Eric J Eischens

Eric Eischens
Eric Eischens, Facilities (Staff)

Why are you serving on the Council on Equity and Inclusion?
To help culture an academic and residential environment that encourages a feeling of belonging by creating a campus that values the contributions of all students, staff, and faculty.

What drives your interest in and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracist work?
I identify as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. As a student, I had interests in science, history, and indigenous studies. During my agricultural career in maize breeding, I had opportunities to work on international collaborations and visit many places. I grew to respect and trust people even across the rural/urban divide. Along my journey, I have always had an affinity for people who, like me, have felt othered in some way. By making all of these people my friends, and some of them my family, I have borne witness to the disparate outcomes that people experience in life. Through this I have examined my own privileges, trying to understand why the things that worked out for me didn’t play out for them.

When someone asks you how they can support this work on campus, what is your advice?

  • Promote dialogue
  • Show up to student-led events
  • Learn how to navigate the resource networks that are available
  • Use your own intellectual curiosity to pursue a personal learning path
  • Be intentional

What is your hope for the future of St. Olaf?
Oles are a cohort of great minds. Each member is driven by their own passions. We can all achieve together by giving voice, validation, and compassion to the individuals that we are. My hope is that the future is bright for St. Olaf because no light is dimmed.