MSCG Overseer: Protest interest survey, Open Pantry plan to start

The conflict surrounding the protest bus Program Board (PB) proposed at the beginning of the semester was seemingly resolved at the most recent meeting of the Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) Legislative Body (LB).

PB chair Olivia Doe ’18 showed off a Facebook survey that will be sent out to the student body by today or Monday of next week. Simple questions such as “which issues do people want to protest for?” with a write-in response option will be used to elicit the necessary information concerning the topic and timing of the protests in the most inclusive way possible.

The LB gave special attention to the various action plans conceived by the issue-based and executive officers, like Diversity and Inclusion Officer Chris Mendoza’s ’17 plan for a “reverse ESL” program.

“It’s important to celebrate linguistic pluralism, and [a] good way to start this is to engage with immigrant languages in [the] Twin Cities like Hmong, Somali and Spanish,” said Mendoza.

The Student Services and Relations Committee has a plan to start an Open Pantry, which will give students facing financial hardship access to basic necessities.

In further efforts to encourage the Board of Trustees to divest from private oil and gas partnerships, the LB approved Sustainability Officer Collin Dobie’s ’19 revised resolution calling for a moratorium on those partnerships.

In preparation for Sexual Violence Prevention Month, Community Engagement Officer Rachel Ladd ’17 explained the CEC’s plan to highlight awareness via an audiovisual art project combining the handprints and recorded statements of survivors of sexual violence.

Sophomore rep Andy Han ’19 gave a presentation updating cabinet members and the legislative body* on the Book Bank, a space that has existed since last spring in the IGC, and now is on the second floor of the Campus Center* where students can donate or pick up books (mostly textbooks) with no charge. Since its establishment, over 300 books have been collected and around 130 have been taken by students.

Han ended the night by addressing the problem of the majority of the student body not being aware of what MCSG was, or even what the acronym stood for. His suggestions of changes in image, meeting structure and the addition of a media campaign manager were discussed briefly, but he said he left assured that this topic would be taken up again at next week’s meeting.

*in the print version, it was not mentioned that the presentation was given to cabinet members as well, or that the Book Bank had moved to the second floor of the CC.