This ends now

Manitou Messenger - 9 min 16 sec ago
Over a thousand students, staff, faculty and alumni filled Tomson Hall on Monday, May 1 to protest acts of racist hate speech on campus and demand institutional change at St. Olaf College. After eight known incidents of hate speech – seven reported to Public Safety – during the 2016-17 academic year, subsequent emails from administration and little visible action to combat racism both overt and institutional, A Collective for Change on the Hill presented the St. Olaf administration with a list of demands and “terms and conditions for negotiation” about those demands in order to create a safer and more inclusive campus for all students of color. Public Safety Director Fred Behr emailed students, faculty and staff an update about the College’s investigation into the hate speech incidents. “We are using all the resources at our disposal to find the individuals responsible. This includes reviewing security camera footage, examining records from computers and printers in public spaces, and comparing handwriting samples,” Behr said. “We have potential leads based on this evidence that we are actively pursuing.”After over 8 hours of discussion between students, the Collective and the administration on May 1, President David Anderson ’74 signed the terms, affirming his support to work towards a more inclusive campus. Anderson’s signature indicates a significant step forward for the Collective, however there is still a lot of work to be done before the demands outlined by the Collective will be met.“Everybody wants a win at the end of this day. This is what a win looks like to me,” Anderson said. “The document that was prepared by the Drafting Committee already had reasonable things in it. The [President’s] Leadership Team took a crack at some suggestions that we thought might strengthen it … I’m pretty eager to sign it and send it around.”The President’s Leadership Team is an advisory committee to Anderson, made up of “individuals with considerable responsibilities across the college,” according to Director of Athletic Ryan Bowles. The Tomson sit-in ended after Anderson signed the terms and conditions. The Collective held a meeting for students, faculty and staff of color on campus to share their comments and concerns about the Collective’s next steps. Unlike the protests, this meeting was not live streamed in order to establish a safe space to voice opinions, experiences and ideas.Shortly after the agreed to the terms, Anderson sent an email to St. Olaf parents and alumni noting that he had received and agreed to the document, which in turn fulfilled one of the terms. Anderson reiterated the fact that signing this agreement was just “the first step in a process towards a long-term solution.”Anderson has already shared the document with St. Olaf’s Board of Regents, satisfying another term. The document also requires that “the administration should try to organize [the meeting between A Collective and the Board of Regents] so that it is public. The Board of Regents should be approached by the President’s leadership team to consider the above … This meeting will be open to the public, and streamed online by the Broadcasting Media Services if the consent of the Board is granted.”The Board of Regents oversees the business and affairs of the college. They hold many responsibilities, including appointing the president, awarding tenure to faculty and making changes to the faculty manual. In the hierarchy of St. Olaf College, the Board of Regents sits at the top. The Board will be on campus Thursday, May 4 and A Collective is currently collecting questions for the Board members via a Google document. Other aspects of the terms and conditions of negotiation include the administration's responsibility to draft a response to each demand within 20 days and their joint responsibility with the Drafting Committee to create a Task Force that will act to address each demand. Similar to the Title IX Task Force that was formed last spring to address sexual assault and misconduct on campus, this Task Force will meet over the summer to research each demand and the administration’s response to it.The Tomson Hall sit-in attracted national media attention, including reporters from the Associated Press, the Washington Post and the Star Tribune. Social media also played a large role in the success of the movement. Students livestreamed almost all of the events and alumni and parents were able to connect with students on campus through Facebook, Twitter and email. During a break in the Tomson discussions, Jack Bachmann ’17 called out another student – Ben Braman ’17, for accepting an interview about the sit-in from a local news station and claimed that he heard Braman casually use racial slurs. Bachmann demanded that Braman stop his interview.“It isn’t that hard to direct the press to a Committee member,” Bachmann said. “Whitesplaining is a serious part of what got us here in the first place.”“I agree with Jack that I should not have been the one being interviewed,” Braman said. “It was not my intention to steal the platform from those who actually needed it. While I disagree with Jack’s characterization of me, I understand why he reacted the way he did … I stand in solidarity with The Collective as well as everyone affected by institutional racism.”Conversations about race, allyship, hate speech and institutional racism have extended beyond the protests and into campus life. Many professors have rearranged their syllabi to include discussions about St. Olaf’s racial climate, and students are wondering how they can contribute to creating a more inclusive community.
Categories: Colleges

This ends now cont.

Manitou Messenger - 9 min 16 sec ago
St. Olaf College has had a longstanding problem with racism. According to a Manitou Messenger article published in 1961, a campus wide poll revealed that “one of every three St. Olaf students would rather not room with a Negro,” “over half of us would rather not dance with a Negro” and that “one of every ten thinks that Negro professors should not teach white students.”
Diversity has also been a persistent problem. In 1963, the campus demographics were “over eighty per cent middle-class Lutheran and over ninety-nine and forty-four hundredths percent white.” As an effort to mend what some believed would leave white students “serious holes in their world picture,” the school implemented a plan for six St. Olaf students to attend “Negro colleges in the South” while four students from those colleges would come to St. Olaf. The article noted that Macalester College and Carleton College had already set up similar exchange programs.
This initiative, referred to as the Tuskegee Program, was met with criticism from the student body. This criticism is reflected in an editorial published in 1965 in the Messenger which suggested that, after being exposed to racial disparities in the Southern United States, St. Olaf students were too supportive of civil rights. The article claims that there was “embitterment against the Negro's fight for integration and civil rights among the northern people” and asks “why upset the apple cart?”
The program also met sabotage from within administration. In a Messenger article, black student Leavy “Lee” Oliver ’69, revealed that the St. Olaf administration had been sending letters to students interested in the program condemning Tuskegee. The letters claimed that Tuskegee was a “‘loose’ school and that by allowing their daughters to go there they were risking their daughters ruination.”
Oliver continued by elaborating that many students came back from the program with romantic partners or children and asserted that the administration’s problem wasn’t with these relationships, but that “sole reason for the administration's letter was that the boyfriends, the husbands, the babies, were black.” Oliver continues by calling out that St. Olaf intentionally sabotaged the program in a “blatant perpetuation of racism.”
In 1968, Oliver was elected student body president, and was the first black student to ever take on the role. One of his first moves was for his parliament to recommend a course in “Negro politics” be taught the following year. Also in 1968, Ron Hunter ’70 founded the Cultural Union for Black Expression (CUBE) to “raise awareness of the African-American presence at St. Olaf.” According to a Messenger article, Hunter “summarized some of the feelings of the black students. He also outlined some of their ideas: a section of the library highlighting racial literature, more accredited courses on black history, a week focusing on black culture and more recruitment of black students.”
In the interim of 1969, the first “specifically Negro-oriented courses” were offered, including, “The Negro: A Minority Group in American Society” taught by Dr. LaFrances Rose and “The Negro in American Life: 1865 to the present” taught by Mr. Vattel Rose. Students had varied responses to the courses, with some calling for more and lengthier classes on racial issues. One black student reported "you don't have to have a class to understand attitudes or have a discussion with a black person."
In 1982, a black student named Warren Braden ’85 wrote a piece titled “Racial overtones: A Black at St. Olaf,” describing his experience as a black student at the college. He describes that white students viewed him as a representative of all black people, saying “if I decide to take a bath after 10:00 p.m. one night in my dorm, I would be asked, jokingly or seriously, whether all black people do that, just because I do it.” Others would tell “black jokes,” with Braden describing that “the more jokes they can tell before I get angry, the better; it gives them a feeling of superiority.”
Braden also noted that the national situation made him feel unsafe.
“I am told I am too sensitive to the black issue, but when I go home I see whites killing blacks and getting away with it, in my city and around the world. I come back here after each vacation and wonder if one of the whites here would kill me and know they could get away with it.” Braden wrote.
He continued by acknowledging the pervasiveness of racism.
“There are many racists out there, enough to be recognized, and the racism has become subtle and intellectual. So subtle some do not even know they are racist; others do,” Braden wrote.
Ending his article, Braden talked about the way he was addressed on campus.
“I suppose I should be happy with Negro; that is a big step from n*gger. Some of you might not say that word, but it is written in your eyes and imprinted in mind,” Braden wrote.
Other students from the decade echoed these sentiments, including Bruce Williams ’89, a black student, who said, in 1987, "If I want to make friends here, either I have to not talk about the problems of racism, or find people who are willing to talk about it—which are few.
"In 1989 students of color offered a demonstration against racism on campus, called “Majority rules.” The event was organized by Harambe, an organization named after the Swahili word for unity, which was a “multicultural umbrella group” for students, the Messenger reported. According to a statement from the organization, St. Olaf and "other schools with problems of racism like St. Olaf’s should require a course on racial equality, and hire outside reviewers to solve problems of recruitment and retention.” Harambe leader Jin Kim ’90, also elaborated "this is not only a protest. It is a party given for people of color in the entire MIAC. As students of color on primarily white campuses, we often find ourselves as educators on racism."
There was an effort to continue the conversation in 1995, with a documentary, titled “Can We Talk?” produced by Director Multicultural Affairs & Community Outreach Bill Green ’77, Theater Professor Bill Sonnega and a group of St. Olaf students. The film showcases a diverse group of St. Olaf students talking about race and racism at St. Olaf and was created to be shown to classes and then discussed. However, the film was met with resistance.
“After the film was made, the administration at the time felt that it was potentially too disruptive to screen for the campus,” Sonnega said.
In 2013, mounting opposition to racism at St. Olaf was embodied in a group called “Enough! The new face of St. Olaf College.”
“Over the past year, we have had a dramatic increase in visible hate crimes committed on campus. These are not isolated instances, but indicators of underlying problems at St. Olaf. We strive to be an inclusive community, but for many people St. Olaf is not a comfortable or safe environment,” the group wrote in a letter to President David Anderson ’74, Deans of St. Olaf and the St. Olaf community. “Our mission is to bring attention to the issues on campus, both incidental and institutional, and demand sustainable changes that would have a direct impact for the betterment of the community.”
The post ended with a list of demands, including “mandatory, campus-wide conversation about these issues,” publicization of “changes of policy that directly affect the student body,” a re-evaluation of “the Multicultural-Domestic (MCD) and History of Western Culture (HWC) curricula” and required “training for faculty, staff and administration on the realities of these issues and how to address them in classes and on campus.”
The movement garnered a response from Anderson. "We are having a useful, if challenging, conversation at our college about the nature of our community, our expectations of one another, and the role of the College in fostering a welcoming environment for everyone," Anderson wrote.
The movement also scheduled a walk-out of classes and rally in solidarity at 2:45 on May 1, 2013 in Buntrock Commons, which was well attended by students.

The movement dwindled somewhat until a Facebook post on March 12, 2016, stating “Friends this is Bullsh*t! I dunno if this is what current students want to use. But the struggles of 2013. Are still alive and we have to support the work and efforts of our current students.”
Now, in response to institutionalized racism and a series of seven reported incidences of hate speech in one year, A Collective for Change on the Hill, a group of students representing the larger People of Color community has taken the charge to make institutional change.
On April 24, following an incident of hate speech targeted at a specific student, students gathered for a sit-in in Buntrock Crossroads during the day and a huge meeting in the Link between the Hall of Music and Center for Arts and Dance. Sit-ins in Buntrock Commons continued consistently for the remainder of the week.
Following another incident of targeted hate-speech, the movement staged a large-scale protest on Saturday, April 29. Beginning by creating a blockade in front of the cafeteria at approximately 4:30, the movement expanded to block off the Cage and the Pause and eventually continued to fill up the student area. Protesters came from on and off-campus, including alumni and students from other schools, such as Carleton. President David Anderson was in attendance for part of the event, and was questioned by protesters. The protest continued all night, with many students sleeping in the building and leaving in the morning.
On Monday, May 1, starting at 7:50 a.m. students occupied Tomson Hall with the aim of presenting Anderson with the demands of the movement and getting him to sign an agreement to institute those changes. After much public discussion of the terms and revisions from the movement’s drafting team, the president signed the agreement, retitled the “Terms and Conditions of Negotiation,” agreeing to begin the conditions stipulated within. The details of the agreement and movement can be found on
Categories: Colleges

Toxic racism permeates numerous St. Olaf athletic programs

Manitou Messenger - 9 min 16 sec ago
During the recent outcry against racism at St. Olaf, I received a letter from Mercy Garriga ’18 detailing her decision to resign from the women’s track and field team due to blatant racism and destructive microaggressions condescendingly issued by coaches and players alike, targeting her as well as numerous other St. Olaf athletes of color. The letter, posted below in its unfiltered, unedited entirety, prompted me to launch an ongoing investigation exploring the treatment of students of color in the St. Olaf athletic program. Over the weekend and throughout the protests, I compiled stories detailing some of the devastating racial injustices that have occurred during the past two years, interviewing athletes who have experienced inequality firsthand, and some of their white allies who have witnessed such incidents and feel compelled to promote change. Immediately upon reaching out to the St. Olaf athletic community, I received a plethora of stories and statements that have led me to realize an unsettling truth: boiling underneath the superficial surface of statistics, win-loss records and teammate camaraderie, several St. Olaf athletic organizations have maintained serious racist tendencies among their players and coaches, an ugly trend perpetuated for years without proper identification and amendment.Rudo Nyakanda ’19 and Juliette Emmanuel ’19, like Garriga, are former women’s track and field athletes of color who decided to quit after being burdened with a season’s worth of microaggressions that alienated them from the remainder of the St. Olaf team. “When we joined the cross country and track team last year we had great expectations,” the two said. “However, it took us only a few weeks to realize that the track and field and cross country teams at St. Olaf are not welcoming to people of color, especially black people. It’s weird that in a campus that’s supposed to encourage diversity and in which we all are meant to feel comfortable, we never at any point felt that we belonged to this team or anywhere else around campus. So we decided to quit.”After Garriga voiced her concerns to the coaches, barely any efforts were put forth to educate athletes on the importance of inclusion, aside from a reportedly half-hearted meeting in which the dialogue failed to gain interest or sustain itself following the gathering’s dismissal. This nonchalance prompted Nyakanda to quit – when she vocalized these reasons, her former coaches expressed disappointment in her for not communicating with them beforehand, shifting the responsibility of initiating inclusivity to a student of color rather than taking it upon themselves to do so. This frustrating interaction is merely one of several cases in which coaches have muddled and botched communication with athletes of color, a major factor in Nyakanda and Emmanuel’s resignation.“Countless times, certain coaches wouldn’t encourage me or congratulate me for my personal achievements, but never failed to do so for other athletes around me,” Nyakanda said. “For example, I recall when I won a competition at the U of M, and despite the fact that I was first, my coach never congratulated me, but instead congratulated my other teammate who was in the same race and happened to have a lower performance than mine. We started by boycotting practice, then slowly missed meets, all in the hope that our coaches would notice that something was wrong and do something about it; however, nothing was done and, as always, everybody kept quiet and kept pretending that everything was alright (which, by the way, is a big problem) despite being aware of the situation.”Beyond the rift with the coaching staff, Nyakanda and Emmanuel also experienced microaggressions from their fellow runners, immediately feeling alienated from conversations and events, if not ignored entirely. “Every time during practice, in the locker room or on the cross country and track table, we would not feel welcome, and instead get weird looks that made us feel uncomfortable and different,” Emmanuel said. “In fact, most of them wouldn’t engage in conversation with us. One day during practice, I recall one of my teammates making a very racist joke towards another teammate, saying ‘Oh you look so tanned, should I call you Shaneeka now?’”This inexcusable example of unapologetic racism exposes noticeable and concerning trends among the St. Olaf athletic community. The responsibility lies with the student athletes who initiate these destructive acts with racial slurs and microaggressions. Furthermore, it also rests firmly on the shoulders of complacent coaches who fail to initiate serious action to purge racism from their programs. Currently void of any serious dialogue about or punishment for acts of racism, coaches must be more proactive in educating Ole athletes on microaggressions while enforcing inclusivity at all times with a more discerning and critical eye.“I see opportunities to converse on issues of identity being missed or lost because of a lack of training, acknowledgement and sensitivity in our head coach,” claimed a women’s hockey player who has chosen to remain anonymous. “I believe most student-athletes want to talk about it and desire a change of culture. Yet, racist individuals still exist, both in the department and on my team. A challenge in itself, when it is supposed to be a group of people working towards a common goal in competition.”Alternatively, some St. Olaf athletes of color insist that they have experienced nothing but a warm, welcome community with no discrimination upon joining their respective teams. Take Alden Aaberg ’20, a Japanese-American student running for the men’s track and cross country teams, who has felt included since day one of fall semester.“I’m only a first year, but since I arrived on campus and was introduced to the track and cross teams I have never felt discriminated against in any form, be it microaggressions or blatant racism,” Aaberg said. “My coaches and teammates have made me feel welcome from my very first day here. In fact, I have experienced much less racism here at St. Olaf than I did in high school. I feel that my teammates are all extremely supportive of all people of color.”Aaberg’s perspective is extremely important in forming a well-rounded perception of racism within St. Olaf athletics. This article doesn’t exist to play the blame game, nor should it be interpreted to imply that all Ole athletes and coaches are exclusively, inherently racist – to do so would disregard the positivity and kindness that many white athletes continually display towards people of color. However, we must acknowledge that racism does indeed plague certain athletic organizations, as raising awareness and plainly identifying social injustice is a necessary step towards eliminating it and making way for a better, more inclusive standard of living for future Ole athletes of color.If St. Olaf baseball is any indication, the issues this article focuses on clearly need to be made public. The racism within this organization has run rampant, leading to a discriminatory atmosphere that must be abolished. Players have observed and experienced brutal instances of segregation on top of daily instances of microaggressive behavior towards students of color on the team. Some have chosen to speak out against the toxic politics and culture permeating practices and social events.“Some of  the players have come up to [an athlete of color on the team] and commented on how he looks like David Ortiz,” an anonymous player revealed. “He will say ‘no, I don’t,’ but they would persist. David Ortiz does not look anything like him, the only thing they have in common is that they are two athletes of color. One time, in front of a social gathering, I heard certain baseball players using the N-word, specifically mentioning how they could not use the word anymore because a person of color is now on the team. Our coach even used Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 election as an example of being an ‘underdog’ as motivation while addressing the team.”This is particularly disheartening considering the exponential international growth that baseball has witnessed at the professional level. Some of the most prominent and renowned MLB players grew up outside the United States, from Masahiro Tanaka and Yu Darvish coming from Japan, to Aroldis Chapman and Yoenis Cespedes hailing from Cuba. Adrian Beltre and Robinson Cano are from the Dominican Republic, Miguel Cabrera and Jose Altuve are Venezuelan and Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor are Puerto Rican. Gift Ngoepe just became the first African-born MLB player after debuting with the Pittsburgh Pirates just over a week ago, recording a hit in his first at-bat. Despite being “America’s pastime,” baseball has achieved an extraordinary level of international participation and inclusivity, judging players by their achievements on the field and the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. As a diehard baseball fan, my heart aches to see St. Olaf baseball trending in the opposite direction, heading backwards toward the racial segregation players like Jackie Robinson worked tirelessly to eliminate over 70 years ago. It’s archaic and has no place anywhere in the world, much less on a campus striving for equality.The past week of student activism has been extremely beneficial towards promoting positive change, finally inspiring administration to acknowledge and address the demands of students of color. Yet, a vast measure of work remains to be done. With numerous racist offenses and microaggressions displayed by a noteworthy portion of Ole athletes and the detached, dispassionate responses from athletic coaches who fail to seriously consider and address such matters, St. Olaf athletics would be a great place to start.
This article was updated on May 8, 2017 to include the following statement from Director of Athletics Ryan Bowles.
A sincere thank you to the editors of the Manitou Messenger for providing the athletic department an opportunity to respond to this week's article entitled "Toxic racism permeates numerous St. Olaf athletic programs." I also want to thank all of the writers who contributed to this weeks edition, I can only imagine how challenging that was.
These are challenging times for our community and as we've seen in the before mentioned article, athletics is not isolated from the challenges that are facing all of us. We too have seen these acts of microaggressions and hate within our teams at times. We have been faced with these issues and have addressed them each and every time. Have we been perfect in how we have handled each situation? Not always, but as we've learned this week each of us have room for growth in this space. 
Do I believe that toxic racist behavior permeates our department? Absolutely not. Do I know we have experienced racist acts among our group of students? Yes. And as a result we have dedicated ourselves to being a part of the solution as we move forward. We have the strongest of desires to be one of the vehicles for change on this campus. We have an opportunity and for that I am excited about our future, both as a department and as a campus.
If there is one thing that sports has taught me is that in times of adversity teams, communities and people must come together. Pointing fingers and targeting a group of students, athletes in this particular instance, will not help us move forward. Some athletes have contributed to this problem we are faced with, but all athletes will be a part of the solution. 
Now more then ever we need a sense of Ole Pride - to come together as a community to create an integrated, welcoming environment where students will flourish. 
Again I appreciate the opportunity to offer one voice on this topic and I welcome any discussion moving forward. I can be reached at 
Go Oles!
Categories: Colleges

INBLACK shortens sold-out run to support student protest

Manitou Messenger - 9 min 16 sec ago
INBLACK, St. Olaf’s favorite student-produced sketch comedy group, performed seven shows over the course of three days this past weekend, running from Wednesday, April 26 through Friday, April 29. The group auditioned new members early spring semester. This year, they added fresh faces Christian Conway ’18, Swannie Willstein ’18, Willem Mudde ’17, Laird Vlaming ’17, and Lindsey Bertsch ’19. The group performs 28 sketches in a random order, chosen when the audience yells out color and letter combinations. Audience favorites included sketches “Period Sex” about one couple’s comically different definitions of shaking things up in the bedroom, and  “Lord of the Clay,” depicting former campus celebrity Randy Clay as Gollum from “Lord of the Rings.”By far everyone’s favorite sketch was “Holland Orgy,” which depicted St. Olaf’s Board of Regents getting really f***ed up on drugs before making important decisions for the school. “My favorite to perform was ‘Holland Orgy,’ partly because Grace [Brandt ’17] spit on me several times during that sketch,” Conway said.All eight cast members also offered a monologue, with topics ranging from deeply personal reflection to a brief parkour show. “‘John Doe’ – Swannie’s monologue – was such a powerful, emotional piece,” INBLACK member Sam McIntosh ’19 said. “Moreover it’s well written, and so inspiring to listen to. It’s a really tough, personal topic, and to watch her deliver it with such conviction every time she stood up on stage brought me to tears without fail.”The group also included a sketch that addressed the recent racial tensions on campus.“This was a really hard one for us … we didn’t want to take up space with regards to our feelings on the issue because the voices of students of color were and are so much more important to hear,” McIntosh said. “Two days before the performance, we decided to try a more objective approach by incorporating what we’ve received in the emails, and synthesizing it with information from a blog from 2013 dedicated to chronicling micro-aggressions on campus during that time.”The group was originally scheduled to perform 10 shows, but their Saturday run was cancelled after protesters in support of A Collective for Change on the Hill came to the  Flaten Art Barn to ask the group to join them in the impromptu Buntrock protests. After brief deliberation, the group decided to cancel their shows and encourage their audience to stand in solidarity with students of color. “When students came to the Art Barn to speak and disrupt campus life, we went with them,” McIntosh said. “Our decision to cancel was completely inconsequential in comparison to what the movement accomplished.”Conway echoed McIntosh’s statement.“It was more important to be part of that and to be in support of that … we do not regret the decision at all, we felt that it was the right thing to do.”Right now, the group doesn’t have plans to reschedule the missing shows. “We’re not going to reschedule,” Conway said. “Partly because we don’t want to distract campus from all of the things happening and the important conversations.”
Categories: Colleges

The importance of inclusivity in the theater

Manitou Messenger - 9 min 16 sec ago
I think most of us have heard the sentiments that art, now more than ever in the midst of Donald Trump’s presidency, must and should respond to racial discrimination. However, we do no know exactly what that response might look like. Though I cannot speak definitively on the issue, based on recent events on campus, I would like to propose a response.Before considering this response, it is vital to contextualize the state of the theater arts. Under-representation of marginalized groups is present in the contemporary theater and it promotes institutional oppression. This is a truth, not an opinion. It also promotes individual oppression by staging stories almost exclusively about white, cishet, middle-class America, thus further marginalizing disadvantaged groups and creating perceptions of the theater as an art form meant for white cishet people. Theatrical performance possesses so much political power. It is an immense privilege to stand on a stage in front of an audience who has committed its time to listen and see whatever the performer offers. That sort of live platform does not occur frequently in routine life apart from political platforms, and truly powerful politically minded theater often creates the same atmosphere inspired in rallies and protests.It is the duty of the contemporary theater to use this political power to dismantle the institutional oppression inherent in its current structure, as well as to work against the individual oppression to which it has contributed.How might this be accomplished? Expressed simply, the stage and proverbial spotlight must be offered freely to disadvantaged peoples of different races, sexual orientations, economic levels, gender orientations, other physical and mental abilities, etc. The operative word here is “freely.” Contemporary theater must allow these marginalized groups to determine the how, when, where and why for these stories, to prevent tokenization and tone policing. Then contemporary theater must listen and engage with these stories, magnifying marginalized voices to be as loud as possible.It is through this engagement with true diversity that the American public will fight individual and institutional oppression.Now, does this mean that white cishet voices should not be heard in the contemporary theater? At this point, I am honestly not sure. Though it might seem personally unfair, if one considers the fact that theater, up to this point in history, has been almost entirely created and presented by white cishet people (mostly men), then it does not seem unreasonable to give the stage to others.Theater can be used for so much more than telling the slightly entertaining but ultimately forgettable stories of privileged people. It has the potential to tell the stories of those who experience oppression in our society, and that should be the contemporary theater’s proper business.
Categories: Colleges

Weeping White Spruce

Weeping White Spruce

Our weeping white spruce stands sentinel in our hillside display bed. Beyond it, the sugar maples have accepted the end of summer, and lost their luster. The beginning of their showy transformation is at hand, and the deep green of the weeping white spruce makes that all the more obvious. The graceful strength of the weeping white spruce creates a unique and interesting architecture! Its weeping branches of blue green needles fall elegantly from its strong, straight trunk. These branches create layers of dense evergreen needles, perfect for songbirds to take cover and nest.

Plant them alone as a single specimen or in small groups in varied heights to give your planting a natural feel. Weeping white spruce beautifully lends itself to wind breaks and screening.  Their weeping habit keeps branch breakage from heavy snows to a minimum!  Their mature size of 20-30′ tall and 4-6′ wide accommodates landscapes, yards and sites where a standard spruce would be too large. Plant them in full sun and well drained soil. Once established, they can handle drier conditions.

The post Weeping White Spruce appeared first on Knecht's Nurseries & Landscaping.

Categories: Businesses

The Important Work of Caregivers

Laura Baker Services Association - Thu, 09/21/2017 - 8:52pm

Our team of caregivers is exceptional. A recent piece by Evan Frost of MPR News, ‘Where God is’: Caring for disabled brings struggles, joys, reiterates the important work of those who help people with disabilities fulfill their dreams. In light of the recent Graham-Cassidy bill, it also sheds light on Medicaid’s important role in providing the best care possible.

Read the Story

The post The Important Work of Caregivers appeared first on Laura Baker Services Association.

Categories: Organizations

Students lead rally on International Day of Peace

Northfield News - Thu, 09/21/2017 - 7:30pm
Community members of all ages rallied together Thursday evening Bridge Square to celebrate International Day of Peace and to show their support for a peaceful future across the globe.
Categories: Local News

Subscription allows district to cut its carbon footprint

Northfield News - Thu, 09/21/2017 - 5:30pm
Northfield School District plans to reduce its carbon footprint over the next 10 years.
Categories: Local News

Knights move up in the national rankings

Carleton Sports - Thu, 09/21/2017 - 1:57pm

After impressive finishes at the St. Olaf Invitational, both the men's and women's cross country teams moved up eight spots in the latest USTFCCCA national rankings.

Categories: Colleges

Superintendent makes case for district referendum to business leaders

Northfield News - Thu, 09/21/2017 - 1:07pm
Northfield's business community will feel the impact as much, if not more, than any group in town, if voters pass a $109 million building bond project and increased operating levy come November.
Categories: Local News

Council ok’s concept design for downtown street projects; NH&C re-branding complete; 15th Nfld International Day of Peace includes a young leader

KYMN Radio - Thu, 09/21/2017 - 12:02pm

On a 4 to 2 vote, the Northfield City Council approved design concepts for the 2018 street projects in downtown.  After over an hour of discussion and hearing from 5 residents and business owners, they chose to accept a combination concept that supports the “Complete Streets” designs.  That includes a raised intersection at Division st.

The post Council ok’s concept design for downtown street projects; NH&C re-branding complete; 15th Nfld International Day of Peace includes a young leader appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Great turnout and input in Albert Lea last night

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Thu, 09/21/2017 - 11:28am

Albert Lea, MN — Last night was the Dept. of Commerce information meeting where Commerce collected comments concerning (love alliteration, eh?) the Draft Site Permit it’s putting together for the Freeborn Wind Project.

For the Public Utilities Commission docket on this project, go HERE and then search for docket 17-410.

Before heading over to the meeting, I filed this Motion for Certification and Petition for Task Force and Scientific Advisory Task Force.  Because this is the first contested case for a wind project siting docket in Minnesota, and because we’re operating under Minn. R. ch. 1405 Power Plant Siting Act for procedure, and because the wind siting chapter, Minn. Stat. 216F, specifically exempts wind from MOST of the Power Plant Siting Act, but specifically not 216E.08 which authorizes Task Forces, and most importantly, because there are material issues of fact about which Task Forces could help build the record, this is oh-so-important.  Let’s get going on it!

The place was packed, and many more came in after I took this photo, it was standing room only.

And folks didn’t come only for the treats (great treats by the way, especially for this camper working in an office in the woods!).  One man was very upset early on, jumping in during Rich Davis’ presentation, riled because he did not get notice about this project until it had already been applied for.  This is a legitimate issue, and because there was no Certificate of Need, there was no legal requirement that notice be provided until after the application had been accepted as complete.  He stormed out, not wanting to sit through all the “blah-blah” at the front end of this meeting (it did go on and on and on).

Rich Davis’ presentation did include some process explanation that was more specific about what comprises a contested case than that provided by PUC’s Mike Kaluzniak (the latest “Public Advisor” quit, and they’re looking for someone again).  They never want to talk about “Intervention” and explain how people can become parties and when the deadline is to decide and file.  They didn’t talk about the public comment period after the public hearing or include that in the powerpoint.  They didn’t talk about the opportunity to file exceptions to the report of the Administrative Law Judge.  etc… GRRRRRRR. And because this case is an odd one, the first contested case for wind, we’re in need of procedural guidance, what there is, and there is much that is known and which needs to be disclosed.

The Association of Freeborn County Landowners was there, filled the room, and did a tremendous job.  Very specific comments, most with documents supporting their comments.  Like wow, for the first time out the gate, very impressive.  Keep up the good work!

Here’s the handout I’d passed around:

How 2 Comment on the Freeborn Wind Project COMMENTS ARE DUE OCTOBER 9, 2017

Comments by mail or email – again, due by 4:30 October 9, 2017:

Richard Davis           

MN Dept of Commerce

85 7th Place East, Suite 500

St. Paul, MN 55101-2198

Or better yet, eFile in PUC’s eDockets system so everyone can see and consider your comment (otherwise they end up in a big long bundle of a pdf with everyone else’s comments), again, due 4:30 October 9, 2017:      

Register:  Registration is easy and fast. Then follow prompts to eFile!

What was best about last night’s meeting is that the comments were specific and on point.  I have 17 pages of notes, single spaced, and close to carpal tunnel from writing it all.  Way to go, folks!!  Meeting minutes will be posted on the Commerce site sometime soon, and I’ll post.

Also, soon the ALJ’s Scheduling Order/First Prehearing Order will be issued, and I’ll also post the official schedule here.


Also, although in 1995 the legislature specifically exempted wind siting from the Power Plant Siting Act, some sections DO apply, including the criteria for siting, now Minn. Stat. 216E.03, Subd. 7:

Subd. 7.Considerations in designating sites and routes.

(a) The commission’s site and route permit determinations must be guided by the state’s goals to conserve resources, minimize environmental impacts, minimize human settlement and other land use conflicts, and ensure the state’s electric energy security through efficient, cost-effective power supply and electric transmission infrastructure.

(b) To facilitate the study, research, evaluation, and designation of sites and routes, the commission shall be guided by, but not limited to, the following considerations:

(1) evaluation of research and investigations relating to the effects on land, water and air resources of large electric power generating plants and high-voltage transmission lines and the effects of water and air discharges and electric and magnetic fields resulting from such facilities on public health and welfare, vegetation, animals, materials and aesthetic values, including baseline studies, predictive modeling, and evaluation of new or improved methods for minimizing adverse impacts of water and air discharges and other matters pertaining to the effects of power plants on the water and air environment;

(2) environmental evaluation of sites and routes proposed for future development and expansion and their relationship to the land, water, air and human resources of the state;

(3) evaluation of the effects of new electric power generation and transmission technologies and systems related to power plants designed to minimize adverse environmental effects;

(4) evaluation of the potential for beneficial uses of waste energy from proposed large electric power generating plants;

(5) analysis of the direct and indirect economic impact of proposed sites and routes including, but not limited to, productive agricultural land lost or impaired;

(6) evaluation of adverse direct and indirect environmental effects that cannot be avoided should the proposed site and route be accepted;

(7) evaluation of alternatives to the applicant’s proposed site or route proposed pursuant to subdivisions 1 and 2;

(8) evaluation of potential routes that would use or parallel existing railroad and highway rights-of-way;

(9) evaluation of governmental survey lines and other natural division lines of agricultural land so as to minimize interference with agricultural operations;

(10) evaluation of the future needs for additional high-voltage transmission lines in the same general area as any proposed route, and the advisability of ordering the construction of structures capable of expansion in transmission capacity through multiple circuiting or design modifications;

(11) evaluation of irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources should the proposed site or route be approved; and

(12) when appropriate, consideration of problems raised by other state and federal agencies and local entities.

(c) If the commission’s rules are substantially similar to existing regulations of a federal agency to which the utility in the state is subject, the federal regulations must be applied by the commission.

(d) No site or route shall be designated which violates state agency rules.

(e) The commission must make specific findings that it has considered locating a route for a high-voltage transmission line on an existing high-voltage transmission route and the use of parallel existing highway right-of-way and, to the extent those are not used for the route, the commission must state the reasons.

This is the criteria that we need to focus on when presenting issues, testimony, comments, briefs and exceptions to the ALJ’s report.

More coming soon!  In the meantime, it’s time to break camp and head out!  Myre-Big Island is a great park. Though the bathroom/showers at the Big Island campground suck, they’re superb at the other campground in the park (White Fox). Yes, posted a campground review, inquiring minds need to know where the good state park bathrooms are!

Here’s the view right across the road night before last, the site is fronting the lake:

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