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First Semester Flashbacks

The good, the bad and the “wait, that really happened?”: St. Olaf has seen it all during the 2012 fall semester. In case you forgot anything from the socially awkward disasters to the moments that united the campus, here is a recap of this past semester’s highlights.

Feline frenzy

Rebecca Rempel/Manitou Messenger

Students, faculty and staff demonstrated in Buntrock Crossroads against the marriage amendment and the voter ID amendment.

Causing mayhem on the Hill, the St. Olaf community received a warning email about a potentially ravaging feral kitten scouring campus. After two Oles attempted to pet the creature, the feline took a bite at one of her hands, breaking skin and causing fear campus-wide. Receiving the most traction of any online Manitou Messenger story, the feline drama held students’ attention in the weeks that followed. From chasing kittens through the parking lot late at night to taking tip-calls from students, many attempts were made to catch this potentially rabid feline. One day, after off-roading a public safety vehicle onto the quad, one brave officer tried to cage the kitten as the student body watched the action from the safety of Stav Hall. After capturing four different kittens, none was identified by the victims to be the said attacker. Students were relieved once notified that the perpetrator of this madness had been captured, and campus was free of uncontrollable feline frenzy.

Student favorites vanish from Stav

courtesy of st. olaf public safety

On Oct. 20, Public Safety caught a kitten believed to have bitten two students in a live trap near Holland Hall. Three days later, the victims alerted the police that the wrong cat was in captivity.

Due to rising food prices, many Oles were disappointed to discover Cracklin’ Oat Bran and crunchy peanut butter were no longer options in the Caf. “Food inflation is a huge problem … and we have to look carefully at everything we purchase so we are not asking students to pay more money …” Board Manager Randy Clay said. “There will be a few things that affect students on a personal level, but we will try to take out more expensive options and leave the cheaper options, where applicable.” Although Cracklin’ Oat Bran and crunchy peanut butter will be missed, Stav still offers smooth and natural peanut butter, as well as a great variety of cereals for students to choose from.

Panini press

We’d all heard the rumors, and thankfully they were true. Upon returning to Stav Hall after a long summer of Caf deprivation, Oles were delighted to find four new panini presses. This addition allowed students to express their culinary creativity. From “Veggie-burginis” to “PB&Janinis” to “Quesadillinis,” many new and exciting Caf creations continue to abound.

2012 election

Students joined to stand in solidarity in opposition of the two proposed amendments on the 2012 MN ballot.

The 2012 election season sparked the enthusiasm of Oles from all ends of the political spectrum. In addition to rallying support for candidates, there were powerful movements around campus regarding the two proposed amendments on the Minnesota ballot. One of the most visible demonstrations involved students gathering in Crossroads to stand literally in solidarity to spell out the word “NO” in opposition to both amendments.


From Bob Woodward to Zach Wahls, the Political Awareness Committee brought many speakers to campus to foster discussion about issues relevant to the lives of students. Speakers drew large crowds of Oles eager to hear about different issues and to ask questions for the speakers to answer with their unique perspectives.

Making it in the Arts Conference

With so many artistically-inclined Oles wanting to pursue their passions, the Making it in the Arts Conference proved to be inspirational, as well as constructive. Offering advice about everything from entrepreneurship to the creative process, the St. Olaf alumni speaking at the conference helped Oles understand how to chase their dreams effectively post-graduation. Although it was made clear that the road to success is never an easy one, the speakers stressed that learning to take whatever opportunities come your way will inevitably lead you in the right direction. There were many distinguished alumni in attendance, including featured speaker Shelly Gossman ’99 – a theater-major-turned-Saturday-Night-Live-Writer.