This is a continuation of a series of articles about the sit-in in Tomson Hall on May 1, 2017
Around 2:30 p.m., student leaders announced that Assistant Professor of Art Paul Briggs would address the crowd before the revised terms of engagement would be presented to the student group. Briggs expressed his gratitude towards A Collective for Change on the Hill, and said that he wished he could have been in Tomson Hall earlier that day.
“I was so torn this morning because I could not be in two places at once … I stand in solidarity with you,” Briggs said. He gave the chapel talk that President David Anderson ’74 attended earlier in the day. Briggs lead the students in song and complimented them on their activism.
“This work is not the root of the civil rights movement, it’s not the stem of the civil rights movement, it’s the flower of the civil rights movement. And you all are blooming right now,” Briggs said.
After Briggs finished speaking, A Collective leader Udeepta Chakravarty ’17 invited the President’s Leadership team to the stage. Present were Anderson, General Counsel Carl Lehmann ’81, Vice President for Student Life Greg Kneser, Vice President for Mission Jo Beld, Athletic Director Ryan Bowles, Provost and Dean of the College Marci Sortor, Assistant Vice President for Facilities Pete Sandberg, Vice President for Enrollment and College Relations Michael Kyle ’85, Vice President for Advancement Enoch Blazis, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Janet Hansen, Vice President for Human Resources Michael Rodriguez Goodson and Assistant to the President for Institutional Diversity Bruce King.
Chakravarty read the new terms of engagement – now called “terms and conditions of negotiations” – to the crowd. Some key points include that Anderson must email St. Olaf constituents, parents and alumni to announce the receipt of and agreement to the terms. Also, all possible efforts will be taken to publicize the Board of Regents meeting scheduled later this week.
After Chakravarty finished reading, Anderson spoke about the earlier negotiations and his satisfaction with the revised terms and conditions.
“I think it’s a great win for you guys, and I think it’s a great win for the college,” Anderson said. He signed the terms and conditions after his brief statement and received a standing ovation from the crowd.
The next steps from A Collective include a meeting with students, faculty and staff of color to hear their comments, and the publicized Board of Regents meeting later this week.
The full version of the updated terms and conditions of negotiations and list of demands can be found at www.acollectiveforchangeonthehill.com/demands/