Gustavus College Democrats

Fall 2003 Meeting Minutes

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September 11, 2003

Submitted by Lindsey Brown

Meeting called to order at 7:03 pm in 49ers room.
Andrew Erickson and Lindsey Brown presided.

It was approved that Bjorn and Lindsey will switch offices for the semester; Bjorn will be the co-president and Lindsey the first mate (aka secretary). Active immediately, title will change to secretary.

Andrew Erickson and Bjorn Bjorklund preside.

There is a steak fry in Iowa this Saturday in which Clinton and ten democratic presidential candidates will be present. Five members expressed interest and Megan will organize the van situation.

Topics for “Pizza and Politics” were brainstormed. Andrew will discuss these with the College Republicans before plans are made.
Ideas: Patriot Act, Gun Control, Internet Music Sharing, Roe v. Wade, Creation vs. Science, Gay Marriage, Drugs and Alcohol at GAC.

The College Democrats plan to sponsor a screening of “Bowling for Columbine” this fall. It was decided that attendees will have the option of staying for discussion following the film.

Angie Tanner will be contacted for matters relating to finance and budget. Angie, Andrew, and Gabe Becker will attend a student activities meeting on this topic in the coming week.

Next Meeting: Thursday, September 18 at 7:30 pm in the 49ers room.

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September 25, 2003

Submitted by Lindsey Brown

Katrina presided.
18 members present

The State College Dems are having a retreat at St. Ben’s on Oct. 17-18. Bjorn and Andrew will be attending.

A Kucinich rep expressed interest in visiting campus. None in attendance were interested in his visit.

Pizza and Politics has been narrowed down to two ideas: guns, and energy. A majority favored debating energy issues, since gun control will be discussed with the screening of Bowling for Columbine.

A Wednesday in October was suggested for screening of Bowling for Columbine. An exact date will be chosen at the next meeting.

A signup sheet was passed around for those able to help with fundraising work in the Caf during the Nobel Conference. This will make more money available to the dems.

Peace Coffee ideas were discussed, and this was tabled for the next meeting.

4-5 people present tonight are interested in attending the Dean Meetup at the Coffee Hag in Mankato on 10/1/03. An email will be sent soon so those interested can line up a carpool.

Raj, the new dems advisor, helped to lead some good discussion following the formal meeting.

Next meeting: Thursday, October 2 @ 7:30 in the Dive.

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October 2, 2003

Submitted by Megan Willie

Meeting called to order at 7:30, Andrew Erickson and Bjorn Bjorklund presiding.

Attendance: Megan Wille, Matt Klaber, Mandy Olson, Raj, Peter Dahlberg, Bjorn Bjorklund, Erick Nelson, Noah Mirovsky, Andrew Erickson, Kate Erickson, Allan Johnson, Megan Buckingham, Peter Grafstrom, Angie Tanner, Gabe Becker, Tom Zera, Jackie Hochstein, Mandi Krumheuer.

Bowling for Columbine: Push back to November some time, maybe co-sponsor with ROTC or ASAP or both? Do it Confer because it’s good for discussion and doesn’t cost $500 like Nobel.

Pizza & Politics: Wed., Oct. 29th at 6:00 – hopefully. Andrew will talk to the Republicans to iron out the exact time, place, and topic.

Caf Fundraising: Everyone likes it, few will do it. Sign up sheet passed around and Andrew will contact when he confirms what times are available.

Ruth “The Truth” Johnson: We should have her come to campus soon. She loves coming and everyone loves her, so we can try to plug the $50 everyone is allowed to give to her for free, so that she can get money for her campaign and beat Howard Swenson next time around.

Wellstone World Music Day: Little interest in participation, maybe find more details when it gets closer and we can find somewhere to watch without having to play in it.

CDM retreat at St. John’s: Lots of interest, very good! We’ll trek up there over the first half of fall break and represent the South Side of Minnesota as well as GAC. Sign up sheet passed around, Bjorn will contact those interested later with more info.

Table at BRA concert: Tabling 4:30 to 9 on Friday the 10th at the end of Coming Out Week. Andrew, Peter G., Tom, and Angie are interested; we’ll get more info on this from BRA later.

Dean Merchandise: Most of us think that it is a good idea to use some of our giveaway money to buy Dean merchandise (lots of people have been requesting it) to giveaway at tables and such. It will raise for the Dems in general and for Dean (the candidate of choice for most members) in particular. Also, Lieberman stuff is free, for anyone who wants it.

Al Franken: Buy his book, borrow his book, somehow read his book! General consensus: it’s awesome. In fact, so awesome that Matt will look into getting Franken to come for Demfest. Long shot? Yes. Would be cool? Definitely.

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October 9, 2003

Submitted by Katrina Kleinwachter

7:30ish: Meeting called to order by an overanxious Bjorn Bjorklund. Andrew Erickson and Bjorn Bjorklund preside.

Attendance: Katrina Kleinwachter, Peter Grafstrom, Matt Pollari, Allan Johnson, Matt Klaber, Jackie Hochstein, Mandy Olson, Joel Wenzel, Gabe Becker, Eric Nelson, Megan Wille, Peter Dahlberg, Bjorn Bjorklund, Tom Zera, Andrew Erickson, Megan Buckingham, and Raj.

Events for Next Tuesday that Everyone Should Go To:
  • Howard Zinn at St. Olaf, 6:00 (Talk to SAO)
  • Terry Gydesen, Jeff Blodgett, and Al Franken at Weisman Art Museum, 7:00 (Talk to Me, Andrew,
  • Dennis Kucinich in Minneapolis somewhere. No one signed up, but talk to me if you REALLY want to see him. He’s kicking off his official campaign or something like that.

Bowling For Columbine: The Dems are going to work with ASAP and other groups on campus to show Bowling for Columbine and host a panel the next day. Go to an ASAP meeting or talk to me for more info. Also, trying to talk to ROTC about having their group in on it, but we’re waiting for the official word from the Colonel.

CDM Retreat: An awesome opportunity for us College Dems. Big State Dems (Mike Hatch, Buck Humphrey, etc.) will be there. We’ll organize a car pool later in the week, but we’ll head up next Friday to St. John’s and come back the next afternoon. Everyone should go.

BRA Tabling tomorrow: Peter Grafstrom 4:30-6, Angie Tanner 6-7:30, Tom Zera 7:30-9

Global Tuesday: Next Tuesday’s topic is Religious Fanaticism. It’s at 3:30 on Oct. 14th somewhere, but it’s early enough that you should be able to go to that and then one of the speakers that night.

Other Discussion:

  • California Recall: What’s the deal with Arnold? What’s the deal with California?
  • Northern Sun Merchandising: Why are their bumper stickers so funny? (By the way, get some, they ARE funny, and we’re picking some up on Tuesday. Talk to Mandy Olson – – for details).
  • Bjorn: Why is he not funny?
  • White Flight out of California: What is the effect on minorities in California? What effect might this have on the economy (especially in response to the recall and budget crisis)?

Meeting adjourned at about 8:25.

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October 23, 2003

Meeting called to order at 7:35ish, Andrew Erickson presides.

Attendance: Adam Johnson, Katrina Kleinwachter, Gabe Becker, Elizabeth Harri, Eric Nelson, Matt Pollari, Peter Dahlberg, Andrew Erickson, Jackie Hochstein, Tom Zera, Brian Fahey, Allan Johnson, Kate Erickson, Matt Klaber

Pizza ’n’ Politics: Wed., Oct. 29th, hopefully at 5:30. Vote for topic: Patriot Act-5, Prescription Drugs-0, Higher Education Funding-0, Role of the 3rd Party-3, Energy Issues-2. Eric will work on reserving a room, Peter will do publicity, Bjorn will get pizza, and Andrew will work on digging up an article about background of the Patriot Act so people going know what they’re talking about. Be there.

Yearbook Picture: Be here next week for picture taking; Matt K. will bring his digital camera. Be there.

County DFL Meeting: The County DFL is having a meeting in the St. Peter Room on Monday at 6:30 to introduce Terry Morrow as the new Chair. Be there.

LOTT Seminar: A “Women in Leadership” seminar that will take place over three days in January at the capitol building in St. Paul. Cost is about $225, but some scholarships are available. Questions? Ask me [Andrew] or Elizabeth Harri, who stole my brochure. If you’re a woman who will be here or available during J-Term, do it.

Environmental Conference: Some conference at Carleton will be coming up on Nov. 15th. Just a heads up, but in a few weeks, be there.

Iowa Invasion: The MN College Dems are sponsoring trips to Iowa from Nov. 14-16 to work with presidential candidates and see them all speak (as well as Hillary Clinton). If you don’t want to volunteer for any candidate, the ticket will cost you, there won’t be many, and the deadline is tomorrow (the 24th). If you do support some candidate, helping him/her will get you in free, almost guaranteed. For more info, check out our website, or the MN College Dems at I know this will overlap the environmental conference, but be there too.

Dean Meetup: Nov. 5th at the River Rock, around 6. More information next week. If you like Dean, be there.

Tabling: Table to pass out Dean bumper stickers and perhaps solicit $50 refundable donations. Talk more about this when not so much stuff is happening. When it happens, be there.

Speaker: Do we want a speaker to come in to talk for free about Bush’s tax cuts from a Democrat’s viewpoint? If so, on Nov. 19th or Dec. 11th? Yes, and Nov. 19th. Be there.

Spring Convention: Looks like we’ll get it here to coincide with Demfest, allowing us to look for a really cool speaker (Al Franken, perhaps?). This will be awesome, so in 6 months, be there.

Our Story Conference: A conference this coming weekend, I believe about the gender gap in education. Alan Page is going to do a keynote address, there will be a number of workshops, and Phil Bryant is moderating a panel. Other activities as well. Raj says it’s going to be awesome, so be there.

Wellstone Memorial: All of a sudden we realized we had nothing in place to get a memorial together. So, quickly we decided that tentatively we’d have an open mic thing from 5pm-7pm in the Courtyard Café. Anyone with talent, come play; everyone else, come share your memories. Kate will work on publicity (signs), Eric will try to reserve a space, Andrew will try to find green ribbon and pins, and email groups to try to get people to play. This is thrown together quickly (though not as quickly as last year), so it’s going to be tough to pull off. It would be great if all of you came for a couple hours (or even minutes) on Saturday to share your memories about Paul (and hopefully some music). I know this means a lot to a lot of you, so be there to remember Paul with us.

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October 30, 2003

Meeting called to order at 7:30.

Attendance: Andrew Erickson, Peter Grafstrom, Matt Klaber, Bjorn Bjorkland, Tom Zera, Joel Wenzel, Eric Nelson, Johan Eriksson, Matt Pollari, Peter Dahlberg.

Yearbook Picture: Not many people here at one time, put it off until next week. Everyone who wants to be in the picture, come next week!

Environmental Conference: There will be an environmental conference talking about how to get George W. Bush out of office on Nov. 15th at Carleton. Email if you want to go. Eric, Bjorn, and Andrew have already expressed interest.

Iowa Invasion: Sign up soon at This is a chance to go work on the campaign of your candidate of choice. Johan and Matt are the only ones interested so far, but they can organize a carpool if anyone else wants to go.

Dean Meetup Nov. 5th at River Rock. More information to come.

Tabling for Dean bumper stickers and $50 refundable donations: This was a bit controversial, with Matt and Andrew having strong but opposing feelings. Matt almost made Andrew cry. Anyway, discussion is tabled until next week when we have more people to talk about it.

Voter ID for County DFL: The county DFL wants some help doing voter ID’s during January. It’ll help out the DFL and they’ll pay the Dems for their services. More to come on this later, but a few people seemed interested.

Precinct Caucuses are March 2nd. Just a heads up, but the start of the election season for us hardcores is coming up soon. If you’re interested in getting into this fun part, start coming to meetings to find out more.

John Kerry: He’ll be in Iowa this weekend; anyone interested, contact me (Andrew). Johan might go.

Bruce Vento Dinner: DFL fundraiser. More details.

Bowling For Columbine: Looking at either the 1st or 2nd of December. Joel will talk to ASAP to clear it with them.

Debate: The State College Dems chair (Kara Nelson, who is Eric’s sister) will be speaking on PBS with the College Republicans chair at 7:00 Friday. Please watch; it should be really good.

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November 6, 2003

Meeting called to order by Co-President Bjorn Bjorklund at 7:32.

I. Debated tabling for $50 “temporary" donations to Democratic Party; money is refunded fully (up to $50) by the state in approximately six weeks. Decided that this will probably get more faculty donating than students but it is still worth the effort. Discussed benefits of waiting until next semester: post-holiday season and close to campaigns. Consensus was to table for this in mid-February.

II. Voter ID: MN Democratic Party needs help calling moderates in January to determine their political leanings. More information and signup to come once details are available.

III. Local Caucuses: March 2 at St. Peter High School. Talk to Andrew or Bjorn with any questions, it’s a good time and pretty painless!

IV. Discussed Joe Brown’s candidacy for U.S. House; Bjorn enthusiastically urges us to begin considering involvement in his or others’ campaigns in the coming year.

V. is selling a video on their website that investigates how America was misled into pursuing war with Iraq. They’re encouraging groups to show it; we are looking into purchasing a copy at $15/ video. Article in 11/6 NYT in the Arts section on the film.

VI. Discussed news of the first cowardice charges filed against an American soldier since the Vietnam War. Charges are against a U.S. Special Forces Sergeant who had physical reactions of vomiting, insomnia, etc. after seeing the body of an Iraqi mangled by American grenades. In response to his request for assistance for these symptoms from the counseling center, the officer was ordered home to the U.S. and charged with cowardice. There is no minimum punishment for cowardice, and such violations may be punished by death. Keep your eye on this story.

VII. Megan is the NARAL representative on campus and discussed her meeting with top NARAL reps today. Discussed the disturbingly slippery slope we are on due to the recent ban on so-called “partial-birth” abortion which makes no exemptions for women’s health and safety. Megan will be e-mailing us about a pizza discussion with a NARAL representative next week and highly encourages all to attend – it is a very important time on this crucial issue.

Meeting officially adjourned 8:05pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Katrina Kleinwachter

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November 13, 2003

7:35: Meeting called to order a bit late by Andrew Erickson (waiting for the usually early Eric Nelson). Attendance: Andrew Erickson, Bjorn Bjorklund, Joel Wenzel, Allan Johnson, Eric Nelson, Gabe Becker, Peter Grafstrom, Megan Buckingham, Matt Pollari, Jackie Hochstein, Peter Dahlberg.

Yearbook Picture: One of these weeks…otherwise nobody looks at the yearbook anyway

Donations: Not going to do a table this year, but a reminder to everyone: If you are a MN resident, you can donate $50 – completely refundable! – to a state candidate or party (e.g. the MN DFL, Ruth Johnson, John Hottinger, Mike Hatch, etc.). If you’re not sure if your choice will be a refundable one, ask me. Also, I have the short sheet you need to fill out (basically what your address is so you can receive your refund) as well as receipts from MN DFL, so if you choose to give to them, you can get your refund very quickly. In conclusion, all Minnesota residents, take part in this very important campaign finance reform measure that we are very fortunate to have!

Gustie-gate: Somehow over the summer, the Dems incurred a $60 debt. Bjorn and I are trying to figure out where it came from, and if it was mistakenly taken out of our on-campus checking account rather than our Senate money. At any rate, we need to make this up soon or we lose our recognition, so please talk to me about working a caf shift or something else to make the difference up.

Discussion: Howard Dean’s Confederate flag comment.

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November 19, 2003

7:30 or so: Meeting called to order by Andrew Erickson, who introduces guest speaker Bob Burrows. Attendance: Andrew Erickson, Bjorn Bjorklund, Adam Johnson, Joel Wenzel, Eric Nelson, Peter Grafstrom, Peter Dahlberg, Angie Tanner, Megan Buckingham, Matt Pollari, Matt Klaber, Raj, Anyone Else???

Bob Burrows: He and his wife Marion graciously came as visitors to our meeting. Professor Burrows talked about the Bush tax cuts, touching on everything from the Battle of Hastings to Cooperstown, from the British aristocracy to “Our Phantasmagoric Elephant Gigantica.” At the end, the good professor took questions, sold and signed copies of his book, and passed out informative materials. His website can be found at

Yearbook Picture: To be continued in two weeks (again…)

Donations: Gustie-gate still has not been resolved. Please donate time, or a couple of bucks to the cause (buying bumper stickers counts! Talk to me if you want to see the selection).

Internships: Dean and Gephardt have internships available this January; talk to me for details.

Pizza and Politics, Bowling for Columbine: We have time for one more event before finals; should we do P&P or B For C? The group settled on pizza (and politics if we must). We’ll try to arrange it for the first week in December on a Wednesday at 5:30.

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December 4, 2003

Meeting called to order by Co-President Andrew Erickson at 7:32

Attendance: Katrina Kleinwachter, Matt Pollari, Gabe Becker, Matt Klaber, Alan Johnson, Megan Buckingham, Erik Ruser, Andrew Erickson, Raj, Peter Dahlberg.

I. Pizza ‘n’ Politics will be held on Wednesday, December 10 at 5:30 in Confer Hall room 331. The topic will be the death penalty in Minnesota.

II. Q&A is sponsoring “God and Gays” on Wednesday, December 10 at 8:00 p.m. Pizza MAY be served. Personal experiences, etc. will be discussed.

III. Those that will be on campus for J-Term – We will be phoning for the Minnesota College Democrats, more info soon.

IV. College Dems New Years Eve bash discussed. Visit the MN College Dems website for more info.

V. A special election will be held on December 30 in Hutchinson for the state legislature. If anyone wants to help with the get-out-and-vote effort, let Andrew know.

VI. Building Bridges Conference in March. We’re trying to get Betty McCollum to talk. If you want to help, let Raj know.

VII. May Day! Conference - Talk to Raj if you want to help.

VIII. The Minnesota College Dems Spring Convention will be at Gustavus on April 16-18, and will coincide with Demfest 2004.

IX. Caucuses for our district will be held on March 2.

X. The Minnesota College Dems is sponsoring Hockey With Buck in January at Augsburg College. Let Bjorn or Andrew know if you’re interested in attending.

XI. We talked about promoting political activism on campus in next spring and fall as the election approaches. Ideas include visiting classes and talking to Student Senate about get-out-and-vote efforts.

XII. It was decided that one of our goals for next semester is to have Pizza ‘n’ Politics once a month.

XIII. Mid-Year GAC Dems elections will be held either at the next meeting or the first meeting of the spring semester.

XIV. If anyone can help out with the Iowa campaigns, either contact the respective campaign or let Andrew know.

Meeting officially adjourned 8:05pm.

Respectfully Submitted,
Katrina Kleinwachter

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December 11, 2003

Meeting called to order by President Andrew Erickson at apprx. 7:30 p.m.

Attendance: Andrew Erickson, Megan Wille, Matt Pollari, Eric Nelson, Gabe Becker and guest, Peter Dahlberg, Megan Buckingham, Peter Grafstrom, Erik Ruser, Joel Wenzel, and a tardy advisor with multicolored hair.

I. Andrew reminded us all about “Hockey with Buck” which will take place on Jan. 24 – if you are interested or for more info contact him.

II. Camp Wellstone – again, contact Andrew if interested, plus he will probably be sending out an email since there was an expressed interest at the meeting.

III. Got extra books lying around and don’t want to get riped off by the Bookmark? Donate them to “Books for Romania.” More about this when the drive actually begins.

IV. J-term leadership: As Andrew will be out of the picture, we have some volunteers for general J-term leadership and for the phone drive that will be conducted during that month. Erik Ruser, Peter Grafstrom, and Gabe Becker volunteered to attempt to replace the irreplaceable Andrew for a month. (I’m not sure if I got those names right, sorry if I’m wrong – Andrew actually has the notes from this meeting so I’m just going off what he gave me).

V. Elections: Co-presidents: Andrew and Megan Wille

Treasurers: Gabe and Eric

First-mate: Megan Buckingham (a consensus was reached at this meeting that this position is officially entitled first-mate and not secretary, if you’d care to dispute this point please refer to our constitution).

Ambassador to the Republicans: Joel Wenzel (lets keep this one on the low-down)

Cabin boy (official duty is to find and dispatch articles): Peter Grafstrom (this title is really a consolation prize for Peter after his crushing loss to Megan for the prized position of first-mate)

VI. Unresolved issues:

Meeting times for J-term and spring semester

What color was Raj’s hair, really?

Meeting adjourned at apprx. 8:45 pm.

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