The public affairs conversation
The Public Affairs Conversation is modeled on the other signature Conversation programs at St. Olaf. Students undertake an interdisciplinary journey through influential texts and ideas that have shaped civil discourse in the past and will guide its future.
The Institute periodically sponsors an essay contest open to current students that addresses a central question or theme related to recent Institute programming. Prizes have included an all-expense paid trip to Chicago to take in the hit Broadway show Hamilton: An American Musical, and multi-day excursion throughout Washington D.C., including a private tour of the National Archives’ Rare Book Room and reserved seating for a round of oral arguments at the Supreme Court.
The Institute for Freedom and Community seeks to provide funding and other administrative support to student organizations whose activities promote the values of free inquiry and spirited expression, so that people with diverse points of view and values can study, discuss, and debate political and social issues in respectful environments.