Blogosphere

Niederman, Bayzaee concede from race for SGA President, Vice President — Nelson, Paredes left unopposed

Manitou Messenger - Mon, 04/12/2021 - 7:14pm

Student Government Association (SGA) President and Vice President candidates Hannah Niederman ’23 and Maddy Bayzaee ’23 formally conceded from the race for SGA’s highest positions at tonight’s candidate forum. The pair stepped out of the race on the condition that Andy Nelson ’23 and Michael Paredes ’22, the only opposing candidates, agree to work to fulfill a list of demands put forward by Niederman and Bayzaee.

A full list of demands can be found at the end of this article.

The race for President and Vice President is now uncontested ahead of the school wide election on Friday. Coordinator positions for Volunteer Network (VN), Diversity Initiatives Support Committee (DISC) and Political Awareness Committee (PAC) remain as contested races.

 The Olaf Messenger caught up with both candidate pairs following Monday night’s forum.

“Maddy and I are both super involved on the campus for this year and even increasing our involvement for next year, and one of the things that we realized is that the time commitment and the level at which you have to commit to SGA is something that we just could not emotionally or time-wise handle,” Niederman said. “We wanted to be honest with ourselves and honest with everyone that would be voting for us or even thinking about our candidacy, and that’s part of the reason that we chose to make this agreement with Michael and Andy.”

“We really wanted to make sure that the public knew where we were at, and that we were conceding the election to Andy and Michael and that the demands were public so that they can be held accountable,” Bayzaee said. “I hope that they’re published in this article so that the student body can see and recognize whether or not Michael and Andy are sticking to their promise. And please know this is not the last of Hannah and Maddy. We will be making noise.”

 Nelson and Paredes also provided comment to the Messenger following Niederman and Bayzaee’s concession.

 “I was surprised to say the least. I’m really enthusiastic and excited for what’s to come though,” Nelson said.

 “I like to see that the St. Olaf camaraderie spirit is still very much alive,” Paredes said. “I’m glad to have ran against Hannah and Maddy, and I look forward to being able to work with Hannah and Maddy in the future. So very, very shocking news but very happy outcome.”

The full list of demands presented to Nelson and Paredes by Niederman and Bayzaee:

  • Expansion of the power of BORSC with the ultimate goal of having a student voting member of the Board of Regents as a goal for the next few years and a staff member on the BOR as soon as possible
  • Be 100% in support of immediate divestment, advocating directly with admin while supporting CJC’s goals
    • Work to ensure transparency with the Capital Investment Fund, with expense receipts
  • Supporting the unionization of BonApp
  • Supporting the new programming working group and engaging in a renewed focus on increasing election participation
  • Integrate goals of the taskforce to confront structural racism into SGA goals
  • Maintaining BIPOC faculty and staff as a top priority
  • Helping to create a new protest policy/supporting the working group
    • Students should not have to get their protests approved
  • Instituting a week zero compost training 
  • Prioritizing mental health and disability advocacy by working to secure TimelyCare for at least 2021-2022, if not making it a permanent part of Olaf services
    •  Additionally working with establishing either a disability advocacy senator, or consulting with the office of DAC
  • Working with SIRC and/or interfaith fellows to adapt the campus to be religiously inclusive with a focus on ensuring religiously inclusive caf options
  • Making sure senators are accountable to BIPOC constituents, with accountability check-ins
  • Welcoming the voices of student activists openly and honestly”

 

Coverage of the SGA election is ongoing.

stroth2@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

A regional approach to water, soil conservation gets local backing

Northfield News - Mon, 04/12/2021 - 6:00pm
While it’s just getting off the ground, a new collaboration is set to unite the region around efforts to make needed improvements to area water quality and soil health.
Categories: Local News

Knowledge Bowl team overcomes adversity, captures state championship

Northfield News - Mon, 04/12/2021 - 4:42pm
A promising Knowledge Bowl season was cut short last year for Northfield High School last spring following the onset of COVID-19.
Categories: Local News

Lippert gives details on House DFL budget; Rice County set to re-open courthouse; More people eligible for vaccinations at NH&C

KYMN Radio - Mon, 04/12/2021 - 12:02pm
By Rich Larson, News Director As the second half of the legislative session gets into full swing, budget talks are beginning to get a little more serious. With proposals already introduced by the Governor and the GOP caucuses, the House DFL has finally released its budget proposal. Representative Todd Lippert said the details of the

The Norway Spruce

Oft overlooked, never disappointing, Norway spruce is an old standby. A reliable, large evergreen that thrives in our cold climate. What the humble Norway lacks in high ornamental value, it makes up for in easy care and a fast growth rate. 

One of the fastest growing spruce we carry, Norway spruce is an excellent choice for areas that could use a mighty evergreen presence. They’re a superb choice for windbreaks, screens, and hedges in large-scale landscapes.

Young trees have a pleasing Christmas tree form that is great for winter decorating. Later on, the branches develop a graceful, pendulous habit and the bark shows a unique grey-brown flake. A mature Norway can grow to 60 feet tall or more and 30 feet wide.

More to Love about Norway Spruce

Norway spruce display good disease resistance. This is, hands down, one of their best characteristics, especially if you’ve encountered evergreen diseases in your landscape.  

Norway spruce are deer resistant. The rigid needles make them less attractive to deer looking for a tasty meal, making them an excellent choice for areas with heavy deer populations.

Norways are relatively undemanding. Their shallow, lateral root systems transplant well, and they adapt to most soils as long as there is adequate drainage and they receive regular water while getting established. Plant them in full sun to maintain denser form and ensure they grow with good vigor.

This is a fast-growing spruce with a large footprint, so pick the planting site accordingly. A small front yard isn’t adequate to accommodate a mature Norway; but a large, open area on the property is an ideal place to let these trees grow to their full potential.

Has it been a while since you’ve planted a tree? Take a look at our tree planting video for a quick refresher.

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

Categories: Businesses

Growing Lilies in Containers

My Northern Garden - Mary Schier - Mon, 04/12/2021 - 9:45am

I started growing lilies in containers out of pure frustration. I had planted some gorgeous orange-red lilies I’d gotten from the MSHS Bulb Sale in my garden borders. Every time the bulbs stems or leaves popped up, a rabbit was there to munch it down—for a couple of years, I never saw a bloom. Then, ... Read More about Growing Lilies in Containers

The post Growing Lilies in Containers appeared first on My Northern Garden.

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Categories: Citizens

Compost workshop: Compost Communication

City of Northfield Calendar - Mon, 04/12/2021 - 9:40am
Event date: April 12, 2021
Event Time: 07:00 PM - 08:00 PM

Senator Rich Draheim on Federal and State Budgets

KYMN Radio - Mon, 04/12/2021 - 9:04am
State Senator Rich Draheim discusses the federal budget and state budget bills.

Writing

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Mon, 04/12/2021 - 1:30am

“Graham Greene was an almost eerily disciplined writer. He could write in the middle of wars, the Mau Mau uprising, you name it. And he wrote, quite strictly, five hundred words per day, in a little notebook he kept in his chest pocket. He counted the words, and at five hundred he stopped, even, his […]

The post Writing appeared first on Untethered Dog.

Categories: Citizens

Vacunas disponibles y leyes para el control de armas

KYMN Radio - Sun, 04/11/2021 - 4:52pm
Sigue la vacunación en Minnesota y en todo Estados Unidos, casi a contra reloj para evitar mayores contagios del coronavirus por culpa de las diferentes cepas del virus. El nuevo gobierno de Biden lanza propuestas de ley para el mejor control de las armas en Estados en tiempos de grandes masacres por todo el país.

Supreme Court to hear convicted dealer's claim that sentence doesn't fit crime

Northfield News - Sun, 04/11/2021 - 4:15pm
The Minnesota Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of a Faribault man who unsuccessfully sought to have his guilty plea withdrawn.
Categories: Local News

Principals deliver stinging rebuke of systemtic inequities, call for change

Northfield News - Sun, 04/11/2021 - 3:45pm
Two Northfield Public Schools leaders on Thursday night delivered stinging descriptions of what they say are systemic societal inequities and offered solutions to tackling the issue.
Categories: Local News

Cartoon: Schrodinger’s mailbox

Carletonian - Sun, 04/11/2021 - 12:49pm
Categories: Colleges

In photos: Carleton administers over 300 doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Carletonian - Sun, 04/11/2021 - 12:35pm

Some members of the Carleton community received the COVID-19 vaccine outside the Great Hall this week. Carleton has administered over 300 vaccinations in the past two weeks after receiving two shipments of the Moderna vaccine from the state of Minnesota, according to an April 7 email from Dean of Student Carolyn Livingston. Carleton’s vaccination efforts are proceeding according to the priority groups designed by the state. Meanwhile, many students have secured their own vaccine appointments at pharmacies throughout southeastern Minnesota after the state opened eligibility to all individuals 18 or older on Tuesday, March 30.

The post In photos: Carleton administers over 300 doses of COVID-19 vaccine appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Seven catalytic converter thefts overnight at Carleton

Carletonian - Sun, 04/11/2021 - 12:34pm

On Tuesday, March 16, Andrew Fitch ’21 was preparing to pack up his 2001 Honda Accord, which was parked in the Laird Stadium Parking Lot.  “I had finished all my finals, so I was getting ready to drive home for spring break, and that’s when I discovered it,” he said. 

Fitch was unsure what was wrong at first.  “I called my uncle, he’s a mechanic.  This was the day after the snowstorm too, so I was crawling around in the snow, trying to get photos.  And eventually I found a piece of metal under the car that looked like it had been cut.”  He also noticed a loud revving noise when the vehicle was started.  

The cause: underneath the car, the catalytic converter, an exhaust emissions-control device, had been stolen.  The removal can take less than a minute and the precious metals it contains—platinum, palladium and rhodium—are often sold for up to $2,500 an ounce, fueling a black market in stolen car parts. 

This theft was just one of a slew of recent incidents.  A March 17 Security Alert notified campus that “[o]ver the last two weeks, Carleton students have reported six incidents of theft or attempted theft of catalytic converters from vehicles.”  Since then, Director of Security and Emergency Management John Bermel said they received one additional report on March 19.  

Fitch took his vehicle down to Valley Autohaus in Northfield, since they were in network for his insurance.  “You’re still able to drive cars after their catalytic converters have been stolen, you just have to be careful, you don’t want to drive on the freeway or drive it that fast,” he said. 

The replacement took two days and, except for the deductible, the $2,400 cost was covered by insurance.  Chris Eschen at Valley Autohaus said that in the last couple of months they have replaced around ten converters.  “I think all but one have been Toyota Priuses,” he added.   

Toyota Priuses are targeted because, as hybrid vehicles, their converters are used less frequently to process pollutants, meaning they are less likely to corrode, therefore retaining the precious metals’ value.  Bermel added that Hondas are also frequent targets because their converters are “easy to access” and “less worn out.”

Using their video system, Carleton Security Services identified a “black four-door vehicle” around 3 a.m. the Monday night before Fitch and others found their converters stolen.  Currently, officers are “working closely with Northfield Police on these thefts” and “conducting focused patrols of our parking lots.” 

The larger issue that remains to be solved: there is a market for precious metals, and catalytic converters are in high demand.  The numbers of swiped catalytic converters have also been rising in the Twin Cities and around the country.  As of March 23, St. Paul has had nearly 500 thefts and Minneapolis nearly 400 since the start of 2021, double what was recorded at the same time last year

Northfield Chief of Police Chris Elliott said that “currently there’s a bill in the [State] legislature, Senate File 890, that puts more restrictions on scrap metal purchasers.”  The bill, introduced on March 26, would make it illegal for scrap metal dealers to purchase from anyone besides a bona fide automobile repair shop, automobile recycling facility or other person who can provide evidence of legitimate removal – thereby taking stolen converters out of the equation.   

If you suspect that your catalytic converter has been tampered with or stolen, or notice suspicious individuals, you can help by reporting it to Security Services (507-222-4444) or the Northfield Police (911). 

The post Seven catalytic converter thefts overnight at Carleton appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

“We need you to help this fight:” students protest Line 3

Carletonian - Sun, 04/11/2021 - 12:33pm

On March 25, Indigenous water protectors and allies staged a direct action protest at a Line 3 construction site in Hubbard County, Minnesota. More than 10 Carleton students were involved in the protest, including four students who locked down to prevent construction and were among the 26 protesters arrested.

Line 3 is a pipeline proposed by Enbridge Energy in 2014 that, if completed, will run from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin. Construction on the pipeline began last November after the final federal permit for the project was approved, although Enbridge faces legal challenges from environmental and Indigenous groups. 

Carleton students’ participation in the action against Line 3 is part of their ongoing mobilization for climate justice.

What did the March 25 protest look like?

Protesters walked onto an active Line 3 construction site mid-morning. Seven Indigenous water protectors from five different nations prayed inside of a waaginogaan—a dome-shaped Anishinaabe prayer structure—while non-Indigenous allies locked down to each other in a ring around the structure. Locking down is a method protesters use to secure themselves to each other or to pieces of equipment in order to make it difficult for police to remove them from the scene.

The Indigenous prayer and ceremony that formed the center of the action set a powerful atmosphere for the protest.

“Even though I was not arrested, it was a really intense experience overall,” said Liora Newman ’23, who was on the side of the road until police arrived and gave a dispersal order. “There was this really somber air throughout the whole thing.”

Natalie Marsh ’21, one of the students locked down, described “an environment of stillness and silence and holding space for the gravity of what was going on there, and what has been going on this whole time that the pipeline is being built.” 

Marsh, Anna Schumacher ’21, Maya Stovall ’23 and Avery Reyes Beattie ’24 were arrested on charges of trespassing, unlawful assembly and, for some of them, obstructing legal process. The arrested protesters were kenneled, strip-searched and shackled at Hubbard County Jail. 

“The entire arrest and jailing portion was, I mean, designed to be demoralizing, and to take every inch of your will,” said Schumacher. Nonetheless, Stovall described feeling “really, really supported” by the networks of people in solidarity with the Line 3 movement.

Why direct action?

“The idea of direct action is to target the process that is causing the problem you’re trying to fight (in this case climate injustice) directly, as opposed to relying on a political or structural authority to solve the problem for you,” said Aashutosha Lele ’23, one of the students involved. 

Nonviolent direct actions against Line 3 have been occurring since construction on the pipeline began. The actions are intended to delay construction and/or to cause Enbridge to lose money: “The eventual hope is that construction will be either delayed long enough for some kind of political process to catch up and stop it, or that it will become financially unviable for Enbridge to continue construction,” Lele explained.

All of the students interviewed emphasized the necessity of direct action in the fight against Line 3. “As we’ve seen in so many movements in the past, what do you do when the state fails you? You take action yourself,” Newman said, citing examples of direct action protests throughout U.S. history.

The need for direct action has also been seen in other pipeline fights, Lele said. “The political process usually doesn’t work, or it works too late, like in the case of the Dakota Access Pipeline: many, many people sued the company building it… and then eventually won that court case, but by that time the pipeline was already built.”

Stovall said, “I think a lot of the time when we think of direct action we think of arrest and jail because it’s something we’re conditioned to be really afraid of, but I want to point out that our acts, especially in support of Indigenous prayer on their own treaty lands, are acts of necessity.”

Why is the fight against Line 3 important?

“I’m here to honor our original instructions, which is to care and be stewards of the land,” Ishkwaazhe Shane McSauby, a member of the Grand Traverse Band and one of those arrested at the March 25 protest, said in a Facebook post. “We’re on the verge of ecological devastation.”

Tara Houska, another protester and member of Couchiching First Nation, similarly said, “I’m taking these actions that so many before me have taken because we have to give voice to the voiceless, and we’re not going to achieve change comfortably. The world is on fire, the youth are literally fighting for their futures; we have to listen to those who are young who are telling us we have to change and we have to change now.”

Marsh referred to Line 3 as “an incredibly destructive project on the level of climate change—it will create the level of emissions equivalent to 50 coal plants once it’s running.”

Schumacher, who grew up in northern Minnesota, expressed the dissonance she has witnessed in those in the area who support the pipeline. “I know so many people whose lives are centered around how they recreate on the land, how they live off the land,” said Schumacher. 

“And the thing is, if you’ve ever been up to northern Minnesota, it’s all water. When there’s a spill—and there will be a spill, because every pipeline spills—that’s not coming out,” said Schumacher.

Chen emphasized that not only are Indigenous peoples an oppressed group both in the U.S. and around the world, but that the “climate chaos created predominantly in higher classes in the West is unevenly distributed onto already oppressed people, particularly Indigenous people, but really all oppressed people,” said Chen. “That puts into perspective how we ought to leverage our privilege.”

“Even though we feel kind of removed from the people who are suffering the worst effects of this, you know, we’re not insulated from climate chaos. And we’re suffering under these oppressive systems as well,” said Chen.

While Enbridge cites economic incentives for the pipeline, such as increasing job numbers and stimulating the local economy, “because the majority of the workers come from out of state, most of those jobs are temporary, and only 20 of them are permanent,” Chen said.  

Demand for limited resources is embedded in Line 3’s construction, Schumacher says. “As we’ve run out of oil in more accessible areas, the fossil fuel industry has expanded into even more remote or protected areas to extract as much oil as possible.”

“It’s become an incredibly unprofitable endeavor… That is oil that Enbridge will not be making money off of for 60 years if the pipeline is built,” said Schumacher. “Someone described [the fight against] Line 3 as the last nail in the coffin of the fossil fuel industry.”

Reyes Beattie expressed the urgency of stopping Line 3: “This pipeline is 50% of the way built already, and this fight is happening right now, it’s not going to be happening in a year and a half. We’re at a very critical juncture.”

Carls Against Line 3’s Call to Action

Students at Carleton organized as Carls Against Line 3 will continue to engage with the Line 3 movement in various ways this term, including bringing people up north. 

“To any student reading this, we need you to help this fight and to help stop this pipeline. We need you to help stop this pipeline!” repeated Stovall. “The time is NOW. It’s halfway built [and] they’re going to be building it more in the summer.”Students interested in Carls Against Line 3 can email Avery Reyes Beattie for more information. “It can be kind of scary and intimidating to come into a space of people who […] seem very radical or more experienced than you, but all of us are on our own journeys, and we all learn collectively as a group,” said Chen. There is also information about where to donate, what media to follow and how to learn more about Line 3 at https://linktr.ee/stopline3.

The post “We need you to help this fight:” students protest Line 3 appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Carleton bids farewell to three art professors

Carletonian - Sun, 04/11/2021 - 12:32pm

Behind the thick glass doors of the Perlman Art Museum is a tribute to three longtime art professors—Fred Hagstrom, Daniel Bruggeman and Linda Rossi—who are retiring from Carleton at the end of this year. The exhibit, “Chronologia,” shows various works from each of their careers and highlights the impact they have had on the Carleton community. It will run through April 25.

The exhibit has pieces in a range of media. Large, colorful woodcut prints from Hagstrom, watercolors of landscapes from Bruggeman, and photographs and startlingly tall tree branch sculptures from Rossi.

Fred Hagstrom, the Rae Schupack Nathan Professor of Art, began as a part-time professor in 1984. Eventually transitioning to a full-time position, he will be finishing out his 37th year. He teaches drawing, printmaking and book arts (like book-binding).

Before coming to Carleton, Hagstrom completed his undergraduate degree at Hamline University, with a year spent at the University of Chicago. He then continued on to graduate school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. However, two years into school, he decided to spend a year in Paris, working with an established printmaker, Stanley William Hayter.

Explaining his decision, he said, “I felt that if I traveled and met people, had time in museums, I might know better what I was doing.” Upon his return to the United States, he completed his graduate degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After a year of teaching at the Cleveland Institute of Art, he came to Carleton.

Fred Hagstrom, Rae Schupack Nathan Professor of Art.
Photo by Jeremy Fong.

Daniel Bruggeman, Senior Art Lecturer, has taught drawing at Carleton since 2002. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, enrolling originally as an education major, but switching to art in his third year. However, he continued learning about education, doing student-teaching while he earned his degree. He said this was helpful for his later career as an art teacher, because “it helped me think about lesson planning and the arc of the overall term and things like that.”

After finishing college in Nebraska, Bruggeman went to New York with the intention of staying for one year and getting involved with the art scene. However, Bruggeman liked New York so much that he stayed for ten years, meeting his wife and starting his family there. Later, hoping for a quieter life, he and his wife moved out to Northfield where he soon began working at Carleton as a visiting lecturer.

Daniel Bruggeman, Senior Art Lecturer.
Photo courtesy of Carleton College.

Linda Rossi, Professor of Art and Art History, has taught at Carleton since 2001. Although this is her twentieth year at Carleton, she has been teaching for a total of 45 years. Rossi teaches a variety of photography courses focused on darkroom and digital photography. 

Rossi received her undergraduate degree in painting and drawing at the University of Minnesota, and her graduate degree in photography at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. She worked as an installation artist and then transitioned to teaching.

She has taught in many different places, including but not limited to London, Philadelphia and Minneapolis. She said she has always “desired to travel and explore the world and have all kinds of subjects ahead of me to research and look at.”

Although art was an important part of the professors’ lives, they didn’t all originally consider teaching. Hagstrom said while in college, he wasn’t thinking in terms of a career; only after did he realize he “had so much appreciation for college that I wanted some way to be a part of a college.”

Rossi originally aspired to be a magician as a child. But when she began photography, “that’s where the marriage of magic and the arts came together in a very interesting way for me.”

Linda Rossi, Professor of Art and Art History.
Photo courtesy of Carleton College.

Along with the contributions they have made on campus, all three professors have led off-campus programs. Hagstrom consistently led a trip to the South Pacific every other year since 1996. Places visited included Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands.

Bruggeman led an off-campus program to New York. Despite having lived there for many years, he said about the trip, “Taking fifteen or eighteen kids to that city especially, is terrifying!”

Similarly, Rossi has led a few off-campus programs. Twice over winter break, she took students to Hawaii and vividly remembered night diving with them to photograph manta rays. She said, “You could hear them [the students] all screaming underwater. It was thrilling.”

Between teaching and off-campus trips, the professors have greatly impacted students. Isabel Arevalo ’21, a studio art major, said of Hagstrom, “He lets students experiment a lot. He emphasizes being very disciplined and exact but he also gives you a lot to explore. He finds a dynamic approach to art in a pretty non-traditional way.”

Likewise, Hagstrom appreciates the time he has spent at Carleton and the people he’s met, saying, “I feel lucky to have been here…I’ve met a lot of very interesting people and had experiences that I would have never thought to have.”

Eleanor Jensen ’01, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art, commented on the special learning environment Bruggeman creates, saying, “He’s a very energetic teacher and I think that that is very engaging for students. He’s very positive and excited and brings that into the classroom.”

Bruggeman noted that he has greatly enjoyed working at Carleton, saying, “I think it’s made me a better teacher and probably a better artist to be here.”

Rossi has enjoyed building relationships with students. She said, “I really like the act of teaching, the sharing of ideas and possibilities, and the work with students and their imaginations.”

Maris Daleo ’21, a senior studio art major, said she really liked taking experimental photography with Rossi because “she wanted you to explore on your own and she was more a form of guidance” and that “she really cultivated a good atmosphere in the classroom where you got to know everyone and work together.”

After retirement, Hagstrom and his wife have plans to move out to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. He plans to set up an art studio and continue his artwork, because, he said, “I think in art you don’t really stop doing it.”

Bruggeman doesn’t like to think of himself as retiring; as he put it, “I’m not really retiring; I’m going to continue to make art.” Besides his artwork, he hopes to travel with his wife to many places, but especially to Costa Rica to see his grandchildren. 

Despite his retirement, Bruggeman will continue to have a presence on Carleton’s campus. He plans on helping out with a summer high school art program at Carleton, and an OCS program in Europe focused on architectural studies.

Rossi plans on continuing to make art, especially some projects focused on family stories and memoirs, but also hopes to travel and see her children more.

Jensen spoke about the future of the Studio Art Department, saying a photography professor has been hired to start next year, and the search for a printmaking professor will be conducted next year with the hope that they will start in the fall of 2022. She also acknowledged the gap these retirements will leave, saying, “All three of these professors have huge legacies.”

The post Carleton bids farewell to three art professors appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Exploring the frontier of online OCS

Carletonian - Sun, 04/11/2021 - 12:32pm

In a normal year, more than  70% of Carls study abroad at least once before graduation, but the near-total suspension of study abroad programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic has rerouted many students’ academic plans. The program “Climate Change and Human Health in Ethiopia: From Science to Practice,” however, was not cancelled but moved online.

The program was based around research on a new, environmentally-friendly cookstove created by program leaders Deborah Gross, Professor of Chemistry, and Tsegaye Nega, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies. Looking at how pollution from older cookstoves affects both the environment and human health, the students were researching how the new cookstoves were making a difference in environmental quality and quality of life. 

Ella Hein ’23, a participant in the program, said that “we were going to look at the stoves in use and how pollution affects households, both from an environmental and human health perspective. What are the symptoms people are having when they’re just burning wood in their homes?” 

Elizabeth Farr ’22, another student on the program, adds that “this program is also unique because it emphasizes research, and while you’re taking classes at Carleton related to it, you’re just focusing on your research project while you’re actually there.”

The program required enrollment in classes in Fall Term in addition to the winter break travel period. In Fall Term, students took a climate change and human health class to provide the context and skills necessary to conduct research over winter break. This part of the program was relatively easy to adapt to an online format, with the in-person classes being moved to Zoom. 

The actual study abroad part was a little trickier, and it was up to the faculty leaders of the program to figure out how to best move this abroad experience online. “It was a matter of figuring out, how could we make all the things that were part of the trip still happen even if the students weren’t on the ground in Ethiopia?” Gross said. 

Instead of physically travelling to Ethiopia, the Carleton students collaborated over Zoom with university students in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.  “We were always planning that there would be a ‘staff’ of collaborators who would be more than just translators or logistics people,” Gross explained, “but who would also be university students who would be interested in the research projects and who would be able to be collaborators with our students.” 

It was these students in Addis Ababa who ended up collecting the data and conducting the experiments while collaborating with Carleton students over Zoom. Once the Carleton students received the data, they would spend the day processing it and figuring out what it said. Hein said she appreciated the collaborative style, and felt like she got close to their Ethiopian partners even if she couldn’t be in person with them. 

“It was really good to work with the university students our age,” Hein said. “We were lucky, because Tsegaye was there [in Ethiopia], and we had our teams that we worked with really closely. Obviously it wasn’t the same as if we had actually been there, but it was still a very fulfilling experience.” 

Gross agreed, saying that “the logistical challenges were significant” and “without Tsegaye there, nothing would have worked so easily. We knew that with it being online, there was no way the relationships would be the same, and there was no way for us to approximate the experience of physically being there, but we just had to be okay with that and focus on making the projects turn out how we wanted them to.”

Though the pandemic has changed everything, students have learned how to manage their expectations and be flexible with changes. Sean Boyce ’23, another student on the program, said that “way back before Fall Term started, the program leaders told us that they got the final word about not going abroad in the winter, and gave us the option to drop it. That was really helpful because I was able to step back, adjust my expectations and get excited for the program we did have.”

Despite studying “abroad” over Zoom, the students still said they got the experience they had wanted. Farr said, “this was my first experience developing a research project from scratch, and collecting and analyzing data. Of course, we had support from our professors but it was basically all on our own, and that was a very impactful experience for me. And my group found some really intriguing, interesting and unexpected relationships.”

The post Exploring the frontier of online OCS appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Oral Roberts’ March Madness run illuminates troublesome anti-LGBTQ creed

Carletonian - Sun, 04/11/2021 - 12:31pm

Oral Roberts University, a private evangelical university in Tulsa, Oklahoma with just under 4,000 students, made NCAA March Madness history this year by becoming the second number 15 seed ever to make it out of the opening weekend of tournament play. Propelled by star guard Max Abmas who led the country in scoring with 24.5 points a game, the Golden Eagles surmounted number two seed Ohio State and number seven seed Florida State before narrowly losing to third seeded Arkansas 70-72 in the Sweet Sixteen. 

While Oral Roberts’ “Cinderella run” offered excitement and anticipation to March Madness viewers, it also illuminated the school’s controversial anti-LGBTQ history. The Oral Roberts University handbook prohibits certain behaviors that conflict with the school’s religious philosophy such as theft, lying and sexual promiscuity “including adultery, homosexual behavior, and premarital sex.” Additionally, the handbook stipulates that students must unite in marriage “between one man and one woman,” and the school allegedly mandates conversion therapy for those who violate that section of the code or identify as LGBTQ. 

The University’s namesake Oral Roberts was a Christian evangelist who pioneered televangelism in the mid-twentieth century. Roberts was a controversial figure who amassed a fortune and a large following through charismatic Christian crusades across the country. In 1963, Roberts founded Oral Roberts University and imposed a set of homophobic and exclusionary rules of conduct which students are still required to consent and adhere to today. Robert’s support of conversion therapy for members of the LGBTQ community has earned him criticism and his own son notably died from suicide after being subjected to such therapy six months after coming out as gay.

Oral Roberts’ success on the court brings to light questions of Title IX regulations and the NCAA’s commitment to inclusion and equality. The university received a religious exemption from the United States Department to Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or other education program that recieves federal money. The exemption allows the school to enforce its anti-LGBTQ doctrine under the auspices of Evangelical Christianity, while still receiving federal funding.

The NCAA states that they are committed to “promoting and supporting the five areas of inclusion: race and ethnicity, women, student-athletes with disabilities, LGBTQ and international student-athletes.” Yet many college basketball fans called the organization’s bluff in allowing Oral Roberts, with its explicitly homophobic doctrine, to participate in the March Madness tournament. 

Fans have pointed out the NCAA’s hypocrisy in allowing Oral Roberts to play on courts painted with the words “Equality” and “Unity.” Some believe the NCAA should bar Oral Roberts from future participation in the national tournament to pressure the school into reform of its anti-LGBTQ policy, a proposition which has been met with hesitation by religious right-wing pundits and everyday basketball fans alike.  

While rooting for the underdog is exciting, Oral Roberts’ Cinderella run and the uncovering of its homophobic foundations brings to question what role and responsibilities viewers and fans of March Madness have in blindly supporting the remarkable sporting achievements of institutions that upon further examination stand for discriminatory practices. 

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Categories: Colleges

Baseball drops first game of opening day doubleheader, second game postponed

Carletonian - Sun, 04/11/2021 - 12:30pm

Following an offseason of uncertainty and a week of ‘lying low’ prior to their first game, the Carleton baseball team took the diamond on Monday to make their season debut in a doubleheader against the Bethel Royals, a team with 12 games already under their belt boasting an impressive record of 8-4. 

The Knights were outscored 6-4 in the first leg, while the second game was postponed in the bottom of the ninth inning after darkness descended upon Mel Taube Field and visibility became limited with the Knights trailing 8-6. Play is expected to resume when the two teams meet again for a previously scheduled April 15 matchup on Bethel’s campus at Arden Hills. 

Despite an undesirable outcome, the Knights exemplified grit and proved their potential as a competitor in the MIAC conference. With students expected to ‘lie low’ while awaiting their COVID-19 test results during the first week of Spring Term, the team was unable to practice for the week-long period beginning Sunday, March 27. 

Rather than taking batting practice and working on situationals together on the field, the Knights resorted to nightly Zoom meetings and batting practices coordinated among roommates to prepare for opening day.   

“Nobody really knows how the quarantine will impact any of the spring sports,” said Manager Aaron Rushing one day prior to the game. “We might not be as sharp as typical for a season opener, but I also think that the pure excitement of being back out there may nullify any potential negative impact.”

Rushing proved to be correct in his analysis. The Knights struggled with a handful of physical and mental errors throughout the day, including a few fumbled ground balls and a key miscommunication on the base path down the stretch in game one. Nevertheless, the team brought the energy and determination necessary to keep up with a proven Royals club.

Trailing 4-0 in game one, the Knights came to life in the bottom of the fifth inning, catalyzed by the insertion of Junior infielder Sam Schur into the lineup as a pinch hitter. Upon coming to the plate, Schur hit a single to right field, sending sophomore catcher Aaron Berkowitz to third with a headfirst dive to beat the throw from the outfield. Sophomore right fielder Luke Mager then drove Berkowitz home with a line drive shot above the Bethel shortstop’s outstretched glove to put Carleton’s first run on the board. 

Following Berkowitz’s score, Junior third baseman Paul Hinton, who made numerous impressive plays in the field throughout both contests, sent a ground ball whizzing past Bethel’s third basemen to drive in Schur, who avoided a play at the plate to make it home for the Knights’s second score. Shortly thereafter, Bethel pitcher Matthew Bolke hit junior left fielder Jacob Small with a pitch, forcing Mager home with the bases loaded and trimming Bethel’s lead to only a run. 

Sophomore Luke Mager connected for an RBI single in game one of Monday’s doubleheader against Bethel.
Photo by Art Onwumere.

Bethel catcher James Woelful responded with a home run to leftfield in the top of the sixth inning, followed by a tag up run scored by Jordan Krupke that stretched Bethel’s lead to 6-3. Thankfully, with First-Year pitcher Kiefer Lord in trouble, the Knights rallied to minimize further damages. Before Lord ended the inning with a strikeout, Berkowitz collided with the backstop to catch a challenging pop-up behind home plate.

Following a blunder on the basepath in the bottom of the sixth inning which resulted in a pickle and a tag out for the Knights, the team rallied in the seventh (and last inning) of the first abbreviated game. The comeback attempt began with a double sent deep to center field by senior center fielder Travis Brown, who was subsequently driven home by an RBI single from Jacob Small to make the score 6-4 in favor of the Royals. The next two Carleton batters struck out after Bethel made a pitching change, thus ending the Knights’ hopes for a win in their first game. 

The second contest of the afternoon began with three quick runs produced by Knights in the bottom of the first inning on Bethel’s ace Marcus Krupke, who entered the day 3-0 in four starts so far this season. Jacob Small picked up where he left off in the first leg by producing an RBI double, followed by a run-producing groundout from Junior Jacob Smith and a sacrifice-fly RBI from first-year Brayden Stark to make the score 3-0 in favor of Carleton. 

Carleton’s bats remained relatively quiet for the remainder of the second contest, with the exception of a two-out RBI double from Smith in the bottom of the seventh that brought home speedy baserunner Jacob Small. Bethel, meanwhile, remained consistent throughout the second game, putting runners on base in each inning. The Royals scored two runs in the second, four runs in the third, along with a run forced by a walked batter and an RBI triple in the top of the seventh and ninth innings, respectively. 

Only time will tell whether or not the Knight’s success scoring on Bethel’s defense will be a harbinger of things to come against lower-standing MIAC opponents this season. Nevertheless, Coach Rushing is optimistic about the Knight’s prospects.

“We’ve got a tremendous group of young men who are eager to play,” said Rushing. “They’ve worked hard and demonstrated impressive patience and leadership through a challenging year.”

All in all, the Knights were ecstatic to return to action on Monday. “We were over the moon with excitement,” said Jacob Small, who recorded 3 RBI’s on the day. “The majority of the team hasn’t played competitively in two years, so we are ready to put everything we have out on the field. Off the field, we’re going to everything we can to stay safe and ensure we play a full season,” Small added.

The Knights will play another doubleheader against Hamline on Saturday at CHS Field in St. Paul, with the first pitch scheduled to be thrown at 1 p.m. central time. 

The post Baseball drops first game of opening day doubleheader, second game postponed appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges
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