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Senate shows solidarity for protestors

On Monday, September 26, CSA unanimously passed a resolution in solidarity with the Sacred Stone Camp protesters against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“Solidarity is us saying we see you and we are with you,” said CSA President Tiffany Thet ’17. “We are an ally. We acknowledge the pain of the tribes and the protestors.”

Allison Tucker ’18, Environmental Advisory Committee Liaison, came up with the idea for the resolution, and she, along with Senators Riley Irish ’19 and Malia Molina ’18, drafted the legislation.

“I brought the idea of a resolution to CSA because I wanted to have a dialogue about this national protest regarding indigenous rights and water security at Carleton,” Tucker said. “After discussing with other CSA members, a resolution seemed like a tangible, active step to show our support for the Sacred Stone Camp protesters.”

In the resolution, the Senate explains its concerns that pipeline construction would destroy culturally significant areas, limit indigenous rights and threaten Midwest water sources.

The Dakota Access Pipeline Project would cover 1,172 miles, moving 470,000 barrels of domestically produced crude oil each day from the Bakken and Three Forks areas of North Dakota to existing pipelines in Illinois. The pipeline would come within half a mile of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. Protesters say the pipeline would destroy important heritage sites and would threaten the Missouri River. Those in support of the pipeline say it will create jobs, bring in tax revenue and make the United States less dependent on foreign oil.

“This resolution is a sign that CSA cares about issues at Carleton and around the world that affect Carleton students and wants to take pro-active steps to influence change and further spark dialogue,” Tucker said.

Of the resolution, Thet said, “We want to whole campus to stand with us and our message of solidarity.”

The resolution stated that Thet would present the resolution to President Steven Poskanzer and the College Council. Poskanzer heard about the resolution both from Thet and from Dean of Students Carolyn Livingston. He explained that the college as an institution does not take stances on political issues.

“The college’s function as an institution allows us to critique and think about all issues would be compromised if we were to get involved in political issues,” he said.

However, Poskanzer clarified that there are campus programs and organizations through which students can show their solidarity with the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters. He cited the Center for Community & Civic Engagement, political groups and student organizations as ways for the Carleton community to learn about and get involved with political issues. The last time CSA passed a resolution was in 2012, when it issued a statement against the Minnesota Voter ID Amendment.

Looking forward to the rest of this academic year, Thet said, “I foresee that this resolution will encourage more resolutions … We want CSA Senate to be proactive this year and take formal stances on certain issues. But, we are obviously concerned about quality over quantity.”

Thet also urged non-senators to bring forward resolutions to CSA, citing her desire for the entire student-body—not just CSA senators—to take an active role in student government.

Similarly, Tucker explained, “CSA will continue to care about social justice and breaking down patterns of oppression. I look forward to whatever else CSA does this year to implement as much positive change as possible.”

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