Fall Regents Meeting – 10/6/16

Hey Oles!

The fall Regents Meeting took place on October 6th, where we (the Board of Regents Student Committee) met with the Board of Regents for the first time this school year to discuss student life. Election fever is finally catching up to most of us, which is why we, as BORSC, decided to discuss the political atmosphere on campus, the controversy behind trigger warnings and safe spaces, as well as class neutrality. When discussing with the Regents, the general consensus that St Olaf is primarily a liberal campus was no surprise to anyone, which is why most Regents agreed that there needs to be more open, and respected dialogue or conversation to showcase a variety of viewpoints. There was also plenty discussion about professors keeping their anonymity; many Regents felt that this way, professors are better able to demonstrate more than one outlook. However, others felt that professors should be able to balance sharing their political beliefs with teaching a variation of perspectives. Overall, the Regents agreed that they should be a plethora of opinions in classes and the professor’s job is to create an environment comfortable enough to discuss and argue all the different perceptions. Regents also shared their thoughts on trigger warnings and safe spaces: the general accord is that St Olaf should be an open space for all students to discuss their thoughts freely. Nevertheless, everyone agreed that should there ever be a need for trigger warnings or safe space, they should by no means limit discussions about different issues. The general conclusion to our discussion was that St Olaf needs to adopt and maintain a culture that promotes diversity of opinions, but does it in a safe, educational manner. So, as members of the student body, it’s important that we do express ourselves, without stifling our fellow Oles’ beliefs!

Clue: A Campus-Wide Mystery

Calling all Oles! There’s a mystery at St. Olaf College and we want you to solve it! Come join ADC at Crossroads on Friday, October 21st at 9:15 P.M. to enjoy ADC’s version of a Clue™ filled night. If you’re the first to unravel the mystery by following a series of clues all around campus, you will not only be rewarded with a fantastic prize, but you will also be remembered as a fierce detective. Good luck to all of you Professor Plums and Miss Scarletts out there and may the night be full of mysterious adventure! Hope to see you there!


Senate Recap: 10/11/16

Senate this week started with a discussion surrounding Pause Dances and general safety on campus as is related to alcohol consumption. A concerned Pause Tech worker brought forth the presentation and data to start a conversation on how we as students can work to make pause dances as safe as possible for students attending. Next, senate moved on the pass a number of proposals from the previous week mostly pertaining to the SGA budget for the 2016-2017 school year. Finally, a proposal was brought forth that would encourage the curriculum committee to evaluate the possibility of granting Club Sport athletes a SPM credit. This was tabled for further discussion so that Senators could gather more data and brainstorm ways to address concerns before voting on the proposal.

If you’ve got something you’d like Senate to talk about, let us know!

The meeting’s minutes can be found here.

Fall 2016 General Election Results

The Results are In!

Hill-Kitt Hall Senator
Johannes Bang 72.46% (100)
Esha Syal 26.81% (37)
Hoyme Hall Senator
Sara Spanjers 52.13% (49)
Johnny Goodson 46.81% (44)
Larson Hall Senator
Jacob Pullen 56.67% (51)
Anthony Valiulis 40% (36)
Mellby Hall Senator
Gabriella Barile 97.73% (43)
Ytterboe Hall Senator
Christopher Casey 98.03% (149)
Rand Hall Senator
Rhea Rajan 98% (49)
Kildahl Hall Senator
Kyle Palermo 96.25% (77)
Mohn Hall Senator
Sarah Kolling 72.86% (51)
Pearl McAndrews 24.29% (17)
Ellingson Hall Senator
Victoria Knutson 98.98% (97)
Thorson Hall Senator
Nicholas Gonnerman 100% (67)
Off-Campus Senator
Nathan Webster 62.5% (40)
Ross Nevin 37.5% (24)
Honor House Senator
Aidan Zielske 93.75% (30)
Multicultural Senator
Shreya Raghavan 97.04% (131)
International Senator
Mariem Zaghdoudi 61.82% (34)
Wassim Askoul 34.55% (19)
Gender and Sexuality Senator
Alyssa Mettler 96.47% (903)
Hill-Kitt President
Joey Dagher 51.8% (72)
Charles Hamer 47.48% (66)
Hoyme President
Dana Smith 87.21% (75)
Larson President
Soxx Lynch 89.29% (75)
Mellby President
Rosie Nanz 97.73% (43)
Ytterboe President
Tyler Rice 74.39% (122)
Heather Vikla 22.56% (37)
Rand President
Nathan Meshbesher 50.98% (26)
Brodie Thiede 47.06% (24)
Kildahl President
Andrew Gonzalez 70.59% (60)
Roshen Jaswal 29.41% (25)
Mohn President
Maddy Reichel 98.51% (66)
Ellingson President
Alec “Teddy” Woodruff 50.5% (51)
Nina Rickett-Green 46.53% (47)
Thorson President
Hill-Kitt Communications and Outreach Officer
Eva Knee 58.46% (76)
Kathleen Quigley 40.77% (53)
Hoyme Communications and Outreach Officer
Megan Johnson 60.87% (56)
Spencer Eanes 38.04% (35)
Larson Communications and Outreach Officer
Erin Cochrane 95.24% (80)
Mellby Communications and Outreach Officer
Ytterboe Communications and Outreach Officer
Grace Whipple 97.3% (144)
Rand Communications and Outreach Officer
Emily Bunnell 97.96% (48)
Kildahl Communications and Outreach Officer
Emi Kaliski 98.77% (80)
Mohn Communications and Outreach Officer
Nahal AfsharJavan 100% (66)
Ellingson Communications and Outreach Officer
Katie Anderson 60.82% (59)
Joanna Hancock 38.14% (37)
Thorson Communications and Outreach Officer
Hannah Fargo 66.67% (44)
Emily (EmJ) Johnston 33.33% (22)
Hill-Kitt Treasurer
Ian Rollo 95.42% (125)
Hoyme Treasurer
James Sandberg 50.56% (45)
Daniel Gehrz 49.44% (44)
Larson Treasurer
Ahmed Noman 51.58% (49)
Mattie Johnson 48.42% (46)
Mellby Treasurer
Karan Patel 97.78% (44)
Ytterboe Treasurer
Rand Treasurer
Zachary Cook 97.96% (48)
Kildahl Treasurer
Arjun Ramachandran 97.5% (78)
Mohn Treasurer
Hannah Nordby 98.48% (65)
Ellingson Treasurer
Lauren Kroschel 97.98% (97)
Thorson Treasurer
Nigel Gillespie 67.12% (49)
Rustam Kosherbay 32.88% (24)
Hill-Kitt Recorder
Julia Davila 98.48% (130)
Hoyme Recorder
Tenzin Pasang 96.63% (86)
Larson Recorder
Alexxys Clow 96.39% (80)
Mellby Recorder
Ytterboe Recorder
Louise Asleson 54.61% (83)
Caitlyn Morris 43.42% (66)
Rand Recorder
Addison Tryon 95.92% (47)
Kildahl Recorder
Melanie Nevins 98.77% (80)
Mohn Recorder
Hannah Nilsson 63.64% (42)
Abigail Roy 34.85% (23)
Ellingson Recorder
Myrto Neamonitaki 57% (57)
Maisy Martin 42% (42)
Thorson Recorder
Amanda Westcott 100% (68)

How did campus do?

34.401% of St. Olaf students voted in this election.

Class of 2017

35.522% of the class voted in this election.

Class of 2018

26.05% of the class voted in this election.

Class of 2019

29.506% of the class voted in this election.

Class of 2020

45.072% of the class voted in this election.

Top Dorm?

Ytterboe Hall

had the most students vote in the election with a total of 165 votes

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!