SAC Shark Tank – GRAND PRIZE ANNOUNCED!

Have you ever been eating Pause pizza thinking, “Man, I’ve got a great idea for a SAC event!” and not known what to do with it? Have you always wanted to recreate that event from high school and didn’t know who to go to?  Well wait no longer, for SAC Shark Tank is here!

This competition is based on the critically acclaimed business-themed show, Shark Tank. The “Sharks” search to invest in the best businesses and products that contestants have to offer. The Sharks give budding entrepreneurs the chance to make their dreams come true and potentially secure business deals that could bring them some form of financial success.

In this St. Olaf version, SAC is searching for an Ole to invest in. It’s pretty simple, really.  You submit your idea for an event and SAC turns your idea into a reality! We want to see if you have the next great idea!

UPDATE: The Ole who submits the winning idea will receive a FREE year-long subscription to Netflix, Spotify, or Hulu Plus!

Go to www.oleville.com/sac/sharktank to submit your idea for the next great event!

SAC Shark Tank Prizes

An Unlikely Alliance

By Gabrielle Simeck, ’18

It’s not very often that Koch Industries and the Center for American Progress find common ground. However, the new Coalition for Public Safety suggests that the two organizations may have found an issue over which to unite. Launched on Thursday, February 19, the Coalition for Public Safety brings these two polar opposite organizations together along with a slew of other bipartisan political and financial organizations for the purpose of advocating for criminal justice reform. The bipartisan membership of the coalition includes the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans for Tax Reform, and FreedomWorks.

 

The coalition emerges from the highly complex political and economic environment of the criminal justice system in the United States. The 2.2 million-person prison population continues to expand and constitute an enormous financial burden to the public. To make matters worse, the criminal justice system is also wracked by issues of civil rights. The dual nature of the problem of criminal justice, however, ties together the political interests of conservatives and liberals. The issue mobilizes both conservatives who are interested in reducing the economic burden of the prison system, as well as liberals who aim to reduce racial inequality through criminal justice reform. Christine Leonard, the coalition director, said in an interview with the Washington Post, “There are so many people doing good work in the criminal justice space, but one of the challenges has been that all of the organizations are working on their own agendas. We’ve really tried to bring more and more folks across the different tables.”

 

Using the new coalition, the member organizations aim to support emerging criminal justice reform proposals to overhaul the criminal justice system through a broad multi-million dollar advocacy campaign. The Washington Post claims that the coalition “represents an unprecedented bipartisan effort at a federal level to drive criminal justice reform.” The interesting bipartisan dynamic of the coalition turns out to be a great asset in this arena. Due to the variety of different member organizations, the coalition can reach out to both sides of the aisle with legitimate authority.

 

The Coalition, however, is not the first indication of bi-partisan support for criminal justice reform. In fact, since the early 2000s, many Republican governors have pursued the political tactic “smart-on-crime,” advocating criminal justice reform in order to combat spiraling prison costs which weighed on state budgets. More recently, in 2014, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) co-authored the REDEEM Act, which would have allowed nonviolent offenders to seal their records. This February, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) proposed legislation which would allow eligible prisoners to reduce their time and therefore cut prison populations. Perhaps most interestingly, a great number of the potential Republican presidential candidates are in favor of sentencing and criminal justice reform including: Gov. Rick Perry (TX), Gov. Bobby Jindal (LA), Jeb Bush, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), and Ted Cruz (R-TX).

 

The history of bi-partisan support reflects well on the coalition’s ability to contribute to concrete legislative progress. Many Americans are perpetually frustrated by Congress’ inability to overcome the powerful force of polarity. Criminal justice reform potentially represents the chance to bridge party lines and, more importantly, reform the highly dysfunctional and costly U.S. criminal justice system.

 

ADC House of Cards Binge Marathon

Hey Oles! No plans this Friday night? Looking for a way to relax with friends, be entertained, and get free food? No worries, ADC’s got you covered with the ADC House of Cards Binge Marathon!

Everyone’s favorite political drama is back! The third season of House of Cards, a critically acclaimed and Golden Globe nominee Netflix original series, will release its third season on Friday, February 27. Join ADC in binge watching the first four episodes of this hit American political drama from 8:00pm to 12:00am in Tomson 280 on the big screen!

Each episode will start every hour beginning at 8:00pm. Come shamelessly binge watch all four or stop by any time between. Doors of Tomson will lock at 11:00pm when the last episode begins so be sure to get there beforehand. Expect yummy snacks as well!

 

Featured Volunteer Org: Awesome Club

Awesome Club is a social skills program for students on the Autism Spectrum and other disabilities. We volunteer at the Northfield high school and middle school every week, organizing games and activities with the students in order to help them practice their social interactions and build relationships. This year we have expanded the club at each school. The middle school has experienced an increase of club members and the high school has incorporated students in resource education (incorporates individualized education plans) as well. We have also added a dimension that encourages independence, especially for our high school students.

Another branch of volunteers in our club comprise the Autism Awareness Committee, which plans fundraising and awareness events on campus throughout the year. While we have a limit on the number of volunteers that can be on-site, anybody can join the Autism Awareness Committee! We will soon be teaming up with Supporting Special Needs (SSN) on their “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign. We will be providing a campaign to encourage Person-First Language as a respectful option.

Our club is great for students in Northfield and Oles to both gain valuable skills and friendships. It is always a fun time!

Speaking of Sex…

Continuing the conversation from our Town Hall about Sexual Assault from the fall, “Speaking of Sex” will be coming to campus on Thursday, February 19th at 8pm in the Pause. “Speaking of Sex” uses theater and discussion to shine a provocative light on behaviors that often go unchallenged. It asks us to evaluate our attitudes regarding sex while teaching methods of assertive communication that encourages honest dialogue as a means of preventing sexual assault.

It’s On Us to create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.
https://www.facebook.com/events/942376839106484/?ref=3&ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular

Featured Volunteer Org: Creativity for Community

Creativity for Community (CFC) is an honor house organization. You can find us at the Haldorsen house, the yellow one behind the football field. Our mission is to connect with the community using art as a medium. You don’t have to be an artist to make art, just create something from the heart and bond with the others you are with.  We work with three different subsets of the community: the elderly, the youth, and St. Olaf students.

We volunteer every week at the Northfield Retirement Community. It’s a really fun service event. We talk to the residents while doing puzzles and small art projects. Art brings us, as students, closer to a new demographic in the Northfield community. These residents are deteriorating physically and mentally, but we can still bring joy and connection through small projects, and puzzles!! It’s amazing to see their faces light up when we come in on Wednesday nights.

We also work with A+ Art Club: Autism and the Arts, which is an art program for teens and young adults on the autism spectrum that began in 2010. The purpose of the program is to provide the opportunity for participants to develop art and social skills in a well-structured, safe, social environment. A+ Art Club offers a weekly art-making and social experience to young people on the autism spectrum who are in the transitional age group of 15 – 21 years. It’s so great to connect with these students.

We’ve also just begun to work with Greenfield Park Elementary school helping with their after school Art club once a month or so, it’s a new project for us but the students there really enjoy working with college students and getting the chance to embrace their creativity through the art projects we do there.

As far as on campus events go we’ve sponsored pumpkin carving and gingerbread houses in the fall semester which are a great way to get off the hill with friends and do some classic holiday activities. Look out for some fun spring semester events like tye-dying! Also, if you’d like to volunteer with us contact McAllister Stephens at stephenm@stolaf.edu for more information.

Featured Volunteer Org: English Second Language Club

Every week, the English as a Second Language (ESL) Club visits the Adult Basic Education Center in Fairbault to assist in English classes. The adult language learners come from predominantly East African or Hispanic backgrounds. St. Olaf students work in small groups on reading and writing assignments. One of the most enjoyable parts of this club is conversing with the language learners. They are such a nice group of students and enjoy sharing their backgrounds with St. Olaf students while asking about our own lives. It is a true cultural exchange.

Participants in this club come from varied disciplines. It is not necessary to be an education major or have prior tutoring experience. The classroom environment is very relaxed and St. Olaf students learn how to be effective tutors as they go. There are typically three different classrooms based on language level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. St. Olaf students can choose to work in any classroom in which they feel the most comfortable and often try out all three classrooms to find the best fit. We encourage students to come as often as possible! We drive to Fairbault together on Wednesday evenings, leaving Buntrock at 6:30pm and returning at 8:30pm.

If you are interested in getting involved, contact program directors Mary Kraemer (kraemer@stolaf.edu) and Jeremiah Gatlin (gatlin@stolaf.edu). We would love to have more volunteers as we begin spring semester!