President Jill Tiefenthaler talks about not owning a gun, smoking on campus, the strategic planning conference, the red pill, and being called the ‘Tiefmeister.’
Some students are upset that the Winter Conference was held during half-block because they feel they were kept from giving input. Why was the event held during that time?
We couldn’t have it on a class day and a weekend wouldn’t really work for staff and faculty so our only option was really to hold it during one of the block breaks. I had hoped that students would come back maybe that Friday before for half block or that they would be here a little early before Block Five and we did invite all the students in December. I’m bummed that people who wanted to participate couldn’t because the whole point was to get as many people involved as possible.
Is it too late for a student who didn’t get to attend the conference to become involved?
Absolutely not. We are collecting initiative input until March 15 and there is a blackboard up in Cornerstone, butcher paper and blackboards up around campus, and we are putting a little phone booth up this week where they can leave a voice recording. They can also go to the website at any time; there are little boxes where people can put their goals. I am planning another town hall meeting like the one I had in the fall. I think it will be in the next couple of weeks.
Has the tuition cost changed for the next academic year?
We don’t know yet. The board meets Feb. 23. That’s when the discussion will happen and we will have a decision after that meeting.
Which one of the strategic plans do you think will most impact this generation of CC students?
Probably the ones that will affect current CC students most are two things that I heard the most last year that we are already working on. Those are improving diversity on-campus and doing a better job with career development support. I hope current students have already seen the improvements that have been made in both of those areas, and I think in the next two years, given that we already have momentum in those areas, they will see continued benefits.
Did anyone used to call you the Tiefmeister in college? Have you ever had a nickname?
No (laughing). Students at both Wake and Colgate called me Tief. Tiefmeister was never one but I can see the German connection.
Can you explain CC’s Amendment 64 policy a bit further?
There has been no change in our policy. Amendment 64 was passed, obviously, and a lot of people asked what the impact would be on Colorado College and our answer was that nothing would change. We continued our current policy, which holds students to the code of conduct on and off campus.
Do you think CC will really be able to police student and community member marijuana use off-campus?
Just like our current policy: if you get caught, you get caught. Just like our other policies, some things that might be legal off-campus, for example we have rules about abusive behavior, which includes some offensive speech, [are illegal on-campus]. The drug use policy that we have had forever is the same policy. Nothing has changed.
CU-Boulder just announced that it is going smoke-free (tobacco and marijuana) on-campus. What do you think of that and could it happen at CC?
You are seeing this more and more in higher-ed, especially on campuses that have medical [programs]. We haven’t had a serious conversation about it at CC, but if there was a significant majority of people who wanted to talk about that at Colorado College I would be happy to talk about it.
If you were in the Matrix would you take the red or the blue pill?
Definitely the red [laughing]. I would much prefer any reality than some kind of fake existence. And I did know what that meant. It is very much our generation.
For the gun issue I have to ask – Do you exercise your Second Amendment rights?
I do not have a gun. I grew up on a farm, though, and we had hunting rifles and shotguns and I knew how to shoot them and did. But it has not been part of my adult life.