MN Weather Strikes Again

           The start of the school year features a few constants. For St. Olaf students it is a time dotted with meetings with advisors, searching for the cheapest textbook you can find, and trying to get back in the swing of homework and readings every night. For St. Olaf Student Government Association (SGA) members it is a time filled with planning and anticipation. Night in Buntrock, Fall Block Party, and the Co-Curricular Fair are activities that are looked forward to and planned months in advance. These events give both the students attending and the students working them a break from what can already feel like the normal work grind of college life.
            These events have been talked about for months and have been the subject of emails and titles of Google docs for weeks. Each individual branch had been planning their own events and ways to get students excited about all they would offer the upcoming year. The After Dark Committee (ADC) had been looking forward to putting on a headphone disco since it was presented at a conference last spring and Student Organizations Committee (SOC) had been working for weeks on creating a fun way for students to get introduced to the plethora of St. Olaf clubs and organizations, which resulted in a personalized Buzzfeed quiz. These are just some examples of the time, energy, and work that went into enthusiastically planning for the arrival of St. Olaf students, both new and seasoned.
            On the more logistical side of things schedules, work orders (to borrow tables, speakers, etc.), and maps had to be created to make sure that each event went off without a hitch. These are the sometimes ‘less-than-glamorous’ parts of an event, but are the details that will guarantee a great time for students. After bringing both cool ideas and thoughts together with the details and plans, everyone was more than ready and excited to throw awesome events to celebrate the first week back.
            Still, the ever changing Minnesota weather was never far from anyone’s mind. As you know the Co-Curricular Fair had to be pushed back not once, but twice and the events planned for Fall Block Party had to be moved inside to Crossroads and the Pause. Not only is this frustrating for students who long for some vitamin D after being inside classrooms all day but also for the SGA members who had visions of students playing games on the Quad and gathered in groups to eat dinner and listen to local bands.
            Each morning the students in charge of putting on the events set their alarms early to wake up to check the weather to decide whether a rain-plan was necessary. It is not something we get to wait, see, and decide later on. Finding volunteers to work shifts, securing tables for the event, and distributing marketing materials can’t wait until 30 minutes before an event is planned to be told if we will be operating in rain-plan or continuing on despite the weather. So as SGA executive team members woke at 7am and checked their weather apps they discovered the 40% chance of rain and had to make the call then and there to move the events, either to a different day or to a different space.
            Once making this decision, new schedules, maps, and plans were distributed to SGA members working, college staff, and students. The one thing we can depend on here in Northfield, Minnesota is that we cannot depend on the weather. So even with all the planning and backup options sometimes it doesn’t rain when it says it will and sometimes it rains even when expected not to, as was seen with this year’s Co-Curricular Fair.
            Thus when it started sprinkling on the second back-up day for the Co-Curricular Fair, there was nothing left to do but embrace the unpredictability and move on to put on the best event we could. So while you may have gotten a little impatient with the rain plans and a little wet as it rained during an event, we here at SGA thank you for sticking with us and not letting the weather affect our ability to have fun, meet new people, and get involved. We weren’t going to let the weather rain on our parade and we are glad you weren’t going to as well!

Jinhee Cha – Summer Update

SGA Exec position
Diversity Celebrations Committee Coordinator

What have you been doing over the summer?
First, I spent this summer with a team of student researching healthcare disparities in Rice County Minnesota to investigate patient demographics in comparison with other counties in Minnesota and the United States. Then, I worked as a writing tutor for the S.S.S summer bridge program for the class of 2020.

Why are you excited about your position & what do you hope to accomplish this year in that role?
I am excited about working with my team to increase diversity awareness on campus. In addition to our role as a financial organization, we aim to promote diversity and inclusivity on campus through collaboration with other student organization and events. We hope to make St. Olaf a better place for all students, regardless of their background, race, ethnicity and etc.

What have you missed the most while being off the hill this summer?
Although I have been on the hill for all of this summer. I missed the student organizations and the activities they coordinate. In addition, I am looking forward to the renovation in Stav hall which will be ready by the beginning of this fall!

Sarah Bresnahan – Summer Update

SGA Exec possition
Vice President

What have you been doing over the summer?
This summer I have been living in St. Paul with my sister and working at H2O for Life, a nonprofit in White Bear Lake. I have been helping H2O for Life restructure and develop environmental curriculum they provide to k-12 schools in the U.S.. My summer in the twin cities has been full of yoga, friends, family, popsicles and out door movies. Sometimes I head up to my home in Avon, MN to spend the weekend in the sunshine and to help my mom with her garden.

Why are you excited about your position & what do you hope to accomplish this year in that role?
First and foremost, I am thrilled that I get to spend every day working with a such phenomenal team! I can’t wait to work on events and my favorite … SENATE!!! Why? Senate is so much more then long meetings on Tuesday nights. Senate about getting our brilliant senators and students in a room, and discussing ideas and concerns. I am excited to refocus Senate discussions on our community and I am looking forward to seeing what solutions and ideas we will come up with!

What have you missed the most while being off the hill this summer?
I have been off the hill not only for the summer, but I also, I spent spring semester in Copenhagen, Denmark studying abroad. I really have missed all the wonderful people of St. Olaf! I can’t wait to see all of your faces in person and 3D!! ( not through FaceTime or Skype)

Annika Awad – Summer Update

SGA Exec possition
Board of Regents Student Observer

What have you been doing over the summer?
This summer I’ve been working at the Gap at Mall of America and spending time with my family. We took a vacation to Delaware to cheer on my brother in a lacrosse tournament and I visited Kansas City, MO for the first time!

Why are you excited about your position & what do you hope to accomplish this year in that role?
I am excited about my position because it provides unique opportunities to work with both students and administrators. BORSC is a tool for students to reach out to the administration and it is a resource for information about what the administration does. I want to better inform the students about the actions of the administration so that they can have a better understanding how the admin does certain things, why they do certain things, and how it all comes together to make St. Olaf such a great place. My plans to better inform the students include timely updates following our meetings with the Board of Regents, continuing our PLT events once a semester, and reminders that BORSC is, first and foremost, a tool for the students.

What have you missed the most while being off the hill this summer?
I’ve missed being around the students of St. Olaf. Campus is always moving and grooving, and I’ve missed the excitement of friends, events, and classes. Fall is an exciting time on the hill and I’m looking forward to everything SGA has planned!

Vishwa Patel – Summer Update

SGA Exec possition
After Dark Committee Coordinator

What have you been doing over the summer?
I’ve been interning at a pharmaceutical company this summer and its been a very interesting experience. I never knew anything about pharmaceuticals before this summer and its been fun to learn. I’m also doing research doing research at Hennepin County Medical Center about brain trauma, which is something I hope to continue doing as this year progresses.

Why are you excited about your position & what do you hope to accomplish this year in that role?
I’m just excited to see all the cool new events that ADC will host this upcoming year. I love how we try to different and unique as possible with our events. I hope that ADC as a branch can become stronger and more consistent with their programming. We want to broaden our horizons of our events and make sure we program events that all Oles can attend. We have a great committee this year who are very enthusiastic about programming and we can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us.

What have you missed the most while being off the hill this summer?
Being able to see most of my friends who I would normally see on a regular bases on campus. It’s hard knowing that some of them will be going abroad this fall so I won’t get a chance to see them until next spring. But I’m excited to get back on campus and get all this started again. I have also missed getting a cookies and cream ice cream shake with cold press in it!

Eden Fauré – Summer Update

SGA Exec position
Political Awareness Committee Coordinator

What have you been doing over the summer?
This summer, I had the opportunity to do a number of exciting things in Northfield. I interned for a law firm in town, and got to see the work it takes to be a successful attorney. The law impacts so many different people and parts of life, and I loved getting to see it in action! Additionally, I volunteered at Northfield WORKS, a part of the Community Action Center. We focused on a number of projects to help low income people in Northfield find employment opportunities, increase digital literacy, achieve greater stability, and ultimately reduce poverty in Northfield. I also got to house sit puppies which is pretty much my #1 dream, so I’d say it was a successful summer!

Why are you excited about your position & what do you hope to accomplish this year in that role?
PAC is one of the most educational and wonderful activities I have been fortunate enough to be a part of as an Ole. PAC is all about inspiring others to participate in and feel excited about politics, which is especially crucial in an election year! This year, I hope that PAC will help empower students to become more involved in politics (VOTE!), challenge students’ personal views, bring people together to discuss important topics, and enable action that will create tangible change on campus.

What have you missed the most while being off the hill this summer?
The musty smell of Ytterboe and the smiling faces of my friends!

Julia Bassett – Summer Update

SGA Exec possition
Pause Co-Coordinator

What have you been doing over the summer?
I’ve been all over the place this summer! I took a trip out west with my dad as soon as school ended last spring (think Badlands, Black Hills, Yellowstone, Grand Teton), spent a lot of time with people nowhere near my own age (the ages of my summer “friends” range from two months old to eight years old), and spent quality time with my family and dog. I also went skydiving because it seemed like it would be an exhilarating experience (it was).

Why are you excited about your position & what do you hope to accomplish this year in that role?
I’m excited to work alongside the Pause executives and the student workers to make the Pause as inviting and fun – yet safe and efficient – as it can be. I would like to see the Pause become a space that draws all different kinds of people, including those who wouldn’t normally spend time there. I would also like to examine the ways in which we can make better use of the Pause spaces, provide more financial transparency for students so they know where their money is going, and keep the Pause safe for everyone to enjoy.

What have you missed the most while being off the hill this summer?
The thing I’ve missed the most while being off the hill would be all of my fellow Oles! I love having my friends from all over the country (and some from outside of the United States) in one place at the same time.

Evan Lebo – Summer Update

SGA Exec possition
Financial Officer

What have you been doing over the summer?
This summer, I interned at UnitedHealth Group in Minnetonka as a mergers and acquisitions analyst intern with the corporate development team. In my time outside of work, I had a lot of fun running, golfing, and spending time at my family’s cabin.

Why are you excited about your position & what do you hope to accomplish this year in that role?
In my role as financial officer, I am excited to help make sure that SGA utilizes its budget to the fullest to accomplish our established priorities. I also hope to serve as a resource and point of contact for all of our student organizations.

What have you missed the most while being off the hill this summer?
Having spent this past interim and spring semester studying abroad in Denmark, what I have missed the most about Olaf is the people. I am really looking forward to catching up with everyone again and making the most of my last year.

Marni Kaldjian – Summer Update

SGA Exec possition
Music Entertainment Committee Coordinator

What have you been doing over the summer?
I’ve been in Northfield slinging bagels, making art, and playing nerdy board games.

Why are you excited about your position & what do you hope to accomplish this year in that role?
I’d like this to be a year of experimentation for our committee. In fact, I’m not only excited for the successes, but ready for the failures that will give us something to laugh at and learn from. I’m beyond excited to experiment with bringing a diverse range of musicians, genres, venues, formats and more to campus, and I hope we’ll get continued feedback from students on whether or not we’re succeeding at this goal.

What have you missed the most while being off the hill this summer?
Daily crossword puzzles.

Emma Lind – Summer Update

SGA Exec possition
President

What have you been doing over the summer?
I have been interning at the Department of Justice this summer in Washington DC. I was able to get a sneak peek into the legal profession and interact with many types of lawyers. Living in DC meant that I also had the opportunity to try a lot of yummy food (shoutout to Founding Farmers) and meet tons of neat people! Word to the wise- if you are a cat person, there’s a cat cafe with foster cats in Georgetown!

Why are you excited about your position & what do you hope to accomplish this year in that role?
I’m really looking forward to working with this awesome team to create a memorable year for Oles. From addressing campus issues to planning the Fall and Spring Block Parties, I believe SGA can make a meaningful impact on student life at Olaf. I can’t wait to see where this year takes us!

What have you missed the most while being off the hill this summer?
PAUSE PIZZA. Anybody who knows me knows that my love for Pause Pizza is second to none. You might see me chowing down on a pineapple pepperoni pizza in my pizza costume or my pizza bucket hat (or both!).