International Awareness Week tackles sports

Manitou Messenger - 4 hours 14 min ago

The International Student Association held its annual International Awareness Week from Oct. 20 through 24. This year, one of the lectures focused on the international influence of sports.

Oct. 22 saw an intimate discussion about sports among students and professors from St. Olaf and Carleton College.  The lecture was titled “More than a Game” and focused on the global nature of sports. Raffi Triggiano ’15, the event’s moderator, posed questions relating to the benefits, differences in strategies and effects of results on individuals versus teams in sports.

Professors of Philosophy Danny Munoz-Hutchinson and Gordon Marino, Professor of Political Science Joshua Anderson and Professor of Physical Education (as well as Carleton’s head soccer coach) Bob Carlson were the designated panelists.

Triggiano commenced the discussion with a general question regarding the origin of the panelists’ interest in sports and their athletic backgrounds.

Hutchinson, who started judo when he was five years old, said, “My parents were educated so my father got me into martial arts.” He spoke at length about the reasons for his commitment to the martial arts.

“It wasn’t just for the competitive aspect, but it was also for the philosophical pinning of martial arts,” he said.

Marino, who trained as a boxer, also agreed with the philosophical aspects relating to sports but emphasized his need to protect himself while growing up.

“I wanted to feel safe because I grew up around violence,” he said. He also talked about the fighting techniques and strategies he learned in boxing.

“I had confidence in myself when physical altercations arose,” Marino said. “But I was analytical and pragmatic when protecting myself from violence inside and outside of the ring.”

It was immediately clear why Bob Carlson became a coach; his enthusiasm for all types of athletic activity was quite evident.

“I loved sports. It is what I did when growing up and it is currently what I do,” said Carlson.

Carlson went on to discuss his work as Carleton’s soccer coach.

“I am intensively competitive and have turned that into my passion and work,” he said. He made to sure point out that he is able to see the simple beauty in sports, saying, “In all the competitiveness, I actually remember that playing sports is for the fun.”

Professor Joshua Anderson brought both a love of athletics and a social scientist’s perspective to the discussion.

“I got the pursuit of excellence out of playing sports,” said Anderson.

Anderson brought up the positive aspects of the sometimes punishing nature of competitive athletics. As a former football and frisbee player as well as a fan of Formula One racing, Anderson understands the rigorous and sometimes dangerous nature of competition. In his opinion, however, it is the diligence and dedication required to excel at sports that makes them so unique and special. Sports require dedication and sometimes suffering on the player’s part, but this contributes to the artistic value of athletics.

“You get to see excellence on display,” Anderson said. Anderson talked about being able to use his difficult experiences as a football player to excel in academia. After the panelists shared their experiences, Triggiano pointed out that some panelists specialized in individual sports while others participated in team sports. This led to his second question, “What are the differences in the experiences for individual and team sports like boxing and soccer?”

“The way you deal with fear and anxiety varies,” Marino said.

He compared his boxing and football experiences. He mentioned that though boxing and football are very different sports, both sets of athletes must be brave to be successful. Marino credited his involvement in boxing for his ability to attack life obstacles head on.

“You got to be brave,” said Marino. “In life, there are so many times you will take huge hits. Being brave and courageous makes those hits much more bearable.”

Hutchinson agreed with Marino’s take on bravery and drew a comparison between his sport judo, and boxing.

“Both [types of athletes] have to be brave enough to expose their backs,” he said. Hutchinson discussed judo techniques that involve a fighter letting down his or her guard momentarily in order to achieve victory. He reiterated Marino’s sentiments, stating, “Learning to be courageous and standing up in dangerous situations are skills learned through sports.”

Anderson then brought up the link between economic inequality and athletics.

“The reasons people go into sports are oftentimes based on their socioeconomic status,” Anderson said.

He linked the likelihood of someone joining a strength-building sport to lower economic status. He went on to say that poor individuals find the need to build their self-esteem and reassure themselves of physical strength.

“Building physical strength allowed these individuals to gain emotional stability,” Anderson said.

With the topic of class came the discussion about social mobility and meritocratic attainment in sports.

“Sports are more meritocratic than actual life,” Marino said. He acknowledged the fact that players are more likely to be rewarded for their hard work through endorsements, pay raises and team transfers. This is unusual in today’s society, where hard work is not always valued properly due to numerous external factors.

Hutchinson used judo as an example to comment on the motivators behind the commercialization of sports.

“The more sports become commercialized, the more rules you get. But these rules are not to make the sport safer; it is for entertainment,” Hutchinson said. He referenced judo having more rules than it has in the past. These rules made the moves more complicated and visually pleasing. As a result, there has been a significant increase in viewership and people are making more money from the sport now than ever before.

During the last 10 minutes of the event, Triggiano allowed the audience to ask questions. The panelists answered inquiries that tackled ethics and the controversial issue of  Division 1 athletics and their vast profits that do not benefit the athletes themselves.

“It is a plantation because it is built upon the work of black men,” Anderson said. College sport teams, specifically football and basketball, have a high percentage of African-American athletes. These Division 1 schools use their players as marketing tools to increase revenue stream, but the players are not allowed to make money as a result of their talents until they leave college.

“These Division 1 schools justify their actions with the fact that these black men are given a free education,” Carlson said.

The International Student Association meets every Sunday at 6:00 p.m. in Valhalla. For more information about the club, contact the co-chair, Theresia Kinanti Dewi at

Categories: Colleges

Embracing a negative side can effect positive change

Manitou Messenger - 6 hours 14 min ago

New York University Professor of Psychology Gabriele Oettingen has spent the last few years of her life dedicated to studying the power (or lack thereof) of positive thinking. She claims that thinking about your goals with the mindset that achievement of them is inevitable and within reach often leads to a failure to meet said goals. Instead, Oettingen suggests implementing a technique known as “mental contrasting,” or, in layman’s terms, looking at the positive and negative sides of a situation.

I have a lot of hope for Oettingen’s pessimism advocacy. It is certainly a useful, implementable tool that I am confident is guaranteed to create positive change in individual lives.

Irony aside, I think Oettingen does have a point. An important thing to note, though – and something I think a lot of people gloss over – is that the professor is not saying that people should be a 100 percent downer, glass-half-empty, “it’ll never happen” type. That will just lead to lethargy and depression, a combination that does not often result in any sort of productivity.

So go ahead and daydream about that thing you want, whether it be getting good grades, making new friends or becoming a professional circus clown. But don’t stop there. When you just imagine having what you want, your brain starts to trick itself into thinking it already has it, thus is less motivated to achieve it and is less prepared to deal with any obstacles that may arise. This is what you should do instead: first, think about what you are hoping to get by attaining your goals. Is it the benefits of a quality education? The satisfaction of the companionship of a large social circle? The joy of making an audience laugh at your silly antics while wearing ridiculous makeup and tacky clothing? Whatever your motivation is, find it and identify it.

Secondly, imagine anything that could get in the way of your goal. However, don’t focus as much on the external forces working against you, things such as the circus becoming an increasingly lost art form in this nation. Instead, focus on the internal factors: how are you holding yourself back? Maybe you get distracted by Facebook or Netflix. Maybe you shut yourself away in your room too often. Maybe traumatic memories give you a general distrust for the circus folk. Really delve deep with this one.

Finally – and this is the important part – take all those obstacles you thought of and plan what you will do when they come up. You could leave your phone and computer in your room, and then go study in a secluded corner of Rolvaag. You could get involved in more fun activities in order to meet new people. Or you could head on down to Boe House to work out your deep-seated psychological issues that give you the heebie-jeebies about the circus.

These tips are really useful because they do not advocate being a so-called Negative Nancy, as is often assumed about practical thinking. Think of the mental contrasting process as more of a preemptive problem-solving session. Fix the potential problems before they occur.

So maybe Monty Python was wrong when it suggested that you should “always look on the bright side of life.” Nonetheless, go out and achieve your dreams, and on your way, tap into your negative side. Not too much, though. The road to success may be difficult, but always remember: I believe in you. Especially if you want to be a circus clown. Seriously, there’s not enough of those anymore.

Chaz Mayo ’18 ( is from Rice Lake, Wis. He majors in theater.


Categories: Colleges

Aboriginal advocate and Canadian Olympic athlete Waneek Horn-Miller to present convocation

Carleton College News - 6 hours 46 min ago
Aboriginal advocate and Canadian Olympic athlete Waneek Horn-Miller will present the Carleton College convocation address on Friday, Nov. 7 from 10:50 to 11:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. An activist who works to mend the relationship between Native and non-Native communities in Canada, Horn-Miller will present “First Nations Rights.” Convocations are free and open to the public; they are also recorded and archived online at
Categories: Colleges

‘Twas the Night Before Halloween

Manitou Messenger - 9 hours 3 min ago

On St. Olaf’s campus ’twas was All Hallows’ Eve; not a creature was stirring, not even editor Steve. All the costumes were hung in the dorm rooms with care, in hopes that 10 p.m. Friday soon would be there. The students were all sleeping restlessly up in their beds, while visions of bio tests satanically danced in their heads. My computer fully charged, and I with my coffee night-cap, had just settled in for a night of studying random crap.

When out on the quad there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bowl chair to see what was the matter. Away to the Adironacks I flew like a flash, tore off my Snuggie and ran into the door with a smash. The moon on my skin – that hadn’t seen sun – made me look like a ghastly ghoul on the run.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature pride with eight tiny lion cubs, oh dear!  With a weird humanistic leader, so furry and anon, I knew in a moment it must be Ole the Lion. More rapid than cross country his coursers they came, and he whistled, and roared and called them by name! “Now PDA! Now, Tha! Now, McDowell and Palmero! On, Kneser! On, Stumo-Langer! On, on Roz and Clay! To the top of Old Main! To the top of the Mohn Hall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

In that moment I wondered if I were asleep; maybe I ate one too many Cage cookies – that wouldn’t be a big leap. So up to the residence hall the lion flew, with a bag full of grades and some dashed dreams too. And then, in a twinkling, I heard in the halls of resident, the screaming and cursing of each little lady and gent. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, down all the chimneys ol’ Ole came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with students’ tears and soot.

A bundle of Fs he had flung on his back, and he looked like the crusher of souls, just opening his pack. His eyes – how they twinkled! His dimples – how merry! His cheeks were like dead roses; his nose like a black cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, and the beard of his chin was as white as the snow. The stump of a first year’s head he held tight in his teeth, and its cries of “but I study!” encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly!  He was a a cursed human soul all dressed up, a right deadly, old, demon elf, and I wish I hadn’t laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself! A wink of his eye and a twist of his head soon gave me to know I had everything to dread. He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, and filled all the Moodle grade books with Fs, then turned with a jerk. And laying his finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod, down to hell he descended, not rose! He sprang to his paws, to his team gave a whistle, and away they all flew like the a post-coffee poop missile. But I heard him exclaim, ’ere he drove out of sight, “Happy Halloween to no one, and to no one a good night!”

Categories: Colleges

St. Olaf falls to Concordia College: Ole volleyball unable to carry momentum past first set

Manitou Messenger - 9 hours 11 min ago

The St. Olaf women’s volleyball team faced Concordia College in a MIAC clash on Oct. 25 at Skoglund Center. Despite claiming the first set in an emphatic fashion, the Oles were unable to maintain control, falling 25–16, 26–28, 18–25, 22–26 in a close encounter.

With the Oles and the Cobbers sitting in ninth and tenth places in the conference respectively, the match was of vital importance to both teams’ playoff aspirations. St. Olaf got off to the perfect start, winning the first set by the comfortable margin of 25–16. The Oles hit .133 throughout the set, with 10 kills on 30 attempts.

The second set was a grueling battle, with both teams having opportunities to prevail. The Cobbers were in control for almost the entirety of the set, at one stage leading 18–13. However, the Oles refused to go down without a fight, levelling the set at 23 points apiece, and then again at 26–26. Ultimately, Concordia managed to win the next two points, closing out the set 28–26.

With the showdown locked at one set each, the third set shaped up to be a defining period of the match. Despite racing out to a 10–7 lead, the Oles were unable to continue their dominance,  losing 11 of the following 13 points. St. Olaf lost the set 18–25, putting the Cobbers in the driving seat to win the battle.

Needing to win the fourth set to keep the contest alive, St. Olaf dominated the early parts of the set. Late in the set, the Oles led the Cobbers 17–12. Unfortunately, the Oles were unable to close the set out, falling 22–25 and losing the match.

St. Olaf (9-17, 2-6 MIAC) and Concordia  (11-11, 4-4 MIAC) each finished the clash with nine blocks. The Oles’ Devon Flohrs ’17 led the team in kills with 11. Abby Slack  ’17 recorded 18 digs in the loss for St. Olaf.

Following a mid–week clash with Saint Mary’s University, the Oles will close out their season at Skoglund Center on Oct. 31, with a match against crosstown rivals Carleton College.

Categories: Colleges

Music on Trial: Andrew Bird strings together an album of covers

Manitou Messenger - 9 hours 14 min ago

Is it just me, or do you hear whistling and singing? A bird? Close! Andrew Bird, violinist, whistler and singer-songwriter released his newest album Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of . . . this past June. The album’s sound hints at Bird’s earlier work with his floaty voice and lively violin, reminiscent of popular albums including The Mysterious Production of Eggs (2005) and Noble Beast (2009). However, as opposed to a majority of Bird’s other work, this album does not feature his original music or lyrics.

The 10 tracks on this new album are Bird’s covers of a selection of songs by the country-bluegrass band The Handsome Family, a group formed in Chicago in 1993 by husband and wife Brett and Rennie Sparks. Bird, too, began his music career in his hometown of Chicago, where he released his first full album, Music of Hair, in 1996. Because of the overlap in musical styles and shared location, The Handsome Family and Andrew Bird have influenced each other’s work and helped one another continue to develop their respective voices throughout the years.

Bird’s work is extensive, with more than five main albums and a multitude of EPs. The beginning of this musical timeline, as mentioned, is Music of Hair, which mainly focuses on Bird’s violin skills with minimal use of lyrics.

However, his lyrics are now a distinguishing element of his style. Lines including “wearing nothing but a onesie and a veil,” “there will be snacks” and poetic tongue-twisters like “I see a sea anemone” all play a part in Bird’s whimsical, playful and emotive musicality.

A number of EPs dubbed Fingerlings have also been released by Bird over the years. These are a bit like artist sketches – a way for Bird to expose songs to the public that might not be completely prepared or polished, but still serve as a method for practicing and creating fresh music to add to his portfolio.

“You get a lot of songs that might otherwise never see the light of day. Some of the more questionable subject matter that I write for my own entertainment and that might threaten to undermine my integrity as a songwriter,” Bird said of these albums.

Though these are just a few examples of the music Bird has been writing and releasing on his own for 18 years, Things Are Really Great takes a different turn, drawing on the inspiration of The Handsome Family in order to give Bird a fresh perspective as well as a chance to focus on other things and people in his life outside of writing completely original music.

In a recent interview, Bird comments that he couldn’t write his own music at this point in his life because it would distract him too much. He needed to delve into somebody else’s work in his own way to keep practicing certain aspects of songwriting while maintaining the ability to remain present for the people in his life who needed him. Bird does go on to say that after finishing this album, he is ready to write again and has already started more songs.

At a short 35 minutes, Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of . . . is easy to listen to in full and gives listeners a taste of Bird’s style, even through another band’s lyrics and music.

Looking for more? The variety and development of Bird’s work offers many enjoyable tunes, whether it is the pure quality of his instrumental violin skills in Music of Hair, the free-flowing, interpretive “Anonanimal” from Noble Beast (2009), the mellow and steady “Tables and Chairs” from The Mysterious Production of Eggs (2005), or the energetic, moving “Pulaski at Night” from I Want to See Pulaski at Night (2013).

Check out these songs and see where they lead you. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself whistling along the way.

Categories: Colleges

Costume decisions will not haunt this Halloween

Manitou Messenger - 9 hours 20 min ago

Guess what, kids? It’s Halloween this weekend! With excitement building up all week and pumpkins beginning to dot the campus, what better way to prepare for a Pagan holiday than with some exciting costume ideas? Yeah, maybe you’re too old for dressing up, but it’s a great way to act like a child again instead of binge-watching Pokémon on Netflix. As a leading expert on Halloween costumes, I hope some of my suggestions help make this weekend the best time of your life.

Everybody loves Mario Kart, and Halloween isn’t complete without a group of people roaming around campus as their favorite Nintendo characters. Simply gather your friend group together, buy some boxes, use your artistic skills to paint said boxes, wear the boxes and have at it. It doesn’t matter how good the costume looks, because you simply get to bring the magic of Mario Kart to St. Olaf.

You can always go as a ghost, mummy or witch – but come on people, let’s not overlook one of the most unique costume ideas out there; famous figures in English folklore. Who cares about the rapper Lil’ John? Instead, go as Robin Hood’s right hand man, Little John, or King Arthur or a fire-breathing dragon. Whichever you choose, these costumes are sure to catch the eyes of fellow classmates and will immediately elevate you to legendary status among Halloween enthusiasts. English folklore is the newest fad and it is here to stay, so hop on the bandwagon while you can.

I’ve been talking a lot about what to be, but now it is time to warn you about costumes you should avoid. To be honest, anything scary is immediately off the table. Scary costumes are not only cliché, but they also scare the hell out of me and others around you. If at any point I feel scared on campus by a spooky skeleton or gorilla costume (gorillas terrify me), count on me calling Public Safety; you have been warned. Seriously, people tend to dislike nightmares, and gorilla costumes are one of the primary reasons one loses sleep, along with binge-watching even more Pokémon.

Which brings me to my next point. Don’t ever, ever try to be a Pokémon for Halloween. Not only will you screw up the costume, especially if it is a do-it-yourself, you will also not do Pokémon justice. It’s as if Pokémon is something of a sacred nature – you just do not mess with it. Sorry to those who were considering this costume idea, but I urge you to stop right now and reevaluate your options (just go as a robot or something; that would be pretty cool).

If you are going to dress up, it’s much more exciting to go as a group. Group themes are memorable and tend to draw more attention, which, whether we admit it or not, is the main point of Halloween for college students. Go as a pack of kangaroos, the Cobra Kai Dojo or an assortment of sea creatures. Better yet, go as a group of central figures from English folklore, which will not only look hip and cool, but will impress fellow folklore enthusiasts around campus.

Unfortunately for all who read this, I can’t release to the public what group costume my gang and I will be going as this year, but prepare yourselves for pure wonder.

Now that everybody knows what to wear for Halloween, I’m expecting nothing less than the best this weekend. As the leading Halloween costume expert on campus, all I can ask is that you impress me.


Categories: Colleges

Drone Aims to Woo Prospies

Carletonian - 10 hours 57 min ago

Carleton bought a drone.
Yes, you heard that right.

Categories: Colleges

McDonald’s Meets McActivism: A nugget size protest

Carletonian - 11 hours 3 min ago

Tuesday afternoon a small group Carleton and St. Olaf students stood outside the Northfield McDonald’s, holding signs that read, “END ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM” and “RURAL DESTRUCTION ONGOING.”

Categories: Colleges

Carleton College to host 33rd International Conference of the Haskins Society

Carleton College News - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 2:22pm
Carleton College is pleased to host the 33rd International Conference of the Haskins Society, a three-day gathering focused on all dimensions of medieval history. Featuring panels and lectures on medieval archaeology, manuscript studies, art history, history and literation, the conference will take place Friday, Nov. 7 (12-5:30 p.m.), Saturday, Nov. 8 (9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.), and Sunday, Nov. 9 (8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.) in the Weitz Center for Creativity Larson Family Meeting Room (Room 236). This event is free and open to the public.
Categories: Colleges

Gould Library hosts exhibit exploring medieval manuscripts

Carleton College News - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 2:20pm
A new exhibit in the Carleton College Laurence McKinley Gould Library explores medieval manuscripts and how medieval peoples produced and derived meaning from word and image. The “Process of Illumination: Word, Image and the Scribal Imagination in the Middle Ages” investigates the relationship between word and image in the Middle Ages by critically examining a variety of medieval manuscripts in facsimile. The exhibit opens Wednesday, Nov. 5 and will be on display through Jan. 5, 2015. An opening reception with light refreshments will be held at 11 a.m. on Nov. 5. This event is free and open to the public.
Categories: Colleges

Carleton Hosts Northfield City Council Candidate Forum

Carleton College News - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 2:11pm
Are you familiar with the many local races that will be on the ballot come November? Want to meet the candidates who may end up deciding Northfield's future? Join us on Thursday, October 30th from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Boliou Hall Auditorium for a public forum with all your local city council candidates. Audience members will have the ability to submit questions during the forum and hear how potential City Councilors would respond to issues that are important to them.
Categories: Colleges

St. Olaf to award honorary degree to private secretary to King of Norway

St. Olaf College - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 1:30pm

Knut Brakstad, private secretary to King Harald V of Norway, will receive an honorary degree from St. Olaf College November 7.

St. Olaf College will award an honorary degree to Knut Brakstad, private secretary to King Harald V of Norway, on November 7.

The honorary degree convocation, part of the college’s Founders Day celebration, will be streamed and archived online.

Brakstad was born in Molde, Norway, graduating from Rauma Folkehøgskole, Molde, in 1974 and Molde Gymnas in 1977. In 1983 he earned his master of divinity degree at Det Teologiske Menighetsfakultet in Oslo, as well as a divinity degree at the University of Oslo’s theological seminary. Brakstad pursued additional studies at St. Olaf College from 1979 to 1980.

In 1981 he studied philosophy at Augustana Hochschule in Germany before going on to study radio and television production at the National Radio and TV Centre in London the following year. He received a degree in family therapy from the Nic Waals Institutt in Oslo in 1990.

Brakstad’s year at St. Olaf was a transformative one for him. The college’s distinctive liberal arts education, grounded in academic rigor, global engagement, and the Lutheran faith tradition, shaped his personal philosophy of servant-leadership and provided the framework for his life journey as a humanitarian, civic leader, and theologian.

He began his professional career in 1984 as navy chaplain in the Royal Norwegian Navy, Navel District East (ØSD), and served for two years as a senior advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oslo. From 1987 to 1991, he was a Lutheran minister at Geilo in Hallingdal (Church of Norway), and was a project manager for the Lillehammer Olympic Organizing Committee from 1991 to 1994. Brakstad became private secretary to His Majesty, King Harald V, in 1994.

Brakstad was on the board of Norwegians Abroad (Nordmannsforbundet) for 17 years, and from 1995 to 2012 served as vice president of the board. Through his work with Nordmannsforbundet and the 1994 Winter Olympics, and as a representative of Norway’s royal family, Brakstad has been a passionate advocate for Norwegian culture throughout the world — but always behind the scenes.

In 2005 Brakstad received the Knight’s Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav, awarded by King Harald V in recognition of his accomplishments on behalf of Norway and humanity.

Categories: Colleges

Jordy Cammarota Voted to Academic All-District Squad

Carleton Sports - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 12:58pm

Already a solid performer in the classroom, Carleton College men’s soccer player Jordy Cammarota stepped up his play this season and was voted to the 2014 Academic All-District team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Categories: Colleges

Knights and Tommies Play to Scoreless Draw

Carleton Sports - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 9:27pm

Despite out-shooting their hosts by a 17-8 margin, the Carleton College women’s soccer team was forced to accept the result of a second consecutive scoreless draw, this one coming at the University of St. Thomas.

Categories: Colleges

Knights Playoff Hopes Dashed in Senior Night Loss to No. 9 St. Thomas

Carleton Sports - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 8:37pm

Lucy Stevens (Fy./Portland, Ore./Oregon Episcopal School) claimed a career-best 22 kills and hit .429, while Karen Halls (SR./Edina, Minn.) added 11 kills in her final home match, but the Carleton College volleyball team fell in a three sets (25-22, 25-22, 25-22) to No. 9-ranked St. Thomas at West Gymnasium Wednesday evening.

Categories: Colleges

Judge to deliver fall Mellby Lecture on economics and the environment

St. Olaf College - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 4:09pm

Associate Professor of Economics and Chair of the Environmental Studies Department Rebecca Judge will deliver the fall Mellby Lecture November 3.

During this year’s fall Mellby Lecture, Associate Professor of Economics and Chair of the Environmental Studies Department Rebecca Judge will discuss the role of economic analysis — specifically, benefit-cost analysis — in environmental decision-making.

Though Judge describes herself as an “environmental economist who is unapologetically enthusiastic about the powerful insights that are the fruit of economic analysis,” her November 3 talk will aim to show the dangers of allowing environmental policy to be dictated by the simplistic outcomes of benefit-cost analysis.

Her lecture, titled Can Economics Save the Loon? Economics, Love, and the Environment, will be streamed and archived online.

Judge will argue that basing environmental policy on benefit-cost criteria will necessarily lead us to exchange too many irreplaceable environmental assets for replaceable assets whose scarcity and value will only to diminish over time.

“I’m concerned that our national and state environmental policies are increasingly relying on benefit-cost analysis to craft ‘reasonable’ or ‘defensible’ environmental policies, even though such reliance might itself be ‘unreasonable’ and ‘indefensible,'” she says. “I am hoping that people are inspired by this talk to trust the validity of their environmental commitments.”

She will use the loon to illustrate her argument.

“All we know is that loons, or any other irreplaceable environmental asset — by virtue of becoming more scarce — are likely to become more valuable, while whatever we’ve sacrificed them to — fossil-fuel-generated electricity, for example — is likely to become less valuable as replacements for this good become increasingly available,” she says.

“If we want to save the loon, or a couple thousand acres of boreal forest, or the quality of our air and water, or ecosystem stability, we cannot offer these entities the provisional support educed from the ‘reasonable’ conclusions of a benefit-cost analysis. Rather, we need to ‘love’ them,” she says. “We need to put them within a set of goods, like one’s voting franchise, whose allocation is determined, not by market principles, but in service to some other objective.”

Judge earned her bachelor of arts degree in music and biology from Smith College in 1976, her master’s degree in biology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1980, and her Ph.D. in economics from Duke University in 1987. She joined the economics faculty at St. Olaf in 1987, just in time to collaborate with a group of faculty who were preparing a proposal to launch the college’s environmental studies program. She remains active in both departments, currently serving as chair of the Environmental Studies Department, and having served as chair of the Economics Department from 2005 through 2012.

The Mellby Lectures
The annual Mellby Lectures are named in remembrance of St. Olaf faculty member Carl A. Mellby and were established in 1983 to give professors the opportunity to share their research with the public. Mellby, known as “the father of social sciences” at St. Olaf, started the first courses in economics, sociology, political science, and art history at the college. He was professor and administrator from 1901 to 1949, taught Greek, German, French, religion, and philosophy, and is credited with creating the college’s honor system.

Categories: Colleges

St. Olaf rugby battles through fall

Manitou Messenger - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 10:00am

As classes resume, leaves change and temperatures drop, so too comes the arrival of fall club sports. One of the more popular club sports on campus is rugby. St. Olaf boasts both men’s and women’s rugby teams. Much like a mix between American football and soccer, the players run the ball down the field, passing only backward in an attempt to kick penalty goals or score tries. It’s a full-contact sport, and, unlike in football, players do not wear protective gear.

Men’s rugby has had a tough season thus far, with a record of 0-3 following games against Carleton College, University of Wisconsin-River Falls and College of St. Scholastica. However, the team is stronger this year than in previous years and has been playing well – posting competitive scorelines in each fixture.

Hector Poveda ’18 has thoroughly enjoyed his club rugby experience. In particular, he savored the rivalry match against the Carls.

“The game I was most excited about was the one against Carleton. As you might know, the rivalry against Carleton goes beyond sports,” said Poveda. “It was really exciting to play them.”

According to Poveda, the bond with his teammates is unlike any other, making each game they play together special.

“Every time is the best time,” said Poveda. “The rugby team is fantastic; they are like my family.”

The St. Olaf women’s rugby team, led by captain Anna Grimes ’15, has also had a successful season this fall. The team’s  current record is 2-2, with wins against University of St. Thomas and Macalester College, and losses against Carleton College and University of Wisconsin-River falls. May Selle ’18 is new to the St. Olaf rugby team this year and is thrilled with the performance of her team this season. Selle also had no hesitation when asked which game was the most anticipated of the year.

“Carleton,” Selle said. “Definitely Carleton.”

Selle believes that the rugby experience is unique and unlike many other club sports available.

“I really like my teammates, and without knowing each other that well yet, we’re close,” said Selle.2 “I think it’s because rugby is a contact sport, so you have to be comfortable with your teammates. And you have to trust them. The best moment was when we won 92-0 against St. Thomas.”

Selle has advice for all those out there who have an interest in watching or playing rugby:

“There’s a spring season. If you are considering, watch in the fall, play in the spring,” Selle said. “You don’t need to be athletic or knowledgeable about the game. It’s a lot of fun, and you meet great people.”

Practice and games for both teams will continue throughout the fall. All home games are played on Carleton’s field. Go check it out and support your fellow Oles.


Categories: Colleges

“She Gone Rogue” explores gendered identity

Manitou Messenger - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 10:00am

The Flaten Art Museum hosted Zackary Drucker, transgender artist of the current exhibition “She Gone Rogue.” Drucker spoke on campus several times throughout Coming Out Week, discussing her artwork, gender and being a transgender artist.

Drucker met with multiple classes in the gallery to discuss topics and issues surrounding gender and identity in our current society.

These conversations were not limited to the classroom experience. On Oct. 8, Drucker joined faculty in a Center for Innovation in the Liberal Arts (CILA) luncheon to discuss methods for making a campus a welcoming environment for transgender people.

Gay, Lesbian or Whatever (GLOW!)teamed up with Drucker that night to hear about her new television show, Transparent, an Amazon Original Series, which tells the story of a family patriarch (played by Jeffrey Tambor) coming out as a transgender woman.

Transparent, like the majority of Drucker’s art, attempts to alter the way society looks at gender and sexual identity, in this case focusing on the older generations of the trans* community and the process of aging in a trans* body. Many people believe that the trans* community is a strictly modern subculture, but in the GLOW! meeting Drucker debunked this myth.

“Gender non-conformity is not a 21st-century concept,” she said.

The subculture has always existed, but only relatively recently have more people come out identifying as transgender. Transparent is not the only work of Drucker’s to take a look at the older generations of trans* people. The video She Gone Rogue, currently in the exhibit in Flaten, features the acting of Holly Woodlawn, Vaginal Davis and Jack Doroshow, all of whom either identify as trans* or are heavily involved in the drag scene.

Though the themes of Drucker’s art are clear, one aspect of the exhibit that remained unclear was the title. When questioned about the title during a Q&A, Drucker responded that the title was meant to mirror the ethereal quality of the film itself.

“That title is nonsensical,” she said, “but it is evocative.”

The title is not the only thing that is evocative. The entire exhibit truly makes viewers think about gender identity and expression, and allows cisgendered people (those who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth) a look into what the life of a trans* person may be like. This does not mean that the experiences of a trans* person could ever truly be felt by cis people, but nonetheless, the art gives an opportunity for people outside of the trans*community to gain some perspective. Additionally, the photography featured in the exhibit elicits the raw emotion that comes with human relationships while conceptualizing the transition some of the trans* community experiences.

If you have not had a chance to see the show, it is up until Nov. 2 in the Flaten Art Museum North Gallery. Admission is free.


Categories: Colleges

The Spy

Manitou Messenger - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 8:00pm

Your St. Olaf College tour guide will tell you about the Caf. She will tell you that when the College built Buntrock Commons in 1999, students voted overwhelmingly for one single dining hall, so they could all eat together. She will tell you about the six buffet lines of award-winning cafeteria food, the extensive salad bar and the Malt-O-Meal cereal choices. She may even point out the vaulted ceiling – three stories high, the balcony seating perfect for less-social dinner-goers and the mass of hand-scrawled posters illegibly advertising dances and meetings. She will tell you everything you need to know, but she will not really tell you about the Caf.

She will not tell you what it is like to eat lunch at a round table, sitting with your back to the colossal chilly window that frames a regal Holland Hall. She will not be able to explain the flavor of a day when the afternoon sun dances through the window in thick, slanting yellow streaks and lands like a spotlight on your blue plastic plate heaping with cooked broccoli, polenta, grilled chicken and tomato salad. She will forget to mention that this table, tucked in the back left corner with the lonely potted fern, is the perfect place for you to watch the other tables fill to capacity as the students tumble through the silverware line – fork, knife, spoon – and emerge into the shiny white cavern to search for their friends. Your greedy gaze can gulp up every seat but the few hidden behind towering limestone pillars that suspend the perimeter of a balcony above you. You can listen to the sound of your own laugh as it bounces off the soaring walls, mingling with 300 other voices at a time. And you can watch the Caf empty again a half an hour later as the students shuffle back to the rest of their lives.

Your tour guide will not tell you that the Caf is a hazelnut of a world. It is cultures and nations and laughter and anxiety and sustenance all rolled up into seven buffet lines and a few hundred translucent plastic chairs. She will not tell you about the magic.

Categories: Colleges

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