Vice presidential candidate

By Eric Blom

I am running for vice president because, though the college exists to serve students, recent actions taken by the administration and faculty have not been what the students want or in our interests.A few years ago, Macalester’s administration decided to make admission to the school need aware; that is, they consider the ability of the student to pay tuition in admissions decisions. Now Macalester is raising $150 million to fund need-based aid and to construct three buildings, the new athletic center, the Institute for Global Citizenship building, and a remodeled Fine Arts building. Though none of these projects are completely without merit, it seems money now building an excessively large athletic center could be used for need-blind admissions.

Furthermore, the administration and faculty are pushing the Board of Trustees to shorten the faculty sabbatical schedule from one semester every six years to one semester every four years. This would require more faculty and so would cost the college more money. Coming during a year when tuition raised seven percent, it is hard for me as a student to accept what amounts to a raise for faculty, and I think other students would agree.

To give another example: in January, a committee of administration and faculty decided to deny tenure to two professors who are popular among students. Last month, however, the Board of Trustees decided to spend $22 million to hire about 7 new faculty positions. None of the decisions I have mentioned seem to come down to money, as the administration is prone to tell us, nor were they in students’ voiced interests. The obvious conclusion, then, is that the administration chose to act against student interests each time.

What few students probably realize is that we have the power to influence such decisions: about a dozen students sit as voting members on the Board of Trustees. The Vice President of MCSG, however, is uniquely situated because that person chairs a committee which selects most of the students that sit on the Board. Importantly, the Vice President is also responsible for disseminating student polls and compiling the feedback. These two responsibilities make this position ideal for understanding the interests of students and realizing our interests by communicating with and influencing the Board of Trustees. I hope and promise to use this unique position to bring the school back on a course students can support.

Reach Eric Blom ’10, candidate for Macalester College Student Government Vice President, at [email protected]