January 10, 2017

All the World’s a Stage for this First-Year Student

When new students move their belongings into a room at Beloit College, they carry with them a wealth of jittery nerves and excitement.

Olivia Love-Hatlestad'20, at left, in Beloit's production of Baby With the Bathwater. Love-Hatles... Olivia Love-Hatlestad’20, at left, in Beloit's production of Baby With the Bathwater. Love-Hatlestad arrived on campus in August with a film crew in tow.But not every student brings along a camera crew. Olivia Love-Hatlestad’20 arrived on campus from Grayslake, Ill., in August, followed by a four-person film crew from Viceland, the new TV channel run by alternative news outlet VICE, which she attracted through her passion for politics.

“I didn’t get into activism until a couple years ago,” she explains. “After the Ferguson non-indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown, everyone was going berserk online and choosing sides, and I realized how little I actually understood about the oppression people of color face in this country.”

Politically speaking, everything culminated last summer when Love-Hatlestad traveled to Philadelphia as one of the youngest Democratic National Convention delegates. An ardent supporter of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Love-Hatlestad was photographed by countless news outlets, including NBC News and The Atlantic, using her own body as a billboard for social injustice.

“Since they told us we couldn’t have any unauthorized signs, I made myself a sign,” she told the New Jersey Courier-Post at the time.

Her creative approach attracted the attention of Viceland. “They actually found me at the Democratic National Convention after a photo of my protest went viral and asked if they could follow me around, even after the convention ended,” she explains. “When they learned I’d be transferring to a new college [from the College of Lake County in Illinois], they went nuts.”
A Viceland camera crew tagged along as Love-Hatlestad moved her things into Aldrich Hall, auditioned for plays, and made new friends. It wasn’t much of a burden, she says, even if it did make introductions a bit awkward.

“I loved everyone on that team, so it wasn’t a hard sell by any means,” she says. “It was bizarre, to be sure. That’s definitely not an organic way to start a conversation with a stranger, when you’ve got a camera crew in tow. I was grateful for the experience, but I was also relieved to wrap.”
Since the Viceland cameras departed in late August, Love-Hatlestad has nestled into Beloit quite nicely. After landing a leading role in Baby with the Bathwater last fall, she will play Lady Macbeth in a spring production of Shakespeare’s tragedy.
The theatre is her favorite spot on campus. “Being there is like being in a foreign country and finding someone who speaks your language,” she says.

Also In This Issue

  • Tessa Heady’98 and Jenni Kleinman Berebitsky’98

    Best Friends Forever

  • Flu Shot: It’s Not About You

  • Susan Eckstein’63

    Immigration Policies a Vestige of the Cold War

  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Ron Nikora has been recruiting volunteers to take part in training with local police officers to further understanding between both groups. His research interests include the politics of race and ethnicity, domestic and global health inequalities, national health care systems, and public health policy. He joined Beloit in 2013.

    Role Playing with the Local Police


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