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.


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