Spring Term 2018 Dean of Students Announcement

April 26, 2018

Winter Term 2018 Message from the Dean of Students

February 8, 2018




Additional Information about Campus Graffiti Incident

October 12, 2017

Dear Carleton students, faculty, and staff,

We are relieved to be able to share news that the swastika drawing that was reported earlier today was not a threat but rather was a blackboard illustration from a class discussion on ancient symbols. The drawing had been left on the board inadvertently. We are grateful to the faculty and student who so quickly helped to clarify this matter.

While it is reassuring that this was not a symbol drawn in anger or hate and was not meant to be destructive to our community, the value of conversations on campus about hate incidents, including what happened in Charlottesville this summer, still remains. Further, we still think it is worthwhile to proceed with developing recommendations for improved communication should threatening or hateful acts occur on Carleton’s campus.

In closing, we wish to take this opportunity to once again reaffirm our core community values of respect for others and inclusivity.

Steven G. Poskanzer, President
Beverly Nagel, Dean of the College
Carolyn H. Livingston, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
Jeff Ondich, Faculty President
Walter Paul ’18, CSA President
Joe Chihade, CEDI Co-Chair
Kathy Evertz, CEDI Co-Chair

Campus Graffiti Incident

October 12, 2017

Dear Carleton students, faculty, and staff:

We are deeply saddened to report that a swastika was recently found drawn on a chalkboard in Boliou 140. This noxious symbol of Nazism and hatred was apparently added to an instructor’s class notes left on the board in that room sometime between the class session on Wednesday, September 27, and the next session on Monday, October 2.  This incident comes at a time when other college and university campuses have unfortunately also experienced similar graffiti.  As we continue to try to learn more about the incident and its intent, we wanted to reach out to the campus.  

First, we wish to convey very clearly that such an expression of intimidation and hatred is deeply at odds with Carleton’s core values of respect for others and inclusivity. Leaving a swastika in a classroom is not part of any thoughtful exchange of ideas.  

Second, we are of course investigating this incident carefully, and to that end would ask that anyone with any information related to this act please contact the Dean of Students Office (x4075) or Campus Security (x4444).    

Third, at Carleton we aim to promote respectful dialogue to share diverse viewpoints and perspectives, to explore commonalities and differences, and to better understand the important places where we disagree.  Such conversations can lead to deeper understanding of and respect for one another. This incident reinforces the value of events being hosted this week and next by the Office of Intercultural and International Life and the Humanities Center, which are exploring the abhorrent actions and statements of Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other purveyors of hatred in Charlottesville this summer.  We encourage community members to attend these sessions. In addition, we will continue to seek and plan further opportunities for members of the Carleton community to discuss the impact of these issues on all of us.

Finally, Carleton’s Community, Equity and Diversity Initiative (CEDI), in consultation with the offices of the Dean of Students, Dean of the College, Human Resources, and the Carleton Student Association will look at the question of how best to collect and share information about specific incidents reported to the College (such as this graffiti) more broadly across campus in ways that can be helpful and contribute to campus dialogue. We would like recommendations from this effort by the end of Winter term, 2018.

In closing, we wish to reiterate that such expressions of hatred have no place in our community, which values respect and inclusivity.

We all have a responsibility for calling out these types of incidents and standing up for our shared community values.

Steven G. Poskanzer, President
Beverly Nagel, Dean of the College
Carolyn H. Livingston, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
Jeff Ondich, Faculty President
Walter Paul ‘18, CSA President
Joe Chihade, CEDI Co-Chair
Kathy Evertz, CEDI Co-Chair

Fall Term 2017 Message from the Dean of Students

Title IX

Laura Riehle-Merrill became the college’s first full-time Title IX Coordinator on August 15, 2017.  Laura is leading our efforts to improve the campus climate; ensure we have effective resources in place for students, faculty, and staff who are affected by sexual harassment, discrimination or violence; and implement policies and practices that are prompt, equitable, and in compliance with federal mandates.  I remain grateful to Amy Sillanpa, who served as Interim Title IX Coordinator prior to Riehle-Merrill’s appointment.

Physical and Mental Health

Student Health and Counseling Services (SHAC) continues to offer individual therapy, online workshops, weekly meditation, and biofeedback services.  They are also providing group therapy workshops this term.  The three workshops are:

  • Understanding Self and Others: Tuesdays, 3:30-5pm
  • Expressive Arts: Wednesdays, 11am-12:30pm
  • Sexual Trauma Support: Wednesdays, 3:10-4:30pm
  • Sign up on the SHAC website

SHAC appointments are available

  • Medical appointments are available, usually for the same day or next day.
  • Counseling Services first-time appointments are available generally within one week or less.  Same-day emergency/crisis appointments are available. There is not a waiting list for appointments.
  • Dietitian appointments are available to help better manage your nutrition.

On-call service
If you are stressed, upset, or in crisis, you are never alone.  Telephone counselors are available 24/7/365 to help you calm down, problem-solve, or just be heard.  Please call (855) 705-2479.

Low-Income and First-Generation Student Resources

  • Dash Grant
    Carleton received a two-year, $168,000 Dash Emergency Grant from the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates to operate and maintain a student emergency aid program. Emergency grants will provide support for the college’s goal of improving retention and completion rates for low-income students who encounter unanticipated expenses. 
  • Chromebooks
    A two-year laptop loaner pilot program was created in winter term 2017 for students who may not have the resources to buy one. Chromebooks are available and should be returned upon graduation.  If you need a Chromebook, please contact Tammy Anderson at

Computers in the Residence Halls

In partnership with ITS, Student Life will be adding some computers to residential areas for student use by the end of fall term. The following spaces will have computers:  Parish, Goodhue, Evans, Watson, and Stimson. 

Creating an Inclusive Community (New Student Week): #CARLTALK series

  • Cultivating inclusion on campus: For the first time, incoming students were asked to complete Diversity.Edu, an online module aimed to help students address issues of race, difference, and socioeconomic diversity at Carleton and beyond.
  • Consent, healthy sexuality, and relationships: For the second year in a row, incoming students were asked to complete Haven.Edu, an online module discussing gender-based harassment and sexual violence.
  • Flourishing@Carleton: For the second year in a row, incoming students were asked to complete Alcohol.Edu, an online module that focused on alcohol and other drug misuse. The revised in-person session focused on overall well-being; including mental health, substance use, spirituality, religion, and physical health. 

Civil Discourse and Dialogue

  • Civil Discourse Living Learning Community: Carleton is currently in the second year of the Arthur Vining Davis Grant. Twelve students live together in Myers Hall and take a year-long course (two credits per term) exploring the question: what makes discourse good?
  • Students Engaging in Essential Dialogue (SEED): In the first year of SEED’s two-year pilot, the group conducted the first annual facilitator training and facilitated seven conversations with Carleton student groups. The group has started to plan facilitation training for winter 2018, with the goal of recruiting at least fifteen additional facilitators to replace those graduating in 2018, and to meet the increasing number of conversation requests.

Health Promotion

  • Student Wellness Advocate (SWA) Dogs: The Office of Health Promotion (OHP) is continuing the popular SWA Dog program. Last year's assessment showed that students who visited the dogs, no matter how often, reported lower stress levels.  All of the dogs who are older than one year have passed their "Canine Good Citizen" exam and are prepared to be petted and loved by students. Visit the OHP website to sign up for email announcements and see the weekly schedule of dogs on campus.
  • Partners for Success: This grant-funded project, which aims to reduce underage drinking and marijuana, continues. During its first year, the grant has helped Health Promotion acquire Alcohol.Edu and Marijuana Wise’s online education programming; collect data to track trends in use and attitudes; and, create in-person programming to assist teams and social groups examine their own beliefs about high-risk alcohol use.

Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant

This grant began on September 30. In addition to funding a full-time staff person to coordinate the grant, the grant will allow us to expand training for students, staff, and faculty in recognizing and responding to signs and symptoms related to mental health challenges.  Grant funds will also support multiple programming efforts aimed at reducing stigma, elevating mental health conversations, and promoting mental well-being for all.  

Posse Reunion

The first all Posse Scholar reunion will take place on October 20-21, 2017. Deborah Bial, founder and president of the Posse Foundation, will be the convocation speaker.

Department and Program Reviews

We will conduct external reviews of the Student Activities Office (SAO) and Gender & Sexuality Center (GSC). The first review will take place during winter term 2018.  Executive summaries from previous reviews of OIIL and SHAC are available on the External Reviews page.

New Staff and/or Promotions

  • Elizabeth Charnell, Area Director of Cassat, James, and Nourse
    Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, Elizabeth has her undergraduate degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and her master’s degree in leadership in student affairs from the University of St. Thomas.
  • Elliott Courchaine, Administrative Assistant in Student Activities
    Elliott will support office staff and assist students in a variety of ways, including event planning, travel, and purchasing. Prior to Carleton, Elliott worked in the Northfield Public School system in special education as an educational assistant. Elliott grew up in Northfield and earned a bachelor's degree in social work from St. Olaf College.
  • Sindy Fleming, Assistant Dean of Students
    In this newly created position, Sindy will provide centralized support for students on leave or taking a leave and lead efforts to increase programmatic synergies between of the Office of Intercultural and International Life and the Gender and Sexuality Center. Sindy will also lead Student Life assessment and evaluation efforts. Prior to coming to Carleton, Sindy directed the Center for Multicultural and International Engagement at St. Olaf College.
  • Matt Lundberg, Manager of Employer Engagement in the Career Center
    Matt has been an Events Support Specialist in PEPS at Carleton for the past four years. Matt's work in the Career Center will focus on developing and maintaining employer and graduate school recruiting relationships and building new models for connecting Carleton students with sought-after employers. 
  • Karl Olson, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
    Karl replaces Dr. Henry Emmons, who left Carleton after twenty-three years of providing psychiatric medication management. Karl will provide limited hours fall term while he honors prior employment commitments.  Beginning winter term, SHAC will offer the greatest number of psychiatric medication management hours (16) per week in the college’s history.
  • Steve ShauzArea Director of Goodhue and Evans
    Steve hails from Wisconsin, so, yes, he does, in fact, love cheese.  He received his bachelor’s degree in English from Carroll University and recently completed his master's degree in college student personnel at Western Illinois University.  He is an avid runner, so you might see him dashing through the Arboretum.
  • Genia WilsonArea Director of Watson, Myers, Faculty Club, and Chaney
    A native of West Fargo, North Dakota, Genia has spent the past decade "southern living." An alumna of the University of Mississippi ("Ole Miss") (B.A.) and Western Kentucky University (M.Ed.), Genia spent the past eighteen months working in fraternity and sorority life in Texas.
  • Brisa Zubia ’05, Interim Director of the Office of Intercultural & International Life
    Brisa was both a POSSE and TRIO Scholar while a student at Carleton. She is currently a Sexual Misconduct Adviser and a restorative justice facilitator. She earned her undergraduate degree in Latin American studies from Carleton and her master’s degree in international leadership from the University of St. Thomas. Before assuming the interim directorship, Brisa served as the Associate Director of OIIL.

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Message to DACA Students

August 31, 2017

As you surely know, some news reports are suggesting there may be forthcoming action by the federal government regarding the DACA program.  We therefore wanted to reach out to you during what may be a particularly anxious time.  We want to reassure you that Carleton’s support for you continues. 

All of the commitments we made to continue supporting our DACA students absolutely remain in full force and effect.  We have been actively working with students to support the renewal of DACA registration status--and we will continue to do so.  We will also be updating our DACA resource website.

We cannot predict how the political winds will affect this critical and successful program, but we can promise that Carleton will be among the ardent voices articulating support for the continuation of DACA (There was one such communication earlier this week.). 

If you have needs or concerns related to your DACA status, please contact Dean Livingston.

All the best for a great start to the new academic year!

Carolyn H. Livingston, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
Steve Poskanzer, President
Bev Nagel, Dean of the College

Carleton Students Impacted by Hurricane Harvey

August 30, 2017

Dear Carleton faculty, staff, and students,

As we watch the frightening natural disasters unfold in south Texas, we know that many of you are wondering about our own students and their families and how they are faring. We currently have 95 students enrolled from Texas, 53 of whom are from the greater Houston area. The Dean of Students Office has reached out to all of these students. Some of the students are already on off-campus studies programs or have arrived on campus for summer jobs or training for student leadership roles. Others are still in Texas have had to evacuate or are unable to do so. We will be working with all affected students to help bring them to campus as soon as possible, where our ability to provide support is much greater. But we all need to understand that the impacts of the hurricane, flood, and aftermath are very real and lasting.

We’ve received a number of queries from the campus community, as well as from alumni, about what they can do to assist. There are funds available through the recently awarded Great Lakes Financial Corporation grant and through other College discretionary endowments that Carleton will be prepared to direct to this effort. More information will be forthcoming about how to donate physical items these students might need. The material support our students will need is likely to range from basic staples like clothes, personal items, and school supplies, to dorm outfitting (for the first-year students) and textbook purchases. Should you wish to make a financial gift for this effort you may do so through the Alumni Annual Fund via a designation for Student Life.

Beyond the physical support, these students will need emotional support, and everyone in our community is in a position to assist. We are confident that Carleton will extend a warm and understanding welcome both to the first-year students impacted by this tragedy, as well as a safe and supportive home to all other students returning to campus.

Thank you for your concern and your investment in the health and safety of each member of our community.


Carolyn H. Livingston, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
Steve Poskanzer, President

Staffing Updates - June 2017

Title IX Coordinator Announcement

Dear Carleton students, faculty, and staff: 

Last summer, I announced a reorganization of the Division of Student Life’s administrative structure to include the first full-time Title IX Coordinator for Carleton.  An important element of our work includes making sure a dedicated team is in place to help address the challenges that face Carleton—and all colleges and universities—regarding issues of sexual harassment, discrimination and violence. 

Today, I am pleased to announce that Laura Riehle-Merrill, currently director for Community Engagement and Student Leadership for the Center for Community and Civic Engagement, has been named the college’s first full-time Title IX Coordinator effective August 15, 2017.  In this new role, she will lead our efforts to improve the campus climate; ensure we have effective resources in place for students, faculty and staff who are affected by sexual harassment, discrimination or violence; and implement policies and practices that are prompt, equitable and in compliance with federal mandates, including Title IX.

Laura attended Mansfield College, University of Oxford, England and is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College in English with a Women’s Studies concentration.  She also received a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.  

Laura has been serving on Carleton’s Title IX Lead Team as Deputy for Support.  In this role, Laura has planned training for sexual misconduct support (SMS) advisers, board members, and the greater campus community. For the past five years, Laura has served as an adviser for Carleton students who are going through the College’s sexual misconduct complaint process. Through this lived experience, she has seen how crucial it is for Carleton to continue to provide resources for students going through the complaint process, and to simultaneously bolster campus-wide prevention efforts.

Since Laura arrived at Carleton in 2005, she has worked collaboratively with faculty, staff and students. She has served on the Green Dot Steering Committee, the Peer Leader Committee, and the Sesquicentennial Planning Committee, among others. 

I am confident that Laura will continue to carry this collaborative spirit to her new role.  I am grateful that Laura will bring the vision, skills, passion and experience we need to lead Carleton College’s Title IX efforts into the next phase. 

Please also join me in thanking the chair of the Title IX Search Advisory Committee, Heidi Jaynes; the Search Advisory Committee members; and Amy Sillanpa, who has served as Acting Title IX Coordinator. 

Assistant Dean Announcement

I am pleased to announce that Sindy Fleming, currently director for the Center for Multicultural and International Engagement for St. Olaf College, has been named Assistant Dean of Students in the Dean of Students Office effective July 15, 2017.

In this new role, Sindy will provide centralized support for students on leave or taking a leave, and lead efforts to increase programmatic synergies between of the Office of Intercultural and International Life and the Gender and Sexuality Center. Sindy will also collaborate with faculty and staff to provide an environment of dialogue in which students build on their critical thinking and leadership skills.

Sindy attended the University Del Valle in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and is a graduate of St. Olaf College in Spanish and Education K-12 licensure. She also received a Master of Education in Teaching and Learning from Saint Mary’s University and is completing an Ed.D. from the University of Southern California’s Ross­­ier School of Education.

Sindy has been providing and promoting programs, initiatives, and an atmosphere that fosters academics, leadership, service, and community. She served as a TRIO/Student Support Services (SSS) Academic Advisor that allowed her to work with first- generation and low-income college students at a selective liberal arts institution. She also taught in both public and private schools ranging from kindergarten to twelfth grade, and obtained funding for Sustained Dialogue at St. Olaf. She also served as a co-facilitator for a faculty learning community, which provided a hands-on workshop for integrating diversity conversations into first-year courses.

I am excited that Sindy will bring her collaborative spirit, passion, and energies to Carleton.

Please join me in welcoming Sindy Fleming to Carleton.

Happy summer!

Carolyn H. Livingston, Ph.D
Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students

Winter Term 2017 Message to the Carleton Community

Dear Carls,

Happy New Year!  Winter term has gotten off to a quick start.  Below are a few key updates that I hope you will find helpful.  Feel free to let me know if you would like additional information.

Title IX Coordinator. In October 2016, I asked Heidi Jaynes, Associate Athletic Director, to chair a 10-person search advisory committee to identify candidates to serve in the newly created role of full-time Title IX Coordinator.  The committee began meeting October 31 and has identified three finalists, who will visit campus later this month and in February.  All Carleton community members are invited to meet the candidates.  Additional information will be forthcoming. You may also go to the coordinator search page on the Dean of Students website for updates. 

Laptop Loaner Program. A key recommendation emerging from the Winter 2016 community conversations was creating a laptop loaner program for those students who may not have the resources to afford one. The Dean of Students Office, in collaboration with Information Technology Services, is creating a pilot program for 16 students to use new Chromebooks while at Carleton. Applications are due January 20, 2017.  For the application and additional information, please visit the loaner laptop application page.

Spring Break 2017:  From Northfield to Selma. The Dean of Students Office will sponsor an 8-day spring break trip to explore key places and spaces that highlight U.S. Civil Rights history, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the 16th Street Baptist Church, the National Civil Rights Museum/Lorraine Motel, and the Brown Chapel AME Church, among others. Applications are due February 3, 2017.

Health Promotion’s Wellness Challenge. The newly created Office of Health Promotion is hosting a Wellness Challenge during Weeks 3-6 of this term. Students who sign up will receive a weekly email with a menu of stress-reduction options, one of which includes the golden retriever Tica, who is assuming the role of official SWA Dog. Students are encouraged to attend SWA Dog office hours, held twice weekly for the duration of the Wellness Challenge.

Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) Workshops. SHAC is offering two workshop series this term. One is a three-part Resilient Workshop Series designed to help students who want to improve their stress-management skills. The workshops focus specifically on transforming anxiety, depression, and social isolation.  Students are welcome to attend one, two, or all three sessions. The first meets Tuesday, January 17, from 12:10-1:00 p.m. in the SHAC Meeting Room (Davis 03). No sign up is necessary. More information can be found on the SHAC website.

Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) Working Group: The group submitted their final report, in which they recommended a BIRT at Carleton. Through subsequent conversations and campus consideration, I learned that there does not seem to be a broad community consensus about the appropriateness of a BIRT for addressing bias incidents at Carleton, so I have decided not to pursue this particular mechanism at this time. That said, we will continue to explore processes and protocols that more fully engage the college community in addressing the serious challenge of bias incidents. 

Staffing: This term, Student Life launches searches for the following key positions: Assistant Director of the Office of Intercultural and International Life; Area Director in Residential Life; and Assistant Dean of Students. More information will be forthcoming. 

Thank You:  Gathering over a meal is fundamentally an act of both nourishment and community. During winter break, nearly two hundred Carls remained on campus and in the Northfield area and, in many cases, were unable to spend time with their loved ones back home. In response, faculty and staff were invited to host a meal for students.  More than 48 faculty and staff hosted 182 students. Many thanks to all of those who hosted and attended. 

Stay warm! 

All the best for a great winter term,

Dean Livingston                                                               

August 2016 Message to the Carleton Community

August 31, 2016

Dear Carls,

It seems only yesterday that my family and I trekked from the sunny and humid temperatures of Atlanta, Georgia to the mild and pleasant summer temperatures of Northfield, Minnesota. Carleton College, the place that we have called home for the past fourteen months, is still as warm and inviting now as it was then. 

Since my arrival, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from many students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and families who care deeply about Carleton.


Read the rest of the message.

Dean's Corner - May 2016

May 2, 2016

Happy spring.  In January, we distributed a message to the Carleton community regarding conversations about race, gender, class, and privilege, what makes for a healthy community, and the ways our community falls short of its aspirations. This past winter term, we took action to build a stronger and more inclusive Carleton community.  Part of this action included holding a structured series of small-group discussions that we called “community conversations” and were attended by faculty, staff, and students. Some of these conversations were challenging for our students.  Often, these conversations included 20 members of the community who were meeting for the first time to think about five topics of importance (campus climate, black lives matter, the Syrian Refugee crisis/islamophobia, class and wealth at Carleton, and free speech).  All of the conversations were designed in such a way that those attending had an opportunity to be heard and to listen. Faculty and staff facilitated each of the 134 conversations.  We generated community-building moments, realized common bonds, and discovered barriers for joining together in pursuit of learning. These conversations were about beginnings, not endings; discovering challenges while not also seeking immediate solutions; and was a high priority for us all. In a few short weeks, we will share with the campus community, and you as well, a summary analysis of what we learned along with next steps and action items.  I encourage you to take an opportunity to ask your student about the community conversation and send me a quick note about their experiences at . All the best, Carolyn

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