Get involved with MPIRG

By Skyler Larrimore

Here we are. Two weeks into a glorious fall semester at Macalester College. Schedules are falling into place, groups of old friends are reconnecting, and you are probably starting to plow through countless articles and problem sets already. While most of campus begins to settle back into campus life, I’ve been thinking that I will never truly “settle in” this semester. I will be an engaged citizen and a conscious consumer. I will think critically about the issues affecting the lives of those who live in this state, country, and world. As Macalester students, most of us need no reminder of these ideals. I just write to tell you about how I turn these ideals into action on campus.

I am the co-chair of MPIRG at Macalester. The Minnesota Public Interest Research Group is a state-wide, non-profit, non-partisan, student-directed organization that has been giving students the skills, leadership, and resources to impact important issues in Minnesota since 1971.

Over the years, our statewide accomplishments have ranged from protecting the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota, to championing strict ethical standards for lobbyists, to registering more than 16,000 people to vote in the 2008 election.

This semester our campus chapter has voted to work on the following issues: Economic Justice, Democracy, Public Health and the Environment. You can be a part of the formation of our campaigns for this semester and learn more about our organization at our kickoff meeting next Tuesday, Sept 21 at 10 p.m. in Kagin. We meet regularly on Tuesdays at 10p.m. in Campus Center Room 214.

MPIRG has opened my eyes to the power of people organizing their voices for social and environmental justice. I hope you join our organization, stop by a meeting, or become aware of our campaigns and active in their success. Don’t worry – it won’t be hard to miss us mobilizing students to call our local legislators outside of the Campus Center!

In whatever organization you dedicate your time this semester, on or off campus, I hope you will also find something that will inspire you to take action and make a difference—-not after you graduate Macalester, but right now!