HPC okays Archer House demolition; City attorney addresses ex parte communication

KYMN Radio - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 3:54pm
After an exhaustive conversation, the Northfield Historic Preservation Commission voted last night to issue a Certificate of Appropriateness to Rebound Partners, allowing for the demolition of the Historic Archer House River Inn.  A year ago, the interior of the hotel was destroyed in a fire that began in a restaurant on the ground floor, and

Memories of Delaware…

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 3:52pm

Alan remembered why he had a bedside commode… he’d brought it to a Wilmington City Council meeting, and put a map of the city’s rivers below it, and dropped little brown blobs, perhaps recycled cat turds? Naaaah…

This was about the same time he was busted for putting up signs at a sewer outflow to let people know (because people were SWIMMING there and down river) that there was RAW SEWAGE running into the Brandywine River.

Tommy the Turd made appearances too, warning people about the sewage:

Digging into the history and work of Green Delaware, and organizing what files are left. I’m really thrilled that I saved Tommy the Turd, and the blue/green glitter fish costume, and might still find Gov. Minner the hippo being lead by the nose by bankers, surrounded by pigs!

Categories: Citizens


Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 3:20pm


I know you’ve had that album on repeat this week. Listen to something else so you don’t burn it out too quick.



Try something fun! Go for a swim in the pool or set off some fireworks. But go to Wisconsin because apparently it’s “illegal” here or something..



Think back about a fight or disagreement you had recently. Now sit in the shower for another 40 minutes coming up with a better argument you’ll never get to use.



Been missing your ex lately? Tough. You should catch up on your work.



You’re super hot. Just a flawless gem that everyone thinks is smart and funny. Show your confidence this week..



Stop anonymously posting on Flirts and ask your crush out already.



Have you been feeling overwhelmed? Treat yourself to a bath in the Hillboe tub. On second thought, maybe get that fancy latte instead. 



Skip a class this week and do some work you’ve been putting off. Don’t worry, you can tell the professor a campus squirrel turned off your alarm!



Things are going well for you lately. A little too well perhaps. Don’t take it for granted.



Your crush is definitely into you but you have to stop parking your car in the faculty lots because Pub Safe is itching to give you a ticket.



You’ve had a birthday recently, or maybe it’s coming up. That’s exciting. Also someone new may come into your life soon. Be suspicious.



Check up on a friend you haven’t talked to recently. Also put less pressure on yourself. You’re doing the best you can. 


Categories: Colleges

First impressions: St. Olaf dorms

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 3:17pm

New student orientation didn’t end on the final day of St. Olaf Orientation to Academics and Resources group activities. Well, at least for us it didn’t. During the first two months of our time on the Hill, we made it our mission to visit and explore every single residence hall on the St. Olaf campus…without a tour guide. Here are honest reviews and rankings of each building from your humblest of first-year students. 


Thorson Hall

Our first impression of Thorson was that it’s got to be a haunted hotel. To be fair, we visited this particular residence hall at night — a time when the halls and common spaces were quiet and empty — but this building was just plain eerie. We also found ourselves slightly lost, and in an attempt to find our way out, ended up confusedly wandering around the basement. However, it was in the basement where we made the discovery that the Thorson vending machines carried our favorite white cheddar Cheetos, and we agreed that this was something of a redeeming factor. Thorson also boasts a beautiful backyard that’s the perfect spot for a picnic or to appreciate the colors of the sunrise or sunset.


Rand Hall

Rand Hall is a real-life representation of the common saying “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Despite its secludedness from the beaten path, Rand proved to meet all of our hopes and expectations in a dorm. Quiet. Cheerful atmosphere. Abundant vending machine selection. Lounges are fantastic, and the washers and dryers aren’t in disrepair like many first-year dorms.


Larson Hall

We’ll admit it. Larson is pretty cool. It has amazing views of campus — and the cornfields beyond — and also scores points for being the tallest residence hall. Our visit to Larson, however, was tainted by a run-in with a towel-clad Ole and an “Oh no, this isn’t the women’s room,” and ended shortly after.


Hoyme Hall

Hoyme Hall is like Ellingson’s fraternal twin. Hoyme rooms come with the same bay windows and room size, but its hallways lack common spaces and the entire building appears to be shaped like a ‘V.’ Odd.


Kildahl Hall

If Hoyme is Ellingson’s fraternal twin, then Kildahl is the wannabe little sibling. Although Kildahl has the smallest double rooms — we all know they were supposed to be singles, after all — the floor lounges create a bonding atmosphere. Not to mention they have a computer lab on each floor. Intriguing.


Mohn Hall

Our trip to Mohn was accompanied by a beautiful sunset and the exhilaration of “trespassing” into a sophomore dorm. It also happened to be the catalyst for the dorm tour adventure. If you happen to be one of the students going up in the elevator at the same time as two first-year girls who couldn’t keep in their giggles, we hope this article helps clear a few things up. Our initial reaction was that Mohn appears to be somewhat of a vertical Ellingson, and that, on a weekend evening, there always seems to be a party booming somewhere up there in the tower. Furthermore, the Mohn laundry room is one of the best on campus. Six washers and dryers in one room. Incredible.


Mellby Hall

Oh, Mellby. Prime location to the academic buildings, stunning views of the St. Olaf quad, a name that sounds like something straight out of a Jane Austen book…what isn’t to love about this building? It seemed like a more spacious — and less scary — version of Thorson, complete with dishwashing basins on the residence floors — every Ellingson resident’s dream. The bathrooms, however, were a little bit cramped. Not to mention the beautiful lounge space blends the history of St. Olaf into the living space.  


Hilleboe and Kittelsby Hall

We’ll admit, this one is complicated. We all know that an infamous nickname for Kittelsby can be derived by swapping the leading K with a ‘Sh’— and, just so we’re clear: if anyone asks, you did not hear that from us. Kittlesby doesn’t have any grandiose features to its architecture, and it looks rather plain compared to the rest of the Hill. It’s a confusing dorm when you don’t know your way around, but their vending machines have quite the selection. 


Ellingson Hall

We’re not biased. Trust us. Sure, Ellingson Hall may be the place we call “dorm sweet dorm,” but the beautiful bay windows, hallway lounges, and spacious bathrooms put this building high on our rankings. Negative points go to the washing machine with the not-so-holy water that’s been steeping for weeks. If only the kitchen wasn’t so far from the dorm rooms…


Ytterboe Hall

Ytterboe Hall houses the most students, despite thinking it was either Mohn or Larson for their grand size. Ytterboe has very wide hallways that almost feel too wide. Although we never made it inside a practice room, this dorm is perfect for music majors in need of practice. Not to mention Ytterboe forms a ‘Y’ shape, true to its name.


Categories: Colleges

Warm Up!

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 3:14pm

Categories: Colleges

A Lonely Car Upon The Road

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 3:12pm

In an intersection late at night,

A driver halts for a shining light.

The citizen glances left to right,

But there are no other cars in sight.


Unable to quite muster the might,

To disobey the bloody red light,

The citizen does what they are told,

Waiting patiently, becoming old.

For twenty minutes red light shines down,

Beneath it, a smile turns upside-down.

In the driver’s head, frustration sounds,

But still, rude red light covers the ground.


With a click, red light turns gentle green.

Letting out a silent scream,

With permission now, the driver leaves.


Categories: Colleges

Spring Registration and the prevalence of overrides

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 3:10pm

During the week of Nov. 2, St. Olaf students registered for their spring semester courses on the Student Information System (SIS). “The registration system was first used for incoming students to register in summer of 2020. The first time it was used for all continuing students was last fall,” St. Olaf Registrar Ericka Peterson said. 

Students registered in order of their class year with seniors receiving first priority and first year students registering at the end of the week. Beginning with the fall 2021 registration, class years were split in two and given separate registration times. “Splitting each class into two groups is necessary to keep from overloading the multiple systems involved with registration and minimize potential crashes,” Peterson said. 

Despite the attempts to mitigate the number of crashes, crashes did still occur during registration. For Emilie Bencke ’24, SIS crashing did not impact her luck of getting into her desired classes. “I got into every class I planned for at 7 a.m. The website did crash for three minutes, but I did plan out which ones to click on first. I got into the classes I wanted, but barely,” Bencke said.  After registering, Bencke refreshed the page and noticed that all the spots were already taken for the classes she had selected. Luckily for her, she had registered just in time. 

Students are required to complete both general education requirements and the required courses for their major, which makes registration an important time for students to be able to stay on track with their four year plans. “The Center for Advising and Academic Support recommends that students complete an override request if they don’t get into the classes that they need and to contact their advisor for assistance. Another tip — it may take a bit of time before students receive a response to an override request,” said Kathy Glampe, Director of Academic Support and Advising.

For students who need certain classes and cannot get in even after overrides, “they should absolutely check back in with their advisor. If they still need additional assistance, they can contact the department chair for that course they are seeking,” Peterson said. 

“There are two types of overrides — one is for capacity and one can be for any hard-coded requisite for the course. As of this past Wednesday, we showed a total of 1,873 students who requested one or more overrides. A few of the departments which get the most requests for overrides are biology, math, and psychology,” said Peterson. 

Even if an override gets denied, there is still a chance that someone will drop the class and you can swoop in and take it. “This registration went better than last time. I was in the later half to register and I was only registered for one class and then requested a bunch of overrides and got denied for most of them, but I kept checking over the summer and eventually some people dropped. That’s how I got into

Industrial Psychology and Culture and Place in Psychology and they opened another section for Statistics later this summer,” said Bencke. 

Overrides and waitlists have an impact on how departments evaluate course offerings for the future. “The Associate Deans will be reviewing the number and type of override requests, along with the wishlist and waitlist information moving forward,” said Peterson.


Categories: Colleges

STOGROW update

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 3:08pm

   It’s no doubt farm work is hard. Not only that but organic, sustainable farming is even harder. From planting, to seeding, to harvesting, then planning and managing finances, an organic farmer’s year is jam-packed.

      About six years ago, St. Olaf’s first and only sustainable, organic farm was established by a few students, mainly majoring in an area of STEM. Now, the farm is run by two full-time student workers — Gunnar Bodvarsson ’22 and Claire Michaelsen ’23, both biology and environmental studies majors. Bodvarsson and Michaelson started working for the St. Olaf Garden Research and Organic Works farm program [STOGROW] was the beginning of the summer after applying and being interviewed for the Collaborative Undergraduate Research and Inquiry (CURI) program.

      Every year, two new students are chosen to work at STOGROW. According to St. Olaf’s website, “[CURI] provides opportunities for St. Olaf students from all academic disciplines to gain an in-depth understanding of a particular subject by working closely with a St. Olaf faculty member in a research framework.” 

      Over the summer, Michaelsen and Bodvarsson maintained the three-quarter acre farm and are just finishing their harvest season. Groups of students joined Michaelsen and Bodvarsson on Fridays 3 to 5 p.m. at the beginning of the semester to help out around the farm — harvesting, washing, and preparing produce. 

      Once the produce is loaded into the two trucks, which can be up to 300 pounds per week, it is bought by Bon Appétit and are served in St. Olaf’s kitchens. STOGROW frequently sells food to Bon Appétit, and upon interviewing Michaelsen, she stated that “having a guaranteed buyer… is something that is nice.” She loves working outside “[and] wouldn’t trade it for any other job,” but frequently mentions that “without the land technicians…[planting, seeding, and maintaining the farm] would have taken far more time.” However, with every good side comes a bad one too. “It’s more [work] than two people can handle,” she explained. “There isn’t much of a community aspect [to the farm either].” 

      Professor Juliet Patterson is a faculty member and advisor in the English department and professor in the Environmental Conversation Program for first-years. This program allows first-year students to discuss, write, and explore various topics within the realm of environmentalism. 

      Patterson is of a similar opinion as Michaelson.“STOGROW seems like an obvious place where [the campus] can grow…it’s not just a place for ENCON students and two student workers,” she explained. “If we all thought more about our food, our opinions, views, our conversations would be completely different,” Pattersen said.

She urged St. Olaf’s campus to dig deeper into the sustainability practices that were put in place about 30 years ago. Two of those major advancements included the reduction in fossil fuels and the wind turbine, as well as a few loose composting initiatives. According to the captain and leader of St. Olaf’s Environmental Coalition Cassidy Schnell ’23, “there are lots of sustainable opportunities that the college has yet to explore what if St. Olaf got another [wind turbine], or installed more solar panels on top of the library?” Schnell said. She, like Patterson, urges St. Olaf to consider bigger steps towards sustainability.

It’s clear that STOGROW could use more of a community aspect and “better advertising,” according to Michaelson, so that students can become more aware and considerate of where their food is grown and the work that has been put into getting it to their plates. 

      One question that still remains is why the program is still seriously underfunded. Patterson stated that “it comes down to providing resources [from] an administrative level” which isn’t always easy or timely. The farm itself could also use more student workers, and students could benefit immensely from utilizing all that STOGROW has to offer. 

      Overall, it’s important to keep the sustainability movement at St. Olaf moving forward. Although creating change may not be like year-round farm work, it still takes the necessary hard work from all who are willing to do it.


Categories: Colleges

St. Olaf EMTs: Who are they and what do they do?

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 3:06pm

The St. Olaf Emergency Medical Technicians (SOEMTs) is a student-run organization that is dedicated to providing students with high quality emergency medical care. Student EMTs are not employed by the college but instead work entirely on a volunteer basis. Most EMTs have plans to work in the medical or healthcare fields and see being an EMT as a great opportunity to gain patient contacts and build confidence in the field. 

In order to become an EMT, students need to have National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) certification, Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, and Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board (EMSRB) licensure. If students have met or are in the process of meeting these requirements, they can fill out an application. Applicants also complete a mock scenario, a simulation in which they are presented with a situation and must respond accordingly, during which they are evaluated by the organization’s executive committee to ensure that they have the practical skills to provide EMT services to the student body.

When asked if there are any protocols that EMTs must follow in situations involving alcohol or substance use, David Bauer ’22 said, “When it comes to a patient using any kind of substance, all that we’re concerned about, all that we do as EMTs, is look after your health. We’re not at all involved in any kind of reprimanding process.” The only time an EMT would talk to someone outside of the duration of a call is if they had reason to believe that a patient may be a continued threat to themselves or others, in which case EMTs are mandatory reporters.

According to Bauer, who has been an EMT since his first semester at St. Olaf, there are currently 32 EMTs on staff. However, the number was as low as 17 last year, as fewer people got certified due to COVID-19. “It was a little bit of a struggle at that time because some people were taking as many as ten shifts a month,” Bauer said. “(But) we’ve never been short-staffed, in that we’ve never had to miss shifts because we didn’t have people to fill them.”

 EMTs are on call each weeknight from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and 24 hours on weekends. 

Bauer emphasized that the primary purpose of SOEMTs is to give Oles a sense of security when it comes to their health. “We do everything we can to ensure [students] safety and make sure that they feel secure and know that there is quality healthcare that will arrive in a short amount of time should they need it,” said Bauer. If a student has a concern about their health, they can call Public Safety, and both EMTs and a Public Safety officer will be dispatched to the student’s location. Bauer also noted that in severe cases, Northfield Emergency Medican Services (EMS) may also be dispatched at the same time as student EMTs. This is to ensure that students have access to the type of emergency care they need, as EMTs are not equipped to administer IVs but are well suited to handle situations where there is an immediate threat to life, limb, or eye. 

This practice of working in collaboration with other organizations on and off campus is echoed in a statement on the SOEMT website, “This service has not been established to take the place of or compete with St. Olaf Health Services, Public Safety, the Northfield Volunteer Fire/Rescue

Department, or the medical employees of the Northfield Hospital Ambulance, but rather to work in conjunction and full cooperation with all of the aforementioned entities.” Ultimately, the volunteers of SOEMT are here to serve as an extra means of support and expertise for Oles when it comes to their health.


Categories: Colleges

Professors Walter and Al-Atiyat deliver Mellby lectures

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 3:04pm

On Nov. 9, Professor of Religion Gregory Walter ’96 and Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Ibtesam Al-Atiyat delivered the annual Mellby lectures in Viking Theater. The lecture series began in 1983 to memorialize St. Olaf professor and administrator Carl A. Mellby. The series is typically broken into two parts, providing one lecture each in the fall and spring semesters. This year marks new territory for the Mellby lectures, with Walter and Al-Atiyat delivering their speeches together and sharing a Q&A event after.

Walter spoke first. His lecture, entitled “The Vulnerability of Theology,” was focused on Julian of Norwich, a medieval Christian theologian, mystic, and anchorite — a term for a religious hermit. She lived for years in one room. He focuses on her success in articulating our incapacity for choosing between a theology of a “hiddenness,” which finds God far beyond all description and reproach, and a “theology of the cross,” which demands reconciliation with God for our pain and damage in the world. Walter ultimately asserts that theology escapes the disciplinary restrictions that modernity has placed on it, and he considers a new theology without religion. 

Al-Atiyat followed with a lecture entitled “The Neo-Liberal Turn in Higher Education.” Her lecture not only included theoretical analysis that drew from sources as distant in space and time as Theodore Adorno and Ibn-Rushd, but the lecture was also rooted in her practical experiences founding two universities in Jordan. Al-Atiyat argued, in a critique of syllabi as they currently exist, that neo-liberal models of higher education are epistemically corrupted. Going beyond solely critiquing syllabi for being non-inclusive of anything outside of the myopic “Western” tradition — although she does still voice this critique — Al-Atiyat presents a more fundamental critique of the practice of including and excluding altogether. Instead of considering course readings as “ideas” in some list whereby we must eventually identify with and choose one as an “answer,” Al-Atiyat argues we ought to consider course readings instead as “artifacts,” where we inquire without the assumption that we may identify with it. 

Both lecturers seem to share a critical orientation towards the modern situations of their respective disciplines. Part of this might stem from their interests in critical theory and literature — they effortlessly quote Adorno, Huxley, and Borges. Their critical perspectives provide the lectures with a sense of shared dialogue, even across their disciplinary boundaries and disparate topics. 

At the very end of the event, Al-Atiyat responded to an audience question about what the ideal of a university ought to be, and whether or not it can escape the structure of capitalism. “[New Jordanian universities] offer us this opportunity to think again as to the capitalist economy, to think again as to the imposition of the politics of the place, and maybe come up with a project that is different, a project that restores the critical potential of a university.”


Categories: Colleges

Basketball teams excited to tip off

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 3:03pm

The St. Olaf men’s and women’s basketball teams are excited to get their seasons underway. Both teams are ecstatic about a return to a regular season after last year’s season was canceled due to COVID-19. Despite the impact of the pandemic, the teams were able to bond and show promise to field competitive teams this winter.

The men’s team is anchored by strong upperclassmen leadership, with 11 junior and senior players including Dominic Bledsoe ’22. Bledsoe chose to use his extra year of eligibility granted to all athletes last year due to the impact of COVID-19, to return to St. Olaf. With the upperclassmen leading the way, the team has high expectations. “Obviously, the main goal is always to just win the next game, but ultimately I think we have a team that can compete for a MIAC championship, get the Goat back from Carleton, and ultimately if we do all the things that we can do, and I think we should do, we can make a run in the MIAC tournament and then the NCAA tournament,” Bledsoe said.

The men’s team used the COVID-19 year to bond as a team and play a few exhibition games. “The COVID year, as much as it sucked not to have games, it really strengthened the bond of the team and I got to know guys a lot better than I probably would have normally,” Carter Uphus ’22 said. 

The women’s team finds themself in a much different situation, as they are a very young team. The women’s team has six underclassmen who will be competing in their first college season and six returning players. The women’s team also has a new coach, who was able to work with the team last year and use the abnormal COVID-19 year as a teaching opportunity. “We got a bunch of extra reps with the new offense and defense so we know it better coming into this season. Now the upperclassmen know it and we can help teach the younger players,” Rachel Kelly ’23 said. 

The women’s team’s main goal this year is growth. They are excited about a new start and the opportunity to compete in the conference with a new coach, a new system, and new players. They also have some big games and fun matchups this year. 

“Carleton is always a good game,” Kelly said. “I’m also excited to play Bethel this year because they crushed us two years ago and they graduated the Player of the Year, so I’m excited to play against them and see their new roster and how we can compete against them with our new roster.” 

Both teams stressed how thrilled they are to return to playing the sport they love in a full, regular season. “I’m just excited to get back out there. It’s been a few years. Those that are juniors now, I haven’t played with since they were freshman,” Bledsoe said. “It’s been good to get back out there and compete alongside them.”

The men’s team tipped off their season with a nail-biting 73-74 loss to UW-Stout but have rebounded with wins over UW-Stevens Point and Bethany Lutheran College. You can catch them in action on Nov. 17 when they take on Gustavus-Adolphus College at home in their MIAC conference opener. The women’s team starts their season on Nov. 16 against Crown College at home and then hit the road to play St. Catherine University and Gustavus-Adolphus.


Categories: Colleges

Men’s soccer reflects on a successful season

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 3:01pm

Talented. Brotherly. Hard-working. These are all words that could be used to describe the St. Olaf men’s soccer team. The 2021 fall season proved to be historic for the program, with several players gaining accolades. 

Prior to the start of the regular season, domestic players arrived on campus in mid-August to begin their training, while international members joined virtually. A rigorous training and practice schedule helped the team hone their skills before the start of the academic year.  

With players hailing from eight countries — Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Egypt, France, Guatemala, Jordan, and South Korea —and six U.S. states, the men’s soccer team is quite a diverse group compared to other teams in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). Despite the differences in geography, the team has proven time and time again that they are able to play as a unit. 

“Each of us is able to understand that we are different, but still include others [within] the environment and be friendly,” forward Hakeem Morgan ’24 said. “Everyone feels welcome and there’s no judgment on our team.” 

In addition to the team’s diversity, players highlight the importance of bonding. Regardless of age, nationality, or position, all players are able to get along on and off the field. This is clear in the team’s performance, as forwards, midfielders, and defenders alike navigate the field flawlessly. 

“We have stronger bonds compared to any other team. At the end of the day we’re able to come back together. I think that has contributed to our success,” said goalkeeper Austin Williams ’24, who is the first Ole and only sophomore to be awarded the first Academic All-District award by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) in District 6. 

Along with extensive talent across the roster, players point to head coach Travis Wall as a reason for the team’s unprecedented success thus far. In his third year as head coach, Wall was just named MIAC Coach of the Year. According to players, strong leadership on behalf of Coach Wall and the rest of the staff, combined with the recent renovation of Rolf Mellby Field and the team’s locker room has paved the way for current triumphs and what’s to come. 

Led by senior captains Lucas Gaulmin ’22 and Thierno Gueye ’22, both French natives, the team became the fifth in conference history to ever achieve a perfect regular season record (10-0-0). Their victories also landed them in the national ranking for several weeks. 

Despite the success, the team’s mindset has remained steady from the beginning. “We were never scared of losing. We’ve always just wanted to win,” Gaulmin said. “I’ve been on a lot of teams, but this one just feels special.” Instead of focusing on the number of games won or their rank, players took it ‘game by game,’” concentrating on what needed improvement. 

“As a coach, I definitely take it one game at a time. I think for the most part our players did too, and that’s a big reason why we put that streak together. When you chase records, you lose sight of what you’re actually trying to accomplish,” Wall said. “We didn’t set out with a goal of winning a certain amount of games in a row…we want to win the conference and whatever happens to help get us there, we’ll take it.” The team was able to continue their success by being confident in their abilities; knowing that they were responsible for the hard work that had placed them in the top dog position. 

With the addition of a new class of recruits, the St. Olaf men’s soccer team has only continued to grow its talent in every position on the field. With six players being recognized as All-Conference — Gualmin, Victor Gaulmin ’24, Gueye, Casey McCloskey ’24, Hakeem Morgan ’24, and Shea Bechtel ’25 — it’s hard to deny that the young team is capable of making an impact. All together, the team is sure to be prepared for any future that awaits them, including playing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)’s Division III soccer tournament. 

“More to do, more to come” continues to be the motto for the team moving forward. According to Rookie of the Year recipient, Bechtel, “We know what we’re capable of. We put the trust in ourselves to know that we are capable of winning while keeping the mindset that there is still work to be done.”


Categories: Colleges

Men’s soccer advances to Sweet 16

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 2:59pm

On Saturday, Nov. 13 the St. Olaf men’s soccer team played Dominican University in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championship tournament. The match kicked off at 11 a.m. at Rolf Mellby field, and many Ole students and parents turned out to cheer on the team. 

Attacker Hakeem Morgan ’24 scored the first goal, giving the Oles the lead in the 28th minute. The first half then ended 1-0. The Oles netted their second goal in the sixtieth minute, with a ball beautifully headed into the back of the net by Victor Gaulmin ’24. A third goal sealed the deal for the Oles in the sixty-fifth minute, as midfielder Casey McCloskey ’24 shot a dagger from outside the 18-yard box.

Though the win required an impressive team performance, the MVP of the match was certainly McCloskey. Showing both defensive and attacking skill, McCloskey made his presence known all over the field, frequently winning back possession and creating quality chances in the final third. The impact of his performance was tangible, as he left the game with one goal and two assists.

The Oles also put up a strong defensive effort, anchored by center back Ian Elliott ’24, to hold the Stars scoreless throughout the game. A solid performance from goalkeeper Austin Williams ’24 ensured that even the glimmers of hope for Dominican resulted in no change in the scoreline.

Moving on to the second round, the Oles faced Loras College on Sunday, Nov. 14. They won the game 4-0 thanks to goals from Morgan, McCloskey, Liam Vance ’24, and Martin Machon ’24. The win allows the Oles to advance to the third round, facing North Park University on Nov. 19.


Categories: Colleges

St. Olaf volleyball reaches MIAC semifinal, has big dreams for next year

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 2:57pm

St. Olaf volleyball ended their season on Nov. 5, losing in three sets to top-seeded Gustavus Adolphus in the MIAC semifinal match. The Gusties went on to win the championship, beating Bethel in the final. Despite finishing their season earlier than they’d hoped, the Oles had a lot to be proud of, as they finished their season 8-3 in conference play.

Over the course of the season, the team focused on two words: “indivisible” and “becoming.” These words acted as both guides and goals, giving the team something to work towards throughout their season. Middle blocker Katelyn Lannom ’22 said, “We use the word ‘becoming’ because we are such a new team, like we had so many fresh faces on the court.” A big priority for this season was building team confidence and cohesion, as more than half of the team had never played a full MIAC season before due to COVID-19.

Their coach, Emily Foster, also introduced the concept of “drishti,” a word used in yoga for “focused gaze.” “That was kind of our thing throughout the season, just really focusing on getting better every single day whether it’s having that intense focus in a practice or having that intense focus throughout the year,” outside hitter Christina Cheng ’23 said. Both players felt like the team did a good job of embracing the principle of drishti over the course of the season.

There were many bright spots for the Oles throughout the season. However, when asked to name one highlight, Cheng said, “I feel like for me personally it was the first time we played Augsburg during conference play.” The Oles were fresh off a heartbreaking 5-set loss to Bethel, and Augsburg is known for being a tough opponent, consistently in the running for the MIAC championship. When playing against Augsburg, “we really had to fight throughout that entire match and I think that was the first match that it really felt like we gelled and were on the same page,” Cheng said. “That was just a really cool feeling, to feel like all of our work had finally amounted to something.”

The Oles won the match 3-1. History repeated itself when, three weeks later, the Oles faced Augsburg again in the quarterfinals and won 3-1.

After losing in the semifinals, Lannom is ready to come back for more and return as a fifth year. “I can’t just be done after knowing how much potential this team has… We have so much more to prove,” Lannom said. Looking ahead, both Cheng and Lannom believe that they can take what they learned this season to step up their game next year. “I think that fighting spirit — I really want to carry that into next year,” Cheng said. “Now we have experience against the top teams in the country. We know what it’s like to be uncomfortable during a game.”

Cheng hopes that the team can use the confidence they have built this season to become a more adaptable team, a team that trusts in their ability to play great volleyball even when their “Plan A” isn’t working. For Lannom, the motivation comes from the fact that, “We know what it’s like to not get where we want to go.” After a season full of successes, heartbreak, and lots of growth, St. Olaf volleyball is more than ready to take what they have learned and rise to the challenge next season.


Categories: Colleges

Student spotlight: Aryaman Joshi ’23 amazes audiences with original composition

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 2:56pm

Aryaman Joshi ’23 brought the Skoglund audience to a standing ovation after the St. Olaf Band performed his original composition “Kaalachakra, The Wheel of Time” in October. The performance was emotionally moving as it drew from themes of COVID-19, specifically the wave that hit Joshi’s home country India. Joshi composed the piece last summer under Professor of Music Timothy Mahr ’78 through the Collaborate Undergraduate Research and Inquiry (CURI) program.


The journey to composition

Joshi, a pianist, began his musical journey around the age of 10 years old. “I started out with this dinky little keyboard,” he said. “I used to just try to figure out tunes by myself and only played with my right hand.” Joshi’s father was in the military, so his family moved about every three to four years. Because of this, he was unable to have the stability of a teacher until his move to Mumbai. A variety of factors, including Joshi’s delayed proper training, pushed Joshi away from becoming a piano performance major.

Despite this, Joshi still felt a calling to music. It was not until the college application process when Joshi learned music composition could be a major. “Until then I always thought composition was just done by the most elite musicians ever. If you think of composers, I would think of Mozart and Beethoven.” Hearing about student compositions inspired Joshi. “Composition was my last hope. If this works, then I would be a music major,” Joshi recalled about his thought process.


Joshi’s inspiration

Joshi notes that his biggest music composition inspiration comes from anime and Japanese composers. “Composers from Japan especially have just really inspired the way that I write, and they just made me realize how much I love music,” he said. Joshi cites Hideki Sakamoto’s string quartet compositions for the video game “Echochrome” as a particular influence. 


Future projects

As for the future, Joshi has a few goals in mind. For one, he specifically wants to compose for orchestra. “Kaalachakra” was the first time Joshi experienced a large ensemble. “I didn’t know anything about band. It’s not a thing in India at all,” he said, making his composition even more impressive. “I never even knew I liked writing for big ensembles until I did this project with Dr. Mahr.”

Joshi also wants to experiment with other genres of music. After attending a house party with live music, he thought to himself, “I’ve always wanted to write this kind of music.” The genres he specifically wants to explore are rock, pop, jazz, and blues.


You can listen to Joshi’s “Kaalachakra, The Wheel of Time” on St. Olaf streaming’s web page under the “Fall Tour Home Concert: …with reverence and hope.” The introduction of the piece begins at the 31:30 mark.


Categories: Colleges

“Red (Taylor’s Version)” vault tracks expand upon heartbroken narrative of the original album

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 2:52pm

After losing the rights to the master recordings of her first six albums, Taylor Swift has begun to re-record her previous works. These re-recordings will allow Swift to control the licensing and profit of her songs, but more importantly, own her music once again.

Swift released her album “Red (Taylor’s Version)” on Nov. 12, following the release of the album “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” and the single “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)” earlier this year.

As an incentive for fans to buy and stream her re-recorded albums, Swift has added new songs to the tracklist. These recordings are labeled “From the Vault” and were written alongside the tracks from the original album, but they ultimately did not make the final cut. “Red (Taylor’s Version)”’ vault tracks include six never-before-heard songs, two covers, and the 10 minute version of fan favorite “All Too Well.”

“Red”’s release in 2012 marked the beginning of Swift’s transition into pop music, but it still included some country influence. The “Red” vault tracks further indicate the battle of the genres she faced. The upbeat “Message in a Bottle” feels almost jarring next to the country ballad “I Bet You Think About Me” featuring Chris Stapleton, but Swift makes it work. This decision is reminiscent of the original tracklist, where the most heartbreaking track “All Too Well” is followed by the enthusiastic pop single “22.”

“The Very First Night” draws similarities to “Holy Ground” through both the sound and the lyrics, which are reminiscent of a past relationship. “I drive down different roads/ But they all lead back to you” shows the difficulty to get past the end of the relationship.

“Babe” and “Better Man” were songs Swift originally wrote during “Red”’s conception but were ultimately given to other artists to record. In her recordings, Swift gives her own voice to the tracks. “Babe” opens with the backing vocals “What about your promises, promises?” which are laid throughout the track, expressing how broken the relationship left Swift.

“Forever Winter” encapsulates the tone of merry holiday music, but the lyrics wrestle with a much darker theme. Unlike the rest of the vault tracks, Swift is not the subject of the “Forever Winter.” Instead, the focus is cast on someone she loves. The subject deals with mental illness and Swift trying to help navigate their thoughts, “If I was standing there in your apartment/ I’d take that bomb in your head and disarm it.” The song ends with the line “He says he doesn’t believe anything much he hears these days/ I say, ‘Believe in one thing, I won’t go away.’” While the subject is likely to be Swift’s lover, the vagueness of the lyrics do not confirm nor deny this. This critical choice serves as a reminder that anyone in your life could be struggling.

Swift writes about her complicated relationship with fame in “Nothing New” and “Run,” a topic she grappled with in “The Lucky One.”  In “Nothing New” Swift and Phoebe Bridgers sing “Lord, what will become of me/ Once I’ve lost my novelty” and later “It’s a fever dream/ the kind of radiance you only have at seventeen.” While “The Lucky One” is about voluntarily leaving fame behind, “Nothing New” reminds listeners how quickly artists fall in and out of the limelight. “Run,” Swift’s third collaboration with Ed Sheeran, is more similar to “The Lucky One;” in both songs, the speaker hopes to escape the spotlight. “Run,” however, focuses more on the toll stardom has on relationships. Swift sings “And my so-called friends, they don’t know/ I’d drive away before I let go.”

The highly anticipated “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” did not disappoint, as it gave the classic a new sound with more heartbreaking lyrics, “And I was thinking on the drive down, any time now/ He’s gonna say it’s love, you never called it what it was.”

While other artists struggle to include deluxe tracks that feel cohesive to the original album, Swift defies this struggle. If anything, the vault tracks further the narrative of being young and in love — the euphoria and heartbreak — which leaves these tracks unforgettable.


5/5 Big Oles


Categories: Colleges

Perseverance, rebirth, and community: KARIBU’s Une Soiréee Céleste

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 2:51pm

On Nov. 13, KARIBU hosted its first African and Caribbean (AC) Night since COVID-19. The event was held in the Pause and was run in collaboration with the Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion and the Office of Student Activities with food provided by African Foods & Gifts. The night was filled with dances, singing, and skits that encompassed the spirit and joy found within KARIBU. 

AC Night typically takes a month of planning. KARIBU executives spend this month before the event brainstorming ideas and plan themes. Then, the performers get to work. AC Night does not restrict performers — students are able to perform whatever they would like. This sometimes means a few last minute additions and changes, but the event was a huge success.

The performances also showcase student identities. AC Night “encompasses our traditions, our ideals, our culture, our heritage,” said KARIBU Executive Co-Chair AD Banse ’23. “We celebrate all cultures that our members partake in.” 

This year’s theme covered a story centered in Yoruba mythology and folklore. Yoruba traditions and other African religious beliefs were passed down throughout generations of the diaspora, despite their displacement. The show centered around the millennial festivities held for the birth of gods Oshun and Sango’s child. Mortals are invited to perform for the council of the gods, with the most entertaining performance gaining one wish from Oshun. Actors Faith Kaizer ’24 and Alliance Umutoni Ishema ’25 did a wonderful job of portraying the beautifully benevolent river goddess Oshun and her husband Sango, god of thunder and justice. The audience, who played an interactive role as fellow mortal spectators, was captivated by Vanesca Antoine’s ’25 performance of the god Esu. Antoine really brought to life the folklore by embodying the trickster-messenger between heaven and earth in her performance.

KARIBU as a club creates a space for African and Caribbean students to express themselves. AC Night was able to provide a significant platform to showcase the talents and experiences of people in KARIBU. “My role is to bring visibility, no matter what form,” Banse said. “We really showcase that people on this campus deserve a voice, deserve a space.”

However, this event did not run without its challenges. Not only does planning and organizing an event this large cause stress, but they had more than enough reasons to give up on the performance. Changing plans and availability of performers, issues with the venue, the hospitalization and temporary loss of KARIBU Executive Co-Chair Moyo Akinola ‘23, and many other inconveniences made planning difficult. “Hardship is no stranger to us. We are always fighting to make space for ourselves and our cultures, we find strength within our community,” Banse said. “We are not quitters.”

In the end, KARIBU persevered and put together an excellent show. Tyreis Hunte ’23 kicked off the event with a flash mob in Buntrock Crossroads on Nov. 8. It was an excellent way to bring attention to AC Night. “Tyreis is the GOAT [greatest of all time],” said Banse. Individual performances also brightened up the folklore skit. Antoine’s introductory dance captured the audience, and a band that played before intermissions highlighted the musical talents within KARIBU.

Students should look forward to KARIBU’s AC Week and a possible open mic night during interim.


Categories: Colleges

StoReads: “Crying in H-Mart” is a brutal, touching memoir about grief, family, and food

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 2:49pm

I shouldn’t have read this book in public. Despite the activity’s affinity with the book’s title, crying on the fourth floor of Rolvaag Memorial Library is not a look. I got stares, and probably deserved them. 

“Crying in H-Mart” is a memoir from Michelle Zauner, likely better known by her indie-rock project Japanese Breakfast. Both the book and much of her critically acclaimed music are trying to do the same thing — help her process her grief from her mother’s death. 

Zauner’s memoir is written with a beautiful sentimentalism, at times both touching and wrecking. You feel a strong affinity with Zauner in her masterfully told anecdotes of eating with her mother. Food, in particular Korean cuisine, served as a link between Zauner and her mother, even through her tumultuous teen years. Korean food also holds significance for Zauner as it connects her to her Korean heritage, which comes from her mother — her father is white, and met her mother while selling cars to the U.S. military in Korea. 

These anecdotes of love and food set the grounds for what comes later. Your appreciation of their mother-daughter relationship turns into sharp sadness when, after chemotherapy for stage-IV cancer, Zauner’s mother vomits up everything she tries to cook, everything that once tied them together. And the waterworks flow. 

You start the book already knowing that, when Zauner is 25 years old, her mother dies. There is no surprise, or turn, or twist ending. Zauner’s writing is just so honest and raw that, when her mother’s headstone is miswritten, you feel a facsimile of her pain. 

“Crying in H-Mart’s” storytelling is far beyond just pain, of course. Her ability to communicate remarkably complex emotional experiences is astounding. When Zauner makes progress in processing her grief by learning to cook Korean food — many tales of maternal Korean cooking guru Maangchi abound — you feel more than just happy for her. You feel a warmth as if she’s your childhood friend. 

Even people who only appear briefly in Zauner’s life get a loving and sympathetic treatment. Zauner writes about her teenage experiences ripping music off of limewire with her stoner crush, and in instances like these there is a charming mix of disarming self-deprecation and proleptic sympathy. You simultaneously chuckle at and find yourself in her youthful misadventures and failures. You nod along knowingly to stories of awkward interactions with relatives. You smile when she stops paying a therapist to instead buy fancy lunches twice a week. For a book about death and grief, much of it is remarkably funny. 

The book is also quite hopeful. I’ve often found memoirs centering self-improvement and growth to be riddled with cliche and disingenuous positivity. “Crying in H-Mart,” however, grapples with genuine, overwhelming despair, and still finds light on the other end of the tunnel. Despite the ultimate “happy ending” focus on Zauner’s journey of coming to terms with her grief and holding onto her Korean identity, her huge success as an artist gets relatively short treatment. A lesser memoir could have centered the rockstar narrative, but Zauner is too honest, too insightful, too astute for that. The moment of catharsis for her, the climax of the book’s arc, doesn’t come from selling out her dream concert in Seoul. It comes from a moment, alone, on the floor of her New York City apartment kitchen, preparing Kimchi. 

At this point, there isn’t much more praise I can heap onto this book without being redundant. My highest accolade actually comes from my crying in Rolvaag. Very rarely does art make me cry, and never in public. A masterful memoir, full of emotional texture, honestly told, “Crying in H-Mart” is maybe the only book I’ve ever read that I would universally recommend to everyone. It just makes you feel more human.


Categories: Colleges

“Parables From the Edge of Time” rocks viewers with sci-fi greatness and powerful performances

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 2:48pm

The St. Olaf Theater Department has yet another show included in their fall productions. “Parables on the Edge of Time” opened on the weekend of Nov. 12, and it will include a second weekend of performances on Nov. 19-21. 

This show is the culmination of research and devising spearheaded by Visiting Assistant Professor of Theater Bryan Schmidt. Schmidt is known for his devised work, a process often called collective creation, where a script or performance comes out of collaboration or improvisatory work by a performing ensemble.

In the case of “Parables on the Edge of Time,” this production combined two existing one-act plays and added new scenes and characters to put them in conversation with each other. The two existing shows included in this production are “The Insanity of Mary Girard” by Lanie Robertson and “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell. 

The production opened with two characters traveling through time, having been pushed off their time paths, lost in space and floating between decades. These two characters, the Visionary Historian played by Mary Maker ’23 and the Warrior played by Elena Pierson ’24, ground the play in a theme of imagination – that history spans all time and gives us lessons for today. 

Those two time travelling characters witness a woman, Mary Girard, strapped into a tranquilizing chair, a type of torture device for people deemed insane in the late 1700s. This is how we enter into the first one-act. 

“The Insanity of Mary Girard” was haunting. Following the story of a woman institutionalized by her husband, we watched her unwind, interact with various people in her life, and come to terms with the future of a life within a grim, eerie, and bleak hospital. 

Mary, played by Dorienne Hoven ’22, was a force on stage. She went through a rollercoaster of emotions, representing both immense strength in the face of hopelessness as well as intimate vulnerability. The show was held by the ‘furies,’ different characters that represented ghosts, and changing characters within Mary’s psyche. Dressed in all white, they creepily moved through the space, representing Mary’s various voices, as well as other hospitalized people. They inhabited the space with amazing power and presence, embodying the supernatural. 

The second story, “Trifles,” began with two crime podcasters getting lost in one of the crimes that they were about to unpack for their listeners. Whilst recording a podcast episode, they suddenly lose sense of time, and find themselves in the house of a man who was recently murdered. This story takes us through the investigation of the murder, giving voice to the way that women in the 1900s had a secret communication of their own. 

Instead of the men in authority assigned to solve the case, women in the background are able to put pieces of it together because of small hints left by the man’s wife in their house. This telling was powerful in a gentler way than the Mary Girard piece, it focused on guiding the audience to recognize the capability and strength of women. It draws you to think about who controls stories, and how general narratives may be false. 

The lighting and sound design stood out throughout the entire production. Flashing lights, various colors, and effects made the madness all the more obvious for the audience. The sound cues were crisp and well timed to heighten certain moments of tension or spiraling. The sound was designed by Parker Love ’22, with lighting designed by Ariel Bodnar-Klein ’23. 

Both stories meticulously unpacked what it means to be ignored and misunderstood, while also recognizing the scary and mysterious quality of time. These stories gave voice to the experiences of women in the past, forcing us to think about how madness and womanhood have been connected in the U.S. 

If you are interested in some historical, feminist, imaginative theatre, then “Parables on the Edge of Time” is for you. The show is approximately two and a half hours in length and will be performed in Kelsey Theater on Nov. 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m., as well as on Nov. 21 at 2:00 p.m. Students are eligible for one free ticket by registration on the St. Olaf website. Students can also show up without reserving a ticket on a first-come first-serve basis.


Categories: Colleges


Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/18/2021 - 2:46pm

Polyamory is becoming increasingly popular in younger relationships, especially queer ones. Now TikTok is debating polyamory, people are sharing resources about polyamory, and many couples on campus are starting to explore polyamory. However, polyamory must be done correctly to be successful, and many young people tend to struggle with the logistics of polyamory to make it work.

I am in a monogamous relationship. I have no real experience with polyamory, but I have been watching all of the TikTok discourse about polyamory and have done some digging on the subject. Polyamory is somewhat like an open relationship at its most basic level, but practicing polyamory tends to have many working parts, challenges, and dynamics that an open relationship cannot account for.

For starters, polyamory, as it is currently practiced in the U.S., tends to focus on the premise that there is a primary relationship between two people and one or both of the people in the primary relationship are looking for secondary relationships. Also, the originally monogamous relationship can collectively incorporate a third person into the relationship — and sometimes more than a third! Reasons for polyamory can range from exploring sexuality to bringing out different aspects of yourself with different people.

This practice can work. I think it is possible for this kind of polyamorous relationship to survive, but I think too many relationships fail to take into account some logistics.

For starters, Western polyamorous relationships focus heavily on jealousy and ownership. In the “All My Relations” podcast, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate professor Kim Tallbear points out that “a lot of these conversations are shallow.” She describes how many polyamorous conversations center on how the people in the relationships are jealous because of a miscommunication or a misuse of ownership.

The concept of having a primary and secondary partner implies a hierarchy of relationships and ownership. If a primary partner feels threatened, the balance of ownership falls apart. And this happens a lot.

This isn’t to say that jealousy and ownership are bad. They are inherent in a monogamous relationship, but once a polyamorous relationship begins, Tallbear emphasizes that there must be a focus on having “good relations” rather than primary and secondary partners. 

There are just too many ways to mess up a polyamorous relationship. People often get into polyamory for the wrong reasons: the thrill of a new relationship, unfulfilled lust, a sudden attraction to someone else, or just plain boredom. If these are your reasons for starting a polyamorous relationship, then you need to reevaluate your current monogomous relationship and maybe break up. For example, if you are sexually unfulfilled, this might not be the relationship for you.

That being said, Western polyamory can definitely function for people. According to a 2014 article from Psychology Today, at least 9.8 million Americans are in a polyamorous relationship. I imagine that the number must have at least doubled by now.

Western polyamory is fine, but I’m advocating for something more like Tallbear’s polyamory: good relations, freedom from being owned by other people, sharing desires and experiences with people, and absolute sexual and romantic liberty. It’s hard, especially for us individualistic Americans, but it’s possible, and it’s the best that polyamory can do.

If you find yourself thinking about polyamory, first think about why you are interested in polyamory. Then, do some research to figure out what kind of polyamory you want to partake in, and, finally, communicate, especially if you are already in a monogamous relationship.


Categories: Colleges
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