Statement from Fatiya Kedir

Fatiya Kedir, Contributing Writer

For the full context of this statement, please see our coverage of the MCSG election.

This campus has failed us. I want to make a statement not because I want to take space, because I am not a victim in this conversation, but because I am frustrated by Macalester and want to support those voices not heard. In respect for their privacy, I will not be using any specific names, however, these are not only names but members of the Macalester community. We are not as perfect or as tolerant as we would like to think; I see that and I hope everyone else knows that. These recent developments at Macalester, the ones that surround the MCSG election, represent conversations about topics such as race and sexual assault that is vital at Macalester… however not like this. By taking fundamentally great and systemic issues, and decreasing it to unsupported and personally harmful accusations, we are harming everyone involved in those specific instances as well as taking away from the essential conversations and people working to end those systemic inequalities. There are people affected by these conversations, stories complex in weight, and topics that are international in reach that most of us have not heard; whether it is now or years later, please listen.

In regards to MCSG and this election; we have and can do more. The Macalester College Student Government isn’t a perfect body with unrestricted power. I have been in this body for three years as of right now and am the first to state that. I would, however, like to note that we do have the ability to do many things and I truly wish people understand the purpose of the election and the body. We have access to approximately $500,000, several vital administrators, and plethora of passionate students from all aspects of life. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to focus on food and financial insecurity this semester; an issue that very much hit close to home and my background. We didn’t just speak about this topic in Weyerhaeuser Boardroom once a week but moved to expand and actually progress the conversation. Open Pantry is a space filled with snacks, meals, and daily necessities for all Macalester students to be able to use in face of food insecurity. It went from being open once a week, with $500 for the semester and opened once a week, to now having $7,000, opened three times a week and being used by about 213 students every week. Although I am frustrated, overwhelmed, and thinking about others during this time, I hope that members of Macalester see that if change is needed, it can be done. If you think Macalester can be better, please, please try to be part of this space or others and realize that you can impact your community and others.

Moving forward, I believe we can and will do better. Access and equity is and will be my focus; regardless of what role I may be in. My election opponent and many others were not just rivals but people who put themselves out there to make Macalester a stronger and better space. Although I’m disheartened by how terrible this election has become, the ideas brought up during the election should be notable moving forward. That is why I, alongside the other candidate for the presidential seat of MCSG, would like to establish a mental health committee, where we can ensure situations like these are taken care of in the best way. This is my promise to this campus. Continuing, I believe that programs like Open Pantry, like the transportation fund, like the a matching program for local internships, like subsidies for graduate schools, and so so many others will be continued, created, or expanded as we pass this election. I believe this campus has failed us because we have failed each other, however, we will do better. We have to.