Q&A with Alison Tray: Getting to know MCSG's Latest President

By Taylor Uggla

After her recent win in student elections, The Mac Weekly decided to dig a little bit deeper with Alison Tray. Read ahead to find out about her future goals and aspirations, her thoughts on travel, and why a dog with a cape might be more important than you thought.The Mac Weekly: So, how do you feel about your recent win?

Alison Tray: I’m excited and I think next year’s going to be a great year. I’m a little scared, but I think that’s normal. I think I have a lot of great people that I’m working with. It will be good.

What would you like to accomplish next year?

“I think there’s a lot of things I want to change and a lot of things I want to work on. I want to make textbooks more affordable for students. If possible, I want to look into bringing more forms of art onto campus. I want to help people understand what the IGC is-I think that’s really important. I also want to increase MCSG’s visibility. You know, maybe winning a lunch date with the executive member of your choice, or walking a dog around campus that has a cape that says ‘MCSG Open Forum, come talk to us.’ Oddball things. They’re fun and at the same time you do a lot of work. You’ve got to make things exciting every now and then.

Where did you get the dog idea?

It actually came from a friend of mine, Paul Maitland-McKinley [next year’s Program Board director]. He mentioned it, and I thought, that’s a really good idea, we should do it.

So what else do you see happening for yourself in the future?

Well, I’ll be finishing up on my anthropology major, that’s one thing. I’m a pre-med student also, so I’m looking into options for that. I might take a year off with Americorps or travel. I haven’t been around the world very much, so that would be something I’d be looking into as well, if possible. While you’re young, you should have the opportunity to explore. That extra year or two can always wait. Life’s too short.

Will you be involved in any other activities?

I’m probably going to continue volunteering at the Children’s Hospital. I’m a Scholar Mentor at the Department of Multicultural Life. I’m going to try and get involved in a lot of organizations, and also increase communication between org leaders. I just want to talk to people on campus in general, I think that’s important.

Do you have any big plans for the summer?

I actually just found out that I was accepted for this East Carolina Future Doctor’s Program for eight weeks. The rest of the summer is up in the air.

What will that be like?

It’s almost like a mini med school. It’s kind of intense, but I think it should be fine. Basically you take classes in the natural sciences, like anatomy or physiology. It kind of gives you a chance to prove yourself.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like making origami balloons. I think they’re fun to play with. If ever you’re having a rough night studying, an origami balloon will give you that five minutes of rest, and it’s fun to throw them around.

Do you have any favorite Macalester memories?

There are a lot, but my favorite would probably be the Turck 4 snow war that we had. There was snow in the quad and everyone was really excited. A couple people came onto our floor and threw a snowball at somebody else. We all got bundled up and ran out onto the quad, and then we all started tackling each other and throwing snowballs.

Another time was when I was studying organic chemistry one night. I thought it would be funny to read it in my head with a British accent. It sounds like a stodgy British man would be reading it, and of course I’m in the library by myself, and I start laughing out loud. Everyone looks at me and sees this crazy girl in the corner, touching her organic chemistry book and laughing to herself. I think people think I’m insane sometimes, but that’s okay. That’s why we’re here.

How do you feel about Mac? Do you still have the same opinion of it as you did when you first came here?

I think I tend to really have a quirky sense of it. When I visited Mac my junior year of high school, I felt I fit in with everyone else. I think I still identify. My best friend’s dad also went to Mac, and he’s a Republican and absolutely hated it. He told me I’d love it, so that helped too.

What would you like to leave behind?

I just want to make Mac a better place. When you come to campus, it’s like you open the door to a new world with new possibilities. The opportunities are endless; your life in high school can be totally different than it is in college. I definitely want to make a place better than it was when I first came, whether it’s by just sharing a joke with someone or doing more serious things. I think it’s even saying the simple hello to someone you don’t know. That could make someone’s day when they’re having a bad one. I know that it’s cheered me up before, and I think that’s really all that’s important at the end of the day.

Do you have anything else you’d like to say?

Yes. I just want people to know that they’re welcome to talk with me. I’m always happy to do that, or if you want to collaborate, come talk to me and I’ll see what I can do. I’ll do my best to come and talk to you.