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ISSUE 117 VOL 4 PUBLISHED 10/10/2003

Cycle set in motion; nursing cut a sign of what is to come

By Hayley Wender
Contributing Writer

Friday, October 10, 2003

Students from around the nation apply to St. Olaf because it has certain programs that fit their collegiate education desires. For many it may be music, since St. Olaf prides itself on its outstanding musical legacy, or perhaps biology, another subject in which the college has established itself. Whatever the reason, many students come to St. Olaf because the school has excelled in their specific area of academic interest. But for many potential St. Olaf nursing students, their department of intest is in danger of being wiped out of the curriculum.

I have heard that the nursing major at St. Olaf is at risk. My response to the news was a drop of the jaw and a “what are they thinking?” To lose the nursing department would bring down the amount of applicants and the overall achievement of the school. That may sound like a rash exaggeration, but when high school students with an attraction to biology or nursing are checking out colleges, they will overlook St. Olaf. This lack of provision leads to my next question: What’s next?

After discovering that the college had lost its communications department, my parents warned me about coming here. They said, “It’s a cycle. It starts with one department, then it’s another and another …” At the time, I didn’t take their fears seriously, but now I’m beginning to wonder what will come next. St. Olaf is already lacking in desired majors, such as a journalism/creative writing major (which is available at other schools).

I am very attached to this school, but is this just the beginning of the degeneration of departments? As far as I’m concerned, I feel uncomfortable attending a school that is now so financially strapped that the education provided is being jeopardized.

Alhough I understand that corners need to be cut in order to continue to offer more populated majors, I remain emphatic that the dropping of the nursing major can only harm the school. Granted, I don’t know the amount of currently enrolled nursing majors or the entire situation of the school’s difficulties, nor do I care for such figures. But I do care about the brevity of the nursing major. I ask the school to reconsider their alternatives, and to keep the nursing program active at this school.

Contributing Writer Hayley Wender is a first year from Sioux City, Iowa. She majors in English.

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