MPIRG is a unique org on campus that gives students a voice to advocate for change and creates a space to re-imagine what the Mac community could look like. MPIRG is certainly not the only group (nor should it be) that gives students a voice or creates that space, but it was the one I found as a first-year student figuring out how to turn my passion for social justice into action. During my time in MPIRG at Mac I led org meetings and developed campaigns, and subsequently learned an enormous amount about the hard work it takes to enact community change. In addition, I gained confidence and knowledge about the campus that prompted me to take on leadership roles in other areas at Mac, including in MCSG as a class representative.
As a member of MCSG last year, I was deeply disappointed by some ill-willed behavior I saw in the MPIRG/MCSG contract negotiations this past spring. During the referendum this week, please put the petty politics aside and take a moment to think about what you’ll remember about Mac after you graduate. As a recent grad, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this. When I reflect on my time at Mac, I remember performing in many dance concerts, volunteering with LOC, and spending hours in the Geography Department chatting with friends and professors. I also remember many things I did through MPIRG: planning an on-campus workers’ rights panel, collaborating with peers and friends to present before the Social Responsibility Committee, and meeting with college staff and administrators to get sweatshop-free clothing on campus. While my time in college was not entirely defined by MPIRG, a large part of it was.
What will you remember about Mac? Will it be an illuminating conversation you had with your advisor? Playing frisbee on Shaw Field? Testifying at the state capitol with other MPIRGers on climate change or student loans? Whatever you may remember, don’t limit what can define another student’s experience at Mac. Vote yes to keep MPIRG on campus. It will continue to positively define so many Mac students’ college experiences!