The History of #InSTOtutionalRacism

The Collective is presenting a study on the History of racism at St. Olaf.

"Racism and Change on The Hill, 1874-2017" was sponsored by the Collective. 

This paper is part of our attempt to shift the attention from individual perpetrators of hate crimes and racism to Institutional problems.

We are grateful to Claire Bransky, Udeepta Chakravarty, Camille Garrett, Graham Glennon, Andrew Lee, Pearl McAndrews, Sam Seo and others who have helped in the drafting of this report.

Please Read and Share!!!!!!!!!




Members of the community and the general public,

On April 29, 2017, a black student found a note on their car which personally addressed and threatened them.

We, the members of The Collective, have learned from an email from the President that this event was “fabricated.” 

This has been a terrible revelation for us, not only because this “fabricated” incident sparked spontaneous solidarity within the entire community, not only because this movement and its unprecedented achievements relied on this spontaneous solidarity, but also because this movement, that occurred in a microcosm of the United States, reflects the resistance of peoples  to the larger issue of systemic racism in this country.

We believed the legitimacy of this incident like many members of the community because of our familiarity of such things happening. We unconditionally condemn such an attempt at fabrication because it questions the legitimacy of our demands for institutional change — reform that has been long overdue.

We call on all the members of the community to understand that the focus of our movement and our List of Demands is on transforming the institution and is necessitated by the alienation of people of color. This “not genuine” incident does not invalidate the experiences of others and it does not invalidate institutional racism.

The Collective stands unified in challenging institutional racism and in seeking institutional change.

#inSTOtutionalRacism Response to BOR meeting

Members of the community and concerned folks,

Since the signing of the Terms and Conditions of Negotiations, the President Leadership Team (PLT) has met with conditions 1 (a).

Today, May 4, 2017, The Collective for Change on The Hill met with the Board of Regents. The Board of Regents consented to our invitation and the meeting was live streamed. The administration has fulfilled conditions 2 (a), (b).

The Agenda of the meeting is outlined below:

  1. Address to the Gathering by the Chair of the Board

  2. Address to the Board of Regents

  3. Statement of Justification for raising the issue of institutional racism

  4. Present the members of the Board with the Document of Support

  5. Feedback and Q&A

Address to the Gathering
Statement of Justification
Uploaded by Nick Larson on 2017-05-05.

The Board of Regents was provided a Document of Support seeking signatures from the members of the Board. The statement of this Document wants members of the Board to "support the legitimacy of the issues raised by The Collective for Change on The Hill and support the initiatives and measures taken by the President’s Leadership Team to address institutional racism." 

We did not receive any signatures. The Chair of the Board acknowledged that “every member of the Board has received that document", but "we’ve not had a chance to review and discuss it.”  Part of their reason to not sign this Document of Support was a unanimous resolution that the Board passed before the meeting. 

The chair of the Board noted that “We believe that the resolution that we passed unanimously, including the cover letter to that memo, addresses everything that you are seeking in the Document of Support.” This is transparently not true. The Resolution does not mention The Collective for Change on The Hill. This resolution does not refer to the PLT signing Terms and Conditions of Negotiations nor does it refer to the constitution of the Task Force.  

President David Anderson sent out an email with the resolution. He said that the "college leaders are committed to move forward in spirit of collaboration to address these important issues." We do not understand what "spirit of collaboration" implies, since the Board refuses to sign the Document of Support, we interpret this message as vague and unconvincing.  

We also collected questions from students, faculty and alumni which we compiled into a document that was presented to the Board. The Chair of the Board, on account of shortage of time and other commitments of the members, said that “we would prefer not to address those at the present time”. The Chair did not promise to respond to these questions in the future.  

We appreciate the Resolution, but unfortunately it does not represent the contents nor does it replace the Document of Support.