Campus COVID-19 positivity rate low, action level placed at Level 2: Medium

Carletonian - Sat, 10/03/2020 - 10:45pm

Campus life at Carleton this term looks drastically different than in past years. The majority of classes and extracurricular meetings occur online, and walking through campus entails passing through a sea of masks and Green-To-Go containers. Dining halls and study spaces have strict occupancy limits, and—of course— no large gatherings are permitted. Students who have returned to Carleton signed a covenant prior to arriving on campus indicating that they would adhere to these, among other, new regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These new precautions have not been practiced in vain. 

Upon arriving on campus, students were required to receive two rounds of COVID-19 tests: one on the day of their arrival and another one seven days later. On Tuesday, September 15, Dean Livingston sent an email to the student body reporting a 0.1% positivity rate after the first round of testing. According to the email and Carleton’s COVID-19 dashboard, 1,511 tests were conducted between September 4 and September 10 as students returned to campus and received their first test. Only two students tested positive in this round. The close contacts of these students—a total of four individuals—were put into quarantine, along with “a few students who have experienced symptoms,” the email said.

According to the dashboard and a second email sent by Livingston on Thursday, September 22, a total of 1,452 tests were conducted as students received their second COVID-19 test between September 11 and 17. In this round of testing, there were four positive cases, a positivity rate of 0.3%. The close contacts of the positive students—a total of twelve individuals—were quarantined, along with any students on campus reporting symptoms.

After receiving the results of the two baseline tests, the College began its weekly Fall Term surveillance testing. Each week, three hundred randomly selected students are notified on Tuesday and tested on Friday. In a September 30 email, Livingston noted that participation in surveillance testing was lower than expected during the first week of the program, and reminded students that they are required to report for testing if selected.

During the first week of surveillance testing, between September 20 and 26, a total of 324 tests were conducted, although not all of these were part of the surveillance program. Only one individual tested positive, the dashboard reports, and eight close contacts were put in quarantine. The dashboard notes that Carleton’s isolation and quarantine facilities were at 34% capacity at the end of that week.

In her September 30 email, Livingston announced that the COVID-19 Core Team had made its first designation of the College’s COVID-19 action level, placing Carleton at Level 2: Medium. Livingston noted that the thresholds to achieve a Level 1 designation are stringent, and some of the campus data—such as having a 14-day infection rate of 0.2% and only a single positive test during the evaluated time period—do indeed point to a low level of risk. 

However, the Core Team opted for the Level 2 designation based on several additional factors, including lower than expected participation in surveillance testing, delays in notifying close contacts, a relatively large number of close contacts for the positive individual and the fact that the occupation level of isolation and quarantine spaces is above 25%. Livingston also noted that the time to receive test results was greater than 24 hours and that the 14-day Rice County infection rate is above 10 per 10,000.

Because of the relatively low rate of positive COVID-19 cases on Carleton’s campus, many students are left wondering what will happen to them if they are required to either isolate or quarantine. 

On Saturday, September 19, Aldo Polanco ’23 was called around noon letting him know of a close contact with a positive case, he said. By three o’clock that same afternoon, Polanco was quarantined in Allen House, one of five college-owned houses across from the townhouses on Highway 19, along with a few other students who were also identified as close contacts. 

In accordance with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Carleton defines a close contact as any individual who has spent 15 minutes or more within 6 feet of someone who has tested positive.

To Polanco, quarantining on campus has been a “pretty seamless and positive process,” thanks to Kari Scheuer, a senior administrative assistant in the Dean of Students Office who is overseeing those required to isolate and quarantine. Due to the online nature of his classes, Polanco has been able to keep up with his coursework as usual, “with the exception of having more free time to work on them,” he said. All those quarantining in Allen House alongside Polanco have also been able to interact with masks and social distancing measures enforced. 

If there is one downside though, Polanco said, it would be the meals. “We get food once a day that is supposed to last through the day after,” he described. Although this may not seem ideal, he added that “we’ve also [received] snack care packages, and even got Chipotle for dinner a couple days ago.” 

As we enter the fourth week at Carleton, continuing to respect the Covenant will be essential. 

Thus far, positive cases have remained low, perhaps because of the vigilance of everyone on campus. Staying on this path and continuing to wear masks and practice social distancing will keep campus a safe place to learn as the term evolves.

Note: this article has been updated from the version that appeared in our print edition. The updated version reports data from the newest version of Carleton’s COVID-19 dashboard released on Wednesday, September 30, as well as information from an email sent that same day. The new dashboard includes additional data points and also breaks down test results into different weekly time windows compared to the previous dashboard.

The post Campus COVID-19 positivity rate low, action level placed at Level 2: Medium appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Candidato Zuccolotto y cotntagio del presidente

KYMN Radio - Sat, 10/03/2020 - 5:30pm
Tuvimos la visita de George Zuccolotto, candidato a las elecciones para el consejo de la ciudad. George representa al distrito 3, barrio en Northfield desde la calle St. Olaf y toda la zona de muchos edificios de apartamentos y los parques de casas móviles. Compartimos las sorprendentes noticias de los contagios en la Casa Blanca,

Council candidates: Development should come on existing city land

Northfield News - Sat, 10/03/2020 - 3:16pm
Saturday’s Northfield City Council debates focused on the possible financial impacts of COVID-19 and the need for the officials to utilize existing land to spark economic growth.
Categories: Local News

Costume Idea! Scaring the CSA this Halloween

Carletonian - Sat, 10/03/2020 - 1:36pm

Obviously you haven’t been inside the local Target since arriving on campus since that would mean breaking the covenant, but we can only assume it is already fully decorated for Halloween, the 2nd largest marketing holiday besides my birthday. After pouring over the mobile app so that I can do contactless pick up, I came across the perfect costume to scare a few of my fellow Carls. This FW20 season Target’s Goodfellow clothing brand has recently released a super spooky Halloween costume called “Adequately funded Cultural/Identity groups.” 

I was originally planning on wearing my sloth onesie again, but as I was scrolling through pages of mixers and pedialyte for my 3 person roommates only halloween party, I was presented with some costumes. The costume itself is just a budget sheet where a reasonable amount of funds are allocated to Identity/Cultural groups, very avant garde. Thankfully I decided not to opt for the sexy version of the costume.

“But Jack,” you may be asking, “how do you know that people will be freaked by this costume?” I feel like the answer is pretty obvious, but allow me to explain. One thing that I find terrifying is the prospect of spending 30 thousand dollars on having another one hit wonder give a disappointing performance. That being said, there are several students on campus and who decided that holding on to this prospect was less scary to the members of CSA than having adequate funding for the Cultural/Identity groups on our campus. While I might not be scaring a vast majority of the Carleton community, I know that I will be getting a really good scare out of a good group of spineless cowards who were too scared to do a good job allocating funds. 

And besides all that, I feel like it should be pretty obvious that the Confederate States of America would be scared of this for a variety of reasons. They however, probably would not be scared of spending. However if this costume falls through, I’ll be dressing up as a SOAN prof and scaring everyone.

The post Costume Idea! Scaring the CSA this Halloween appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

“We’re just students fighting for other students”: the Ujamaa Collective works to dismantle racism at Carleton

Carletonian - Sat, 10/03/2020 - 1:28pm

As Carleton and the nation reeled from the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, leaders of the Black community on campus knew they had to unite in a new way to create the change they wanted to see. Thirteen Black students came together to form the Ujamaa Collective, an activist group dedicated to making Carleton a safer and more accepting space for students of color. 

The central focus of the Ujamaa Collective is a nine-page list of demands for the College to “promote our safety, our intellectual and social viability, and our overall well-being.” Since its founding, the Collective has held several meetings with top administrators and made clear their desire for direct and immediate action to make Carleton a more anti-racist environment and support the Black community on and off campus. 

Ujamaa consists of leaders from the Black Student Alliance, African and Caribbean Association, Men of Color, the Africana Studies Department, Black Femmes Collective, and Dark Humor. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, many of the organizations had independently mobilized responses. “There was a lot of overlap in what we were doing, and we didn’t want to recreate the wheel,” explained Jevon Robinson ’22. “In the past, the Black student orgs did collaborate but not to this extent.” They created Ujamaa as a group specifically dedicated to addressing racism on campus, through their list of demands, and supporting the protests and the wider Black community through T-shirt sales on their website.

Like the Black Student Alliance, its preceding umbrella organization, Ujamaa Collective aims to foster connection and establish mutual support networks. “We wanted to create a support system for each org so we can better ourselves as organizations and create a more unified community,” explained Hermela Shiferaw ’23.

Left to right: Ujamaa Collective leaders Diaraye Diallo ’23, Hermela Shiferaw ’23 and Raba Tefera ’21. Not pictured: leaders Jevon Robinson ’22 and Josh Angevine ’21. Photos by Isaac Crown Manesis.

So far, several demands from the original list have been fulfilled. The College scheduled anti-racism training for security officers at the beginning of the school year and invited prison abolitionist Ruth Wilson Gilmore to speak at a Convocation in October. 

Given the urgency of their demands, the members of Ujamaa expressed frustration that they have only seen action on a handful of items, and slow action at that. Diaraye Diallo ’23 said, “we come with blueprints for the things we want, with research and evidence and surveys about the facts we deal with and how it can be adapted, and they are just taking their sweet time.” She said the Carleton administration has been reluctant to accept some of their primary demands, such as the formation of a Black Center as a social space for Black students to come together. 

“It’s been frustrating,” said Raba Tefera ’21 of the administration. “They say they care, but their actions do not match their words.”

Josh Angevine ’21 said that meetings with administrators can often feel like a run-around designed to wear them out. He said, “When we meet with them, they can steer the conversation in a way that they want. Stevie P. or some other representative would say something that they wanted to talk about and ignore what we brought up that they didn’t like.” 

Some of Ujamaa’s goals relate to more subtle aspects of campus culture, said Robinson, and those have been particularly hard to change. He pointed to the phrase “with everything going on,” which professors and students used to describe the events of last term. “Black students don’t have the privilege to decide whether to talk about these ideas or not, and to oversimplify them as ‘everything going on’ is not productive” Robinson said, noting that the language continues today. Such differences in the Carleton community’s attitude toward issues of racism are not outlined concretely in the list of Ujamaa’s demands, but Robinson noted that it is nevertheless a crucial area to improve.

A day in the life of a member of the Ujamaa Collective is full, too full, they say, to add the task of reforming an entire institution to the usual hustle of the Carleton term. They have effectively written a comprehensive anti-racism action plan for the College, while organizing their own student groups and extending emotional support to one another during a stressful time. None of their work thus far has been compensated financially. 

“We were told that the advocacy and the fight we are doing for our lives is of educational value,” said Diallo, though she added, “I’m not here to educate people, they are. That’s their job.” This is no ordinary volunteer opportunity, she said. “Our peers do not have to spend the entire summer mobilizing, writing papers, writing blueprints, fundraising, creating social media posts, and organizing on top of  internships, on top of jobs, and dealing with the pandemic that is killing Black people, and being Black in America in general.” If they cannot themselves be paid for their work, she and her co-leaders said that they need to see someone else hired to take over in the near future. 

“Even over the summer alone, we had a lot of people just get burned out before school even started,” Angevine said, noting the sheer amount of time required to make Ujamaa happen, in addition to the intensely emotional nature of the work. Robinson spent his internship lunch breaks working on Ujamaa and worked to make time “because the Ujamaa stuff had to get done. I feel like all of my personal time, except maybe like two hours, goes to Ujamaa in some shape or form.”

Robinson and Diallo say the Alumni Council and Alumni Relations have been two of their strongest partners. They supported Black Student Association’s care package project and spurred progress by lighting the fire under the administration. “The administration didn’t care until the alumni wrote a letter that they were pulling out their money.” 

“Seeing support from professors, faculty and staff is nice,” said Shiferaw. “Someone’s listening, someone’s caring.” 

Even with alumni and faculty backing them up, Ujamaa leaders say their biggest support network is each other. “A good chunk of our time is spent checking on each other, making sure that everyone is good enough to keep going,” said Robinson.

Angevine said that while all the support from the wider Carleton community has been heartening, real improvement “has to start with the people with the most power being truly accepting of what we feel like we need to see change and listening to the voices of their students. Once the top can finally understand that change needs to happen, then it will be a place that is more accepting for POC.” 

A big priority for this term, Robinson said, is converting the current Community, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee into a Diversity and Inclusion office that would ideally hand the work that they started over the summer to a team of professionals and student workers who are trained and paid. 

The members of Ujamaa remain hopeful that Carleton can improve. “We wouldn’t be putting up with all the stress and anxiety if we didn’t think that Carleton can actually become a better institution.” said Robinson. Angevine added, “It’s a fight we’ll have to continue even after we’re gone. Alumni have played a big part in opening my eyes to that.”

The post “We’re just students fighting for other students”: the Ujamaa Collective works to dismantle racism at Carleton appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

tRump COVID+ Wednesday a.m.?!?!

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Sat, 10/03/2020 - 12:53pm

Live updates: Trump’s doctor raises questions about timeline of diagnosis, treatment at press conference

At a Saturday morning press conference, President Trump’s medical team suggested that the President knew he tested positive for coronavirus earlier than has been previously reported. Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s physician, said that we’re “72 hours into the diagnosis,” meaning the President could have test positive as early as Wednesday.

“72 hours into the diagnosis” from Saturday morning statement, means testing positive Wednesday morning. That means testing positive before going to the $200,000/couple fundraiser inside a home in Shorewood, Minnesota on Lake Minnetonka; it means testing positive before flying up to Duluth with many Minnesota political folks and holding the Duluth rally; it means testing positive before holding an “up to” $250,000 ticket fundraiser, where he bet with a small group of big donors, and where he went table to table shaking hands.

From ABC News (but the link disappeared!):

Prior to the main event, Trump participated in an event with a much smaller group and a looser environment. Dr. Rich Roberts said in a video posted on the website The Lakewood Scoop that he attended the event and was part of the “small group” of roughly 20 donors that participated in a roundtable discussion on Iran, China, debate strategy and other topics. It was held at a rectangular table.

Here’s the ABC link that works now:

Day after seeing Trump at Bedminster fundraiser, guests ‘flabbergasted’ to learn he was stricken

Here’s an interesting chart – details needed on the Minnesota Davis’ fundraiser:

COVID-19 at the White House – Contact Tracing

And this report:

President Donald Trump, who announced on Friday that he had tested positive for COVID-19, did not wear a mask during a Thursday afternoon campaign fundraiser at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club, according to a person who was at the club. Trump mingled with the crowd of about 150 donors, at one point going table-to-table to shake hands with attendees, according to the source, who asked not to be identified. This behavior is typical for Trump when he visits the club—members often approach him to shake hands and chat. But this time, Trump may have been contagious.

And in Daily Kos:

Trump knew he was COVID-19 positive on Wednesday, and lied to the nation for 2 full days

It’s clear that raising that money at the two exclusive big-buck fundraisers and doing the Duluth rally were more important than the health of people who showed up. People at the indoor fundraiser, people on the plane to Duluth, which includes many of our Minnesota R pols, and all those at the rally in Duluth. SHAME! It’s criminal to inflict COVID exposure this way.

And this:

Chris Wallace Says Donald Trump Wasn’t Tested for COVID Pre-Debate Because He Arrived Late

Well, DOH!

Categories: Citizens

Black Student-Athletes of Carleton lead march against racial injustice

Carletonian - Sat, 10/03/2020 - 12:48pm

Over a thousand students participated in the “No Mo’ In Nofo” march last Saturday, September 26. The march, organized and led by the newly founded Black Student-Athletes of Carleton (BSAC), was a demonstration of unity among Carleton students and an expression against police brutality as well as institutional racism. The procession began at the Bald Spot and culminated at Northfield City Hall. Participants dressed in black, donned masks, carried signs and, conscious of COVID-19 protocols adhered to social distancing protocols by grouping themselves in separate pods. Although plenty of work remains to be done, the march symbolized the collective will of students to continue in the promotion of racial equity on campus. The strong turnout also testified to the profound level of support Carleton’s Black student-athletes enjoy among their peers. Pick up next week’s edition for additional coverage on the march.

Lane Maitland Matin Yazdi Matin Yazdi Matin Yazdi

The post Black Student-Athletes of Carleton lead march against racial injustice appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Raider Wrap for 10-3-20

KYMN Radio - Sat, 10/03/2020 - 11:56am
It’s all about hitting the road today on  the Raider Wrap.  Jimmy LeRue is joined by Cross Country Captains Erica Loe of the Girls Varsity and Carter Lefkowitz of the Boys Team. AJ Reseitter Interviews two more Cross Country standouts Clara Lippert and Nichole Theberath Girls Varsity Tennis Head coach Mark Johnson brings us up

Caring for your hunting dog with Dr. Geoffrey Passe

KYMN Radio - Sat, 10/03/2020 - 11:50am
Dive in a lake. Retrieve the duck. Run through the mud to bring the duck back to you. Repeat. Hunting with your dog is a unique and bonding partnership that dates back thousands of years.  Dogs aren’t just good at hunting, they also love it—maybe even more than we do. Whether you have a pointer, lab,

Irony, thoughts and prayers

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Sat, 10/03/2020 - 8:48am

Look at this photo. Elbow to elbow. Count the masks. How is this set up not irresponsible high-risk intentional COVID spread? It’s beyond negligence. This outbreak in the tRump administration looks like it goes back to the Rose Garden announcement of Barrett’s appointment to the Supreme Court. Many who were there are now suffering from COVID. Whose idea was this set up with zero distancing (except to the stage, 12-15 feet there), who let these folks come in without masks on, who let this shitshow go forward? This is beyond irresponsible, it’s intentional disregard for science and for every person there (and why on earth would anyone participate in this during a pandemic?). Responsibility goes a long way, and irresponsibility is spreading far and wide. At least seven present now have confirmed COVID, how many more? How many more were infected by those now testing positive? How many will die? How many will “recover” but suffer long term impacts?

This is on tRump and his minions, and now, literally he, and they, are paying the price. But so many more were infected. Everyone in this administration shares some responsibility for letting this occur. Trump’s disregard for science and the pandemic has come home to roost.

“Thoughts and prayers.”

Scrutiny on Rose Garden event after Kellyanne Conway and other guests test positive for Covid

Trump sets off multi-state Covid tracing crisis

Utterly irresponsible:

Minnesota Republicans fly Delta home from D.C. after COVID-19 exposure

Reps. Stauber, Emmer and Hagedorn appear to have violated airline policy. 

And oh, the irony…

Prominent Minnesota Republicans in quarantine, seeking COVID-19 tests after Trump visit

Minnesota business executive Stanley Hubbard, a frequent GOP donor, said he skipped the fundraiser. “It’s foolish to go out with strangers right now. We don’t do it,” he said.


How stupid can they be? Well, we’re seeing that in technicolor.

Categories: Citizens

Watermain flushing in Northfield

KYMN Radio - Sat, 10/03/2020 - 7:23am
Watermains in Northfield will be flushed between the hours of 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. starting on Sunday, October 4, 2020, and will conclude on Thursday, October 8, 2020. Watermains are routinely flushed to remove minerals as they accumulate in the distribution system and to check the operational integrity of the fire hydrants. Residents are

La Pandemia

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Sat, 10/03/2020 - 5:20am

I feel like pandemic signage is really helping me with everyday Spanish. Except I keep mistaking “pandemia” for “panadería.”

The post La Pandemia appeared first on Blowing & Drifting.

Categories: Citizens

Black Student-Athletes of Carleton lead march against racial injustice

Carletonian - Fri, 10/02/2020 - 10:55pm

Over a thousand students participated in the “No Mo’ In Nofo” march last Saturday, September 26. The march, organized and led by the newly founded Black Student-Athletes of Carleton (BSAC), was a demonstration of unity among Carleton students and an expression against police brutality as well as institutional racism. The procession began at the Bald Spot and culminated at Northfield City Hall. Participants dressed in black, donned masks, carried signs and, conscious of COVID-19 protocols adhered to social distancing protocols by grouping themselves in separate pods. Although plenty of work remains to be done, the march symbolized the collective will of students to continue in the promotion of racial equity on campus. The strong turnout also testified to the profound level of support Carleton’s Black student-athletes enjoy among their peers. Pick up next week’s edition for additional coverage on the march.

Lane Maitland

The post Black Student-Athletes of Carleton lead march against racial injustice appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Chapel initiates Courageous Conversations series to discuss white privilege at Carleton

Carletonian - Fri, 10/02/2020 - 10:41pm

Hannah Campbell Gustafson ’09, Associate Chaplain for Christian and Interfaith Life at Carleton, lives five blocks from where Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. Residents formed the Powderhorn Park Safety Collective to respond to crime without police involvement. According to Campbell Gustafson, “my husband has been anti-police for a while, but this has been a little bit radicalizing for me.” That’s when she decided to take action at Carleton.

This term, Campbell Gustafson is co-facilitating a discussion group called “Courageous Conversations on White Privilege” for Carleton students and Northfield community members. She is facilitating with Rev. Wendy Vander Hart and Kathy Sandberg, a member of the Northfield First United Church of Christ (UCC). The facilitators are using the UCC’s curriculum on racial justice. In the first class they delved into Robin DiAngelo’s concept of white fragility, and defining “white privilege.” The group meets on Thursdays over Zoom. Most of the participants at the first meeting were Northfield community members, along with six Carleton students. 

Everyone in the discussion group is white. Vander Hart said that this curriculum is “the unmasking part,” and that “white people need to do our own work, and I think it’s advantageous for us to do our own work with each other.” Vander Hart said, “I think the dismantling, eradicating phases are more where joining as accomplices, allies, with people of color is really powerful. But we don’t need, I think, we risk hurting people of color when we’re doing our own work, and there’s enough hurt in the world for people of color that we don’t need to add to that.” But Vander Hart wants to be clear. “It is not a white privilege therapy group,” she said. 

Crystal Henslin, an infant educator at Northfield Montessori, and member of the First UCC, found out about the course from her parents, who took it through their church in Bern, 40 minutes south of Northfield. 

She’s always recognized the racism of the United States, but she said, “I’ve definitely thought about it a lot more recently, since the George Floyd killing. I got into it pretty deeply on social media after that to the point of just, like needing to take a break and get away from it because I was just so upset with so many people.” 

A former family friend is a police officer in Minneapolis. Henslin said, “if I shared something anti-racist my police friend and his wife took it as anti–police.” She said, “we have seen him change so much since becoming a policeman for the Minneapolis Department that we barely know him anymore.” 

The discussion group is mostly middle-aged and elderly women who attend First UCC. But that doesn’t bother Thomas Wiggin ’23, one of two men in the group. He said, “I feel more normal talking to people who identify as female and nonbinary.” Perhaps, Wiggin said, the gender disparity is because “there’s not a lot of emotional work required of men socially. They’re meant to essentially produce value, or capital.”

Wiggin does wish there were more Carleton students involved in the discussion. He said, “I’m pretty used to the conversation, so  it doesn’t seem like there’s that much new, which is why I would want the younger voices which would tend to be more radical.”

Wiggin feels comfortable talking about racism because he said, “I just read a lot online and when people are sharing things on their personal media they can be a lot more vulnerable because they’re not saying it to anyone they know. They’re not worried about making an impression or somehow changing a social dynamic, and I think that’s what allows me to be comfortable. I’ve seen what people talk about when they’re vulnerable from various positions.”

Moved to action in the wake of national protests, Vander Hart, of the Northfield First United Church of Christ, or “Pastor Wendy” as her congregants refer to her, reached out to local faith leaders through the Northfield Area Interfaith Association (NAIA). She said, “we came together with a racial justice pledge, that we wanted our faith communities to consider.” The pledge’s stated purpose is “to encourage faith communities and others within Northfield, MN and beyond to unmask, dismantle, and eradicate racism.” Campbell Gustafson was a member of the group which created the pledge. 

Vander Hart is a trained racial justice facilitator from the Southern New England Conference of the UCC. She has always had an interest in racial justice. “I’d like to say that I grew up with a vision of the way the world could be,” she said. Her father was the pastor of a predominantly African-American church in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. “The church building was set in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, there was a growing Latino population in that neighborhood, the congregation started out as white but then when the neighborhood changed it became all Black, we were one of three white families, so I go back to some of my beginnings desiring to be the diverse creation that God has created.”

Beyond unmasking racism and white privilege, Campbell Gustafson said, “I hope students come away with more tools or ideas about how to talk to their friends about this as well.”

Henslin and Wiggin hope the same for themselves. “I’d like to be able to have talking points to go off of when I am having a conversation with someone that doesn’t totally agree on the fact that they have white privilege,” Henslin said. “I’m a teacher. That’s just what I want to do.”

Wiggin wants to know, “how do we engage people who don’t have the previous exposure? How do you make them open to asking the questions that can lead to really uncomfortable answers but that also will promote the kind of solutions and the sort of self-reflection that we actually need to make any lasting change?” By attending the Courageous Conversations this term, he hopes to find answers.

The post Chapel initiates Courageous Conversations series to discuss white privilege at Carleton appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Local luthier driven by love of learning and making

Northfield News - Fri, 10/02/2020 - 10:27pm
Ann Iijima has the kind of resume that, at first glance, looks like it would take multiple lifetimes to cover.
Categories: Local News

From the archives: the dorkiest football game ever played

Carletonian - Fri, 10/02/2020 - 10:25pm

The absence of sports has been noticeable at Carleton this fall. As midterms slowly approach, students, parents and alumni are realizing the times they took for granted when they could pack into West Gym, lay out in the sun for an afternoon at Bell Field, or watch a football game at Laird Stadium. 

Unfortunately, no one can confidently predict when athletic competition will formally return to campus. An abbreviated spring season sounds promising, but not if a second wave of the coronavirus strikes this fall or winter. For those in desperate need of Carleton sports-related entertainment, The Carletonian ventured into the archives for something to satiate the sports-hungry. 

Carleton athletics hardly ever grasp the national spotlight, but surprisingly enough, a football matchup with crosstown rival St. Olaf garnered national headlines on an autumn afternoon in September, 1977. Along with coverage from thousands of obscure gazettes across the nation, Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Chicago Tribune anticipated a watershed moment in sports: the first-ever metric football game. 

Yes, the concept is quite literally what it sounds like. In place of a traditional gridiron 100 yards in length and 53 ⅓ yards in width, the field at Laird Stadium was extended to measure 100 meters (109.36 yards) by 50 meters (54.68 yards). Yard lines were replaced with meter lines and the first down markers were stretched to 10 meters long. In the media booth, announcers stumbled over their play-by commentary and the official program listed the players’ heights and weights in centimeters and kilograms, respectively. Caught off guard by an undeniably quirky proposal, the NCAA reluctantly endorsed the game, under the condition that official stats were converted into yards before being submitted to the Association’s bureau of statistics.

Such a spectacle was the brainchild of chemistry professor Jerry Mohrig, who along with Dr. Andrew Hulsebosch of the Eastern Analysis Institute, was puzzled with why football, a game so intrinsically integrated with measurement, refused to adopt the globally accepted metric system over the outdated British imperial system. After all, if track and swimming could adopt the metric system, why couldn’t football? The goal, perhaps, was to challenge the notion of American exceptionalism as it related to a game almost exclusively unique to Americans at the time. 

The stage was set for the “Liter Bowl,” and for the first time since a campaign speech given by President Eisenhower in 1952, Laird Stadium’s bleachers were full. A crowd of more than 10,000 people clamored about, curious to discover what would happen when a game of inches suddenly became a game of centimeters. 

Unfortunately, the ‘Carls,’ as they were referred to then, didn’t quite measure up, and failed to shine in the national spotlight. “All the preparations had been made. All were ready: the fans, the press, and the nation—all but the Carleton team,” read The Carletonian. 

Bloopers began before kickoff when a Carleton player dropped a ceremonial first pass from Dr. Ernest Ambler, Director of the U.S Bureau of Standards, who was invited to serve as ‘grand marshall’ for the Liter Bowl. From the get-go, the Carls quickly fell behind the Oles and never managed to catch up. Buoyed by 508 meters of total offense, the Oles trounced the Carls, who mustered a mere 220 meters, and who according to The Carletonian, “did not gain even a centimeter on the ground.” At the sound of the final whistle, the scoreboard read 43-0 in favor of St. Olaf.

Anticipating the buzz generated by the world’s first metric football game, ABC television sent a camera crew to Laird Stadium with the objective of showcasing highlights from the action during Notre Dame vs. Mississippi’s halftime show. Ultimately, the idea was scrapped due to the affair’s one-sided nature and an overall lack of quality football between either team. Thankfully for the Carls, their thrashing at the hands of the Oles was not displayed to the masses on national television.

While the football team struggled to contain a strong Ole rushing attack, Carleton students reveled in their own ingenuity. “Cheer liters” stood on the sidelines and “meter maids” ran the aisles to help fans understand the new field dimensions. A bedsheet hoisted by students read “Hey Big Ten! Follow the Liter!” and at halftime, special guests Ulysses S. Gram, Harmon Kilogram and Jean Claude Kilo were introduced to the crowd, all of whom were proclaimed as figures to be reckoned with, “by any standard of measurement.”

For about a week following the game, Carleton maintained a presence in the national news; follow-up articles were written, and the story made an appearance on CBS. That being said, not everyone was thrilled with the college’s publicity stunt. The following Friday, an anonymous editorial in The Carletonian read:

“Before we pat ourselves on the back too much… we should realize that events such as metric football are novelties. Unfortunately, metric football and Carleton College will be forgotten by the American public just as quickly as they gained ‘recognition’ through what is known as media hype. Let’s hope that next time, Carleton football makes big news because it wins.”

Nevertheless, Carleton seized an opportunity to display its creative levity for the world to see. Reporting on the game, The Carletonian’s news section featured an interview with George Dehne, who at the time served as the college’s director of public relations. “The most important benefit of publicity,” Dehne considered, was “the increased pride that the entire student body feels in having enough ingenuity to attract national attention.”

The event symbolized the playful nature of Carleton students and professors, who despite their academic accolades, refuse to ever take themselves too seriously. Additionally, Carleton’s cooperation with St. Olaf in hosting the event represented a strong partnership between two innovative schools who were (and are) always pushing the boundaries of conventional wisdom. Unfortunately, metric football came and went, but its memory lives on. 

The post From the archives: the dorkiest football game ever played appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Arb Notes: Notes from the resident bald eagle pair

Carletonian - Fri, 10/02/2020 - 10:08pm

Ever been in the arb and heard a familiar “kleek kik ik ik ik”? Me neither, but according to Wikipedia, that’s what I sound like. I’m a bald eagle, the second largest bird in North America, and my life partner and I live year-round in the arb.

We’re actually in charge of the best tree in the arb, a big, mostly dead cottonwood tree right on the edge of the Cannon, across from the peninsula connected to West Field. It stands taller than all the trees around it, perfect for spying on mysterious humans that throw strings with dangly bits in the water.

Our nest, the likes of which are the biggest of any North American bird, is near campus by the Cannon river; it’s our secret HQ and we base our approximately 1-mile square territory off it, though we can wander dozens of miles from home in the winter to find food. Our wings reach 6.5 feet on average, and the humans that work in the arb think we are at least 17 years old, since it takes about 5 years for us to mature and humans have been spotting us up and down the river for a dozen years or longer. We live to be 20-30 years old, and my partner and I can have 1-3 kids each year. Our eaglets can gain up to 6oz (170g) a day, which is– you guessed it– another North American bird record! I also prey on more than 400 different species, including fish, other birds (like coots or even pelicans), some reptiles, and cute fuzzy mammals (even beavers!), which I either hunt down or find as carrion.

Many eagle generations ago, before the arb and the buildings were created, we bald eagles saw other humans, the Mdewankanton and Wahpekute bands of the Dakota people, before they were told the land was no longer theirs; those people and others saw us as spiritual messengers, protectors, symbols of fertility, and symbols of peace. Others may think freedom, strength.

In general, we’re just really cool birds, so make sure to say hi when you see me in the arb!

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Categories: Colleges

OCS trip to Dundas gains popularity

Carletonian - Fri, 10/02/2020 - 9:59pm

Its population is 1,367. It was once the milling capital of a specific portion of the midwest. And now, a sudden surge of interest has reintroduced Dundas, Minnesota to the world—as Carleton students’ preferred off-campus study site. 

“We are absolutely thrilled to see the storied burg of Dundas finally clinch the enthusiasm it has spent one hundred and sixty-three years deserving,” said Deconstructing, Understanding Dundas faculty director Milton Nantucket. “Us longtime appreciators of the town call ourselves ‘Dundaheads—‘ and for whatever reason, it has become abundantly clear to me that there are many, many Dundaheads in our student body.”

Prof. Nantucket took the rare opportunity to delve into Dundas’s history. “I’ll give you the abridged version, because, frankly, if I did not abridge it, only one of us would make it out of this room.”

“The history of Dundas begins with the noble and sinewy brothers Archibald, who in 1857 left their native Canada in search of better lives. Unfortunately, they ended up in America instead. Within mere moments of arrival, they anointed themselves masters of the frigid land by fashioning it into not one, but two flour mills. Thus was born Dundas. In fact, it may be said that the brothers Archibald were the first true Dundaheads. 

“The town blossomed as a flower does in winter—until the Great Bisecting of 1865, when the Minnesota Railway’s encroachment necessitated the platting of further land. Then very few things took place for a while, and that leads us to where we are now.”

The applicants for Deconstructing, Understanding Dundas share Prof. Nantucket’s passion. “I’ve gotta get the hell out of here,” remarked Junior Melissa Zimmerman. “I can’t take this Zoom shit anymore. My eyes are on fire. I’d rather be anywhere else. Then I see Dundas, and the fee is only five bucks, and I’m like, let’s do it.”

Sophomore Jort Davids offered an alternate perspective. “Zoom? Nah, I just don’t like it here. Not funny enough. But Dundas. Dun-das. Dunnn-dasss. That was so funny that I laughed, and after I was done laughing I signed up.”

But senior Megan Willard, unlike her peers, has been a Dundahead her entire life. “Dundas was kind of where flour, or at least patented flour, came from,” Willard explained. “As someone who aspires to one day own a water-powered gristmill of my own, it has always   been crucially important to me that I visit what was essentially the birthplace of modern roller milling.”

Deconstructing, Understanding Dundas will commence as soon as everyone can agree on a time that works for them. “You’ll want to bring at least one pair of shoes,” remarked Prof. Nantucket, “because it’s a long walk!”

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Categories: Colleges

But still, he is doing it: an exegetical look at the Garfield comix

Carletonian - Fri, 10/02/2020 - 9:57pm

The Garfield comics reek of a dogmatic ideology. They formulate and endorse a brand of lazy cynicism that not only encourages readers to accept the status quo, but also frames the concept of going against it as imaginative and fantastical—in Garfield’s world, impossible. This is all the more frightening keeping in mind the comic’s enormous national circulation and lengthy career. The cemented place the strip has enjoyed within American culture speaks both to its palatability for national audiences and its ability to nicely coalesce with prevailing neoliberal capitalist ideology. But what about the comics builds this stance, and how?

The benefits of analyzing popular media should be obvious: if one drowns in erudition, one misses the Point. Glancing at American culture through its discursive and scattered self-contradictions is enlightening, but what is perhaps even more salient is observing the way unconscious norms and assumptions form and solidify the backbone for popular media—in particular, non-daring humor. Garfield is a good place to start with this.

Three themes permeate the strip: impotent critiques of bureaucracy; friction and miscommunication with the State; and solipsism and marginalization of the Other.

To the first point: What does Garfield mean when he deploys his catchphrase, “I hate Mondays”? It certainly means something more than literal; “Mondays” is synecdoche here. It refers (obviously) not just to the day of the week (and, by extension, the beginning of it) itself, but rather explicitly to the bureaucratic web that emphasizes and accepts as normal the 9–5, 5-day-a-week work schedule. The phrase is a reference to the whole system of capitalist ideology that not only relies on such a grueling work culture; it treats it as the only possible reality, one without viable alternatives.

Garfield’s attitude, here, is characteristic of modern anti-capitalist cynicism. It acknowledges the dehumanizing flaws of capitalist ideology but proposes nothing to change or correct them. It critiques the system from within the system. Garfield taps the curtain, is pulled up and trapped by it, blaming his misfortune on some cosmic, divine negative connotation that surrounds Mondays. But perhaps he just shouldn’t have tapped the curtain in the first place.

This is what makes the comic marketable; if it expressed anything more than just inert irritation then it would have been branded “Marxist” and cast to the wayside to be replaced with the Archies and the Far Sides of the newspaper world. Garfield brushes with the realities of bureaucracy but doesn’t at all question it; instead, he just incorporates it into the reality of what he already knows. For him, there is no alternative.

And this ties in well with Garfield’s relationship to his owner, Jon. It is characterized equally by autocracy and miscommunication. The fundamental inability of the two to lucidly communicate confounds and exacerbates Jon’s autocratic and absolute control over Garfield. Coupled with the latter’s disgruntled acceptance of bureaucracy, it is only reasonable that his relationship to Jon (the State, following this parallel) is a precarious and often ineffective one. Even in Garfield’s most earnest attempts to explain himself and his actions to his owner, it nonetheless ends dissatisfyingly in complete rupture, exposing exclusively in that moment the flaws in the system in which Garfield exists.

So too with Garfield’s relationship to Odie. Solipsism (via the Bootstraps Ideology) has been so thoroughly engrained in Garfield’s psyche that it pre-informs his perceptions of Odie. The bureaucratic conditions of Garfield’s reality have so shaped him that he exists in egoistic pessimism, viewing those around him in similar situations as useless and idiotic. He finds no allies among those around him, because via the prevailing capitalist ideology they have been divided and dis-united, so as to—within the system—become completely impotent as regards forming any kind of resistance to Jon/the State. Again, this is something accepted and effectively endorsed by the comic itself, exclusively due to its acceptance of these conditions as “normal”.

Garfield is the paradigmatic schmuck of late capitalist America. He is delusional, ill with a cynicism which, to paraphrase Marx via Žižek, “he does not know it, but he is doing it”; or via Sloterdijk, “he knows very well what he is doing, but still, he is doing it.”

There is undoubtedly much more to be explored within this strip, but I have elected here to put forth the groundwork for a future Marxist/Lacanian analysis of the comic, perhaps toward a Phenomenology of Garfield.

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Categories: Colleges

Why taking Spring Term off was my best decision

Carletonian - Fri, 10/02/2020 - 9:54pm

Remember on the last day of classes in Winter Term when everyone was panicking and trying to figure out their spring break plans? That night at 1 a.m., my parents called to tell me I had a flight to India in 12 hours. In the span of a few hours, I scrambled to pack my entire life up, email the Dean to inform the College, tell my professors I wouldn’t be on campus to do my finals, and do my laundry (yes, my mother made me). 

I cried practically throughout the entire journey on Northfield Lines, then again at the airport, and then again in my flight because I was so overwhelmed by the whirlwind I was in. Needless to say, I was very happy to see my family (and the glass of wine I was handed as soon as I landed) with whom I had a really fun time in quarantine. 

We hosted a fancy family cocktail party, had relay races, and daily dance exercise sessions to pass the time. When it came to paying tuition for spring term, my dad seemed oddly hesitant. We discussed the value of doing spring term online on the other side of the world. 

After multiple roundtable discussions (not the kind you’re thinking of, we just have a circular dining table), expert consultations (i.e. my brother, a college graduate), and cost-benefit analyses (thousands of dollars vs. zero dollars), I decided to withdraw from the term. At first, I was jealous. I couldn’t relate to all the Zoom learning memes or complain about time differences like my friends, but later I was even more upset when I ended up getting COVID. 

Once I recovered, I stopped thinking about my selfish needs and realized that my country was literally dying, not because of disease, but because of hunger.

The Indian lockdown was one of strictest imposed in the world which, unsurprisingly, was pretty difficult for the 1.3 billion people it affected. Unfortunately, this meant millions of people were unable to get basic groceries for their day-to-day life. I signed up with a non-profit and made dozens of phone calls a day to ask people if their basic needs were being met. 

I connected them with other individuals and organizations that delivered food and medicine to those who needed them. 

For the first time in my life, I left my protected, privileged bubble and experienced (vicariously) the atrocities brought by a total lockdown. When I spoke to a man who had not eaten in 2 days, I had an actual breakdown worse than the ones before every Carleton final. 

I called every organization in his district, every government helpline number (not a single one picked up!), and my dad’s friend who lived in the same state to get him basic rations.

 I broke down again when he called me to say he had received it and referred to me as godsent. I have no regrets about the credits I missed in the spring or what my decision means academically.

This spring term, I actually learned.

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