Staff Ed: Board of Trustees

By The Mac Weekly

We would like to applaud the involvement of the student liaisons and we deeply appreciate the time they sacrifice to work for the student body. However, we would like to see a more visible effort to formally convey student concerns to the trustees. Right now the efforts to humanize the trustees feels like more of a public relations campaign to sell students on the trustees. We wonder what good it does reading about what trustees did when they were at Mac instead of what they will do on the Board?

We completely understand the logic behind such a campaign. The Board meets only a few times a year and do not have much of a visible presence on campus. It is makes sense to transform anonymous characters that make business decisions for the school into people we have something in common with.

At this point, however, it feels like something less than a reciprocal relationship — the trustees are being vigorously represented to the students, but how fully are the students being represented to the trustees? There’s certainly been more advertising about the trustees’ whimsical histories at Macalester than there has been about formal meetings with our liaisons in which we can voice our opinions about what actually matters to the student body of this institution. Frankly, we’ve heard nothing about such meetings.

We agree that there should be more of a back and forth between the trustees and students but a one hour brunch is not enough time to get down to the core issues that are important to the Macalester community. It is our understanding that this brunch is primarily meant to familiarize the students with the trustees not to act as a forum to discuss the issues.

We hope that the student liaisons will represent the student body to the Board-not advertise the board to the student body.

They, of course, cannot do this on their own. How can they speak for the students if the students are not contacting the liaisons to address their needs?

The opinions expressed above are those of The Mac Weekly, as determined by the staff. The perspectives are not representative of Macalester College.