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!