Author: Katie Sieger

Halloween costume trends reflect this years biggest fads

It’s that time of year again – Halloween is right around the corner, and you still don’t have a costume planned. To avoid going as a ‘nudist on strike’ again or not even wearing a costume, you holiday ruiner, choose one of these options and get in the Halloween spirit!

The Government Shutdown

Commemorate everyone’s favorite petty slap-fight of this past year by going as the government shutdown. Throw on a few political buttons and wear a sport coat over pajamas to be a furloughed government employee. Spend the night asking those around you if they know of any nongovernmental job openings. If you want to take it one step farther, dress up as the Lincoln Memorial. All you need is a top hat and a beard, although you can go to the extreme and paint your face, hair, hat and beard white for a marble-like effect and hang a sign around your neck that says, “Sorry we’re closed!”

Miley Cyrus and the Wrecking Ball

Let’s just take a moment and thank Miley for providing so much material for Halloween costumes this year. This costume is best executed with a friend: Have one person be Miley and the other be the wrecking ball. For the Miley costume, wear a white crop top, white hot pants and heavy-duty work boots. Red lipstick and slicked-back hair complete the look bonus points if you carry around a sledgehammer the whole night and occasionally lick it. For the wrecking ball, poke leg holes and arm holes in a black plastic trash bag. Fill the garbage bag with objects like pillows or blankets that will help you to appear round, and then cinch the bag around your neck not too tight, of course. Get a chunky grey plastic chain from Menards and wear it around your neck. On Halloween night, have the person dressed as Miley ride around on piggyback on the person being the wrecking ball, with both warbling the chorus to the song as loudly as possible. The person playing Miley should work up a few lovesick tears for authenticity.

The Royal Baby

The whole world collectively “aww-ed” when Prince George of Cambridge was born this summer. Grab an adult-sized onesie or footie pajamas and a massive costume pacifier to pass as a baby. To make your costume royal, cut out a crown from cardboard and spray-paint it gold. Easy enough! Now go around the whole night bragging about your pedigree and demanding that people bow in your presence.

A character from “The Great Gatsby”

Whether you enjoyed the movie or not, Gatsby costumes are going to be big this Halloween. For the ladies, grab a fringed dress or your favorite LBD and pair it with pearls, fishnet tights and a feathered headband. Wear your hair in a faux bob or a low bun if you don’t already have a flapper-inspired bob. Dapper fellows should wear flashy suits and slick back their hair. Add a pinky signet ring and a boutonniere for true authenticity.

Group costume: boy bands past their prime

While we all screamed like fangirls when *NSYNC reunited at the 2013 VMAs, we failed to notice that the group is a little past its prime. And did you know that the Backstreet Boys formed 20 years ago? This should make you feel old. This year, channel your favorite boy bands with a ribbed tank top, chains and baggy cargo pants while adding geriatric accessories like temporary gray hairspray, fake glasses, drawn-on wrinkles and a cane. Bonus points if you can wrangle up a few hands-free microphones – you can also try making some out of pipe cleaners and aluminum foil!

Great places to find resources for all these costumes and more! are secondhand stores downtown and Ragstock. Borrowing from friends is also a great way to make a costume on the cheap.

So there you have it. Now you really have no excuse not to dress up this Halloween!

× Featured

Proposed SGA Constitution changes put to the vote

A look ahead to fall 2013

This coming fall, Oles can expect to see more than a few changes around campus, ranging from updates to school policy and administration to changes in buildings.

Perhaps one of the biggest changes will be the expansion of the Cage, which will include 70 new tables, better lighting and more electrical outlets. Renovations for the Cage involve shuffling office spaces in Buntrock, including the already relocated Buntrock information desk. These changes will take place this summer, but students will be able to stay on top of the renovations through the St. Olaf Web page.

Fall semester will also see the near-elimination of bottled water on campus, a move that will be implemented slowly over the summer.

After a referendum brought about by the group Take Back the Tap passed last year with 86 percent of participating students supporting the idea, St. Olaf and Bon Appétit sought to collaborate with the group to find options concerning bottled water that balanced institutional necessities while honoring the student vote.

In an email to students on April 25, Vice President Greg Kneser outlined the changes that will take effect by the fall semester. St. Olaf will eliminate bottled water from vending machines and the bag lunch line and will install water dispensers in bathrooms of residence halls and academic buildings.

After undergoing extensive renovations this fall, the Flaten Art Barn will reopen its doors. The new building, the brainchild of former St. Olaf professor and art department founder Arnold Flaten ’22, has been painstakingly recreated from the dimensions of the original Art Barn over the past five years.

“The timber frame for the building was built five years ago, and we only just now got around to putting it together,” Kneser said. “It will be used for classes, meetings and events and will eventually have an outdoor space as well. It’s going to be really cool – it’s a beautiful space.”

Additionally, Hilleboe Hall will become the first ‘green’ dorm on campus, housing students who will have their rooms Green Room Certified and will participate in environmental sustainability-related learning.

“Jim Farrell, Professor in History and Environmental Studies, approached me five to seven years ago about connecting housing and environmental issues,” said Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life Pamela McDowell, adding that recent funding has made the project possible for the 2013-2014 academic year.

McDowell said that there was significant interest in the new green dorm, as 60 percent of the rooms were filled at room draw, and now they are almost 100 percent filled.

Fall will also usher in the class of 2017. Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jeffrey McLaughlin said that there is no need for current Oles to be concerned that the incoming class will have a record enrollment as in past years.

“We are currently projecting about 750 new first-year students,” McLaughlin said. This number is significantly smaller than the current first-year class of 865 students. The incoming class will only be 42 percent male but boasts record enrollments of both international students and U.S. citizens who define themselves as multicultural.

“Our overall selection process was carefully focused to ensure that we did not enroll a class as big as our current first-year class,” McLaughlin said. “The increase in applicants, combined with our desire to have a smaller class, meant that we were more selective.”

McDowell said that she is not worried about finding housing for the new class, which has been a problem in past years. First years will be housed in Ellingson, Hoyme, Kildahl and Kittelsby, and McDowell does not believe any floors of Mohn will be used for first-years.

Another big change that students perhaps may not be aware of is the retirement of college treasurer Alan Norton.

“He’s the person that has been really consistent in making sure that finances work,” Kneser said. “He’s terrific. It’s a very big deal to the college [that he is retiring], and the search is on to replace him.”

The fall of 2013 will undoubtedly be ushered in with a bang, thanks to all of the exciting changes, both visible and beneath the surface, happening on campus.

× Featured

Proposed SGA Constitution changes put to the vote

Stop pressuring women to seek their spouses during college

In a letter to the editor of The Daily Princetonian entitled “Advice for the young women of Princeton: the daughters I never had,” Susan A. Patton, an alumna from the class of 1977, gave some interesting advice to the women of Princeton: Find your husband while in college.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Patton starts off her letter by telling readers that she’s going to give them a snippet of advice that they’ve never heard before, different from the advice on “professional advancement, breaking through [the] glass ceiling and achieving work/life balance” that Princeton women have heard a million times before. Instead, she proposes that women should spend more time looking for a man than hitting the books.

Wait, aren’t colleges for furthering one’s education?

As a person who firmly believes that getting married before 27 is akin to leaving the party before 9 p.m., Patton’s letter left me aghast. While others may find that the right path for them involves the fabled “ring by spring,” I would hope that even those people would agree with me that college is foremost a place for education.

Here’s why:

Patton presents college as the time to meet a potential mate because “you will never again have this concentration of men who are worthy of you.” Fundamentally, I can agree with this statement. In what other situation in life are you going to be presented with such a large, varied pool of potential mates that are also motivated and working towards achieving a higher education? Unless you’re planning on going to graduate school, this statement will never be more true than it is now. And when Patton says “men who are worthy of you,” she means “intelligent and mature men who are worthy of an equally intelligent woman.” Patton is not advocating in her letter that women should lower their standards, which is something I can get behind.

Now here’s what I don’t agree with: This message was written only to the women of Princeton.

According to Patton, men don’t exactly need to be on the lookout for eligible women during college because they literally have the whole world of women open to them all the time. She details her sons’ relationships both Princetonians, stating that her older son “had the good judgment and great fortune to marry a classmate of his, but he could have married anyone,” and that for her younger son, a junior in college, “the universe of women he can marry is limitless.”

Patton concludes her letter with a mystifying breakdown of a collegiate woman’s options for finding men. She ultimately concludes that as you move up the ranks in college, the amount of men from which you can choose grows smaller because you can only pick someone from your own class year or older. Men, on the other hand, “have four classes of women to choose from.”


I think the argument that Patton is trying to make here is that in order to find someone with the same intelligence and maturity level, a woman needs to aim for someone her age or older. But is that necessarily true? Everyone is different, and lumping everyone into the same categories is taking a step backward. Also, the idea that men can basically choose whomever they want at any point in life while women should essentially find their mate freshman or sophomore year while the “pickings are still good” bewilders me. Patton is doing nothing here except furthering the patriarchal idea that “this is a man’s world” with her portrayal of the social pecking order.

I also find fault in the fact that the letter is explicitly addressed to women, as if females have to work to meet a suitable mate while suitable mates just fall into men’s laps. I can see Patton’s letter to male Princetonians now: “Advice for the young men of Princeton: keep doing what you’re doing because the whole world of women is at your fingertips!”

Frankly, male readers should also take offense with Patton’s argument. She asserts that men “regularly marry women who are younger, less intelligent and less educated,” saying that “it’s amazing how forgiving men can be about a woman’s lack of erudition if she is exceptionally pretty.” While biology and science may argue that the male eye is attracted to women of beauty for their potential offspring’s sake, her reduction of the male species to a simple biological reaction makes all men seem like pigs trolling to get with women with big breasts and pouty lips. I don’t know about you, but I like to think that men are more complex than that.

Furthermore, Patton’s idea that college is for finding a husband is fundamentally infuriating. College is for learning. College is for expanding one’s worldview. College is a time for self-reflection, travel and growth. Though you may have a huge pool of fish in front of you, you don’t have to pick up that fishing pole unless you truly want to. This is not the 1970s, Patton. Not everyone’s “cornerstone of … future and happiness will be inextricably linked to the [men they] marry.” I can make my own happiness perfectly fine, thanks!

Katie Sieger ’14 is from Duluth, Minn. She majors in English.

× Featured

Proposed SGA Constitution changes put to the vote

Leftover flex dollars will be donated to Northfield Food Shelf

This spring, Oles have the opportunity to help out a good cause with just a swipe of their student ID cards.

Starting on Wednesday, May 1 and running through the last day that flex dollars may be spent, students can donate any unused flex dollars toward the Food Shelf in Northfield. Students can donate in increments of $1 and $5, which will then be used by the Food Shelf in Northfield to buy fresh produce from local farmers to give to families in need.

This project is the brainchild of Solvejg Wastvedt ’14 Wastvedt is a member of the editorial staff of the Manitou Messenger. She explained how the idea came to her after seeing Oles trying to get rid of their flex dollars at the end of the year by purchasing cakes, cases of juice or stacks of cookies.

“Students feel pressured to spend all their flex dollars at the end of the year because there is no opportunity to donate them or use them in another way,” Wastvedt said. “I felt the option was needed to do something constructive with that money.”

Wastvedt did research on the possibility and found out that several other schools with Bon Appétit have given students similar options, including Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis. With the help of Judy Bickel, program director of the Community Action Center of Northfield CAC, and Hana Ferronato ’14, the idea to donate the money to the Food Shelf to buy local produce was formed.

“That way, the money stays within the community,” Wastvedt said. Wastvedt then approached Peter Abrahamson, general manager at Bon Appétit St. Olaf College, with her idea.

“The Cage has never done anything like this before, simply because no one has ever approached us with an idea like this,” Abrahamson said. “I wasn’t hesitant to try it, I just didn’t have a lot of experience with a project like this. But her project seemed to fit within the Bon Appétit family, so to speak, especially because it keeps things local.”

Wastvedt wants students to be aware that they can donate as much as they wish, but the donations will follow Bon Appétit’s guidelines for food cost. When you buy $10 worth of food at the Cage, the Cage then gives you $4 worth of food. The other $6 goes toward paying wages, running the Cage, machinery and paying the people who produce the yogurt, among other costs. This 40/60 breakdown will be applied to any money donated to the Food Shelf.

Abrahamson wanted to stress that this policy is standard among restaurants and the Cage’s policy is significantly more generous than those of other food service establishments, particularly because the Cage incurs higher costs for local, sustainable food.

“We don’t want this fact discouraging students who may donate in any way,” he said. “The money still goes to a great cause and will be put to good use.” The donations, which will be taken right at the register in the Cage, go directly toward the Food Shelf operated by the CAC.

In the past, St. Olaf students have aided the CAC by volunteering, putting on fundraisers and holding food drives, but there have been fewer of these in recent years. Bickel said she was thrilled to hear of Wastvedt’s project and has very high hopes for it.

“The CAC is committed to ending hunger in Northfield. No one needs to go hungry [here],” Bickel said. “We hope Solvejg’s project is wildly successful, and I personally want students on campus to know that their donations will be spent wisely and entirely on fresh produce purchased directly from local farmers.”

Students can begin making donations next week.

× Featured

Proposed SGA Constitution changes put to the vote

Mens tennis

The St. Olaf men’s tennis team snapped its three-match losing streak on April 13 as the Oles defeated Saint John’s University 6-3 at the Sartell Fitness Evolution.

The Oles started off the match by sweeping the doubles competition. Andy Catania ’13 and Stephen Nolan ’15 evened their record for the year to 4-4 as they triumphed over Johnnies Jack Hansen and Fabricio Moncada 8-6. Pairs Ryan Abdella ’13 and Joey Kronzer ’16 and Ben Carlson ’16 and Charlie Reinertsen ’13 took home wins as well, topping their rivals 8-4 and 8-6, respectively.

The Oles used the fire from their strong start to propel them into the singles competition, where they won three out of six matches. Nolan lost his first set against Johnnie Joe Laue 3-6 only to come back and shut out Laue in the second set 6-0, forcing a super tiebreaker. Nolan then won the match after winning the super tiebreaker 10-5.

Kronzer pushed through a tight match to top Johnnie Jack Hansen 7-5, 7-6. The Oles’ third singles victory went to Nico Gibb ’15, who topped Zach Shriwise 6-4, 6-4.

The win over Saint John’s comes at an important time for the Oles with playoffs only a few weeks away.

“The atmosphere was pretty intense because going into the match we knew that beating Saint John’s was important for making the playoffs,” Carlson said. “They are right behind us in the MIAC standings.”

“I think the team did an awesome job to stay confident and play our own games,” Nolan said. “We knew that if we played to our full capabilities then a result would follow, and I think every player really showed up ready to play.”

The Oles 4-4, 3-2 in the MIAC faces off against Bethel University 5-6, 1-4 in the MIAC on April 20 in Roseville, Minn.

× Featured

Proposed SGA Constitution changes put to the vote