Campus conversation planning continues

By Matt Day

The campus community conversation, the first component of the Day for Change and Exchange proposal as approved by President Brian Rosenberg, will be held at six different venues on campus between 11:50 and 2:10 Wednesday, April 11. There will be about 100 tables spread throughout the locations, with a total capacity of about 800 students, faculty, and staff, Provost Diane Michelfelder said. The discussions will take place in the Hill Ballroom, the Smail Gallery in Olin/Rice, Weyerhaeuser Chapel basement, Old Main fourth floor, the IHM gym, and Weyerhaeuser Board Room. “Each table will have a structured discussion around a set of common questions,” Michelfelder said.

Michelfelder said the administration is working to get faculty and staff facilitators for the table discussions.

Rosenberg officially approved elements of the Day for Change and Exchange proposal March 26, calling for what he called “a three-pronged approach to initiating dialogue and education on campus.” The three elements include the two cancelled class sessions on Wednesday, faculty incorporation of Wednesday’s discussion into their classes, and faculty and staff-hosted lectures and discussions the rest of the week.

The faculty and staff-hosed events that will follow the community conversation begin Thursday, April 12 with a lunchtime discussion of poems with Professor Sonita Sarker.

Events Friday, April 13 include a workshop on “Building Alliances across Differences of Identity,” a discussion of the meaning of the term “politically incorrect,” a showing of the film “Malcolm X,” and a viewing and discussion of “Otono” a film about an African immigrant’s experience with racism in Germany.

Other faculty and student-led events whose plans are not yet finalized will also take place. “It is my hope the by next Monday we’ll have a combined list of events to send out in the Bulletin,” Michelfelder said.

The Day for Change and Exchange proposal began as a petition calling for action in response to the “politically incorrect” party held Jan 16. After being supported, in principle, by both the faculty and the Macalester College Student Government, the official proposal was submitted to Rosenberg on March 23, by members of MacDialogue.