Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Political Awareness Committee?

A committee that works to push the St Olaf community to develop a critical consciousness to the place we occupy, and our positioning in the world. PAC works to have events that radically change our ways of being in this world, through an intersectional approach that enables students within the committee to grow and learn. While also pushing the wider student and faculty body to be exposed to events that will cause a radical examination of their world and life.

What kind of programming PAC offers to the St. Olaf Community?

PAC is a programming SGA branch, which means that we are responsible for putting together events and social gatherings. PAC offers a diverse range of poetry readings, film screenings, book discussions, political education and actions, workshops, lectures, and more. We host a fall and spring speaker. In the past, PAC has hosted Angela Davis, Cornel West, Tarana Burke, and Dolores Huerta. If members of the community would like to collaborate with PAC, we’ll be more than happy to. You do not need to have membership from an organization, as long if you have an idea for an event and would like to collaborate with PAC, let’s talk!

Who can join PAC? When can we apply to PAC?

Anyone from all class years can apply to PAC. You do not need to be experienced in any kind of way, PAC and SGA offer training to new members. PAC application can be found on Oleville. There are no deadlines. Before applying to PAC, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I willing to accept that I could be wrong on certain issues and am I okay with being wrong/misinformed? am I willing to do better?
  • Am I joining PAC because this could benefit my academic/professional career, or because I am truly interested in collectively building a better and just future and liberation for all people? Am I being led by love or ego?
  • Can I prioritize, honor, respect, and believe in BIPOC's voices and experiences?

Why does PAC only represent one side of the political spectrum? Shouldn’t PAC represent liberal and conservative views?

PAC is not interested in being limited to the U.S political binaries. PAC mission and goal is rooted in centering the untold stories into light that even our own college refuses to do. Our commitment to justice transcends political parties. If we are interested in any kind of questions of freedom or liberation, then we have to think of the deep ways in which the legacies of colonialism, imperialism, and white supremacy affect people beyond self-governance and at the state level. We are interested in the world around us, not just what occurs in the U.S. Additionally, this question is only brought up when PAC highlights issues that affect BIPOC communities. Ask yourself: is there a space on campus where BIPOC’s and other marginalized members have the ability to authentically narrate their own stories and experiences without fear of retaliation, violence, and suppression? If you are interested in false equivalence, then please refer to the other political organizations on campus. If you know, you know lolz.