Ole class of '96 here. I read the Mess fairly regularly online. Last week, I read an article about alcohol on campus that I considered writing in about, but decided not to. This week, on the front page, I see an article link for "Boozin' Bums."
I figured it was an article or response to the article from last week talking about a particular type of individual who chose to drink. Imagine my surprise when I clicked on the link and it took me to a column about sex. Not only that, the question was utterly repulsive.
I take incredible pride in graduating from St. Olaf. On a daily basis, living in the Washington, D.C. area, I have the opportunity to share with someone what Olaf is all about and why I am so happy to have gone there. Most people here don't know the school. Something I always share with them is the quality of the student who goes to school there. I believe there is something special about becoming an Ole, something that transcends campus and lives with you forever. Now is when you are building memories that form the foundation for membership in this circle, and is this something you (and the author) want to be remembered for when you are my age? (Keeping in mind I am only 32!) My wife is an Ole, our friends are Oles, I want my two boys to become Oles, but I don't enjoy the association with this content.
I am not so far removed from campus to be mistaken about drinking on campus and the draw of the drink to students. This is not the issue at hand, but rather the issue is the incredibly crass content now filling up the paper. Ten years ago, this wouldn't have even made the back page, and now it sounds like reporting with citations of sources. Would you see this in The Washington Post? Star Tribune? Chicago Tribune? Any paper? This is a reflection of St. Olaf students, and an incredibly poor one. It is evident that research went into a response, which means this question was deliberately selected for response.
Best regards, Andrew Kemmetmueller '96