In the midst of study abroad week, which gives students a chance to explore the various available options for going abroad, the Office of Overseas Studies has noted recent changes in students’ choices of destination and in the majors of those choosing to travel.The number of students choosing to travel to Europe has remained steady, but the number of students going to South Africa to study has gone up 38 percent since spring 2009, according to the USC Office of Overseas Studies.“We are not exactly sure why,” said Veronica Gomez, the program assistant for Overseas Studies. “The only reason that we have thought of as to why it has increased is that students could be interested in seeing the World Cup.”Students not studying with the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences have also begun to study abroad more; the program saw a 54 percent increase in the number of Viterbi students going abroad through the Office of Overseas Studies this spring.“It’s because we have advertised that engineering students can get engineering credit through our program, and that is why we have seen an increase of engineering majors,” Gomez said. “The engineering school offers a study abroad program, but there are more options for them through our program.”Students who major in international relations still remain the most likely to study abroad through the Office of Overseas Studies.Other majors, including psychology, neuroscience and political science, have all seen significant jumps in the number of students choosing to study abroad. The Overseas Studies program credits this to the addition of the University London College option.Gisella de Morais, a junior majoring in international relations, decided to study abroad in Latin America this fall, choosing the region least often selected by USC students.Although it took a few classes to grasp the language, de Morais said she wanted to study in Brazil to reconnect with her family.“This experience completely changed me,” de Morais said. “I feel like a more complete person. Like I understand myself more, where I come from and that I have two cultures and homes in this world. “Shane Swerdlow, a senior majoring in policy, planning and development and business administration, chose to study abroad in Barcelona, hoping, he said, to gain a better grasp of the language.“I studied Spanish in high school, but it was weak when I arrived,” he said. “I took a two-week crash course through my abroad university, which was helpful, and my Spanish improved dramatically through forcing myself to speak in most situations. In Barcelona, most people speak Catalan before speaking Spanish, so I learned some Catalan phrases as well.”
Megan McCormick / The Badger HeraldWith apologies to Grantland Rice:Outlined against a blue-gray May sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as Famine, Pestilence, Destruction and Death. These are only aliases. Their real names are Evans, Kleist, Brackeen and that kid who draws “Tanked Life” (Steven?). They formed the crest of the Daily Cardinal cyclone before which another fighting Badger Herald softball team was swept over the precipice at Vilas Park Friday afternoon, as a few dozen spectators peered down on the bewildering panorama spread on the muddy green plain below.A cyclone can’t be snared. It may be surrounded, but somewhere it breaks through to keep on going. When the cyclone starts from Vilas Hall, where the candle lights still gleam through the Wisconsin sugar maples, those in the way must take to storm cellars at top speed.Friday the cyclone struck again as The Daily Cardinal beat The Badger Herald, 7-6, with a set of star batsmen that ripped and crashed through a strong Herald defense with more speed and power than the warring journalists could meet.After winning last year’s game the cyclone was indeed snared early on, falling behind the Herald 4-0 after the first two innings. With that advantage, the Herald players could perhaps be forgiven the faintest hints of optimism.Maybe, they might have thought, this year would be different from the last. Maybe this team was good enough. Maybe their newspaper isn’t a visually boring bastion of the passive voice that people flip past on their way to read drivel like “SO to the coastie wearing Uggs!!!1 lolz.”But this year wouldn’t. That team wasn’t. And their newspaper is.The Cardinal cyclone soon restored order to the world, crushing that optimism in a valiant comeback and pulling past their Herald counterparts with great hitting, expert baserunning and a suffocating defense led by pitcher Matt Kleist. The Cardinal cruised to the win as Kleist pitched his way through a tense final inning that ended when Herald Sports Content Editor Kelly Erickson popped out with the tying run on third base.“It was a rocky start, but once the Herald actually started obeying its batting order and not putting the same five guys up to bat every inning, we turned it around,” Kleist said.Epic comebacks that will echo in the halls of glory for an eternity aside, Friday’s game was packed with intense action, controversial calls and the thrilling specter of a six-foot, seven-inch photo editor attempting to reverse direction in a muddy field to avoid getting doubled up on a fly out. It was truly a sight to behold.Umpire, journalism professor and cigar enthusiast James Baughman ruled over a heated but fair game between the rivals, often taking anticipation-packed extra seconds to call base runners out or safe to up the intensity whenever he could.“One of my good friends from Harvard used to always tell me, ‘Jim’ – and he’d always talk like that, and I would tell him, ‘What is wrong with your jaw?’ – anyway, he’d always tell me, ‘Jim, you simply have to make the most of the spotlight when it’s on you.’ And I’ve lived with that advice every day since,” Baughman said. “The only other place where I have so much attention on me is my cats at feeding time, but we all know how fickle Grady is.”After the game, Cardinalistas moved on to the flip cup table to dominate their foes in another arena, before shifting their focus back to kicking the Herald’s ass in the last weeks of the semester. The cyclone, as it always does, rages on.
The Canadian Paediatric Society says its members are “increasingly” being asked by parents about the option of seeking medically assisted death for children, while a survey of doctors found nearly half of the respondents supported assisted death for kids with “progressive terminal illness or intractable pain.”Some 2,600 pediatricians were asked to participate in a survey about inquiries regarding assisted death for minors, both by parents and by children themselves. About 40 per cent responded, the society said Thursday.Thirty-five pediatricians said they had “exploratory discussions” with a total of 60 patients under the age of 18 in the preceding year. Nine pediatricians received “explicit requests” for assisted death from a total of 17 minors.Another 118 pediatricians said they had exploratory discussions about assisted death with the parents of sick children, involving 419 kids in all.Forty-five respondents said they had received explicit requests for assisted death from parents, involving a total of 91 children. More than half of the requests involved a child under a year old.A second survey was submitted to almost 2,000 members of the Canadian Pediatric Society and had a 29 per cent response rate.In that survey, 46 per cent of respondents said they would support assisted death legislation being extended to include so-called “mature minors,” a patient under 18 who can understand the nature and consequences of a particular decision.Dr. Dawn Davies, a pediatric palliative care physician and chairwoman of the Canadian Pediatric Society’s bioethics committee, said she was surprised by that response.“I didn’t think that there would be that much support for it,” said Davies, adding that pediatricians who supported the idea did so with many caveats.“There was a lot of ‘Yes, but …’” she said. “Yes, it could be supported, but there would have to be a lot of oversight.”Thirty-three per cent of the pediatricians who responded said assisted death should not be considered for minors under any circumstances.Davies said it’s “far too early” to make any decisions, but the medical community should start thinking about issues involving assisted death for minors and when it could be the more compassionate choice.There needs to be “a recognition that parents are making this request not as a self-serving thing,” she said, “that children have illnesses where there is really profound suffering.”Legislation enacted in June 2016 allowed eligible adults the right to seek out assisted death in cases of incurable illness or intolerable suffering. The bill also ordered an independent review regarding the idea of assisted death for mature minors. The review will be presented to Parliament in December 2018.Davies, who was one of the co-authors of the two surveys, said only two countries — Belgium and the Netherlands — have laws allowing assisted death for children and such cases are extremely rare.“I don’t know how much we can learn from them because the numbers at this point are so small,” she said. “Globally, there does not seem to be a lot of places to look for direction.”In the meantime, as a palliative care physician, Davies thinks there might be fewer requests for assisted death if end-of-life care were improved.“Given that all of us will eventually die, it’s going to be the common experience of our entire population,” she said.“Medical assistance in dying … is accessible to every Canadian, but excellent palliative care has not been similarly enshrined.”