Mac’s newest student publication, Consonat, aims to expand audience

MCSG chartered Macalester’s newest student publication, Consonat, last month. The publication’s title was drawn from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s use of the Latin phrase “omne verum vero consonat,” meaning “every universal truth which we express in words, implies or supposes every other truth.”

“The idea for Consonat crystallized last year when we would be sitting together and have these kind of dweeby rant sessions about how everything we were talking about in every class connected,” said Consonat founder Georgia Cloepfil ’14.

Each issue of Consonat is themed, with the first edition based on the concepts of irrationality and rationality. The next edition, to come out in April, is based on the theme of symmetry, and later editions will have themes such as observation, form and “things that everyone talks about in the sciences and humanities,” Cloepfil said.

Consonat’s first issue last semester was partially funded by the English department.

“They took a leap of faith, so we’re very grateful for that,” said another Consonat founder, Maggie Molter ’14.

With a 13-8 vote, MCSG decided to give Consonat funding beginning this spring.

“Probably the biggest hurdle we had to face was funding,” said Student Organizations Committee Chair Natalie Pavlatos. “Due to the rising number of student orgs, the budget has been tight, and publications have to request money to be published, which can be a big expense.”

With Macalester funding, Molter and Cloepfil hope to bring Consonat to a larger Macalester audience. By reaching more Macalester students and staff, Molter and Cloepfil feel they can achieve the purpose of the publication by bringing students together across departments.

MCSG also raised concern that Consonat may overlap with other publications on campus. Cloepfil and Molter, however, were quick to argue against this.

“You have these moments where this idea just overflows into your personal life, into your academic life, into athletics and everything, and it’s just the most incredible feeling, and I feel like everyone should recognize that more often,” Cloepfil said. “Consonat is a way to get everyone to see that.”

After lengthy discussion, MCSG moved on from the concern of org overlap.

“I think the Legislative Body was satisfied with Consonat’s argument for why they are different,” Pavlatos said of the final decision.

According to Cloepfil, the point of Consonat is really to use specific and different viewpoints to peek into the larger theme presented in each issue.

“I don’t want it to be misconceived that you can flatten the concept to saying that it’s just this interdepartmental magazine,” she said.

Molter encouraged people to submit new work or work done in the past, fiction or non-fiction. “Maybe you’re a senior and you did something when you were a sophomore and you bring it back and make a few edits and send it in,” she said. “That’s a really important source that I think we haven’t been able to draw on in the past two issues.”

Molter also emphasized the importance of this publication for science majors.

“I think that the ability for a science major to present their ideas in a way that’s available to the common person is an extremely important skill, and I don’t think it is emphasized here at all,” she said. “Being able to write technically and write a good lab report is really important, but some of the most influential scientists out there are the ones who can write books for a popular audience.”

While the group currently consists of four editors and takes submissions from everyone, they do not know what form the organization will take in the future.