The Women’s and Gender Studies faculty stands with and in support of students of color at St. Olaf College. We are guided by our program philosophy of inclusion and our commitment to understanding and addressing multiple forms of oppression. We recognize that students protesting and calling for action are enacting the values of a diverse, just, and democratic community. We acknowledge that this action issues from a place of deep moral concern for the St. Olaf community.
Because we value activism as feminist theory and practice, we will honor the call from students to join Monday’s demonstration. Additionally, we will remain creative and flexible to support students who are leading the movement on campus. This flexibility could be anything from adjusting deadlines, to canceling class, and to other constructive solutions.
For all students and members of our community, we encourage self-care and care for others as we all do our part to reshape our campus.
The Women’s and Gender Studies faculty
Luther College Just Action Statement of Support
"Just Action of Luther College stands with St Olaf students and peoples both harmed by and concerned about the recent racist incidents in your community. As a similarly situated historically and predominantly White college, we are dismayed by the recent actions. We also understand these issues are historically situated and part of a larger social system in which whiteness is normative and protected and folks of color are always suspect and marked as Other. We offer you support in working collectively to dismantle the systems of oppression and advantage in higher education and society at large."
St. Olaf’s Mission Statement: “challenges students to excel in the liberal arts, examine faith and values, and explore meaningful vocation in an inclusive, globally engaged community nourished by Lutheran tradition.” An inclusive community is a foundational value.
The Board of Regents recognizes that concerns about race, diversity and inclusion at St. Olaf are legitimate and must be addressed. By this Resolution, the Board demonstrates its support for the initiatives and measures taken by the College leadership to confront these issues.
May 4, 2017 Resolution of the St. Olaf Board of Regents
The St. Olaf College Board of Regents hereby reaffirms the College’s principles and values concerning inclusion and diversity including the following:
1. The Board loudly and uniformly condemns racist behavior, and in particular the racist messages left on campus by unidentified persons. We deeply regret the impact these messages have had on the St. Olaf community and especially on students who do not feel safe. The Board calls upon College leadership to continue aggressive efforts to identify the perpetrators and hold them accountable for their actions.
2. All students, faculty and staff are welcome at St. Olaf. We strive to maintain a diverse community of teachers and learners. To promote this principle, students, faculty, staff, and visitors must feel safe on campus and experience a welcoming environment.
3. The Board reaffirms its commitment to St. Olaf’s strategic goals regarding recruitment and retention of diverse students, faculty and staff and reaffirms the continued monitoring of goals that are ambitious, specific, timely and measurable.
4. The Board affirms the importance of maintaining an environment in which all members of the community feel empowered to freely express their ideas and engage in civil discourse about them.
5. The Board empowers the College leadership to do everything within its power to promote understanding and genuine reconciliation among all St. Olaf community members and stakeholders.
Unanimously approved this 4th day of May, 2017.