After a year and a half of virtual meetings and remote operation, Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) is back in-person. On the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 7, MCSG held its first in-person meeting since March 2020 in the Weyerhaeuser Boardroom. 22 students attended the meeting as well as MCSG advisor Laurie Adamson, Director of the Office of Student Leadership & Engagement.
After beginning the meeting with a land acknowledgement read by Vice President Jordanella Maluka ’23 and an icebreaker for members to introduce themselves, Shreya Nagdev ’22 spoke about her role as the current MCSG President and emphasized the opportunities for student input within committee, faculty and administration meetings.
“I get to hear what they [faculty, administration, and trustees] have to say and push things that students want. It’s also a really good way to build connections so if you have things you want to bring to the board, let me know because I can give those to other students who sit on board committees and we can slide those things into meetings,” Nagdev said. “They’re not just a group that sits in a tower who no one hears from. We have people who get to talk to them at every meeting.”
With the 2021-22 academic year entering its first full week and new members joining the legislative body, the meeting also covered MCSG protocols and procedures, presented by sophomore class representative Bobby Pennington ’24. Among other things, Pennington covered the board, councils and committees within MCSG, the process of raising motions and voting, the quorum attendance requirements for voting and etiquette during meetings.
“We will deliberate a lot, but that does not mean we will argue,” Pennington said. “Keep things civil, keep things kind, but also speak up. We want to hear your voices. We’re a community with shared goals and we will collaborate to work towards those goals. What you see here tonight is just the start of it.”
Two vacancies for interim chairs of the Financial Affairs and Student Organizations Committees (FAC and SOC) prompted the first vote of the academic year, with interim chairs expected to serve in their roles until the current election for the positions concludes. Nagdev appointed Rebecca Gentry ’23 and Karsten Beling ’22 as interim FAC chair and interim SOC chair, respectively. After hearing brief speeches from Gentry and Beling on why they are the right picks for their positions, the legislative body voted them in without opposition.
Looking ahead to the rest of fall semester and onward to spring, MCSG has a busy schedule planned. Throughout the fall, members will be working towards debating on and finalizing an omnibus bill as well as evaluating new student organizations and interest groups for approval. In the spring, members will review and revise the financial code and allocate the collective student activity fee for the following academic year.
For now, a number of MCSG positions are up-for-grabs in the current election. Nagdev encouraged members to tell their friends and others in the student body to apply for first-year and junior class representatives, FAC Chair and SOC Chair. The filing period ends on Thursday, September 9 at 10 a.m. and the link to file is in the MCSG linktree as well as in the email from MCSG Election Procedures Commission sent out to class lists.
“If Rebecca [Gentry] wins her election for FAC chair, the juniors will have three representatives, which is not great if we want this body to represent the school. Encourage your junior friends to run [and] encourage people to apply to campus committees,” Nagdev said. “The more people run, the better the election is. These are really powerful positions. We want to have someone who’s passionate to be there.”