Staff Editorial


It’s the first week of the school year, meaning it is time to take stock of the good and bad from last year and how we plan to improve things in 2009.We’ve come up with a few suggestions as we head into the new year.

1. Cafe Mac – It is the easiest target of criticism, and arguably the most underappreciated places on campus. While there are many things that can be changed and be complained about, it is important that we do not take for granted the work that the cooks and the workers at the grille put in everyday to keep us going all day. That said, there are some questions that should be posed to the directors of the Macalester cafeteria. Why is there a limit on the number of fruits that can be taken out of the cafeteria? It is feasible to assume that the amount of fruit that has to be dealt with after meals would lessen and that there would be less waste if students were able to take more than one fruit out with them. This is especially true with regards to students who have schedules which conflict with the school’s meal schedule.

2. Trayless Tuesdays – An amazing idea to help conserve food and reduce waste production. But in the planning, someone forgot that no trays means hot plates directly on student’s hands. Assuming that the majority of Macalester students do not have criminal records, there is no reason for us to desire scalding and disfiguring our fingerprints beyond repair.

3. Athletics – If one can recall, there was much displeasure and argument when it was announced that the Leonard Center was being built. However, now that it is up, it seems to be one of the hottest spots on campus. And it is safe to say that no one appreciates this building more than the Macalester athletes. While we are not primarily known for our sports program, one can assume that an increased student presence at athletic events could only help spur our athletes on to greater heights. The least we could do is show some support to the other members of our college community.

4. Energy wars – While we are currently a leader when it comes to energy conservation, let us not become complacent. When the energy wars come around next month, don’t just read the posters, act on them. Turn out lights when you’re not using them. Take the stairs more often. Turn off the faucet when you’re not using the water. All these little things add up to a healthier planet.

5. Community – As small of a community as we live in, it is very easy to live inside the Macalester bubble. However, there is a bigger world out there, and there are a lot of small things we can do to make it a better place. Haven’t thought of the Civic Engagement Center since Into the Streets during orientation? This year, let’s increase our community outreach by taking advantage of volunteering opportunities. We may not have much time, but the time that we do have can be used to improve the lives of those that live in the areas which surround our small community.

6. Accessibility of education – Besides educational competence and accessibility, a major factor in the college decision process is financial aid. In an ideal world, higher education would be available to all those who desired it. However, that is not the case. The price of education is ever increasing, and in order to provide more people with an opportunity to improve their lives through education, we have to stay focused on financial aid. We know that times are tough economically, but let’s remain committed to having the kinds of diverse incoming classes that make Macalester the school that it is.

7. Transparency of student government – As the voice of the students, the mediator between those that make decisions and those that are affected by these decisions, it is important that the student government maintains its transparency. Student government meetings are open to the student body, and each member of the government has office hours in which they can be visited. Take time out and visit them sometimes. Ask them about policy changes and issues regarding student life. They may have the titles, but it’s still your school.

And now, our personal resolution for the new year: To be a better vehicle for discussion here on campus. We want to make sure that when big things are happening on campus, you know about them, and that you have a place to make your voice heard about them. Of course, we can’t do that alone, and that’s where you, the Macalester community, come in. If you’ve got something that’s bugging you, write an op-ed. Stumble on the worst policy ever – or find out something amazing going on here? Let us know, so we can look into it and spread the word. We’re here for you, but we can’t do it without you.

Here’s to a great year.