Contained in this document is a list of demands by the St. Olaf
Student Government Association as it pertains to the matters of
the COVID19 pandemic, racial injustice and international student
interests at this time.

Pandemic Related

Whereas all on campus college facilities will be filled beyond their capacity in the Fall considering that more students than ever will be on campus as evident from the rental of two extra housing units for students by the college.

Whereas as the current state of the Covid 19 global pandemic demands the avoidance of crowded spaces and social isolation.

Whereas students will be returning from all parts of the state and globe and face a high chance of contracting the virus on their travel and bringing back the virus with them.

Whereas it is evident from the current summer hygiene and sanitation practices adopted by the school and experienced by the ~100 students currently living on campus, that the administration has not made any significant sanitation adjustments to mitigate the present pandemic.

Whereas many categories of high risk and immunocompromised students cannot accept the risk associated with returning to campus in the fall for health reasons.

Therefore we demand that the school do the following:

  1. Actively roll out and make available an online option of every class allowing students who can, to opt to take that option thereby countering the impending overcrowdedness of the campus and the increased risk posed especially to students who do not have the option to take virtual classes.
  2. Increase the frequency of cleaning of all campus spaces and this must include cleaning on the weekends.
  3. Provide a guaranteed hazard pay to St. Olaf employees whose jobs put them at a high risk of contracting the Coronavirus including student custodians.
  4. Continue to work with students, staff and faculty who are at a high risk for the virus and will be on campus in the Fall. Ensure that metrics for flagging the Coronavirus do not discriminate against people with preexisting conditions who may have those symptoms for reasons other than COVID19.

Race Related

Whereas St. Olaf, as its allied institutions, is historically, institutionally and systemically racist.

Whereas Minnesota and the world witnessed the brutal lynching of George Floyd and has since witnessed calls to action by various individual and institutional stakeholders in the global Black Lives Matter movement.

Whereas Black members of the college community, most recently of note being Professor Michelle Gibbs, have articulated how the racial and cultural dynamics of St. Olaf continues to hinder the success of black people at St. Olaf.

Therefore we demand that the school do the following:

  1. Actively overhaul the Board of Regents to include a body that is more ethnically and racially diverse and invested in strategically addressing St. Olaf’s culture and systemic racism. This overhaul must include addressing the current selection criteria and intentionality behind who is invited to join the group.
  2. Work with the faculty of the Race and Ethnic Studies department to design St. Olaf specific antiracist training modules addressing recent and historical issues of race and racism on the Hill, which will be made compulsory for all faculty, staff and students.
  3. Launch campus specific conversations regarding individual, institutional and systemic racism on campus.
  4. Hire more Black professors and support them in their pursuit of tenure.
  5. Additionally, launch investigations into the faculty who have been named in the horrific accounts of racism on @stolafanonymous. Faculty who have demonstrated a history of racism or any other kind of prejudice should be fired.

International Student Related

Whereas the SEVP declaration of 7/6 puts international students at risk of sudden deportation.

Whereas international students currently abroad will be unable to return to campus in the Fall for in person classes due to state sanctioned antagonistic policies.

Whereas a lack of prompt information leaves international students with insufficient time to take actionable steps, considering the current restrictions on international travel, and places international students at a greater risk than any other student of being unable to return home and
possibly experiencing homelessness.

Whereas beginning last year it has been made compulsory for international students to accept the school’s international student health insurance.

Whereas the cost of the compulsory health insurance has been almost doubled without prior notice and with COVID 19 as justification.

Therefore we demand that the school do the following:

  1. Give all admitted and enrolled international students who are currently abroad including the incoming class of 2024 the option to: take classes online or take classes at a convenient nearby institution with the assurance that their credits will transfer. This is to ensure that no student has to give up their education due to state sanctioned policies or St. Olaf’s negligence.
  2. Give written confirmation that the hybrid model allows international students to remain on campus even if classes transition to being fully online mid-semester under the SEVP policy. This is to mitigate the panic around the risk of deportation to ensure students that they will not be deported mid semester should the classes move online.
  3. Demonstrate their commitment to safeguarding the education of international Oles through financial means, political means (by engaging with the state) and legal means.
  4. This fall, the school website must include a page that serves as an archive location of the minutes for every administrative, faculty, and board meeting regarding COVID-19 related changes or student-visa impacting decisions. This page has to be accessible to current international students and their guardians within a day of the meeting’s conclusion. The school’s transparency of information will give international students an earlier and better chance to navigate and plan ahead for sudden disruptions to their education, visa status, and living situation.
  5. Remove the compulsory requirement of accepting the school’s international student health insurance and return the choice of picking a suitable health insurance.

Signed: St. Olaf Student Government Association Executive Team.