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: Thumbs up, Thumbs down

By Mac Weekly Staff

Thumbs-up to the presence of gifted guest lecturers
While this thumbs-up may seem like a no-brainer, we want to make a point of acknowledging the abundance of eminent guest speakers on campus. The past weeks have seen visits from film luminary Spike Lee and from Derrick Bell, the law professor and pioneer of critical race theory. Tomorrow, Macalester’s eighth annual American Studies Conference will feature as a keynote speaker Dr. Robin D. G. Kelly, one of the country’s pre-eminent scholars in African-American history. A visit from writer and third wave feminist visionary Cherríe Moraga will follow as part of Women’s History Month programming. This moment is by no means unique. We’ve heard from the likes of Toni Morrison, Kofi Annan ’61 and Thomas Friedman, and continue to host public intellectuals across academic disciplines. These events are integral to our Macalester experience, not simply because they offer the opportunity to catch a glimpse of celebrity or because they bring students together, but because they allow for inspiration, for engagement with and access to today’s greatest minds, for greater depth of intellectual inquiry than would otherwise be possible. These moments are among the most definitive of our time at Macalester; may we experience them as such.

Thumbs down to the absence of security personnel
It would be easy to make light of the poor attendance record of the employees of American Security, the company Macalester has contracted to protect campus for the past several years. Indeed, American’s employee turnout lends itself to numerous cultural allusions. Cake’s song “Never There” comes to mind. So too, perhaps, does the classic line from the film Cool Hand Luke: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” Right there, however, is where the humor ends. Two weeks ago, a fight broke out at a dance, and the absence of the adequate—and requested—number of security personnel at that event allowed the fight to continue. Whatever the nature of the failure that led to the absence of security personnel, it is clear that American Security is responsible, and certainly deserves our thumbs-down. We, as customers, find this pattern of inadequate service deeply dissatisfactory. It is high time to take a more critical look at this business relationship. We urge the administrators who are charged with our safety and endowed with the resources to protect it to investigate and actively pursue alternative options for campus security. The current level of service, especially given the ever-increasing cost of the Macalester experience, is unjustifiable. Safety is a basic expectation.

The opinions expressed above are those of The Mac Weekly, as determined by a board comprised of the Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editors and Opinion Editors. The perspectives are not representative of Macalester College.

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