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ISSUE 119 VOL 7 PUBLISHED 11/4/2005

Senate offers apology letter

By Lauren Radomski
Variety Editor

Friday, November 4, 2005

Student Senate is drafting a letter of apology to Carleton College and the Northfield community in response to the offensive behavior of several Oles at Carleton’s homecoming football game Oct. 8.

Since the incident, Dean of Students Greg Kneser has received numerous letters and e-mails from Northfield residents who witnessed approximately 20 St. Olaf students acting in a disrespectful manner toward Carleton fans, including families and other visitors.

According to reports, students directed profanity, racially offensive comments and malicious remarks about individuals toward Carleton supporters. Students also flashed their middle fingers at Carleton fans and spit on a Carleton student later in the day.

The apology is meant to counter a St. Olaf student’s response to the incident, published in the Oct. 28 issue of the Manitou Messenger. This student, whose opinion was also published in the Carleton student newspaper, described the behavior as commonplace, writing “Anyone attending sporting events should expect a little trash talk.”

Student Government Association (SGA) Vice President Rachel Erickson '06 does not agree with this attitude.

"We can't stand by and let this [student’s response] speak on behalf of the student body," she said. Erickson hopes that the letter from Senate will combat these sentiments.

Nicole Callies ‘'06, student alumni association senator, is leading the drafting of the letter. She highlighted the importance of the letter in defining St. Olaf's values.

She hopes the letter will encourage students to reflect on the question, "What are we as St. Olaf students and how should we be behaving?"

Erickson said that Senate will decide whether or not to accept the letter at the meeting on Nov. 3. Should the letter pass, students would receive an e-mail containing an explanation of the incident as well as a copy of the letter.

As a way of taking a stand against the behavior exhibited at the game, students would also have the opportunity to sign a petition accompanying the letter.

Petition tabling is tentatively planned for lunch and dinner Friday, dinner Sunday and lunch Monday. The Senate would then submit the letter and petition to the Carleton student newspaper and possibly the Northfield News.

While most of the responses to the football game have come from permanent Northfield residents, the actions of Oles at the Cereal Bowl did not go unnoticed by Carleton students.

According to Carleton student body president C.J. Griffiths, who attended last week’s Senate meeting, students across the river are particularly offended by the “Carleton Sucks” shirts sold by Ole Ventures.

Vanessa Witt ’'07, the inter-campus liason and chair of the Inter-campus Committee, believes that the actions of certain Oles at the football game must not go unaddressed.

Although St. Olaf students, "want to be global citizens of the world," Witt said, they must first "be good citizens here in Northfield.”

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