MCSG Overseer: LB resolves to support students with disabilities

Lindsay Weber

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This week’s MCSG meeting, the last of the year, featured both the outgoing Legislative Body (LB) as well as newly elected members.

The LB began by voting on a resolution aiming to better support individuals with disabilities on campus. The resolution asks the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of the Provost, the Office of the President and the Board of Trustees to take steps to ensure Macalester’s campus be more welcoming and accessible to those with disabilities.

Financial Affairs Committee (FAC) member Jason Kohn ’20 motioned to re-open discussion on the resolution. The motion passed.

“We request that these offices begin an internal dialogue over the summer and offer a response to MCSG during the fall semester,” the amendment read. “This is happening at the end of the year, and it would be very easy for there to be no follow through,” Kohn said. “I want to include a line mentioning that the goal of this resolution is to open a dialogue between MCSG and administration, and we would ask that the people that this is being presented to report back to MCSG in the fall.”

Several LB members raised concerns about the request for a response at the beginning of the fall semester. The resolution would technically be non-binding, meaning that the administration is not obligated to follow-up with the LB.

MCSG staff advisor and Associate Dean of Students Andrew Wells suggested that assigning an LB member to follow up with administration would be more effective than expecting the administration to take the lead.

“Things slow down [in the summer], because it’s the only time any of us can step away from campus,” Wells said.

Other students raised questions about the request for the administration to follow up on their own after the summer.

“It feels awkward to put [a requirement to follow up] in the resolution,” Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) member Garrett Schoonover ‘19 said. AAC member Ryan Perez ’20 motioned to change the addition to as follows: “We request that these offices begin an internal dialogue throughout the summer, if possible.”

The resolution, including Perez’s motion, passed.

Next, current AAC chair Kofi Ofosu ’19 and incoming AAC chair Natalie Luo ’20 presented several projects that the AAC has worked on over the past academic year.

Luo shared that the GSAT bill, which gives students the opportunity to apply for funding to cover costs for graduate school exams, has been successful with 39 unique responses this semester.

The agenda allocated the last 15 minutes of this final MCSG meeting to reflections from students about their experiences in MCSG this year. Several students shared their thoughts on MCSG’s progress over years and their hopes for MCSG in the future.

“I’m really thankful for this space,” Community and Engagement Officer and Vice President-elect Fatiya Kedir ’21 said. “Everyone has very similar intentions and wants to make Macalester a better place for everyone, and we have gotten a lot done, even though a lot of the student body hasn’t seen it.”