The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Letters to the Editor


To the Editor:On behalf of the Macalester cycling community, we would like to express our deep appreciation for all of the new bike racks that have recently been installed on campus.

It is the most exciting surprise to turn the corner and see sunlight glint off of a shiny new rack. It’s even more exciting to see them full of bikes already!

It means the world to us to know that the Macalester administration supports the goal of promoting bicycle use. We look forward to working with you in the future.

Debbie Cohen ’09
Mark Stonehill ’09
The members of MacBike

To the Editor:

Most of us have heard the axiom “Duprojects” used to refer to the tiny, pipe-littered edifice that is Dupre Hall. But I’m not going to talk about that today. I live there, and it isn’t as bad as I expected. In fact, the lounges are huge and the view from my window is magnificent. Based solely on accommodations, Dupre is no better or worse than any other dormitory on any other college campus.

No, what I want to say is not about one building, but about the community within it. More than 260 first-years and sophomores in Dupre live as neighbors for eight months of their lives. Yet can anyone here name five people on their floor that are not part of their graduating class? Ours is a fragmented community, with sophomores in one corner and first-years in another.

Now maybe this wouldn’t be such a problem if all dorms on campus were like this, but that just isn’t the case. Other dormitories house one specific class whether it is first-years, sophomores or upperclassmen. What happened to the class unity that we struggled to forge during orientation week? Does that all go down the drain after a few months or a year?

No, it’s not the tiny rooms or the lack of sinks that make me sad to live in Dupre. It’s the fact that most of my class is almost a world away.

Candace Groth ’11

To the Editor:

Issues of multiculturalism at Macalester tend to be as much about absences as presences.

In the Fall Dance Showcase this weekend you’ll be able to see me naked-what you won’t be able to see is the BODACIOUS hip-hop dance team.

But given that images of their performance from last year are being used in posters and promotional materials for this year’s showcase, you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

Active Macalester students founded BODACIOUS in order to address gaps in our dance program at Macalester, and so their work is intimately tied with Macalester’s commitment to dance as a whole and to that much-maligned and even more passed-over pillar of multiculturalism.

The tricky space in which BODACIOUS must operate means that communication is essential-and yet few effective spaces of feedback or communication exist between them and other cultural organizations and the formal organs of the college.

After a series of issues relating to, among other things, the Dance Department’s commitment to the team and its end of partnership with the artists and dancers in BODACIOUS, the team decided not to participate in this year’s Fall Showcase.

But here’s the rub: even though they won’t be able to perform and represent their own bodies, those bodies are being taken from them by the College to use at its will, and they have little say in the matter.

Their images are being used to promote this showcase-like many people of color at this college our bodies and our projects are subject to appropriation at any time by the College. Our bodies produce value.

It’s the contract we enter into when we sign ourselves over to this school.

And that’s the equally ugly flip side to the Step Forward video fiasco: even though the College doesn’t see us as part of its real, essential story or history, and thus writes us out, it is too often more than happy to circulate our images to accumulate capital-and use that capital however it pleases.

You’ll see multiculturalism at the Showcase, though-Macalester style.

You’ll be welcomed into a party where mostly white dancers perform the Other, dance the Other, costume themselves as the other, and consume the Other in a cup of tea.

Bottoms up.

Matthew Won ’09

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