UPDATE: I figured once Herseth-Sandlin got wind of this all things would go back to normal;

Augustana spokeswoman Jill Wilson confirmed the meeting was canceled, that the students will get their room back and that Sandlin intends to call such a meeting to meet with students on the interfaith space in the future.

The interfaith leaders also suggested Augustana send its senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity, and said the university should have handled the sacred items with due respect.

The students should be applauded for doing the right thing and contacting the media about the situation. Shedding light on injustice can open many doors.


Augustana can do what they want to. They are a private college. But in light of the recent crying over drag shows at SDSU and long hair at O’Gorman you kind of wonder what the true motivation is behind closing the room;

After contacting several administrators, we were told that the Interfaith Room was removed to give Sodexo, our dining service, more room. 

The Interfaith Room in the Commons has served as a place to discuss and learn about a variety of religious traditions, as well as to provide all students with a sacred place to pray and worship, regardless of their religious background. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Baha’is, Sikhs, Agnostics, and Atheists have visited the space and contributed their perspectives and experiences to the campus community. It is a crucial part of the faith infrastructure on campus, one that cannot be replaced.

In my early 20’s I was a volunteer DJ at Augie’s radio station, KAUR. I remember how the University handled that closure, after a few protests they moved forward.

I am not sure of the outcome of this situation, but I find it a bit alarming that a private university that should embrace all faiths in essence are turning their backs on students of different faith.

And it isn’t about money. Augie has spent millions on their sports programs (something that has very little to do with religion or faith) and if they have this kind of money, I’m sure they can find another room to accomodate the students.

I think the closure of the room without any notice are grounds for non-Christian students to file an internal discrimination complaint. It would be different if the students were fighting to implement a new room, but to take away something this important without notice to the student body is troubling.

9 Thoughts on “UPDATE: Augustana closes interfaith room for food storage

  1. D@ily Spin on January 6, 2023 at 6:29 pm said:

    God and Deans work in strange ways.

  2. Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on January 6, 2023 at 10:25 pm said:

    Maybe the room is needed to prepare for the Burger Battle.

  3. The Augie Burger; well done burger with white cheese on Leftsa.

  4. Further Fear & Loathing on January 7, 2023 at 1:52 am said:

    What about the Division I Burger, or the Hockey Burger? NO, I have a better one, the Boe Burger. Augie Dogie sounds good, too…. but with chili?

  5. rufusx on January 7, 2023 at 10:24 am said:

    Though Augie is a Lutheran school, the majority of its students are Roman Catholic. Throw in the other faiths (usually a fair contingent of Malaysian Muslims for ex:) and the Lutherans are actually a significant minority in “their own” institution. As to not being expsoed to various faiths – a requirement for graduation is a course in comparative religions. This has been true for decades. So, I don’t know where the notion of a “lack of inclusiveness” comes from. Pantheist Augie alum here.

  6. Very Stable Genius on January 7, 2023 at 10:39 am said:

    First, they got rid of their cute little pioneer village and now the interfaith room. I guess it’s just hockey, hockey, hockey now…. But then again, what’s Norte Dame without football?

    ( and Woodstock adds: “Trust me, as soon as Augie finishes their first hockey game with North Dakota/Grand Forks, they’ll be wishing they still had the interfaith room, or anything”…. #BuddaHelp! )

  7. Fearing the Fuhrer & More on January 7, 2023 at 10:43 am said:

    The real Notre Dame has some really nice buttresses:


  8. Sick of Fearing on January 7, 2023 at 1:52 pm said:

    The Boe Burger would be made of smoke aged tender beef, slowly cooked, and with a touch of a condescending sauce, then placed on a pretzel bun to give it a trendy feel with some still maybe needing a dab of Grey Poupon.


  9. Stephanie saved the interfaith room, while Biden is saving the gas stove. Some things are too hot to handle, while others simmer with continued success.

    ( and Woodstock adds: “Say, when are we going to invite the interfaith crowd to paint some of the snowplows, huh?”… 🙂 )

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