Flowers from rival school fill St. Olaf's mail room after student's death


Northfield's two colleges may be rivals, but in times of tragedy, Carleton and St. Olaf have put their differences aside, demonstrating a deep level of caring and compassion for each other.

On Tuesday, St. Olaf's 3,100 student mailboxes were filled with flowers and handwritten condolence cards, wrapped and bundled by Carleton students in an expression of sympathy and grief over the loss of a St. Olaf student, the Star Tribune reported.

News of the gesture initially spread on Reddit where a photo of the St. Olaf mail room was posted Wednesday (shown above), earning the notice of thousands of readers.

It came one week after Jocelyn, a junior at St. Olaf, was found dead in her dorm room. An autopsy is pending, but the Star Tribune says police found no evidence of foul play or overdose.

"As someone that attended St. Olaf not too long ago, I'd expect nothing less from either college," one Reddit user wrote on the site. "They may be rivals, but when it comes down to it, they are there for each other when it counts. This makes me extremely proud to call myself an alumni of Olaf."

It's not the first time St. Olaf and Carleton students have reached out to each other amid tragedy.

A similar floral gesture was made by St. Olaf students in March after three Carleton students – Paxton Harvieux, Michael Goodgame and James Adams – died when an SUV collided with a semi truck on the way to a frisbee tournament, Minnesota Public Radio reported. St. Olaf joined Carleton families and alumni in "Operation Mailbox Love," sending flowers and notes to the campus community.

Last week, Carleton chaplain Carolyn Fure-Slocum remembered St. Olaf's kindness, the Carleton student newspaper reported.

“After the accident last year, many campuses, teams, and individuals sent cards telling us they were thinking of us,” Fure-Slocum said in a statement quoted by the paper. “Even if they can’t respond now, it is helpful to know that others are standing with you in the midst of your grief.”

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