MCSG, Coquemont hold shared governance info session


The Harmon Room. Photo by Rory Donaghy ’24

Kamini Ramakrishna, Editor-in-Chief

On Thursday, Nov. 10, Dean of Students Kathryn Kay Coquemont and members of Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) held an event discussing the roles of various bodies of leadership at Macalester and how they coalesce in shared governance.

Student liaison to the Board of Trustees Rebecca Gentry ’23 began the event by giving an overview of the Board of Trustees, highlighting its broad goals as a legislative body and the importance of bringing student voices in conversation with it. Gentry named committee liaisons, MCSG and The Mac Weekly as some ways to engage students with the Board.

Coquemont then delved into an introduction of Macalester’s senior leadership team, asking those in attendance to attempt to identify each one and afterwards explained their individual roles. She emphasized that senior leadership is not perfect and is open to student feedback. She also described her own role as Dean of Students as one that both advocates for and advises students.

MCSG President Bobbie Pennington ’24 explained the structure of MCSG and its role within shared governance at Macalester, noting that MCSG has individual campus committees that students can be a part of.

Gentry provided updates from the Board’s fall 2022 meetings. Highlights included a unanimous approval of the strategic plan, a more positive feeling amongst students and faculty and the ongoing Comprehensive Campus Plan, which includes the construction of a new dorm. Gentry emphasized that as a student liaison she wants to hear students’ concerns and bring them to the Board.

Gentry also mentioned the ongoing discussion regarding winter housing and how representatives from International Student Programs (ISP) spoke directly with trustees about it at the most recent mixer.

There was a brief Q&A session towards the end of the event. Anna Diagne Sène ’24 asked about the lack of senior leadership sessions this year. Last academic year, one of these sessions led to the planning of a student sit-in, and there have not been any scheduled yet this semester. Coquemont responded that she was unaware of any official commitment to such meetings and also emphasized her position as a middle ground between students and senior leadership as a way to increase transparency.

Sophomore class representative Tristan Niedzielski ’25 was present at the event. After the event, they spoke to the importance of holding sessions such as this one for the student body.

“I think it’s important for students who are new, namely the first-year and sophomore class, to really get a grasp of where decisions are being made, so that their voices can be heard because we see that there are issues on campus that aren’t being fully addressed,” Niedzielski said.

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