MCSG Overseer: Budget deadlines lead conversation, ITS update

Malaika Rosenfeld

Shortened by an hour out of respect for those who wished to attend the Seder, this week’s MCSG meeting was brief but nonetheless left legislative body (LB) members feeling disgruntled. Owing to last week’s contentious debate over whether or not orgs that had submitted their budgets late should be allowed to appeal, the topic came up again in the hope that a debrief on conversation surrounding the subject would help the LB process their opinions for a vote in the last week of the semester.

One of the problems repeatedly brought up by various members was the ambiguity and lack of structure in the rules about submitting budgets. Chief of Staff Matt O’Brien ’19 suggested that a bill be written creating an official time stamp for the submissions each year. MCSG Advisor Joan Maze said she felt that the FAC had not been well-supported in their efforts last week during the appeals and countered that such a standard would simply not be feasible for those administering the process. FAC member Henry Kellison ’17 gave an insider’s view of the issue. He said that most financial decisions the LB makes result in allocating additional funds throughout the year, making it seem like there is no end to the finances they can provide. He suggested one thing the LB could try to do is be more open about what the budget looks like so that when cuts happen, they don’t come as a surprise.

An unofficial consensus was finally reached when Ariana Hones ’18 and Suveer Daswani ’18 suggested that the LB only consider appeals from orgs who submitted late on the original budget deadline, Friday, March 10 .

In other news, the meeting kicked off with an update from ITS about recent mishaps with the Google Drive server and of coming changes that will happen over the summer and in the next academic year concerning the Macalester wifi network, usernames and passwords. Most significantly, in the true spirit of Associate Director of ITS David Sisk, ITS will ask students to change their password once a year and to create them with a 12-character-long combination of letters and numbers.

Program Board’s (PB) Olivia Doe ’18 brought an update on the upcoming Springfest events. In the case of rain, it will be held in the Leonard Center fieldhouse; PB’s shirt tie-dye event this past Monday had to be rescheduled due to inclement weather conditions.

This Thursday (April 20) will feature the trial run of Macalester’s first-ever Open Pantry event in the basement of Kagin. Organized by the Student Services and Relations Committee, this all-day drop-in event is an opportunity to provide basic needs resources for students. The event will dispense non-perishable food items, menstrual pads, and other items that the Health and Wellness Center is no longer able to provide. While $300 has been allocated to purchase all items, donations are also welcome. Additionally, Mac Public Interest Research Group wants to gather leftover foodstuffs from local businesses, in a show of community support of the initiative. If all goes well, the plan is to host an Open Pantry every other week in the coming years.