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The St. Olaf wrestling team competed at the NCAA Division III West Regional Championship on Feb. 28 in Minneapolis, Minn. The Oles faced tough competition, but managed to compete strongly, with Carl Elmer ’15 winning three consecutive matches to qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships. The Oles finished 10th out of 11 teams, with a score of 38.5 points.
However, less than 10 points seperated St. Olaf from sixth place University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, who posted a final score of 47. Elmer, competing in the 157-pound weight division, defeated Joe Pelky ’17 from University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh by a fall in his first match. He followed this victory up with a hard-fought 11-8 decision over Gunnar Melstrand ’16 from University of Wisconsin–Platteville. To capture the event, he defeated Concordia College’s Ben Cousins ’17 in the final round, by a comfortable decision of 7-0. Elmer will compete at Nationals on March 13 in Hershey, Pa., where he will be looking to become an All-American for the first time.
Sameh Almousa ’18 fell agonizingly short in the 149 weight division, losing by a 1-3 decision in the final seconds of the third place match to Jake Kostik ’15 from Concordia College. It was a reverse of the result earlier in the tournament, where Almousa defeated Kostik with a 5-2 decision.
Augsburg College dominated the event, qualifying individuals in all 10 weight classes to the national championships and claiming the NCAA regional title for the 13th consecutive season. The meet marks the end of the St. Olaf wrestling careers for seniors Robert Caulfield and Nick Hopkins.
Despite all the controversy surrounding this year’s Academy Awards, from lack of diversity to the absence of praise for foreign films, I find myself oddly pleased with the outcome. The films and actors that came out victorious deserved their awards simply because they displayed great stories and performances, which is what the Oscars are meant to recognize. I did not get the chance to view every film and every actor’s performance, but from what I saw, I consider this year as one that produced outstanding cinema.
Let’s start with the winner of Best Picture: Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s film blew me away with extraordinary cinematography. The film told a story of an individual struggling to regain recognition and to find a sense of relevancy, a struggle that most of us can relate to.
With a driving score that features little more than a drum set for the majority of the film, Birdman throws the audience into its world of a Broadway play and the lives of the performers. The movie is funny, despite its underlying sense of melancholy. Each character has underlying conflicts – ranging from ego to love – that get cast into a cauldron of conflict that adds more substance to a movie full of dark humor.
Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts and many other outstanding actors work together to bring the film’s Broadway cast to life. They play off each other, creating a sense that the audience is watching a performance within a performance. Birdman deserved the win, despite being up against many other outstanding films, many that I have not had the chance to see.
Another performance that stood out to me as one worthy of going down in cinema history is Eddie Redmayne’s portrayal of Dr. Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Some were surprised by Redmayne’s win as Best Actor in a Leading Role, yet I don’t believe any other performer deserved it. Redmayne’s ability to flawlessly depict the physical symptoms of ALS created a film so emotional that I found myself tearing up at many points during the film.
Physical performance is an aspect of film that is often overlooked or cast aside as something that comes after an actor’s ability to perform vocally, yet Redmayne proved that this notion is false. At many points I thought I was watching Hawking himself on screen, battling struggles so great that I found myself reevaluating the work ethic that I put into my studies (sorry, Mom and Dad). Redmayne’s performance was driven by the emotion of Hawking’s personal experiences with love, health and dream of finding a single equation to explain everything. I firmly believe that a truly great performance is one that will make me emotional, despite my tough exterior shell.
It is also important to look past the awards and recognize films that speak to the individual, and the one film that I found myself watching over and over was Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. The score can best be described as the pinnacle of music found in film history. With a cast brimming with talent, from Ralph Fiennes to Bill Murray, Wes Anderson has created a film that is both hilarious and serious at the same time. So if you are looking for something to do on a lonely Tuesday evening, I highly recommend The Grand Budapest Hotel, a film that captures a time period in Central Europe that was almost on the fringes of being lost, and a story that will be enough to brighten anyone’s day.
After seeing the great films that came out this year, I greatly anticipate the cinematic masterpieces that will follow in 2015.
Over the past year, St. Olaf faculty members have been hard at work designing the Institute for Freedom and Community. The Institute was created using funds from affluent donors, who wanted to promote student interest in public policy and civic discourse.
Last summer, a faculty task force was assembled to plan the Institute. The task force then presented their plans to the St. Olaf Curriculum Committee, the Political Awareness Committee and the Student Government Association, and students and faculty are now beginning to see the Institute in operation.
The Institute recently co-sponsored the 2015 Social Science Conference. A variety of speakers, including the well-known political scientist Theda Skocpol, were invited to speak to students on the issue of inequality in America. The Institute is also sponsoring an ongoing lecture series on race and policing called “Community, Race, and Policing in America.”
Dan Hofrenning, Dean of Social Sciences and director of the faculty task force, is excited about the Institute’s ability to attract prominent speakers.
“That’s kind of the vision of the Institute,” Hofrenning said. “To bring in really strong speakers, many of them academics, who can look at problems from different perspectives, and to allow students and faculty to engage them.”
The Institute will be responsible for a series of programs, including a new Conversation program that is pending approval and would debut next fall.
The Public Affairs Conversation will be offered to juniors and seniors. It includes two courses and a paid internship.
“The first course will be a little bit more historical, but it will end with a look at contemporary normative perspectives,” Hofrenning said. “The second course will be a lot more empirical, but it will also be going over some of the normative concepts from the first course.”
For all its attributes, the Institute has attracted some criticism by the faculty. The Institute’s title has been the subject of substantial debate. Some worry that the use of the word “freedom” in the title gives the Institute an inaccurate conservative connotation.
DeAne Lagerquist, Professor of Religion, said, “My personal response is that I understand both of those words, community and freedom, as very capacious and multi-valiant. They mean many things and they allow many meanings. But I also realize that they’re contested. Some of my colleagues are more attentive to contemporary contest about those words, and I’m interested in what they have to say.”
It has been clear to the faculty that the name of the Institute is no longer open to debate.
“I thought the most telling comment I heard about the name was what [a colleague] said in the last faculty meeting,” Lagerquist said. “It wasn’t specifically about any contemporary political meanings attached to the words, but rather, he said, ‘I read all the documents, and I noticed that in the description of the program, neither freedom nor community come up very much, but rather other concepts, and it strikes me as peculiar that we would name something and then those names wouldn’t appear in the founding documents.’”
Ed Santurri, Professor of Religion and part of the task force, was quick to address concern for the title.
“The criticism of some is that in contemporary parlance, ‘freedom,’ connotes ‘conservative’ in the public mind. While there’s some truth to that observation in certain highly restricted contexts, for example, Fox News and MSNBC, I don’t think the title of our institute raises real worries in this regard.”
Santurri goes on to argue that the word “freedom” in juxtaposition with “community” indicates a dialogue between normative perspectives. He also points out that “freedom” is used across the political spectrum.
“Liberals, even to the radical left – for example, the African-American political philosopher, Cornel West – continue to use the language of freedom in positive and vibrant ways and challenge vigorously the conservative interpretation of freedom,” Santurri said.
Another point of controversy for the Institute involves its implementation. The Institute is the first of its kind at St. Olaf and has not passed through the normal administrative channels that review curriculum. The Institute’s unique nature has engendered some suspicion within the faculty.
“My concerns from the beginning in part have been related to the procedure by which this has come forward. It has been less than graceful,” Lagerquist said. “Moreover, that lack of grace has catalyzed people’s awareness that it’s not unusual for things to be botched. So that’s what I’ve been most concerned about, not just how do we resolve the issues about [the Institute], but how do we learn from this instance and others in the same sort of realm. How do we learn to do our business better?”
Faculty skepticism regarding the Institute has declined since its presentation to the Curriculum Committee. Having been provided details on the Institute sponsored courses, there appears to be growing faculty support.
“I think the fact that the original idea for this center came from donors outside the college made a lot of faculty skeptical,” Hofrenning said. “The process now will be one in which faculty and students can come to own it and appreciate it, and I think that’s happening. I think that really, the Institute will be what it does, and I think this spring, people are getting a good sense at what it will be by looking at the programs.”
Santurri agrees that many worries have been put to rest with the outlining of details to the Curriculum Committee.
“We met with the general faculty Curriculum Committee, at which there was a useful discussion of how we will implement in detail. The Committee gave every indication that it supported the development of the Public Affairs Conversation,” Santurri said.
Discussion will continue as the Institute continues its quest for faculty approval. The Public Affairs Conversation will be advertised to students pending its approval, and the Institute will continue to sponsor, as well as co-sponsor, different political discussions on campus.
Lagerquist is among the faculty who still need some convincing.
“The irony of it is that this is all supposed to be about good, civil deliberation, and what it sparks is that we don’t seem to be very good at that. Maybe that suggests that we really need it.”
Graphic Credit: ERIN KNADLER/MANITOU MESSENGER
Trailing 4-2 late in the match, the Carleton College women’s tennis team picked up clutch victories by Caitlin Shea, Joyce Yu, and Claire Spencer to rally for the 5-4 team victory in a marathon match played late on Saturday evening.
First-year Jerry Cook-Gallardo won the 1000-meter run and ran a strong anchor on the 4x400-meter relay as the Carleton College men’s track and field team finished fourth at the MIAC Indoor Championships. This was the Knights’ top team finish since 1997.
he Carleton College women’s track and field team was seventh for much of the final day at the MIAC Indoor Championships, but a late surge propelled the Knights all they way into third place as the squad nearly caught runner-up Bethel in the point chase. Ruth Steinke and Colette Celichowski sparked the comeback as the duo finished 1-2 in the 3000-meter run.
I’ve found there to be something deeply perturbing with the Carleton idea of diversity since I first set foot on campus. I attribute this initially to the lack of people of color.
Before I went on my first college visit, I thought that spending the night with a stranger was pretty high on the list of Things Not To Do.
If you’ve ever taken a CAMS class, you probably know what a meet-cute is. (Admittedly, I’ve not yet taken a CAMS class at Carleton, so this is just a guess.)
Prospies. The more, the merrier. The familiar bobble-head doll gaggle of high school seniors plodding about respectfully behind a tour guide proudly demonstrating his or her refined ability to talk and walk backwards at the same time.
I think that most students have had this same experience: you see a guided tour and overhear what the guides are saying.
Colby Seyferth (Sr./Banks, Ore./ Banks) was first to the line twice on Friday night as the Carleton College men’s indoor track and field team won five events at the Ole Open Qualifier.
The men’s team finished 3rd at the MIAC championships while the women’s placed 4th.
The Carleton College men’s tennis team just keeps on winning. The Knights overcame an early doubles deficit to post the 5-4 triumph over University of St. Thomas.
To say that Micaela LaRose (Sr./Waconia, Minn./Holy Family) had a spectacular first day of the 2015 softball season would be an understatement.
For the seventh time in the last eight seasons, the Carleton College women’s tennis team has had the opportunity to play two levels up as the Knights test themselves against the University of Minnesota, a nationally-ranked NCAA Division I program.
NORTHFIELD, Minn. — Jack Atterberry (So./Chatham, Ill./ Glenwood) became the most recent Carleton College baseball player tabbed for the D3baseball. com national team-of-the-week as the Knights’ second basemen hit .474 during the squad’s weekend trip to Texas.
The end of the term is usually when students start drinking more coffee, not give it up altogether.
Students have come together to form a space for something they perceieve is lacking on campus: a place for the sharing of indigenous voices, cultures, and pride.
When junior and senior Russian majors signed up for classes in their freshman fall, the US’s old foe was regarded as the cranky but quiescent rump of a decaying empire.