The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Of Business and Boardrooms

Stepping back onto campus after almost 9 months away only to find myself suddenly a senior has certainly presented its fair share of complications and surprises. One welcome addition this year, however, is the privilege to serve as the Student Liaison to the Board of Trustees.

What does the Student Liaison to the Board actually do? Why does it matter?

Nine years ago Macalester changed from need-blind to need-aware, prompting strong student backlash. Since then, the Board of Trustees and various administrators created this position to invite the student voice into Board meetings, both to represent student concerns and interests and to communicate thoughts behind Board decisions—to be a liaison between the students and the Board and vice versa.

For the most part, this role includes: (a) attendance of Board meetings; (b) collaboration with Student Representatives on Board Committees, and (c) regular communication with students and administrators to understand student priorities, interests and concerns.

So who actually sits on the Board of Trustees? What are they like?

Three times a year whispers travel from Turck to Olin-Rice and from Dupre to Carnegie about the Board of Trustees descending upon campus. An aura of mystery and secrecy seems to surround these powerful people, their campus-wide decisions and their ultimate agendas. Three weekends every year they visit campus, sit in meetings and then disperse once more.

Without a doubt, these individuals care tremendously about Macalester’s students, staff, faculty, alumni and future to invest this much time into these processes. Yet most students know very little about Board members.

One of my goals for this year, therefore, is to increase visibility of these decision-makers. Here in The Mac Weekly, short articles will run about Board members, their connections to Macalester, and their current interests. Did any play Frisbee while at Mac? Take Portuguese? Study geography? Do they now run nonprofits? Work for the government? And why do they still care? Keep reading to find out.

How does the Board actually interact with students? Who are our Student Reps?

Other students besides the Liaison also sit on Board Committees, each tasked with a specific aspect of Macalester life. But who are these students? Why did they apply to sit on these committees? What do they hope to accomplish?

Here in The Mac Weekly, I hope to put faces to student names as well, inviting Student Reps to step forward and engage with issues to better serve the student body. They include:

Academic Affairs: Erica Lee ’15, Ari Hymoff ’17 Admissions: Akila Copeland ’16, Rothin Datta ’16 Advancement: Abaki Beck ’15 Campus Life: Rothin Datta ’16, James Lindgren ’15, Sana Naz ’16, Erin Slater ’16 Finance: Lucy Westerfield ’15 Infrastructure: Abaki Beck ’15, Elisa Lee ‘15

These students and I need to hear from you about what matters. The Board relies on Student Reps and the Liaison to gauge student opinion on controversial issues on campus.

From my involvement with various parts of campus, from Facilities to the IGC, I am committed to listening, engaging and collaborating with all parts of campus. After all, student voices deserve to be heard on a college campus—and student opinions belong in the Boardroom too.

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