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

MacBike lobbies for space in new athletic facility

By Zach McDade

After multiple years of expansion and growth, MacBike is eyeing the 448 square feet of space designated for student organizations in the new athletic facility. Competition for the new space may be heated, due to what many say is a strain on working space for student groups on campus.

According to Athletic Director Travis Feezell, the current timeline for choosing which organizations will get space is unknown. MacBike is the only group known to be vying for the space.

“My sense is that it will happen over the course of this academic year,” he said.

MacBike members cite a need for a room larger than the space it currently occupies next to The Mac Weekly office in the basement of 30 Mac.

Macalester College Student Government President Jess Hasken ’07 recently submitted a proposal to administrators in support of the group’s request for space.

“It makes sense to have MacBike in the facility,” Hasken said.

The space would allow the group to collaborate with the athletic department for equipment management and rental, Hasken added.

MacBike’s Bike Share program, which allows anyone on campus to check out a bike, helmet and lock for three days, is currently run through the Campus Center Info Desk, making it inconvenient for the program to use the tools and storage space in 30 Mac, according to MacBike members.

Other services MacBike offers include bike sales, free tune-ups on Bateman Plaza and open-shop hours, which currently take place in the Mac Weekly office, as MacBike’s shop is too small.

Claire Stoscheck ’07, who recently reorganized MacBike after a several-year hiatus, said that student organizations have lacked space in the current athletic facility her entire time on campus.

“There is no way for an org to settle down and work when they don’t have sufficient space,” Stoscheck said. “MacBike urgently needs a permanent space in order to effectively offer their services to the campus and broader communities.”

Hasken said the lack of space for student organizations has negatively affected programming.

Stoscheck agreed, saying that given more space, MacBike would be better able to fulfill its goal of creating a viable and effective bike shop.

Building planners say they recognize student organizations’ needs.

“One of the fundamental reasons we are building the new center is to address the limitations our current building has for student activity both now and in the future,” Feezell said.

Given that the only collaborative community bike centers in the Twin Cities, Sibley Bike Depot and The Grease Pit, are also struggling for operating space, MacBike could become an important alternative community bike shop.
These community organizations, through their open shop and work-for-a-bike programs, teach people to be self-sufficient, share skills and allow people to obtain bikes for little or no money, all of which are goals of MacBike as well, according to Stoscheck.

“MacBike wants to promote bike culture in the larger community,” she said.

Additional shop space could be used to provide community service, she added.

Lexi Lepler ’10, who recently purchased a bike at MacBike’s campus bike sale, supports this idea.

“[The org] is a great thing to have, because it’s fun and it helps people,” she said. “It made it really convenient and easy to get a bike.”

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