- BORSC Christmas Party
BORSC wrapped up the Fall semester with a Christmas party on Monday, December 11. The Committee reflected on the accomplishments of the past semester and looked ahead to planning the February report to the Regents, all while celebrating the season with some festive treats and hot chocolate.
- “Spill the Dirt!” Recap
The Board of Regents Student Committee hosted “Spill the Dirt!” in Crossroads on Monday, December 4. Students had the opportunity to make their own “dirt cups”, a delicious mix of chocolate pudding and fun toppings, in exchange for feedback on what they wish the Board of Regents knew about. There was a great turn out and a wide array of student concerns were brought to the Board of Regents Student Committee’s attention. The responses, which students wrote on a large whiteboard, were documented and later used to help inform the Committee’s decision on which topic to report to the Board of Regents at their February meeting.
- Fall Regents Meeting, October 2017.
The Board of Regents Student Committee met with the Board of Regents for their first meeting of the 2017/2018 academic year in October. The two groups met for 45 minutes over lunch and discussed the most prominent issue currently on students’ minds: race on campus. The committee opted for a casual and organic discussion format by arranging regents, students, and faculty representatives is small groups, and suggesting prompt questions to get the conversation going. Those prompts included questions like: How can we create a feasible plan to enact change? And What is your experience with race in the workplace and how have you dealt with it?
This lead to quite the insightful discussion, and allowed the Regents to hear about student life from students themselves. Here are some of the thoughts that came up during the meeting: people get over their biases when they engage with other communities, actions speak louder than words, faculty and staff of color are also face similar issues to students of color so the discussion should include them as well, at St. Olaf diversity outpaces Inclusivity and other comments.
The Board of Regents Student Committee’s next opportunity to present to the Regents will be in February. The committee is currently working on choosing a topic to report on based on suggestions and feedback from student.
- Fall Regents Meeting – 10/6/16
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!
- Mission Statement Feedback
- Meet Janet Hanson
As part of our St. Olaf Bios series, BORSC would like to introduce you to Janet Hanson.
Though Janet Hanson is new to St. Olaf, she is definitely not new to her job. Ms. Hanson has been at St. Olaf since March of 2014, serving as the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the college, but she spent 25 years in similar roles at three different Universities in Wisconsin. Though she was not actively pursuing a job, Ms. Hanson took the position at St. Olaf because, “When some openings come available, you just can’t pass them up.” It didn’t hurt her decision that her hiring manager at her previous position was an Ole alum who often spoke about the great community on the Hill. The true serendipity of her accepting the position at Olaf is that her career started thanks to a connection with an Ole, and she now intends to end her career here.
A typical day for Ms. Hanson starts around 7:15am, and she spends much of her time working with the President’s Leadership Team and taking meetings regarding policies and miscellaneous topics. While Hanson does not regularly interact with students (due to her job duties, office location, etc.), her favorite part of her job is that she supports the development of future leaders. Hanson gets some involvement with the student body by attending athletic and theatre events as well as supporting students in various other activities. You can also find Ms. Hanson in Boe, where she enjoys attending services she describes as, “a 20 minute respite and a chance to take a break, sit in a place knowing the surroundings, and get away from the busyness.” Ms. Hanson wants students to know that she is a resource when they need help. If students have an issue in her related area, she wants them to feel comfortable speaking with her.
Ms. Hanson spends her time away from the Hill reading, baking, cooking, camping, travelling, and riding on her husband’s motorcycle (most recently in the Lake Superior Tour). The couple recently moved to the Northfield area, and they are loving it.
- Meet Michael Goodson
We are pleased to introduce Michael Goodson to you, as part of our St. Olaf Bios series.
Hailing from Kansas City (and devoted to their sports teams), Michael Goodson has made the long trek north to become one of St. Olaf’s most recent hires. Not only is he new to the Hill, but he is also new to working in higher education as well! As the VP for Human Resources, Goodson serves the college through a three prong strategy of helping us to be stewards of culture, champions of talent, and coaches of leaders. Working in HR has led Goodson to deeply value employees as the most valuable asset of any company or educational institution. In fact, the people on the HIll are one of Goodson’s favorite parts of working here. Because Goodson’s job does not include frequent face time with students, he is intentional in striking up conversations and networking with them when he can.
Though Goodson has been working at St. Olaf for just over a year, he has already integrated himself into campus life. When he’s performing his job duties, Goodson can be found in the Cage getting coffee as frequently as we students do. He has also taken to visiting the Office of Student Activities–both to connect with students and to take advantage of the free popcorn.
Goodson’s passion for his work and the St. Olaf community is evident when he talks about his job and the people whose lives his work affects. If you see him on campus, you can always strike up a conversation about some of his recent hiking excursions Over the last 4 years, Goodson has climbed 3 Fourteeners in Colorado (Mt. Holy Cross, Mt. Elbert and Mt. Missouri). He also volunteers on the Board of Minnesota Chapter of the American Red Cross and serves on the finance committee of his local church.
- Meet Cindy Woods
Our favorite thing about Cindy Woods is her joyous personality. After fourteen years working at St. Olaf, she still says her favorite part of her job is interacting with the students. In her role as a Tostrud custodian, Ms. Woods visits with people in the athletic facility and takes the opportunity to watch various sporting events. Students are lucky that Woods so enjoys working with other people, because she really is a treat to have on campus. One of Woods’ other campus pleasures is listening to the memorial wind chimes, which she says “ sound like the beautiful melody of singing…almost as if they are alive and breathing.” When Woods isn’t on the Hill, she enjoys long walks near her home in Nerstrand and having coffee with her husband in the morning. Woods also owns her own cleaning business in addition to her work at St. Olaf!
- Meet Laura Mascotti
St. Olaf Bios continues with the introduction of Laura Mascotti.
If you are involved in student government–or if you have a sweet tooth–chances are you know Laura Mascotti. For the past eight years, Ms. Mascotti has been brightening St. Olaf’s campus. Before coming to the Hill, Laura was employed at Gustavus college, but left that position to be closer to her family. Now, Laura serves as the Administrative Assistant in the Office of Student Activities, a position through which she interacts daily with students. Some of her best interactions, however, come from outside the office: she has travelled abroad with the volleyball team, and many students think of her as an “adopted auntie.”
While she’s at work, Laura lives an atypical life; her work is entirely dependent on whatever task Student Government is undertaking. In her free time, Laura enjoys bringing her dog Wilbur to outdoor St. Olaf events, watching movies, working out, and enjoying time with her nieces and nephews. Her favorite travel destination abroad is Italy, and Colorado when she travels domestically. As for St. Olaf, her favorite places are the quad and Buntrock Commons, which comes as no surprise, considering her social disposition. If there was one thing she would want every St. Olaf student to know it would be to “enjoy each day, and smile.” Laura enjoys keeping in contact with Ole alum and has even attended some of their weddings.
- Meet Pastor Matt Marohl
St. Olaf Bios is thrilled to introduce you to Pastor Matt.Matt Marohl is finishing up his third year as College Pastor at St. Olaf. Before coming to the Hill, Pastor Matt received a PhD in New Testament from the University of St Andrews (St Andrews, Scotland), taught, and served as a pastor. When he heard about the position at St Olaf from a friend, he thought it served as the perfect mix between the two. Indeed, Pastor Matt has found his time on the Hill enjoyable, specifically the fact that much of his time is spent with students, either one-on-one or with small groups.
Daily interaction with students for Marohl typically takes place through meetings, pastoral care, and discussing life issues. Sometimes this happens informally at The Cage or walking around campus, but almost every program he participate in involves students. If he could share one message with students, it’s that “grace is real.”
Outside of St. Olaf, Pastor Matt spends time with his wife and two daughters, Noa (8) and Greta (5). Additionally, he plays music and is an avid music nut. Marohl spends his free time reading record reviews, music bios, and collecting CDs; his house is filled with cassette cases and albums. This passion for music is evident in that he has been playing for about 20 years, including pedal and steel guitar. If you’re lucky, you can spot Marohl performing with his band.
Pastor Matt says, “I love my job! I have the best job in the world. It is an honor to serve as a pastor to the students at St Olaf College. ”