This week’s MCSG meeting began with a presentation from Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students DeMethra Bradley.
The presentation’s main focus was the changes that have been made at the Laurie Hamrie Health and Wellness Center, which has increased their number of counselors, extended counseling hours, and added group counseling sessions since the start of the year.
Bradley discussed all of those additions, along with expanded resources made available to this year’s first-year class, but noted that it is difficult to understand the impact the changes will have on the state of mental health at Macalester.
“I think we’re doing better, but I don’t think we’ll ever meet all the demand,” Bradley said. “It is impossible. You’ll never hear me say that we will hit 100 percent demand, because demand is always fluctuating.”
The Legislative Body also heard a presentation from Chihiro Aita ’21 and Moe Otani ’20, who came to propose the creation of a new Japanese Culture Club at the college.
“The purpose of JCC is to work to understand and appreciate the history, culture, and language of Japan,” Aita said. “We’d like to uphold [Macalester’s] core principles of internationalism and multiculturalism through this club.”
Though there are already several Japanese organizations on campus, Aita and Otani feel this group would fill an important gap in the understanding of Japanese culture at Macalester.
“In classes, even though students learn about [Japanese] traditions, they don’t know how they actually feel or work in the real world,” Otani said. “We want to teach students about traditional culture in Japan like kakizome (calligraphy) and origami. We also want to introduce them to [the] everyday life of high school and college students, job hunting and LGBTQ+ rights.”
The group’s budget would go primarily to purchasing items like food, clothing and games.
There are 15-20 people currently on the group’s mailing list. The group plans to work with Japanese professor Ritsuko Naita, the Japanese house and the Japanese department to build its membership.
MCSG plans to vote on the club’s charter in the coming weeks.