Editorial: Requiring additional funds would alienate student body

By Mac Weekly Staff

St. Paul colleges, universities and seminaries, commonly acknowledged as non-profit institutions exempt from taxation, have recently come under the siege of a proposed government-enforced student fee. This fee, which would require that every student pay an annual fee of $25 as a means of helping fund various general city services, such as police and fire, targets students as a source for additional government income.

Perhaps the most concerning part of this proposal is the implied suggestion that Macalester and other such local institutions are a continuing burden on the surrounding community. As students who not only shop at local grocery stores, eat at local restaurants, and frequent local coffee shops, this constant flow of revenue from our pockets to St. Paul businesses is only the beginning of our potential contribution.

College students spend significant time reading about and observing the world in which they reside. Urban Studies classes at Macalester often examine St. Paul communities in great depth, while the Community Service Office lists numerous local off-campus volunteer opportunities. Many students spend several hours each week in local schools and other various public service organizations in the area.

St. Paul colleges, universities and seminaries do draw heavily upon St. Paul municipal resources. However, Macalester and other such institutions have continually demonstrated a significant contribution to the community that, while substantial, may not be as easily assigned a numerical value.

We believe that a requisite fee from college students only serves to isolate us from the St. Paul community, propounding that we are a burden rather than a stimulating and positive addition to the city.

The opinions expressed above are those of The Mac Weekly, as determined by a board comprised of the Managing Editors and Opinion Editors. The Editor-in-Chief was not involved. The perspectives are not representative of Macalester College.