Choosing a college that offers more than a music conservatory

St. Olaf College - Mon, 11/28/2016 - 1:13pm

Sam Viguerie ’17 performs “Beautiful Savior” — a deeply moving arrangement by St. Olaf Choir founder F. Melius Christiansen — at the beginning of a recent Christmas Festival pop-up performance at Southdale Center.

For most of his college search, Sam Viguerie ’17 was set on going to a music conservatory.

“The more that I looked, the more that I realized the importance of getting a broader education,” Viguerie says. “A week before the decision deadline, I decided that I wanted to go to a school with a diverse array of educational opportunities — like St. Olaf.”

While on the Hill, Viguerie has had ample opportunities not only to hone his exceptional musical talent but also to major in computer science and participate in various student organizations.

Viguerie, who studies cello with Professor of Music David Carter, was the national winner of the 2016 MTNA Young Artist Competition, and he captured top prize at the 2016 Thursday Musical Competition as well as the 2015 Schubert Club Competition.

Viguerie’s performances have been featured on Minnesota Public Radio and National Public Radio. Last summer, he attended the the Centre d’Arts Orford in Quebec and the Heifetz International Music Institute in Staunton, Virginia, where he studied with renowned musicians Richard Aaron, Laurence Lesser, and Amit Peled.

But for Viguerie, “An education spanning subjects beyond music has been an integral part of my development as a cellist and a musician.”

And while Viguerie has certainly proven himself as an individual performer during his time at St. Olaf, he has also become part of an equally excellent music community. He says, “One of the most profound and positive experiences that I’ve had here is being in the St. Olaf Orchestra,” led by Conductor Steven Amundson.

“An education spanning subjects beyond music has been an integral part of my development as a cellist and a musician,” says Sam Viguerie ’17.

The St. Olaf Orchestra tours nationally every year and has performed throughout Europe, Scandinavia, and China. In the fall of 2015, Viguerie performed as a soloist with the orchestra on its tour to California, Oregon, and Washington.

“In the orchestra, everyone knows each other as a person, not just as a player,” Viguerie says. “There are also dozens of long-lasting traditions within the ensemble — it really adds to our music-making.”

And Viguerie has been able to connect his musical talent with his interest in computer science at St. Olaf. He was part of a team of researchers led by Assistant Professor of Music Louis Epstein who are creating a multi-sensory, interactive digital tool to illustrate the musical geography of 1920s Paris.

Viguerie worked on a High Performance Computer in Context (HiPerCiC) team that developed an interactive GIS to plot the events taking place in this musical scene.

HiPerCiC is an initiative led by Professor of Computer Science Richard Brown that uses web applications to fulfill the computational needs of St. Olaf faculty and students, empowering their research with cutting-edge technology.

Viguerie says that “as developer for that project, I wasn’t dealing directly with the musical data, so it was cool to be on the other side.”

Sam Viguerie ’17 in the 2016 St. Olaf Christmas Festival.

In addition to his connections with the music community and with the computer science community, Viguerie serves as president of the Honor Council.

The honor system at St. Olaf asks students to pledge their honor on examinations that they have neither given nor received assistance not approved by the professor.

“Serving on the Honor Council has been deeply fulfilling,” Viguerie says. “We’re challenged to constantly exercise and improve our critical thinking and moral judgment, ultimately serving as advocates for both the student body and the honor code.”

Music, along with computer science and the Honor Council, have certainly shaped Viguerie’s experience as a St. Olaf student. But at the end of the day, he says, “My favorite part of being an Ole is living on such a tight-knit campus full of intellectually stimulating and warm-hearted individuals.”

Watch Viguerie perform Bach’s Cello Suite No. 3 Prelude:

Categories: Colleges

Kevin Grow Leads Knights to Win at BYU-Hawaii (D-II)

Carleton Sports - Sun, 11/27/2016 - 1:24am

The Carleton College men’s basketball team wrapped up its biennial trip to the Hawaiian Islands with a 68-59 victory over BYU-Hawaii, a NCAA Division II program. The Knights had four players finish in double figures, including Kevin Grow, who posted season highs with 19 points and 13 rebounds.

Categories: Colleges

Cece Leone Leads Knights to Win Over Pomona-Pitzer

Carleton Sports - Sat, 11/26/2016 - 9:39pm

Cece Leone poured in a career-best 21 points—including a dagger three pointer in the final minute—to lead the Carleton College women’s basketball team to a 76-68 non-conference victory over Pomona-Pitzer on the final day of action at the David Wells Classic.

Categories: Colleges

Cold Shooting Dooms Knights in SoCal Opener

Carleton Sports - Sat, 11/26/2016 - 2:23am

POMONA, Calif. – The Carleton College women’s basketball team shot only 22 percent for the contest and dropped a 65-37 result to No. 25-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Friday, the first day of play at the David Wells Classic.

Categories: Colleges

Knights Drop Opener of Hawaii Trip

Carleton Sports - Sat, 11/26/2016 - 1:29am

Sophomore Freddie Gillespie came off the bench to tally 17 points and 11 rebounds—both career highs—and senior Mitchell Biewen contributed a 21-point effort, but the Carleton College men’s basketball team absorbed a 79-70 setback to Hawaii Pacific University, a NCAA Division II program.

Categories: Colleges

Boerma, Creighton, and Saline Named to All-MIAC Team; Five Others Honored

Carleton Sports - Tue, 11/22/2016 - 2:06pm

A total of eight Carleton College football players took home accolades as the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) coaches handed out their postseason awards. Defensive tackle Pete Boerma repeated as an All-MIAC First-Team selection. The Knights also had two players voted to the all-conference second team. Wide receiver Zach Creighton was named to the offensive unit, while defensive back Dylan Saline was selected to the special teams unit.

Categories: Colleges

A dining experience that tops ‘Best Campus Food’ lists

St. Olaf College - Tue, 11/22/2016 - 9:32am

One of the dishes at the annual Farm to Fork Dinner, which gives guests a taste — literally — of why St. Olaf College routinely ranks near the top of “Best Campus Food” lists.

At the Farm to Fork Dinner this fall, guests got a taste — literally — of why St. Olaf College routinely ranks near the top of “Best Campus Food” lists.

They were treated to a local meal that began with a spinach salad with sherry shallot vinaigrette, balsamic red onions, local goat cheese, and roasted strawberries. The main course included red wine braised duck with mushrooms and capicola, roasted rib eye with smoky heirloom tomato salsa, roasted squash sprinkled with “Charles Dickens dust,” and mashed potatoes with cheese.

The meal featured squash from Open Hands farm, Amablu cheese from Faribault Dairy Company, and mushrooms from Forest Mushrooms Incorporated in St. Joseph, among a plethora of other local ingredients.  

The Farm to Fork Dinner began with a spinach salad with sherry shallot vinaigrette, balsamic red onions, local goat cheese, and roasted strawberries.

The Farm to Fork Dinner, an annual event for alumni hosted by St. Olaf food service provider Bon Appétit, showcases the college’s commitment to preparing fresh, locally sourced meals for its students.

In St. Olaf’s Stav Dining Hall, students routinely have turkey from Ferndale Turkey Farm, beef from Thousand Hills Cattle Co., and cream from Hastings Co-op Creamery Company — some of the nearly 20 local farms, bakeries, creameries, and co-ops that the college buys its ingredients from. Students know not only where the food is from, but also if it’s vegetarian, vegan, made without gluten-containing ingredients, or on the seafood watch list.

One of the many desserts available in Stav Hall each day.

This commitment to quality is why St. Olaf regularly appears on “Best Campus Food” lists in national publications — including a No. 5 place in this year’s Princeton Review. The college’s top-notch fare has also been mentioned in Food & Wine, The Street by the Independent, and The Daily Meal, which highlighted menu options including “sage-crusted turkey with rustic raisin stuffing; beef- and rice-stuffed peppers; and chicken Florentine with penne pasta, artichokes, spinach, crimini mushrooms, tomatoes, and feta cheese.”

“The accolades we get are because of the team. We all have a vision and work together,” says St. Olaf Bon Appétit Chef Matthew Fogarty.

Designing delectable dishes
Fogarty decides what will be on the dining hall menu by thinking about what students would enjoy — and then he “tricks it out.” Student favorites include gado gado, an Indonesian vegetable salad with peanut sauce; made-to-order breakfast omelettes; crunchy sweet potato fries; and dense, gluten-free brownies.

Stav Hall serves more than 70 entrees each week, along with a wide selection of desserts each day.

St. Olaf’s Stav Hall, the main dining facility on campus, cooks up more than 70 entrees each week along with a wide selection of desserts each day.

It offers eight different food lines in addition to always-available soups, sandwiches, and salads.

The “Grains” line specializes in vegetarian options ranging from curry tofu to chickpea salads to tandoori vegetables. The “Tortilla” line has burritos and tacos, with specials ranging from stuffed peppers to roasted fall vegetables. The “Bowls” line offers stir fry, egg rolls, and potstickers. And the “Home” line offers the variety — and often the comfort food — of home, with options like tater tot hot dish and chicken pot pie.

A commitment to locally grown food
And all of this is done with a commitment to the Farm to Fork philosophy. This means that at least 20 percent of ingredients used in the cafeteria are from small, owner-operated farms and ranches located within 150 miles of the kitchen, with even higher rates during the growing season.

At least 20 percent of ingredients used in St. Olaf’s cafeteria are from small, owner-operated farms and ranches located within 150 miles of the kitchen — like Open Hands Farm.

Among these local farms is St. Olaf Garden Research and Organic Works (STOGROW), a student-run farm founded in 2004 through an entrepreneurial grant provided by the college. The farm aims to practice sustainable farming methods; provide fresh, local vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers to the St. Olaf community; foster agricultural awareness; and educate students and the broader community about sustainable food production.

The college also works with the local farm just a few miles off campus, Open Hands. Two years ago Bon Appétit awarded Open Hands Farm a $5,000 grant to build a root storage facility and purchase washing and packing equipment. This grant has enabled the farm to increase the amount of root vegetables it sells to St. Olaf and to supply the college all winter long. The root storage facility holds about 100,000 pounds of carrots, beets, parsnips, and other roots.

One of the grain bowls available in Stav Hall.

Bon Appétit also purchases all of its shell eggs from cage-free farmers; uses fair trade organic coffee; only purchases seafood that is on the Seafood Watch “good” list, ensuring that the product has zero air miles and comes from within North America; and uses fair trade bananas from Ecuador. All of the chicken and liquid dairy products purchased are free of growth hormones and antibiotics.

Another important focus of food at St. Olaf is the commitment to sustainability. Each year about 175 tons of food waste is composted. All the compost that is generated is used on college-owned land in the landscaping and maintenance of the grounds.

All of these things — from the locally grown ingredients to the creativity of St. Olaf Bon Appétit chefs — play an important role in feeding thousands of St. Olaf students and visitors each year. 

Categories: Colleges

Knights Finish 28th at NCAA Championships

Carleton Sports - Sat, 11/19/2016 - 4:12pm

Making its sixth consecutive visit—and 11th trip in 13 seasons—to the NCAA Division III Championships, the Carleton College women’s cross country team wrapped up the 2016 season with a 28th-place finish in the team competition.

Categories: Colleges

Professor’s new book shares stories of early leaders in women’s athletics

St. Olaf College - Sat, 11/19/2016 - 3:24pm

Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies Diane LeBlanc’s new book features the oral histories of female athletes, coaches, teachers, and administrators during the formative years of Title IX.

When Dorothy McIntyre was a young teacher at Eden Prairie High School during the 1960s, interscholastic sports didn’t exist for female students.

So McIntyre organized informal games in various sports between girls’ teams from neighboring high schools. Since they needed transportation, she asked the principal for permission to use a school bus. He refused. After much debate, he reasoned that the boys’ teams used the bus only because their coach drove it.

You can imagine what happened next. McIntyre called the head bus driver, whose daughters wanted to play competitive sports, and he taught her to drive a bus. A week later, she returned to the principal’s office with her bus driver’s license in hand. She and her students were soon on the road.

McIntyre’s story is one of eight featured in St. Olaf College Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies Diane LeBlanc’s new book, Playing for Equality: Oral Histories of Women Leaders in the Early Years of Title IX.

LeBlanc is the director of writing at St. Olaf, where she teaches first-year writing, women’s and gender studies, and American studies. The book, co-authored with St. Catherine University Professor Emerita of Exercise and Sport Sciences Allys Swanson, features the oral histories of female athletes, coaches, teachers, and administrators during the formative years of Title IX — the federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in all education programs and activities.

“The women featured in our book share a common impulse: when asked to lead, they led,” LeBlanc says. “Their courage is a reminder of how social change actually happens.”

With her new book hot off the press, LeBlanc answered a few questions about what sex-based discrimination women and girls often faced before Title IX and why understanding the history of Title IX is essential in applying it today.

Could you explain the origins of Title IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was a response to sex-based discrimination in education. Girls and women faced overt discrimination through such practices as denying girls and women access to courses and programs that historically enrolled boys and men, tying financial aid to sex-based opportunities, hiring on the basis of sex, and excluding girls and women from competitive sports and athletics. And those are only a few examples.

After Title IX became law, educational programs that received federal money had to demonstrate compliance with nondiscriminatory practices or risk losing their funding.

Title IX was not created specifically to address inequity in sports and athletics, but once physical educators, coaches, administrators, and athletes realized its potential to create change in sports, they began tailoring implementation to specific inequities involving girls and women in sports. There’s still work to be done to address ongoing discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

What sparked your interest in interviewing women involved in or affected by Title IX during its formative years?
Our book and its focus on Title IX evolved from a much larger oral history project. My co-author Allys Swanson was interviewing past presidents of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

I joined the project as an editor many years ago and soon discovered a pattern in the women’s narratives. They recalled limited sport and competitive athletic opportunities before Title IX, and they described social norms that discouraged careers in math, science, and physical education. When we began to brainstorm a book, Title IX was the common historical moment that helped us shape the narratives and frame the sequence of oral histories.

Has Title IX had any personal impact on your life?
Title IX has impacted me as an athlete and an academic. I began running as a teenager because girls’ sports were still quite limited. I love to run, so in a way, a limitation enabled a strength.

I don’t believe gender studies, one of my areas of specialty, would exist as it does if Title IX hadn’t forced higher education to address discrimination against women. And it ignited social change that would open doors for many of the students I teach today.

How have the applications of Title IX expanded since its origins, and how can its history inform our understanding of the law today?
Because Title IX prohibits all forms of sex discrimination in education programs that receive federal funds, its application evolves. Many of the questions and ambiguity that surround its current application to situations involving sexual misconduct and sexual assault are similar to complications that informed its earliest application to sports. I believe that anyone involved in current interpretation and application of Title IX should know this history. And we are living an opportunity to bring together people who navigated Title IX’s impact on sports with people finding their way through new territory with the same law. We hope our book can contribute to that conversation.

Categories: Colleges

Alumna wins Hawkinson award for sustainability project in Peru

St. Olaf College - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 4:04pm

Kelly Meza Prado ’16 has been named a Hawkinson Scholar by the Vincent L. Hawkinson Foundation for Peace & Justice.

She is one of just five students who will receive the scholarship that is awarded each year to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate a commitment to peace and justice.

Meza Prado, who graduated from St. Olaf this spring with a degree in economics and environmental studies, will use the award to create and implement a more efficient and sustainable collective stove and kitchen design for people living in the Andes region of Peru.

“Approximately 82 percent of the rural Peruvian population is affected by indoor pollution,” says Meza Prado, who hails from Concepcion, Peru. “Typical cook stoves’ combustion of biomass fuels emits pollutants that cause respiratory diseases, asthma, cataracts, and cardiovascular diseases — and this problem disproportionately affects women who are exposed to the pollution for longer periods of times.”

With her new design, Meza Prado aims to change this.

The collective stove and kitchen design will also provide an efficient source of heat to counter the effects that climate change is having on the Andes region.

“This past July temperatures reached as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit, which is very worrying considering the average for the month of July has been 20 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 15 years,” she says. “Thus, this collective design will aim to be a solution to issues of health, gender, and climate change.”

In addition to the creation of the innovative stove and kitchen model, she will also be conducting research on the effectiveness of the design and will summarize her work in a paper that outlines how it can be part of a wider solution to the obstacles that people in the region face.

To achieve all of this work, she founded an organization called The Sustainable Rural Dwellings Project.

“It’s an association of young professionals — mainly architects and environmental engineers — that I established this summer to seek solutions to environmental issues, largely through innovative design. The collective design, which is still in process, will be the product of the joint collaboration of my organization, the local university, and a local indigenous association,” Meza Prado says.

Meza Prado has already led a project aimed at promoting peace in Peru. In 2014 she received a grant from the Davis Projects for Peace initiative that she used to build greenhouses aimed at addressing agricultural issues in rural Peru. By using local resources and involving local engineers and communities, the project supported the design and construction of a greenhouse to support the growth of vegetables all year round, despite Peru’s volatile weather.

“It gave me the opportunity to implement a project for climate change adaptation using a greenhouse design to tackle food insecurity challenges — and that was when I was just a sophomore,” Meza Prado says. “My work this time, which being a Hawkinson Scholar allows me to do, builds on the opportunity that the Davis Projects for Peace gave me to explore concepts of peace and justice in the context of climate change and environmental challenges overall.”

And it’s not just her own prior project experience that can she draw upon for this new endeavor — finding solutions to the challenges of climate change has become a part of Meza Prado’s everyday routine. Upon graduating from St. Olaf, she joined the Natural Capital Project at the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment.

The Natural Capital Project is a collaborative partnership between Stanford University, the University of Minnesota, the Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund that seeks to increase and more efficiently allocate the world’s investment into natural capital.

“It has helped me to connect to a wide array of academics, software engineers, sustainability educators, and development and conservation practitioners. This network includes people who have studied indoor pollution and cookstoves in different parts of the world and who have implemented improved-cookstoves projects in the developing world,” Meza-Prado says. “I will be reaching out to this valuable network to learn from their successes and failures, and incorporating these lessons into my project.”

Categories: Colleges

Political Starbucks cup design met with outrage

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 1:52pm
Recently, Starbucks released a limited edition green version of their coffee cups covered in a hand-drawn mosaic of over 100 people connected by one unbroken line. It was unveiled on social media with the tagline, “Friends, baristas, and customers drawn in one continuous line – to remind us we are all connected.” The cups were released one week before the presidential election and will be featured until supplies run out. Because the cups were released so close to Election Day, many people assumed they were politically motivated.In a press release from Starbucks, chairman and CEO Howard Schultz defended the cups, saying that, “The green cup and the design represent the connections Starbucks has as a community with its partners and customers. During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other.” It’s a hopeful and healing message for a hurting nation to receive when they go get their morning cup of coffee.However, apparently coffee cup designs are indicative of political agendas. Initial social media responses accused the design of being overtly liberal. Others just called the cups ugly and demanded they get their pretty red cups back, preferably with snowflakes.The situation escalated into a boycott after Drudge Report tweeted a link to a CBSLocal news article with the headline, “Calls To Boycott Starbucks Over Holiday ‘Unity Cup’ Showing Liberal Bias.” After this was posted, many tweeted their support of the boycott. It seems that people may be drawing the connection from coffee to politics due to the fact that Schultz openly endorsed Clinton and the term “unity” sounds a bit like Hillary’s slogan “Stronger Together.” But still ... really? Are people afraid that an artistic coffee cup will sway someone’s vote? As if they will order their first peppermint mocha of the holiday season, see the cup and say “You know what? I must be a Clinton supporter after all!”Unity is a general term, and many people over the course of the election have called for healing, cooperation, tolerance, kindness and empathy across the nation – unity does not solely need to be a liberal idea. It can be representative of love for humanity, which I do not think can or should be restricted by party lines. But can we all just please remember that this outrage is about a limited edition coffee cup design? And that this is not the first time our nation has gotten infuriated about the design of a seasonal cup?Just last year Starbucks was publicly accused by evangelist Joshua Feuerstein of waging a “war on Christmas” by replacing the themed designs with a simple red cup and not using the phrase “Merry Christmas” in their stores. He encouraged his followers to tell baristas their names were “Merry Christmas” so the baristas would be forced to write the phrase on the cup, a phrase that they were supposedly not allowed to write anymore. This inspired hundreds of counter protest posts. Snopes pointed out that the symbols previously used on the cups were not inherently religious and used vague phrases like “joy” and “hope.” Despite the outrage, sales were not impacted. According to Business Insider, Starbucks had the strongest holiday in its history by far. Even if the green cups – or the plain red cups of last year – could be loosely interpreted as political, it is not worth fighting over. The very nature of art is its subjectivity and Starbucks is encouraging customers to be artistic with their cups. There are many issues that this country will face in the coming months as we try to reconcile with the results of the election. I dearly hope that our primary concern will be to hold each other up, not fight over the vague political implications of a disposable coffee cup that could have lent hope when we needed it most.
Julia Pilkington ’17 ( is from Santa Barbara, Calif. She majors in English.
Categories: Colleges

Students on the Election

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 1:52pm
This year’s election was no doubt an interesting one. Many people were unhappy with both of the major parties’ candidates going into Election Day. That being said, Donald Trump won the election fairly, and he will be the next president of the United States. It’s all right for people to be upset at the results, but you won’t always get what you want in life and this is a great example. I’m sure many people were upset when Romney lost the election in 2012. If Trump succeeds as president, that is good not only for our country, but for the rest of the world. People may not agree with some of the things that Trump has said or the things that he stands for, but we must give him a chance to prove himself as president before we condemn him. Hating Trump supporters is not going to solve anything. If Trump oversteps his bounds as president, he will face the consequences. Until then it is in the country’s best interest to support him and move on from the chaos of the election in order to continue improving this great nation.
 – Connor Yahn ’18 ( is from Longwood, Fla. He majors in economics.
The amount of times in the past few months I have heard people claim that they couldn’t vote for Hillary because she is a legitimate criminal made me sick, even before anyone could’ve known the election would end this way. And now that claim is so ridiculous I almost have to laugh because, as it turns out, Hillary is not a criminal, but Donald Trump probably is. We elected a sexual assailant and a criminal – and it wasn’t Hillary. So now I know that justifying a vote for Trump as a stand against criminals was always a cover up. I think I care less about why Hillary wasn’t elected than I do about why Trump was. I was not able to separate his character from his policies, but clearly much of the country was. And that’s what’s troubling. We don’t get to pick and choose the characteristics of our president’s personality or put him in charge of some matters and not others. Our President-elect comes as a package deal, all or nothing, for better or for worse. I hope, perhaps in vain, that Trump serves this country and all its people well.
– Lisa Kehe ’19 ( is from Palatine, Ill. She majors in mathematics.
Once we get over the shock of a Trump presidency we need to start fighting. Trump has given us cause for concern over what will happen to marginalized groups under his presidency. His statements about women and minority groups should give us reason to fear. We need to get the message across that just because Trump won, that doesn’t mean the ideology he has normalized is acceptable. We need to fight back through education and resistance. A large percentage of Trump supporters are white working-class Americans, and as easy as it is to call them racist and uneducated this will only further the issue. We need to open up dialogue and fight bigotry through understanding and education. Secondly, we need to resist any action taken by Trump to hinder the rights of any Americans, more specifically the minority groups he has already targeted.  Take the frustration you feel and go volunteer at your local Planned Parenthood or donate to the American Civil Liberties Union. Help the organizations that will be fighting against Trump’s policies. Peaceful protest is also a great way to show discontent for government actions and if Trump actually tries to build a wall there should be a protest at every step of its creation. The future may seem grim but we need to continue to fight against the hate in this country. 
– Kyle Wilmar ’17 ( is from Hastings, Minn. He majors in political science. 

I am disappointed by the hate from people on both sides of the political spectrum. Liberals, if we want love to trump hate, why are we treating others who disagree with us with such contempt? Why do Trump supporters feel unsafe on campus? Isn’t our anger only further dividing us? Do I agree with the racist, sexist and xenophobic rhetoric that Trump and his supporters have shared? Absolutely not. But do I hate the people who believe them? No. Will I work to challenge these ideas in a dialogue that people feel safe in? I will try my very best.I choose to sympathize with someone and their economic situation, without sympathizing with the racist rhetoric they abide by. I choose to separate the different aspects of a person in a way that I can still love part of them. It takes hard work to develop a political and moral framework that does not rely on some form of hatred for the “other.” But I’m willing to do that work. I also want to acknowledge that this work may be harder for some – not everyone has the privilege to think civilly when their lives are in danger. But for those who feel capable, I hope that we can do this work together.Jonathan Haidt has a TedTalk where he describes a new form of empathy. For some, it may be somewhat easy to try to understand stories of the “other” when it comes to culture but Haidt says that we “get more points” when empathy is hard, when we have to apply it to another’s political ideology.How we respond to this matters – it is not just people whining that their candidate lost. This is a time for radical change because there is an “existential threat” caused by clashing ideas that could be a catalyst for new growth, understanding, love and compassion.There have been some thoughts weighing on my mind that I want to share and talk about – so please don’t hesitate to email me or talk to me in person.
– Emily Newman ’17 ( is from Rochester, Minn. She majors in psychology.
We need to rescue ourselves from the abyss of social media activism. I have spent this past week watching as person after person has taken to Facebook to state their outrage over the election of Donald Trump this last Tuesday. Congratulations, we have proven to everyone around us how morally superior we are.  While we can honestly be proud to be one of the most compassionate, concerned generations to be born into this country, it is essential that we don’t forget that a Facebook post is worth next to nothing.  I worked for Bernie Sanders in two different states and I think that I can speak on behalf of thousands of amazing staffers when I say that the support students showed for Bernie this election cycle has increased political optimism and shown a hint of what this world can be when we all unite at the polls.  However, I think I can reflect the sentiment felt by many of those working in politics when I say that the single biggest thing we lack as a generation is the desire to carve out time in our busy schedules and dedicate  it to a cause.Don’t get me wrong, we should be upset about Trump’s election.  We should be angry that there are so many institutions and individuals in this country that feed off and profit from bigotry. We should be angry that we have allowed race to be a primary factor in electing a president, while we are told by the Supreme Court that racism is dead in our country. We can blame the generations before us, the media, establishment politics, the electoral college, basically anyone we please, but the blame rests solely on ourselves.  We absolutely need to recognize that, as a multiplicity, we did not do enough work this election cycle. What will our legacy be? We can claim to be as compassionate as we want, as outraged as we want, but we must get out and knock on doors, make calls and organize. Until we mobilize our outrage, marginalized people in our country will continue to be battered by a corrupt system and progressive candidates will continue to lose elections.We cannot go back to a world where we stop caring about politics. We need to continue to sustain this passion over the next few years. I beg of you, don’t let your outrage be limited to the few days following the election or a single Facebook post.This country needs better, we can be better.

Tristan Voegeli ’19 ( is from Winona, Minn. He majors in political science.
In many instances the oppressed choose to stay silent, are unrepresented and are ignored until enough is enough. In second grade I was told to leave the country because my complexion was too dark. During my freshman year at St. Olaf, a Trump supporter told me he would deport me if he could. More than a decade has passed since I was in second grade and these sentiments have only grown and transformed into hate. It hurt then and it hurts now. Many Trump supporters acknowledge the racist statements that Trump has made but openly declare that they themselves are not racist. One doesn’t have to be an unabashed racist to be complicit in racism. A president who threatens to deport good undocumented families like mine makes this great nation difficult to call home. America is home to millions of immigrants and thousands of refugees. Making hard-working people feel unwelcome in their own homes should not be the norm and should not be tolerated under the guise of politics. Trump is asking that we walk a path to unity, but please don’t step on us on the way there.
– Alexis Valeriano ’19 ( is from Northfield, Minn. His major is undecided.
More than anything I feel a sense of conviction. This is not the seal on an apocalyptic fate, but America’s desperate call for productive action. For me, watching President-elect Donald Trump give an acceptance speech solidified the fact that he will be leading our country for at least the next four years. It also affirmed the suspicion I’ve been harboring since Trump emerged as a semi-plausible candidate and his poll numbers remained high – that something is broken. This has finally been confirmed in the form of a “Trump Triumph.” Perhaps it is the two-party system that is broken. Perhaps it’s the electoral college or insufficient political and racial education. Perhaps it is the media or fear for national security or something more or less definite. More likely it is a convoluted combination of all of these issues and more. Those who are celebrating and those who are dissatisfied with the results can both agree that our political system is fundamentally broken. America needs to be made great again in some form or another, and this undoubtedly had an influence in why we voted the way we did. However, I’m still smiling and I won’t let anything shake me because we all have important things to do. I’m empowered and I’m ready to help fix what’s broken with patient endurance. I hope for some discussion through a spectrum of platforms, from unbiased smiles to deliberate discussion to expressive art. What America needs is an increased awareness of its reality, which one way or another will be realized. Above all we cannot lose our calm and control, because this is our only path to recovery.
Boraan Abdulkarim ’20 ( is from St. Paul, Minn. Her major is undecided.
I’m so tired of going high. Many of us are.In a now iconic speech, Michelle Obama addressed the crowd at the Democratic National Convention and cautioned against stooping to the violence and aggression of Trump and his supporters. She reminded the audience that “When they go low, we go high.” Hearing this before the election, I was moved and inspired. Seeing the violence and hate Trump has incited amongst his supporters and at his rallies shook me to my very core – it still does – and I took confidence in knowing I would never go as low as they did.Now that the election has come and gone in an abysmal torrent of violence and tears, I have heard this quote again, and again, and again, and again and it is never in the right context. I believe that this phrase has been appropriated and co-opted by (majority white) moderates complacent with the troubling fascism that is now sweeping this nation. When we protest, they tell us to “go high.”When we speak out, they tell us to “go high.”When we grieve, they tell us to “go high.”When we are upset and angry, when we are unsafe in our dorms, when we are dissatisfied with people telling us to “get over it” as we cry and wail at the actualization and legitimization of an oppressive reality that has existed in America since its founding on the exploitation of black and indigenous people, they tell us to “go high.”Who is telling this to Trump supporters?Who is telling this to the people spitting in the face of Chicanx activists?Who is telling this to the people who violently pushed a black woman out of a rally?Who is telling this to the spin doctors electrocuting queer youth to turn them straight?Who is telling this to the racist police murdering unarmed black people in the streets?Why should I, someone who has tried for 21 years to always “go higher” and to always “meet them with love,” do it for someone who fundamentally believes my life doesn’t matter and my existence is an inconvenience? How can I even conceive of loving anyone who would rather see me and a majority of the people on this campus dead? How can I believe that you voted for Trump with “no hate in your heart” when I can smell the hate on your breath, when I can see it in your eyes, when I can tell by the way you violate our space to grieve, and take advantage of our trusting hearts that you are full of an untapped hate, a hate more sinister than any overt oppression. How can I go higher and how can I love you?I can’t.I just can’t.
Cosimo Pori ’18 ( is from Albuquerque, N.M. They have created their own major.

Categories: Colleges

Cross country takes 1st, 3rd at regionals

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 12:51pm
Following its third place finish in the NCAA Division III Central Regionals last season, the St. Olaf women’s cross country team rebounded in this year’s regionals at Carleton on Nov. 12, taking home first place.Five of the nation’s top 35 teams were in attendance, including Nebraska Wesleyan, St. Thomas, Carleton, Wartburg and St. Olaf itself, which heightened anticipation for a close, suspenseful race. However, the Oles distanced themselves from the competition early, finishing with a team time of 1:54:58 and a grand total of 91 points. They were the only squad to score under 100, convincingly defeating Nebraska Wesleyan’s second-place total by 19 points. Mary Naas ’19 had the best performance for the Oles, coming in seventh with a final time of 22:21.5, nearly nine seconds ahead of the eighth place finisher. While St. Olaf did not have a runner in the top five, the team’s consistency easily netted them the title – five Oles finished in the top 30 along with Naas, including Jamie Hoornaert ’17, who finished 17th with a time of 23:03.5, Bryony Hawgood ’20, posting a 23:09.0 time to claim 20th, Jordan Lutz ’18, who finished right behind Hawgood with a 23:10.3 time and Jessica Bentley ’18, who closed out the scoring for the Oles in 26th place with a respectable 23:13.1 time. The St. Olaf women will look to continue their success after qualifying for the National Championships this Saturday, Nov. 19 in Louisville, Ky.Men’s cross country didn’t fare quite so well, finishing third overall, their first non-first place finish in regionals since 2011. Headlined by Alexander Berhe ’19, who came in 15th with a 25:56.0 time, his fastest race of the season, and Joe Coffey ’17, who still finished 23rd despite a season high 26:05.1 time, the Oles were uncharacteristically lacking in depth. However, St. Olaf still ranks 14th nationally and was awarded an at-large bid to the National Championships along with their female counterparts. They’ll try to regroup from their upset loss in time for their final, most crucial race of the season, hoping to join the 2013 Oles in bringing home a national title to St.
Categories: Colleges

St. Olaf announces Hall of Fame inductees

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 12:51pm
This spring, the St. Olaf Athletic Hall of Fame will welcome four new, exceptional members to its legacy: volleyball coach Cindy Book, Nordic skier Kelly Underkofler ’05, running back Manuel Spreigl ’02 and catcher Dan LaManna ’02. To be considered for the Hall of Fame, athletes are either nominated or chosen by the Athletic Department to be added to a list of eligible candidates. Athletes must wait at least 10 years after graduation before they can be considered for selection. The Hall of Fame committee, made up of Athletic Director Ryan Bowles, Associate Athletic Director Mike Ludwig and current and former coaches, selects the inductees.“We are extremely excited about this year’s class,” Bowles said. “We feel that they represent some of the best Ole athletics has to offer. Their accomplishments in their respective sports truly are outstanding, and [we] feel that they deserve to stand among the other Ole greats in the Hall of Fame.”Book coached volleyball at St. Olaf for 22 years in addition to two seasons at Keene State and eight at Bethel University, collecting 473 of her 716 career victories during her time with the Oles. She retired last fall, finishing eighth in total wins among all Division III coaches in history, carrying the second largest active total at the time of her retirement. Throughout her career, Book coached seven players to All-American honors while earning a .669 career winning percentage, ranking 35th in Division III history. She led her teams to six MIAC regular season titles, including a four-year reign atop the conference from 1993-1996 in which St. Olaf volleyball went a combined 43-1 in conference play. Under Book, the Oles made it into nine NCAA tournaments, most notably six consecutive appearances from 1993-1998, with her 1996 squad advancing all the way to the Final Four.Along with her credentials on the volleyball court, Book was always commended for her respect towards St. Olaf’s opponents and her uncanny ability to bring the Oles together to play with inspired teamwork. Whether it was giving roses to graduating Carleton players in addition to her own team whenever they squared off on senior night or motivating the Oles with positive reinforcement born from a pure love of the game, Book embodies the best of St. Olaf athletics, and is more than worthy of being selected to headline an exceptionally talented 2017 Hall of Fame class.During his football career at St. Olaf, Spreigl ranked second in career rushing touchdowns (36) and third in career rushing yards (3,122) in school history. He led the Oles to a 7-3 record in 2000, their best finish in a decade, posting 1,304 rushing yards, second most in St. Olaf history within a single season, along with 16 touchdowns. Spreigl decimated Carleton on Nov. 11, 2000, setting the MIAC record for most points scored in a single game with 36. “My time at St. Olaf was special, and this accolade helps to shine light on what made my time there so transformative: the people that I played with, the coaches that we had and the opportunities that were available to me,” Spreigl said. “My life is so rich, and if I were to trace back what I felt were the ingredients to allow me to have such a sweet setup, today it would be those faces that I saw daily, the coaches that took interest in me as a person, and the faculty [and] advisors at St. Olaf that helped me navigate my four years on the Hill.”After being born without the under portion of her left arm, Underkofler started Nordic skiing at the age of four, quickly developing a natural feel for the sport despite a disability that would have discouraged most other athletes. After racing competitively in high school, she continued her inspiring success by representing the United States in the 2002 Paralympic Games at the age of 17. After graduating from St. Olaf in 2005, she  began training full-time, eventually participating in the next two Paralympics in 2006 and 2010. LaManna made St. Olaf history as a three-time All-MIAC catcher for the St. Olaf baseball team, with which he played in three regular season MIAC championships. He ranked fourth in St. Olaf history for career hits (176), second in career doubles (47) and sixth in RBIs (119). LaManna led the Oles to three consecutive first-place finishes from 2000-2002, posting an incredible .449 batting average in 2000 and a .697 slugging percentage with 19 doubles the following season, the latter of which is a St. Olaf single-season record.“I’m lucky to join a few of my teammates in the St. Olaf Athletic [Hall of Fame], and would fully expect to see others from the late ’90s to early 2000s teams join as well,” LaManna said. “It goes to show you the depth of our baseball teams and work ethic of my lifelong friends. My family and I have fond memories and reminisce of those most enjoyable four years on the Hill.”In previous years, the induction ceremony has been hosted during Homecoming weekend, but this year’s ceremony will take place during reunion weekend on June 3, 2017 in an effort to give these accomplished athletes the proper spotlight they deserve.“We feel this gives us an opportunity to attract a better audience and to recognize some of our other outstanding student athletes and championship teams,” Bowles said.
Categories: Colleges

St. Olaf Sentiments: Northfield

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 12:51pm
I have recently taken up the nearly indefensible claim that Northfield, Minn. is the greatest place on earth.I’m writing from my study abroad program in Aberdeen, Scotland, and, somehow, when I talk about my home university’s primo locale, people aren’t quite sold on Northfield. No matter how much I extol the glory of a $9 Pause pizza delivered to your door in sub-zero temperatures, they seem to only hear the latter part of that particular statement. I describe the gorgeous autumn leaves, the quaint downtown, the cookie-scented Malt-O-Meal air, and still, Scottish folks get hung up on Northfield’s lack of centuries-old castles.The point is this: though I’m enjoying my semester, my time spent in Scotland and at the University of Aberdeen has renewed my appreciation for St. Olaf.There’s just something about it, I guess. Northfield has a distinct charm that, for me, is yet unrivaled. I’ve had an incredible time traveling, seeing Edinburgh, London, Amsterdam and more, but part of me keeps coming back to St. Olaf in my mind. Admittedly, it’s pretty unexpected; I thought that I’d fall in love with every city I visit, never wanting to return to the States. But, every coffee shop I visit just isn’t as good as Blue Mondays and no chicken tenders have even challenged those of The Cage.Also, the cultural differences can be staggering, especially academically. While St. Olaf students get one day off to prepare for finals, Aberdeen students get a full week. Professors have a singular office hour, and, perhaps most bizarre of all, the library is only open until 8 p.m.Oles. Can you imagine the riots (seriously, the RIOTS) if Rolvaag closed at 8 p.m.?However, St. Olaf has followed me here in ways that are unexpectedly rewarding. I found myself enthralled in the National Gallery in London, where all of my half-forgotten Great Con knowledge rose up in me and overflowed as I recognized paintings I’d studied and written about. I wandered through the Portrait Gallery, reminiscing on Karen Marsalek’s Renaissance Literature course, seeing the faces of all the poets, playwrights and politicians we learned about. It’s truly thrilling to watch your education come to life.And this, I think, is why I’ve been so homesick for the Hill. I can go anywhere in the world – tour museums, hike around isles, and still the connection to St. Olaf is truer each day. I have learned quite a lot from the professors and peers in my life that is transferrable to living abroad.For instance, I couldn’t imagine navigating discussions of international politics here without first having those conversations with my politically-minded friends back home. I feel lucky to be an international writing tutor at St. Olaf, and sometimes I’ll go over papers with my friends here who speak English as a second language. St. Olaf manages to infiltrate my life in Scotland in seemingly minute but integral ways, making me all the better in the process.So, Northfield may not have historical castles, a vibrant night life, or a lower drinking age. It’s not a cultural, political, or social hub. In all likelihood, it’s not the greatest place on earth. But, my life there has made my experience abroad a more colorful one because of the friends and professors I’ve had, and that, I know, is something you can’t dispute.
Categories: Colleges

Larla Schnutter and the Mystery of the Cage Cookie

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 12:51pm
It isn’t easy walking the walking paths of St. Olaf, knowing what I know. That there are things many of us don’t understand – can’t understand – don’t want to understand. That there are (probably) ghosts centuries old haunting this very campus. I, Larla Schnutter, vow to uncover the spooky secrets this college (probably) has to offer, using my detective skills, my girlish gumption, and the 500 words allotted me in this newspaper. I, Larla Schnutter, am just the paranormal investigator this seedy town needs. The ghost whisperer Northfield, Minnesota has been waiting for.. . . “Sorry, we’re all out of the St. Olaf cookies today,” the cashier says.“What?” I say, baffled. “In all my years, The Cage has never been out of St. Olaf cookies. Never!”The cashier squints at me. “Hey, weren’t you in my first-year writing class last year?”I dig perplexedly into the pocket of my trench coat and fish out one of my scotch glasses then place it on the counter. “A dram of the best scotch you’ve got, please.”The cashier furrows her brow. “Uh …  like the tape?”Suddenly, the manager stalks out of the kitchen. When she spots me, she rolls her eyes and sighs. “Listen, kid. This is the last time I’m telling you. Not only is this a dry campus, but this isn’t even a bar! And, no offense, but I highly doubt you’re 21.”I step closer and lean against the display case, glaring right at the manager. “I wouldn’t use that tone with me, crone.”“And who are you supposed to be – Humphrey Bogart? Sorry, missy, but Halloween was last week.”I narrow my eyes and pocket my scotch glass. “You won’t be getting any more Cage dollars from me, that’s for sure.”“That literally has no effect on me,” the manager says, stalking tiredly back into the kitchen. I slouch back to my corner table. The mouth on that dame! I, Larla Schnutter, am no phony, no knockoff. And Humphrey Bogart’s got nothing on Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past – I mean, let’s be real.As I’m about to sit down and nurse my wounded ego, I notice a mysterious paper folded up beside my typewriter that had not been there before. I look once to the left, then once to the right. Noticing no unusual disturbances, I pick up the wad and unravel it.Meet me at midnight in the Rolvaag Reference Room. Tonight. It’s urgent.Come alone.–Callory NordlundI could recognize the slender curves of Callory’s handwriting anywhere. This is the real deal. I ignore the butterflies winging in the pit of my stomach. So unprofessional. Get a hold of yourself, Larla! This could be a trap set by some cunning temptress!“Hey, Larla.”Startled, I spin around to find Kermit Schindler, my trusty boywitch, sitting two tables away.“You okay? You’re, like, blushing really hard. Oh, wow, now you’re just straight up red—” “Kermit, please! We have a mystery to solve!” I hold up Callory’s note.Kermit walks over and takes a closer look. “Callory … isn’t that the girl you were Facebook stalking last night?”“No. Anyways, I’m going to meet her just like she says, but you’re coming too.”“But she says to come alone. Also I have a religion test tomorrow and I think my prof hates me.”“Kermit,” I say, maintaining a level stare. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my line of work … it’s never trust a woman. Especially one with as many likes on her profile picture as Callory Nordlund.”“I don’t know, Larla,” Kermit says, tugging on the ends of his long black hair.“We’re detectives, Kermit.” I scan Buntrock Commons, all the students whose lives I strive to protect. “It’s our duty to find answers. And deliver justice … And get into the occasional fistfight.”Kermit nods. “Okay, I guess.”I clap Kermit on the shoulder. “See you at the library entrance, 11:30 p.m., sharp – tonight.”
Categories: Colleges

Opinion: Letter To The Editor Regarding St. Olaf Drinking Habits*

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 12:51pm
St. Olaf’s policy regarding illicit substances is clear; alcohol and drug use is to be prohibited, for the protective good of the school, its students, and all its affiliates. Why then do so many St. Olaf students continue to flout the rules and consume alcoholic beverages? Here are a few statistics for your edification: 8 percent of St. Olaf students drink alcohol regularly, and there are 635,013,559,599 possible hands in a game of bridge. Won’t you take me out to the ballgame, Roy? I haven’t seen stars in so long … But I can see them with you, I see them with you. In this short piece, I hope to convince some vulnerable and pliant St. Olaf students to toe the line and abandon alcohol, once and for all.Firstly, alcohol can adversely affect one’s health. The cold, hard fact is, in 2013 alone, nearly 31 million beers were sold and consumed at Major League Baseball games. Contrary to popular opinion, alcohol consumption does not make you look cool; in a recent poll conducted by the Auburn University Department of Psychology, both cigarettes and the reasonable, prescribed use of antacids were ranked higher than alcohol in terms of likelihood to impress other students. According to the researchers’ index, drinking alcohol was roughly as “likely to impress” as eating a large, unrefrigerated cucumber. And who wants to eat something like that? Stay away from it.In sixth grade, I danced with her at the Winter Snowflake Ball.  As we swayed slowly, I was acutely aware of my own awkwardness in comparison to her rhythmic fluidity, her elegant grace: sweaty palms fastened hopelessly to her waist, breath heavy and hoarse, and when she looked at me with palpable discomfort (O God!) I couldn’t even make eye contact, I was a failure, a fraud, undeserving to be near, let alone touch, a creature of such ethereal, angelic perfection. The masquerade of the dance continued boundlessly, and my mind drifted like flotsam upon the sea; I dreamt of putting my lips to hers, of being someone else, of being another boy, a boy assertive and brave enough to conceive of and bestow a romantic act, a boy who could force a girl to care for him, to be impressed by him, to want to exist inside him as some vital organ. I didn’t know if my desire to kiss her was a result of assimilated societal pressures, or of some unconscious, innate desire for human love and a validation of my own self-worth … When the eternal dance finally ended, she forced an uncomfortable smile as I removed my hands from her sides, and I knew then that my chance for salvation had now been lost in the spinning void of time, that it had been fabricated by a cruel, feeble, and desperate mind. As she hurried toward her friends loitering near the punch line, I was struck by a sickening realization that love was perhaps an intangible force floating softly in the ether, perceptible only to the lucky (or the foolish): that I might never manage to fully know its purity. I stood quietly on the gym floor, alone, for some time. Then I trudged to the boys’ bathroom and sat in a locked stall, waiting for the internal emptiness, precipitated by the dance’s frivolity, to end.Secondly, underage drinking is against the law! Did you know that, in many states, one could face up to 24 years in prison if caught merely holding an alcoholic beverage while under the age of 21? Beyond the concrete penal repercussions of alcohol consumption, the very fabric of our society relies on complacency and a strict adherence to laws and social norms. O Abel, what has been done that you look so magnificently wretched! Keep watch, keep watch. If everyone just follows the rules, we can focus on the things that make our country great and keep it functioning soundly, namely making 12-year-olds question the nature of sexuality and love at the Winter Snowflake Ball.I still think of her from time to time. I have lost her name; I have not lost the vision.Thirdly, alcohol tastes awful!

*This is an artistic piece and is not an accurate description of the St. Olaf alcohol and drug policies.
Categories: Colleges

Previewing the St. Olaf winter sports season

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 11:52am
Men’s hockey returns to the ice after a lackluster 2015-16 season in which it went 4-8-4, finishing seventh in the MIAC. Led by new head coach Mike Eaves, the young Oles must fortify their defensive efforts if they want to win their first conference title since 2009. St. Olaf had a higher shot percentage than its opponents last season, but that doesn’t matter when you surrender 936 shots on goal and allow 66 goals in conference games, the second most in the MIAC.  The Oles must play better team defense to relieve some pressure from improving starting goalie Eric Hancock ’19 if they hope to make Eaves’ first season as head coach a fruitful one.Women’s hockey faces a similar problem, having allowed 63 goals in conference last season, 10 more than the next highest total. However, they must dig themselves out of an arguably greater hole, having won only three total games during the last two seasons combined, and only one of those victories came against a conference opponent. The good news is that last winter was largely a developmental season for St. Olaf, featuring a young team that remains essentially intact after losing only one senior to graduation. Top scorer Jane Vezina ’18, who had 12 goals, and Megan Skelly ’17, who led the team with 10 assists a year ago, highlight a squad that could finally come into its own in the early months of 2017, provided the defense sees a dramatic improvement. Early signs this past week are encouraging. St. Olaf already has its first victory of the season, a 2-0 win in the home opener against University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Though it’s early in the season, goalie Cassie Alexander ’17 tops the MIAC with zero goals allowed, and she issued a 28-save shutout in St. Olaf’s first win since Feb. 5, 2016.Women’s basketball will try to leap above its own struggles, having plateaued at a consistent winning percentage hovering around .500 since a 17-9, fourth place finish back in 2011-12. The Oles were well on their way to a winning season before dropping their final four conference games last winter, finishing ninth in the MIAC, their worst final placing since 2009-10. Led by veteran Betsey Daly ’17, who headlined the team’s statline last winter with 12.8 points per game, 8.4 rebounds per game and 320 total points scored, the 2016-17 team features 13 underclassmen on the 15-woman roster, an extremely young team that could go one of two ways this season. If  breakout scorer Makenna Ash ’19 can continue her ascent to stardom, building on her team-leading .513 fieldgoal percentage and 18 blocks to assist Daly, St. Olaf will have a great young core to build around for seasons to come, accompanying men’s basketball as an Ole playoff hopeful. If not, and if no incoming first years emerge to help carry the weight in a loaded conference that touted four teams with five or fewer MIAC losses in 2015, the Oles will be looking at their third consecutive losing season.Four members of the Ole men’s swimming team were named Preseason All-Conference back in September after leading St. Olaf to third place in the 2016 MIAC Championships. John Loepfe ’20, Nick Wilkerson ’17, Bobby Schultze ’17 and Jack Welsh ’19 bring lofty expectations into this winter, but considering that the latter three were already named All-Conference at the end of last season, they should have no trouble meeting them. Claire Walters ’17 and newcomer Helen Jensen ’20 headline the women’s team, also having been named Preseason All-Conference, giving the Ole women a great mix of veteran leadership and incoming talent with enormous potential that should allow them to replicate, if not surpass, their third place finish in the conference a year ago. St. Olaf swimming usually performs admirably, but the 2016-17 season  has potential to be particularly
Categories: Colleges

Cubs finally end curse

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 11:52am
For every kid raised in Chicago who used each birthday to wish for a World Series victory, for every old Chicago native who heard over and over, “not in your lifetime,” and for every Cubs fan each season for the past 108 seasons, this one is for you. On Wednesday, Nov. 2, the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series.The 2016 fall classic is one for the history books. Both teams, the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs, had high hopes to end extensive championship droughts. The Indians last won a World Series in 1948, while the Cubs’ futility extended back to 1908. The teams totalled 174 seasons of combined failure, the longest streak in professional sports history. Fans of each organization were starved for some success – both teams were ready to change their cities’ histories.For Chicago, this meant breaking a curse. The Billy Goat Curse was the infamous burden placed on the Chicago Cubs in 1945 after William Sianis, owner of the local Billy Goat Tavern, angered Cubs fans by bringing his pet goat, Murphy, into Wrigley Field. Murphy’s odor was wafting over the bleachers, and the Chicago faithful, disgusted, asked Sianis to take his goat and leave. Fuming as he left Wrigley Field, Sianis proclaimed that the Cubs would never win another World Series. The Cubs followed this incident by losing the upcoming World Series, in which they were favored to win over the underdog Detroit Tigers, thus beginning a superstitious belief that Chicago was doomed to lose for the rest of eternity. 108 years of evidence seemed to support this claim, but last Wednesday the Cubs defied their history and accomplished the unthinkable.Their improbable victory marked the end of the longest championship drought in American sports history. The last time the Cubs won the World Series was 1908 – at that time, a Hershey bar cost a mere two cents, the vacuum cleaner had just been invented, the eventual voice of Bugs Bunny had just been born and baseball’s now-famous anthem, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” had yet to be written. When the Cubs last won a World Series, their home stadium, Wrigley Field, now the second oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball, didn’t exist.In the century following their last championship, the Cubs suffered crushing defeats and bitter disappointments, earning the moniker of “Lovable Losers” as they continued to endure an onslaught of poor seasons. Fans remained loyal, but were mocked every time they gained some optimism, inevitably falling flat on their faces. But those fans remained supportive for 108 brutal years, even when the Indians swiftly erased a three-run lead in the bottom of the 8th. They continued to cheer when a timely rain delay stalled a tense Game 7 long into the night. And when their Cubbies plated the winning run in the top of the 10th, the fans went wild. Finally they could wear their jerseys with pride – their lovable losers had finally delivered. The Chicago Cubs are World Series champions. “Next year” has finally come.“The whole thing still feels unreal,” Lucienne Devitt ’20, an Illinois native, said. “Having always rooted for a team that is constantly teased as being the losers, it feels amazing to be rooting for the champions now. I had to go home because such a long-awaited win is something that only happens once in a lifetime. Literally every person I saw walking around the streets of Chicago the whole day was wearing Cubs stuff. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.”“It happened, baby,” Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said, standing among a crowd of cheering fans. “It happened.” It took 108 years, seven World Series playoff games, a blown lead, 10 innings and a rain delay, but Cubs fans can finally breathe easy. It happened. It’s over.
Categories: Colleges

A mesmerizing musical experience

St. Olaf College - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 8:22am

Levi Wick ’19 (in the St. Olaf shirt) participates in a choir rehearsal on campus. He says being a member of a St. Olaf choral ensemble provides “a sense of community, the chance to sing with amazingly talented and dedicated individuals, and the opportunity to touch people’s hearts through music.”

The very first time Levi Wick ’19 visited St. Olaf College, he sang alongside hundreds of students and community members as part of Choral Day.

He was mesmerized by the beautiful sound.

“I knew at that moment — as a high school freshman — that I wanted to join a choir in college,” he says. “When it came time to look at schools, St. Olaf was at the top of my list.”

He has not been disappointed. Now in his second year at St. Olaf, Wick says being a member of a St. Olaf choral ensemble provides “a sense of community, the chance to sing with amazingly talented and dedicated individuals, and the opportunity to touch people’s hearts through music.”

And nothing embodies all of those things like the annual St. Olaf Christmas Festival.

Levi Wick ’19 (bottom left) performs in the St. Olaf Christmas Festival. This year, for the first time, the college will offer a live video stream of the December 4 concert.

One of the oldest musical celebrations of Christmas in the United States, the festival features more than 500 student musicians who are members of five choirs and the St. Olaf Orchestra. Each group performs individually and as part of a mass ensemble, and the event is regularly broadcast nationwide on public television and radio.

This year, for the first time, the college will also offer a live video stream of the December 4 concert.

Wick, a member of Chapel Choir, says he’s looking forward to bringing the joy and beautiful music of the Christmas Festival to an audience that reaches far beyond the nearly 10,000 people who travel to campus each year to attend. The theme of this year’s festival — Light Dawns, Hope Blooms — is especially powerful, he notes.

“I am so glad I chose St. Olaf. There is no place I’d rather go,” says Levi Wick ’19.

“I hope that our music can help people heal, give people hope, and help remind them that everything will eventually be okay,” Wick says. “I hope they are reminded that love conquers all, and love, compassion, and acceptance within our communities are what’s most important.”

Performing in the Christmas Festival for the first time last year as a member of Viking Chorus was a “surreal experience,” Wick says, that was punctuated by the tradition of ending each of the four concerts with a performance of Beautiful Savior — a deeply moving arrangement by St. Olaf Choir founder F. Melius Christiansen.

“Throughout the year, we work hard together to create music that moves our audience, that touches each of their lives in a special way,” Wick says. “And at the same time, the music touches each of us while singing.”

Wick, a political science and French major, says the opportunity to sing in a choral ensemble at St. Olaf — while pursuing majors outside of music and getting involved in campus organizations like the Political Awareness Committee — is everything he had hoped for in a college experience.

“I am so glad I chose St. Olaf. There is no place I’d rather go,” he says. “I will take the memories, the experience, and the life lessons I’ve learned with me as I head out into the world. No matter what I do after I graduate, I will always be an Ole.”

Watch Wick’s choral experience unfold in the video below.

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