Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.
The student activities program at St. Olaf College
is designed to complement the academic program of studies and to
enhance the overall educational experience of students through
development of, exposure to, and participation in social, cultural,
intellectual, recreational, and governance programs.
Student activities are planned and implemented through
collaborative efforts by the Student Government Association, under
the leadersqhip of the director of student activities. At first
glance, the name, Student Government Association (SGA), is slightly
misleading. The SGA is not a separate committee itself, but the
term used in referring to its nine divisions, in addition to student
media. These divisions are the Alumni Relations Committee, Board
of Regents Student Committee, Diversity Celebrations Committee,
The Pause, Political Awareness Committee, Student Activities
Committee, Student Organizations Committee, Student Senate and
The Student Alumni Association Alumni Relations Committee
(ARC) keeps the student
body connected to St. Olaf alumni , with help from the Alumni and Parent Relations Office, Partners in Annual
Giving and the Center for Experiential Learning. Through events, both on-campus and off-, students are
introduced to the many responsibilities and opportunities of being an alum. Students are also able to
share their current St. Olaf experience with interested Oles. Activities include matching
students to mentors in their field and bringing past Oles back
to campus to share their experiences.
The Board of Regents Student
Committee (BORSC) is
responsible for gathering and voicing students' concerns to the
governing body of St. Olaf, the Board of Regents.
The Diversity Celebrations
Committee (DCC) coordinates
the many cultural celebrations held on campus each year. These
include Black History Month, Viva La Raza, Asia Weeks and the Martin
Luther King Jr. holiday.
The Pause, located in Buntrock Commons, is a place
as well as an SGA division. It provides space for students to kick
back, grab a plate of nachos or homemade pizza from The Pause kitchen,
watch a few minutes of big-screen TV, play a video game and simply
relax. The Pause Mane Stage also features a dance floor and stage
and hosts many campus and regional bands, dances and other entertainment.
The Political Awareness Committee
to keep students on top of critical political and social issues
by bringing in national speakers, such as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
and Janet Reno. It also works to keep students aware of election
issues and candidates.
The Student Activities Committee
10 sub-committees that program Homecoming, Senior Week, recreational
activities, student-parent banquets, dances, comedians, movies
and trips to the Twin Cities.
The Student Organizations Committee
90+ student organizations, ranging from service groups such as
Habitat for Humanity to club sports such as men’s and women’s
Ultimate Frisbee. SOC grants formal recognition status and coordinates
grants and funding to these organizations to help them with the
planning of programs and activities.
The Student Senate is the
legislative division of the SGA. The senate is elected by the
student body and serves as the main liaison with the administration
and faculty. It consists of SGA division chairs and representatives
from residence halls and campus-wide committees.
The Volunteer Network (VN) provides St. Olaf students
with a wide range of rewarding volunteer opportunities in Northfield
and the surrounding communities, such as pet therapy with nursing
home residents, tutoring in Northfield schools, Special Olympics
and being role models for Northfield youth.
All divisions of the SGA are entirely student run
and are funded by the students of St. Olaf.
Student groups are free to organize and regulate
their own activities within the limits set forth by college policy.
The specific roles appropriate for each of the intra-student organizations
are specified by the constitutions of these bodies.
Each student is a member of the St. Olaf College
student community and may participate in the election of its officers.
The St. Olaf Student Senate, composed of elected
student representatives, is the official student government on
campus. It represents the interests of the St. Olaf College student
community, overseeing student-related affairs. Copies of the St.
Olaf Student Senate Constitution are available in the Student Activities
Office and the Dean of Students Office.
The Interhall Council (IHC) plays a significant
governing role in the shaping of residential life. Membership is
determined by elections held in the fall. The hall councils meet
regularly to program activities and review the needs and concerns
of hall residents.
The Honor Council (in conjunction with a College
Judiciary and a College Appeals Board) is the primary body for
hearing discipline cases involving academic dishonesty.
For more detailed information about campus governance,
consult The Book, available online at http://www.stolaf.edu/stulife/thebook/.
All student media offices are in the Buntrock Commons.
The Manitou Messenger, founded in 1887, is the college
newspaper published weekly by students for the St. Olaf College
community. It is the medium for announcing and reporting campus-related
events and for expressing student and faculty opinions.
The St. Olaf Literary Arts
Magazine is the publication
of the creative arts at St. Olaf College. It stimulates and solicits
creative work from students and faculty members as well as
from other sources and is published each spring.
The Viking, the college yearbook founded in 1903,
is published annually to record and reflect life at St. Olaf College.
Students with an interest in design, photography, copy writing,
business, or advertising are welcome to join the staff.
KSTO is the student FM radio station for the St.
Olaf College community. Its broadcasts include music, athletic
events, community service announcements and taped programs from
college and outside sources. KSTO, 93.1 FM, is student-run and
operated 18 hours a day, seven days a week.
LIVES OF WORTH AND SERVICE
While the curriculum of college is designed to prepare
students for lives of worth and service in the 21st century, many
opportunities outside the classroom help them put their ideals
into practice even before they graduate from St. Olaf.
St. Olaf as a Worshipping Community
St. Olaf’s primary aim is to provide the best
possible education. As a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church
in America, St. Olaf intentionally carries out that aim in the
context of a worshipping Christian community.
In addition to the
study of theology, the college provides time, facilities and personnel
to sustain the worship life of the community of faith on campus.
A 20-minute chapel service in Boe Memorial Chapel every weekday is part of
the college’s regular schedule. Through the years, the St. Olaf faculty
and student body have exercised the privilege of voluntary attendance at
these services in a remarkable way.
Sunday morning worship on campus is the responsibility
of the student congregation. Because of the denominational affiliation
of the college, the worship services are predominantly in the traditional
Lutheran liturgical format. The Office of the College Pastor, together
with the student congregation, does, however, seek to carry on
a ministry addressed to the needs and interests of all students,
regardless of church affiliation. The various churches in the Northfield
community cordially invite students to participate with them as well.
Membership in the St. Olaf College student congregation
is open to all students. They declare their interest in membership
and are given voting privileges by simply participating regularly
in the worship life and other activities of the congregation. The
activities of the congregation, as well as certain benevolence
projects, are supported by free-will offerings at regular worship
The congregation states its purpose and aim in the
following preamble to its constitution:
“Inasmuch as God is working at St. Olaf College,
a community of varied religious and social backgrounds in which
the students are challenged by questions and faced with decisions,
the St. Olaf College student congregation seeks to become an intentional
and self-conscious expression of God’s gathered people,
providing opportunity for the ministry of Word and Sacraments, extending
a call for responsible membership in the community of faith as
well as the community of learning and showing a genuine and active
concern for the work of the Church both on and off the campus.”
In addition to supervising the daily chapel services
and the activities of the student congregation, the Office of the
College Pastor is always open to students who seek counseling for
personal, vocational, or religious areas of concern, or who simply
desire to inquire about ways to get involved in the various religious
activities available on campus. The counseling is done, of course,
with complete confidentiality.
Community Volunteer Services
A large number of St. Olaf students participate
in numerous volunteer activities in the local Northfield area and
surrounding communities. Students regularly visit with juvenile
offenders in Red Wing and with the physically and mentally challenged
in Faribault. Some students also visit shelters for the homeless
in downtown Minneapolis to serve food, sort donated clothes, or just play
with the children. Other students contribute their time and talents visiting
senior citizens in the local hospital and retirement centers, serving as
coaches for Special Olympics athletes, as well as participating in a number
of tutorial opportunities within the Northfield schools and local literacy
programs. Interested students may contact the student coordinator of the
St. Olaf Volunteer Network in the Student Activities Office for more information.
ON THE MOVE: VARSITY, CLUB,
AND INTRAMURAL SPORTS
St. Olaf offers an extensive program of intercollegiate
and intramural sports. Excellent facilities and coaching are available
for the large number of students who wish to take part in sports
St. Olaf athletic teams compete in the Minnesota
Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which includes 12 colleges
in addition to St. Olaf: Augsburg, Bethel, Carleton, Concordia,
Gustavus Adolphus, Hamline, Macalester, St. Benedict, St. Catherine,
St. John’s, St. Mary’s and St. Thomas.
The program of intercollegiate athletics for men
includes baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, hockey,
Nordic and alpine skiing, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field,
The intercollegiate sports program for women includes
basketball, cross country, fastpitch softball, golf, hockey, Nordic
and alpine skiing, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and
The intercollegiate athletic program is considered
an integral part of the college, and its purpose and scope are
educational in concept and in operation. This policy reflects institutional
ideals and objectives, and its supervision and control are vested
in the faculty.
Eligibility for intercollegiate athletics is certified
by the faculty in accordance with Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic
Intramural and Club Sport Options
The intramural program offers a wide range of activities
to meet the needs and desires of as many students as possible.
The program includes dozens of activities offering competitive
opportunities for men’s, women’s
and coed teams. There are also a number of club sports, teams which are not
sponsored as intercollegiate sports, that provide “extramural” competitive
experiences in sports such as Ultimate Frisbee™, men’s volleyball,
lacrosse, coed water polo and cycling.
There are many opportunities for general recreation
and free play for all students. Several types of aerobic machines
are available for use in the Tostrud Center (new in Fall 2002)
and in Skoglund and Manitou Fieldhouses. The gym, fieldhouse, weight
room and pool facilities in these buildings are available throughout
the day and evening, and on weekends. The Mohn outdoor basketball
courts and the outdoor fields and hiking/skiing trails surrounding
the campus are also available for student use.
Skoglund Athletic Center houses all indoor sports,
including basketball, wrestling, swimming, indoor track and tennis.
The gymnasium-auditorium, with three full-sized basketball courts,
has seating for 2,000 at intercollegiate basketball, volleyball
and wrestling events. The swimming pool has six seven-foot-wide
racing lanes and spectator seating for 300. The fieldhouse with
a textured tartan surface contains a one-tenth mile track, areas
for indoor track and field events and ample room for indoor baseball,
football, softball, soccer and golf practice throughout the year. Five
tennis courts provide students with indoor tennis play.
The two-story common unit links all other elements of the Athletic
Center and includes a spacious lobby-concourse, classrooms, offices,
locker rooms, double-mat wrestling room, weight-training room, training
room, two handball/racquetball courts and a sauna.
Outdoor facilities include a football stadium, adjoining
practice fields, a nine-lane artificial surface outdoor track,
a separate soccer game field and four adjacent practice fields,
tennis courts (12), baseball field, two softball fields and numerous
intramural fields. The Manitou Fieldhouse houses a strength room,
meeting/aerobics room, training room, two team dressing rooms,
an equipment room, public rest rooms and general changing areas.
Music Ensembles Abound
St. Olaf College is renowned for its excellent music
ensembles. Eight choirs, two orchestras, two symphonic bands, three
jazz bands, early nusic ensembles, handbell choirs and other groups
continue a rich tradition begun by F. Melius Christiansen more
than 100 years ago when he founded the St. Olaf Music Department.
Nearly 1,000 students participate in these ensembles each year.
The annual St. Olaf Christmas
Festival is a highlight
of the Christmas season for many on campus and around the world.
Featuring the St. Olaf Choir, the Chapel Choir, the St. Olaf Cantorei,
the Manitou Singers, the Viking Chorus and St. Olaf Orchestra performing
as individual groups and as a mass ensemble, the festival attracts
over 12,000 people to campus for four concerts and is heard by
tens of thousands more on public radio and television stations
across the nation.
St. Olaf Choir, with 70 mixed voices, is the pioneer
a cappella choir in the United States. For more than three-quarters
of a century, the St. Olaf Choir has maintained its original purpose — study
and performance of a wide range of sacred choral literature. Private
lessons in voice are required for all members. During annual tours
in the United States and abroad, the ensemble exemplifies the highest
artistic standards in choral music performance. In the summer of
2005 it will join the St. Olaf Band and St. Olaf Orchestra in a
concert tour of Norway.
Chapel Choir, an ensemble of 120 mixed
voices, sings for Sunday services of the student congregation and
for special events both on and off campus, including a vespers
concert each fall and a concert each spring with the St. Olaf Orchestra.
The St. Olaf Cantorei, an ensemble of 90 mixed voices,
sings for Sunday services of the student congregation and serves
as a laboratory for students in church music.
The Early Music Singers is a vocal ensemble of 12-18
singers that focuses on music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and
Baroque eras. In addition to singing for Sunday services of the
student congregation, the group presents fall and spring concerts
with the Collegium Musicum.
Manitou Singers is a 100-voice first-year women’s
chorus which sings at services of the student congregation, gives
campus concerts and makes occasional off-campus appearances.
The Viking Chorus is a first-year men’s group
of approximately 60 voices that performs for special student events
and presents an annual spring concert after a weekend tour. It
also sings for services of the student congregation.
a mixed ensemble of students of all races, backgrounds and denominations,
pursues the performance of gospel music. Its repertoire includes
traditional through contemporary gospel music and such influences
as African, Caribbean, Latin American and jazz styles.
The Collegiate Chorale is a women’s chorus
for female students and faculty and staff women. The 120-voice
ensemble gives two concerts during the year.
The St. Olaf Orchestra,
with approximately 90 instrumentalists, presents several concerts
each year, provides music for a variety of college programs and
makes an annual 10-day concert tour. Private lessons on one’s
orchestral instrument are required. The orchestra periodically
tours abroad, most recently to central and eastern Europe in the
summer of 1998. In the summer of 2005 it will join the St. Olaf
Band and St. Olaf Choir in a concert tour of Norway.
The St. Olaf
Philharmonia is an ensemble of approximately 70 instrumentalists
that performs orchestral literature of all periods. Performances
include fall and spring concerts, a vespers concert with the Chapel
Choir and several off-campus appearances.
The St. Olaf Band performs at a variety of concerts
and college functions both on and off campus during the school
year. Private lessons on one’s band
instrument are required. The 85-member band tours regionally for
10 days each year. In January 2004 it traveled to Mexico. In the
summer of 2005 it will join the St. Olaf Choir and St. Olaf Orchestra
in a concert tour of Norway.
The Norseman Band, with 85 instrumentalists,
is a concert band that plays several concerts each year both on
and off campus. The band’s membership includes
first-year students through seniors.
Jazz Ensembles — Three jazz big bands perform
music from the different eras of jazz history, including swing,
be-bop, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, funk and contemporary styles. Each
group performs in a concert and swing dance each semester.
Handbell Ensembles — Two handbell ensembles
perform in a variety of settings, including chapel and Sunday Services
and a major spring concert.
The Collegium Musicum performs music
of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque eras on historical
instruments. It appears in concert each semester with the Early
Other Instrumental Musical
Groups — The Trombone Choir, Horn Club, Flute
Choir, Clarinet Choir, St. Olaf Brass, Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble, Pep Band and
Percussion Ensemble offer opportunities for membership in performing groups
to all students at St. Olaf. Musicians who belong to other performing groups,
as well as students who have no other ensemble membership, join together in
these unique ensembles. They perform regularly in campus concerts and frequently
travel to other cities in the area to perform. In most cases, these ensembles
rehearse once a week.
Dance, Dance, Dance
The Companydance and Veselica Dance Companies are
open to men and women by audition in the fall and spring. Class
and rehearsal periods generally occur between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m.
Companies provide choreographic and performing opportunities
throughout the year both on- and off-campus. Veselica emphasizes
international dance traditions; Companydance emphasizes modern
A highly diverse group of students
participates in theater at St. Olaf. Participation in the theater
program is open to the entire community, and all major productions
are produced under the direction of the professional staff of the
Department of Theatre. No previous experience is necessary to participate.
In addition to the major season of five plays selected
from the classic and modern repertory, the theater fosters a series
of one-acts, experimental, and “Readers’ Theater” presentations.
During the one-month Interim, there are a variety of exciting opportunities
to become involved in theater. The program of the St. Olaf College Theatre
Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre
St. Olaf Artist Series
The St. Olaf artist series each year presents several
outstanding attractions from the fields of music, drama, and dance.
These concerts by world famous artists are intended primarily for
St. Olaf students as an important facet of their college education.
The attractions are selected by a faculty/student
committee. The concerts are free to students, faculty, and staff.
Tickets for both reserved and general admission seats are placed
on sale to the public as part of the college’s
cultural responsibility to the community.
St. Olaf Convocation Program
In addition to the regular academic offerings, the
college provides opportunities for students and faculty to hear
and meet prominent persons in the fields of education, government,
politics, theology, and the arts. A series of convocation lectures
brings such persons to the campus at regular intervals throughout