MCSG debates eligiblity rules

At the MCSG meeting on Feb. 4, the question of whether or not to suspend certain bylaws sparked debate. These bylaws prevent students planning to study abroad during spring semester from running for positions on the Program Board and the Financial Affairs Committee (FAC).

Student Body President Kai Wilson ’14 argued that the bylaws should have already been ignored before. Although MCSG just passed them last year, Wilson said that allowing the bylaws to remain would be a detriment to students’ right to seize all of the opportunities Mac has to offer them.
Instead he said students should be able to both study abroad and simultaneously stay connected with the Mac community.

“[We] need to match up with the time frame of the students,” Wilson said.

According to Wilson, this would not be the first time student-passed bylaws had been ignored, either.

But the motion to suspend the bylaws was met with fierce opposition.

“Bylaws should not be optional,” Samuel Doten ’16 said.

Doten, along with a few other opposed representatives, said that because the bylaws have already been passed they are set in stone. Further, because the bylaws are posted on the Macalester website, students who might have previously planned to run for a position on the Program Board or FAC should be aware of the restrictions.

Suspension of bylaws requires a two-thirds majority vote; the motion was passed with just four representatives in opposition.

Also at last night’s meeting, the FAC approved the purchase of a new set of drums for Zamumba. The organization plans to use them to teach interested students the Samba and a variety of Brazilian rhythms, as well as in collaboration with other multicultural orgs.

Also discussed were the logistics of the Academic Affairs Committee’s first annual alumni fair, which will be held on Feb 18. As a result of a time scheduling conflict, MCSG voted to change their meeting time to 7:30 p.m. on that Tuesday.

Representative William Theriac ’16 spoke on behalf of the Institute for Global Citizenship Student Council (IGCSG), which will undergo significant budget cuts this year. As a result, there will be only one “Sandwiches and Scholarships” program during this spring semester. Theriac said that the program “had to be put on hold, because we had continually diminishing attendance by students, and it is the hardest to justify of the three (IGCSC-sponsored) programs.”