Gender and Sexuality Senator Vote

Click here to vote!

The Senate has approved the creation of a Gender and Sexuality Senator position.  This Senator will act as a liaison to gender and sexuality organizations on campus, represent student concerns to administrators, and stay informed about campus gender and sexuality initiatives at other institutions.

As an elected, voting member of the Student Senate, the creation of this position must be approved by the student body through a 2/3 majority vote.  The vote for this referendum will occur this Thursday, May 5th. If confirmed, the representative for this position will be voted on this coming fall for the 2016-17 school year.  For each subsequent year, however, this position will be elected will the other spring representatives.

Discussions surrounding the creation of this position began in the spring of 2015, where several students approached the Senate about developing more adequate representation for gender and sexuality organizations and concerns on campus.  After numerous conversations with the Bylaws subcommittee, a proposal finally came to the Senate floor proposing this new position.  Several students attended Senate to advocate for the creation of this position.  On March 14th, the Senate approved the creation of this position and shortly after it was sent to a student vote.

The duties of this position as outlined in the SGA Bylaws are as follows:

  1. The Gender and Sexuality Senator shall:
    1. Act as a liaison to gender and sexuality groups, relevant classes on campus, Carleton, and the Northfield community.
    2. Represent student gender and sexuality concerns to administrators.
    3. Hold one (1) office hour weekly to gather feedback about campus gender and sexuality initiatives and concerns.
    4. Stay abreast of campus gender and sexuality initiatives at other institutions.
    5. Upon completion of his or her term the Gender & Sexuality Senator shall submit a review of the position and accomplishments to Senate, in particular to the bylaws and internal affairs subcommittees, several weeks before senate adjourns or the senator’s term ends (whichever applies).
      1. Sunset clause: the Bylaws Subcommittee for the 2016-2017 academic year shall review the position of Gender and Sexuality Senator and update these bylaws according to relevant information discovered. The Bylaws Subcommittee will review the effectiveness and viability of a GSS Senator and act accordingly. Bylaw’s decision must be made before the spring election cycle begins. Once a proposal to these bylaws is made in compliance with this rule, this rule (XII.B.8.e.i) shall be stricken from the bylaws.
    6. Temporary Election Clause: The Election for the Gender and Sexuality Senator for the 2016-2017 academic year shall take place in the fall of that year. All other elections for the position will be held in the spring, including the spring immediately after that first election in the fall. Once the fall election occurs, this rule (XVI.A.d.6.d) shall be stricken from the bylaws.

To create election procedure for the aforementioned senator position, be it so added to the bylaws of SGA XVI.A.d. (election procedure) as a newly formed part 6:

  1. Gender and Sexuality Senator
    1. Each candidate shall submit a petition bearing the signatures of fifty (50) students to the SGA election commission.
    2. All students may vote for this position.
    3. The Gender and Sexuality Senator may be any student at St. Olaf.

GSSenator Referendum

GSS Bylaws Proposal

Framework Plan Update: 4/22/16

Hey Oles!

On April 22nd, 2016, there was another Campus Meeting on the Framework Plan! Make sure to check out the video stream here!

The forum outlined some potential new, long-term construction projects, including a Multipurpose Performing Arts Center (900-1100 Seat Concert Hall, Proscenium / Thrust / Blackbox, Amphitheatre), Art Faculty Studio Space, Maker Space / Collaboration Space, an Aquatics Center, a Multipurpose Fieldhouse, Relocated Football Field, New Student Housing, and Replacement Parking.

As this will affect the next 20 years of St. Olaf capital project development, your voice is vital! For more information on the progress of the Framework Planning Committee so far, please visit this link, and if you have any comments, questions, or concerns about the four subject areas discussed at the forum, please feel free to email bruer@stolaf.edu or fill out the form below!

Oops! We could not locate your form.

Featured VN Org: Nightingales

The Nightingales Project is a mentoring program here at St. Olaf. Any female student can apply to be a mentor and be matched with a middle school girl from Northfield Middle School or Arcadia Charter School. We’re all about building new friendships and helping one another get through the school year! We have a group event every month, and mentors  are expected to plan additional activities with their mentees between those group meetings. This year as a group we have pumpkin carved, made friendship bracelets, baked and decorated cookies, written positive messages on sidewalks all over campus, and many other fun activities. We have so much fun at these group events we often forget to take pictures, but here we are at our annual pumpkin carving that happens every October. We’re looking forward to our final event of the year in a couple of weeks, and are so excited to see what next year brings.

Mentor applications are given out every Fall, so shoot us an email or stop by at our table at the co-curric fair if you’re interested!

Senate Recap: April 26th

This past Tuesday (4/26/16), the senate first heard from Senator Andrew Parr (the Curriculum Committee Senator) about the process of how a course proposal becomes a course. Parr emphasized the several, deliberate steps that a course proposal must pass through: from an initial idea, to a written proposal, to a theoretical review by the department chair and/or faculty dean, to approval by the curriculum committee at-large, and ultimately, to the approval of the full faculty. Parr also noted that the attachment of a GE onto a course can make for an especially contentious discussion. Next, the senate approved capital improvements funding for OSA Office Renovations (specifically for a student lounge area) as well as for a tiller for St. Olaf’s STOGrow club! After this, the senate discussed a proposal to remove The Quarry from the Board of Student Media (currently composed of KSTO, The Mess, and The Quarry). This was contentious as, though The Quarry opposes this change, some senators held that it would actually allow The Quarry to expand financially (through SOC funding) and would make them more consistent with the funding situations for other organizations. Other senators claimed that The Quarry is better served as a constituent part of the Board of Student Media given that The Quarry relies on stipends for funding. This proposal will be voted on next Tuesday!

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

The meeting’s minutes can be found here.

South Africa in Rocky Waters

By Tazorodzwa Mnangagwa ’16

In a recent interview with the Al Jazeera English Network, outspoken South African opposition figure Julius Malema, threatened to use “…the barrel of a gun” as a last resort if necessary to remove the ruling party—African National Congress (ANC)—from government. Malema, 35, and leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is not a stranger to controversy in South African politics. At a press conference in 2010, Malema, then head of the influential ANC Youth League (once headed by Nelson Mandela) chastised a BBC reporter accusing him of being an ‘agent’ of the west. The EFF leader’s recent remarks have sparked international interest and concern, especially as they came a few days before South Africa’s 22nd Freedom Day Celebrations and crucial local government elections this August.

Despite Malema’s threats, his sentiments resonate with an ever increasing share of South African’s who feel that the ANC has been too slow in delivering its promise for better living standards, especially for the Black majority, since the end of apartheid in 1994. According to the African Development Bank, the top 10% of the population (majority White) controls about 58% of the country’s wealth. This puts South Africa amongst the world’s most unequal societies. With 16.8% of the population living on less than $1.90/day compared to 15.1% in 2008 according to the World Bank, it is clear that poverty levels in South Africa are on the rise. GDP growth has also dropped to 1.5% in 2015 from 2.2% in 2013. These statistics show the difficulty that the ANC faces in addressing the country’s challenges, making it easier to comprehend why sentiments by the EFF continue to resonate with so many Black South Africans.

 

In order to recover from its current crisis, one critical factor needs to be addressed if South Africa is to remain politically and socially stable, namely political corruption. One of the most recent scandals that have rocked the country involves the current President and leader of the ANC, Jacob Zuma. President Zuma, 74, was recently found guilty by the country’s highest court for misappropriating public funds. It is alleged that Zuma spent $23 million dollars on ‘security upgrades’, which included building a swimming pool, a cattle enclosure, and an amphitheatre, at his private residence. This resulted in massive street protests by Malema’s EFF and South Africa’s official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, headed by Mmusi Maimane. Maimane and Malema recently worked together and pushed a motion in the South African Parliament to impeach President Zuma. However, they were unable to reach a two-thirds majority needed despite working with all other opposition parties as the ANC have an overwhelming parliamentary majority.

Despite surviving impeachment, Zuma’s actions have brought into serious question the political will that the ANC has to fight poverty in South Africa. One of the main policies that the ANC has implemented to address inequality is the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) program. The BEE is an affirmative action program that gives an opportunity for Black South Africans to access funds and shares in businesses that were predominantly dominated and held by White South Africans. Despite its successes, the BEE has been seen as ineffective. This is largely due to the fact that business opportunities and deals have been largely given to those that are politically connected to the ANC. Malema’s EFF party advocates for a more radical and socialist solution—is to nationalize all gold, diamond, and iron ore mines. The EFF also advocates for the redistribution of land that is has been controlled by White South Africans, who make up less than 15% of the population.

It remains to be seen how South Africans respond to the current situation and policies of the ANC and EFF. The August local government elections will act as litmus test for both parties. In order to restore public confidence, there is urgent need for the ruling African National Congress to address corruption within the government. Furthermore, more proactive measures must be taken to address the economic inequality within South Africa. Failure to act, coupled with high levels of corruption, would rationalize Malema’s radical rhetoric and potentially plunge Africa’s second largest economy into chaos.

SONGS 2 PLAY LOUD WHEN YA FEELING QUIET

Hello St. Olaf! So, while we all know how much you enjoy our weekly blog posts, we have something very new and exciting for you: WEEKLY PLAYLISTS! For every week of this semester, a lovely member of our committee will be curating a playlist that drops EVERY FRIDAY. Brought to you just in time for the weekend!

This week’s playlist is curated by our very own Franny Carroll! Keep reading to find out what Franny has to say about her playlist and, of course, to check out her playlist titled SONGS 2 PLAY LOUD WHEN YA FEELING QUIET!

hello!!!!

tonight I’m all!!!!!! Alone in my room!!!!!!! 

Enjoy,

franny

You can find our other MEC-curated playlists on our Oleville, Facebook, and on our newly created Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/user/st.olafcollegemec!

STOCHELLA REVEAL

It’s here. It’s happening. All of your dreams are coming true. On Friday May 13th, Stochella is bringing together your favorite events from the past few years (did someone say Electric Run?? Did I hear Highlighter Pause dance??) plus so much more!

Whether you’re into jamming to campus bands, playing games on the quad, eating s’mores, getting free swag, or just generally having the TIME OF YOUR LIFE, mark your calendar now for the event of the year. Check out the official page at Oleville.com/Stochella to get the details on when and where everything will be going down, and we’ll definitely see you there.

DCC Diversity Conference is tomorrow!

DCC’s 2nd annual spring conference is TOMORROW! This year’s them is “Defining Diversity: Examining the Intersectionalities and Deconstructing the ‘Ideal Ole’.” Come join us and your fellow students at 10 AM in Trollhaugen for a faculty-led discussion of the “ideal Ole” at our school and the interaction of different types of identities on campus. Refreshments will be served, so no excuse please! Ain’t nothing like a good strong dose of intersectionality for your Saturday leisure, amirite?

Featured VN Org: SCC

St. Olaf Cancer Connection (a.k.a. SCC) is a service organization designed to provide cancer-related opportunities in the areas of volunteering, cancer education and awareness, outreach and fund-raising for not only the St. Olaf community, but also residents of Northfield and surrounding areas. SCC plans, organizes, and runs the Northfield area Relay For Life. This year, St. Olaf has put on a variety of events including Relay for Life, a Breast Cancer Survivor Panel, Stovember (“No Shave” November), Coaches vs. Cancer, a Holiday Gift Drive for the Children’s Hospital, and other education and outreach events.

Relay for Life was on April 22nd from 6PM to Midnight and was filled with inspirational speakers, wacky games, and incredible musical and dance performances. Together, over 200 participants raised more than $21,000 for the American Cancer Society. This money will go to fund the American Cancer Society’s life-saving research, awareness, and outreach. We are so thankful for the support of St. Olaf and the Northfield community, as well as the hard work and dedication of our incredible volunteers!

New members are welcome at any time! For more information about our events and how to get involved, please contact any of the presidents:

Ellen Sutter (sutter@stolaf.edu)

Anna Hjerpe (hjerpe@stolaf.edu)

Lucas Groskreutz (groskrel@stolaf.edu)

McAllister Stephens (stephenm@stolaf.edu)