Author: Emma Whitford

St. Olaf signs deal with Under Armour

Last May, St. Olaf Athletics signed an agreement with Under Armour giving the athletic apparel brand exclusive rights to outfit 27 St. Olaf athletic teams with uniforms and athletic wear. The partnership will last for five years – until the spring of 2022 – and St. Olaf will purchase Under Armour products at a discounted rate. 

The deal only applies to St. Olaf Athletics, meaning other St. Olaf gear, such as the T-shirts and hoodies in the St. Olaf  Bookstore, are unaffected. The deal is facilitated by BSN Sports, who will serve as a liaison between St. Olaf and Under Armour, and St. Olaf teams will transition from their previous brands to Under Armour over the next couple of years. The only exception to this agreement is that St. Olaf may purchase apparel from another brand if Under Armour cannot provide it.

“If there’s something that we need that Under Armour can’t provide, we would purchase it through another vendor,” Athletic Director Ryan Bowles said. “So – swim team swimsuits. [Under Armour] doesn’t do swimsuits, so we will continue with Speedo.”

Previously, St. Olaf teams purchased uniforms and apparel from a variety of brands, including Nike and Adidas. 

“[The deal] allows us to get a little more bang for our buck, if you will, because we’ll be buying exclusive to one brand,” Bowles said. “It also allows us to get a better handle of our brand, meaning that the logos and those types of things will look universal across the stuff that we have.”

Bowles hopes the perks of the deal will extend beyond student athletes. 

“Within the contract, we’ll hopefully be able to do more for our student athletes and just enhance what they’re able to get,” he said. “And then there’s going to be some fun things. We’ve got these Ole Pride events, maybe raffling off different Under Armour gear to students that come.”

In true St. Olaf style, Under Armour was chosen by an “Apparel Task Force” made up of Bowles, Associate Athletic Director Mike Ludwig and a number of men’s and women’s coaches. 

“We looked primarily at Under Armour and Nike,” Bowles said. “Financially, the deal with Under Armour was better for the College … customer service was a big part of it as well, the ability to deliver the products on time, and high quality.”

The group convened to first determine what St. Olaf Athletics was looking to get from a potential partnership, and then put in a request for an RFP – a Request for Proposal. BSN Sports then worked with brand representatives to pitch possible options to the Apparel Task Force, who chose three finalists and eventually settled on Under Armour.

“I think [the deal] is still kind of in its infancy – things are good so far,” Bowles said. “We really just want our student athletes to feel a positive benefit from this move, and I’m confident that this will allow us to do more for them, and I’m confident that the whole campus will see a benefit from it.”

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Newly renovated Holland Hall reopens for fall semester

Holland Hall – dubbed “Hogwarts” by many on the St. Olaf campus – reopened in late August, almost three months after the projected completion date of May 31, 2017. Academic departments have moved back into the new office spaces, now located around the building’s perimeter, and classes are being held while landscaping work on the east end is being finished.

The new space boasts open staircases, gingham wingback furniture and vaulted ceilings with exposed iron beams. Holland had previously lacked student study spaces, but the new design incorporates multiple lounges and waiting areas for professor office hours. The sixth floor previously housed small offices, but is now a large, open loft space, rivaling the fourth floor of Regents Hall of Natural Sciences.

This loft space is called the Carol and Ward Klein Learning Loft, after the donors who gifted $1 million to the project during St. Olaf’s For the Hill and Beyond fundraising campaign.

One of the primary goals of the year and a half long renovation was to “maximize natural daylight and views throughout floor,” according to the original design team presentation. The previous design inefficiently carried light through the building, leaving the exterior classrooms bright and the interior space dimly lit. The new interior resembles Regents in that it carries light effectively from one end of the building through to the other. The white walls provide a reflective surface which brightens the entire building.

St. Olaf partnered with the Minneapolis-based architectural firm Perkins+Will to complete the project, estimated to cost about $13 million. The firm has taken on a number of notable projects in the Minneapolis area, including the renovation of the Capella tower lobby in downtown Minneapolis and has also completed higher education projects at the University of North Dakota.

Originally built in 1992 to house the administration and sciences, Holland was renovated in 1968 to include the academic departments it currently holds – political science, history, sociology/anthropology, economics and philosophy. According to the St. Olaf website, academic buildings are on a forty year rotation for renovations (for reference, residence halls are renovated every nine years). Holland missed its turn after the College’s Strategic Plan placed an emphasis on revamping residence halls, but the project was made possible after the College refinanced its debt to afford the cost of the renovation. 

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INBLACK shortens sold-out run to support student protest

INBLACK, St. Olaf’s favorite student-produced sketch comedy group, performed seven shows over the course of three days this past weekend, running from Wednesday, April 26 through Friday, April 29. Continue reading “INBLACK shortens sold-out run to support student protest”

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President David Anderson agrees to revised “terms and conditions of negotiations”

This is a continuation of a series of articles about the sit-in in Tomson Hall on May 1, 2017

Around 2:30 p.m., student leaders announced that Assistant Professor of Art Paul Briggs would address Continue reading “President David Anderson agrees to revised “terms and conditions of negotiations””

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Discussion continues; Drafting Committee breaks to make revisions

This is a continuation of a series of articles about the sit-in in Tomson Hall on May 1, 2017

Students reconvened from their break at 12:08 p.m. President Anderson and part of his Leadership Team entered the room around 12:10 p.m. Continue reading “Discussion continues; Drafting Committee breaks to make revisions”

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