The Executive Editors and News Editors of The Olaf Messenger decided to dedicate this week’s news section to coverage of community reaction to the Israel-Hamas War. Our coverage’s aim is not to explain the Israel-Hamas War in detail, but to recount reactions and events in our community. Our objective is to provide unbiased reporting that accurately reflects thoughts and opinions of various members and organizations of our community, its also important to note that St. Olaf responses have predominantly supported Palestine. We acknowledge that there are many different perspectives on the conflict, as our community is made up of a diverse group of individuals. The Olaf Messenger extends our condolences to those who are directly affected by these recent events. Campus resources and information about bias reporting can be found here.
At St. Olaf College, students have gathered together to create a chapter of Students are for Justice in Palestine (SJP), in collaboration with the National Students are for Justice in Palestine organization, to raise awareness and call for a ceasefire in Gaza. Students involved with SJP are hosting community teach-in events to amplify voices and see change on campus and in the world.
“We want to see changes and acknowledgments being made within St. Olaf College and beyond about Palestine,” said SJP in a written interview with The Olaf Messenger. “We are saddened and frustrated by the acknowledgments of genocide within our campus implicitly and explicitly, and we call for change.”
On Oct. 20, the SJP conducted a National Student Walkout in solidarity with the National Strike for Palestine, and then held, “Say Their Name,” on Oct. 25 to acknowledge the thousands of dead Palestinian children.
In the written interview, SJP said: “Our message to the St. Olaf community is to stand up. Raise awareness about genocide, segregation, and ethnic cleansing occurring right now as you read this in Palestine and to Palestinian civilians. There is so much on-campus pessimism that things will never change, or that we as an individual do not have the power to create change. We do. Our voices are powerful. The fight for freedom and the decolonization of Palestine is a cause for humanity and a question of our morals. Do we accept genocide, human rights violations, and more? A humanitarian cause is never battled with violence or the same means that an oppressive regime uses on a group of people.”
More information about SJP’s on-campus involvement can be found on their Instagram @sjpstolafcollege.