Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.

Co-Curricular Activities

Governance Groups and Committees

Student Activities

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 leadership 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 eleven divisions, in addition to student media. These divisions are the Board of Regents Student Committee, Diversity Celebrations Committee, Music Entertainment Commitee, The Pause, Political Awareness Committee, Student Activities Committee, Student Alumni Association, Student Organizations Committee, Student Senate, Volunteer Network and After Dark Committee.

The After Dark Committee (ADC) creates fun events for students after 10 p.m. on weekends.

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 Music Entertainment Committee (MEC) is responsible for booking all musical acts on campus. Its goal is to bring diverse musical genres ranging from solo acoustic to touring bands. Past bands hosted include Ben Folds, Black Eyed Peas, and Amos Lee, Emerson Drive, Nickel Creek, and OK Go.

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 shake or homemade pizza from The Pause kitchen, watch a few minutes of big-screen TV, play a pool game, and simply relax. The Pause Mane Stage features a dance floor and stage and hosts many campus and regional bands, dances, and other entertainment. The Lion’s Lair is an intimate performing space. Located next to the kitchen, it features tables and space to study as well as a small stage. The stage hosts regular open-mic nights and many small acts.

The Political Awareness Committee (PAC) strives to keep students on top of critical political and social issues by bringing in national speakers, such as Karl Rove, Jesse Ventura, Howard Dean, and Michael Steele. It also works to keep students aware of election issues and candidates.

The Student Activities Committee (SAC) features 10 sub-committees that program Homecoming, Senior Week, recreational activities, dances, comedians, movies, and trips to the Twin Cities.

The Student Alumni Association (SAA) keeps the student body connected to St. Olaf alumni, with help from the Alumni and Parent Relations Office and the St. Olaf Fund Office. Through events, both on-campus and off, students are introduced to the many responsibilites and opportunities of being an alum. Students are also able to share their current St. Olaf experience with interested Oles.

The Student Organizations Committee (SOC) oversees 200+ student organizations, ranging from academic groups such as Neuroscience Club 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. It supports the service student organizations as well.

All divisions of the SGA are entirely student-run and are funded by the students of St. Olaf.

Student Government

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 online and in the Office of Student Activities 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

Student Media

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 Quarry, a 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.

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. Webcast available at


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 generally follow the liturgical tradition. 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 services.

The congregation states its purpose and aim in the following preamble to its constitution:

“In as much as God is working at St. Olaf College, a community of varied religious and social back-grounds 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 area youth and with the physically and mentally challenged in Northfield. 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 Office of Student Activities for more information.


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 activities.

Intercollegiate Competition

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, and wrestling.

The intercollegiate athletics program for women includes basketball, cross country, fastpitch softball, golf, hockey, nordic and alpine skiing, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

The intercollegiate athletics 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 Inter-collegiate Athletic Conference policy.

Of the two courses required to complete the SPM general education requirement, one and only one may be through credit via an intercollegiate sport. See regulations concerning general education.

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 and non-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, rugby, and cycling. Intramural and club sports do not carry academic credit and do not count toward fulfillment of any graduation requirements.


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 and in Tom Porter Hall. The gym, fieldhouse, weight room, and pool facilities in these buildings are available throughout the day and evening, and on weekends. The Hoyme outdoor basketball courts and the outdoor fields and hiking/skiing trails surrounding the campus are also available for student use.

Athletic Facilities

Skoglund Athletic Center and Tostrud 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 con-tains 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, and two handball/racquetball courts.

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 (8), baseball field, softball field, and numerous intramural fields. The Porter Fieldhouse houses a strength room, meeting/aerobics room, training room, two team dressing rooms, an equipment room, public rest rooms and general changing areas.



Companydance offers students a range of dance creating, performing and producing opportunities. It is open by audition to ALL students. The company's primary aesthetic tends toward the modern dance tradition, but is by no means restricted to it. Auditions for Companydance are held during the first week of the fall term.

Veselica International Dance Ensemble is open by audition to ALL students. The company exemplifies a global perspective that strives to spread awareness of dance forms from around the world. Veselica (pronounced veh-SELL-eetsah) translates as "celebration" in Serbo-Croatian. Artistic Director Anne von Bibra founded the international dance ensemble in the late 1980s. Auditions for Veselica are held during the first week of the fall term and sometimes during the spring term.

Music Ensembles

St. Olaf College is renowned for its excellent music ensembles. Seven choirs, two orchestras, two symphonic bands, three jazz bands, early music vocal and instrumental 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 75 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.

Chapel Choir, an ensemble of 100 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 that 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 8 0 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.

Gospel Choir, 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 Norway with the St. Olaf Band and St. Olaf Choir.

The St. Olaf Philharmonia is an ensemble of approximately 90 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 joined the St. Olaf Choir and St. Olaf Orchestra in a concert tour of Norway.

The Norseman Band, with 100 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 Music Singers.

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.


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 Theater. No previous experience is necessary to participate. Auditions for productions and interviews for design and technical positions are held at the beginning of each semester and other times as needed. Contact the main office of Theater for current information.

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 Theater Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theater (NAST). See the department Web page for more information (


St. Olaf Artist Series

The St. Olaf artist series each year presents several outstanding attractions from the fields of the performing and visual arts. These events by world famous artists are intended primarily for St. Olaf students as an important facet of their college education.

A faculty committee selects the Arts Series events. Admission to these events are generally free, though some events may require ticketing due to limited seating capacity in the performance venue.

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 the year.