Ole Confessions ignites controversy Flirts, Dates and Complaints inspired by page’s popularity By Ashley Belisle News Editor
The allure of online anonymity is nothing new to St. Olaf students – or to anybody anymore. Cyberbullies and sexual predators hiding behind their computer screens have become popular points of discussion among sociologists, psychologists, the media and worried parents alike. In recent weeks, a new online craze that has been reaching college campuses across the nation swept into St. Olaf: anonymous Facebook posts. Last December, a lone student created the first of several St. Olaf Facebook pages allowing students to anonymously publicize their
intimate thoughts: Ole Compliments. “Individuals can send a message to Ole Compliments, specifically complimenting another person,” said the page’s moderator, who also remains anonymous. “I, in turn, post that message as my status, tagging the individual who was meant to be complimented.” The moderator of Ole Compliments said that he or she borrowed the idea for the page after seeing a similar one for another school. So did the founder of St. Olaf Confessions, the somewhat less warm-and-fuzzy anonymous outlet that emerged on Feb. 20. Modeled after a page started by University of Wisconsin- Madison students, St. Olaf Confessions contains a link to a Google survey in which students can type a “confession.” These responses are then sent to the group’s moderators, who post them on the public page. Some peer institutions have similar confessions pages that are entirely uncensored, but St. Olaf Confessions is not a free-for-all. The moderators have made it clear to other
Facebook users that they will not post any racist, sexist or antigay comments or any personal attacks. The page’s “constitution” also advises students to visit the Wellness Center to discuss more serious confessions, especially those related to anxiety and depression. “We would prefer for this page not to ever start big arguments. We want to keep things friendly and not offend any social [or] cultural groups on campus,” Moderator D said. “We should be able to stop any problems before they happen because we have final say in what goes up and what is better left unseen.” After a little more than two weeks, the page already boasts more than 1,000 “likes,” or Facebook followers. Macalester Confessions, by comparison, has fewer than 100. After a few days of existence, the page’s original moderator enlisted the help of two friends, all of whom now access the site, posting confessions submitted to the anonymous survey. They refer to themselves as Moderators A, B and D. “We created this group half-jokingly, and half-seriously,” said Moderator A, the group’s original creator. “We kind of wanted to get the group to be pretty big, but didn’t expect it. This is actually quite a surprise.” Vice President Greg Kneser said that the administration, too, is aware of the rise in popularity and visibility of these pages, at St. Olaf and also at peer institutions. “In some of these cases, people admit to sexual assault, make racist statements and discuss how they harmed other people,” Kneser said. “If I were a student, I’m not sure I’d want to be linked to this, because even when we believe we are being anonymous, we leave a permanent electronic message trail. It might be anonymous today, but not tomorrow.” Because of concerns on the part of both students and administrators, the Student Government Association (SGA) Senate added a discussion about the page to its agenda for the meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Senators, along with Kneser and Dean of Students Rosalyn Eaton-Neeb ’87, discussed the implications that St. Olaf Confessions might have on individuals posting, as well as the reputation of the school as a whole, and whether or not it is the responsibility of SGA to take any action. The conversation centered on not only the social implications of such a page, but also
what this phenomenon says about student health. “I feel like this is kind of a wellness issue as well,” Sen. Kari Swanson ’13 said. Sen. Olivia Slack ’15 agreed, pointing out that if students think the best outlet for expressing depression and anxiety is an anonymous Facebook post, there is a larger problem at hand. “[Wellness Center peer educators] are anonymous,” Slack said. “They are the same as this page, but they are a real human being.” Ultimately, Senate agreed that the immediate goal is to foster discussion among students about the ramifications of such a page without taking any drastic action to attempt to change or remove it. Many senators noted that this page is not a reflection of St. Olaf, but rather a reflection of deeply rooted social and cultural issues. Sen. Timothy Lillehaugen ’13 expressed his frustration with the pervasive belief in “freedom of speech without responsibility of speech,” which is the basis of almost all anonymous Internet forums. Sen. Kevin George ’13 added that these sites are certainly not exclusive to St. Olaf and will not be removed or censored by a small initiative on campus. “Anonymous forums are here to stay,” Sen. Austin Martin ’14 said. And a look at Facebook today would prove him right. Inspired by St. Olaf Confessions and following closely in the page’s footsteps are St. Olaf Flirts, St. Olaf Dates, St. Olaf Complaints and a slew of other anony-
mous media. St. Olaf Flirts operates in much the same way as Confessions, with students filling out an anonymous survey and Eva (the page moderator’s pseudonym) posting the comments. Many Flirts have students’ names attached, but others do not. Eva views the position as moderator of this site as a way of giving back to the community. “I realized that since LikeALittle [an anonoymous flirting website for college students] went down mid-summer, nobody has had a place to anonymously spill their feelings to the world – or at least the St. Olaf student body,” Eva said. “I wanted to give that back to them.” St. Olaf Dates takes Flirts one step farther. “I was inspired by reading the posts on Confessions about how lonely people are,” said the creator and moderator of St. Olaf Dates, who has lonely Oles send a Facebook message to the page, assigns them a profile number and posts this profile to the page. “Whenever someone finds interest in a person, they will message me here and give the number of the person they are interested in and I message them back with that person’s email address name,” the modera-
Confessions... continued on A7
Security updated, but safety remains in students’ hands By Katie Sieger Contributing Writer
Columbine High School. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook Elementary School. Without thinking twice, we all know what these places have in common. They are only a few of the many locations across the country where school shootings have happened in the past 15 years. In light of these shootings, students may wonder how safe we are on this campus. Recently, St. Olaf has seen several changes to make the campus more secure. Over the past two years, St. Olaf has equipped all custodians with portable radios to enhance communication between residence halls. The number of buildings on campus that require card access has increased, a total re-keying project has been undertaken and more campus lighting has been put in place. Simple things like taking the handles off the doors to the basement of Old Main and permanently locking one of the doors into Dittman are part of a bigger plan for safety as well, as they decrease the number of entry points to control, said Peter Sandberg, assistant vice president for facilities. He noted that “all of the residence halls can be locked electronically now … within seconds of a report of a potential shooter.” These changes are not a direct result of the discourse surrounding gun safety and the recent Sandy Hook shooting; rather, they are part of a much-needed update to the college’s security systems, according to President David Anderson ’74. “The safety of our campus community has been a focus for many years,” Anderson said. “We continue to think about it and work on it.” The college has developed specific emergency plans for numerous situations and has trained key staff members in these operations. The plans cover “everything from someone with a gun to a tornado or to a power outage,” Anderson said. Many of the plans for emergencies like this can be found on the school’s website. St. Olaf also has an Incident Response Plan in place that is based on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Incident Management System. In the event of an actual emergency, the plan is as fol-
The St. Olaf Public Safety team from left to right: Front row: James Golden, Greg Carel, Dave Jandro, Pam Hoffmann. Back Row: Fred Behr, Luke Wheelock, Sean Robbins, Scott Trebelhorn, Mark Murphy, Chad Christiansen.
lows: “We would call 911 and report the incident, begin a lockdown process, notify the community, assemble our Critical Event Response Team and block or screen access to the campus,” Director of Public Safety Fred Behr said. “We have worked for several years in developing our emergency operations plans and an active shooter is included.” Behr also noted that Public Safety is not armed and would thus rely on the Northfield Police to fully neu-
tralize the threat. As for the official policy for having weapons on campus, Behr said, “Only licensed law enforcement officers are permitted to carry weapons in campus buildings.” The Minnesota Carry law allows guns to be stored in cars in campus
continued on A7
THE MANITOU MESSENGER Established 1887 Olivia N. Koester Executive Editor
Ethan S. Hiedeman Managing Editor firstname.lastname@example.org MANAGING TEAM Business Manager (email@example.com) Gabby Keller DESIGN TEAM Visual Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) Katie Lauer Photo Editor (email@example.com) Hannah Rector Staff Illustrators Anna Carlson Daniel Bynum SECTION EDITORS News Editors (firstname.lastname@example.org) Amy Lohmann Ashley Belisle Opinions Editors (email@example.com) Stephanie Jones Ben Taylor Sports Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org) Alana Patrick Arts and Entertainment Editors (email@example.com) Bri Wilson Abby Grosse Off the Hill Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org) Solvejg Wastvedt COPY EDITORS (email@example.com) Becky Meiers Carissa Beckwith Julie Fergus Jessica Moes ONLINE EDITION Online Editors (firstname.lastname@example.org) Shannon Cron Rachel Palermo ADVISING Faculty Advisor Jan Hill Submission Policy The Manitou Messenger encourages contributions from students, alumni, faculty, staff and administrators. Opinion articles are open to all political, social and philosophical viewpoints. The views expressed in all letters, editorials and articles do not necessarily represent the views of the student body, faculty, administration or Messenger staff members. “A word from our editors . . .” is written each week by the executive and managing editors. The Manitou Messenger reserves the right to edit all submissions for length and/or content. Letters must be signed and must include the writer’s full name, telephone number, year in school and major, title or occupation. The Messenger will verify the authenticity of all letters before they are published. Letters submitted by an organization must be signed by an author representing that organization. Letters or articles containing offensive language, libelous material or misleading information must be rewritten before publication. Letters based on two-party disputes will not be published. Letters must address issues affecting the larger campus community. Letters must be submitted via email to <email@example.com>. Letters must not exceed 400 words. Letters exceeding 400 words will not be published until they are edited by the author to meet this specification. Letters must be received by 5 p.m. the Sunday preceding the publication date. The Manitou Messenger does not endorse the content of its advertisements. They are exclusively the opinions of the advertiser and do not represent the views of the newspaper or its staff. The Editorial Board of the Messenger reserves the rights to review the content of advertisements prior to printings or to refuse publication. All content and editorial decisions of the Manitou Messenger remain in the hands of the students. If you wish to contact us you may reach us at our office in Buntrock Commons, Room 112. All staff members are available via email at the addresses listed above. The Manitou Messenger is a student publication of St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn. It is published weekly during the academic year except during vacations, exam periods and interim. The cost for one year’s subscription is $50. Postage is paid in Northfield, Minn. The paper can be found online at: www.manitoumessenger.com. Address:
March 8, 2013
Manitou Messenger St. Olaf College 1500 St. Olaf Ave. Northfield, MN 55057-1001 firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters to the editor: racial incident, smoking Administration’s response not enough On Feb. 27, the St. Olaf community received an email from Dean of Students Rosalyn EatonNeeb and Vice President for Student Life Greg Kneser about “theft and incivility.” The email made us aware of an incident where someone had stolen two Palestinian flags from an informational display put up by the organization Oles for Justice in Palestine in the hallway between Buntrock Commons and the library and had written “Death to Gaza” on one of the group’s posters. Despite an increasingly diverse student population, acts of hate and racism have happened multiple times on this campus. They have outraged me and made me feel shameful to be a part of this community. This is not an isolated incident. The international community, including myself, repeatedly feels threatened, victimized and ostracized for our views, beliefs and for who we are. While the St. Olaf administration chooses to address this issue as simply “uncivil,” I see it as a direct attack on many of my personal beliefs. When these incidents of hate have taken place, the St. Olaf administration has chosen to take a very hands-off approach in handling the situation. My international friends – some of whom are Palestinian – and I belong to and are a part of this campus just as much as my white, Lutheran, Minnesotan friends. If there were a similar attack on the Lutheran religion or on Minnesota, would the administration simply send out a mass email declaring the incident to be “uncivil”? I have heard the argument that only one individual is engaged in the acts of vandalism and that his or her views do not define the St. Olaf community. However, these incidents have been too frequent to be the undertaking of one student, and it scares me to know that some students are blatantly disrespecting other students and are using threatening phrases. We international students live miles away from home. We live at St. Olaf and spend most of our breaks here. This campus becomes a home to us in ways that native students will never understand. In my four years at St. Olaf, I have met wonderful people who have accepted and encouraged me to be who I am. And it is because I think St. Olaf has the potential to be more open and diverse that I encourage my fellow students to take action. I have emailed the school’s administration to let them know how I feel about this issue. I encourage my fellow students to do the same. Also, please be respectful of the differences that you see. While the perpetrator may have thought it silly to write such a statement, many of us see it as a huge violation of safety. Also, I would like the school administration to acknowledge that this issue is dangerous, not merely “uncivil.” It calls for some kind of direct action on their part to handle the situation. When such incidents of hate and racism arise, the school needs to take appropriate, serious measures to address them so that they are not repeated in the future. It is time for the administration to do more than just send out an email to make international students feel that we belong, are wanted and are safe at St. Olaf College. –Sujata Singh ’13 Editor’s Note: This letter to the editor was submitted on Sunday, March 3. Dean of Students Rosalyn Eaton-Neeb sent an email to students, faculty and staff on Wednesday, March 6, inviting all to participate in a conversation about the incident during community time on Thursday, March 7.
ANNA CARLSON/MANITOU MESSENGER
Hateful, cowardly act abuses freedom
Proposed tobacco ban promotes health
I receive a lot of things in my inbox – junk mail, updates from clubs that I forgot I signed up for, notes from professors – and occasionally, a solemn letter from the Dean of Students about the latest instance of what I like to call “college kids being stupid.” Usually, it is theft or disrespect for town property, which I can brush aside. But the message on Feb. 27 caught and held my attention, as well as broke my heart. The theft of flags is one matter of concern (as we have no constitutional freedom to take whatever we want), but the outright hatred, cowardice and abuse of free speech is on another plane altogether. I try to see St. Olaf as a place that fosters intellectual growth, a place where students treat diverse opinions with respect. Then some spectacle of sheer dumbness begs me to reconsider. Long story short, someone scrawled “Death to Gaza” on a student poster. Hate is hate. “Death to Gaza,” while being a potent sentiment, expresses nothing except unsubstantiated hate. The St. Olaf community does not know whether or not this hatred is the child of thoughtful reflection or that of mindless prejudice. Regardless, I do not think it matters – the perpetrator cannot reasonably expect to receive respectful consideration from a community to which he/she has extended none. I believe people have the right to say what they think, but I also believe they have a responsibility to stand behind what they say. What pains me most about this incident is not the simple, brute hostility of the message, but rather the author’s cowardice in omitting his/her identity. He/she has implicitly hidden him/herself from the public eye, sidestepping its judgment and all personal consequence. Does the author feel courageous? This is not courage; no, this is a dog barking – and it merits absolutely no respect. I’m not surprised that the perpetrator didn’t sign his or her name; if I were him or her, I wouldn’t want people to associate my name with such a clumsy act. But, to whomever so tactlessly wished death to almost half a million people, I implore you: Next time have the balls to show your face when you speak your mind so that, if there is in fact any redeeming quality to what you have said, we can discuss it and, maybe, begin to understand each other.
On Feb. 12, I submitted a proposal to SGA for a tobacco-free campus policy. I will be the first to admit I was not prepared for the degree of negative – and emotional – feedback it would receive. Upon reflection, I believe a smoke-free policy is a more appropriate intervention, as it targets only that form of tobacco use which directly affects bystanders. To that end, the current smoking restrictions are ineffective, as evidenced by lingering tobacco smoke in commonly used outdoor areas and entryways. The Feb. 22 article “Campus to go tobaccofree?” published in the Manitou Messenger regarding the SGA meeting indicated that I had “no information.” Correction: I had no information readily available to address the targeted attacks. Now, please allow me to justify myself. Tobacco use causes the deaths of approximately one in five Americans each year. Nearly 50,000 of those deaths are due to secondhand smoke; according to the Center for Disease Control, 3,400 (approximately the entirety of the St. Olaf student body) are from lung cancer. Nonsmokers with lung cancer? This corroborates the American Lung Association’s (ALA) assertion, and the surgeon general’s, that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. My intent with this proposal is not to attack people who smoke, but to advocate for those who do not. St. Olaf has no jurisdiction over its students’ off-campus activities, but it can influence the immediate social and environmental context. It is not out of line for St. Olaf to discourage destructive behavior. Each year we see campaigns combating eating disorders, alcohol abuse and depression, yet no progressive action plans regarding smoking. The college years are a critical juncture. It is between the ages of 18 and 21 that most smokers make the transition from infrequent to regular users. The average age of initiating daily use is 20.1 years (ALA 2008). Social environment and social context are critical factors that influence the likelihood of a student developing the habit while in college (ALA 2012). This policy isn’t about discriminating against smokers. It is about protecting the health of those who do not and creating more accessible, publicized support for those who would like to quit.
–David DeLuca ’15
–Rachel Dean ’13
What would you do if you had President David Anderson’s job for a day?
Sarah Beam Sophomore
“I would have a theme day and make everybody wear silly hats.”
Phil BeardsleySchoonmaker Senior
“I would order two more wind turbines, sign the Climate Commitment and rewrite the St. Olaf mission statement to be more inclusive.”
“I would totally put sushi in the Caf. More seafood in general, but definitely sushi.”
“I would divest St. Olaf investments from fossil fuel companies and reinvest them in renovating Kildahl.”
Opinions MANITOU MESSENGER
March 8, 2013
Sexism in film not confined to Oscars ‘Confessions’ page harms community By Nina Hagen
At last Sunday’s Academy Awards, the awards for Best Actor and Actress respectively went to Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln” and Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook.” Imagine, however, if these two actors had been asked to compete for the same Oscar. This scenario has been proposed a number of times over the past few years, including in a 2010 opinions piece by New York Times writer Kim Elsesser. In her article, Elsesser argues for a gender-neutral Oscars – a ceremony in which the four Best Actor/Actress and Best Supporting Actor/Actress awards would be condensed into two, with both genders competing in each category. Elsesser argues that the Oscars’ gender-separated categories “merely insult women, because they suggest that women would not be victorious if the categories were combined.” Further, she reasons that the rise in women’s social status over the past few decades makes the need for such an attempt at maintaining equality unnecessary and ir-
relevant. What Elsesser has failed to consider is the current status of women in Hollywood; due to the lack of substantive roles for women that the Academy would consider “Oscarworthy,” it is clear that Hollywood is not ready for a gender-neutral Oscars. While recent films have seen a rise in strong female roles – Maya of “Zero Dark Thirty,” Aibileen of “The Help” and Lisbeth of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” among others – roles for Hollywood actresses are mainly restricted to the damsel in distress, the romantic comedy lead or the nagging girlfriend. Until the playing field is leveled to ensure that actors of both genders are given equally deep and compelling roles, combining the acting categories would virtually ensure a category dominated by
ANNA CARLSON/MANITOU MESSENGER
On March 27 and 28, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on cases involving California’s Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot initiative that banned gay marriage in the state, and a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that limits federal benefits for married couples to heterosexual couples. The Court may decide on the constitutionality of gay marriage as early as June. It will no doubt come as little surprise that this paper unflinchingly and wholeheartedly supports full marriage equality for all. There is no recourse to law or logic for those who claim that one sector of society should be denied the benefits of marriage enjoyed by the rest of society simply because they happen to love someone of the same gender. The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution clearly states, “No state shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” When the LGBTQ community lacks access to the marriage benefits enjoyed by the heterosexual community, they are not receiving equal protection of the laws. Laws that arbitrarily favor one section of society due to that section’s unique religious or moral views are inherently unfair and unjust. The Manitou Messenger’s position on gay marriage may not surprise you, but this might: More than 100 prominent Republicans have submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of a constitutional right for gay marriage. The Republicans signed onto the brief include Beth Meyers, a senior official in Mitt Romney’s presidential bid, Meg Whitman, who supported Proposition 8 when she ran for governor of California and 2012 presidential contender Jon Huntsman. The position staked out in the Republican brief is more supportive of LGBTQ marriage even than Pres-
male nominations. Happily, this unfortunate trend has not gone unnoticed; feminist author and cartoonist Alison Bechdel created a test that investigates gender bias and inequity in film and other media. To pass the Bechdel test, a film must feature at least two women who at some point talk to each other about something other than a man. Few popular movies today are able to pass this test, whether they feature plots driven by male action stars killing each other or women obsessively attempting to find a suitable male partner. Through her test, Bechdel hopes to expose Hollywood’s rampant sexism and, as a result, both ensure an increase in substantive roles for today’s multitude of talented female actors and inspire the creation of deeper and more intellectually-stimulating films. Hopefully, future film directors will look to the Bechdel test as a way of determining the quality of their work. Indeed, another way the film industry can create a more diverse array of female roles is to encourage the innovation of female directors and screenwriters, many of whom would love to showcase actresses in meaningful stories. A great example of this is Director Kathryn Bigelow’s work in the aforementioned “Zero Dark Thirty,” which features a woman succeeding in a classically masculine line of work. Bigelow’s Maya is far from perfect – she is much too invested in her desire to capture Osama Bin Laden and, as a result, neglects other aspects of her life – but her imperfections and complexity as a character make her all the more intriguing. While the idea of a gender-neutral Oscars ceremony is appealing in theory, it would actually be a step backward for gender equality unless the film industry made concerted efforts to level the playing field and give actresses the opportunity to shine in “Oscar-worthy” movie roles. It has been exciting to watch a recent rise in such roles, and it will certainly be interesting to see what the coming years bring in this regard.
“Until the playing field is leveled, combining the acting categories would virtually ensure a category dominated by male nominations.”
Nina Hagen ’15 (email@example.com) is from St. Paul, Minn. She majors in English.
ident Obama’s position, and it is far more supportive than the mainstream Republican position. In the leadup to the 2012 election, Obama came out in support of gay marriage, though he still says the issue should be left up to the states. The Republican brief, in contrast, supports the view that the Constitution protects gay marriage. If the Court follows the Republican brief and finds Proposition 8 and the DOMA provision unconstitutional, marriage equality could become a reality in every state of the union, even those with state laws banning the practice. It would advance the cause of equality all at once rather than in the patchwork fashion favored by the president. Marriage equality cannot wait for all 50 states to come to their senses – it is no longer a partisan issue, as the Republican amicus brief makes clear. The United States cannot live up to the potential enthroned in its founding principles of liberty and equality until it ends the oppression and second-class citizenship to which it has relegated large swaths of its citizens. No love is better than another love. No love is more right or more wrong than another love. No one should have their love judged by anyone else, and certainly no love should be subjected to the possibility of censure by a democratic body. True love is rare enough and precious enough in this world that wherever it appears, it is worth cherishing, not maligning. In attacking the love of others, we only weaken the bonds that tie us all together in sisterhood and brotherhood. Marriage equality is an issue of human dignity that should be the cause not only of the LGBTQ community, but of all those who believe that all humans are, in fact, created equal.
DANIEL BYNUM/MANITOU MESSENGER
By Kate Fridley Anonymity affects us in strange ways. I have always thought that it makes us more honest: We are more willing to act like our true selves as long as our identities remain hidden. However, the recent “St. Olaf Confessions” Facebook page employs this concept in a manner that is damaging to both the St. Olaf community and its image. The page is damaging to the community because of its treatment of the serious issues being discussed and damaging to the college’s image because of the public way these interactions unfold. “Confessions” has become a discussion forum for Oles, despite the moderators’ objections that it was originally meant to be just for fun. These discussions, results of access to a safely anonymous environment, reveal some troubling insights about life on the Hill. Despite St. Olaf’s reputation for being supportive and inclusive, many confessions have appeared from students who feel alone among their peers or who are struggling with depression. Others write about their dissatisfaction with the St. Olaf community in general, and a tone of negativity toward the college has overtaken the page in recent days. Such conversations are healthy and necessary if these issues are to be solved. However, it is important to remember that while individuals posting confessions are anonymous, the page itself maintains an identifiable face: that of St. Olaf College. As a public page, “Confessions” allows anyone – from prospective students to alumni to potential employers – to view it. Prospies have already posted confessions stating their worries about fitting in at St. Olaf after reading the page. The presence of outside groups is especially troubling because, despite encouraging honesty through anonymity, “Confessions” does not paint an accurate picture of St. Olaf life. This is due partially to the page’s accessible nature. Under its rules, only students, alumni or a person specifically revealing him or herself to be an outsider may submit a post. But because a submitter’s identity is anonymous, this rule is unenforceable. Student confessions could come from anyone: a faculty member, a Carleton student or any random person with a Facebook account. But perhaps the biggest bias-inducing factor is the conduct of the moderators. When the original moderator first created the page, he/she laid out a series of arbitrary rules for submitting confessions. More moderators have since joined the page, and they have the sole power to decide which submissions go public. The bias doesn’t stop there: The moderators frequently tack their unsolicited opinions onto the confessions. When a recent post criticized St. Olaf’s academic program, the moderators attached a lengthy reply explaining why it was wrong. They later wrote that they had only published a confession painting St. Olaf academics in a negative light so they could disagree with it. Soon after, they banned all academic-related confessions from the page. I’m interested to know which two or three students have taken it upon themselves to act as online spokespeople for the entire St. Olaf community. “Spokespeople” is accurate given how adamantly they, as administrators of the page, express their own beliefs about what it is really like at St. Olaf at the expense of opposing opinions. They also apparently decide what social issues are appropriate subjects for confessions. In the page’s early stages, many confessions came from students clearly struggling with depression. The moderators stopped allowing these submissions because they were too depressing. They also argued (legitimately) that students struggling with depression would be better off contacting the Wellness Center instead of seeking unprofessional advice on Facebook. However, this is no reason to stamp out the voices of struggling students entirely. And while the moderators claimed that concerns for victims of depression guided their actions, they likely had the page’s popularity in mind when they wrote in the “Confession Constitution” that “I’d not want to start my day off with depressing confessions.” Apparently, the existence of a lonely person is not as important or interesting as what has been done to the Kildahl lounge couch cushions. The voices of struggling students could have contributed valuable perspectives to a student body that has grown too complacent with its pristine status as a supportive, inclusive community. However, such a discussion should not be taking place in the biased and publicly accessible forum that is “St. Olaf Confessions.”
“Despite encouraging honesty through anonymity, ‘Confessions’ does not paint an accurate picture of St. Olaf life.”
Kate Fridley ’14 (firstname.lastname@example.org) is from Apple Valley, Minn. She majors in political science with concentrations in management studies and Middle Eastern studies.
March 8, 2013
Local a capella scene expands with Krossmen By Kaelie Lund Contributing Writer
St. Olaf ’s music scene has just expanded with the entrance of Krossmen, a newlyformed a capella quartet. Members include: Aaron Kohrs ’16, Duncan Tuomi ’16, Harrison Hintzsche ’16 and Nathaniel Hendrix ’16. Q. How was the group formed? Harrison: [Aaron, Duncan, Nathaniel and myself] started singing as a quartet a few times in early- to mid-December with the first piece Duncan arranged, which was “Butterfly.” Duncan: When we first sang through “Butterfly,” I was like, “that went a lot better than I expected!” So I was like, “We should probably keep doing this.” Nathaniel: After rehearsal one night, we put up the “Butterfly” video, not really expecting much of anything, but it seemed to start to pick up after our Junior Counselor Jacob Hauschild posted the video on the “Overheard at St. Olaf ” Facebook page. Q. Were you surprised that your videos got popular? Duncan: [Laughing] We did not expect that at all. Our group is very casual. Nathaniel: We used to just sing for people in our room and jam together, and, all of a sudden, lots of people knew that we loved doing that together. Harrison: Krossmen is based on just jamming and sharing that love with other people. Q. What’s it like to rehearse together? Nathaniel: It’s really nice because we can tell each other to “tune things up,” or do things a certain way. Aaron: Yeah, you literally can’t do that with anyone else because people get offended. Duncan: It also doesn’t hurt that the music we rehearse and perform [is] our own arrangements, so we know exactly what we want out of the pieces. Nathaniel: Over interim, we got really busy and could only practice from like 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. and people didn’t really like that; we’re pretty loud. Harrison: Before we relocated [to practicing in the music buildings], rehearsing in our room was really convenient because we all live in the same hallway, but we understand why we had to move. Duncan: But, I mean, who actually is sleeping and/ or studying during the hours of 11-1? Oh, right. Everyone. Q. How do you decide who arranges the pieces and gets the solos?
Duncan: For the last songs that we’ve done, someone just picks out a piece and arranges it. Nathaniel: Yeah, then they’d show it to the group and ask, “Hey, what do you think?” and it usually translates well with everyone. As for solos, whoever arranges [the piece] usually gets the solo, or it goes to whose voice it would fit best. Duncan: That’s true. [Harrison] originally had the solo in “For Emma,” but Aaron ended up singing it for the video. Harrison: Yeah, I was like, “This doesn’t sound as good as it could be – here, Aaron, you take this.” Aaron: I love how unselfish we are when it comes to solos. Nathaniel: You mean “selfless”? Aaron: [Laughing] Shut up, Nathaniel. Q. What are your roles within Krossmen? Harrison: Duncan’s the joker! Duncan: Now, I was going to say Aaron’s the joker, especially when we’re recording! Aaron: For sure in recording – and sometimes performing. Harrison: Yeah, [Aaron] definitely has the whole “stage-presence” thing going on when we’ve performed. Aaron: Well, take “Falling Short,” the medley Duncan wrote. I never thought of it as being a funny piece, but now that we’ve added a few dance moves to it ... Duncan: Basically, we all love to joke around, but we’re all serious in our own respect. Nathaniel: Every once in awhile, one of us will be like, “Hey, stop that. We need to focus,” and then we do. Harrison: Yeah, like all of our rehearsals leading up to our performance [in Illinois]. Q. Tell me about your performances thus far. Nathaniel: Our first performance was at the Ellingson Open Mic Night two weeks ago, and, Harrison, what was our second one called? Harrison: The International Championship of High School A Capella Midwest State Finals, and we were the collegiate host group, meaning we performed a set while the judg-
es deliberated which high school group won. Aaron: I thought it went really well, though the second gig we had had a significantly larger audience. Duncan: [Performing in Illinois] was really fun, and we got some great feedback from audience members after the performance. Q. How did that feel, to go from performing for 50 to 600-700 people? Aaron: I want to go back [to Illinois]. Nathaniel: There was the same amount of energy in both audiences, though, just different because one group was St. Olaf students and the other was a crowd of people that live for a cappella music. Harrison: I almost preferred the Ellingson gig because there were people we [knew] there, and we were well-received by all of our friends. Q. So what is the future for Krossmen? Nathaniel: I don’t think that any one of us knows exactly. Right now, we’re just having a lot of fun with jamming together and putting videos up. Duncan: I agree. Krossmen was formed kind of spontaneously, so it’s hard for us to try to figure out where we’ll be going with this, but I think we all can agree that performing will always be a part of our lives. Harrison: This group was based on a love of music and singing together, and we know that if it gets stressful or strays from our original intent, then we’re doing something wrong. Aaron: I love the performance aspect of it, and I love these guys, so I know that even if we stop putting up new videos, we’ll never stop playing together. Check out the band’s Facebook page at www. facebook.com/KrossmenACappella. Or, use a smart device to scan the codes below to view two of their most popular videos on YouTube: “Butterfly” and “Swallowed in the Sea.” email@example.com
“Butterfly” by Krossmen
“Swallowed by the Sea” by Krossmen
HANNAH RECTOR/MANITOU MESSENGER
Krossmen A Capella’s original arrangements are a hit on campus and online.
GLOW! to host annual Drag Ball in Pause By Samantha Botz Staff Writer
Once a year, GLOW! gives campus the opportunity to let loose for a wild night of sheer gender role abandonment. Following a week of fabulous festivities, GLOW!’s annual Drag Ball is a gender-bending extravaganza put on to celebrate another successful Pride Week. Unlike any gardenvariety Pause dance, Drag Ball is always an unforgettable night that – with the help of a little wild cross-dressing – brings affirmation and acceptance to the entire St. Olaf community. It is easy to tell when Pride Week is coming up. Since the end of February, the GLOW! table has been outside the Caf belting Beyoncé tunes and distributing condoms and rainbow buttons like candy to get campus excited for the upcoming events. Pride Week 2013 kicked off its festivities with a toga party at St. John’s house and has since provided a variety of entertaining and educational events to raise awareness around campus. As the final day of Pride Week, Friday’s activities are the highlight of the week. Well before Drag Ball begins, GLOW! invites students to bring their Caf trays to the Sun Room in Buntrock at 6 p.m. to take part in a fascinating and fun panel on gender and the world of drag. The discus-
sion will be led by Esme Rodriguez, who, with a doctorate in gender performance, is literally a doctor of drag. She and her troupe of drag queens and kings have contributed to St. Olaf ’s Pride Week for the last couple of years and never fail to give a thrilling and informative performance. Since the performers are not in drag during the panel, the discussion is a chance for students to see behind-the-scenes and learn more about how these stunning and strong individuals experience gender and drag performance in their own lives. “This is a great opportunity for students to ask candid questions with a truly unique group of individuals,” GLOW! CoCoordinator Michelle Wheeler ’14 said. Offering a glimpse into the world of drag few students get to experience on a daily basis, the panel is the perfect complement to the night’s main event. Aside from being one of the most highly attended dances of the year, Drag Ball invites all students, from the fancy-free to the typically-straitlaced, to dance the night away toying with gender roles. “Not only is this a fun way to poke at gender stereotypes, but it also allows students to explore gender in a way they won’t be judged for,” Wheeler said. “What better way to show your support of the LGBTQ community than by shaking your groove-
thang on the dance floor?” Drag Ball remains one of GLOW!’s most popular events due to the high level of engagement every year. There are not many days on campus when students can join together to defy everyday expectations of what is “normal.” Pride Week and Drag Ball in particular offer everyone the chance to challenge stereotypes and misunderstandings by tearing them down for a night of gender-bending and freeing fun. It is important to remember that for many, drag represents a serious liberation from the rigid constrictions of an everyday life spent butting heads with society’s narrow gender dichotomy. “There are still many people in the world who are constantly ostracized because their gender identity or expression doesn’t match up with expectations of how men and women ‘should be,’” Wheeler said. In this light, Drag Ball represents a phenomenal opportunity for both escapism and acceptance within the St. Olaf community. Whether you are confident, curious or closeted, come down to the Pause Friday night at 10 p.m. to embrace your inner king or queen, if only for a night, and dance away society’s expectations. firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Sunday, Seth MacFarlane hosted the 85th annual Academy Awards. His opening monologue lasted far too long, in my opinion, and it happened to contain a lot of singing, dancing and William Shatner. But what caught my attention most is the song he sang about the boobs of the many celebrated and esteemed actresses who were sitting in the audience that night. While watching, one could hear the uncomfortable laughter coming from the audience, with an internal dialogue along the lines of, “Is this something that is okay to laugh at, or will I come off as sexist?” This blatant illustration of objectification got me thinking about how sex is portrayed in media. Its portrayal has become so commonplace that I wonder if we actually think about the way sex is represented in our society today. Do sexual scenarios portrayed in the media create expectations that we feel we can’t always live up to or that we should have to live up to? With perfect lighting, mood music and a script, it can be easy to have any sexual encounter timed-out and performed perfectly, but is that a portrayal of reality? I say no. In real life, in the dorm rooms or student houses, the twin beds creak (yes, I said twin beds), the lighting is maybe one fluorescent light or no light at all and you and your partner may be trying very hard to be as quiet at possible so your neighbors or housemates can’t hear what’s going on. In movies and television, the weird noises, smells and sweat are mysteriously left out of the equation. This is not the case in any real life sexual encounter. Let’s face it: Sex is messy and loud, and occasionally, your body makes weird noises. Do I need to even mention morning breath?! What I’m driving at is that sex is not like sex portrayed in media. Don’t get me wrong. I love movies, and I am a TV fanatic. I love the escapist feeling that comes along with that 120-minute movie or half-hour sitcom. I even catch myself smiling or giving a little sigh when I see two characters that have been fighting the sexual tension finally get together, yet I always try to check myself at the end of the show. What I am watching is not how things actually go. Furthermore, no matter how many times I seem to play out any fantasy in my mind reminiscent of a scene from a movie or TV show, the real sexual encounter never seems to go as planned. So, what is the result of this conundrum? I am left feeling frustrated and sexually unsatisfied, as I am sure many other people are. The worst part is that having sex is great, yet because of unrealistic expectations and standards depicted in media, I feel like the sex I am having is not great. Maybe I am alone in these feelings, but I just thought I had to share this issue with others. I love having sex! So, I am very sad that I feel trapped by having to live up to images and scenarios in the media commonly presented to all of us. The main point I want to make is this: Enjoy the movies and television shows, but don’t let the “perfect moments” in the media dictate your sex life. Your sex life is all your own, so tailor it to your wants and needs, not the way media portrays them. Remember that there is no such thing as “perfect” when it comes to sex. In fact, this is good, because if sex is perfect, you and your partner(s) would get bored very quickly. So, enjoy the movies, but remember that when it is time for your own sexual encounters you also make time for a reality check. As always, have fun and be safe! To submit questions, comments or concerns to the sex columnist, e-mail email@example.com.
March 8, 2013
Student director leads theater department’s ‘Antigone’ By Aleece DeWald Contributing Writer
Pride, morality, feminism, rebellion: just a few of the daily thoughts running through the mind of Sofia Galloway ’13. They are the themes of French dramatist Jean Anouilh’s adaptation of the Greek tragedy “Antigone,” which Galloway is in the process of directing. As opening night (March 14) approaches, she can add anticipation to that list as well. A year has passed since Galloway was accepted as director of the show. When she returned to the Hill for second semester, it was finally time to begin preparations, starting with auditions that took place Feb. 7-10, giving her little more than a month to have the show ready for an audience. “It’s been wonderful,” Galloway said. “Yes, it’s definitely stressful, but it forces [me] to get my work done early and fast. And I would not have that same mentality if I had three months instead.” Julia Valen ’14 and John-Michael Verrall ’14 lead the 11-member cast as Antigone and Creon, respectively. According to Galloway, a cast of 11 is the perfect size for a show playing in the “intimate” and “versatile” Haugen Theater. And just as the space of the theater will draw the audience in to the play, Galloway foresees the same from her cast. “The best auditions are those that are open, that make a director feel like they can get in the piece and really work with it,” Galloway said. “I like to be invited into the performance and feel like the actor and I could work together to make something good, great.” The St. Olaf theater department features one senior-directed performance every year. Galloway recalls attending a theater department information session during her first year and deciding that she would take advantage of this opportunity to individually
direct a performance. Assistant Professor of Theater Jeanne Willcoxon considers this project to be an opportunity that is both special and important to aspiring directors because of the amount of responsibility granted to the students. “I am so glad that we do this,” Willcoxon said. “Our students really use this opportunity to the fullest, and it gives them a taste of what they will encounter when they direct in theater after St. Olaf.” This type of experience has not been absent from Galloway’s task, who says that there is no such thing as a typical day of rehearsal. In addition to the casting, blocking and movement workshops necessary to compose the production onstage, student directors have the duty of overseeing every backstage element, such as management of the production budget and collaboration with staff involved in publicity, ticketing, scenery, design, costume, lighting and sound. Galloway has not been fazed by her workload because it already required extensive effort to achieve her position. Two years after she made the personal decision to direct during her senior year, she had to complete an application, including a budget plan, detailing previous acting and directing experience and discussing the goals for this production. “The application process is extensive and detailed,” said Professor of Theater Karen Wilson. “I don’t know of any [other] undergraduate institution in the United States that offers such an opportunity. Obviously the selection is competitive.” Galloway compared the application process to preparing an important essay. It was a challenging task, requiring major research, but it was one she was excited to tackle, especially once she selected “Antigone”: a text that perfectly illustrated the issues she hoped to see onstage.
HANNAH RECTOR/MANITOU MESSENGER
“Antigone,” directed by Sofia Galloway ’13, opens March 14 and runs through March 17.
“I was hooked,” Galloway said. “I wanted to know why it was so popular in Ancient Greece and then again in 1944 in France when it was adapted. What is it about the Greek plays that makes them so universal?” The St. Olaf theater department is clearly just as curious since they approved Galloway’s proposal. And as she prepares to unveil her vision of this production to the St. Olaf community, she hopes she can present this story in a way that is relevant for her class-
mates. “The language is so rich and beautiful,” Galloway said. “My only goal is that I can bring justice to this important and outstanding text.” “Antigone” opens March 14 and runs through March 17. firstname.lastname@example.org
Denzel Washington battles inner demons in “Flight” By Peter Kovic Contributing Writer
Overall Grade: B+ The Academy Award-nominated film “Flight” stars Denzel Washington as the commercial-airline pilot Whip Whitaker, who heroically lands a plane while drunk and high on cocaine, saving the lives of all but six passengers. The film is more about Whitaker’s struggle with his inner demons than his flying prowess, however. Alcohol dominates his waking life, along with the more-than-occasional line of coke. He uses both to forget about the broken relationships with his ex-wife and son, loneliness and his lost sense of direction in life. The film really centers on the court case between Whip and the National Travel Safety Board (NTSB), which investigates the cause of the plane crash. Whitaker’s lawyer, played by Dean Cheadle, tries to get him to stop drinking, and we see multiple occasions where Whitaker appears to overcome his struggle, but many more where he succumbs. I won’t ruin the climactic final trial scene where
Whitaker must decide between what is right and what is easy. You need to watch it to find out. You’ll understand why Washington was up for an Oscar for Best Actor. The soundtrack, composed of many Rolling Stones hits, goes well with the fifty- and sixtysomething characters, as it harkens back to happier times in the characters’ lives when they smoked and drank for fun instead of self-medication. Director Robert Zemeckis bravely depicts multiple scenes of hard-core drug abuse of cocaine and heroine. He also injects the film with a heavy dose of spirituality, but avoids a preachy tone for the most part, although at times it feels a bit forced. Whitaker’s struggle raises philosophically engaging topics concerning morality and human suffering. These aforementioned aspects deepen the characters’ lives and the film’s plot with a strong message about the way humans deal with their flawed existence in a broken universe.
By Michael Langseth Music Columnist
email@example.com PHOTO COURTESY AKTIVIOSIO VIA FLICKR.COM
a few years ago, someone made a very rough attempt at turning “Goat Yelling Like a Man” into an Usher remix. While it was a wonderful concept, did we just need more goat material? More goats singing different tones? More goats sounding like they are saying words or screaming? Goats do weird things; we all know this. The great thing is we now have them on video doing these weird things so we can add them to every video known to man. Most viral topics (e.g. the Harlem Shake and the early dubstep phase in America) blow up and disappear from public conscience a few weeks to a few months later. But before the Internet gets bored of them, people will try just about every combination imaginable. I would
Goats. “I knew you were trouble when you walked in / So shame on me now / Flew me to places I’d never been / Now I’m lying on the cold hard ground / AAAAAH. oh. AAAAAH. oh. Trouble. Trouble. Trouble / AAAAH ...” You get the idea. If you haven’t seen it yet, Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” is now the yelling goat song on YouTube. I’m probably one of the few who had never heard the full song before the remix, but I know I’m one of many who will remember it as the yelling goat song forevermore. Four weeks ago the “Goats Yelling Like Humans – Super Cut Edition” surfaced. One week later, some mastermind dubbed one of those little dudes into a Taylor Swift song. Now I feel like every song ever has a goat version. From Miley Cyrus to Bon Jovi, goats are the newest trending topic. At this point, is it annoying or hilarious? You decide. What we can know is that goats made Taylor Swift listenable. But where did they come from? Goat music remixes aren’t a new thing. Only KATIE LAUER/MANITOU MESSENGER
not even be surprised if goats made their way into an Obama speech one of these days – I bet the Internet could find a way to make that possible. Is the frequency of new topics a byproduct of our collective short attention span? Probably. Will we find a new dance, a new animal or new genre to fall in love with in a few weeks? Probably. None of that really matters to me. What amazes me about the Internet is the possibility that literally anything can gain momentum and become the talk of the town for a day – or longer, in the goat example. The plethora of possible new trending topics is truly endless – just spend a few days on Reddit and you will see how quickly these things recycle. But back to goats. If you have not seen any of these videos, check ’em out. They are obviously on YouTube and only a simple search away. Taylor Swift already acknowledged the hilarity of the whole thing by tweeting about it last week. We will see if anyone can top the Taylor Swift redub. If not, just move on to the next fad before it gets too old.
COURTESY OF EVA RINALDI CELEBRITY AND LIVE MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHER VIA FLICKR.COM
March 8, 2013
Track teams finish second in MIAC Men and women bested only by University of St. Thomas By Alana Patrick Sports Editor The St. Olaf men’s and women’s track and field teams hosted the MIAC Indoor Championships at Tostrud Center on March 2. Runners, jumpers and throwers from around the conference competed for team and individual recognition. Both Ole teams finished second to the University of St. Thomas Tommies. “I simply wanted to race for points,” middle-distance runner Brian Tomlinson ’13 said. “There is no better feeling than scoring points for the Oles.” Several Oles placed in their individual events. Grant Wintheiser ’15 won the 3,000meter run in a time of 8:39.51. Also placing in the event were John Christian ’14, Tim Lillehaugen ’13 and Phillip Meyer ’15, who finished sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. Meanwhile, Tomlinson ran to a 2:33.20, second-place finish in the 1,000-meter run. “This was my best conference finish,” Tomlinson said. “I am very pleased and surprised because I was facing some tough competition.”
Tomlinson went on to help James McFarlin ’16, Kevin Skrip ’16 and Reggie Woods ’13 claim third in the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 3:23.86. On the women’s side, Emma Lee ’13 won the 5,000 meter run. Her time of 17:14.31 was nearly a full minute faster than the second-place runner from St. Thomas. Emily Stets ’15 finished first in the 600meter dash with a time of 1:36.09, despite being placed in the second-ranked heat. Stets went on to help teammates Shaina Rud ’14, Dani Larson ’15 and Moriah Novacinski ’14 race to a 4:02.32, thirdplace finish in the 4x400-meter relay. Novacinski also claimed third place in the 1,000-meter run, earning a personal best time of 2:56.72. In the field, Larson claimed third in the high jump, clearing 1.60 meters. Elise Rainey ’14 also cleared 1.60 meters and finished fourth. The team’s second-place finishes were historic: The men’s score marked their best at the MIAC Indoor Championships since 2005. Meanwhile, the women hadn’t placed as high since 1997. The St. Olaf track teams open their
outdoor seasons on April 6 at Hamline University. The Oles’ first and only home meet of the spring is the Manitou Classic on April 20. firstname.lastname@example.org ANNA CARLSON/MANITOU MESSENGER
Where are all the gay linebackers? By Seth Ellingson Contributing Writer
EBRU YAYLA /MANITOU MESSENGER
Above: St. Olaf’s Sophie Pietrick ’13 leads a group of competitors in the 5,000 meter run at the MIAC Indoor Championships on March 2 at Tostrud Center. Pietrick finished in fifth place with a time of 18:25.04. Right: Aaron Dunphy ’15 competes in the 60-meter hurdles. Dunphy won his heat in 8.86 seconds, then went on to claim fifth place in the finals with a time of 8.80 seconds.
Women’s tennis shuts out Hamline 9-0 By Alana Patrick Sports Editor
The St. Olaf women’s tennis team swept Hamline University 9-0 on March 2 at the Owatonna Indoor Tennis Center. The win marks the Oles’ second straight conference victory to begin the 2013 season. Two doubles teams shut out their opponents: Alisa Hall ’16 and Julia Ellis ’13 defeated Hamline’s Carissa Wallerich and Rachael Barnes 8-0, and Kristi Kroker ’15 and Maya MacGibbon ’16 recorded the same score over Hamline’s Elizabeth Hughes and Cassie Rammage. Along with the doubles pairing of Caitlin Owsley ’14 and Andrea Jumes ’15, who won 8-1, all three Ole doubles teams are 2-0 in conference competition.
In singles play, Erin Hynes ’15 trumped Hughes with two unblemished 6-0 sets. Hall, Kroker, MacGibbon, Lizzie Carlson ’14 and Bailey Kent ’16 also won their matches. All six St. Olaf singles victories were recorded in straight sets, mirroring results from the Oles’ 9-0 sweep over Concordia College on Feb. 16. Ellis, who suffered a foot injury, sat out of singles competition. With the sweep, the Oles improve to 2-1-0, 2-0 in the MIAC. Next up, St. Olaf faces undefeated conference opponent University of St. Thomas (5-0, 2-0 in the MIAC) on March 8 at the Owatonna Indoor Tennis Center. The Oles’ first home match of the season is April 11 versus Carleton College. email@example.com
ST. OLAF SCHEDULE
Men’s Tennis vs. University of St. Thomas @ Owatonna, Minn. on 3/9 Women’s Tennis vs. University of St. Thomas @ Owatonna, Minn. on 3/8 Men’s and Women’s Track and Field NCAA D-III Indoor Championships @ Naperville, Ill. on 3/8-9
ST. OLAF SCOREBOARD
number of seasons (including 2013) coached by head coach Scott Nesbit
place in the MIAC in the 2012 season
number of returning AllConference players (Julia Ellis ’13 and Kristi Kroker ’15)
MIAC record in 2012
new first years in 2013
Men’s and Women’s Alpine Skiing Sun Valley USCSA National Championships @ Sun Valley, Idaho on 3/5-3/10
By the numbers
Get to know St. Olaf pentathlete Ann Govig NAME: Ann Govig ’16 TRACK: Basketball SPORT: Track FAMOUS PERSONALITIES I’D HAVE HOMETOWN: Bismark, N.D. OVER FOR DINNER: Ryan Gosling, HIGH SCHOOL: Century Michael Jordan, Lolo High School Jones, Michael Phelps and MAJOR: Undecided Channing Tatum. WHY I CHOSE ST. OLAF: F A V O R I T E I have a lot of family history PROFESSIONAL here, and I just love everyATHLETE: Michael Jordan. thing about it. Even though he doesn’t play TRACK HISTORY: I’ve anymore, he will always be been competing in track my favorite athlete. since I was in seventh grade. RANDOM FACT: I like to I’ve always loved to run. put peanut butter on almost PRE-RACE RITUAL: I anything. always have to eat a peanut FAVORITE BOOK: “The butter Cliff bar. Help” FAVORITE PUMP-UP MOST MEMORABLE Govig ’16 SONG: “Electric Avenue” by MOMENT AS AN OLE Eddy Grant ATHLETE: Taking second FAVORITE SPORTS as a team at conference. MOVIE: “Remember the Titans” or “Coach PLANS AFTER OLAF: Live in my parents’ Carter” basement for a couple years. FAVORITE TV SHOW: “Pretty Little Liars” BEST ADVICE I’VE RECEIVED: Don’t let FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Buca di Beppo obstacles stop you from what you want to do. FAVORITE SPORT OTHER THAN - Alana Patrick
With new legislation in the Minnesota House and Senate and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) set for Supreme Court hearings later this month, LGBTQ rights seem to be expanding in every direc- tion, except one: sports. Now that openly gay soldiers can fight on the front lines, you would think they could also play to win the hearts and minds of millions of Americans. Football in particular should be reform- ing its ways after 49ers’ cornerback Chris Culliver made antigay remarks on the eve of the Super Bowl. His remarks are baf- fling given the fact that in August, 49er linebacker Ahmad Brooks appeared in an “It Gets Better” video in support of gay rights. Given its popularity and influence, the National Football League (NFL) should be doing more to allow openly gay players to dominate the gridiron. Last week, sports website SB Nation ran a story outlining what the NFL can do to support gay players. Yet a sub-quote of the column read, “The NFL is ready for a gay player: The problem is the rest of society.” Historically, sports organizations were unhelpful at best in supporting civil pio- neers. Major League Baseball did not allow African Americans to play until 1947. The Masters Golf Tournament still does not allow women. The National Hockey League (NHL) is also spearheading an effort to allow openly gay players. The project is called the “You Can Play” project which highlights to fans and players that gay ath- letes are welcome. While the NHL deals with a different audience and player base, mainly coming from the liberal People’s Republic of Canada, the principle of accep- tance should be the same for all sports. Likewise, European soccer teams will often ban racist fans from the stands. The real problem with opening up the gridiron to gay athletes is the complex social undertones to the issue. Like I mentioned earlier, sports organiza- tions are unhelpful at best when it comes to social equality. Imagine if Jackie Robinson played for the Dodgers because a “You Can Play” project allowed him to. It doesn’t seem likely. Robinson started hitting hom- ers in 1947 – the Supreme Court didn’t rule segregation unconstitutional until 1968. Also, Robinson wasn’t the first barrier- breaker. African-American Jesse Owens ran for four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics in the heart of racism: Nazi Germany. The NFL doesn’t need to make a spe- cial organization just to press acceptance. Instead of trying to change a antigay institu- tion from the top down, it needs to change the institution from the bottom up. Currently, under collective bargaining agreements, players cannot announce their sexuality. The NFL should install rules to prohibit discrimination by the teams and players. If the NFL does not tackle this issue head on, the once-glorious gridiron will be filled with antigay athletes. Chris Culliver’s comment should have had him suspended or at least fined. Also, it should not be news that some 30-something-year-old men are gay. It is surprising that athletes do not feel comfort- able speaking about their sexuality in 2013. Players staying quiet about their sexuality for the “team” or “fans” are ludicrous. Two players, Scott Fujita of the New Orleans Saints and Brendan Ayanbadejo of the Baltimore Ravens, have come out in sup- port of gay rights. Hopefully over the next couple months, more will join them. If the NFL contains discrimination by imposing game bans and fines on players making antigay remarks, we will undoubtedly see openly gay players out on the gridiron. firstname.lastname@example.org
March 8, 2013
Day at the Capitol inspires political involvement
Minnesota State Grant Program. “[Kathy Brynaert] was very receptive to Fifteen Oles put on their best suits and what I had to say and was willing to engage made their way to St. Paul to participate in a discussion about the topic,” Berg said. in the annual Day at the Capitol event Other students encountered state lawmakon Wednesday, Feb. 27. A program run ers that were not in support of the program, through the Minnesota Private College exposing them to different points of view Council, Day at the Capitol offers students on the issue. a chance to learn “My representative said how to lobby their he was not in support of legislators. the program because of the “Specifically, we potential tax increase,” Alec go to the Capitol to Paulson ’16 said. “But, it was voice our support still a great experience to for the Minnesota learn how to lobby, especialState Grant Proly being at the State Capitol.” gram, which helps Overall, the 15 Oles rearound 90,000 turned to campus well-instudents across formed after a successful, the state pay for politically engaging day at college,” Political the Capitol. Awareness Com“I’d say the day was a sucmittee (PAC) Cocess,” George said. “Most ordinator Kevin of the students were able to George ’13 said. meet with their legislators as The proposed scheduled, and most found budget of the grant support for the program. would be able to There will always be naysayhelp more students ers, but the program generin the program ally receives bipartisan supthan in the past. port in the legislature, and “The governor we saw that play out while has proposed an we were there.” $80 million inNot only did Oles get to crease in funding to offer their support on an isthe grant program, sue that impacts many of by far the largest their fellow students, but single increase in they also gained field expeits history,” George rience that will be beneficial said. “This would in the future. “Learning how open up opportuto approach your legislators nities to expand is an important skill in makCOURTESY OF FIBONACCI BLUE VIA FLICKR.COM the program, helping your voice heard now St. Olaf students spent the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 27, learning the basics of lobbying and meeting one-on-one ing students whose with their lawmakers. Day at the Capitol, run by the Minnesota Private College Council, offers students a chance to and later in life, and that’s families have slight- talk to their congresspeople about an issue important to college students: funding for need-based grants. something this day teaches,” ly higher incomes, George said. as well as including non-traditional students.” lectures about the Minnesota State Grant access to our representatives and senators. email@example.com The Minnesota State Grant program cur- Program and meetings with representatives It’s great you can go to their office and state rently assists nearly 500 St. Olaf students as and senators from the students’ respective your opinion on a given issue.” Berg met a part of their financial aid. districts. In addition, attendees wrote lit- with Kathy Brynaert, her district represen“We were allotted $1.4 million in state erature in support of the Minnesota State tative, taking the opportunity to discuss the Shannon Cron Online Editor
assistance, freeing up that money to be used toward other scholarships or other academic investments,” George said. “Additionally, because the money doesn’t have to be paid back, it really can make a difference in many students’ ability to pay for school.” The day consisted of training sessions about how to properly lobby, informational
Grant Program to be given to government officials, including Gov. Dayton. Alyssa Berg ’15 chose to attend Day at the Capitol because she is interested in learning more about the legislative process, especially on the local level. “I had a very good experience,” Berg said. “I am always amazed by the ease of
Confessions- humor, advice Continued from A1
tor said. Despite the serious attention being given to these pages, students have not failed to see the humor in this latest campus craze. St. Olaf Pets, launched on Feb. 26, asks Oles to “anonymously submit your funniest stories, happiest memories or most desperate cries for attention,” advertising that, “we won’t even ask if they’re true!” The allure of the Internet is tempting, and St. Olaf students have certainly bit into the apple. While discussion about the issues that St. Olaf Confessions and its contemporaries raise is necessary, the pages’ moderators assert that there is plenty of good in them as well. “It provides humor, lets people get
things off their chest and has been a pretty decent vehicle for giving people advice, even though that’s not how it was originally intended,” Moderator B said. The moderator of St. Olaf Flirts also views these pages as a mostly positive thing. “It makes me feel like the student body is united by something more than the unsteady bonds of campus cliques,” she said. While students may never look at the Kildahl lounge or the Ellingson showers in the same way again, perhaps some will gain the courage to finally talk to a campus crush or be inspired to visit the Wellness Center simply to talk – to a real person.
AMPLIFY YOUR OPPORTUNITIES.
Security- protocols updated Continued from A1 parking lots by students who possess a permit, but they are not allowed inside campus buildings. To keep weapons out of residence halls and students’ cars, Public Safety is in control of a secured room where students can store weapons used for hunting or target practice. “These weapons can be checked in or out 24 hours a day, but each person has to provide a government-issued ID,” Anderson said. “Most of the ‘weapons’ currently stored with Public Safety are archery equipment.” While many precautions have been taken to keep students safe on campus, all those interviewed stressed the importance of being aware and looking out for others. “Students must realize they are about 80 percent responsible for their own safety,” Behr said. “Trusting your instincts and caring for each other will go a long way in promoting safety on campus.” Sandberg agreed and said, “We live in the real world, even though
it’s easy to talk about our ‘bubble.’ It is important to be aware of our surroundings, here and everywhere we go.” In order to keep abreast of campus emergencies, students are encouraged to sign up for Ole Alerts, an emergency notification system that sends text messages to Oles’ phones in case of a campus emergency. “We have about 1,400 students, staff and faculty signed up for this emergency alert system, but I am hopeful that we [will get] that number up to over 2,000,” Vice President of Student Life Greg Kneser said. “This not only helps in the unlikely event of a violent incident, but for something much more likely, like a tornado.” To sign up for Ole Alerts, go to http://stolaf.edu/olealert to create an account. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Notre Dame Master of Science in Business. Plug into the graduate business degree for non-business majors with little to no work experience. This intense, 11-month course of study will give you a master’s level understanding of core business tenets. And the skills you develop will complement all that you learned and the talents you sharpened as an undergraduate. The result? Your appeal to potential employers will come through loud and clear. CLASSES BEGIN IN JUNE. FINAL DEADLINE: MARCH 11. Get application information at msb.nd.edu or call 574.631.8488.
Off the hill
March 8, 2013
White House takes pro-gay marriage stance in Supreme Court brief
By Kassandra DiPietro, Jordan Tiller and Madeleine Tibaldi
Chavezâ€™s death shakes Venezuela
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez died Tuedsay following a long battle with cancer. Chavez had governed Venezuela since 1999. National Public Radio reports that thousands of mourners lined the streets of Caracas Wednesday to show their support. Chavez was known for his violent opposition to the United States and his close alliance with Cubaâ€™s Fidel Castro. He brought what he called â€œ21st-Century Socialismâ€? to Venezuela with a plethora of social programs for the poor and the nationalization of many companies. Although he failed to turn Venezuelaâ€™s oil wealth into widespread prosperity, Chavez enjoyed ardent support from many Venezuelans. Former Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel pointed to Chavezâ€™s ability to empower the marginalized. â€œChavez took them out of the shadows,â€? Rangel said. â€œThatâ€™s his magic.â€?
Sequester brings automatic cuts
On March 1, President Obama acknowledged that Congress had not reached a deal to prevent automatic budget cuts known as the sequester. Over the next ten months, government spending will automatically be cut by $85.4 billion. The cuts include a nine percent reduction in nonâ€“defense program funding and a 13 percent reduction for defense programs. According to the Washington Post, most mandatory services, such as Medicaid, Social Security and the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, are exempt from the sequester. However, some lowincome assistance programs, most notably aid for Women, Infants and Children and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, face downsizing. The economy will take a hit, although experts disagree on the extent of the damage. Macroeconomic Advisors predicts a 0.25 point increase in the unemployment rate and a 0.6 point decrease in economic growth for the year.
Kenyans vote in landmark election On March 4, Kenyans flooded polling stations to cast their ballots in a hotly contested presidential election. The election is crucial for Kenya. It is the countryâ€™s first since 2007, when widespread evidence of vote rigging set off ethnic clashes that killed over a thousand people. According to Al Jazeera, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, the current frontrunner, has been accused by the International Criminal Court of instigating the 2007 violence. Kenyatta is charged with hiring gang members to target ethnic groups that opposed his party following the election. Recent disappearances of key witnesses in Kenyattaâ€™s upcoming trial cast further suspicion on the prime minister. Kenyattaâ€™s main rival is Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Odinga, notorious in the U.S. for claiming to be President Obamaâ€™s cousin, has made three previous bids at the presidency. His platform includes tax breaks on food and fuel and promises to improve gender equality and health care.
The Obama administration has solidified its position in support of gay marriage, filing a Supreme Court brief against Californiaâ€™s proposed gay marriage ban on grounds that it violates the Constitutionâ€™s equal protection clause. Although the White House was clear about its lack of support for Proposition 8, according to the New York Times, the brief filed last Thursday did not lobby for courts to ban such legislation nationwide. While President Obama has changed his initial anti-gay-marriage stance, the White House does not appear willing to take such a bold step and push for federal legalization of gay marriage. Instead, the White House will continue to leave this decision to individual state governments. The Supreme Court is set to debrief on the case on March 26-27, once again determining the fate of gay marriage in California.
Italy faces postelection turmoil
More political turmoil is headed for Italy. After last weekâ€™s elections, no clear winner emerged in the race between former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, center-left candidate Pier Luigi Bersani and the Five Star Movement, led by comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo. According to Time, Bersani accumulated a narrow victory in the lower house of Parliament with 29.6 percent of the vote, while Berlusconi won 29.2 percent. Bersani fell short of a majority in the Senate. Grillo made surprising inroads in Parliament, prompting some analysts to worry over the noviceâ€™s new power. At 75 percent, Italian voter turnout hit its lowest since World War II. Without a clear majority, Bersani cannot form a government, leaving Italy in a state of political gridlock once again. The countryâ€™s current president exits office in May.
HIV patient cured Doctors cured an HIVâ€“infected baby for the first time on Sunday. The baby was treated with antiretroviral drugs around 30 hours after birth, according to the New York Times. Now, over two years later, the baby has no trace of HIV. The results have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed publication but, if confirmed, this would only be the second well-documented HIV cure in the world. Some doctors are skeptical that the baby even had HIV in the first place. Dr. Deborah Persaud, the lead author of the report, said her team is certain because they ran several tests before and after administering the drugs. There is also speculation that this cure only worked because the drugs killed off the virus before it could establish itself, thus not guaranteeing effectiveness in adults with an established HIV colony. Dr. Persaud, however, compares the case to that of Timothy Brown, the first person ever cured of HIV. â€œFor pediatrics, this is our Timothy Brown,â€? Persaud said. â€œItâ€™s proof of principle that we can cure HIV infection if we can replicate this case.â€?
CAPTION IT! By Shannon Cron Online Editor
After a sudden â€“ yet, daily â€“ craving for peanut butter (donâ€™t be surprised, Iâ€™m a college girl), I walked down the stairs and into the Cafeteria. As I spooned a few scoops of peanut butter into my bowl, I saw my friend across the counter. â€œIan!â€? I said enthusiastically. â€œShannon!â€? he said equally as enthusiastically. With way too much energy to be in the Caf at 5:30 p.m. and too much excitement to be seeing each other after only three hours apart, we gave each other an awkward hug while simultaneously holding onto our food. It was a struggle, but we made it work. We discussed what we needed to, and then we went our separate ways after exchanging goodbyes similar to our style of greeting: obnoxiously. â€œIâ€™ll come over to see you later tonight!â€? Ian said as he walked away. â€œThatâ€™s whatâ€™s up!â€? I said, emphasizing the punctuation with my hands. 1.) Iâ€™ve never said that phrase in my life, and for good, self explanatory reasons. 2.) What was I doing with my hands? 3.) I said the phrase loudly. Very loudly. So loudly that heads turned after I spoke, and they judged me. It was so obvious that even my kind roommate couldnâ€™t sugarcoat the situation. â€œThat was loud,â€? I said in a whisper. â€œYes. Yes it was,â€? my roommate said. At that point, there was nothing we could do but laugh. We laughed as if weâ€™d just heard the funniest MRNH LQ WKH ZRUOG IRU WKH Ă€UVW WLPH %XW QR MXVW PH embarrassing myself. Nothing new. Prone to embarrassment? Send YOUR Awkward Ole Moment to email@example.com and appear in this column!
COURTESY OF MIKHAIL KONININ VIA FLICKR.COM
Send us your best caption for this photo! Submit your creation to the Messengerâ€™s Facebook page or at manitoumessenger.com. The winning caption will appear in next weekâ€™s paper.
E V E N T S
March 9 /
March 12 /
How to Swear Like a Minnesotan 7 p.m., Bryant Lake Bowl; Mpls Comedian Joseph Scrimshaw mixes standup and storytelling
Hamlet 2 p.m., Ordway Center; St. Paul Final performance of Ambroise Thomasâ€™ opera, re-imagining the Shakespearean classic
DIY Printing All day, Minnesota Museum of American Art; St. Paul Exhibit and workshops from print collectives around the Twin Cities
Fifty Percent Illusion 7:30 p.m., Weitz 172; Carleton Student written and directed play exploring themes of women and madness
Charles Lloyd Sky Trio 7 p.m., Dakota Jazz Club; Mpls Jazz saxophone with special guest Gerald Clayton
Lauren Stringer 7 p.m., Loft Literary Center; Mpls Winner of the McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers reads from her newest picture book