Communication Officer

Manushi Patel
She/Her/Hers
Biology

Tell us why you are interested in this position.
I am interested in this position because I want to find a way to get involved with the St. Olaf community and communications officer is the best fit for me. I love to organize and plan things out, so this was the perfect position for me.

Tell us what we should know about you, when considering you for this position.
Like I mentioned before, I love to plan things and organize which is what the majority of the position is. It would be something that I would enjoy and know can accomplish the jobs very well.

How would you ensure that residents are well-informed and involved in hall initiatives and programming?
I would sent out emails and hang up posters around the resident hall. Another good idea could be forming an instagram page for the hall where I can post about upcoming events.

President

Amelia Podolny
She/Her/Hers
Pre Health

Tell us why you are interested in this position.
I want to be the President of Ellingson Hall because I would like to get more involved in the St. Olaf community. Making a positive impact is something that I am passionate about, and being President will put me in a position to do all that I can to make both the Ellingson and greater St. Olaf community are the best that they can be. I also enjoy planning and facilitating meetings and activities, so the position of President is very appealing to me.

Tell us what we should know about you, when considering you for this position.
I am very outgoing and friendly, I love meeting new people, and I enjoy working in groups. I have experience working in and with groups, and I usually served the roles of peace-maker, problem-solver, and decision-maker because I am patient, accommodating, and a good listener. I am also passionate and hardworking, so I will never give less than my best.

What programs would you like to see in your hall this year?
I am passionate about uniting through diversity, so I would love to hold a hall culture festival. Residents could form groups of 3-4, pick any country in the world, and represent it at the Hall culture festival. A few examples of what the groups could do include making a poster board with information about their chosen country, dressing in traditional clothes worn in that country, preparing traditional food from that country, etc.

I would also like to see Ellingson Hall take a stand in fighting the stigma that surrounds mental health issues and suicide. I would love Ellingson Hall to lead the St. Olaf community in a mental health walk that could take place in Spring, 2020. I organized a mental health walk for my high school last year, and it was a huge success. Not only did my high school community raise $20,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, but I witnessed the community connect on a deeper level than I had ever witnessed before.

These are two of many programs that I would like to see in Ellingson Hall this year, and I cannot wait to see how our Hall community will come together and connect in the future.

Marley Anderson
She/Her/Hers
Math Education

Tell us why you are interested in this position.
I am interested in running for Hall Council President to get more involved on campus and in my dorm community, as well as have the opportunity to improve my leadership skills. I also hope to make the community stronger and more welcoming to make sure every student has a place they can call their home.

Tell us what we should know about you, when considering you for this position.
I was student council and class president my senior year of high school so I have experience in a leadership and planning position. I like working with others and am good at communicating to make sure everyone is able to share their ideas and opinions.

What programs would you like to see in your hall this year?
I think it would be fun to have dorm-wide events spread out throughout the year, allowing people to have fun and meet more people. These could be food events or large group games that would be easy to plan and not expensive. Something that I think would be really fun would be making a dorm-wide March Madness competition for basketball, where everyone can pay a small fee to join and then have prizes for the top few winners, or donating the funds to a charity. Throughout this, we could have the games playing in the main lounge for anyone who wants to come by and watch. We could also make other friendly competitions in the dorm to make things fun and exciting.

Senator

Olivia (Olive) Karnowski
She/Her/Hers
Undecided

What do you know about the Student Senate?
The Student Senate is a board of students committed to the betterment of the St Olaf Campus and Community. Meeting every Tuesday at 6:30 pm they discuss anything from internal events on campus to safety or bylaws. While these meetings are open to all Ole’s only those elected officers and senators posses voting status. The Student Senate follows the SGA Constitution and all bylaws in an effort to make a happy and healthy student body.

Tell us why you are interested in this position.
Working with both my hall and with the official Student Government Association at the Senate meetings provides me with small and big scale perspectives that I want to communicate between. Involvement in deciding whether to uphold an Ole bylaw or pose any concerns my Hall might have, is very important to me. One of my biggest regrets from high school is not joining the associated student body and I refuse to not allow myself this chance to be more involved in the deciding factors that make St.Olaf so special.

What skills/interests/etc. would you bring to this position?
My resume is filled with commitment and my ability to choose activities that contribute to my love for the school. I was involved in my school’s WASC technology groups as a student perspective for two years which meant I gave input on the feelings of the student body in accordance to how the technology on campus is used and what was and wasn’t popular or easy to navigate. In addition I created and held presidency of my own club for two years where one of the duties included attending extra meetings and coordinating with the Clubs branch of ASB. I am very dedicated to helping my school and being a part of the initiative to improve it in any way possible would be a commitment worth choosing.

What is one thing you would like to see Senate address this year?
Exploring the Senate page, there appeared to be a lack of information under the It’s On Us sexual assault prevention campaign. I would love to see more goals and further progress made on this page. With greater focus on this topic, the Senate can help to initiate further research on the campus and determine the best way to address and prevent these nationwide problems on our campus.

Noah Weber
Chemistry, Chinese, Asian Studies

What do you know about the Student Senate?
I know that the Student Senate is a campus-wide group that works on projects that affect the whole campus and have meetings every Tuesday. Then sometime during the week, Senators share with their dorm’s Hall Council some of the topics that were discussed. I’m aware it has a pretty decent time commitment component, as you are a part of Hall Council and the Student Senate.

Tell us why you are interested in this position.
I’m interested in this position for a few reasons:
First, back in my hometown, I had never really connected with my community on a large scale like Student Senate does, and this is something I want to change during my time on the hill. I really want to help people here on campus and make meaningful changes for everyone, whatever that may be.
Second, I’ve never had a chance to take a leadership role like this before, and I am yearning for an opportunity to try. I believe that leadership has many forms, and I want to be able to inspire that in other people, not only in the Student Senate but elsewhere on campus.
Finally, things like Student Council and American politics have always interested me, so this would be a good opportunity to dig a little deeper into those interests.

What skills/interests/etc. would you bring to this position?
I’m a social butterfly! I find it easy to connect with many people of any background, and I think that would help a TON in figuring out other student’s concerns that the Student Senate could address. Outside of that, I’ve study things that range from Chinese (汉语是一个非常有用的语!) to Organic Chemistry, so there really is no limit to my interests. I am a curious person, and I believe that is an important quality to have if you’re going to be a part of a campus-wide group.

What is one thing you would like to see Senate address this year?
This is a question I think I will figure out as I get more accustomed to campus. This being my first year, I am not too sure what I would really want to see Senate address. However, just from my first few days, I would really like to see more education regarding inclusiveness and equity. Having befriended a few international students, I’m amazed at how some students on campus treat them. The general disrespect for other cultures is not something I want international students to remember as a part of their Ole experience.

Treasurer

Elinor VanGilder
English, Chemistry

Tell us why you are interested in this position.
I’ve always been interested in finances as well as the use of money on a scale wider than my own personal use. I want to become more involved with the St. Olaf community as well as the smaller and more personal Ellingson Hall community while still enjoying my passion for mathematics. The ability to combine both of these in one place is extremely intriguing and I have no doubt I would have fun doing so.

Tell us what we should know about you, when considering you for this position.
As stated previously I enjoy math as well as the theory behind it. I’m always very passionate about any and all work I do and hope to share this with others, whether on a personal or a more abstract level. I enjoy working with others in order to find a solution to a shared problem and have no troubles speaking up when I feel I have something that might contribute to the conversation.

What are some skills you possess that would be advantageous for managing hall finances?
I’ve lived on my own multiple times in the past and have no problem budgeting and using my money wisely if not frugally while still allowing for some more spontaneous spending on occasion. I often deal with my own financials and would like to see how this translates to a broader situation. I’m passionate about math and using it and want to keep my skills sharp even though I will not be taking a math class this semester. I am willing to admit when I need help and have no problem seeking out others who I feel will be able to assist me.

Inclusivity Advocate

Chris Martin
He/Him/His
Music

Tell us why you are interested in this position.
I have always been passionate about promoting inclusivity and diversity in the communities I am a part of; however, I have never had an opportunity like this to get involved. I have gone to private school for most of my life, and as such have been surrounded by some of the most privileged people in my hometown. Although my former schools are working on increasing the diversity of their faculty and students, it has always bothered me that my school communities were so lacking in that regard.

I come from Berkeley, California, which is one of the most inclusive, welcoming communities in the country. Because of that, I come from a legacy of Berkeley residents who stand up for who and what they believe in. I want to continue that here at St. Olaf by being someone anyone can turn to if they feel excluded.

I recognize that, as a white male, I come from a place of privilege. However, I also know that I will advocate for everyone, regardless of their backgrounds, identities, or anything that might differentiate them from myself.

Tell us what we should know about you, when considering you for this position.
Like I said above, I come from a place of privilege and that I cannot speak for everyone on this campus, because it is impossible for me to understand everyone’s struggles. One thing about myself that I take pride in is my ability to listen. I know that I cannot advocate for others without first listening attentively to what they have to say. I am also good at empathizing with others, and I’m very passionate about making others’ voices heard.

My high school held several workshops centered around social justice throughout each year during the time I attended the school. We discussed issues of race, culture, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and so many more topics that I cannot list them all. However, there were two issues that we rarely discussed. One was socio-economic status. Only 25% of students were on financial aid at my high school. The tuition was almost $50,000 per year. As one of the few on financial aid, I felt a tension among the students, that people did not want to talk about such a taboo subject.

The other topic rarely talked about at my high school was neurodiversity. My brother is not neurotypical. This has made living with him incredibly difficult, as he is quick to anger and perpetually anxious. The fact that we shared a room made things even more difficult. However, I think learning to live in such close quarters with someone so different from me made it easier for me to understand others’ perspectives.

I think my ability to understand all perspectives is what makes me best suited for this role. I also know that when I make mistakes, I am willing to learn how to grow and learn from them so as to not make them in the future.

How do you intend on encouraging and foster an inclusive environment in your residence hall?
I have several ideas for making the Ellingson community an inclusive one. In terms of events, I think we could have a sort of open mic night, where people could read, perform, or present poetry, dance, music, stories, or visual art that they have created or that they appreciate. I would encourage people to bring in art that they feel encapsulates the culture of where they’re from. I think art brings people of all backgrounds together, so this would foster community among the residents. If an event like this is successful, it could be made into a recurring event. I think my most important job, however, would be ensuring that main events of the hall (such as the haunted house) are as inclusive as possible.