Macalester elects MCSG executive board in close race

Ruth+Stricker+Dayton+Campus+Center.+Photo+by+Malcolm+Cooke+%2721.

Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center. Photo by Malcolm Cooke ’21.

Oliver Soglin, Staff Writer

In last week’s MCSG Executive Board election, Shreya Nagdev ’22 was elected President, Jordanella Maluka ’23 was elected Vice President and Student Services and Relations Committee (SSRC) Chair and Alex Ang ’22 was elected Program Board Chair. 

Nagdev is the current MCSG Vice-President/SSRC and is planning to improve MCSG transparency next year, including by holding open forum LB meetings, where all students would have the opportunity to speak on issues important to them.

“Students would come and just kind of talk at us,” Nagdev said. “They could say what’s on their minds in a constructive, singular place.” Nagdev also addressed the closeness of the election; she defeated Student Organizations Committee (SOC) member Junior Class Rep. Ayana Smith-Kooiman by just 10 votes.

“It of course impacts who I want involved in the conversation, I want Ayana involved, she has a vital voice in MCSG and on campus,” Nagdev said. “But it doesn’t impact how I plan on being as President. I’m fully confident in my role and that I was elected. I don’t feel like I didn’t get enough.” Nagdev also expressed appreciation for the closeness of the race.

“Landslides are kind of boring,” Nagdev said. “It just shows that Macalester is opinionated and I want to hear all of it.”

Ang is a current Program Board member and served as the interim chair during the spring 2020 semester. One of Ang’s goals for next year is to collaborate more with student organizations.

“Students are the experts here,” Ang wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly. “We have the resources, and we would like to give that to students who have big ideas about programming and want to create communities on campus.” 

Ang is confident that, despite the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Program Board will be successful in the fall.

“Our success with events this year have given us the confidence to move forward with virtual and hybrid events next year,” Ang wrote. “We are approaching this year with optimism and having back up plans in case things don’t go the way we plan.”

Unlike Nagdev and Ang, Maluka has not previously served in MCSG. She decided to run for Vice President after reflecting on the gap between her words and her actions.

“I have all these ideas and say all these things, but am I really taking action? No,” Maluka said. “I wanted to do things about what I was seeing and not just be passive, I wanted to be active.” 

Maluka also addressed the broadness of her platform, which eschewed specific policy points in favor of general goals of improving campus community and culture and increasing MCSG transparency.

“A lot of people asked me, ‘Why didn’t you have like 10 different agenda points saying you’ll do this, this and this,” Maluka said. “But I think being a great leader isn’t about just having points on a list, but it’s really about creating community and culture.” 

Despite her lack of experience, Maluka is confident that she will be able to acclimate quickly to MCSG.

“I have been in leadership before, I know what a great leader is, I’m sure I’ll be able to adapt,” Maluka said. “I have good connections with people already in MCSG, so I’m going to talk to people already there — especially people that started in MCSG late to learn how they navigated that process.”

The student body also elected new chairs of the MCSG Legislative Body Committees. Tom Liu ’24 was elected chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, Henry Bump ’23 was elected chair of the Financial Affairs Committee and Alexandra O’Farrell ’22 was elected chair of the SOC. All three candidates ran unopposed.

781 individual students voted across all elections. The junior class was the most represented with 240 voters and the senior class the least with 136 voters. 177 first-years and 228 sophomores voted. 

The filing period for Class Representative elections is expected to begin in late March or early April.

 

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