MCSG Overseer: Mac Republicans debate continues

MCSG Overseer: Mac Republicans debate continues

This week’s MCSG meeting began with the return of Anthony Palma ’22, who’s efforts to charter a new conservative student organization was rejected last week.

Palma read a prepared statement and began by apologizing for some of the comments he has made during the charter process.

“I want to apologize for the things I said in the Mac Weekly,” Palma said. “I think I said what I felt but it was not consistent with who I am. It’s not up to the standards to which I’m holding myself.” 

Palma did, however, criticize the LB for what he felt was a lack of respect shown to him during  the debate at last week’s meeting.

“What you said last meeting and what those individuals continue to say every single day deeply affects me and continues to hurt me,” Palma said. “To think that this group believes these actions are acceptable because it happened to someone not like them is very disturbing to me.” 

Palma concluded with a call to action for members of the LB.

“I challenge each and every one of you to engage in dialogue with someone who you do not agree with and who you would not normally converse with,” Palma said. “And when you have that discussion, challenge their ideas and not the worth of the person.”

Palma then left the room, and the LB discussed how they can adjust their behavior to ensure that during future debates, guests feel accepted into the space. First-year Rep. Josh Groven ’23 encouraged the LB to be specific and avoid ambiguous language.

“I would request that people be really specific about what they’re talking about,” Groven said, “Otherwise we’re just dancing around these vague ideas.”

Karinna Gerhardt ’20 suggested defining a specific line that LB members won’t cross in discussions, to make sure the body has a shared definition of what is appropriate.

“I think that this conversation would strongly benefit if we had some language that we have communally agree on what line we won’t cross when speakers come in,” Gerhardt said, “I think whatever we decide is fine but we need to decide, otherwise everyone has their own interpretations.” 

The LB concluded the discussion without taking any specific actions.

Members of the ad-hoc committee on election code revision then presented their work. The LB voted down a motion to include publicly-funded elections in the new code, which would’ve allowed the LB to give money to candidates to purchase campaign materials. They approved a measure prohibiting candidates from spending private money on campaigns.  Candidates will still be allowed to produce campaign materials using free resources like the Idea Lab, but will not be allowed to spend their own money. The committee will bring the revised code to the LB for final approval at a future meeting.

The LB then moved to a discussion of improving student access to MCSG, and increasing awareness of what they do. The LB made plans to coordinate with Macalester’s communications department on highlighting MCSG social media pages and discussed the importance of LB member’s publicizing MCSG through word of mouth.

Shosuke Noma ’23 proposed livestreaming LB meetings on the MCSG Instagram account, which they’ll begin doing next week.