentette has high-requirements in her class, she is a great professor who always encourages students to improve their critical thinking by viewing issues in different aspects.

Sarah Munter/Special to The Dagligtale

The Employee Long Service Awards is meaningful. It acknowledges the campus staffs and employees’ contribution to our small community. It also reminds students that we are not alone in our journey because of the many people that silently support us.