I would also like to respond to the article published regarding the second floor space in the library. For those I have not yet met, I am a 2000 Alum (Political Science major, minors in Women and Gender Studies and Spanish). I’m grateful for what I was taught here and the way it shaped me. My decision to attend Macalester is one of the best decisions I have made and I love the chance I have to be back on campus.
I agree with many who argue that a narrow and singular definition of entrepreneurship, one centered on profit maximizing corporations, does not serve Macalester. It also does not adequately describe what entrepreneurship is. In fact, ask anyone their definition of entrepreneurship on campus and you will find a multitude of perspectives.
One student recently defined it as follows (used with permission): “The root of the word “entreprendre” means to undertake, to take from between, to begin something. Thus for me entrepreneurship is a creation of a life and the fight for its space. It translates to the ability to work with the (sometimes hostile) environment, to draw nutrition and resources for this life that is formerly hidden or suppressed. This space will be a marginal and radical space where one can question dominant structures of power.”
When I think about what was created by Macathon and Funkathon (see the front page of The Mac Weekly from March 3), I see the Macalester spirit I know and love. When I interview students for the Live It and Dream It funds, I see entrepreneurial students who believe that they have the possibility to change the world.
I believe in a broad definition of entrepreneurship, one that inspires us to create more beauty in the world, one that compels us to make something out of nothing and one that seeks to collaborate to solve significant problems. But, I also believe entrepreneurship is not just about the process of bringing an idea into the world, its true value is that it offers us a chance to reflect on what it means to be human.
What entrepreneurship means at Macalester is entirely up to you; it is up to us.
We have just begun the process of imagining what is possible on the second floor and while we are working quickly, we are looking forward to continuing to co-create and collaborate, so please continue to join us. Check The Daily Piper for opportunities to imagine and dream with us about what is possible (March 31 in the library).
While we hope to hear from each of you in this process, we also know this to be true: this space will not be finished when it is built, it is in many ways just the beginning; its meaning will be created by what life we breathe into it.