1986-87: OLGA (St. Olaf Lesbian and Gay Alliance)
OLGA, the St. Olaf Lesbian and Gay Alliance, was in the planning stages in the spring of 1986, and became a campus student organization during the 1986-87 academic year. Prior to that, confidential support groups had been organized through the St. Olaf Counseling Center in 1984-85 and 1985-86.
1992-93: St. Olaf College Employee and Student Protection of Equality Resource Manual
AGAPE (All-Campus Group to Advance and Protect Equality)
In November 1990, St. Olaf President Melvin George appointed a committee to review, develop, and evaluate strategies and methods for the awareness and prevention of all forms of prejudice, bigotry, and bias through the educational program of the college. This human relations handbook is designed for quick reference to offices and person on campus who are available for counsel and advice.From the handbook: “St. Olaf College is committed to providing an environment in which every member of this community is treated with respect, a community that recognizes and reflects diversity and encourages an open exchange of ideas. Personal attacks or inappropriate judgments based on race, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or other ways of categorizing people cannot be tolerated at St. Olaf. Harassing behavior, either verbal or physical, which threatens, intimidates, or in any way contributes to a hostile environment for individuals in this community is not in accord with the goals and mission of the college.”
June 30, 1993: SØLGA Letter
SØLGA’s mission is to:
a) Create a context in which gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender alumni may share their St. Olaf experiences as well as their current lives.
b) Serve as a visible social and informational resource for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender alumni and students.
c) Offer those students a safe “bridge” between academia and the alternatives open to them as sexual minorities in the larger society.
d) Join forces (whether educational, moral, spiritual, or financial) to promote a supportive environment for sexual minorities within the St. Olaf College community and to address problems that arise from homophobia.
June 30, 1993: SØLGA Update
SØLGA’s participation in Pride ’93 was an unqualified success. It was an opportunity to meet with lesbian, gay, and bi alumni at SØLGA’s booth and at Saturday’s picnic. Results also included a substantial increase in our membership. Over the two-day period, fifty new members were signed up. Welcome to all new members. SØLGA membership now stands at 125 (104 alumni and 21 non-alumni partners). Six additional contacts were identified, and a number of people who know St. Olaf grads picked up membership information to forward to their friends. Five current students signed in, including some of next year’s OLGA leadership.
June 25-26, 1994: SØLGA – Stonewall 1994, New York Gathering
SØLGA plans to have a gathering and celebration of St. Olaf Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Alumni during the Stonewall celebration in New York City. If you plan on being in New York the weekend of June 25-26, 1994, please celebrate STONEWALL with other Oles in the Big Apple. There will be brunch and a SØLGA meeting at 10 am on June 25 at the Broadway Diner, and we will participate as a group in the International March on the United Nations on Sunday, June 26. We hope to see you there for an Um-Ya-Ya time.
June 2006: St. Olaf booth at Twin Cities Pride Festival
a) Students from GLOW and staff/faculty from SOLGEN staffed the St. Olaf booth, which was located next to booths of other Minnesota schools, such as Macalester, Carleton, William Mitchell School of Law, etc.
b) Many Ole alumni stopped by the booth and added their names to the GLOW alumni list. It was a very positive experience both for the people working in the booth and the Ole alums who visited.
September 2006: First Annual “Our Whole Lives” Welcome Luncheon
a) This event was jointly sponsored by GLOW and SOLGEN, and the lunch was generously provided for faculty/staff by the Community Life and Diversity office and for the students through the use of their caf numbers.
b) Over 80 people attended this luncheon, including faculty, staff, returning students, and first-year students. In addition, there were 9 campus organizations represented, all having some connection to issues of gender and sexuality: Diversity Celebrations Committee; Sexual Assault Resource Network; Community Life and Diversity; St. Olaf Lesbian and Gay Employee Network; Feminists for Change; Student Congregation, Gay, Lesbian or Whatever!; Students for Reproductive Health; Gender and Sexuality Center; V-Day / Vagina Monologues; Progressive Christian Fellowship
c) During the luncheon, a representative from each group listed above gave a brief description of the organization. In addition, people at each table spent time getting to know one another and discussing short- and long-term plans for increasing awareness of GLBT issues and creating an inclusive community at St. Olaf.
September 2006: Employee Development Workshop: “Print and Online Faith-based Resources for GLBT Christians and their allies
Presented by Bill Poehlmann and Heather Ferguson from SOLGEN and Emmy Kegler from Student Congregation and Progressive Christian Fellowship
October 2006: Homecoming Roundtable Discussion: “Sexuality and the Church” (Professor David Booth)
October 2006: Employee Development Workshop: “How to be an Effective Ally” (Tim Schroer and Mary Carlsen)
October 2006: Homecoming Alumni Gathering hosted by GLOW and SOLGEN
a) There were about 20 people who attended this event, both current students/staff/faculty and alumni. President Anderson was also at the event.
b) Each of the participants introduced themselves, and then there was a brief program hosted by former GLOW co-coordinator, Michael Burrows.
October 2006: Coming Out Week (sponsored by GLOW)
a) Panel Discussion: Bisexuality
An opportunity for students to speak about and listen to one another about bisexual experiences, including experiences of marginalization by straight, gay, and lesbian people, coming out as bisexual, and conflicting definitions of bisexual identities.
b) Lecture: “A Long View: A Perspective on Humanity and Respect” by Richard LaFortune
c) Open Mike Night: “Borderlands: Straddling Lines of Race, Gender, and Sexuality”
d) Concert: Venus Demars and the House of Flowers
e) Vigil Commemorating Matthew Shephard’s Death
f) Gender-Bender Day
May 2007: First Annual Gender and Sexuality Senior Banquet
September 2007: Establishment of the Gender and Sexuality Centeras Student Honor House
The Gender and Sexuality Center is located in the Thompson House, providing a multi-gender home for nine students and a “safe space” for campus organizations to meet. The GSC staff works to educate the St. Olaf community about issues of gender and sexuality, helping people to understand the relevance of these issues in their own lives, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, the staff is working to establish a permanent Gender and Sexuality Center on campus that would continue to serve as an umbrella organization for other campus groups concerned with gender and sexuality.