Vice President of Administration and Finance David Wheaton started off this week’s MCSG meeting with a brief PowerPoint of the 2017-2018 college budget. Wheaton gave a comprehensive summary of past and projected trends in tuition, revenue assumptions and expense components that highlighted student enrollment patterns as affecting factors on Macalester’s financial situation. The presentation also include how much compensation faculty members receive and how much financial aid Macalester is able to give students. Models for the 2017-2018 school year have predicted that net tuition for students will grow by 1.9 percent to 2.5 percent, with this student revenue accounting for about 60 percent of the school’s total.
Additionally, Wheaton gave concrete numbers for total expenditures on campus, $4.517 million, and the budget for the theater and dance building renovations.
The halfway point of the meeting brought the legislative body (LB) to the big topic of the night: a resolution outlining arguments for a switch to going test optional in the admissions process. President Brian Rosenberg said he would make the final decision regarding this matter by the end of the semester provided that MCSG issue this proposal in a representation of the thoughts and feelings of Mac student constituents. The night ended with a unanimous decision to approve the resolution, ensuring that President Rosenberg will have to make a ruling.
The passage of the resolution sparked a passionate conversation among LB members and guest members of the student body about the impetus of proposal. Members generally shared the sentiment that standardized tests like the SAT and ACT do not accurately represent an individual’s intelligence or academic worth and are designed to keep typically under represented domestic students from having opportunities to pursue higher education. The issues of accessibility and bias in such tests were discussed at length, with many anecdotes with the SAT and ACT used to express opinions and show the kind of personal stakes Macalester students have in the college becoming test optional.
In org-related news, the Cricket club and the Macalester Moral Sciences club officially became student organizations and will now be eligible for the consequent funding.