Staff Editorial: Welcome back

By Mac Weekly Staff

For many, “winter break” is synonymous with “lethargy.” All the more emphatic thumbs up, then, to students who made the most of their January term by traveling with academic departments and music programs or interning at organizations in the Twin Cities. Eating their weight in string cheese and watching “Project Runway” reruns ad infinitum it wasn’t. Students voyaged to places as far as the Galapagos Islands and Greece, while others braved the harrowing low temperatures of Fargo, North Dakota and Ely, Minnesota. In any case, they actually accomplished something beyond, say, setting new cookie consumption records. Way to go, guys.

A big thumbs up to the Minnesota Spoken Word Association, which is assembling a six-member team comprised of poets aged 13-19 to represent the state at Youth Speaks’ 2007 Brave New Voices Youth International Poetry Slam in California. The association’s Quest for Voice project held its Semifinals at the Macalester Center for Religious and Spiritual Life last Saturday. Slam poets take on issues of poverty, race, sexuality and family safe space. These are issues that are need to be talked about, and kudos to the Spoken Word Association for creating a space to take them on.

We know it’s usually not in good form to be too self-congratulatory, but this week we just can’t resist. Thumbs up to Eliot Brown ’06, who won the David W. Miller award from the Chronicle of Higher Education for articles he wrote for The Mac Weekly last year about the financial issues that colleges, and Macalester in particular, have to deal with. It’s good to see hard work get rewarded.
And finally, thumbs down for not having an athletic facility until construction is completed next summer. Other arrangements have been made for teams and activities, and the plans do look pretty good, but it’s going to be very off-putting to look out the windows of the Humanities building and see Mac students with ever-widening waist lines trudging past the hole in the ground where the building used to be. The Turck exercise room just isn’t ready to pick up the slack. Here’s hoping construction is speedy.