Staff Editorial: Popcorn, the student activity fee and campus life

By The Mac Weekly Staff

Three-and-a-half pages of the Feb. 28 MCSG meeting minutes are devoted to a discussion of whether student government should devote student activity money to funding free popcorn in the student lounge, analyzing the issue from all sides. While this might seem a somewhat trivial topic for political debate, the popcorn issue raises important questions about the function of the student activity fee. Wondering what the student activity fee is? Every Macalester student pays a student activity fee on top of their tuition for the academic year (this year, it was $221 per student). MCSG generally uses the money to fund student orgs and bring speakers to campus, undeniably enriching the quality of extracurricular life at our school. Nonetheless, The Mac Weekly fully supports use of the student activity fee pool to fund smaller, non-event entities like free popcorn in the student lounge. Popcorn is a great way for students who are not involved in orgs and not psyched about campus events to see a return from the student activity fee. We’re not calling for MCSG to forego extracurriculars and redirect student activity fee money to provide the campus with free meals (though as starving college students, we might find it difficult to say no). But popcorn is a popular Macalester feature, and we’re all for setting aside a bit of our collective $221’s to keep it around. refresh –>