Volume 13, Number 19
20 Feburary

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This Week

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The Whole and the Parts

Aristotle, in his book Metaphysica, claims that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. It is easy to observe this fact when one takes part in a team, for example a student club with a serious aim.

There are two projects being managed by Bilkent students these days that fit the bill of creating a whole greater than the sum of its parts. And they are separate, perfect examples of Aristotle's claim.

Political Science Students' Congress 2007

The Fourth National Political Science and Public Administration Students’ Congress will be the continuation of a series of three congresses organized by METU and Istanbul University students in past years and aims to create an environment where undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students of any discipline may present their papers on political science and public administration.

At the end of the last year's congress, held at Istanbul University, a classmate of mine, Şengül Aparı, decided to organize the fourth congress at Bilkent and use this opportunity to show students at other universities the best of Bilkent.

In order to organize the congress, Şengül and a few friends (including myself) founded Sosyal Bilimler Topluluğu (Social Sciences Community) at the beginning of this school year. Metin Heper, the dean of our faculty and the chair of our department, decided to guide us on our way and be the supervisor of the newly founded club. He is giving us advice whenever we feel lost. Nedim Karakayalı, Asst. Dean of the Faculty, also helped us with the project.

Since SBT is a very new club and its membership and combined expertise do not yet fulfill the nature of the task at hand, we are working with a student club with more organizational experience. Thus, two different student clubs with different backgrounds and understandings, Sosyal Bilimler Topluluğu and Yeni Ufuklar Kulübü, are coming together in order to make the congress a great success.

Faith in the Student Council for this project complements the fusion of the efforts of the two clubs and the guidance of our faculty administration.

You might start seeing the posters for this congress on the walls soon. Detailed information can be found at the web site: http://sbkyk2007.bilkent.edu.tr/  

YUK - Academic Studies Group

We all know that many university graduates apply to graduate degree programs in order to improve their abilities and knowledge in a certain field. Some of them continue to climb the academic ladder and become scholars. To accomplish this, potential graduate students must research potential programs, requisite exams, and scholarships. Potential graduate students might even need to know about another country if they're interested in studying abroad.

Students interested in an academic career have to do all of this research on their own. Since there is no comprehensive system to follow for all academic formalities, they generally miss many opportunities. Yeni Ufuklar Kulübü decided to create a synergistic project in which those individual students with various knowledge bases about pursuing an academic career can form a group so that they can communicate with each other and exchange information thereby minimizing their need for "study-abroad" companies.

The Academic Studies Group has two plans in order to fulfill this aim: (1) organizing academic career conferences featuring Bilkent scholars from different departments, and (2) collect information on pursuing an academic life (exams, admissions formalities, scholarships, etc.) together on a web site. The group is willing to cooperate with the Student Council, KAYİYEM, BİLMED, the Alumni Center, academic departments, and relevant foundations and associations when necessary.

If you are thinking of pursuing graduate work or a career in academia, you might feel less lonely in the Academic Studies Group. You can join the group by sending an email to: yuk_acg@yahoo.com  or to me.

University life is full of opportunities to be a part of a whole that could never be created individually. In fact, it's the essence of campus life. We'd better not miss these rare opportunities to maximize and gain experience from the opportunities we create.

Take care!

İsmail O. Postalcıoğlu (POLS/IV)

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