- Report on the Board of Regents October Meeting
Starting October 10th 2018, the Board of Regents came to campus for the first of their 3 meetings this year. BORSC deliberated for weeks on what topic to bring before the Regents this fall, and we decided that a co-curricular fair would be a good format to display several important topics. The idea behind the fair was that it would achieve 3 things: show the Regents what students are currently passionate about through the organizations that they engage in, demonstrate the breadth of interests that Oles have, and allow as many students as possible to interact directly with the board members. The event went well, and was described by President Anderson as one of the highlights of the meeting. The Board of Regents’ next meeting will be in February, and BORSC is currently hard at work deciding on a presentation topic.
- 4/3-4/8 Hallway Display
The first week of April was an exciting time on campus. Everyone was returning from spring break, spring was NOT in the air, and BORSC had a hallway display between Boe Chapel and Buntrock! The purpose of this display was to inform students about the Regents and BORSC’s mission as the liaison between the Regents and the student body. We included FAQs about the Regents, as well as pictures of our current team. If you got the change to check it out, thank you!! If not, feel free to contact any member of BORSC to learn more about the display!
- 3/22 Tabling Event
On Thursday March 22, BORSC held a tabling event to gather student opinions and concerns. The intention of this event was to collect ideas for our May Regents report! Thanks to our DIY trail mix station and robust student interest, we were able to gather a considerable amount of information. Topics included race, GE reform, mental health resources, and many others. BORSC was happy to see that students were excited about expression their concerns, and we want to thank all who participated. As always, feel free to contact any member of BORSC to learn more about what we do!
- Report on the Board of Regents’ February Meeting.
The Board of Regents met for their 2nd out of 3 yearly meetings this past January 31st through February 2nd. The Regents attended committee meetings (academic affairs committee and community life committee to name a couple), and plenaries whose topics ranged from SRAP to the Working Group on Equity and Inclusion’s progress. The Board of Regents Student Committee presented on the topic of Mental Health on the Hill. This topic was chosen based on popular demand and the student body’s concern regarding Boe House’s status especially under SRAP. The committee presented a video that we’ve worked on for a couple of weeks in which students, Boe House Director Steve O’Neil, Greater Than members, and SARN advocates responded to the following questions: What has been your experience using the mental health resources on campus? How important is mental health/the availability of resources to you? What do you think the school is doing well when it comes to mental health? What do you think we can do better?What would you like the Regents to know about Mental Health on campus in general?
The report was generally well received by the Regents who acknowledged the need to allocate more resources and encourage decision making that will accommodate the increase in demand for mental health resources on campus.
- 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.