Discussing race in the Mac Weekly office


In her article this week, Celeste Prince notes that only four of the 25 students (or 16%) profiled in the Spotlight this year have been students of color and wonders at the meaning of the lack of representation.Prince’s article raises questions about race at Macalester that have not been asked enough by many on campus or in the pages of The Mac Weekly.

The paper’s editor in chief responded that while this representation of students of color actually matched that of Macalester at large, which sits at 18%.

To some of us, this answer seemed like the equivalent of pressing a snooze button: it may have set the issue to rest, but the clock kept ticking.

And in that interim, the problem grew from an issue of representation in the Spotlight to its real proportions: it’s time to wake up to the fact that domestic students of color are tragically underrepresented on our campus and that students of color are absent, period, from the current Mac Weekly staff.

These are problems that desperately require solutions.

The issue of the lack of students of color in our student body is one that depends largely on the administration and the students who demand that they change their policies. As Prince mentioned, students of color and allies already go above and beyond in their activist work; we all share the responsibility of organizing around their work and the issue of race to encourage our administration to increase admissions of students of color.

The lack of students of color on our staff and their underrepresentation among our writers, however, is one that can only change with student participation. There is space for everyone here; there’s space waiting for you.

Looking around the room, it’s obvious that the very white office environment could be interpreted as less-than-welcoming, even hostile, but every student’s comments, questions, concerns and criticisms are welcome. In fact they’re encouraged.

So while Celeste’s article is about a problem, it’s also about the solution that lies in overcoming your doubts and voicing your opinion. An empty space may be silent, but it doesn’t have to be silencing.

The opinions expressed above are those of The Mac Weekly, as determined by the staff. The perspectives are not representative of Macalester College