The Collective For Change On The Hill

This document has been drafted to reflect the concerns of a significant portion of students of color and other marginalized groups at St. Olaf College.


Overt acts of racism and hate[1] are symptomatic of institutional complacency and inaction. As marginalized students of color, multicultural and international students, we are acutely aware of the endemic nature of prejudice and racism in society. As such, we do not naively hope for the end of overt and explicit acts of racism to be resolved immediately. Instead, we believe that the need of the hour is to address institutional changes.

We aim that St. Olaf College will recognize that racially charged, both reported and unreported, hate crimes are not simply driven by individual actors. These hate crimes occur in a context shaped by discriminatory administrative policies and cannot be understood as isolated incidents. Our mission is to hold the administration and students of St. Olaf College accountable for the institutionalized racism that is embedded within the structures of this campus.

The following outlines a list of demands created by students that are marginalized, tokenized, and threatened. These demands are directed at the Administration, Board of Regents, Student Government Association, Office of Admissions, Residence Life, Public Safety, Faculty, Alumni, and Student Organizations.


Our vision is rooted in acknowledging those who are historically marginalized and silenced by the complacency and manipulation of those in power. We seek to create an environment that protects historically marginalized individuals and prepares the community to hold potentially uncomfortable but necessary dialogues surrounding race. We ask that St. Olaf College uphold their goals for diversity through a tangible course of action that can be enforced.

Terms and Conditions of Negotiations

Section I. Administrative Changes

Section II. Faculty Recruitment, Training and Evaluation

Section III. Curriculum Redesign

Section IV. Policy on Racial Threats & Hate Crimes

Section V. Reporting

Section VI.  Resources

Section VII. Housing

Section VIII. Marketing and Communications

Section IX. Conclusion


This document contains an extensive list of demands for institutional changes that we believe will address our concerns regarding our marginalization at St. Olaf College. Prior to disclosing the demands, we would like to establish the terms and conditions of our negotiations to ensure that our negotiations are publicly disclosed[2]. We hope that the President of the College, on behalf of the President’s Leadership Team[3], will accept these terms.

Our conditions are the following:

  1. The Administration, by which we specifically refer to the President’s Leadership Team,  will publicly acknowledge the receipt of this list of demands and acceptance of the terms and conditions as soon as possible.

  1. The public acknowledgement has to be in the form of an email to all the constituents of St. Olaf, St. Olaf parents, and Alumni.

  1. The President’s Leadership Team has shared these documents with the Board of Regents and has provided for members of the Drafting Committee[4] to meet with the Board of Regents[5]  in person.

  1. The Administration should try to organize this meeting so that it is public. The Board of Regents should be approached by the President’s Leadership Team to consider the above.
  2. This meeting will be open to the public and streamed online by the Broadcasting Media Services if the consent of the Board is granted.

  1. The Administration will release a public document addressing all the demands expressed in the following sections and proceed to disclose in this document their understanding of the demands and their plan of action, or lack thereof, regarding each demand. This undertaking has to be concluded before May 20, 2017.

  1. The public disclosure will be a document signed by the members of the President’s Leadership Team.
  2. The document must address each demand separately. For each demand, the document should contain a statement of understanding outlining how the administration perceives the nature of the demand, and correspondingly, a statement of undertaking outlining how the administration wishes to act or respond to the demand.

  1. Once the official response of the Administration is released, the Administration will set up an autonomous Task Force by no later than May 24, 2017, with the approval of the Drafting Committee to research the topics raised in this list of demands and the Administration's response to it.

  1. The Task Force will consist of at least 7 members of the institution, including alumni and, at most, 2 external members nominated by the administration and the Drafting Committee.
  2. The Task Force will be led by two faculty members who will be nominated by the Drafting Committee and agreed upon by the Administration.
  3. The Task Force will contain a lawyer who works with racial discrimination. This member will be nominated by the Drafting Committee and will have to be agreed upon by the Administration. The members not of the institution will be nominated by the Administration and agreed upon by the Drafting Committee.
  4. The Task Force will contain three students and one alumni member of color. These students should not be a part of the SGA executive team and senate[6].
  5. The Task Force will have one member of the President’s Leadership Team. They will be nominated by the President.
  6. The Team will publicly report their findings. This document will be published in the Fall of 2017.

  1. The Administration will consider the report published by the Task Force seriously and will publicly disclose their plan of action. This disclosure has to occur within 30 days of the report of Task Force becoming public.

I, David Anderson, President of St. Olaf College, on behalf of the President’s Leadership Team, hereby agree to the terms and conditions of negotiations outlined above.


(Signature and Date)                                                                                

  1. Administrative Changes:

  1. We demand the removal of Arne Christenson from the Advisory Board of The Institute for Freedom & Community[7]. Given Mr. Christenson’s position as the Managing Director of Policy and Politics for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee[8], St. Olaf College risks his influence upon the speakers brought to the school, the educational offerings, faculty development workshops, and scholarships sanctioned by the Institute.
  1. The justifications for the removal of Arne Christenson are present in the Remove AIPAC Exec Christenson from Olaf’s Institute for Freedom and Community Advisory Board by Oles for Justice in Palestine[9]. 
  2. Additionally, we demand that the administration develops an apparatus for transparency with regards to the funding of the Institute for Freedom and Community, both during the academic year and the summer sessions.

  1. We demand the implementation of an equivalent and mandatory racial and cultural sensitivity training session similar to the Think About It and Bystander Training that is enforced on Week One for all incoming first-years.[10] This training would be conducted in person and online. The completion of the online portion will determine student’s accessibility to registration. This needs to be implemented by the Fall of 2019. This should be done in addition to Article III, Section E.

  1. We demand that St. Olaf College enforces a mandatory Sustained Dialogue[11] participation for all student athletes (more specifically varsity athletes), Members of Student Government Executive Team, and Student Senate.
  1. This entails participation in a Sustained Dialogue Program for at least the length of a semester (whether made specifically for the team or the college wide programs which are open to all St Olaf students, faculty, and staff). Varsity student athletes want to be heard and included within the rest of the student body. These dialogues foster an environment that bridges the gap between people who are not teammates or fellow athletes.
  2. There must be mandatory Sustained Dialogue facilitator training for all coaches and student leaders of athletic teams including, but not limited to, team captains, vice captains, members of Student Athletic Advisory Board (SAAB), Members of Student Government Executive Team, and Student Senate.


  1. We demand that a third-party be hired, trained, and versed in Title VI regulations and be able to facilitate dialogue about campus race relations and tensions. This should be implemented by Fall 2017, alongside the Strategic Plan mentioned in Article II, Section A.

  1. We demand that the administration acknowledge in a public manner that this institution is built on occupied Dakota land and the original occupants were victims of genocide and forced removal[12].

  1. Faculty Recruitment, Training, and Evaluation:
  1. We demand that the College composes and commits to a strategic 10-year plan by the end of the Fall of 2017. This plan’s focus will be to increase recruitment and retention of Indigenous, Black/African-American, Latinx-American, Asian-American, Multiracial, and Non-American faculty and staff members across all academic disciplines and administrative departments.
  1. Publish a report at the end of each academic year highlighting how the administration has been meeting Goal III of The Strategic Plan.

  1. We demand the College not threaten the jobs of faculty, staff, or administrators that support our list of demands.
  1. To enforce this, the Academic Freedom enshrined on faculty shall also include the ability to critique St. Olaf College as an institution without fear of institutional overreach.
  2. The College will intervene when members of faculty make statements that either undermine the identities and lived experiences of marginalized members of the community or promote prejudice.

  1. Curriculum Redesign:

  1. We demand that Race and Ethnic Studies Department create a comprehensive curriculum that addresses the sociopolitical dimensions of race, ethnicity, and identity. This curriculum will prescribe mandatory interdisciplinary courses for all students. 

  1. We demand the reconstruction of the current General Education requirements in place. Rather than condensing issues regarding class, race, gender and sexuality into the Multicultural Studies: Domestic/Global requirements, we demand that the college create a minimum of two GE’s that enforce mandatory introductory courses in Race & Ethnic Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies departments. These courses should complement GEs like the Biblical Studies (BTS-T/B), History of Western Culture (HWC), and Ethics (EIN) courses which focus mostly on European philosophical, theological, political and sociological perspectives[13].
  1. HWC courses must address histories of colonization, identity, institutional and systemic oppression. Many of the “International students” come from previously colonized nations. HWC must include the influence of Western colonization on the peoples who have been colonized by European nations.
  2. These courses need to meet requirements outlined in Article III, Section D.

  1. We demand that MCD/G courses require students to attend events that are held by organizations that fall under the Diversity Celebrations Committee (DCC). These events will hold the same weight as Wellness Center Swiped Events for Studies in Physical Movement (SPM) courses and the Pink Card System.

  1. We demand that courses on race, gender and sexuality, and intersectionality get taught in different spaces throughout the campus and not be limited by their departmental buildings.This would encourage cross-disciplinary relationships between students and faculty members in various departments.

  1. Policy on Racial Threats & Hate Crimes:
  1. We demand that St. Olaf establish a strict zero tolerance policy on racial, sexual, and homophobic epithets for faculty, staff, and students. These hate crimes must be held with the same sincerity that the College holds to its no tolerance policy for drinking and smoking. This means that when such incidents occur, the College will impose real consequences on the perpetrators, including citations or potential expulsions as stated in Article VII: Conduct Policies of the Code of Student Conduct[14].
  1. The College will establish a Response Team similar to the Univ. of Mississippi Bias Incident Response Team[15] to effectively assess and respond to incidents of bias, hate speech, and discrimination.

  1. We demand that the definition of a “hate crime” be reconstructed. This is an example of a citation that should be considered.
  1. The federal definition of a hate crime is "a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation of any person."  Also, known as bias-based crimes, hate crimes are considered "message crimes," or offenses that send a message of fear and terror to community members with similar traits[16].

  1. Reporting:
  1. We demand a more accessible and properly marketed Discrimination and Bias Report Form.[17]
  1. This form must be open to faculty, staff, students, and community members to use in order to report incidents of discrimination and/or bias.
  2. Student complaints must be forwarded to both the Director of Human Resources and Dean of Students.

  1. In addition to effectively using all of the school’s resources when furthering the safety of these students, faculty, and staff, we demand that there be transparency between the victims of hate crimes and the administration.


  1. We demand semester updates from the President's Office and other campus entities highlighting specific actions that have been taken in the upcoming terms to address our demands and improve campus climate.

  1. Resources:
  1. We demand that St. Olaf College hire a person of color as counselor for the Boe House Counseling Center to account for the wellbeing and mental health of marginalized students. This counselor will be hired in addition to the current staff. We demand a plan for the hiring process be established by Fall 2017, as part of Article II, Section A.

  1. We demand that the college meet the financial needs of students of color through merit and need-based scholarships, giving special consideration for first generation students of color.
  1. The college must make an effort to get alumni and donors to directly fund programs and resources that are established for the well being and success of students of color, for example, Center for Multicultural and International Engagement (CMIE) and TRIO/SSS. St. Olaf College must promote and advocate for the funding of these programs with the same attention and enthusiasm given in promoting the campaign, Bring Ice Home. 
  2. The college should fund curricular practical training (CPT) applications for international students with academic internships, especially for students on need-based financial aid or scholarship programs.[18]

  1. We demand the creation of more programs for students of color aside from TRIO/Student Support Services, which includes students who may not fit TRIO qualifications[19]. With this, we demand that St. Olaf be prepared to facilitate the transition of first generation students by taking the following measures:
  1. Bridge programs for students of color who don't qualify for TRIO.
  2. Create opportunities and make them more accessible for students who do not qualify for TRIO/SSS, Federal grants and loans, McNair, or even varsity Sports, without a social security number.
  1. We demand that St. Olaf increase its resources for students of color with regards to openly building relations with alumni of color and that the following steps be met by Spring 2017.
  1. Academic networking and community support for students of color, such as making Piper Center and CMIE Alumni and Students of Color an annual event. This event should continue to be open to all students on the CMIE alias.
  2. A Directory for Alumni of Color should be created and maintained by the Piper Center and Alumni-Parent Relations Office.
  3. A list of alumni of color currently residing outside of the U.S. should be accessible to all students of color. This could be an extension of the Directory for Alumni of Color described in Article VI, Section D, no. 2.
  1. We demand an increase in the resources allocated for the recruitment of students of color, including having more people of color working in the Office of Admissions.
  1. There should also be a honest portrayal of the demographics of students that attend this institution (race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status). Refer to Article VIII, Section B.
  1. We demand that International Student Counselors be provided a stipend.
  1. They need to be paid for the weekly meetings, Spring training, Week Zero planning, counselor-planned events, etc.
  1. We demand for transparency in CMIE’s budget, wherein finances should be accessible to all students and faculty.[20]
  1. Create a database that tracks all records of individuals/organization members that receive finances for CMIE-funded events including, but not limited to, CMIE organization events, faculty/academic department collaborations, International Student Orientation, International Student Counselor events, CMIE Program Assistant/Cultural-Immersion events, etc.
  2. This database needs to be updated upon each transaction.
  3. An annual report to be published by CMIE by the end of every Spring semester.

  1. Housing:

  1. We demand that if a student is requesting to be reassigned a new roommate due to discrimination on account of race, religion, gender and/or sexuality, such requests be dealt with and responded to immediately. The perpetrator must then be removed from the room/house to not inconvenience the victim further.

  1. We demand that the Director of Residence Life withhold the names of reported perpetrators when offering a list of potential roommates to the victim.

  1. Marketing and Communications:
  1. We demand that all students, specifically marginalized students, give permission before the marketing department releases any multimedia imagery, film, or quotes from these students.

  1. We demand that St. Olaf College’s marketing department change the rhetoric used on their website. This includes adding captions to the picture, giving photo credits, which mainly cites the location and year of the image. Also, acknowledging that the majority of the study abroad programs are in western Europe and North America, and reflecting that on the study abroad marketing materials.  

  1. Conclusion:

We acknowledge that this document is a product of its context and must be shaped and reshaped to address the relevant issues of inequity facing our college. As such, we require measures, including meetings with relevant officials and committees, in a continual effort to hold the college responsible for enacting these steps in a timely manner. These measures are intended to be an important part of what should be a collaborative effort between the Collective for Change on The Hill and St. Olaf College. Here, we have presented a student-developed list of demands for the construction of a college reconciling with its past and seeking a more equitable future[21].


We thank Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) and other colleges and universities that have, in the face of institutional racism and injustice, taken initiative in demanding institutional change. Without their past efforts, our movement would not have had the direction it needed to be effective.
We are also indebted to all students, especially students of color, for their consolidated support. We thank faculty and staff members, especially of color, who stand with us in solidarity.

The Members of the Collective :

AL-Masrafi, Nouf ‘19

Avalos III, Junior ‘18

Brown, Demetrius ‘18

Chakravarty, Udeepta ‘17

Cathro, Dillon ‘17

Fuentes, Tamira ‘19

Gayles, Lamar ‘19

Gowdy, Khadijah M. ‘19

Ismail, Precious ‘17

Lewis, Nikki ‘18

Loza, Brenda ‘17

Mendis, Prabana ‘18

Ramirez Jr, Efren ‘18

Smith, Ashley P. ‘18

Schaffer, Tia ‘20

Soler, Natalia ‘17

Wake, Abdul ‘19

Wetzel, Krysta ‘18

Whirl, Jabri ‘18

Williams, Don ‘18

Vyas, Shivani ‘17

The Drafting Committee includes the following individuals:

Nouf AL-Masrafi, Junior Avalos III, Udeepta Chakravarty, Prabana Mendis, Ashley Smith, Abdul Wake.

[1] Enough! campaign calls on administration to act. Manitou Messenger April 26, 2013

Citizen Blog. Enough! Spring 2014

St. Olaf College Students Protest Racist Acts on Campus. ABC news. April 30, 2016.

[2] By public disclosure, we mean emails to the student body, the alumni, and St. Olaf Parents

[3] President’s Leadership Team. St. Olaf College Website.  Accessed: April 30, 2017.

[4] This is a core group of 5 members who drafted this document in The Collective for Change on the Hill

[5] Board of Regents. St. Olaf College Website. Accessed: April 30, 2017.

[6] The President of the Student Government Association has agreed to these terms and supports the decision of the Drafting Committee. 

[7] Leadership. The Institute for Freedom and Community Website. St. Olaf College. Accessed: April 30, 2017

[8] Lee, Saya. “Arne Christenson, Director of AIPAC, Speaks to Biblical Response to Modern-Day Israel.” Cairn University Website. January 20, 2015.

Arne Christenson. Open Secrets: Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed: April, 30. 2017.


[9] Petition in

[10] Week One Schedule. St. Olaf Website. Accessed: April 30, 2017


[11] Sustained Dialogue. St. Olaf College Website.Accessed: April 30, 2017

[12] The Dakota War of 1862. Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Univ. Of Minnesota. Accessed: April 30, 2017.
Johnson, Michael G. Tribes of the Sioux Nation. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2012.
Execution and Expulsion. News & Features, Minnesota Public Radio. Accessed: April 30, 2017.

[13] General Education Education Requirement. St. Olaf College Website. April 30th, 2017


[14] Article VII: Conduct Policies. St. Olaf College Website. April 30th, 2017


[15] Bias Incident Response Team. Center For Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement. The University of Mississippi.

[16]  Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 <>

[17] Discrimination and Bias Reporting. Augsburg College. Accessed: April 30th, 2017.

[18] Curricular Practical Training. St. Olaf College. Accessed: April 30th, 2017.


Practical Training. US Immigration and Customs Service.  Accessed: April 30th, 2017.


[19] Trio SSS. St. Olaf College Website. April 30th, 2017


[20] This is to ensure that administrative bodies like CMIE are receiving adequate funding.

[21] “The Conclusion.” Necessary Steps for the Advancement of Racial Equity and Social Justice at Pacific Lutheran University. The Collective at PLU.