The most significant event during this week’s MCSG meeting was a debate surrounding Program Board’s (PB) recent acquisition of off-campus funding to provide buses to take students to protests throughout the area. PB will conduct surveys to determine to which protests the buses will take students. PB wants to collaborate on these events with student orgs whose missions align with those of the chosen protests.
Despite general support from MCSG members, the announcement sparked a debate within the Legislative Body (LB) on how best to balance the role of student-body representatives with their freedom to express personal values and political views.
FAC Chair Sydney Keiler ’17 encouraged LB members to remain aware that protests supported by MCSG representatives might not be representative of the values of all Macalester students. Referencing President Brian Rosenberg’s recent letter to the community, others said they felt that although MCSG members’ activism could be seen as openly declaring a position on certain issues, making a strong stand was more representative of Macalester’s values than attempting to reflect all political affiliations. In smaller group discussions towards the end of the meeting, members brought up the idea of making a document containing individual MCSG members’ stances on politics and values in response to the discussion. Diversity and Inclusion Officer Chris Mendoza said that this could show a step-up in MCSG leadership on campus and provide improved visibility of official support on a variety of issues to the student body.
Additionally, all six student organizations present at the meeting had their requests for additional allocations approved: Students for the Safe Exercise of our Right to Bear Arms (SSERBA) was given $240; Mac SUPER received $245; Mac Swing received $480; $2400 was given to Habitat for Humanity for spring break trip registration fees, The Hegemonocle received $650, and The Mac Weekly was allocated $1408.42. Particular attention was drawn to the latter two in regards to their printing costs and numbers.
The meeting finished off with the election of first-year SSRC member Omi Strait ’20 to the position of Legislative Body Liaison. Strait campaigned on the basis of her age and commitment to staying in MCSG for the rest of her Macalester career being an “investment.”