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ISSUE 119 VOL 14 PUBLISHED 3/17/2006

Case Day plans thwarted

By Brenna Bray
Staff Writer

Friday, March 17, 2006

A St. Olaf senior encountered unexpected difficulties when trying to print T-shirts for the senior class to wear on "Case Day."

The owners of Larson’s Printing and Rocky Top Screen Printing & Embroidery, both Northfield companies, refused to print "Case Day" T-shirts when approached by the senior, who wishes to remain anonymous due to possible repercussions from the St. Olaf administration and the police, on Thursday, March 9.

The printing companies’ owners said that Dean of Students Greg Kneser had personally called them and persuaded them not to print Case Day T-shirts for any St. Olaf students.

"Anyone organizing, encouraging or supporting the effort [of] people trying to drink a case of beer in a day might find themselves on the end of a legal suit if one of those people winds up drinking themselves to death, killing someone in a drunk driving accident or causing harm via a sexual assault or other incident," Kneser said regarding the incident.

Potential ramifications influenced the printing companies’ refusal.

"Larson’s and Rocky Top understand the legal liabilities they could encounter if they were part of it as well, and choose to decline the business," Kneser said.

Kneser also said anyone who prints Case Day T-shirts will put themselves in a precarious legal position.

"As an organizer of an event, the College will hold them accountable as well," Kneser said. "Putting people at risk like this could lead to suspension from St. Olaf, because it is a dangerous and thoughtless event ... We won't mess around with this."

The senior was sympathetic to the printing companies’ resistance to print the shirts.

"Northfield is a small town and much of their business comes from the colleges," the senior said. "The last thing [a local business] wants to do is [aggravate] much of their business."

The senior expressed frustrations that neither printing establishment would even look at the design to "see that it contained no explicit reference to St. Olaf."

The senior emphasized that students consider Case Day a chance to relax.

"Case Day is a fun day every spring where we can forget about the everyday stuff of St. Olaf," the senior said. "You do not have to drink to participate in Case Day – in this respect, it is no different from St. Patrick’s Day, the Super Bowl or the Fourth of July for many people."

But Kneser expressed reservations about the tradition based on past examples.

"Three weeks ago on Case Day at Gustavus, an underage person drank themselves into a coma and passed out in -20 degree weather," Kneser said. The minor was found passed out in the snow at approximately 2 a.m., and could have died; organizers could have been charged with the minor’s death. “[The charges] could have ruined them,” Kneser said.

The senior again emphasized that Case Day is a celebration for some students.

"We just want a cool T-shirt to wear," the senior said.

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