Student Government Letter

By Campus Community

To the editor:
In recent weeks conversations have revolved around the events and repercussions of a “Politically Incorrect” party that occurred on campus. The community cannot condone gatherings that mock victims of violence or perpetuate harmful stereotypes regarding sexuality, race, gender, religion, ethnicity or class. As a representative body, we are disappointed by the mistakes of our peers. However, we embrace this opportunity for growth, self-reflection, responsibility and reconciliation. On behalf of Macalester College Student Government, we extend our gratitude to those individuals, groups and organizations which have initiated and engaged in productive and positive discussion on the eradication of such violence and stereotyping.
Karl Marx wrote, “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please.” Instead, we do so in a context where choice and circumstances intersect. The recent intersection of individual choice and community circumstances has painfully marred Macalester’s history and efforts to create a more informed, humane, and peaceful world.

We ask the community to look at recent events not in the context of an isolated event, action or issue, but rather as a manifestation of an endemic problem at Macalester: A collusion of privilege and silence. The privilege of education is not a license to ridicule another individual’s identity, whether at a party, around campus or in the seminar room. On the contrary, education prepares us, obligates us, to cultivate civility and have the courage to speak up when the dignity of members of the community is violated.

Now is not the time to crucify a select group of misinformed individuals, but rather to create open and safe discussion asking how we have contributed to the perpetuation of harmful community ideals.

We are asking the Macalester community to find new and creative ways to combine resources and ideas and seize the opportunity to act. Now is the time for the creation of safe and open dialogue.

As such, Student Government partners with the Senior Leadership of Macalester College in inviting you to join us and members of the faculty and staff in a campus-wide discussion at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 13, in the Chapel.

Respectfully,
Jess Hasken, President, MCSG
Sheena Paul, Vice President
Nisha Krishnan, Financial Affairs Commission Chair
Linnea Ericsson, Program Board Chair
Caroline Ettinger, Academic Affairs Commission Chair