The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Staff Editorial

By The Mac Weekly

Thumbs up for changes to MCSG electionsStudent Government has redone the process for elections for executive positions, which include president and vice president as well as the chairs of MCSG committees. We at The Mac Weekly applaud this change, because it just makes sense for us to use the technology now available to us through Google Applications for Education to make the process easier than it has been.

Across the board, moving voting online makes the electoral process work better. While we all know we should be responsible citizens and go to the Campus Center to vote, it’s much more convenient to vote online through the Google Documents form we’ll all be receiving on Monday. Additionally, the inclusion of candidate statements and photos will help cut down on ballot box confusion, so even those of us who maybe could have paid more attention during the brief campaigning period will have some idea of what we’re doing.

It’s also an important change because it makes it easier for students studying off campus, whether in Dublin or D.C., to have a say in the process. They may be gone right now, but they’ll be back, and it’s still their school too. Props to MCSG for getting this figured out – if departments can use the tool to vote on sweatshirt designs, there’s no reason why this won’t work. Now, if only we could get class representative elections caught up as well. It’s baffling that the administration doesn’t have an email list for each class, and it’s well past time to address this.

Thumbs down to the end of sponsoring the MPR speaker series

The administration announced that it will end its sponsorship of Minnesota Public Radio’s Broadcast Journalist Series after this semester. The sponsorship, which costs about $25,000 a year, usually brings two speakers to campus each semester.

We understand that if we’re going to have an increase in financial aid next year to help keep a Macalester education within reach for as many students as possible, some things are going to have to go. But let’s think about the cost-benefit aspect of the series for a minute. Bringing all of these individuals, some of them nationally and world-renowned, to campus for about the same amount it would cost to bring one speaker (such as a certain DNC?chair, anyone?) is nothing to brush aside too quickly.

Additionally, let’s think about the message this sends to students at Macalester who are interested in journalism. We don’t want to be too heavy handed, so we’ll just lay out the facts for your consideration.

The Communication Studies Department was axed five years ago, leaving students looking to study journalism with relatively few on campus academic options. The World Press Institute, a program bringing journalists from across the world to the United States to study and experience the free press system which Macalester hosted for almost 50 years, broke ties and moved off campus last spring when the college refused to provide temporary financial support for the Institute during a rough patch. And now even the relatively-speaking bargain basement deal the sponsorship gets the college on speakers, not to mention the press Macalester gets from its involvement in the series, is not enough to keep us supporting the program. Maybe we’re reading the signs wrong, but it certainly seems that students interested in journalism are getting the message that it’s just not a priority for the school. Let’s hope we’re wrong.

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