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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.”
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.
*This is an artistic piece and is not an accurate description of the St. Olaf alcohol and drug policies.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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 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.
Lucy Stevens continues to accumulate accolades as the junior middle hitter establishes herself as one of the most-decorated players in Carleton College volleyball history. For the second consecutive season, Stevens picked up both All-Region First-Team status and All-America Honorable Mention recognition from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).
Ryan Casperson smashed his previous career bests with a 17-point, 17-rebound performance to lead the Carleton College men’s basketball team to a season-opening 84-64 triumph over Bethany Lutheran College.
Sarah Waldfogel notched her first career double-double as the Carleton College women’s basketball team put a scare into No. 12-ranked UW-River Falls before absorbing a 71-58 setback. Waldfogel finished the contest with 13 points, a career-best 10 rebounds, three blocks, and three assists.
St. Olaf College Associate Professor of Religion David Booth will deliver the fall Mellby Lecture, titled On the Public Usefulness of Theology: Making Sense of North Carolina’s “Bathroom Wars.”
The lecture will be held November 17 at 7 p.m. in Viking Theater. It will be streamed and archived online.
Booth will cover two main topics in the lecture. The first will analyze theology as a way of reasoning about religion that is valuable for particular religious communities, as well as for the general public. “Theology allows us to understand the underlying circumstances of our lives, and to envision a future where everyone has a chance at the blessing of life,” Booth argues.
The second topic focuses on demonstrating the efficacy of theology in public life through the ongoing controversy of bathroom access for transgender people. Booth plans to provide a political and theological analysis on the North Carolina state legislature’s decision to pass House Bill 2 in March 2016. The bill essentially requires people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificate, thus stigmatizing and marginalizing trans-people as a result.
“I will argue that a richer and more satisfying religious worldview would welcome and celebrate trans-people as the promise of a more jubilant, flourishing humanity,” Booth says.
Booth has been teaching in the fields of theology, feminist theory, and religion and culture. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Chicago before joining the St. Olaf faculty in 1985. His scholarship explores historical and contemporary instances when religious communities have stigmatized marginal subgroups. In recent teaching, Booth has been addressing intersections of theology and environmental studies.
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.
St. Olaf College sent more students to study abroad during the 2014–15 academic year than any other baccalaureate institution in the nation, according to the Open Doors 2016 Report on International Educational Exchange.
This marks the eighth straight year the college has ranked first among its peers in the total number of students studying abroad.
“St. Olaf is delighted to once again top the list of baccalaureate institutions for the number of students studying abroad,” says Director of International and Off-Campus Studies Jodi Malmgren ’92. “Our strategic plan highlights participation in high-impact practices such as study abroad and fostering a global perspective. Even more importantly, our focus goes beyond sheer participation numbers to ensuring all members of the St. Olaf student body have access to high-quality learning opportunities.”
St. Olaf currently offers study abroad programs in nearly 50 countries, including about 65 semester or year-long programs and 25 courses during Interim. Faculty-led semester programs include Global Semester and Environmental Science in Australia.
According to the Open Doors report, St. Olaf also ranked first in short-term study abroad numbers for baccalaureate institutions.
Open Doors is the comprehensive information resource on international students in the United States and on the more than 200,000 U.S. students who study abroad as part of their academic experience. The Institute of International Education publishes the Open Doors report annually with funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
The Carleton College women’s cross country team will once again compete at the NCAA Championships as the Knights earned one of 16 at-large berths in the field. This will be Carleton’s sixth consecutive trip to Nationals as the Knights were selected to participate for the 11th time in the last 13 seasons and the 18th time overall.
The Carleton College men’s cross country finished its season with a 10th-place result at the NCAA Central Region Championships on Saturday. Sophomore Tris Dodge finished in 19th place on Saturday and secured All-Region honors for the 2016 season. Only two other underclassmen placed among the race’s top-25 runners. Dodge finished the eight-kilometer course with a time of 25:59.9.
The No. 30-ranked Carleton College women’s cross country team hosted the NCAA Division III Central Region Championships on Saturday, and the Knights finished fourth out of 32 teams in a very competitive race. Emily Kaegi led the Knights yet again posting an impressive time of 22:38.3 for the six-Kilometer course, good for a 10th-place finish that earned her All-Region status.
In its final contest of the 2016 campaign, the Carleton College football team dropped a very competitive matchup against Gustavus Adolphus College, 38-21. Today marked the last game in the careers of the 11 seniors in the Knights’ class of 2017.
Spending seven weeks in Norway as part of the Peace Scholars Program gave Jauza Khaleel ’18 a greater understanding of the complexities of conflict and the barriers to achieving peace and reconciliation.
Just as importantly, it also gave her a better idea of what she can do about it.
“The program opened my eyes to new ways in which individuals can work to help those in need,” she says.
Khaleel and fellow St. Olaf College student Paul Sullivan ‘17 were selected to participate in the program, which aims to expand students’ awareness of current issues relating to peace, justice, democracy, and human rights through a series of educational experiences in Norway. Two students from each of the six Norwegian-American Lutheran colleges — Augsburg, Augustana, Concordia, Luther, St. Olaf, and Pacific Lutheran University — are chosen to participate each year.
Students at St. Olaf receive funding to participate in the program through the Philip C. Smaby Peace Scholars Endowed Scholarship.
Khaleel and Sullivan kicked off their time in Norway by spending a week at the Nobel Peace Prize–nominated Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue in Lillehammer. While there, the two were able to learn from the principal of the Nansen Center, Steinar Bryn, and his colleagues. They learned all about the process of peace and reconciliation in the Balkans.
For Sullivan, the week spent in Lillehammer was a particular highlight of the trip.
“It was such an intense week, both intellectually and emotionally, and I learned so much,” he says. “The group of American and Balkan students came out of the week as a tight-knit friend group, which I imagine will last a long time.”
After their first week had in Norway had concluded, it was time to move from Lillehammer to Oslo in order to attend the University of Oslo’s prestigious International Summer School. At the school, both St. Olaf students took a seminar on Norwegian aid and refugee policies, which involved its own research project.
Aside from the seminar, they were given the chance to pursue an additional class of their choosing. Sullivan took a class on Norwegian history and Khaleel took a class on Scandinavian government.
Over the course of the summer, the two also explored other areas of Norway.
“We visited the Peace Research Institute Oslo, where we were given a lecture on Norway’s foreign policy and the Right to Protect by Henrik Syse. We also visited Freedom House, where we met with multiple organizations that do a wonderful job raising awareness, lobbying, and petitioning,” says Khaleel.
There was even an opportunity to visit the Karibu Foundation that is headed by St. Olaf alumnus Tyler Hauger ‘08. The Karibu Foundation is an organization located in Oslo that works on building connections between developing countries in the global south.
“My visit to Karibu and to all of the places were transformative as these field visits broadened my understanding of what I could do after I graduate and the ways in which I could work in the field of building peace,” says Khaleel.
Just a few months ago, Beau Smit ’17 and Rohan Mukherjee ’19 had no idea they’d become business partners, but found themselves on that path regardless. “We have similar interests, very counterbalancing traits, so we decided to go into business together and found this company,” Mukherjee said.
"Hopefully the runners and walkers of the Arboretum spend some time observing and enjoying the beauty of its flora and fauna, but my guess is probably not so many people are thinking about what has been underneath their feet the whole way."
"After seeing Donald Trump get elected the night before, students on Wednesday gathered for a rally in front of Sayles to process the result and to discuss what options the community has going forward."
"Over the weekend, 34 students drove to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to participate in the ongoing protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would run 1,172 miles from the Bakkens and Three Forks areas of North Dakota to Illinois."
Nam Nguyen ’19 summed up what seemed to be the undercurrent of the campus, saying she felt “slightly nervous,” then qualifying it with, “No, very nervous.”