Mixed reaction amongst students to Take Back MCSG Week

Last week’s Take Back MCSG events were met with mixed responses from the student body and representatives of Macalester College Student Government.

“We had mixed results,” Vice President Rothin Datta ’16 said. “I think the week did well. The events that mattered—the root beer floats with representatives and chill with executives outside—went really well.”

Both these events met the primary goal of the week: communication between students and their class representatives. The Take Back MCSG Week Facebook event page stated that “MCSG want[ed] to hear YOUR input and YOUR expectations for YOUR student government.”

Adan Martinez ’16, an at-large member of MCSG’s Financial Affairs Committee, said that while he was unable to attend any of the event, he heard positive feedback from both legislative members and students.

“My general impression was that it was a really good event, series of events,” he said.

The Student Services and Relations Committee planned Take Back MCSG week in order to make MCSG representatives more accessible to the students they serve. Datta said students provided feedback at events throughout the week.

“Students spoke to us about Café Mac issues and how mental health services are really backed up on campus,” he said.

In keeping with this goal, Martinez said that the representatives he spoke with appreciated the week’s activities.

“[Representatives were] glad for the opportunity to meet their constituents,” he said, adding that it was crucial for students to see that MCSG representatives are not just “closeted in Weyerhaeuser Boardroom… the [representatives] are not uptight.”

He described events, which included meet-and-greets and games, as “fun,” and a positive way to give representatives exposure and forge new connections with the student body. The last event, a blacklight-themed Kagin dance, took place on Wednesday and was co-sponsored by MCSG, Adelante!, Mac HOPE, and Europa.

“We worked with a variety of orgs,” Datta said. “Europa and Mac HOPE are new, and we can work together and have a good time.”

Martinez, a member of Adelante!, said he appreciated the new efforts by MCSG to reach out to student organizations.

“It’s a big difference from last year,” he said.

He said he credits representatives with “taking the initiative” in communicating with and working more closely with student organizations this year.

Datta said the interaction-based events were better-attended than games, such as a Family Feud tournament which was held last Thursday.

“[MCSG] learned we don’t need to do things like [games],” he said. “We should center around meeting students.”

Datta said that the steps taken to foster a more interactive relationship between students and representatives during Take Back MCSG would not end after the Kagin, but would continue throughout the year.

“We have lots more planned for the semester and the year,” he said.