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ISSUE 118 VOL 2 PUBLISHED 9/24/2004

WCAL essential to St. Olafs mission

By Melanie Meinzer
Contributing Writer

Friday, September 24, 2004

While the arguments voiced in the Save WCAL opinion piece that ran in your last issue should suffice to convince the Board of Regents and the president of our college to reconsider their decision to pawn off WCAL, I have another, very deep concern about the negative effect the sale would have on the St. Olaf community.

As a college of the church, St. Olaf is responsible for carrying the light of Christs love into the world. It does so in a number of ways, but perhaps none more directly as through the broadcasts of our beautiful chapel services and the support of classical radio programming, which gives voice to the rich tradition of expressing faith through music on WCAL.

Most members of our community have not spent as much time in Boe Chapel as the handful of us that are religion majors, but through the programming of WCAL, thousands have been enriched by the faith tradition that has shaped so many of our lives.

Supporting a spirit of harmony, encouraging a community appreciation for Creations beauty, and advocating for the voiceless and disenfranchised are what I have come to value as my Christian mission.

This is not an easy charge, and tangible examples of powerful Christian witness, such as WCAL, are sometimes difficult to find. If $400,000 each year is more valuable to the college than maintaining the integrity of our religious heritage and calling, I must have misunderstood what President Thomforde has always meant when calling us a college of the Church.

If our colleges core mission of great teaching does not, as President Thomforde has said, include teaching students to value strong communities knit together through the loving ties of faith, I must have misunderstood what sort of teaching he means.

We are losing something whose worth is difficult to put on paper. It is impossible to assign it a monetary value. However, I think this characteristic makes it more important, not less so.

I implore the Board of Regents and President Thomforde to continue on in the spirit of not just great teaching, but the Greatest Teaching, and to appreciate the invaluable merits of spreading the beauty of Gods Word on 89.3 WCAL.

Carolyn Albert 05

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