Students at St. Olaf, a private, Lutheran liberal arts college in Minnesota, boycotted class Monday to demand action from the school’s president after a threatening note with racist language was found on a student’s car last weekend. Other students say they’ve received similar notes as well.

During an encounter that reporters described as tense, student organizers presented the school’s president, David R. Anderson with a document outlining their terms and conditions for negotiation.

Something must have changed his mind; in a packed assembly hall, Anderson reportedly was cheered as he signed his name to the document.

As part of their terms, students demanded the creation of a task force led by “two faculty members of color” and “three students and one alumni member of color.”

In addition to their terms and conditions, students put together a separate list of demands, which includes the creation and enforcement of “a comprehensive racial awareness and inclusiveness curriculum” and a revision of the school’s general education requirements to include “mandatory introductory courses in Race & Ethnic Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies departments.”

History of Western Culture classes, which focus mostly on western white philosophers, “must address histories of colonization, identity, institutional and systemic oppression,” students add.

Students are also demanding that Arne Christenson of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee be removed from his advisory board position: “Given Mr. Christenson’s political views and values as a Christian Zionist, St. Olaf College risks his influence upon the speakers brought to the school, the educational offerings, faculty development workshops, and scholarships sanctioned by the Institute through financial means.”

There’s no excuse for racist notes like the one posted above, but it might be a matter better left to the police than the gender studies department.

* * *