On Tuesday, April 19, the Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) met to review and vote on the financial code for the 2022-23 school year and the charter of a new film club. The Legislative Body (LB) also provided an update to the discussion around transparency for the board of trustees.
The meeting opened with a presentation from Eliora Hansonbrook ’25 on behalf of the proposed Mac Film Club. The main discussion centered around the difference between the new club and the already-existing Mac Pics club. In the end, the LB voted to approve the charter by a large majority.
Next, the meeting turned to the revisions of the financial code for the 2022-23 school year. Financial Affairs Committee (FAC) Chair Rebecca Gentry ’23 opened the floor to any questions regarding the edits to the financial code. The LB discussed various aspects of the financial code, including funding for campus committees. FAC doesn’t fund committees, only student organizations.
The revisions such as increases in off the top funds to various student organizations as well as the wording of certain clauses. The financial code was approved unanimously by the LB.
Next, MCSG President Shreya Nagdev ’22 provided an update to the conversation, continued from last week, about transparency for the board of trustees. Tor Olsson ’25 will also be presenting to the board briefly at their upcoming meeting about transparency in order to jump-start the conversation. The presentation would allow the board time to think about furthering board transparency to the student body over the summer and then potentially make changes when they meet again in October 2022.
Vice President and Chair of the Student Services and Relations Committee (SSRC) Jordanella Maluka ’23 reminded the LB about the student survey that SSRC had sent out to the student body in order to plan what MCSG will focus on next year. The results will be presented at next week’s meeting.
The LB then moved into the open floor announcements section of the meeting where anyone could share announcements. Nagdev announced that the application for liaison to the board of trustees was released Wednesday, April 20 and is only open to rising seniors. She also reminded the LB that campus committee applications closed on April 21.
Community Engagement Officer Ayana Smith-Kooiman ’22 provided a general update to the LB. She discussed how the new Hunger Free campus bill is in the beginning stages within the Minnesota State Senate by finding an author and will hopefully pass sometime in the coming year. She also raised the topic of further engaging the student body in the upcoming academic year.
Next, representative Joel Sadofsky ’25 updated the LB on the Academic Affairs Committee (AAC). He reminded everyone that the AAC will be hosting their Finals Coffee and Donut event on Friday, April 29 at noon.
Representative Eric Yu ’24 briefly provided an update from the Student Organizations Committee (SOC) about their approval of the aforementioned Mac Film Club. The SOC also decided to push voting on some new student organizations to next semester to give them time to finish writing their charters.
Jonah Wexler ’23* briefly mentioned that he and other students met with the Dean of Students Kathryn Kay Coquemont on behalf of IfNotNow, a student organization aimed towards ending American Jewish support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. He said important progress was being made on behalf of Jewish students on campus based on some complaints raised to the organization a few weeks ago in regard to the new Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA) definition of antisemitism adopted by the LB in December as well as antisemitic posters appearing on campus in January.
Maluka then discussed the SSRC conversations with the Laurie Hamre Center for Health and Wellness and their efforts to provide free menstrual health products in every bathroom on campus.
Diversity and Inclusion Officer Sheida Rashidi Ardestani ’24 spoke to the LB about the situation of summer housing for international students and said it is not being properly addressed by anyone on campus or on MCSG. She told everyone that the situation is serious and MCSG needs to have this conversation in order to help international students at Macalester, especially those who have no way of going home for the summer vacation. Heaji Kang ’23 also explained that low-income students and upperclassmen, too, are affected by the lack of housing.
Nagdev and sophomore representative Anna Sène ’24 promised to invite people who could help address this issue to the next meeting of MCSG.
At the close of the meeting, Nagdev announced that the next LB meeting –the last of the year– will be in person but also have a hybrid option if needed. Because it is an informal wrap-up meeting, it will not be covered by The Mac Weekly.
*Jonah Wexler is an opinion editor for The Mac Weekly