Spring MCSG elections see low filing and low turnout


Kamini Ramakrishna, News Editor

On April 13, the Election Procedures Commission (EPC) announced the winners of the most recent Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) election via email. Following the executive board election this past February, which was delayed due to numerous violations, this election saw a lack of students running for positions.

[One] reason [for this] is because the previous set of elections lacked a lot of compassion overall, and when something like that happens it is really hard to put yourself out there and open yourself up to that kind of thing,” MCSG President Shreya Nagdev ’22 wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly.

Nagdev also attributed the lower number of candidates to the fact that MCSG members are not currently compensated for their work, which means that students, especially those from low-income backgrounds, are less motivated to participate. 

Ghaïcha Aboubacar Ahe ’24, who was elected diversity and inclusion officer, believes that fatigue and burnout from two years of the COVID-19 pandemic could be at play as well. Aboubacar Ahe explained that first-years and sophomores are generally more hopeful than their upperclassmen counterparts. As such, they were overall more interested than the latter in running for a MCSG position during this past election. 

The class of 2025 had the greatest voter turnout, with 727 votes total. While voter turnout was lower amongst the other positions, candidates expressed confidence in their new roles.

“The amount of people that voted for me really made me excited and encouraged,” Aboubacar Ahe said. “I’m the only person here who has [the] certain identities I have. And I think there are things that I would like to see as an individual that should center around these people or these groups or to specific individuals … I think that makes it easier for me to shape this even though I haven’t seen a lot done on this role before and I honestly didn’t know what other people previously did.”

Nagdev emphasized that joining MCSG is a great way for students to fix the problems they see with Macalester and take part in creating the future that they want to see.

“This year was really hard because everything at this school was in transition: senior staff, MCSG advising and many other departments,” Nagdev wrote. “Because of that, for me the year revolved around building relationships for next year, which means that the future of MCSG really depends on keeping those relationships strong. We do not have shared governance of the college, and therefore all our power rests in relationships we have, which allows us to apply pressure or [to] work other departments to effect change.” 

Aboubacar Ahe also spoke to the importance of being a member of MCSG.

“I think this is a great place to just have more open doors and make small impacts,” Aboubacar Ahe said. “Even though you might consider them small, they’re gonna be huge.”

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