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Mac Speaks: What do you want from your community | Katherine Shannon’18

What were your perceptions of the Macalester community before you arrived?

I thought there would be a lot of Swedish people (laughs). No, but my grandma had told me that there is a large Scandinavian population here in Minnesota so I thought that everyone would be Swedish and talk with a Minnesota accent. Not really, but I did think that I would hear a lot of Minnesota accents. I also thought there would be a lot of international students. I thought that everyone would be super nerdy, like they would all like Star Wars and Doctor Who. I thought they would of course be really smart. Hippies, super liberal and environmental, but then again that seems to be almost every college ever. I honestly didn’t think about it too much before I got here.

How did your perception change after you arrived on campus?

It is a lot more diverse than I thought. People are really different. There’s a lot of states represented. Not everyone is Swedish, nerdy and speaks with a Minnesota accent. There are definitely more international students than I thought there would be. I thought there would be a sprinkling, but there are just so many which I think is really cool.

What do you like about the Macalester community?

I really like the activism and all the student run organizations and the fact that students coordinate it and first years participate a lot. That’s not really surprising, that’s actually what the college said it would be like. I like all the international students because they give a worldwide perspective. I kind of thought that the college brochures just said that, but it wasn’t exactly the case. But we do have enough international students that we can get their perspective as well. For example, my FYC course is Politics of Truth and Memory in Latin America and we have several students from South American countries in the class. I really like that I can hear from students who have a different perspective. I like how inclusive Macalester is about most things. I like the use of PGPs. I like the Consent is Mac program.

What do you expect or want from the Macalester community in your time here?

I would like to be more involved in student activism than I am right now. So that’s kind of about me, not really the community. It’s pretty good right now. If Macalester could just continue being actively involved and having a global mindset, I would be happy. I do wish that we had more fun activities to go along with all the academic and activism events.

What do you want the Macalester community to look like 15 years from now?

More globally involved, a larger global focus. I feel like there are a lot of programs to raise awareness on campus, but some don’t extend their reach out further. I would also like easier ways to get involved with less time commitment. I’m kind of nervous to get involved because it will be such a large time commitment, and I wouldn’t be able to give it the time it needs.

November 7, 2014

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