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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

MCSG election leads to runoff, addresses social responsibility

By Diego Ruiz

Around 700 students elected a new slate of Macalester College Student Government officers for the 2010 – 2011 academic year and passed referendums recommending socially responsible guidelines for college investment.Owen Truesdell ’11 and Yenee Soh ’11 garnered the most votes for president. They faced each other in a runoff Thursday, before The Mac Weekly’s printing deadline.

All of the other executive positions were filled. Students elected Patrick Snyder ’13 to be Vice President, and Taren Kingser ’11 to be chair of the Academic Affairs Commission.

The other three candidates won unopposed races. Students elected Daimon Hardy ’13, to chair the Financial Affairs Committee, Stephanie Vilendrer ’13, to chair the Student Services Commission, and Katie Agnew ’11, to chair the Program Board.

Students passed referendums that advocated “environmental sustainability, international human rights, multicultural social justice, local community interests and causes, and fair labor practices,” and “greater education and transparency about the breadth, depth, and overall health of the endowment.”

By a vote of 57 to 43 percent, students omitted language that recognized the Investment Office as having the autonomy to make final decisions regarding investments. These referendums are solely student recommendations.

81 percent of students voted to renew MPIRG’s contract, and continue diverting $6.00 of every student’s activity fee to MPIRG. As in years past, students will still be able to fill out a form saying they want the money redistributed to other student organizations.

The MPIRG referendum had 711 votes, the most out of any item on the ballot, while there were 675 votes for the Financial Affairs Committee chair position, the lowest total. A dozen students queried on campus said they voted in MCSG elections, mainly because they wanted to support candidates whom they knew, or support the investment referendums.

The investment referendums spurred Jen Agans, ’10, to vote. “To my understanding, Macalester financially supports these organizations that are doing terrible things,” Agans said. “I liked that I could say no to that.”

The other half said they had not, because of a heavy workload, not being aware of the election.

“I honestly didn’t know how the MCSG elections would affect me,” said Emily Sames ’12, echoing other students who did not vote in the election.

Some students said they voted by filling in names at random, because they did not know enough about differences between candidates.

In e-mail messages, candidates wrote they hoped to build off of work done by the current student government, and increase students’ engagement with MCSG.

Snyder, the vice president-elect, said in an e-mail message that he wanted to “improve how student opinion is gathered, valued, and acted upon,” through informal Town Hall meetings, having more tabling outside the Campus Center, and a weekly MCSG lunch table. He said he hopes these events, in addition to gathering more student input, “give MCSG a ‘face.'”

Snyder also wanted to start a taskforce identifying how to improve relations between MCSG and student organizations, with members from both.

“I’m very, very excited about the possibilities for next year,” Snyder wrote.

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