Senate resolution offers conditional endorsement of GE Task Force draft

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/25/2019 - 8:35am

The Student Government Association (SGA) Senate passed a resolution on Tuesday, April 16 offering conditional endorsement of the General Education (GE) Task Force’s proposed GE curriculum. The resolution states that Senate endorsement is contingent on the Task Force presenting their draft to the student body for further discussion.

At the Senate meeting, Ulises Jovel ’20 and Myrto Neamonitaki ’20, the two student representatives to the GE Task Force, presented the proposed OLE Core Curriculum and offered three resolutions asking for the support of the Senate.

Senators raised many questions concerning the proposed First-Year Seminar. Some worried the seminar is too broad to properly encompass all of the goals it hopes to achieve. Many also questioned the exclusion of a stand-alone ethics requirement.

Senators also discussed whether reducing the number of GE requirements threatens St. Olaf’s identity as a liberal arts college. Jovel and Neamonitaki addressed these concerns by noting that the proposed curriculum is comparable to those of other liberal arts colleges in the midwest.

“We are trying to add some excitement back to GEs,” Jovel said with regard to the discussion surrounding the number of required general education courses.

Exclusion of an ethics GE

The Task Force’s proposed curriculum would cut the number of GE’s from 17 to 12 and decrease the maximum number of required courses from 26 to 16. Of the changes presented in the draft, the absence of an ethics requirement, existing currently as the Ethical Issues and Normative Perspectives (EIN) GE,  raised the most concern among senators.

“We are taking the EIN requirement away only because we want to not have it be owned by the philosophy and the religion department … EIN is still going to exist.” – Myrto Neamonitaki ’20

Senators questioned whether the curriculum can ensure proper ethical and normative education for students. Jovel and Neamonitaki assured them that students will still be taught ethics through a more interdisciplinary approach, in upper level courses. 

“We are taking the EIN requirement away only because we want to not have it be owned by the philosophy and the religion department,” Neamonitaki said. “EIN is still going to exist.”

Senators also wondered how excluding an ethics requirement would affect the philosophy department. Jovel and Neamonitaki ensured that they would work to start a conversation about these concerns.

Application Questions

The majority of the questions and concerns raised by senators at the meeting were regarded as “application questions.”

These application questions encompassed logistical concerns that Jovel and Neamonitaki simply didn’t have answers to.

Concerns regarded as application questions included the size of First-Year Seminar classes, the hiring of new professors to fulfill new requirements and the integration of Conversation wwprograms into the new GE curriculum.

Senators also forwarded application questions about the incorporation of religion courses within the First-Year Seminar and how the removal of the Studies in Physical Movement (SPM) requirement will affect the Wellness Center.

While Jovel and Neamonitaki didn’t have concrete answers to many of these application concerns, the Task Force representatives were able to ensure that these questions would be addressed in a revised draft of the Core Curriculum.

“We’re basically proposing the model,” Neamonitaki said. “We’re not giving you guys any of the specific classes; that is not up to us. That is not going to happen for quite some time right now.”

Outcome of meeting

The Senate approved the three resolutions presented by the Task Force regarding their OLE Core Curriculum. These resolutions stated that Senate recognizes and supports the work of the GE Task Force and endorses the Draft of the Core Curriculum.

In addition, the Senate added a fourth resolution asserting that full Senate endorsement of the Core Curriculum is conditional upon presenting the draft to the student body for consideration.

“We want to insure that students are given more ownership into what they want to study in the best way possible.” – Ulises Jovel ’20

The Senate endorsement of the three initial resolutions and one amended resolution passed with an 89 percent majority vote.

Senate hoped to prove they support a change to the current GE requirements at St. Olaf by endorsing the Task Force resolutions. Senate also sought to commend and encourage the work of the Task Force through the endorsement of their resolutions.

The draft of the OLE Core Curriculum will now go to the St. Olaf student body to gauge support for these curriculum changes.

Student Survey

The renovation of general education requirements and the work of the Task Force was done in large part in response to research by the sociology and anthropology department. Their reasearch looked at student opinion regarding the college’s curriculum.

Sumner Pitt ’19 was involved in the research, in which the student survey was conducted. He explained the survey process at the Senate meeting.

“[The survey] was a randomly selected group of St. Olaf students, and out of that group we had close to 600 students respond,” Pitt said. “One theme that came up through the questioning is the student desire for more flexibility within the curriculum.”

Before conducting the survey, the research team created three focus groups. There was one group of seniors, one of all first-years and one of mixed-year students.

“These focused on both students’ responses to the OLE questions and in what ways they could imagine the new curriculum,” Pitt said.

The 600-respondents and smaller focus groups provided conclusive qualitative and quantitative evidence that St. Olaf students want a revised general education curriculum.

The Draft of the OLE Core Curriculum seeks to allow students more time to take courses which aren’t required in the general education curriculum.

“We want to ensure that students are given more ownership into what they want to study in the best way possible,” Jovel said.

Categories: Colleges

SGA Task Force Against Racism hosts “Two Years Later” event

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/25/2019 - 8:32am

The Student Government Association (SGA) Taskforce Against Racism (STAR) hosted an event titled “Two Years Later: What Now?” on April 24 in the Center for Art & Dance (CAD). The event looked back at the spring 2017 protests against institutional racism that rocked the College and led to the creation of the Working Group and Council on Equity and Inclusion.

The protests, sparked by a series of racist notes, were spearheaded by a group of students of color – the Collective for Change on the Hill. The Collective led an overnight sleep-in in Buntrock Commons, the canceling of classes and a sit-in in Tomson Hall. During the Tomson sit-in, the Collective successfully presented their “Terms and Conditions for Negotiation” to President David Anderson ’74. STAR was formed out of students’ desire for SGA to continue the Collective’s work.

“STAR hopes to have an intentional, critical and analytical conversation on how we can use our voice to be powerful and show up,” the poster for the event read.

Joey Dagher ’20, one of the student leaders of STAR, did not want students to see this event as only reflective.

“This will not be looking into the past solely, it will be an active workshop with faculty and staff,” Dagher said in a post on St. Olaf Class of 666, a student Facebook page.

Tamira Fuentes ’19, the interim co-chair of STAR, opened the event by introducing the other members of the group, including Atefeh Alavi ’20, another STAR Co-Chair.

Fuentes recalled that Don Williams ’17 gathered St. Olaf students in the Link two years ago after they were the target of a racist note left on their car. Williams planned that initial conversation as a way to build community and support, Fuentes said. She hoped this event would do the same. Fuentes added she intended for the event to be a continuation of the conversations around identities that began in the space two years ago.

Fuentes acknowledged that some of the conversations that would occur during the event would make some attendees uncomfortable.

“I’m going to ask you at times to step out of your comfort zone,” Fuentes said.

The workshop component of the event began when Fuentes asked those in attendance to form small groups. In those groups, each member would complete the phrase, “I am from __” with facts about their identities. Fuentes asked the groups to answer these questions through the lens of the “big eight” of identity: religion and spirituality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, immigration and nationality, socioeconomic status, race and gender identity. Fuentes also added age to this list, bringing the total to nine.

Fuentes encouraged participants to engage in “challenge by choice,” meaning they could choose what aspects of their identity they wanted to discuss but only to the extent that they felt comfortable doing so. Groups of six to seven people, made up of students, faculty, staff and alumni, split off and went to surrounding spaces to discuss identity and how it affects their leadership and participation on campus.

The group reconvened, and Fuentes described the second activity. This time attendees separated into small groups based on whether they were students, faculty or staff, to brainstorm problems in different areas of the College. These included academic departments, social groups and student organizations. Each group named a scribe to record their answers and topics of discussion on a large sheet of paper, and at the end of the evening Fuentes said STAR would  transcribe the contents of the poster for future use.

Fuentes encouraged the crowd to continue the work that was done at the event, and asked them to continue to recognize problems, obstacles, and possible solutions to those problems on campus. She acknowledged the vulnerability showcased by all who attended, and asked that those types of conversations continue to happen every day. Fuentes ended by telling the members of the crowd that they have a voice and need to use their power at this school, even when they may feel unwelcome or uncomfortable. STAR received a standing ovation from all in attendance as she closed out the event.

The event was co-sponsored by The Sociology and Anthropology Department, Political Action Committee, SGA and was catered by El Triunfo. Additionally, members of Oles for Racial Awareness, Change and Equity (ORACE) were also present and helped plan the event. An organization for alumni and friends of the College, ORACE also formed in response to the spring 2017 protests.

The event was well attended by students, faculty, alumni and staff of the College, leaving standing room only in the Link.

Categories: Colleges

Best Climate-Hardy Trees for the North

My Northern Garden - Mary Schier - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 5:23am

In real estate, the mantra is “Location. Location. Location.” For northern gardeners facing urban conditions and a changing climate, the advice to follow is “Diversity. Diversity. Diversity.” Choosing a variety of trees that can handle salt, weird winters, difficult storm events and new insect predators is the best way to ensure your landscape remains healthy ... Read More about Best Climate-Hardy Trees for the North

The post Best Climate-Hardy Trees for the North appeared first on My Northern Garden.

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Categories: Citizens

Sister Species provides memorable concert

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:16am

Minneapolis-based chamber pop group Sister Species performed at the Pause Mane Stage on Wednesday, April 10. The event was hosted by St. Olaf’s Music Entertainment Committee (MEC).

Wednesday’s blizzard hindered many St. Olaf students from attending the concert, but the band still put on a stellar performance. Memorable choruses, a diverse array of instruments and clever lyrics and arrangements made the performance  fun to attend in the midst of a blizzard.

“Chamber pop,” the genre that the band characterizes itself as, is a form of rock music that includes intricate melodies and a variety of instruments. “You will hear catchy choruses or some accessible pop tropes, you know, but it’s chamber in the sense that we have really intricate arrangements.” singer-songwriter of Sister Species Emily Kastrul said.

The group is comprised of roughly eight members, depending on the show, and hosts an array of instruments including three trumpets, a drum set, guitar, double bass, bass guitar, an accordion and a piano at times.

“Memorable choruses, a diverse array of instruments and clever lyrics and arrangements made the performance a fun one to attend in the midst of a blizzard.” – Madeline Everett ’21

Kastrul started the group in 2011 by simply exploring vocal blending with her sister, Abby Kastrul. From there, the group slowly added members until the band grew to the current size.

“It’s sort of like my songwriting baby,” Emily Kastrul said. “I’m the person who writes the songs, and it’s been really exciting for me to have other people to flesh out that vision with who could stretch my imagination and kind of take it to new levels.”

Nature is a theme  running through Sister Species’ music. Kastrul studied biology in college, and her background studying nature influences her music today.

“You’ll hear about cottonwood trees or the Mississippi river,” Kastrul said. Kastrul says that using nature is a way to approach complex emotions, and the band uses “nature as a metaphor for the way emotional cycles happen.”

“Instead of saying ‘I’m really sad about something that happened’ I’m going to be like  ‘there’s a wolf on my couch.’ As a band, we’re trying to flesh out whatever those worlds are – so maybe the world is about loss, it’s sort of like exploring a cavern, all the different edges of it,” Kastrul said.

Members of Sister Species are also part of a diverse array of other bands. The musicians play in funk bands, drum bands, a folk trio and a synth-pop trio. “We all come from these really different musical backgrounds but then have kind of found this space to play together,”  Kastrul said.

Kastrul performed at St. Olaf before. “I played here once when I was in college,” she said.

“I just played one song on the radio when my friend was working at the radio station. That’s the last time I was here.” Kastrul returned to St. Olaf with the band to celebrate their new record, “Heavy Things Do Move,” released in November 2018.

“We’re just really genuinely excited about how beautiful it sounds. We feel like it really captures what we’re trying to do as a band, and so we’ve been trying to share that with as many people as possible,” Kastrul said.

Categories: Colleges

Veselica performs “Dance Abroad” celebrating international dance

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:14am

Veselica, the international dance ensemble, put on a beautiful spring concert this past week. “Veselica,” meaning “celebration,” aimed to celebrate dance traditions from around the world.  The performance was called “Dance Abroad” and focused on students who studied dance while abroad, in addition to the traditional dances of international students.

Dancers wore the traditional costumes from each country or region, and had quick costume changes between songs, considering many of the members danced in a  majority of the pieces.

The Artistic Director, Anne von Bibra, created a beautiful and entertaining concert which flowed very nicely. Veselica is comprised of 14 members who were joined by two guest dancers, Jake Nehrbass ’20 and Clovis Curl ’21.

Each piece was preceded by images and background information giving more context about the place and or a voice-recording of a dancers experience in that place. This element contributed to the cultural understanding of each piece, making them more meaningful to audience members. Before one of the pieces, current St. Olaf professor of anthropology Andrea Conger spoke about her experiences in Veselica and her time studying dance in Russia, which ended up guiding her career path.

The group performed pieces inspired by the traditional dances of Albania, Russia, Latvia, Indonesia, Columbia, Hawaii, Tanzania, Madagascar, England, Uzbekistan and Georgia. Nearly every piece had a different choreographer and the large amount of time spent learning each unique dance was apparent. Some of the highlights included the Indonesian dance, Ratna Sari, which used micromovements of the hands and head to create a beautiful and impressive performance. The pieces from England were adapted by Veselica member Francesca Bester ’21 and focused on the fun and skillful traditional Morris dance.  In addition, the Zekari from Georgia was a wonderful, high-energy finale of the performance. The show was a great celebration of culture and diversity. If you missed it this time, be sure to look out their next performance.

If you are looking for dance performances coming up soon, the Companydance Spring Concert will take place May 2-4 at 7:30 p.m in Kelsey Theater. The First Year Dance Project will take place on May 10 at 4:00 p.m, the Inaugural Kyai Kembul concert takes place on May 12 at 7:30 p.m. Movement, The Camera, and the Creative  Process Showing is on May 13 at 7 p.m in Studio One and the Advanced Choreography Showing is on May 16 at 7 p.m.

Categories: Colleges

Spring Manitou, Viking concert impresses

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:10am

The lovely sound of the Manitou Singer’s, the first-year women’s choir, opening song rang through Boe Chapel to signal the beginning of the Manitou/Viking Spring Concert on Saturday, April 13. The singers, robed in forest green, surrounded the audience members while conductor Therees Tkach Hibbard stood leading the ensemble in the front of the chapel.  Family, friends, fellow St. Olaf musicans and more filled the seats of Boe while Viking chorus waited in the front row for their turn to sing.

Eventually, Manitou processed onstage to begin their formal set. Garrett Bond ’19 accompanied Manitou Singers on piano. The first Manitou piece began with a reading from one of the singers, and incorporated a violinist, Grace Brigham ’20.

Throughout each of their pieces, Manitou remained focused and animated, with a beautiful, connected sound echoing into the space. Their set contained music in various languages, speeds and volumes, also conveying a myriad of emotion. St. Olaf choral ensembles have been criticized in the past for choosing repertoire with mostly religious undertones, but Dr. Hibbard did an excellent job finding music from outside of religious sources to diversify the concert.

A few songs into their set, Dr. Hibbard stepped away from the conductor’s podium to allow Isabella Gentleman ’19, a B.M. church music major who spent this year as the Assistant Director of Manitou, to conduct a rendition of “This Little Light of Mine.”

“Family, friends, fellow St. Olaf musicians and more filled the seats of Boe while Viking chorus waited in the front row for their turn to sing.” – Katie Anderson ’20

At the end of Manitou’s set, guest singers from the Twin Cities Gay Mens Chorus performed their pieces. Their songs also incorporated a wide variety of languages and cultures, including a piece in Latvian.

Finally, Viking Chorus, the first-year men’s choir, who had been waiting patiently for an hour, came onstage with their conductor, Tesfa Wondemagegnehu.

Wondemagegnuhu, who is completing his first year at St. Olaf, began with a conversation regarding spirituals, slavery and marginalized communities. While Viking sung their first piece, a spiritual based on Wondemagegnehu’s opening statement, Alekz Thoms ’20, created a painting based on the music.

While Viking is smaller than Manitou, they sang with joyful facial expressions, energy and clarity.

In particular, Wondemagegnehu should be commended for his conducting work. As a new conductor this year, it was a popular opinion that he had large shoes to fill as he came into previous Viking conductor. Mark Stover’s, position. However, he filled this position wonderfully with a well-planned set of music and a blended choir. One piece even contained a rap and several songs had solo opportunities for the singers.

The concert concluded with Manitou and the Twin Cities Gay Mens Chorus joining Viking back onstage for a joint piece, “Shenandoah,” conducted by a member of the Twin Cities Gay Mens Chorus. The two choirs then sung the traditional St. Olaf choir piece, “Beautiful Savior,” known as the final piece of Christmas Festival each year.

This concert is especially important for musicians as it marks the beginning of the St. Olaf choral experience for  many students interested in choral music. From here, many musicians in Viking and Manitou will choose to audition for an upper-level ensemble, including the St. Olaf Choir, Chapel Choir or Cantorei.

Categories: Colleges

Winter is coming – drowning in new media

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:06am

I can’t tell if we’re being spoiled or drowned with new content.  Every week, a new trailer for a beloved franchise drops.  “Game of Thrones,” after months of press, aired its first episode of Season 8.  “Avengers: End Game” is soon to hit theaters. The newest “Star Wars” film just released its first teaser trailer. It’s a good time to be a new-age nerd.  Everyone can get on board for these features.  Nobody gets pushed into lockers for liking comic book movies anymore; the only fear being whiplash, watching the hype train tear by at record speeds. Every DC and Marvel fan runs the risk of losing control of their legs, browsing YouTube advertisements as all the blood in their bodies runs directly to their nostalgic cortex. 

But in our ecstasy, I fear we may be gearing up for an unforeseen side-effect to overindulgence.  Previously mentioned are, arguably, the three largest cinematic players of the 2000’s, save “Harry Potter.” What “The Avengers,” “Star Wars” and “Game of Thrones ” all have in common is that they’re currently crafting the last installments in their immediate series. The high will be magnificent, no doubt, watching Thanos, Cersei and Emperor Palpatine(?) get what they deserve but at such heights, we near the sun. Who will be there to catch us when we fall? We’ve forgone measures of safety. In our haste, we’ve neglected to give full appreciation to releases such as “Shazam” and “Captain Marvel.” They came and went without a sound.  Not long ago, a masterful trailer released, “Joker,” reintroducing Joaquin Pheonix as the beloved Clown Prince of Crime, but will it be enough to cushion the blow our favorite franchises deal us as they come to a close? I am doubtful. We can hardly depend on James Cameron to release the next “Avatar “– it would seem that, in this era of excess, the bubble our cinematic stock market has built may soon burst, plunging us all into a consumerist depression.  A commercial winter, if you will, is coming.

My advice is this: when your favorite works of film wrap up, don’t look for solace in the days gone by, rewatching “Thor: Ragnarok” for the seventh time.  Rather, seek new passions. Rebound with an off-brand Netflix Anime.  Finally commit to watching “Breaking Bad.” Or better yet, find something new to look forward to. There are countless smaller startup companies releasing quality material and they need your support as well.  It’s difficult not to place all your eggs in the glorious baskets of big-budget production centers, but the hype train we know and love is running out of track.  It’s time to plan for the future – where will you be when the fates of Westeros, the World and the Greater Galaxy, far far away, are decided?

Categories: Colleges

Open house highlights interim abroad programs

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:05am

St. Olaf has made a continuous effort to encourage study abroad, whether it be for a semester, year, summer or interim. In the 2017-18 academic year, 851 St. Olaf students studied abroad, with semester participants making up 23 percent and Interim and Summer participants making up 77 percent. To further promote study abroad, the Office of International and Off-Campus Studies (IOS) recently held an open house for Interim 2020 programs, which included the unveiling of several study abroad contest winners.

This event was held on Tuesday, April 9 at 4:30 p.m. in the Buntrock Ballrooms. One ballroom contained the Interim 2020 opportunities while the ballroom next door held the Gimse International and Off-Campus Studies Photo Contest and Travel Writing Contest finalists.

The ballroom promoting Interim 2020 programs was packed with interested students. Tables with professors leading the program and past participants were set up around the room. Some tables were decked out with memorabilia and videos playing from the past programs, while others had a single flyer of information.

Many students were excited to see that the IOS will offer several new programs next Interim and that there are a variety of options for any interest. For example, students interested in gender and sexuality have the opportunity to apply for a program in Copenhagen, Denmark, studying Intercultural Communication in Context: Gender and Sexuality in Denmark.

Additionally, students interested in politics are able to apply for the New Hampshire Primary and U.S. Presidential Politics program, which will provide participants with an overview of the presidential nominating process through the lens of the New Hampshire primary. Of course, past favorites, such as the Number Theory program in Budapest, Multicultural Education in Hawaii and Theater in London were also represented at the fair.

In the ballroom next door, applicants from the Gimse International and Off-Campus Studies Photo Contest and Travel Writing Contest anxiously waited to hear who won each contest. Finalists’ submissions from each contest were set up around the room, allowing students to read and view the work of their peers.  Each photo from the Gimse International Photo Contest contained descriptions of their work, giving more information about the location and culture surrounding the photo. These contests also helped students considering studying abroad learn more about several programs through the photo and writing submissions.

See the IOS website for more information on individual programs and applications, which are due on April 29.

Categories: Colleges

Scared Scriptless performs hilarious “movie” scenes

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:03am

Three thieves, a 2009 Toyota and a hamster in a safe deposit box: all these things and more were incorporated into the storylines of the two approximately 20-minute “movies” presented by Scared Scriptless on Friday, April 12. The genres for the skits – a Lifetime movie and a Western – were chosen ahead of time, but on the day of the show, no characters or plots were prepared. The actors began with a suggestion for a movie title from the audience and the rest was completely improvised.

The first of the movies was a Lifetime drama: “An Uncle for Christmas.” The scene began with a brother and sister excited to see their uncle – currently imprisoned for auto theft –for Christmas. The uncle, Sebastian, was then introduced to the audience, making a deal with the prison warden to steal him a Ferrari in exchange for his freedom. In a surprising plot twist, typical of the night, the warden was revealed to be Sebastian’s brother-in-law. Hilarity ensued, involving wine, slapstick humor and some pointed social commentary on the prison-industrial complex and misogyny.    

“A Fistful of Dollars,” the second movie, was set in the Wild Wild West. The (proverbial) curtains opened on the First Bank of America, where Jimbo, the bank teller, helped another character, Jerry, deposit his hamster into a safe deposit box (with air holes, of course). Before the hamster could be safely stowed in the vault, though, “Old Bessie,” a famous bank robber, charged in and demanded the safe deposit box at (finger) gunpoint. The seemingly-beloved hamster was sacrificed and by the time Bessie returned to her partner-in-crime with the safe deposit box, the hamster was dead.  Jimbo and Jerry then embarked on a quest to rescue the hamster, with Jimbo filling the role of an apple juice-drinking bloodhound.

The hamster’s fate was swept into the background as the two bank robbers traveled to the Second Bank of America and dressed up in petticoats to rob it. Instead, they learned about the value of investing in a savings account from Dusty, the old janitor/bank teller, and set out on a quest of their own to find a fistful of dollars to deposit in their own savings account. Dusty converted to a life of crime, turned out to be Jimbo’s long-lost brother and died suddenly. The Third Bank of America, on top of a mountain, became the site of an epic showdown where guns jammed, last words were forgotten and the hamster never recovered.

Preparation for the show involved practice creating coherent storylines and “capturing the different tropes of each of the genres,” Andrew Reuter ’19 said, “For the structure of the longer scenes we make it up as we go. We have no plan of who is going to do what. We all know that a story has to be told and the rest we make up on the spot.” The ability of the actors to create 20-minute, coherent, comedic storylines off the cuff was truly impressive.

Categories: Colleges

Heart Beat

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:02am

Ahh, slowly but surely, the flowers are blooming, the snow is melting, the grass is turning green and there’s the sweet smell of fresh rain and Malt-O-Meal in the air. You may think you are completely safe, and there is no danger lurking around the corner, not when the birds are singing so sweetly. Wrong. As young adults, you and your friends are at high risk of becoming… *duh duh duh* TWITTERPATED.

Defined as “excited or overcome by romantic feelings; smitten,” the American Medical Association has yet to recognize being twitterpated as a true disease. We do know that it disproportionately infects young adults, and strikes most commonly during the spring.

According to Friend Owl in the 1942 Disney classic “Bambi,” “Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime.” And you know, “It can happen to anybody. So you’d better be careful.” Symptoms of being Twitterpated may include:

1. Floating across the quad in a dream-like trance.

2. Buying a surplus of Friday flowers (and I’m not talking carnations, I’m talking orchids).

3. Tracking your crush through the library by the smell of their cologne or perfume.

4. Spontaneously announcing to your friends, that your significant other is “the One!”

5. Having the strange urge to burst out singing Taylor Swift’s “Love Story.”

6. Realizing that everyone on campus is actually very attractive now that they’ve shed their winter coats.

7. Flirting with prospies (and not just because you’re trying to convince them to attend St. Olaf).

8. Humming “I Feel Pretty” from Leonard Bernstein’s hit musical, “West Side Story,” as you look at yourself in the mirror.

9. Refreshing the St. Olaf Flirts Facebook every two minutes, hoping you’ll see one for you.

10. Being filled with an unmerited swell of hope and optimism.

Please be watching for these symptoms. Twitterpation is highly contagious. If you or a loved one is exhibiting symptoms, please take them to the nearest health professional immediately. They may be at great risk. There is no cure or vaccine. Once they’ve started flirting with prospies, it is too late. Prevention is the only way we can hope to escape a mass epidemic on the Hill. Be safe out there.

Having trouble navigating the St. Olaf dating scene? Need help finding a date? Got more dates than you can handle? Or have a response to this week’s column? E-mail your questions to and maybe one of our love columnists will answer them in next week’s issue. All submitted questions will remain anonymous.

Categories: Colleges

La Sazón

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:00am

Matrimonio, la unión de dos individuos hasta que la muerte los separe. Es una idea que por siglos se ha celebrado como una meta al cual aspirar. En particular, culturas de origen latino son reconocidas por romantizar la formación de una familia. Esto se refleja en latinos por dos razones, la religión y el pensamiento tradicional de casar a temprana edad o arriesgar perder la oportunidad. Para jóvenes latinos nunca falta le abuelita, tía o otro familiar que haga la pregunta más intrusiva, “Cuando te piensas casar?” Claro que esta pregunta por lo regular es dirigida a una mujer, sin embargo la misma expectativa aplica a los hombres. Ahora, parece que los tiempos han cambiado y latinos están cazando a un ritmo reducido o decidiendo no casarse en absoluto.

Contrario a lo que aparenta, latinos aún mantienen el matrimonio como algo sagrado y de alta importancia. Esto indica que latinos están casando más tarde en sus vidas. Hay dos razones por cual esta es la situación. Primero, latinos son más cuidadosos sobre su futuro, y segundo, el número de Latinos en colegios/universidades está aumentando. De acuerdo con un estudio conducido por Pew Research Hispanic Center, 89% de jóvenes latinos sostienen que las metas profesionales son “muy importantes en sus vidas”, solamente 48% se sienten igual a el matrimonio.

Entonces, es evidente que los valores de jóvenes latinos están cambiando. El matrimonio es una consagración de alta importancia, pero de aún más grande importancia son las metas y aspiraciones que son realizadas a través de la universidad. Los tiempos están cambiando y es importante que la familia de jóvenes latinos los apoyen para que se superen y cumplan sus metas.

Carlos Torres ’19 ( is from Minneapolis, Minn. He majors in Economics.

In “La Sazón” native Spanish speaking members of the St. Olaf community explore politics, campus life, culture and more. If you would like to contribute to the column, email the editor, Genesis Fukunaga Luna Victoria at

Categories: Colleges

The Pause needs to do some updating

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 9:57am

Imagine, if you will, that it’s a Friday night on the isolated campus of St. Olaf. You and your buds have been hanging out for the last few hours and, surprise surprise, you’re all feeling a bit hungry. Not wanting to wait for Dominos to slowly roll on up to campus with your order, you all decide to head down to the only practical location to go for late night pizza: the Pause. Once you’ve arrived, though, you encounter a significant problem. No one has any cash! Unfortunately, most of you only have credit cards, and the one person with a debit card reports that, yet again, the ATM needs maintenance. Dejected, you and your friends begin the slow shuffle back to the dorms, pausing to order Dominos on the way.

“I am a frequent connoisseur of Pause pizza and shakes and the student workers do a great job. It is simply unfortunate that the only real student-run campus business has become so inaccessible to the very students it serves.” Benjamin Searcy-Jorgensen ’21

While this exact scenario may or may not be inspired by true events, I’m sure most can relate to one, if not multiple, parts of this tale. Something that could offer a solution to this story is the wonderful invention of card readers. That’s right, these incredible inventions have been around for years and are almost directly designed for small businesses like the Pause. The Pause has yet to adapt to student needs, and risks losing profit and connection to students, especially as the utility of cash decreases.

With the rise of delivery apps like Grubhub, it is only a matter of time until there are more food options for students. If the Pause doesn’t get with the times, it may find itself obsolete.

In addition to being more accessible to students, allowing the use of credit cards could help the Pause with other issues, like one they are currently experiencing. As recently reported in the Manitou Messenger, $1,000 in Pause cash was recently discovered to be missing from interim delivery jobs. It is likely such an issue would not occur had the money been received through card.

All of this being said, I would like to say I am a frequent connoisseur of Pause pizza and shakes, and the student workers do a great job. It is simply unfortunate that the only real student-run campus business has become so inaccessible to the very students it serves.

Benjamin Searcy-Jorgensen ’21 ( is from Moscow, Idaho. He majors in Biology and Sociology/Anthropology.

Categories: Colleges

Ole Spring Relief great way for students to spend spring break

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 9:54am

When I found out that Ole Spring Relief (OSR) was going to New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama, I was ecstatic. I heard such great stories about OSR from my friends, so I knew I had to go. I was especially excited about going to New Orleans as I wanted to learn more about Hurricane Katrina relief.

OSR is a service trip where you travel to a certain state and do various volunteer activities. What makes it unique is that you stay in churches (you learn to sleep on the floor) and participate in bonding activities. Although this may sound scary at first, you quickly become comfortable. One of the bonding activities we played was “Hot Seat.” This took place on the bus, since it was quite a long road trip to New Orleans. In this game, a person is nominated to be in the “hot seat,” and they stand in the front of the bus with a microphone. People can ask them any questions they want. Certainly, a lot of questions get personal, but this activity  helps you learn a lot about a person in just a few minutes. Though you might not like all the bonding activities on the trip, I appreciated them because they allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and meet many new people.

The service activities were also an important aspect of the trip. In New Orleans, we did a variety of things, including gardening in a neighborhood affected by Hurricane Katrina, painting/cleaning churches and working on a horse ranch. In Mobile, students collaborated with Habitat for Humanity and focused on building houses.

“OSR is a trip I highly recommend to anyone passionate about service or looking to get to know more people at Olaf.” Laras Kettner ’21

I think one of my favorite things about our trip to New Orleans was listening to Pastor Jerome’s story about Hurricane Katrina as we ate the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. I enjoyed exchanging stories with people while painting churches or pulling out weeds. I loved the few free hours we had to explore the French Quarter and eat freshly baked beignets.

OSR is a trip I highly recommend to anyone passionate about service or looking to get to know more people at Olaf. Next spring break, consider Ole Spring Relief!

Laras Kettner ’21 ( is from Falls Church, Va. She majors in nursing.

Categories: Colleges

Humanities must defend themselves to remain relevant

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 9:52am
The recent Strategic Resource Allocation Project (SRAP), which marked the end of the American Studies program in addition to cuts in various humanities departments, sparked discussion regarding the relationship between the humanities and STEM, and the responsibility of St. Olaf to maintain its liberal arts identity. As pointed out in a previous Manitou Messenger article […]
Categories: Colleges

Student researchers address mortality, inspire conversation

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 9:49am
“It’s always too early until it’s too late,” Professor of Social Work and Family Studies Mary Carlsen said, surveying her audience. Carlsen and a group of students from her Directed Undergraduate Research (DUR) class, “Living and Dying: Explorations with Young Adults,” gave a presentation April 11 in Viking Theater. The talk highlighted the importance of […]
Categories: Colleges

Institute panel discusses immigration, populism

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 9:48am
The Institute for Freedom and Community hosted a panel discussion on “Immigration, Populism, and the European Union” in Viking Theater on Wednesday, April 10. The event featured three distinguished scholars who discussed the effects of mass immigration to Europe and its potential connection to the rise of European populism. The event was moderated by religion […]
Categories: Colleges

SAID speaker addresses abortion rights arguments

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 9:44am
Students Advocating Informed Decisions (SAID) invited Timothy Brahm to St. Olaf on Thursday, April 11 to deliver a talk titled “Understanding and Responding to: My Body, My Choice.” In his talk, Brahm sought to counter two common abortion rights arguments: that the fetus is not a person and that a woman’s bodily rights allow her […]
Categories: Colleges

STO Talks explores theme of community

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 9:41am
This year’s STO Talks, held April 13 at the Pause Mane Stage, featured talks on code-switching, religious diversity, cellular biology, Jewish identity and many other topics relating to the theme of “community.” The annual conference consists of a series of short presentations by St. Olaf students, faculty, staff and alumni on a wide array of […]
Categories: Colleges

Taylor Center commissions mural to encourage inclusivity

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 9:39am
In an attempt to add color, representation and life to the physical space of The Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion, Director Dr. María Pabón commissioned seven student artists to create a mural to make the Taylor Center a more inclusive and representative space for students. “Physical spaces have always been a critical part of […]
Categories: Colleges

Working group formed to combat food insecurity among students

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 9:36am
A working group that aims to combat food insecurity on campus had its first formal meeting March 20. Dean of Students Rosalyn Eaton `87 formed the group following her realization that multiple organizations on campus were already addressing the issue separately. Food insecurity – or the lack of access to enough nutritious food – became […]
Categories: Colleges
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