LB discusses judicial board, omnibus bill

LB discusses judicial board, omnibus bill

Ari Pincus-Kazmar, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, the Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) met to confirm members of a new Judicial Council (JC), elect a new Speaker of the House and discuss the omnibus bill.

The meeting began with a statement from MCSG President Jordanella Maluka ’23, who addressed her recent absence from office.

“First and foremost I just want to thank you all for being great leaders,” Maluka said. “I’m really sorry if my absence has caused any of your work not to be done … Regarding moving forward, we’re still in conversation with the Executive Board and we’ll update you about next steps.”

Afterwards, the Legislative Body (LB) heard from Associate Dean of Students and former MCSG advisor Andrew Wells about the appointment of members to the recently formed JC. The JC is tasked with interpreting the MCSG bylaws and constitution in the event of an issue being brought to them. While this is rare, the JC may solve disputes involving elections, interpersonal conflicts, attendance matters and more. 

Wells nominated Laith Alayassa ’24, Jewell Kerr ’23 and Ingrid Salvador ’23 for the JC and explained his confidence in his nominations.

“I’m happy to report that the three students I’m nominating today are in good standing in every form and fashion,” Wells said. “All three are either current or former RAs or orientation leaders, or are members of campus committees of prominence.”

MCSG confirmed the motion to approve the nominees unanimously.

The floor was then given to the two candidates for Speaker of the House, Tor Olsson ’25 and Austin Wu ’23, to make their speeches. Olsson’s speech emphasized communication between the LB and the Executive Board.

“One of the main roles of the Speaker is to make sure all of you know what’s going on,” he said. “I really care about transparency between the board and MCSG … That means individualized check-ins with all of you.”

Olsson also criticized MCSG’s apparent lack of preparedness during meetings, saying that members often seem unprepared for votes. He proposed instituting consensus checks before votes.

Wu, who is now serving his fourth year as a representative on MCSG, focused on efficiency and effectiveness, claiming that the Speaker’s job is to ensure that each meeting continues moving without interruption.

“[As speaker] it’s my job to facilitate discussion, it’s my job to make sure that everything runs smoothly and efficiently,” Wu said. “I just want to get through meetings in an efficient manner and make sure there’s clear communication.”

The LB elected Wu to be the Speaker for the year. 

Although MCSG had planned on voting on the omnibus bill at this meeting, a motion was introduced and approved to postpone voting until Oct. 4.

The omnibus bill would introduce changes to how MCSG meetings are run, focusing on simplification for all members. Specifically, there may be a change in the decision-making protocol for the LB. The bill also resolves confusion about the responsibilities of the Secretary and Chief of Staff, as well as the vagueness between the positions of Community Engagement Officer and Media and Outreach Coordinator.

Additionally, the bill includes changes to how MCSG would handle indefinite absences in the Executive Board. If approved, the JC would be granted the ability to remove board members if they are found to not be completing their duties. Similarly, some changes would alter how the vice president would take the office of president in the event of their absence or inability to complete their term.

Changes to the election code would generally relax timelines for sending out ballots and scheduling election events such as debates. According to MCSG Vice President Bobbie Pennington ’24, these changes have been written to accommodate for any unseen circumstances.

Other announcements of the meeting include the opening of campus committee applications, as well as funding approval for a Peace Day event.

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