Pub Safe: Provides 24-hour security services, patrol and response throughout the year. Public Safety is dedicated to the safety and protection of the entire St. Olaf community. Officers are charged with enforcing college policies as well as local and state laws where applicable, that occur on college property.

The Piper Center: Located in Tomson Hall, The Piper Center for Vocation and Career provides resources and experiences designed to help students leverage their liberal arts education to achieve their full potential. The Piper Center innovatively strives to equip St. Olaf students with resources for achieving immediate and life-long career success.

Pause The Lion’s Pause, a branch of the Student Government Association (SGA),  is most commonly shortened to just the Pause. This is a student-run nightclub located on the first floor of Buntrock Commons. Students are lucky to have a facility like this at their disposal — very few other schools in the nation have such a nice space! The Pause consists of 5 rooms: The Den, Lair, Jungle, Kitchen, and Mane Stage. The Kitchen is a student-staffed kitchen serving pizza, shakes, and more. The Mane Stage is a huge concert venue that hosts many acts. Over 120 students work and are managed by peers here.  The Pause is best known for the ability to cater to students who are studying and relaxing during the day, and then transform into a hopping event venue at night!

PAC: The Political Awareness Committee is a branch of the Student Government Association (SGA) and is the primary student promoter of political awareness and activity on the St. Olaf campus. Committed to nonpartisan political education and activism, PAC seeks to serve all members of the St. Olaf student body as a political resource, ultimately making students into responsible and knowledgeable citizens. PAC brings in big-name speakers for very large events twice a year, known as the fall and spring speaker.

PDA: President David R. Anderson’s (’74) nickname around campus.

President’s Ball (Prez Ball): This annual event is planned by the Student Activities Committee, and enjoyed by students, faculty, and staff alike. It is a chance to socialize with the President and his wife, enjoy hors’devours, and dance the night away. Live music all night, and dance lessons from the Ballroom Club make this a must-attend event!

Pep band: Provides musical entertainment and lead fan enthusiasm at St. Olaf football and basketball games. The students involved are dedicated to enhancing team support and the spirit of the crowds at games.

Pizza: The only pizza you should ever crave while on campus is from the Pause!!!

PO box: All students get a mailbox that is referred to as their “P.O.” Mailboxes are not locked because campus is known for being very safe, as all students are respectful of each other.


Quarry: The student-edited fine arts journal that publishes the best of St. Olaf students’ literary works and visual art. Fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry are all featured alongside photography, paintings, and other forms of visual creative expression.

Quidditch: Since St. Olaf so closely resembles Hogwarts, it is only fair that we have a Quidditch club! The St. Olaf Quidditch Association brings the wonders of Quidditch to the St. Olaf campus on a weekly basis. With pick up games every week and the coveted House Cup, Quidditch provides the opportunity that everyone has always wanted.

The Quad: Behind Buntrock Commons and within the space between Rolvaag, Holland, Regents, Tomson, Mellby, the Theater, and Boe, is the area known as the Quad. On beautiful, sunny days, students gather to talk, eat, play frisbee, or just enjoy the Olaf community feel!


RACE: Race and Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary program committed to the study of people of color, primarily, though not exclusively, in the United States. The major acquaints students with the social, cultural, and historical contributions and lived experiences of African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos/as, and Middle Eastern Americans as well as the cultures and nations outside of the United States from which such peoples are drawn. The program also offers a concentration.

Residence Life: St. Olaf’s beautiful residential campus is a center for academic, social, cultural, and recreational activities. The Residence Life Office strives to engage, motivate, and challenge students in 11 residence halls and 21 honor houses across campus serving 96% of the student body. We are committed to providing a safe, comfortable, and student centered living environment that promotes personal and academic success.

RA: A Resident Assistant (RA) is an upper class student who builds community in upper-class residence halls.

Rølvaag: Named for the Norwegian immigrant, Ole E. Rølvaag (pronounced Røl·vaag) (1876-1931), novelist, educator, and St. Olaf graduate, Rølvaag Memorial Library was completed in 1942 and is the main library on campus. The many group study rooms, computer labs, and quiet nooks provide students with any area to call their own.

Regents: Firmly rooted in a vision that articulates an integrated approach to the study of natural sciences and mathematics, Regents Hall is carrying the sciences at St. Olaf deep into the 21st century, housed in inspiring and innovative learning spaces explicitly designed to promote the student-faculty interactions for which St. Olaf is known.

Rand: Nestled into the north face of Manitou Heights, Rand Hall houses 243 upper-classmen. A variety of living options are available in Rand including single, double, and quad occupancy rooms. Its suites share their own bathrooms. The hillside location offers a beautiful view of the woods and fields surrounding the college.

Reading Day: The Wednesday before finals start (Thursday of that week) is dedicated to studying. This “free” day between when classes and and finals begin is a time for students to recover, plan, and study.

Room draw: Process in which students sign up for housing for the next year. Towards the end of the school year, students receive a room draw “number” in their P.O. and that number will determine the order in which they are eligible to choose where they want to live the following year.

R25: The “room scheduling” program for all of campus, excluding the Lion’s Pause (link here for Pause reservations). This is an easy way to reserve rooms/places on campus from the convenience of your own computer.


Student Activities: Home to the Student Government Association (SGA), the Office of Student Activities is always upbeat and full of energy! In addition to housing SGA, the office is responsible for helping over 190 student organizations, providing information about student transportation, ticket sales and much more!

Study Abroad: We are known for plentiful and diverse study abroad programs. Each year, more than 800 students study off-campus! Academic programs take place in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, North, South and Central America and the Pacific. Some programs extend the scope of particular majors, language concentrations or area studies; all add a cross-cultural dimension to a liberal arts education.

SGA: The Student Government Association (SGA) is lead by students who want to make life on campus an adventure for their fellow peers. The ten branches of SGA bring concerts, political speakers, diversity celebrations, late-night activities, Homecoming, pizza bagels in the Pause, student representation to the Board of regents, volunteer opportunities, connections with alumni, funding for student organizations, and so much more! If you want to get involved click here! (link)

SAC: The Student Activities Committee branch of SGA organizes diverse events and activities that cater to the varied interests of students. SAC provides students with unique escapes from their academic responsibilities. SAC upholds St. Olaf traditions such as Homecoming Week and the President’s Ball. SAC also has weekly movies and provides special events throughout the year that include comedians, magicians, novelty acts and even speed dating!

Senate: The Student Senate provides a venue where elected representatives — Hall Senators, special constituency Senators (like Multicultural and Off-Campus), faculty committee student participants, and the members of the SGA Executive team — discuss the operations of the Student Government. Administrators and staff present information regarding the College and frequently solicit student feedback from Senators. All Senate meetings are open to any student who wants to come and listen!

SOC: The Student Organization Committee is the branch of SGA that registers clubs, making them official Orgs. Orgs can apply to SOC for funding for events, speakers, equipment, etc, and also use the SORC poster room to create publicity for their organizations.

Spring concert: Just like the fall concert, this event is planned and hosted by MEC and is the big hit of the spring!

SARN: The Sexual Assault Resource Network takes a stand against sexual assault and intimate violence on campus through supporting survivors and raising awareness in the college community. SARN is a CONFIDENTIAL source on campus with the principle concern of making sure that survivors of sexual, domestic and emotional abuse find their needs and concerns met with compassion and competence. SARN services include: victims’ rights and legal advocacy, crisis intervention, referrals, assistance with administrative hearing processes, education and information on sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and healthy relationships or just someone to talk to. Advocates are on call nightly from 8 pm to 8 am during the academic year at x3777.

SIS: The Student Information System (pronounced S.I.S.) is an all-in-one place for students to register for classes, look at their degree audit and look over their financial statements.

Skog: The shorthand version of Skoglund (pronounced Skog·lund) Center. Skoglund hosts varsity basketball and volleyball games in its 2,008-seat arena, and its natatorium is home to the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. Skoglund also has a field house, racquetball courts, wrestling room, sauna, locker rooms, an athletic training room, and the athletic department offices. Outdoor tennis courts are located behind the building, near the softball, baseball and soccer fields. In addition to housing athletics, Skoglund Center is used for large ensemble performances, including the annual Christmas Festival.

Scared Scriptless: The student improv group at St. Olaf. Their mission is to entertain the community through improvisational theater. In addition, Scared Scriptless gives students the opportunity to perform improv theater regardless of their amount of previous experience.

Swing Club: An organization for any and all students to learn and have fun swing dancing! The club offers lessons each week as well as open social dance time. Guest instructors and trips to the cities are also regular special events. Any style of swing dance is welcome–lindy hop, balboa, shag, blues, etc! Come by anytime, no partner necessary!

STOGROW: The Saint Olaf Garden Research and Organic Works (STOGROW) farm project is a student-run community initiative. STOGROW’s goals are to practice sustainable farming methods; to provide fresh, local vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers to our community; to foster agricultural awareness; and to provide education about sustainable food production.

Swiped Events (for the Wellness Center/ESAC classes): Every ESAC class requires that students go to informational sessions run by the Wellness Center on a variety of topics. The Wellness Center representatives will “swipe” the Ole Cards of the students to prove they attended the session.

Shakes: Throughout the year the Pause Kitchen comes up with new “specialty shakes” that usually pertain to the month or season. For example, in the fall the pumpkin pie shake is a big hit, and in the spring, the shamrock shake is a big seller. In addition to the specialty shakes, the Pause has quite a few regular flavors and toppings to choose from. All are delicious!


Textbooks: Crucial to every student’s studies, textbooks can be purchased or rented from the St. Olaf Bookstore.

Taiko: The student-led, Taiko Group was formed in 2004. Taiko is a form of drumming that originated in Japan. It developed from the martial arts and is a unique rhythmic experience that requires physical and mental agility.

Tomson: Tomson Hall houses the Education Department and the college’s six language departments, plus the World Languages Center. Other building occupants include offices that serve students, such as Admissions and Financial Aid, the Office of International and Off-Campus Studies, the Dean of Students and Residence Life, the Health Center, Office of the Registrar, and Academic Advising, and the Piper Center that helps St. Olaf students discern their vocations and plan careers. The President’s and Provost’s offices and the Office of the Treasurer/Business Office are also located in Tomson Hall.


Um! Yah! Yah!: The school saying and song! Every Ole memorizes this once hitting the Hill:

We come from St. Olaf, we sure are the real stuff.
Our team is the cream of the colleges great.
We fight fast and furious, our team is injurious.
Tonight Carleton College will sure meet its fate.

Um! Yah! Yah!, Um! Yah! Yah!
Um! Yah! Yah!, Um! Yah! Yah!
Um! Yah! Yah!, Um! Yah! Yah!
Um! Yah! Yah! Yah!

Um! Yah! Yah!, Um! Yah! Yah!
Um! Yah! Yah!, Um! Yah! Yah!
Um! Yah! Yah!, Um! Yah! Yah!
Um! Yah! Yah! Yah!

Ultimate: St. Olaf has 4 Ultimate teams, both Men’s and Women’s. The top teams compete regularly at the national level, while the developmental teams are a great opportunity to learn the game and make awesome friends. These teams are open to any interested Ole, and travel around the country to participate in tournaments.

Urness Recital Hall: Opera and musical theater productions are staged in this hall in the Christiansen Hall of Music.


Viking Theater: The college’s very own movie theater-style room is located in on the first floor of Buntrock. The space is perfect for movie showings, big meetings, and presentations.

Vegan cookies: During the school week, The Cage sells cookies made with bananas, oats, and chocolate chips. These cookies go fast, so students rush to The Cage after classes to make sure they can get one!

VN: The Volunteer Network (VN) is committed to providing volunteer opportunities for students that benefit both St. Olaf and the larger community. As a branch of the Student Government Association (SGA) the goal of VN is to make a variety of volunteer programs available to students; some will be one-time events and others will provide for lasting participation. VN provides a wide range of services for children, the elderly, individuals with special needs, pets, and more

Valhalla: This student conducted and operated band is founded on the principles of making music, meeting other students, and having fun. Each year, Valhalla (pronounced Val·halla) will open its doors to any student who wants to be part of a band–regardless of membership in other musical groups on campus or musical abilities. The band performs in two concerts per year and also commissions a student composer once a year.

Van-GO!: This transportation service allows students to reserve rides for: community service sites, off-campus student-work assignments, student teaching, classes at Carleton, and medical/dental/therapy appointments in town. Van-GO! operates Monday-Friday, 7am-6pm. Students must make their reservations online, a day prior to needing a ride.

Viking Chorus: The men’s first-year chorus is made up of 85+ member, 60% of which are not music majors. This chorus performs at Homecoming and Family weekend, Christmas Festival, and more!


Wind Chime Memorial: In the middle of the Quad, stands a beautiful wind chime. Built by members of the St. Olaf community over the summer of 2003, this Scandinavian-style wooden tower commemorates the lives of students who have died while enrolled at St. Olaf. The chimes, tuned to the key of D (the key of Beautiful Savior), are engraved with the names of those students. On windy days, the sound of the chimes can be heard almost everywhere on campus.

Wind Turbine (Big Ole): In 2005 we became the first liberal arts college in the nation to construct a utility-grade wind turbine for the sole purpose of providing energy to the campus (Carleton College was the first to construct a turbine, but the electricity it produces is sold to an energy company and added to the general power grid). Our 1.65 megawatt self-generating wind turbine directly supplies up to one-third of the electricity used by the college.

Work-study: It is very common for students to have an on-campus (or off-campus — CBWS) “student work” job. These jobs are also known as work-study positions. Students are awarded a certain amount of “work-study” allowance from the financial aid office. Work-study jobs can be found all over campus, from the caf to the library to most offices.

Wellness Center: Serves as a resource to promote awareness and education on issues relating to healthy lifestyles. We provide prevention and intervention services for alcohol and other drug use and abuse concerns. Student Peer Educators (PE) who staff The Wellness Center, located in Buntrock Commons, are available to talk with students one-on-one during office hours. Students are encouraged to come in and talk with a PE on any health related issue.

Week One: This is the week in which first-year students get acquainted with campus before all the upper-class students arrive back.


St. Olaf Extra: Of the many email alias’ on the Hill, the stolaf-extra alias has to be the most active! This list can be used for announcing issues not directly related to St. Olaf such as items for sale, houses for rent, wanted-to-buy announcements, non-profit Northfield events, etc. Any student, faculty, or staff member can subscribe to the list!


Ytterboe: Ytterboe (pronounced Itt·er·boe) Hall houses 402 students in suites of four to ten residents. Each suite (or pod) consists of single and double rooms arranged around a common living area. This hall features a beautiful main lounge, study lounges, computer facilities, sinks in the rooms, and music practice rooms.


Zero Week: One week before first-years arrive, faculty and staff get back into the swing of things. Lots to do for the upcoming school year!

Zoom Yah! Yah!: Runners from across the country (13 states and Spain) have competed in this unique, indoor, full marathon on the Tostrud Center track. Members of the women’s cross country and track and field teams host the event as a fundraiser for their teams.