Election Guide 2015: Candidates for AAC Chair


For our annual election guide, The Mac Weekly distributed questions to MCSG candidates. We’ve printed the responses below unedited to allow the candidates’ voices to speak freely. We hope that these responses are informative and helpful as you go about making your decisions on who to vote for this year. We have chosen not to endorse candidates this year.

Photo Courtesy of Caroline Duncombe '18
Photo Courtesy of Caroline Duncombe ’18
Caroline Duncombe ’18

1. Why are you running for this position?
I am running because I enjoyed working as a liaison between the student body and MCSG. I love helping different organization achieve their goals. I would also like to play an even more active role on campus and I believe being AAC chair is good place to do just that.

2. What experience do you bring to this position, and what do you think you could contribute to MCSG and the Macalester community if elected?
I am currently the first year class rep and serve on the Financial Affairs Committee, the committee that is responsible for allocating money to various organizations on campus. From my experience on the FAC and as first year rep I can bring extensive knowledge on the bylaws and financial code that govern MCSG, which is needed in order to be an effective AAC chair.

3. What are your goals if elected?
If I elected there are currently two main goals I would hope to achieve. The first goal is to work together with the LC and the administration to help find safer and more inclusive policies for club sports. Despite the huge amount of people who participate in club sports, there is little health and financial support for them in comparison with other organizations on campus, and I am dedicated to seeing that change. My second main goal will be make MCSG more inclusive and transparent. From my past experience in MCSG, I believe we could do a way better job of communicating to students and organization.

4. What is your leadership style?
A key element in my leadership style is communication. I believe that communicating with the student body, other student reps, and the administration is essential to creating a good environment at Macalester. I also believe that being a good listener is important, because in order to be a good leader I need to listen to other opinions and be able to incorporate those opinions into how I vote on various resolutions and interact with the administration. If elected AAC chair, I would need to contribute about 10 hours a week to the position, and I am aware and ready to take on that time and responsibility.

5. Is there anything you would change about MCSG? If so, how would you seek to achieve that?
A key issue within MCSG is its overreliance on committees to take initiative. Under the current system, student reps have little incentive to interact with their classes, for the majority of actions take place within committees. I believe that it is important to promote more collaboration between class reps and their class. An example of what could be done is to require class reps to put on an event such as what has recently happened this spring with the sophomore reps’ “Take a Break for Cake” and the first years’ “Cupcake Night.” During these events the reps would create an opportunity to receive feedback from the student and make MCSG more transparent.

Photo Courtesy of Blaze Beecher '18
Photo Courtesy of Blaze Beecher ’18
Blaze Beecher ’18

1. Why are you running for this position?
I’m running to restore the number one value in Macalester’s mission: academic excellence. One of the things that really encouraged me to run was the recent article I read about the possibility of Macalester changing its policy on testing. History shows that Macalester has lost academic quality when adopting less stringent admissions standards, and if elected I will ensure that these standards do not change.

2. What experience do you bring to this position, and what do you think you could contribute to MCSG and the Macalester community if elected?
As a freshman, I can only speak to high school experience. I was the director of senior-freshmen class relations as well as the vice president of my senior class. In this position, I gained a lot of experience dealing with administrative officials on making meaningful changes happen. As AAC Chair, I bring proven leadership and effectiveness and will help to make Macalester one of the best liberal arts colleges in America again.

3. What are your goals if elected?
My main goal in office is to give students more information about the courses they sign up for in registration periods. Currently, it is difficult for students to decide what courses to take and which professors to go with. Under my chairmanship, this will change. I propose a comprehensive database of statistics on academic success rates in courses and professors be created and made available to all members of the Macalester community.

4. How would you describe your leadership style?
I’m an aggressive listening leader. I like to surround myself with experienced and proven leaders who have a lot of ideas for meaningful initiatives. During meetings, I facilitate conversation by having people present their ideas before I present my own so that all get the chance to have their voices heard, which also makes it difficult for people to not have ideas when we meet.

5. Is there anything you would change about MCSG? If so, how would you seek to achieve that?
I’d like to hear more from MCSG representatives. It seems that there aren’t a lot of opportunities to ask questions and hear the what they are working on unless you search hard for it. I would look to increase the transparency of the organization and reconnect the representatives with their classes.