- Go! Northfield-Dundas
- Submit Content
On April 3, Mississippi native Sarah Thomas made history by becoming the first female full-time official to be hired by the National Football League (NFL). Thomas is among eight new officials this year.
Thomas isn’t the first female to officiate a game in the NFL – that honor belongs to Shannon Eastin, who served as an official during the 2012 season when many referees were locked out due to contract negotiations. Thomas developed her interest in football when she and her brother attended a meeting about calling football games.
Thomas currently works as a pharmaceutical representative when she is not officiating for football games, and she is also the mother of three children. Thomas has claimed that although she is grateful and proud to be the first full-time female officiator, she is just focused on being the best official she can be.
Thomas discussed her feelings on the situation in a USA Today article entitled “Trailblazer Sarah Thomas may be first of many female NFL officials,” published on April 8.
“I’m just doing this because I truly love it…the guys don’t think of me as a female, they see me as just another official,” Thomas said.
Thomas isn’t just a gimmick or a novelty in the NFL; there is also another female official, Maia Chaka. She is in the NFL’s advanced developmental program for referees – a group of 21 that is likely to be tapped for promotion to the highest levels of refereeing. Although Thomas wasn’t the only woman, almost all professional sports remain dominated by men in the roles of refereeing.
The NFL faces pressure to be seen in a positive light when it comes to its treatment of women, especially in light of the controversy of Ray Rice, who assaulted his fiancée in a an elevator last year. The league came under criticism when the commissioner Roger Goodell had lightly punished Rice and then admitted to having done so, which resulted in Rice’s indefinite suspension.
Beyond officiating, other women have been appointed as the first chief health and medical adviser and vice president of social responsibility. The NFL hasn’t been the only athletic institution to have few women in its officiating cohorts. To put it into perspective with other sports, the NBA has only three female officials, the first of which joined in 1997. The MLB has only used female umpires in spring training games and the minor leagues and has yet to have a full-time female umpire at the highest levels. The NFL also does not bar women or transgender people from participating in the NFL, but has no female players.
These steps to integrate women into mainstream sports are also important due to the historic roots of discouraging women from entering athletics, through both the rules of the governing bodies and through societal and cultural pressures that advantage men over women in athletic organizations.
So, while perhaps few rules remain in effect that explicitly prohibit women from athletics, there still exist many pressures that keep women underrepresented. The introduction of more and more women like Sarah Thomas into professional sports should help to mitigate these pressures.
Graphic Credit: ERIN KNADLER/MANITOU MESSENGER
To the St. Olaf Community,
We, the upperclassmen baseball players from St. Olaf College, would like to express our sincerest apology and regret to the entire St. Olaf community for the actions that have resulted in the cancelation of the rest of our season. We accept full responsibility for our actions. As leaders of the program, we had an obligation to allow only those activities that are consistent with the values and the spirit of St. Olaf College and the NCAA. In this instance, we clearly did not demonstrate the leadership expected of us.
Furthermore, in our effort to work through this situation, we made the big mistake of not being fully transparent and forthcoming about the events. This too is inconsistent with St. Olaf’s values and only worsened the situation.
Our time at St. Olaf has been overwhelmingly positive and productive. We have valued every minute spent on campus and have worked diligently to build community in many areas of college life. We will continue in this effort until we graduate.
-The Upperclassmen Baseball Players
I am lucky to have a handful of friends I can go to for new music suggestions and on whom I can count to make me feel too mainstream and under-informed when it comes to what “good” music is.
I am lucky to have friends who are orchestra nerds, who seem to know every movement of every symphony, string quartet and concerto ever written. I am lucky to have friends who make fun of me for how little I know about jazz, but will patiently help me learn. I am somewhere between these passionate sides, and my music taste has developed to be a little bit of each of my friends’ and peers’ tastes combined with mine to be a set of CDs and playlists I am incredibly enthusiastic about.
In middle school (a.k.a. the glory days of rampant insecurity), I was intimidated during the school week that I did not know the pop music my peers did, and then I was intimidated on Saturdays when I did not know as much classical music as my youth orchestra peers did. I was caught in the middle and, honestly, just trying to figure out what music to put on my hot pink iPod Nano.
Once I got over the fact that I thought I “should” have a certain taste in music, the adventure of finding and listening to music became way less overwhelming and way more fun. To me, listening to all of the classical music I “should” know is incredibly daunting. When I have to choose which violin concerto to play next, I cannot spend more than two hours deciding because, woah, violin concertos can get pretty annoying after a while. This is the same with any music; Deadmau5’s “Ghosts and Stuff” will always hold a special place in my heart (#highschool) but I’m not the kind of person who can listen to only Deadmau5 endlessly.
I actually love the balance of classical and current music for the same reason I love working on science homework in the music library and music homework in Regents; I don’t want to fully commit to just one side and style, because I don’t want to have only one side to my interests and knowledge.
I care a lot less now about fitting into someone else’s taste in music; I might seem unenthusiastic and noncommittal to a type of music or style, but that doesn’t mean I have bad taste in music (I might have bad taste by your standards). It just means I’m enthusiastic about my own weird mix.
So here is a list of my favorites that have very litte in common except for the fact that I like them.
- Modest Mussorgsky: “A Night on Bald Mountain” 
- Bae Tigre: “Now or Never” 
- Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 9  (Anyone who tells you should listen to the whole thing in one sitting while doing nothing else is right. I never believed people when they told me until I actually did it once and never turned back.)
- Aaron Copland: “Fanfare for the Common Man”  (Trying to pretend your life is a movie and looking for that epic soundtrack? Look no further.)
- Walter Mitty and His Makeshift Orchestra: “Punk With An ‘X’” 
- Walk the Moon: “Shut Up and Dance”  (Because I have no shame in liking mainstream popular music, and this is a catchy song perfect for a road trip playlist.)
- Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 2 [written between 1888-1894]
- Culture Cry Wolf: “Come Come” 
- Foxy Shazam: “Oh Lord” 
With that, I encourage you to listen to whatever music you like – because whether you think you have good or bad taste in music is irrelevant, as long as you like what you listen to and it’s not Nickelback. If you haven’t yet had a dance party with your roommate to Atmosphere’s Sunshine  celebrating this beautiful spring weather yet, you’re doing spring wrong.
After letting a big lead slip away in game one, the Carleton College baseball team tried to erase a four-run deficit in game two but ended up dropping both ends of a doubleheader at Saint John’s University, 7-5 and 5-4. The results slip the Knights (10-16, 6-4 MIAC) into a tie for fourth place in the MIAC standings.
After falling behind in doubles, the Carleton College women’s tennis team could not complete the comeback and dropped a 5-4 decision at home to Gustavus Adolphus. The Knights entered the match listed at No. 8 in the central region, while the Gusties held down the No. 11 spot.
Led by senior Andrew Hwang, the Carleton College men’s team notched its second victory in as many days and won its first on-campus match of 2015 as the Knights topped Macalester College, 6-3.
UPDATE (4/18/15): Late in the week, ongoing discussions between the City of Dundas and the local entrepreneur interested in opening a small artisanal cheese production facility in Dundas seemed to hav
UPDATE (4/18/15): Late in the week, ongoing discussions between the City of Dundas and the local entrepreneur interested in opening a small artisinal cheese production facility in Dundas seemed to hav
Hart Hornor (Jr./Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt) was the sole member of the Carleton College men’s track and field team to travel to the Phil Esten Challenge, but he made the two-hour drive worth it by winning the 10,000-meter run.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Carleton College men’s tennis clinched a spot in the MIAC Playoffs with a convincing 9-0 victory over host Hamline University. All six players in the Knights’ lineup won in both doubles and singles to secure a postseason berth for the ninth consecutive season. Carleton is now 5-0 in the MIAC and improved its season record to 19-1, the seventh-highest win total in program history.
Wrapped up the week with an in-studio appearance by the always delightful Michael Ray Pfeifer, who appears tonight, along with his band The Nasty Notes, at the Tavern Lounge here in Northfield. Such a treat to hear Michael share some of his tunes on the air — and to chat about his creative process and inspiration. Thanks for the reminder that we’re never “too old” to pursue our dreams!
Daddy’s Coming Home
The St. Olaf community is full of bright, creative people with innovative ideas. On Saturday, April 18, in the Lion’s Pause, some of these individuals will have the opportunity to present their ideas to the college community. The fourth annual STO Talks will feature lectures from students, alumni and faculty. The topics to be covered are wide-ranging in nature, from issues of foreign aid to astrobiology and Black revolutionary artistic expression.
STO Talks debuted in 2012 as the college’s version of the incredibly popular TED Talks. Like TED, the St. Olaf version emphasizes powerful ideas and critical thinking distilled into short, concise lectures.
The talks begin at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 18 in the Lion’s Pause. Several of the lectures are previewed here.
Tasha Viets-VanLear ’15: Nothing to Lose But Our Chains: Artistic Identity in Times of Black Revolution
Throughout this academic year, Viets-VanLear ’15 has been a visible and vocal advocate for the “Black Lives Matter” movement on campus. One of the organizers of the Christmas Fest “die-in” that honored shooting victim Michael Brown and other victims of police violence, her STO Talk lecture continues this work of raising awareness for minorities and explains how art intersects with revolutionary politics.
“My STO Talk will explore the ways in which the performing arts have been used as a tool for representing the revolutionary politics of identity in times of oppression and violence against people of color,” she said. “I will touch on my own experiences in poetry and dance, provide examples of Black artists who have used their art to testify or object to racial oppression, and then connect it back to contemporary issues and artists.”
She hopes that her talk will raise awareness regarding the plight of minorities in America and demonstrate the necessity of art in revolutionary politics.
Professor Gordon Marino: Four or Five Uplifting Ideas Gleaned on a Long Walk with Søren Kierkegaard
Marino, a professor of philosophy who specializes in Kierkegaard, will deliver a lecture on the renowned existentialist philosopher.
“Having walked with Kierkegaard for over three decades,” he said, “I would like to think that I have gathered some morsels of wisdom from the Danish firebrand. In my ten minute lecturette, I will discuss two of Kierkegaard’s ideas that have guided my life. For one, I will try to articulate the distinction he draws between depression and despair. Secondly, I will reflect on the moral import of his analysis of self-deception.”
Marino is prolific Kierkegaard scholar. He is the author of Kierkegaard in the Present Age and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Kierkegaard. He emphasizes that audience members require no previous experience with Kierkegaard to appreciate his lecture and its message.
Robert Jacobel: What’s Under the Ice?
A recently retired professor of physics and environmental studies, Jacobel will speak about his research on ice and climate change.
He has continued his research since his retirement, working with St. Olaf physics students. His work specifically focuses on exploring the geography below glaciers and ice sheets. This is accomplished using ice-penetrating radar and satellite technology. Jacobel has traveled to Antarctica multiple times as a member of the Center for Geophysical Studies of Ice and Climate (CEGSIC), which is a research group based out of the St. Olaf Physics Department.
Nathan Detweiler ’16: Building Community as Diverse Individuals
This lecture will focus on the diversity of individuals that exist within St. Olaf and society as a whole. Detweiler believes that recognizing this diversity will promote community, inclusion and new perspectives.
“My STO Talk suggests that recognition that we are all diverse individuals can spur us to engage with people that we perceive as different from us,” he said. “Through these are often awkward interactions, we can build community that is based not solely on the representation of diverse individuals, but on meaningful interactions featuring accountability and honesty.”
For Detweiler, recognizing and embracing individual diversity is a crucial aspect of a healthy and accepting community.
“So often we get caught up in what makes us comfortable, but the reality is that our world is an uncomfortable place with lots of people who make us uncomfortable,” he said. “It’s so important for us all to learn how to interact meaningfully with those ‘uncomfortable’ people, because otherwise we tend to develop friction. . . and that leads to violence of various kinds.”
Menogyn (min-o-jin): meaning full of growth.
Last fall, when Brown University announced it would host a debate between a feminist blogger and a rape culture skeptic about campus sexual assault, members of the school’s Sexual Assault Task Force responded by creating a “safe space” for survivors or those otherwise affected by these issues to use during the event. Safe spaces are commonly used as supportive environments for intellectual debate about certain issues that incite vulnerability or trauma, such as rape or sexual assault.
According to the New York Times, Brown’s safe space took a different approach.
“[It] was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma.” One student, a rape survivor, needed to use the space because she felt “bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against [her] dearly and closely held beliefs.”
The article goes on to mention other instances of college students demanding safer spaces on campuses in order to keep trauma survivors from feeling victimized. A question emerges: is shielding oneself from potentially threatening ideas beneficial in that it prevents further trauma or harmful because it prevents intellectual growth?
This article was a recent topic of discussion in my philosophy class and many of us took issue with its victim-blaming tone, especially when the author calls out safe space users as “eager to self-infantilize.” Much of the article’s comments section takes a similar stance, calling today’s college students weak for being increasingly sensitive to issues like trauma and triggering. My view is that the survivors in question should not have had to feel unsafe enough to the point where they refused to both engage in important discussions and take opposing viewpoints into consideration, because doing so serves as a valuable learning opportunity for people on both sides of an issue.
Judith Shulevitz, the article’s author, does make a fair point about the deficiency of Brown’s safe space in particular. Rather than infantilizing them, I would argue that the space further victimized the trauma survivors and forced them to ignore the issue at hand rather than facilitate a supportive environment for discussion and sharing ideas. Safe spaces should not make people feel like victims; they should empower them and provide a non-threatening setting for facilitating dialogue and increasing people’s understanding of complex and sensitive issues.
Trauma survivors absolutely have a right to avoid undergoing further trauma, such as situations that can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder or painful memories of abuse. These demands for safe spaces clearly show a rising sophistication in college students’ vocabulary about nuanced emotional issues that have until recently largely gone undiscussed or ignored. But what does it say about today’s college campuses if students are consistently feeling threatened enough to need a safe space in the first place?
In light of the recent acts of vandalism and intolerance here at St. Olaf, it is more important than ever that we keep in mind the importance of creating an accepting community on campus that makes everyone feel safe and supported. While safe spaces serve a practical and valuable purpose and responses to events like the debate at Brown point out their continuing necessity, the ideal scenario would be to cultivate a campus-wide discussion that touches on all viewpoints but victimizes no one, making the need for safe spaces obsolete.
Colleges are built to encourage the thoughtful and respectful sharing of ideas and a willingness to encounter unfamiliar perspectives and worldviews. If anyone’s perspective is overlooked or not valued, its loss does the whole campus community a disservice. St. Olaf tries hard to cultivate a community of acceptance and equality of perspectives, though obviously more can be done. Hopefully through continued advocacy work by student organizations, the facilitation of events like Sustained Dialogues and a greater effort among students to respect unfamiliar points of view, the need for safe spaces – especially like the one at Brown – will diminish.
Nina Hagen ’15 (email@example.com) is from Saint Paul, Minn. She majors in English with a concentration in Women’s and Gender Studies.
Graphic Credit: ETHAN BOOTE/MANITOU MESSENGER
On Friday, March 27, St. Olaf students and parents received an email from President David R. Anderson ’74 announcing the cancelation of the baseball season due to violations of hazing policy by the team. The considerable punishment seemed to come as a shock to the campus. In 1999, the St. Olaf men’s tennis season was canceled by the coach following a drinking accident. The St. Olaf administration itself, however, had never conducted a hazing investigation and executed a punishment until this spring.
According to President Anderson, the information that prompted the investigation “burbled up” from all over. A letter to the editor in the Manitou Messenger, chatter on social media and public hazing displays in the cafeteria forced the administration to question what else might have been going on privately with the team. The college worked with a private investigator to discover what was happening off campus. The investigation is winding down, but Anderson says it is not yet finished.
The hazing was said to have occurred the weekend of February 28. Anderson’s e-mail described the incidents, saying that “generally speaking, the investigation revealed conduct that constitutes ridicule, harassment and public displays of servitude under St. Olaf’s hazing policy. The incidents also involved the underage consumption of alcohol. Violations were compounded by an orchestrated attempt to deceive college officials and the outside investigator and prevent them from learning what had happened.”
The public display in Stav Hall provoked a variety of responses from the student body. To some, it was little more than a minor distraction, and the massive blowback came as a surprise.
“I was in the Caf during one of their moments of hazing, but I don’t remember it being that bad, or even realizing what it was. I didn’t pay that much attention,” Cassidy Neuner ’18 said.
On the contrary, social media outlets – in particular the anonymous commentary platform “Yik Yak” – revealed an angrier student discussion.
That evening’s Yak feed was scattered with posts denouncing the team’s actions as hazing and disrespectful to Stav workers and students.
“I saw on Yik Yak that apparently they made a complete mess in the cafeteria, forcing workers to clean it up and people were kind of angry about it,” Christian Conway ’18 said. “I was in agreement. There’s a difference between private things and forcing others to deal with [you].”
The baseball team was quick to address the fact that a lot of the comments made on Yik Yak were inaccurate.
“We felt that a lot of the Yik Yak posts were either just straight up inaccurate or wrong, and that most of them were largely embellished or saturated,” said a baseball player in the class of 2015. He and other seniors spoke to reporters, but wish to remain anonymous.
The events in Stav Hall were quickly old news, but when Anderson’s email was sent out just before break, the conversation resumed on social media.
“I think Yik Yak had the most harsh stuff because it’s anonymous,” said a baseball player. “When we watched the explosion of reactions on Yik Yak, it did cause us to look back at what we did, but the major emotions were that we felt like the rest of the campus was against us. It felt pretty bad to see that much negative press or opinions being posted about us as a group.”
The aftermath of this incident has sparked a more serious conversation about hazing, as well as the involvement of college administration in student life.
“I think that it’s difficult to sort out, but all of these things probably aren’t just coming to the forefront now. The administration probably knew about [the hazing] gradually,” Robert Miller ’18 said. “They could have done something less excessive than completely taking the rest of their season, and instead taken steps to work with the teams and work with the leaders of the teams towards a collaborative solution. And now, no one comes out of this on top. Everyone is angry, and you leave more sports players feeling disillusioned, not represented, and almost targeted by the St. Olaf community and faculty.”
The baseball team was insistent on letting students and administrators know that they didn’t have any cruel intentions and that the team is still supportive of and close to one another.
“Overall what we want to say is that we’re sorry for everything we did and we knew we made some mistakes, but at the same time, we want to get the message out that we never had any malicious intent and nobody on the team was harmed,” a senior player said.
Brittany Kembel ’16 had a reaction of disappointment, not with the team, but with college leadership.
“I was kind of appalled that President Anderson took time to construct this letter when so many other more important things have happened this year that he hasn’t addressed,” Kembel said. “There was a hate crime that happened. There are general race and diversity issues that students have really been wanting to talk about and been wanting the admin to address…I feel that those would be things that are normally addressed by a president.”
Anderson said that he has received mixed bag of feedback from parents, students, and the community, but overall, many people support his decision to cancel the season.
“I receive support and pushback for pretty much everything I do. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about it, and it’s been along the lines of ‘we agree that hazing has no place at St. Olaf; thank you for taking decisive action and affirming our values.’ Not everyone feels that way, but in the vast majority of responses that I’ve recieved, that’s been the message,” Anderson said.
The baseball team will continue to practice this spring, but they won’t play within the MIAC conference or against outside teams until next year.
“I guess our goal going forward is to make sure that that stuff doesn’t happen anymore,” the baseball seniors said. “As much as it sucks to be made an example of, we want people to learn from us and this situation.”
Graphic Credit: ERIN KNADLER/MANITOU MESSENGER
We live in a society of fear. We Americans, we Minnesotans, we Carls do live in fear of ourselves and our own thoughts.
More than 15,000 trees will soon find new homes.
Motorists Should Exercise Extreme Caution along Scenic River Routes
- PAUL — Up to 30,000 motorcyclists are expected to participate in the 50th annual “Spring Flood Run” Saturday, April 18, marking the unofficial start of the motorcycle riding season in Minnesota. The route takes riders along the scenic Mississippi and St. Croix Valley roadways between the Twin Cities and Winona.
Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials urge motorists to look twice for motorcycles and riders to take responsibility for protecting themselves on the road.
Law enforcement agencies in southeast Minnesota will have extra patrols out during the event to ensure a safe riding environment. Minnesota State Patrol will have troopers patrolling the area as well.
“Just one bad decision could cost someone their life,” says Lt. Tiffani Nielson, Minnesota State Patrol. “We want motorcyclists riding responsibly and motorists sharing the road.”
The first motorcycle fatality of 2015 happened March 15. That is the only motorcycle death so far on Minnesota roads in 2015. According to preliminary reports, there were 44 motorcycle fatalities in 2014, which is down from 60 in 2013.
Spring also brings deadly hazards to motorcyclists including uneven pavement and sand and gravel at intersections and turns. Motorists are also re-acclimating to motorcycles on the road. DPS offers these safety tips:
- Watch for motorcycles and always look twice before entering a roadway or changing lanes.
- Due to the smaller size of motorcycles, their speed and distance is more difficult to judge.
- Give riders room and check blind spots. Pay attention and drive at safe speeds.
- Be prepared for inattentive drivers by staying focused on riding and keeping your speed in check.
- Wear the gear. Motorcyclists should wear a DOT-approved helmet and brightly-colored protective gear for visibility and protection.
- Don’t drink and ride. One-third of all motorcycle fatalities involve impaired riders.
About the Minnesota Department of Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center
The Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center (MMSC) provides high-quality rider education, training and licensing to prevent motorcycle crashes and the resulting fatalities and injuries. It was created in the early 1980s to address record high motorcyclist fatalities.
The MMSC provides on-cycle and classroom rider training courses, develops awareness campaigns and informational materials, and coordinates third-party skills testing for motorcycle license endorsement through the Basic Rider Course and evening testing at select DVS Exam Stations.
Motorcycle safety is a component of Toward Zero Deaths (TZD), the state’s primary road safety initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.
Recent MMSC Activity and Statistics
- There are more than 236,000 registered motorcycles and more than 414,000 licensed operators in Minnesota.
- During the 2014 training season, MMSC trained more than 6,000 students statewide.
- New 2015 courses include 3-Wheel Basic Rider Course and Motorcycle Road Guard Certificate. A complete list of courses and descriptions is available online at motorcyclesafety.org.
- Follow MMSC on Twitter @MnDPS_MCSafety and “like” MMSC on Facebook.
The ongoing discussions of race relations and civil rights — as in the 1960s and in the 1890s — are still very relevant issues today, which is why author and historian Sarah Silkey believes her recent
Event date: April 21, 2015
Event Time: 07:00 PM - 10:00 PM
801 Washington Street
Northfield, MN 55057
Event Time: 07:00 PM - 10:00 PM
801 Washington Street
Northfield, MN 55057
Categories: City of Northfield Calendar