Macalester Student Union?

By Ryan Brownlow

Many have undoubtedly been following the controversy surrounding MCSG, the rollover money, and the discussion of the formation of a student union. Unfortunately, in my opinion, an even larger number of students have not been following the controversy, especially those in their first and second years. I, as a first year, think it is of extreme importance to follow this issue and assert an active role in the process of working it out, as the consequences will be “dished” to the first and second year students, rather than the many graduating seniors who are involved in the discussion. I am in strong support of the formation of a student union, and the removal of certain responsibilities from MCSG-certainly the responsibility of allocating resources (and perhaps, also, the chartering of student organizations).There does not seem to be a unified sense of what exactly a student union would look like, and this, paired with the apathy of a large number of the underclassmen, seems to be the largest obstacle in moving forward with the idea of a union. However, I do not think these “issues” have to be framed as obstacles at all. This sort of working out of complicated problems is what our lives at Mac should be about. We are here to learn to navigate complex, ethical issues in a changing world. Is there a better way to begin than by navigating the ethical issues within our Mac community? This is why I am so engaged in this discussion, this is why a student union matters to me. The goal is very clear to me-Mac students and student orgs deserve the right to control their money – but the process, the journey, is a little more ambiguous. So, now for the hard part… the challenging part, the frustrating part, the fun part-how do we get there? Students who are interested in this discussion, the discussion of what a student union would mean or what one might look like, can contact me- I would love to discuss this issue, point you in the direction of others who would like to discuss this issue, or, hopefully, provide information as to where you can become involved in an eventual, larger campus-wide discussion. Ryan Brownlow ’14 is a contributing writer for The Mac Weekly. He can be reached at [email protected]