MCSG passes reform of bylaws

At this Tuesday’s Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) meeting, Student Body President Ian Calaway ’16’s reforming goals finally came to fruition with the unanimous passing of the Omnibus Bill.

The Omnibus bill, in Calaway’s words, was “a reaffirmation of the existing bylaws. So we changed things that are inconsistent with it to make it more clear and [to] overall make it reflect what we actually do versus what we thought we were supposed to do five years ago.”

The bill’s progress was delayed last week when the Legislative Body (LB) tabled the bill after discovering the version they were working with wasn’t up to date with all the amendments that passed last year. The bylaws Calaway and other members had been editing lacked an amendment that changed the Elections Procedures Commission (EPC) and proper formatting in the amendment that absorbed the Student Athletics Advisory Committee (SAAC) into MCSG.

Following the update, the reformers were able to cut down the bylaws into content specific sections.

Calaway said, “So we have the core bylaws and that pertains exactly to MCSG and what our duties are, then we also have like media policy and that pertains to responsibilities and rules for orgs in media, things like WMCN and The Mac Weekly that sort of thing, and then we also have the EPC policy.”

The bill did not go unquestioned or discussed though. The new status of the SAAC as part of the MCSG led to questions about how SAAC would be funded and how often SAAC representatives should be required to attend LB meetings.

Academic Affairs Committee Chair Caroline Duncombe ’18 wondered whether the new attendance requirement of once a month were excessive for SAAC representatives. Calaway explained that he felt having SAAC representatives attend LB meetings once a month was important to their transition into MCSG and for the representation they provided for student athletes in the meetings.

“The reason behind this is because we have sort of campus committee people come in to MCSG once a semester, and now that the SAAC’s been integrated into MCSG, I think it’s more important to have that connection. Additionally, I think the benefit of that overall is, I don’t know what the statistic is of what percentage of Macalester students are varsity athletes, but that percentage is not represented well in this community. So I think by sort of having that in there and having somebody come and make sure we’re not ignoring that community would be important.”

“As part of SAAC, I personally feel it’s very necessary once a month. Just putting that out there” First-Year Class Representative Carl Liu ’19 said. There was also a question about creating a more concrete job description for the Sustainability Officer position. Calaway explained that the job description would be better defined after the current and inaugural Sustainability Officer Gordy Moore ’17 was able to reflect on the position.

With all the questions answered and the discussion, concluded the bill was passed unanimously by LB’s 23 members. The topic concluded with Junior Class Representative and Parliamentarian Luke Bower ’17 congratulating Calaway on the bill’s passage.

“I just want to give major props to Ian for doing all this work. The bylaws were a major mess last year. Well, not a major mess, but they were kind of difficult in some areas,” Bower said. “It took a while and obviously there’s been a lot of effort put into this, so I’m glad it worked out and thanks to Ian for doing it. Ian and company.”

The meeting then moved on to suspend the newly updated election procedures of the bylaws so that the senior class could fill the two vacated representative spots. The suspension of the election procedures will allow the election to fill both positions and extend the filing period to this Saturday, Oct. 11 at 11:59 p.m.


Agenda items from the Oct 6 MCSG meeting

  • Approved Community Chest request for $1,917 from the Asian American Power Collective for “Asian Americans for collective liberation: our (hi)stoires and struggles building solidarity with Black liberation”.
  • Approved additional allocation request by MCSG for $1,400 for funding for their external review.
  • Approved Climbing Club budget of $2,700.
  • Approved the selection of Tess van Schepen ’16 as Resources Planning Committee Chair.