MCSG works toward transparency

By Tom Poulos

One of the goals of Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) this year is to increase the organization’s transparency.
“Increasing the transparency will do two things: make us more responsive to student needs and more effective at addressing them,” senior representative Milly Griffard said.

The members of the MCSG legislative body have brainstormed several ideas that will make the organization more accessible for students.
Sophomore representative Jill Ackerman said, “a TV or board in the campus center and a newsletter, each specifically dedicated to MCSG related news and events,” are among the new ideas presented by the legislative body. Ackerman said that so far, most of the ideas for increasing MCSG transparency have yet to be translated into palpable plans of action. “But we did pass out the newsletters with hot chocolate a month or so ago,” she said.
Ackerman said that regardless of the specific plans of action, the overarching goal is to have students be more informed on the actions of their student government. The hope is that the increased level of awareness will result in more direct participation on behalf of students outside the MCSG.
“We really want students to know how easy it is to come to the open forum at the beginning of every meeting,” she said.
A specific amount of time is allotted for the open forum at the beginning of each meeting, which is at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays. It presents an opportunity for anyone with questions, comments, or concerns for the legislative body to come forward. It is a tool that MCSG members hope students will use more often to have their voices heard.

MCSG President Alison Tray ’09 hopes that creating a new approach to student organizations will facilitate an increase in transparency between MCSG and the general student body.
Members of the legislative body are now expected to independently take up projects regarding specific issues and work directly with individuals or organizations relevant to the project.
“We’re trying to be more accessible to student orgs by having Legislative body members go to org meetings,” Tray says.
MCSG intends for this to generate a more cooperative approach to projects close the gap between the student government and the student body.