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Students disrespect Muslim prayer space, apologize amid community backlash

Carletonian - Fri, 05/31/2019 - 2:17pm

During Spring Concert on Saturday, May 25, two nonMuslim students were found engaging in sexual activity in the Muslim Prayer Room of the Chapel while Muslim students waited to enter the room for Ramadan evening prayers. The next afternoon, all students received an email from Chaplain Carolyn Fure-Slocum informing them of the incident.

“Yesterday an incident took place in the Chapel that has left some of our Muslim students who worship in the Chapel feeling hurt, angry, and disrespected,” wrote Fure-Slocum. “This was disrespectful of our Muslim students, to the Chapel, to the College community, and to others who use this as a place to worship.”

Zehra Khan ’22 was present at the time of the incident. Khan and several other Muslim students arrived at the Prayer Room and were surprised to find the door locked. Khan knocked on the door and realized that two students were engaging in sexual activity in the space.

“Coming out, they had towels on their head, and they started to run away out of embarrassment. I followed them as they were running out of the chapel and I said, ‘you could have said sorry, at least.’ At that point, I went back to the room and I saw it. This was disrespectful.”

After the incident, Khan posted a photo of the prayer room to the Facebook group Overheard at Carleton. “I thought posting what had happened mattered so people know this is happening in the Chapel space,” said Khan.

Khan reported that one of the students involved in the incident went to her room the following day to apologize. “It was very genuine,” she said. Soon after, the second student involved did the same, remarking to Khan, “‘This was very eye-opening to me, and I am very aware of my actions,’ to paraphrase what the student said.” The students also apologized to the first Muslim student who was waiting at the locked door to use the Prayer Room.

Muslim Students Association (MSA) Vice President Hibo Abdi ’20 reported that the Muslim community came together on Sunday, May 26 to discuss what happened the day before.

“The reason why it really hits is because the last ten days of Ramadan are the most spiritual.”

“I’m still going through my emotions and trying to process what happened,” said MSA President Sarah Chebli ’20 in a group interview with Khan and Abdi. “Even though it’s the month of Ramadan and I know I’m supposed to forgive, I don’t feel I’m in the right space right now with all the finals I have to do to be able to process what happened, because that space has been such a vital part of my Carleton experience.”

“The reason why it really hits is because the last ten days of Ramadan are the most spiritual,” said Chebli. “It’s when the veils between this world and the heavens are the thinnest.” The incident took place during one of the last ten days of Ramadan.

Following the Sunday night meeting, the MSA conducted a purification ritual in the prayer space. Associate Chaplain for Muslim and Interfaith Life Ailya Vajid said, “A student and I ritually purified the space and spoke about the literal and symbolic meanings of water as a purifier, as well as how the presence of everyone in the room was itself a restoring of the space. A couple of students recited Qur’an, and then we opened up the space for folks to share how they felt and what they envisioned going forward.” In the coming months, the Dean of Students office plans to work with MSA to replace the furniture in the Muslim Prayer Room.

“This is not an isolated incident. This has been a recurring thing that has not just been happening in the Muslim prayer room.”

Dean of Students Carolyn Livingston attended the MSA’s Sunday meeting and purification ritual, Khan, Abdi and Chebli reported. The students expressed gratitude for Livingston’s quick response.

“Dean Livingston helped us come up with very actionable things that we can do, and she was very willing to do these things as soon as possible to make that space back to how it was for all
of us,” said Abdi. “I was personally wowed by how ready she was to take action. I can’t thank Dean Livingston enough. I don’t think I can really express how much it really meant for her to come to one of our iftars [breaking the fast], and be with us, and talk with us, follow up with us, and enact these different changes.” The primary changes include replacing the furniture in the Muslim Prayer Room in the coming months.

“I think having us all gathered in the space together helped folks to start to feel at home again,” Vajid continued. “They said it would take some time, but by the end of the night after iftar, some of us were praying there, and I think even just having everyone gathered together was healing for all those present.”

According to Abdi, “This is not an isolated incident. This has been a recurring thing that has not just been happening in the Muslim Prayer Room. I feel like, to the people who did this, whether it was the Catholic Prayer Room or Buddhist Meditation, they just wanted a space, but that obviously doesn’t justify anything, and they clearly did not care to recognize the importance of that space.”

“This is not anything new,” saud Abdi, “and it speaks volumes about the Carleton community and how much disregard people have toward religion. Religious identity at Carleton is very marginalized. It’s seen almost as taboo, I would say.”

“Religious identity at Carleton is very marginalized. It’s seen almost as taboo, I would say.”

“This incident is part of a larger conversation around sex at Carleton and how acts like these, like in the Chapel, in the Libe, in the Arb, are like rites of passage,” Abdi continued. “But it’s obviously so disrespectful.”

At the Monday, May 27 CSA meeting, Senators discussed the incident, expressing concerns about how the use of the Chapel for non-religious activities, such as the wedding during Party Week, concerts, Convocation and Stripped, sends conflicting messages to students about its role on campus as a hub for religious life. Senators also discussed a lack of religious diversity-related education on the College’s DiversityEdu programming for incoming students, as well whether limiting the hours of the Chapel is the appropriate course of action.

In a near unanimous straw poll with two abstentions, CSA Senate agreed to issue a statement on the incident in the Muslim Prayer Room. On Wednesday, May 29, CSA President Anesu Masakura ’20 emailed students a statement expressing sympathy to the Muslim community and condemning the incident “as disrespectful and degrading to the Muslim and broader communities at Carleton.”

“This incident is emblematic of the larger issue of how the Carleton community views the Chapel as a space on campus,” the CSA statement continued. “We must remember that, while the Chapel is welcome to all and often used to hold secular events such as convocations and party week traditions like the mock wedding, it still is regarded as a sacred space by many religious communities on campus.”

Both of the students involved in the incident wrote the Carletonian to publicly apologize to the greater Muslim and Carleton community. One student said that “the events that occurred last Saturday night were a result of my ignorance toward the purpose of the space and that ignorance resulted in me making the worst mistake of my life. Unfortunately my actions did hurt people and I feel terrible that I did something that hurt a community which has been oppressed in this country. This is in no way a reflection of my character or the morals that I stand for. I can’t really express how genuinely sorry I am and will continue to work to repair this situation.”

“We apologize to the entire community for behaving carelessly and disrespecting the Muslim Prayer Room and Chapel,” said the other student implicated in the incident.

“We apologize to the entire community for behaving carelessly and disrespecting the Muslim Prayer room and Chapel.”

“We know the fact that we had no idea we were in a Prayer Room demonstrates ignorance and entitlement, and this experience has been a huge realization in the ways that our actions can unintentionally harm others,” the second student continued. “We aren’t asking for sympathy, but please understand that we made a stupid, drunken mistake. We will be paying to replace the furniture in the room and hope to apologize formally to the MSA in a way that doesn’t cause further distress.”

The post Students disrespect Muslim prayer space, apologize amid community backlash appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Men's cross country, track & field program 8th-best in Division III

Carleton Sports - Fri, 05/31/2019 - 2:11pm

NORTHFIELD, Minn. – The Carleton College men’s cross country and track & field teams, led by head coach Dave Ricks, finished the year in 8th place in the USTFCCCA Program of the Year rankings.

Categories: Colleges

Pizza farm is back in business after tornadoes ravage beloved barn

Northfield News - Fri, 05/31/2019 - 12:15pm
Patrick and Tammy Winter have always considered the Red Barn Farm, their beloved family-run business in Northfield, to be a canvas.
Categories: Local News

Convicted sex offender facing nine new charges; Bridgewater supervisors “planning ahead” as they move toward incorporation; Northfield 13AAA are Player Buddies for Miracle League; Northfield wants to hear from you on recycling

KYMN Radio - Fri, 05/31/2019 - 12:02pm

By Teri Knight, News Director Convicted sex offender, 38-year-old Ross Matthew Wenner, has been charged with eight counts of distributing child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Rice County Attorney John Fossum reports that Wenner has previously been convicted of Kidnapping and Criminal Sexual Conduct. According to the BCA, he was set

The post Convicted sex offender facing nine new charges; Bridgewater supervisors “planning ahead” as they move toward incorporation; Northfield 13AAA are Player Buddies for Miracle League; Northfield wants to hear from you on recycling appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Jennifer Bailey

KYMN Radio - Fri, 05/31/2019 - 11:48am

Jennifer Bailey, owner of Vintage, Etc. in downtown Northfield, is Wayne’s guest.

The post Jennifer Bailey appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Local drug task force receives MN Narcotics Task Force of the Year Award

KYMN Radio - Fri, 05/31/2019 - 11:40am

CRDVOTF Receives 2019 Minnesota Narcotics Task Force of the Year Press release completed on 05/31/2019 by: Sergeant Paul LaRoche #1106 Rice County Sheriff’s Office CRDVOTF Commander On May 23rd, 2019, the Cannon River Drug & Violent Task Force (CRDVOTF) was recognized as Minnesota’s 2019 Task Force of the Year.  The award was presented at the

The post Local drug task force receives MN Narcotics Task Force of the Year Award appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Representative Todd Lippert

KYMN Radio - Fri, 05/31/2019 - 8:57am

State Representative Todd Lippert talks about the last hours of negotiations by the Legislature and some of the bills that he was involved in that made it through:  $100,000 for cleanup for Roberds Lake, money for farm-to-school, drug repository program, and ombudsmen for long-term care staff.  He discusses the education bill, health care provider tax,

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Two alumni and family groups join St. Olaf Choir and St. Olaf Orchestra in Norway

St. Olaf College - Fri, 05/31/2019 - 8:27am
The St. Olaf Orchestra and the St. Olaf Choir will perform throughout Norway in June. Two groups of alumni, families, and friends are traveling alongside the student musicians.
Categories: Colleges

ArtZany: Cannon Valley Makers

KYMN Radio - Fri, 05/31/2019 - 12:31am

Today in the ArtZany Radio studio Paula Granquist welcomes members of the Cannon Valley Makers planning group: Dave Peterson, Michelle Martin, and Ann Iijima.   Cannon Valley Makers First open meeting hosted by the Cannon Valley Makers planning group Monday, June 10th 7:00PM – 9:00PM Cannon Valley Friends Meeting House 512 Washington St, Northfield At this meeting,

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City Council Meeting

City of Northfield Calendar - Thu, 05/30/2019 - 5:49pm
Event date: June 4, 2019
Event Time: 06:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Location:
801 Washington Street
Northfield, MN 55057

Lighten Up 2019

Carleton's 19th annual Lighten Up Garage Sale is just around the corner!

Categories: Colleges

Reminder – Scoping meeting tomorrow – PUC Public Participation

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Thu, 05/30/2019 - 12:04pm

Hot off the press, errrrr, just received email:

Reminder, the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) is holding a public meeting tomorrow to gather input about the Public Utilities Commission’s public engagement processes. 

Other Ways to Comment

If you are unable to attend the meeting, you may send us written comments through our website.  Or, you may e-mail legislative.auditor@state.mn.us or Laura Schwartz, the project manager, at laura.schwartz@state.mn.us

Timeline

We do not have a deadline for comments.  However, we will use the input we receive tomorrow to help us shape the evaluation, so the sooner the better.  Most of our evaluation activities will occur throughout the summer, and the final evaluation report is planned for release in early 2020.  You may send written comments about your experiences with the Public Utilities Commission’s public engagement processes throughout the evaluation, but we encourage you to send them early. 

Meeting Details

Date:  Friday, May 31, 2019

Time:  10:00-11:00 AM

Location:  State Office Building, Room 10, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155

Privacy

Please let us know if you would like to share comments confidentially.  OLA has the authority to protect your identity through Minnesota Statutes 2018, 3.979, subd. 3(c).

Laura Schwartz | Program Evaluation Manager | Office of the Legislative Auditor | Program Evaluation Division

140 Centennial Building, 658 Cedar Street, St. Paul, MN 55155 | 651-296-1232 | Fax: 651-296-4712

  Office of the Legislative Auditor

www.auditor.leg.state.mn.us

Categories: Citizens

Hilleman calls United Way merger a “great opportunity;” SCOPE students present “Youth in the 1970s” program tonight; Northfield School District to collaborate on funding for “Achievement and Integration Program”

KYMN Radio - Thu, 05/30/2019 - 12:02pm

By Teri Knight, News Director It was just announced that the Faribault and Northfield area United Ways are merging to become the Rice County Area United Way. NAUW board member Greg Closser said there had been informal discussion for years but the time [to merge] was right now. He said they were waiting for a

The post Hilleman calls United Way merger a “great opportunity;” SCOPE students present “Youth in the 1970s” program tonight; Northfield School District to collaborate on funding for “Achievement and Integration Program” appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Amy Marble

KYMN Radio - Thu, 05/30/2019 - 11:42am

Amy Marble of Property Alpha is Wayne’s guest.  Property Alpha owns the building in Dundas that houses Crossfit Scopos and Fresenius Kidney Care Dialysis Center.

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New video production company hopes to expand its regional footprint

Northfield News - Thu, 05/30/2019 - 11:36am
A new Northfield business is looking to capture the local video production market, a field owner Nic Bolduc believes is viable locally.
Categories: Local News

MDA presents summer workshops to teach conflict management skills for agriculture professionals

KYMN Radio - Thu, 05/30/2019 - 11:22am

MDA Helps Ag Professionals Prepare for Tough Conversations Summer workshops will teach conflict management skills St. Paul, MN: Stressful times in agriculture can trigger bad news and difficult conversations. In response, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is offering Navigating Conflict & Tough Conversations in Agriculture, a workshop designed to help agriculture professionals navigate potentially contentious situations.

The post MDA presents summer workshops to teach conflict management skills for agriculture professionals appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Performance Dedicated to the Clients and Caregivers at Laura Baker Services

Laura Baker Services Association - Thu, 05/30/2019 - 10:28am

The song “What I Might Be” was written by Paul Krause for the Laura Baker Services Association choir in 2010 around the time of our capital campaign.

Recently the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northfield Choir and some of the children joined together to sing this song which was video recorded with a  dedication to clients and staff of LBSA.

To view the performance: CLICK HERE

What I Might Be

When I’m alone and in my room,

I sit and dream

Of all the things I’d like to be.

Teacher, astronaut, a dancer in the dark

A chance to see what I might be.

Every time you show

Someone how to grow

Help them come to know

Their life’s a miracle, then they will

Have the hope to say

Dreams come true some day

They will find a way

I feel it happening, so I sing….

Of all the things I’d like to be outside this room

Of races run, of mountains climbed

You give me hope to be the person I can be

You open doors that free my mind

Every time you show

Someone how to grow

Help them come to know

Their life’s a miracle, then they will

Have the hope to say

Dreams come true some day

They will find a way

I feel it happening, so I sing….

And when at last I find my way into the world

I’ll think of you and what you said

You opened me and showed me all the things inside

You gave your love and set me free.

Every time you show

Someone how to grow

Help them come to know

Their life’s a miracle, then they will

Have the hope to say

Dreams come true some day

They will find a way

I feel it happening, so I sing….

copyright 2010 Paul A. Krause

 

The post Performance Dedicated to the Clients and Caregivers at Laura Baker Services appeared first on Laura Baker Services Association.

Categories: Organizations

Penny Hillemann and Greg Closser

KYMN Radio - Thu, 05/30/2019 - 10:01am

Penny Hillemann and Greg Closser talk about the merger of the Northfield and Faribault United Way organizations into the Rice County Area United Way.  

The post Penny Hillemann and Greg Closser appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Ann Simon and Brian “Tex” Edwards

KYMN Radio - Thu, 05/30/2019 - 9:56am

Brian Edwards, Northfield EMS Director and Ann Simon, Community Paramedic, talk about the services provided through the Community Paramedic Services Program in Northfield.  

The post Ann Simon and Brian “Tex” Edwards appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

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