Q&A: Melanie Reschke ’13

By The Mac Weekly

TMW: What motivated you to run for the Trustee Liaison position? Melanie Reschke: Serving as a Student Representative to the Board of Trustees this year has given me a new perspective on my experience at Macalester and my role in the community. You might call it a sophomore slump, but until this year I was feeling pretty disconnected with the campus and what it had to offer me as an individual. Applying to serve as a Student Rep last spring marked a moment of realization that if I really wanted to get something out of my time here I should make an effort to put something in. After becoming more engaged in campus decisions and operations, my pride and appreciation for our school and everyone involved in it has grown. This includes past, current and future students, faculty and staff, the administration and the Board of Trustees. After such a positive experience working with many of these people as a Student Rep, I saw the liaison position as an ideal way to encourage relationships across these groups that will hopefully build a more connected community with the end goal of continuing to work together to make Macalester the best place it can be. What does the job entail in terms of responsibilities, whom you will work with most closely and how your role on campus will change? This is a very interesting position in that I get to work with fellow students, the administration and the Board of Trustees. A large part of my role is to facilitate communication between these groups. I will work closely with the Student Representatives by helping them prepare for meetings as well as organizing events with their involvement and input. In addition, I will work with MCSG in order to stay updated on student initiatives, and of course with the student body as a whole to ask for their feedback and concerns. My work with the administration will be largely within Student Affairs. Communication with the administration is important in order to coordinate student concerns with what is feasible and what the administration may already be considering. What new ideas and aspects do you intend to bring to the school next year? I really want to stress the importance of strengthening the community of not only students, but Trustees and the administration as well. At my first board meeting I was struck at how interested the Board members were in my day-to-day life at Macalester. The interest went both ways: I loved hearing stories about their past Macalester experiences and sometimes even finding out we had the same professor or lived in the same dorm room. I think that students might not realize how the decisions at Board meetings affect them, and more importantly how much the Trustees appreciate student input and are genuinely interested in helping create a positive experience for us and for future students at Macalester. I would like to organize more casual alleys for interaction between students and Trustees such as a lunch or dinner event. I think this would help create an overall more productive base for making decisions that affect all of us. In achieving your goals, how will you work and communicate with the student body? Dialogue with students is something that can happen every day in casual conversations on the way to class, during my office hours, or through the Liaison email address. I will be looking for feedback from students year-round to ensure fresh perspectives on campus events and initiatives, but I will focus heavily on advertising upcoming Board meetings and seeking student opinions during those times. I want to make sure students know when the meetings are happening and what topics will be discussed so that everyone has the opportunity to have their opinion heard. I want to make it easy for people to approach either me or the Student Reps in whatever way they feel most comfortable by offering a variety of modes of communication. refresh –>