The work and purpose of BORSC through the words of Coordinator Fricka Lindemann ’22

St. Olaf’s Board of Regents Student Committee (BORSC) has worked this semester to engage and inform the student body about power structures on campus. Through publishing conversations with members of the Board of Regents and the President’s Leadership Team — including Chair of the Board Jay Lund ’81, Athletic Director Ryan Bowles and Interim Vice President for Equity and Inclusion María Pabón Gautier — BORSC has served as a bridge between the student body and those in power on campus.

BORSC’s work has been shared primarily through a more engaging Instagram presence, and Lindemann has expanded the committee to include separate teams for coordinating student outreach and for communicating with College administration.

In addition to their Instagram expansion, BORSC has a reworked website, a page where students can post questions and other input and a newsletter students can sign up for over email.

This restructuring and expansion has helped BORSC better fulfill its mission on campus. Continue reading for full comments from Lindemann on BORSC’s recent work, further changes and ongoing purpose.

Lindemann: “BORSC’s purpose on campus is to convey the perspectives of the student body to both the leadership on campus, that is, the administration and the President’s Leadership Team, as well as to the board. More than that, we advocate for the students’ needs, and we get answers to their questions. We also serve as an informational resource regarding the power structures on campus.
In terms of conveying perspectives and advocating, we have currently two main projects: Getting ready for the May presentation to the board, and regularly meeting with all members the PLT. For both, we need student input, which we gather through e.g. our website, our Instagram, and in-person events – come by this Thursday, when we will be hosting a Coffee Hour in Crossroads from 3.30 to 5.30 PM. We share the outcomes on our website, Instagram, and in our newsletter.
Our interim presentation was on mental health and we were very happy to hear that it did lead to actions from the administration. There should be an update by the Student Life office coming out very soon.
The informational resource aspect is very new, in fact, our first resource will launch this week together with the new Oleville website. We call it the Student Self Advocacy Handbook – it contains information on who gets to make decisions in almost all areas of campus life, so that students can more effectively advocate for themselves and their causes. This reaches from partial meal plans to divestment. It is a work in progress, so students can submit new questions and we will find the answers for them. To complement the handbook, you will soon see a hallway display between the library and Buntrock explaining all the areas on campus that the board of regents has an influence on.
We think that it is crucial to know how change can come about in order to advocate for causes that improve the lives of students at St Olaf, and our role is to both do the work as well as enable students to effectively speak up themselves.”
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