Letters to the Editor

By

The winning film in the Macalester Step Forward student video contest, “A Macalester Madrigal,” was funny and smart and-let’s admit it-we’re all suckers for troubadours singing their love for Macalester. However, a number of the images used in the video are rather disturbing.

Much of the piece was no doubt intended to be lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek humor, but some images have no place on this campus (or anywhere, for that matter)?say, the white Macalester student’s hand reaching out to save the brown, faceless figure sprawled in a heap in the dirt.

Or the clean, white legs of the Macalester student becoming darker-skinned as they grow progressively hairier and unkempt.

Or perhaps simply the fact that all the Macalester students illustrated in the cartoons seem to be white.

Sheltered in the Macalester Bubble, it is easy to forget the implications and effects of images we use, words we speak, and actions we take. Intentional or not, however, associating color with certain kinds of images can lead to ends that most of us at Macalester strive to avoid.

Part of being a Macalester student is learning to engage our world and ourselves critically. We should strive to remind ourselves what it means to think and act with that in mind, day in and day out.

Jalene Betts ’09
Anne Johnson ’09

This letter is in response to a letter printed in The Mac Weekly on Oct. 3 by Gabriela Santiago ’11. I want to express my sincere condolences to Gabriela for the loss of her great-grandmother. Experiencing a loss of a loved one is hard, especially when you are away from home when it happens.

The Highlander Store is Macalester’s institutionally owned and operated school store. We are here to provide services to you, the student body, along with faculty, staff and the community. We want the Highlander to be your convenience store, and we want you to be happy with the selections we have in the store.

As far as our greeting card selection, as Gabriela noted, we currently carry four Hallmark lines. First, Warm Wishes, the most reasonably priced and probably our top seller, includes six “sympathy” cards, including one for the loss of a pet. This selection also has ten “thinking of you” cards, which are sometimes appropriate in these situations.

The second line, Fresh Ink, has two “sympathy” cards and two “thinking of you” cards. The other two lines, Shoebox and Song Card, do not include sympathy cards. We also have another spindle of cards that are hand-cut and blank inside. Some of these, too, might work in this type of a situation.

We do try to stay on top of keeping our greeting card selection in stock, but the actual selection itself is determined through Hallmark.

I feel bad that Gabriela was not able to find a selection suitable to her needs at that time. I have asked Hallmark to send additional sympathy cards. I have also been looking into other sources for greeting cards.

For you students who are witty and good with words, I believe greeting card companies need your assistance in designing new greeting cards.

I want Gabriela and all of the Macalester community to know if they have any concerns about items sold at the Highlander. I am open to your concerns and ideas. I am glad that someone pointed me to Gabriela’s letter in The Mac Weekly, as otherwise I would not have been aware of her situation.

Please don’t hesitate to ask for help when looking for a particular item. Our staff is happy to help. Also, feel free to make requests if you would like us to carry something in the store that we currently lack, but please consider our space limitations.

Eileen Davison
Highlander Store Manager

As a group of democratically elected representatives, Macalester College Student Government strives to be as open, transparent and inclusive as possible. However, this open and deliberative nature must be coupled with the ability to act quickly and decisively when necessary. When faced with the unfortunate news that MCSG needed a new vice president, student government mobilized to fill the vacancy. MCSG members advertised the vacancy around campus, inviting all interested students to run. The four-day filing period was necessary to elect a new VP in time to attend the then-upcoming Board of Trustees meetings and Step Forward events. Despite the abbreviated filing period, six candidates filed, five of whom had no previous MCSG affiliation.

Although the VP election is completed, there are numerous ways for students to get involved in student government. In that light, MCSG invites all interested seniors to run for an open senior representative seat. Filing will end Oct. 31. Additionally, any student with concerns, comments or questions is invited to MCSG’s weekly open forum at 7 p.m. in the Weyerhauser Boardroom.

Macalester College
Student Government

Especially during election season, I am finding some parts of the student body are less tolerant of a conservative political view. As a member of MacGOP, it upsets me that some of our members are forced to learn in such a hostile environment. Degrading public figures is disrespectful and uncomfortable to the people that support those figures.

I suppose saying that there is a time and a place would be the best thing to remedy the situation, but that would only be putting a band-aid on the situation. Instead, I propose that we all learn how to be tolerant of each other. To learn, via communication, that there are opinions that are different than yours, and they’re incredibly valid. There are reasons that go into the decisions I make.

Maybe some students don’t know anyone that is conservative. Chances are that you do, but they are too afraid to tell you that they are conservative because the way you value their opinion might change.

So let me put some of my opinions out there for you: I want a limited government. I want the government to stay out of my private life and out of my bank account. I want to be able to start up my own business and invest in businesses. I want non-profit organizations. I want national defense. I want the American Dream. I want separation of church and state. I want Macalester to learn to tolerate and understand the conservative student.

If anyone would like to talk to me about anything I have written, I am more than willing to have a respectful discussion. I would not appreciate being attacked for anything I have written. Also, these are my personal opinions, and I speak for no one else.

Christina Eichorn ’11