MCSG closes out year discussing contingent faculty, internationalism

MCSG took care of last-minute business in its final official Legislative Body (LB) meeting last week. Dozens of guests packed into the Weyerhaeuser Boardroom to speak either in opposition to or in favor of the MPIRG referendum, and the LB addressed several other issues.

Professor Geoffrey Gorham and June Ban ’14, both representing the Educational Policy and Governance (EPAG) committee, spoke about a possible transnationalism requirement. According to Ban, EPAG reported that the current internationalism requirement is not “fulfilling what Macalester wants.”

“[It’s] moving a little bit away from national diversity to more of these processes or structures that transcend the national,” Gorham said. He also added that areas of study not typically associated with internationalism or transnationalism, such as Media and Cultural Studies, Art and Religious Studies could offer courses fulfilling the requirement.

EPAG will vote on the new requirement in early fall, which would make it go into effect in 2015.

Following the introduction of the requirement, the LB corrected the previous week’s minutes. A motion which restored The Mac Weekly’s budget cut was ruled invalid due to a procedural error. According to Samuel Doten ’16, however, the “motion to reconsider could only be made by someone who voted no.”

Zack Avre ’14 made a motion to reconsider, reviving the debate from last week, and the ensuing conversation revolved around the difficulty of reconciling MCSG’s dedication to sustainability with the requirement by the student newspaper’s printing company that The Mac Weekly print a minimum number of copies per week. Some MCSG members pushed for the publication to find a new and more sustainable printer and take out additional allocations. Co-Editor-in-Chief Anna Pickrell ’14cited the fact that a new Editor-in-Chief will be in charge next fall and that it offers more security to know that every issue will be accounted for in a semester.

“This is a baseline that The Mac Weekly can function off of,” Doten said.
“I don’t know if we’ll have money for additional allocations next year,” said Maddie Arbisi ’14, in a challenge to the idea that the LB would be able to grant the newspaper needed money without issue next semester.
Merita Bushi ’14 suggested that a stipulation be added to the budget stating that The Mac Weekly must have made progress in finding a new printer by next spring. Her amendment passed, along with The Mac Weekly’s appeal. Following a vote on the additional amendments, the overall budget passed.

Later in the night, Doten introduced a resolution to “give student support to contingent faculty.” The resolution requested that the administration of the college “remain neutral” on the unionizing of the contingent faculty.

“This is an issue to be decided among contingent faculty themselves,” Doten said.

Dean of Students Jim Hoppe said he was uncomfortable that the language of the resolution seemed to presume that he and others would interfere in the process, especially since the administration had not been contacted regarding the resolution.

“It is a little odd to be painted into a corner and not be asked about it,” Hoppe said.

“I don’t want this to be interpreted as a gag order on administrators,” Doten said. Several guests, students who had helped organize the contingent faculty support week last week, replied to the concerns of Hoppe and several MCSG members.

“The way I understand it…this is the contingent faculty’s decision and we should keep it their decision,” said Grace Putka ’16. “This [should] be their process because it’s going to be their union.”

After more deliberation, the representatives decided to pass the resolution and wrapped up their final meeting of the 2013-14 school year.