To get insights for the student body, BORSC member Guadalupe Guerrero ’21 regularly meets with Vice President for Equity and PLT member Enoch Blazis. In particular, he is responsible for the college’s COVID-19 response. PLT is the Presidential Leadership Team of St. Olaf College, learn more here. Submit your own questions here.
Throughout the semester, Guadalupe and King met every two to three weeks. During the meetings, King shared topics that were currently on his mind as the VP for Equity and Inclusion, while Guadalupe also had the chance to ask any questions that members of the student community had submitted to us. The first meeting took place after the “7 feet for 7 shots” event.
As common throughout the college, King uses the terms “diversity, equity and inclusion” or short “DEI” to describe his area of responsibility of the college’s mission, rather than whiteness, inequality, and (systemic) racism. He specifically tackles the issue of inclusion and barriers to belonging within the St. Olaf context, including the (re-)assessment of “Ole culture”. One key concern students feel he should address is the issue of intersectionality, that is the overlapping of different dimensions of one’s identity which can deepen injustices through the interplay of different systems of privilege and oppression (to learn more about intersectionality, you could start here). What steps must be taken for these injustices to be overcome?
King established that BORSC as a representative body can play an important role in the work of the Presidential Leadership Team as we might have the unique ability to bring the students’ perspectives and elaborate on tensions while also continuously expanding our understanding of the mechanisms of the college and the student-administration relationship.
To get your perspective to the table in their next meeting, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the form on the website. You can choose to include your name if you want to get a direct response. Of course, your name can stay with BORSC and we can anonymously represent you in front of Bruce King.