Response from the IGC student council

By IGC Student Council

The IGC student council is an open committee composed of students representing interests from across the Macalester community. As a council, we are excited about the recent past and the potential future of the IGC and want to explain why. We see great potential for student voice to define what global citizenship and the IGC can do for us as Macalester students and would like to invite you to join us in creating the space we need it to be.

We recognize that there is natural doubt, controversy and criticism of the Institute. Some see the institute as top-down, hierarchical and monolithic. Others believe that it purports a dangerously Western hegemonic view of global citizenship. Still others see it as bathed in obscurity and believe it a waste of valuable resources and energy.

Members of our own group are facing the challenges and questions the IGC raises by creating opportunities to promote rich and grassroots-oriented approaches to global citizenship, which we see as a key component of the IGC both to supplement and to check how the IGC is founded and defined. That said, we also recognize a vacuum surrounding this controversy and believe our role is to help fill that vacuum. Nobody – staff, faculty or students – can provide a universally workable definition of global citizenship or a philosophical role for the IGC. Instead, we merely sling criticism back and forth with no apparent aim.

To move this conversation forward, the student council has created numerous spaces specifically for students to come together to help define, engage with and improve the IGC by using it as it can be useful to us. These spaces share important qualities: they are open to everyone; they are respectful and constructive; and they are thoughtful, thought provoking and pragmatic.
We invite you to visit www.blogalviews.wordpress.com, the student council-managed blog that wrestles with issues of global citizenship each week. This forum is open to everyone, knowing that the more who contribute, the more value we will create.
We also encourage you to mark your calendars for IGCSC-hosted events like Sustain the Conversation, an open discussion following the Civic Forum, as well as events like the ones we have hosted about the Iraq War and other topics.
Most importantly, we want and invite constructive feedback and suggestions for the role of the IGCSC itself. What would you like us to do? What events should we consider hosting or supporting? How should we engage with the community, faculty and staff to improve the IGC? It is open. It is up to us as students.

Students have an opportunity to play an active and lasting part in defining the IGC. Our voices should be central to the process, and they can be. We hope you will find a way to join us. We meet on Mondays at noon in CC 204.