Jeff Garcia ’14
Hello everyone! My name is Jeff Garcia, and I hope to be your next MCSG President.
In my time here, I have felt that our student government has not done an adequate job representing student values in spending, outreach and activism. After leading organizations, founding a political group, and advocating civil discourse on campus, I decided to fight from the inside. As Student Organizations Committee Chair, I have fought for accountability in a group that has the potential to be an exemplar of proactive action in a college wracked with controversy. My plan for turning MCSG from a shadow government into real student representatives revolves around three main points:
1) Taking responsibility for past spending decisions, and securing student approval on any proposed capital projects. I will also work to expand the freedoms granted by the new financial code to all students, as well as working to advance individual students’ projects.
2) MCSG as a body should be proactive, not reactive, when faced with campus issues: our response to student activism leaves much to be desired. MCSG representatives should have ears to the ground for popular initiative on campus, and the body should discuss action before being confronted during a session.
3) MCSG should renew its efforts at promoting respect between groups on campus. The boom of Mac social media has brought into view old divides—by renewing sincere outreach efforts, we can set an example that endures beyond one year.
Help me bring representation back to MCSG.
Kai Wilson ’14
Hello! I’m Kai Wilson and I am a junior Political Science major, Anthropology minor. I have been a MCSG representative for three years and have participated on the Financial Affairs Commission (FAC) and Academic Affairs Commission (AAC).
Last semester, I was Commissioner of the Ice Rink Commission before studying abroad. My experience on MCSG made me realize the three leading problems with Macalester’s student-administration relationship.
First, students that do not join student organizations have little opportunity to use the student activity fee. I will promote the funding of student projects (like this year’s KBL renovation) and the increased funding for community activities.
Second, MCSG’s funding of student organizations must be consistent across cultural orgs, political groups, literary orgs, etc. I will push for equal treatment of organizations within the FAC by-laws, and new guidelines.
Third, I want to solve the root causes of the rollover fund. I worked closely with the rollover fund through my involvement with FAC and the Ice Rink Commission. Many people opposed the rink, but I worked as a stugov representative to construct a rink that the students voted for and proposed. Love it or hate it, I stood for the student’s voice against administration obstinacy. Even if more students had voted for additional bike racks or a renovated 10K, I would have worked equally as hard.
In summary, as president, I will engage students not in organizations, I will propose consistency and policy changes to student orgs, and I will try to resolve the rollover fund.
James Innelli ’14
James Innelli is a rising senior at Macalester. He is running for MCSG President. The next MCSG President, like every past one, is not going to decide tenure issues. Nor will he or she sign off on big budget decisions, renovations or the like. So what does the President do? Facilitate meetings and set the tone. That is essentially it. But—how it is done matters.
The student body actually has the networking ability and ultimate say. They hold the actual potential power through organizations and boards to determine what is achieved at Macalester.
I did not realize that—the student government can be effective—because I assumed the government was a board of elected officials. In actuality, it is the clubs, orgs and liaisons that shape Mac. The students set in motion their own opportunities. That shouldn’t be a mystery any longer.
Last year as a Sophomore Rep I witnessed the disconnect between the governing body and the student body, not on what to do, but on what already was set in motion.
Few people were doing more than talking past each other. But I understand how that happened. I will network and facilitate and leave it up to you—how things happen.
Think it over. If you vote and get involved, so will I. And I am sure you will be happy to find a relatable face.
All the best,
Rothin Datta ’16
I think the role of MCSG—and the Student Services and Relations Committee in particular—is to be receptive to the concerns of the student body. Whether the issue is the food at Cafe Mac or tenure decisions, MCSG is supposed to act as a liaison between the school and the student body. Having served on the SSRC for a year I hope to be able to do this more affectively by encouraging more direct interaction between MCSG reps and individuals—not just orgs.
This semester I have worked to initiate a conversation with Cafe Mac to help address the many concerns that have been expressed recently. In fact if you do have anything to say about it I’m the person to e-mail!
I am also on a task force working to make communication with the student body and student orgs better. The SSRC has funded amazing events this year like Little Scots and the Hip-Hop event in 10k, which goes to show that MCSG can do some amazing stuff but could do a much better job of communicating with the student body.
I’ve been here less than a year, but I really do love Macalester, and my goal as the chair of the SSRC and Vice President is to work harder to know what you want, so we can give you what you want!
Merita Bushi ’14
Hello friends—on-campus and off, new and old. My name is Merita Bushi ‘14 and I would be honored to serve your academic needs next year as the chair of the Academic Affairs Committee (NOTE: seniors can also vote!). The AAC is a unique committee that I’ve been on for the past two years and am ready to lead with some cool new ideas. I’ll spend this time to give you a preview of what I plan on doing if I am elected:
I’ll continue the work on study abroad issues (for both domestic AND international students), work on faculty/tenure evaluations, create a new vision for expanding the textbook reserve program (free library rentals), and mental health events such as Coffee and Donuts.
New ideas include submitting a letter of concerns every semester to EPAG (the Educational and Policy Governance Committee), continuing to work on the amount of instructional days/study break days we have, putting departments in conversation with one another so they can help spread innovative ideas across departments, introducing technology into the classroom (ex. Kindle classroom checkouts), creating a textbook exchange program (think: formalized online forum), and working on providing more J-term options for those that want it.
For more thorough information on what I’ve done and why I am running, visit http://is.gd/MacForMerita
I hope to see you at the Forum on Wednesday and if you can’t make it, feel free to send me an email at [email protected].edu
William Theriac ’16
My name is William Jennings Theriac and I am a member of the Class of 2016. The Academic Affairs Committee’s successes and initiatives from the past few years are impressive. Their initiatives with textbook (free) rentals via the library, and their consistent push to make study abroad cheaper for international students are both vital issues to Macalester’s student body.
As Chair of the AAC, I would work to continue and expand these initiatives. However, I would also add two key planks of my own:
1) I would work with the Admissions and Sports departments, and various other administrative and student organizations to address the dwindling domestic diversity in our student body. I strongly believe that we cannot have a full and truly international education of the kind Macalester offers without a student body truly representative of the USA and its diversity. An international understanding is useless if you do not know your own country. Thanks to the work of a dozen students during the Sustained Dialogue Leadership conference held at the end of Spring Break, I have some idea of where to start, and who to turn to among the students for initial input.
2) I would work with the Annual Fund and Development department to increase support among each senior class for the Senior Class Gift and post-graduation donations. Alumni participation rates are major criteria for ranking organizations, and the higher we rank, the more valuable our degrees are to employers.
Maddie Arbisi ’14
When I began my Macalester career, I had several amazing opportunities to be part of a handful of student organizations. I have experience being a committee member, a treasurer (SAAC), and a Chair (Colleges Against Cancer). All of these positions and organizations have helped me to better understand the challenges that student organizations face. I believe these experiences make me ideal for the position of Student Organizations Committee Chair.
It is my hope to be able to connect with each student org to better facilitate their needs. I personally feel that with better communication, student organizations will be able to do so much more.
I am running for this position because I am the kind of person that can get things done but I also truly care about the ideas, values, and goals that are essential to each student organization’s mission. I am very excited about this position and the changes that will be made regarding the new budget bill.
If elected it is my hope to be an approachable resource for all Student Organizations. Again, if elected I will do all I can to resolve any frustration, or concerns that may come about in any student organization. This could range from interest in starting a new organization to transitioning to new leadership. These can be stressful times, but the good news is, I’ve been through it all.
I am a friendly, driven person and I want to facilitate your student organization ambitions!
Samuel Doten ’16
Come get votin’ for Samuel Doten, the best candidate for Student Organizations Committee Chair for MCSG. As the only member of the SOC running, I want to bring my experience into a leadership position. I would love to have your vote.
“Ask not what your student government can do for you— Actually, go ahead. Ask.”
My goal is to boost up student organizations and the role they play in campus life. For students, I will: work to have fewer overlapping awesome events, get student orgs to be more consistent and visible, create a comprehensive guide to student events, and enrich the student organization experience. Additionally, I am an always-available advocate for students and their concerns.
For student orgs, I want to serve as a resource and tool for success. Thus, I will: help orgs coordinate and collaborate to reduce overlapping and increase synergy, revamp SOLO training, carry out the promise of autonomy from block budgeting, and be an engaged partner and advocate for putting on successful events.
I will bring important aspects to the MCSG leadership. As the only SOC member running for the chair position, I have the background and experience that will make the transition not one of “learning the ropes,” but ready to take the lead and accomplish goals. As an underclassman, I will bring greater diversity and a different perspective to an Executive Board only composed of upperclassman.
Thank you, and remember to get votin’ for Doten!
Raynise Cange ’14
Hello fellow classmates! I have decided to run for SOC chair. The catalyst for me running came when MCSG voted to move to yearly budgeting without doing research with the student orgs. I have personally felt MCSG has made some decisions without thoroughly consulting the student body, particularly the student organizations, so I am running for SOC Chair as a way to help the communication process along. I have two main goals which are feasible:
Better training for organizations. By this, I would want to change SOLO training. I want it to focus on the structure of the organization and help provide internal success for the org, instead of having SOLO training being about the administrative aspect.
Be an ally for organizations to make sure that MCSG is making decisions that will benefit organizations and making decisions that organizations actually want.
I also plan to have more effective communication with the student organizations.