Author: Katie Sieger

Ole track: the snow must go on

The women’s outdoor track team weathered the snowy conditions in the second meet of the season at the Winona State Warrior Invitational on April 13 in Winona, Minn.

Emma Lee ’13, Rebecca Bevans ’13 and Sophie Pietrick ’13 took spots one, two and three, respectively, in the 10,000-meter run, all qualifying for the upcoming Drake Relays. Lee won in 35:47.24, with Bevans clocking in at 36:27.12 and Pietrick rounding out the trio with a time of 37:19.99. They are now ranked 3rd, 11th and 21st in the nation, respectively.

The three Oles were extremely pleased with their sweep, especially in a meet made difficult by the terrible weather conditions.

“To get psyched up [for a race], I remind myself of all of the training that I’ve done and the success that I’ve had. I tell myself that I am strong and fast and that the weather doesn’t matter,” Lee said. “During this race, some of my teammates were out there for every single lap, and they helped power me through.”

Bevans shared similar sentiments.

“The thing that got me through every lap were my teammates letting me know they were there for me, and watching Coach [Andrea] Gelle grin every time I ran past while she told me my lap splits,” Bevans said.

“Getting second … was unbelievable,” she added. “I had a huge personal record over last year and felt better than I ever have during a race.”

Powerhouse Moriah Novacinski ’14 edged out Amanda Rothbauer of UW-River Falls by 0.1 seconds to win the 800-meter run in 2:20.83. Abby Engelhart ’14 took third with a time of 2:21.75, and Megan Holmes ’15 took fifth with a time of 2:25.88. Novacinski also placed in the top tier of the 1500-meter run, taking second with a finishing time of 4:50.29 behind Brittany Nordland of UW-River Falls. Meghan Exner ’14 took fourth in the race with a time of 4:55.20.

In the heptathalon, Dani Larson ’15 placed first in the high jump 1.58m, second in the 200-meter dash 27.03 and third in the 100-meter hurdles 16.03. Ann Govig ’16 took third in the high jump 1.58m, and Zoe Hansen ’16 placed fourth in the 100-meter hurdles 17.65.

Other notable results include Emma Larson ’14 placing third in the 5000-meter run, Ellen Hawley ’13 taking fourth in the 400-meter hurdles and Elise Raney ’14 placing third in the high jump.

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Proposed SGA Constitution changes put to the vote

Security updated, but safety remains in students’ hands

Columbine High School. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Without thinking twice, we all know what these places have in common. They are only a few of the many locations across the country where school shootings have happened in the past 15 years. In light of these shootings, students may wonder how safe we are on this campus.

Recently, St. Olaf has seen several changes to make the campus more secure. Over the past two years, St. Olaf has equipped all custodians with portable radios to enhance communication between residence halls. The number of buildings on campus that require card access has increased, a total re-keying project has been undertaken and more campus lighting has been put in place.

Simple things like taking the handles off the doors to the basement of Old Main and permanently locking one of the doors into Dittman are part of a bigger plan for safety as well, as they decrease the number of entry points to control, said Peter Sandberg, assistant vice president for facilities. He noted that “all of the residence halls can be locked electronically now … within seconds of a report of a potential shooter.”

These changes are not a direct result of the discourse surrounding gun safety and the recent Sandy Hook shooting; rather, they are part of a much-needed update to the college’s security systems, according to President David Anderson ’74.

“The safety of our campus community has been a focus for many years,” Anderson said. “We continue to think about it and work on it.” The college has developed specific emergency plans for numerous situations and has trained key staff members in these operations. The plans cover “everything from someone with a gun to a tornado or to a power outage,” Anderson said.

Many of the plans for emergencies like this can be found on the school’s website. St. Olaf also has an Incident Response Plan in place that is based on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Incident Management System.

In the event of an actual emergency, the plan is as follows: “We would call 911 and report the incident, begin a lockdown process, notify the community, assemble our Critical Event Response Team and block or screen access to the campus,” Director of Public Safety Fred Behr said.

“We have worked for several years in developing our emergency operations plans and an active shooter is included.” Behr also noted that Public Safety is not armed and would thus rely on the Northfield Police to fully neutralize the threat.

As for the official policy for having weapons on campus, Behr said, “Only licensed law enforcement officers are permitted to carry weapons in campus buildings.” The Minnesota Carry law allows guns to be stored in cars in campusparking lots by students who possess a permit, but they are not allowed inside campus buildings.

To keep weapons out of residence halls and students’ cars, Public Safety is in control of a secured room where students can store weapons used for hunting or target practice.

“These weapons can be checked in or out 24 hours a day, but each person has to provide a government-issued ID,” Anderson said. “Most of the ‘weapons’ currently stored with Public Safety are archery equipment.”

While many precautions have been taken to keep students safe on campus, all those interviewed stressed the importance of being aware and looking out for others.

“Students must realize they are about 80 percent responsible for their own safety,” Behr said. “Trusting your instincts and caring for each other will go a long way in promoting safety on campus.”

Sandberg agreed and said, “We live in the real world, even though it’s easy to talk about our ‘bubble.’ It is important to be aware of our surroundings, here and everywhere we go.”

In order to keep abreast of campus emergencies, students are encouraged to sign up for Ole Alerts, an emergency notification system that sends text messages to Oles’ phones in case of a campus emergency. “We have about 1,400 students, staff and faculty signed up for this emergency alert system, but I am hopeful that we [will get] that number up to over 2,000,” Vice President of Student Life Greg Kneser said. “This not only helps in the unlikely event of a violent incident, but for something much more likely, like a tornado.”

To sign up for Ole Alerts, go to to create an account.

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Proposed SGA Constitution changes put to the vote

Bag lunches need makeovers

The bag lunch line at St. Olaf is a popular option for Oles with little time to spare. With a swipe of your student card, you can use your meal plan to get a portable lunch to sneak away to a quiet corner of the library or to munch on in class. But while bag lunches may be convenient, I will be the first to testify that they bore me to tears.

There is nothing worse than heading up to the bag lunch line only to have your eyes linger on Stav’s menu for too long, discovering that macaroni and cheese, quesadillas or wild rice soup are available. If only you had the time! While I do like a small portion of the regular bag lunch repertoire, bag lunches would garner more of my love if they allowed us more options. With the high cost of meals through Bon Appétit and our expensive board plans in general, we at least deserve to be thrown some variety within the recycled-paper confines of our bag lunches.

Let’s break down the typical bag lunch. First, we have the humble sandwich. I must admit that I am a lover of bag lunch sandwiches. Sue me. I am firmly in the same camp as Liz Lemon when she said in a “30 Rock” episode, “I believe that all anyone really wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich.” My sandwich of choice is turkey on wheat accompanied by a tiny packet of mayo. Some may argue that bag lunch sandwiches are too packed with meat and too blasé, but to me, they hit the spot.

However, the rest of the bag lunch leaves much to be desired. Most disappointing is the salad option. I’m not expecting anything spectacular, but it would be nice if our tiny salads came with fresh lettuce and maybe an extra tomato. Then comes all the other lose-lose options. Potato chips are too greasy, but pretzels are too crunchy to eat in class without drawing attention to yourself. Red delicious apples are undisputedly the worst variety of apple, and oranges are too complex to peel in class without getting stuck with sticky fingers halfway through a lecture. The cookie included sometimes has a brief shining moment of redemption, but only if they are relatively fresh. There’s nothing worse than mistaking an oatmeal raisin cookie for chocolate chip.

What the St. Olaf bag lunch needs is a makeover. The sandwiches and drink options can stay, as far as I’m concerned, but the other elements should be modified or more options should be added. The pathetic iceberg lettuce salad should be swapped with a nutritious spinach or garden mix. Several options of cookies should be up for grabs, with easily-packed desserts like brownies and rice krispie bars added to the dessert queue. Things like fruit cups, crudité trays, grilled veggies like the ones in the deli line and different side salads would also be welcomed with open arms. We all know this stuff exists inside the walls of Stav, and it’s time these culinary beauties become available to busy Oles.

Until the glorious day when bag lunches get a facelift, I will continue to order my turkey-on-wheat-no-cheese, hope my tiny bag of carrots isn’t full of stringy rejects and, above all, pray to a higher power that the cookie of the day isn’t oatmeal raisin.

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Proposed SGA Constitution changes put to the vote