Adjunct professors call off union election
One day before an election to unionize contingent faculty was expected to begin, organizers of the movement at Macalester unexpectedly cancelled the election. In a letter sent to all contingent faculty at Macalester, the organizers cited a lack of consensus and a desire to spend more time exploring unionizing. Last spring, “We Love our Contingent Faculty Week” raised awareness of contingent faculty issues and furthered conversation on how a union could be used to improve working conditions for contingent faculty. Over the summer, Hamline University contingent faculty voted to unionize, while the University of St. Thomas overwhelmingly voted no on unionization. (See future issues of The Mac Weekly for more coverage on contingent faculty benefits.)
Two students injured while crossing Snelling
On May 27, two Macalester students were involved in a collision while crossing Snelling Avenue. Sowinta Kay ’17 and Yacine Diouf ’17 were struck by a car at the intersection of Snelling and Lincoln. The students were injured and are recovering. The accident began a conversation about pedestrian safety in the neighborhood, especially on Snelling. The High Winds Fund funded the installation of pedestrian safety flags at select intersections on Snelling, and neighborhood associations have funded them along Grand. The flags are designed to draw attention to pedestrians as they cross the busy intersections. In addition, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has approved the installation of pedestrian-activated flashing lights at Snelling and Lincoln. (See future issues of The Mac Weekly for more coverage on pedestrian safety.)
Green Line opens, connects Twin Cities
After years of construction and anticipation, the Green Line finally opened on June 14. The Twin Cities’ second light-rail line travels between Downtown Minneapolis and Downtown St. Paul, stopping at various locations on University Avenue. The opening day featured free fares for all riders, as well as block parties and events at different stops celebrating the diversity of neighborhoods along the line. The Green Line ran into a few hiccups after opening, including trains often running behind schedule, yet has far exceeded ridership estimates. The closest stop to Macalester is the Snelling Avenue station, which can be easily accessed by the 84 bus from campus. Trains are scheduled to arrive every 10 minutes, and the 84 has increased in frequency to every 10 minutes. In addition, the 63, which runs down Grand, now connects to the Green Line and runs every 20 minutes.
“Prairie Home Companion” comes back to Mac
Garrison Keillor’s public radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion,” celebrated its 40th anniversary over the Fourth of July weekend with a series of events held at Macalester. Many of Keillor’s longtime musical guests, including Iris Dement and Old Crow Medicine Show, flocked to campus for a concert on July 4th entitled “40 Years, 40 Songs.” Keillor performed a three-hour live broadcast on Old Main Lawn that Saturday evening, and on Sunday led a sing-along in the Leonard Center Fieldhouse. Several thousand people were in attendance for the broadcast, and Macalester community members had the chance to volunteer. “A Prairie Home Companion” was first broadcasted forty years ago from the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center on July 6, 1974.
Wayfinding sign installation completed
The installation of new wayfinding signs and maps around campus has come to a close. The signs began arriving on campus last spring and were placed in select locations on campus that were chosen after a few years of planning and development. The wayfinding signs were designed to make Macalester’s campus more navigable and accessible, and also helped to establish a uniform style for signage across campus. New signs have been placed at the entrances of all campus buildings, kiosks with maps and directories have been placed at key gateways to campus, and address signs have been placed on all buildings as well.
Hillary Clinton pays visit to Common Good Books
On July 20, Hillary Rodham Clinton signed copies of her memoir Hard Choices, a reflection on her four years of Secretary of State, at Common Good Books. The 1,100 tickets were quickly grabbed up by fans, who lined up outside of the bookstore to shake hands with the former first lady and U.S. Senator and get their books signed. Clinton also sat in President Brian Rosenberg’s chair during the event and was kind enough to autograph it for him. Also in attendance were Gov. Mark Dayton, Sen. Al Franken and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. Garrison Keillor, proprietor of Common Good Books, was on hand near the end of the event to distribute water to the end of the line, and left a message in limerick on the whiteboard behind the bookstore’s counter for Clinton.