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

MCSG to work on textbooks – and its own image

By Mari Mejia

This fall, Macalester College Student Government has many plans in the works for the 2008-2009 school year. Expanding options for buying textbooks, initiating campus-wide surveys on relevant issues, and increasing the general visibility of the organization itself are just some of the items on the current MCSG agenda. One issue MCSG has been working on since before this semester is improving students’ accessibility to textbooks.

“We’ve been working on a textbook proposal with both the administration and Danny Kaplan since last year to allow students to charge textbooks to their student account” MCSG President Alison Tray ’09 said.

A pilot of that plan is set to move forward this spring. In the meantime MCSG will be handing out key chains with tips on how to save when buying books for classes.

To pair with its plan to improve the accessibility of textbooks on campus, MCSG is also planning to collaborate with MPIRG to create a “textbook task force” to inform students of alternative sources for textbooks, such as supplementing hardcover copies with electronic versions online.

In addition, MCSG plans to initiate a campus-wide survey to students asking questions about campus life related issues. The organization is also looking into further developing dialogue on issues that were discussed last year, such as eliminating Quia (an online workbook required for some language courses) and generating more scholarship opportunities for students.

Pursuing more worldly endeavors, MCSG Vice President Chloe Mirzayi ’10 said that she’d like to see more sweatshop-free apparel in the Highlander store.

One of the main goals MCSG has for this year is to increase its own visibility and transparency on campus as a means to facilitate more input from students.

“Many tend to view us as a bureaucratic organization, and to some extent that’s inescapable, but I think we’re trying to be more people friendly and reaching out so that people feel good about their student government.

“Abstractly, I want people to know what MCSG is, but also who we are and what we stand for.”

For that reason, one of the plans MCSG has in the works is a compettition where students can win a lunch date with an MCSG executive of their choice which will debut later this year. This will provide students with a one-on-one opportunity to talk to student government leaders about their issues, concerns and thoughts on Macalester policies.

“It’s getting our faces out there,” Tray said. “I know it’s a little quirky and weird, but we’re open to meeting people.”

Mirzayi has also been busy promoting the organization to students. “I’m about to launch what I call an ‘MCSG awareness campaign’ using simple, vivid posters to illustrate what MCSG can do for you,” she said. In addition, Mirzayi completely redesigned and re-launched the MCSG website (

To contact MCSG with your own suggestions about student government, or any other college program or policy, the organization has placed comment boxes throughout campus.

MCSG also hosts open forums at 7 pm every Tuesday in the Weyerhauser Boardroom.

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