MCSG Overseer: Lockers in Link, Times subscription discussed

Margaret Moran

This week’s meeting of MCSG began with a proposal from AAC Member Andy Han ’19 of a bill to increase the number of student lockers in the Link, the space connecting the DeWitt Wallace Library and Old Main, from 30 to as many as 60.

The lockers are used by students with special needs or who live off campus; all 30 are currently in use. Han’s bill would allocate $3,000 to build up to 30 new lockers and provide locks.

“These lockers would definitely serve everyone, it’s not just the academic types,” SSRC member Fabian Bean ’18 said. “It also allows for a school-life balance, letting students keep their schoolwork on campus and preserve their wellbeing, not take their work home everyday… it’s a great service that we provide at a pretty nominal cost.”

The Legislative Body (LB) passed the bill. Han is working with Facilities Services and the library staff to make sure the new lockers are in service for the 2018-2019 academic year. The Link may soon be remodeled as well.

Following the presentation of this bill, SSRC Members Fabian Bean ’18 and Ikran Sheikh-Mursal ’20 presented the results of a student survey sent to Macalester students last month.

Unfortunately, because the survey only had a 306 responses and a 40 percent response rate, its quantifiable results are not statistically significant and could not be shared.

The SSRC could, however, share non-quantifiable takeaways from the responses collected. One finding was that, while a majority of respondents stated that they favor the provision of free menstrual products on campus, there must be a variety of products offered.

“For the question about whether we should offer tampons, pads, or menstrual cups, there were a lot of write-in responses,including, ‘different bodies prefer or require different approaches to menstruation.’” Bean said. “Providing tampons on campus is not a universal support solution, and we should have an all-encompassing approach to this.” Bean went on to present three sustainability bills – including a bill that would switch Macalester to an online-only The New York Times subscription.

“I think this would provide academic benefit to us, because people would have a media archive, and professors could incorporate that into their curriculum, and for media archival activities in classes,” Bean said. “The student activity fee could cover it – the paper subscription fee is around $10,900 and the online New York Times subscription costs $11,232.”

Relatedly, an overwhelming majority of students who responded to the SSRC survey stated that they would prefer an online-only subscription.

Bean also introduced Bill 0026, which would repeal the automatic rollover bill and see that funds allocated to but not spent by student organizations are re-allocated across different parts of MCSG.

Bean’s new bill would consolidate all MCSG surplus and let the LB allocate the unspent funds to the projects that they deem fit instead of adhering to the same surplus allocation percentages each year..

“The agency does also give us some freedom to initiate special programs should they arise; but mostly I want us to have direct agency over the excess funds that every one of us pays into,” Bean wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly. “It feels weird for them to just be a bonus for extra decorations or travel funds or whatever if we didn’t explicitly decide that those are our priorities through a vote.”

The meeting ended with a reminder from MCSG President Suveer Daswani that the LB will vote next week on the final budget for the 2018-2019 academic year.