Staff Editorial: Political Activity

By Mac Weekly Staff

Political activity at Macalester was an embarrassment of riches this past week. As reported in this issue, Congresswomen Betty McCollum (DFL), our representative in Washington, visited campus twice–once to talk with students and the community about the Environment and once with Jim Messina, the campaign manager for President Obama’s re-election campaign. Messina was also joined by Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak (DFL) at his Wednesday talk that packed the Weyerhauser Boardroom. In addition to these appearances, Macalester students have been up to political activities of their own around the nation. This past weekend, a group of 13 students traveled to Madison, Wisconsin, for the national conference of United Students Against Sweatshops, and two weeks ago three students traveled to Washington D.C. to take part in CPAC, the national Conservative Political Action Conference. And we’ve just mentioned events that were covered in this week’s issue. Congressmen Keith Ellison (DFL) of Minneapolis, the first Muslim to serve in congress, met with a regional conference of J Street U on Tuesday night to discuss a range of issues including Israel and general policy in the Middle East. A few weeks back Mac was on the short list for a Minnesota college appearance by Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. And on Thursday, after press time, former Representative David Minge (DFL) was on campus. Besides providing us with things to write about, the vibrant political scene at Macalester is a resource for all of us. Politics, for better or worse, is inescapable in the “real world” outside of Mac, and promoting knowledge of and engagement with this vital part of how the world works is one of the things the college does best. This week was a testament to that.