Macalester: insensitive?

By Campus Community

The “politically incorrect” party has provoked a storm of debate and discussion, but nothing has disheartened me more than the ridiculous assertions made about Macalester in response to it.

In the previous issue of the Mac Weekly, a Letter to the Editor read, “We ask the community to look at recent events not in the context of an isolated event, action or issue, but rather as a manifestation of an endemic problem at Macalester: a collusion of privilege and silence.”

Compared to nearly every college-level institution in the country, Macalester has a noticeable lack of “collusion” of privilege and silence. The campus, in general, is liberal and politically aware. We are constantly encouraged, both by our peers and by our professors, to be vocal about political and social issues. There have also been noticeable demonstrations regarding the situations in Darfur and Oaxaca.
When describing Macalester, “silent” is the last word that comes to mind.

As is evident in the quote from the aforementioned letter, “privilege” is routinely spoken out against. Capitalism and “heteronormativity” are treated with disdain, the latter being a term that is known campus-wide as a “Macalester buzzword.”

Another formal complaint, also left me completely bewildered: “We acknowledge that this party and the actions of those involved are symptomatic of a general trend on campus of insensitivity around issues pertaining to race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, religion, and ability.”

Are we attending the same school? If student organizations like BLAC and Queer Union, campus-wide dialogue, and liberal-minded departments aren’t convincing enough of the overwhelming commitment here to eliminating insensitivity and promoting tolerance, the ubiquitous negative response to the party should be the final nail in the coffin for all who are still convinced of an “endemic problem” at Macalester.

I would hardly call Macalester “insensitive.”

Nick Schlafer