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News

thursday, april 7, 2011

www.thegatewayonline.ca

Students to travel to Japan for new summer archaelogy project

Revised policy hoped to be less daunting

Kaitlyn Grant

Alcohol Continued From Page 1

A new adventure is starting for the University of Alberta students taking part in an archaeology project that will study prehistoric sites in Japan. The Baikal-Hokkaido Archaeology Project is an international effort aimed to understand the prehistoric hunter-gatherer cultures. The group recently received a research grant that will enable the project to begin a long-term dig on Rebun Island, Japan. The team members hope to obtain information on ancient societies and the way they lived to compare with findings from a previous project on Lake Baikal, Siberia. The comparison of the Japanese and Siberian sites will allow researchers to better understand the data they have already obtained. The new project also provides opportunities for students to volunteer on the archaeological sites in Japan and to learn about Japanese archaeology and culture. Andrzej Weber is the program director of the Baikal-Hokkaido Archaeology Project, which has been a work in progress for more than 10 years. Weber looks at the different aspects of the new project as an adventure. “A new project always creates a new adventure in every respect. Adventure that involves working in a new country, excavating new archaeological sites, obtaining new data, finding new things, past cultures. Adventure of working with new people and doing something new together that has never been done before,” Weber said. Students from Canada and Japan will be an integral part of the summer work in Japan.

Pub crawls were brought up several times at the town hall. The university issued waivers for them earlier this year, but didn’t explicitly condone pub crawls, prompting a review of the policy. According to Stack, pub crawls are prohibited at the University of Calgary. Some student groups rely on pub crawls as a source of generating income, as they are relatively simple events to organize and provide a high net profit margin. Students’ Union Vice President (Student Life) Rory Tighe had the same concerns, saying that he wanted events to be as inclusive as possible. “You don’t want to promote alcohol use, obviously, but you want everyone to be able to enjoy things,” he said. “I want to make sure that the process is as least administratively burdensome as possible. I want to make sure the process enhances the safety of the event, but that it’s not terribly overly complicated to plan something.” Currently the responsibility of issuing permits is divided among Ancillary Services, the Alcohol Policy Review Committee, Risk Management, and the Office of the Dean of Students. The lack of a centralized structure meant delays in communication with student groups, who suggested a single, localized resource available online, or a single go-to person to help answer questions. “You have to make sure the process is something students and faculty are willing to go through, and will go through,” Tighe said. According to Director of Residence Services Dima Utgoff, the university will reassess the power and responsibilities of the separate offices in issuing permits. “We want to make sure you are protected, and that everyone at the event enjoys themselves and goes home safely,” Stack said. “We don’t want to lose sight of the quality of the student experience.”

News Staff

supplied

DIG DUG Twenty students will travel to Hokkaido, Japan to study hunter-gatherer cultures.

While the University of Alberta and the Hokkaido University currently collaborate in the project, they are also working towards creating a joint degree between the schools. “We will be running archaeological field schools [for] perhaps five years continuously starting this summer. There will be two terms: in July, there will be Western term and in August, there will be a Japanese term, for students to participate in excavations. In every term, we will accommodate about 20 students.” New adventures involve plenty of hard work

and preparation. Weber said that the hardest part of preparing for the first steps in the field is learning the language. The Baikal-Hokkaido Archaeology Project has plans to begin the project this summer. Despite the recent natural disasters that have struck Japan, Weber said that it has not impeded their progress. “Hokkaido was not affected by the tsunami, earthquake, and damages to the nuclear power plant. In this regard, [it] is a very safe place to work.”


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