Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Party Pictures!

And the winner is...

Friday Trivia is over for the week.

There are indeed 10 ovens in Ytterboe. Two on each floor (ground - 3rd), one in the main lounge kitchen and one in AC Laura's apartment.

Congrats to Francine Boylan, Abby Kirchman, Brett Morris, Chelsea Ray and Rie Uchida for getting the answer correct. Those five names were put on slips of paper and the winner was drawn out of a cup...

BRETT MORRIS is the winner of the TEN Totino's Party Pizzas for his corridor! That is going to be one impressive corridor event.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Friday Trivia for December 11

It's time for Friday Trivia once again!

The rules are changing a bit this week. I will collect the names of the first FIVE people who put the correct answer in the comment box (not via email - the answer must be in the comment section of the blog entry) and I'll draw a winner from that group. Everyone is eligible - student staff, hall council members, random blog readers... anyone!

The question is.....

How many OVENS are there in Ytterboe Hall?

This time the prize is 10 (that's right, TEN) Totino's Party Pizzas to share with your floor/corridor and friends and neighbors. And you have to use an OVEN to make them (but not necessarily in Ytterboe).

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hall Council Programming Awards for November!

The Residence Life office is now recognizing outstanding Hall Council programs! Our 10 Hall Councils put a lot of energy and effort into their programs each month and we decided it was time that we start recognizing what they do a little more formally.

We've created three awards that will be given each month. The first is "The People's Choice Award," which will be given to a program that has a high level of participation. The "Creativity Award" goes to the program that tries something new or different to get people to show up and participate. Finally, the "Program of the Month" award is for the best all-around program.

There were a lot of really good events in November - the choices were difficult! Congratulations to the following Hall Councils for their great programs in November...

"The People's Choice Award" goes to the Mellby Hall Council for the "Mellby Murder Mystery" featuring Captain Lunch. About 120 people were in attendance throughout the night.

"Creative Program of the Month" goes to the Rand Hall Council for their make-your-own dessert pizza event that coincided with the RA's "de-stressor" event.

"Program of the Month" goes to the Kildahl Hall Council for their "Kildahl Kabaret," a talent show for residents. The program was well-received, well-planned and well-organized.

Thanks to all of the councils for their hard work in November!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Friday Trivia!

Res Life's FRIDAY TRIVIA is here again!

This week's prize is a $5 gift certificate to The Pause.

This week's question: When was the first Christmas Festival concert held?

Submit your answer in the comments section below. The first correct response wins! (Be sure to leave your name so I can contact you about your prize!)

Good luck!

Residence Life Holiday Party!

Attention Res Life Student Staff:

The Residence Life Holiday Party will held from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 10, 2009 in the Ytterboe lounge. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of December and hang out with your staff friends... Feel free to just drop in or stay as long as you'd like.

We'll have COOKIES to decorate, GAMES to play, some CRAFTS, some HOT CHOCOLATE and PUNCH and even some PRIZES*!!!

*Sign up at the door for prizes - we'll do a drawing each half hour...

We look forward to seeing you there!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Session 2 Programming Award Winners

Thank you all for another great session of programming in the halls! There were some great events going on and we greatly appreciate your efforts.

The ACs and SHCs nominated some programs to be considered for programming awards this session. After some tough deliberation, the following were chosen...

Outstanding Bulletin Boards
Mary Elizabeth Detweiler (Rand) - "Celebrate GLBT History Month"
Sarah Rogotzke & Natalee McNeff (Hill Kitt) - "What Your Halloween Costume Says About You"

Outstanding Elective Programs
Joseph Kemper (Mellby) - "Fire Juggling"
Ellie Kale (Thorson) - "Knitting Lessons"
Audrey Webb, Erin Thieszen, Chris Leslie, Hal Halvorson, Gabe Rysdahl, Kevin Farrar (Ellingson) - "Salsa Dancing"

Outstanding All-Hall Programs
Francine Boylan & Rie Uchida (Ytterboe) - "Breast Cancer Awareness BINGO"
The Ellingson JC staff - "Kegger in the Lounge (Alcohol Education)"

Congratulations to all the winners! You'll receive your shiny, beautiful certificate very soon. Again, thank you to ALL staff members for the work you put into another great programming session.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Trivia Answer

Congratulations to Chelsea Ray (former Hoyme JC and current Hall Council President in Thorson) for her correct answer. Nice work, Nancy Drew!

The first Junior Counselors were around in 1938. I even had that one confirmed by Jeff Sauve, the college archivist. Whether you are a JC or an RA, you are part of a long, rich history of talented individuals being leaders in our residence halls.

Chelsea wins the $5 gift certificate to The Pause.

Stay tuned for future trivia! It might be some more history, might be a scavenger hunt... all I know is that it will be FUN and there will be some great PRIZES!

Friday Trivia!

Res Life's FRIDAY TRIVIA is here! I can't promise this will happen EVERY Friday, but watch for a trivia question on Fridays for your chance to win a cool prize.

This week's prize is a $5 gift certificate to The Pause.

This week's question: What was the first year that St. Olaf had Junior Counselors?

Submit your answer in the comments section below. The first correct response wins! (Be sure to leave your name so I can contact you about your prize!)

Good luck!

Winter/Holiday Programming Ideas

Hello and Season’s Greetings from Laura, the Area Coordinator for Hill Kitt & Ytterboe. I hope that this week is finding you relatively stress-free and excited for Session 3, which will prove to be very busy and exciting.

Well, it has happened. I saw my first Christmas commercial of the season last week. I suppose it’s that time of year. And now that we have entered Session 3, you may be interested in hearing some winter programming ideas...

  • Start an intramural team – this is an easy and always popular event.
  • Decorate cards to send to nursing homes, the children’s hospital, or overseas to the troops.
  • Global Holiday Party – have a celebration that incorporates December holidays from around the world.
  • Baking – get your corridor together to make some winter comfort foods like soup, homemade pizzas, or holiday treats.
  • Adopt-A-Family or Adopt-A-Child – Northfield is in need of people willing to purchase gifts for families and children in need.
  • Take a group of your residents to a holiday concert or event that is already taking place on The Hill.
  • Have a door decorating or coloring contest to spruce up your corridor – ask your AC or others to come and be judges.
  • Students get stressed out as finals approach – encourage them to take a break and attend a stress-relieving program (make stress balls about of balloons and flour; give massages)
  • As the semester is winding down, seniors in particular might be working feverishly on graduate school applications or preparing for big exams. Invite someone from the CEL to come and talk about resumes and interviewing.
  • Have a favorite professor come and talk about an interesting topic - it’s a good way to utilize our resources and learn about something neat.
  • Do a fun winter activity outside (ice skating or skiing, perhaps). Don’t forget that sledding is a prohibited on-campus event (we can't sponsor an event like this...) due to safety concerns we’ve had in the past.
  • It is never a bad time to do an event focusing on diversity/social justice issues. I happen to have a stack of programs I’ve done in the past. If you are interested in setting up a meeting with me, I would love to share some ideas with you.

Here a few websites that can also provide some good tips on programs, bulletin boards, and a lot more:

Resident, RA and Res

Please remember that you can always talk to any of the ACs for event ideas, as well as sift through the programming reports. There are lots of resources at your fingertips!

Very Sincerely,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Interim RA/JC applications available now!

Interested in becoming an RA or JC for the month of January? We hire interim staff members each year to fill in for RAs and JCs who travel abroad.

An Interim RA or JC candidate must be a sophomore, junior or senior. Ask your friends who are RAs/JCs if they are going abroad and need a replacement, or ask your Area Coordinator for more info. For more information about the position - and to find an application - click HERE. Applications are due to your Area Coordinator by November 18, 2009.

Why should you apply?
  • The job is a fantastic thing to add to your resume - particularly if you are thinking of applying to be an RA or JC for the 2010-11 school year.
  • You get to meet a new group of people on the floor you serve...
  • You get to work with a staff of great people!
  • Being a staff member during interim is FUN!

If you are interested in applying but have some questions, contact your Area Coordinator or stop by the Res Life office and ask for Charlie (or call me - Charlie - at x3011 or email

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Session 1 Programming Award Winners!

Congratulations to the 2009-10 Session 1 Programming Award winners!!!

Kelsie Brust, Alica Gerry and Bryce Danielson (Hoyme) for "Extreme Scavenger Hunt."

Michael Lenz (Larson) for his bulletin board "How to save the Earth from an asteroid collision."

Stuart Kyllo (Rand) for his bulletin board "The Mathematics of Candyland."

George Arceneaux & Martin Shedd (Hill Kitt) for their elective program called "All About L.A.R.P."
Ben Brown and Aline Skogstoe (Ytterboe) for their "Star-Gazing" program. Ben was happy to accept the award on behalf of both of them...

Wes Franke (Thorson) for his bulletin board "Ten science experiments that changed the world."

Grace Wilkinson (Rand) also won an award for her bulletin board "What is medical amnesty?," but was not in attendance at the in-service to have her picture taken.

Thank you to ALL staff members for a great programming session. Keep up the great work!

Friday, October 16, 2009

National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week - October 19-23

Hey, this is Ross, the AC for Kildahl and Rand. I’m writing the first of a series of posts meant to make life as a student staff member a little easier for you as the year progresses. Last year, BORSC focused a lot of information and discussion around the topic of alcohol use by St. Olaf students. There have been many different responses to the student information. For example, you all stuffed magnets in each room explaining the medical amnesty policy. Your professional staff is focusing on student alcohol use through various activities within the Division of Student Life.

The next piece of information important to our response regarding alcohol use on this campus is coming up soon, the 2009 National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week. You’ve probably never heard about it because historically, the St. Olaf is on Fall Break during the week; however, this year’s academic calendar marks a change. The official dates are October 18-24. With Programming Session 2 already in full swing, we’d like you to join over 1000 colleges and universities across the country and help educate your residents about responsible alcohol use, the college’s alcohol policy, and/or other topics relating to alcohol use and misuse. Now, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel when trying to figure out what to do. There’s a plethora of resources already available to help you with programming. Also, it isn’t necessary for every single bulletin board to have an alcohol-related theme. Social activities, emails, bulletin boards, campus activities already happening, all-hall events, etc. are all ways you can help get the message across.

So, as you sit and think about what you’re going to be doing for and with your residents during Session 2, we ask that you take alcohol use into consideration. Make a fancy bulletin board using information from the websites listed below. Work with a couple of your fellow staff members to design an all-hall social on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night as an alternative for your residents. Hang some signs in your building about what to do if a fellow resident appears to have had too much to drink. Talk with a group of residents about not being “that guy” when out and about during the week. Take a look at the programming ideas in your binder. Bring a Public Safety officer to answer questions at your corridor/floor/stairwell meeting.

Remember, an activity doesn’t have to be labeled as “alcohol awareness” to be informative about alcohol. Sometimes, just a late night alternative is all residents need.

Like I said before, there are TONS of resources to check out for great information regarding alcohol use and misuse.

Please remember that students on this campus have been asking for this information. Take it upon yourself to be creative. You could save a life!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Res Life Blog

Hello Student Staff Members!

The St. Olaf Res Life blog has been around for awhile now. Over a year, in fact. Unfortunately, we haven't made very good use of it. Until now.

Over the next few months, we'll be posting - on a regular basis - some information that we hope enhances your ability to do your job as a student staff member. The Area Coordinators, Pamela and I will be creating some blog entries about topics and issues that you face on a daily basis. We hope to include some helpful information as well as some solid resources for you to use as you do your job.

I'll send out an email each time that the blog is updated. Visit often, use the info to help you plan programs and events, and feel free to comment on any of the postings. Your input is always welcome, too, so feel free to email me at with suggestions for posts. And if you have a great idea for a post, write something up and send it my way and I'll get it posted here!

Thanks and enjoy the blog!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Session 1 Programming Award Nominees

We had a very successful programming session to start the school year. Thank you for all of the work that you put in to making it a great first 5 weeks.

Congratulations to the Session 1 Programming Award Nominees! Your Area Coordinator nominated a program you put on for this award. Winners will be announced at the in-service on Wednesday, October 14 (at 7:00 p.m. in the Valhalla room).

The nominees are....
Best Bulletin Boards
Francine Boylan (Ytterboe) - "Antarctica"
Michael Lenz (Larson) - "How to save the Earth from an asteroid collision"
Hal Halvorson & Chris Leslie (Ell) - "Great study places on campus"
Grace Wilkinson (Rand) - "What is medical amnesty?"
Isaac Lewis-O'Connor & Conner Westby (Hill Kitt) - "Welcome to the 501st"
Jared Fisher (Thorson) - "Things you don't know about Chuck Norris"
Wes Franke (Thorson) - "10 science experiments that changed the world"
Elizabeth Mitchell (Thorson) - "The History of Epidemics"
Ben Henschel (Hoyme) - "Dihydrogen Monoxide"
Zach Hudson & Will Erickson (Hoyme) - "Churches in Northfield"
Stuart Kyllo (Rand) - "The Mathematics of Candyland"
Kevin McCollam & Brian Carroll (Kildahl) - "Study Spots on Campus"

Best Elective Programs
Mohn 8th & 9th floors - sand volleyball & pizza
Kayla Fredericksen & Amy Glasow (Mohn) - dinner & tour of campus
Emma Johanson (Mohn) - card-making
Alex White & Katelyn Larson (Kildahl) - Pinata
George Arceneaux & Martin Shedd (Hill Kitt) - All about L.A.R.P.
Michael Lenz (Larson) - Pizza rolls, conversation and games
Brenna Robinson (Larson) - brownie-making
Rand Hall RAs - All-hall Mac 'n Cheese night
Theresa Rabbass & Sarah Kogler - CEL Study Tips

Best All-Hall Programs
Ben Brown & Aline Skogstoe (Ytterboe) - Star-gazing
Kelsie Brust, Alica Gerry & Bryce Danielson (Hoyme) - Extreme Scavenger Hunt
Kildahl JC staff - "The Office" premiere event

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I will post some pictures from 2009-10 fall training soon, but here's one to get you started...

The Student Hall Coordinators. From left to right: Holly Samuelson (Hill Kitt), Andrew Fjerstad (Hoyme), Grace Wilkinson (Rand), Kate Helmich (Mohn), Emily McNee (Thorson), John Schantzen (Larson).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Follow St. Olaf Res Life program on Twitter!

Now you can stay updated on St. Olaf Res Life happenings by following the St. Olaf Residence Life program on Twitter!

Check out to see what's going on...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring Training 2009

Some pictures from Spring Training 2009...

The Ellingson staff talking about expectations with Kate:

The Hill Kitt staff discussing their choices for their RA staff with Emily:

Ellingson staff members talking about their heroes:

The Hoyme staff hard at work during the RA staff selection exercise:

Mohn and Rand staffs. Chillin'.

The Larson & Mellby staffs talking about Heroes & Villains:

Ellie, Elizabeth, Jared, Wes & Emily discussing the RA selection exercise:

An intense Joe Kemper leading the Mellby & Hoyme staffs in Expectations Archery:

A possibly more intense Will McLean doing the same...

Andrew Fjerstad talking about Heroes & Villains with the Ytterboe staff:

Thank you for a great evening of Spring Training! The Student Hall Coordinators, Area Coordinators, Pamela and I (Charlie) very much look forward to a great year with you!

Have fun in your staff meetings over the next couple of weeks!

Session 4 Programming Awards

Congratulations to the Programming Award winners for Session 4!

The winners are...
All-Hall Programs:
Kelsey Lantz & Sarah Lebens (Mohn) - "Are you Smarter than a 5th-grader?"
Rand RA Staff - Slinky Races
Ellingson JC Staff - An Evening with Dr. Musil

Elective Programs:
Micah Marty & Laura Schmiedicke (Mellby) - Pinhole Cameras
Tara Ritter & Amy Belfi (Hoyme) - Field Trip to the Science Museum

Bulletin Boards:
Kate Helmich (Mohn) - Where in the World Do Oles Study?
Jared Fisher (Mohn) - Famous RAs
Erik Akervik & Scott Grandt (Kildahl) - Zombie Awareness

Kelsey, Kate & Sarah (from Mohn):

Representatives from the Ellingson staff:
Althea & Erin (from Rand):
Anna (from Ell) and Scott (from Kildahl):

Laura & Micah (from Mellby):

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

IHC Casino Night

The InterHall Council (the hall council presidents from each of the 10 halls) organized the 1st Annual IHC Casino Night on Friday, January 23, 2009 in the Sun & Gold Ballrooms.

Nearly 400 Oles attended the event to try their luck at blackjack, poker, bingo, roulette, plinko and Super Smash Brothers. Skill, chance and some good old fashioned luck resulted in lots of people winning prizes. Sweet, sweet prizes like these (yeah, that's a TV):

The ballrooms got a little crowded:

We even had faculty & staff on hand to help deal card games!

Your hall council presidents for Interim 2009:

Kneeling: Tasha Seliski (Mohn) and Colin Hutchins (Rand)
Back row - left to right: Anna Higgins (Hill Kitt), Althea Speaks (Hoyme), Casey Keyes (Kildahl), Ben Wilson (Thorson & Interim IHC Chair), Laura Smith (Hill Kitt), Olaf Samuelson (Larson), Joe Kemper (Mellby), Charlie Potts (blog author & res life staff member), Kai Redalen (Ytterboe) and Bryan Wells (Ellingson).

Thanks to all of the faculty & staff who volunteered their time to help and thank you to the hall councils who all pitched in to decorate and organize this great event. Congratulations!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I am... Residence Life

Hard to believe that we are already half way through Interim. Time to be thinking about Student Staff Selection for 2009-2010! RA and JC applications are now available here. Current staff members interested in returning to staff next year should look for SRA and SHC applications here.

If you have any nominations for any of the student staff positions, please send me an email at and let me know! I'll gladly contact any and all nominees to encourage them to apply!

Session 3 Programming Award Winners!

Congratulations to all of the nominees for the Session 3 Programming Awards! There were a lot of great programs squeezed into a short period of time before the hectic pace of December picked up.

Congratulations to those nominated (award-winners are highlighted in red):

All-Hall Programs
-Kelsey Finks & Abbey Holt (Hill Kitt): Back to Kindergarten Night
-Mellby Hall RAs: String Quartet & Holiday Decorating
-Kiersten Hoiland & Libby Tande (Kildahl): Finals Week Paper Editing
-Bryan Haimes & Bryce Kennedy (Larson): Larson Nacho Bar Night
-Bern Youngblood (Ellingson): Physics Night
-Jonathan Woolums & Kate Helmich (Mohn): Seasonal Affective Disorder presentation w/the Counseling Center

Bulletin Boards
-Aurora Vincent (Ytterboe): St. Olaf During World War I
-Micah Marty (Mellby): Meet Your Interim RA
-Aline Skogstoe (Thorson): Riddles
-Jimmy Coghlin (Rand): Oh, Canada: Canadian news, history, etc
-Emma Johansen (Mohn): Interaction board - What would celebrities say?
-Emily McNee (Thorson): How to Build a Snowman

-Laura Schmiedicke (Mellby): Christmas Fest Lasagna Night
-Kate Helmich, Kathryn Thompson & Kayla Johnson (Mohn): Bedtime Stories
-Chelsea Ray & Elizabeth Mitchell (Hoyme): Trip to Chapati
-Alyssa Zuehl (Larson): Puppy Chow Night
-Kyle Glanton (Mohn): Root Beer Floats
-Anne Steeves (Hoyme): Secret Santa & Ugly Sweater Party
-Stephen Anderson & Taylor Brorby (Thorson): Thanksgiving "Leftovers"
-Ana Cline & Anna Bakk (Ellingson): Stress-Free Night