MCSG Observer: LB prepares for upcoming events

MCSG Observer: LB prepares for upcoming events

Cal Martinez and Lexington Smith

 On Tuesday, Jan. 24, Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) met in the Harmon Room of the DeWitt Wallace Library to discuss spring semester initiatives, such as class nights and other community engagement opportunities. 

The meeting began with a land acknowledgement from Speaker of the Legislative Body (LB) Austin Wu ’23. The LB welcomed three members back from their study away: William Wentworth ’24, who ran on a ticket with Ellen Patrickson ’24; Ikran Noor ’24, who ran on a ticket with Emma Kopplin ’24 and Eric Yu ’24, who ran on a ticket with Mariah Loeffler-Kemp ’24. 

Following, MCSG President Bobbie Pennington ’24 shared updates regarding potential plans for the spring semester. Pennington praised the LB for the work they did last semester and encouraged them to consider how they might showcase their accomplishments from the last semester. A newsletter of these achievements will be compiled. 

Vice President Mathilda Barr ’25 reminded the group that MCSG will hold their spring semester retreat on Saturday, Feb. 4. The retreat will involve strategic planning and bonding as a group. 

The discussion then turned to the Jan. 24 class night event. Barr explained that, traditionally, students in each class year are invited to separate class nights, but this semester, Class Night was planned as one event for all classes. The Executive Board did much of the logistical planning for Class Night at the meeting.

“We want all of you guys, as class reps, to take the lead in thinking about what’s going to happen tonight,” Barr said. “We’ve got the details, we’ve got the place, we’ve got the food, but we need to figure out what the event is, what you guys are going to be doing, because it is your event at the end of the day, and you guys are the people who are responsible for engaging with your classes.”

The LB then split into groups by class year to discuss potential Class Night activities and plans. First-year representatives discussed connecting with their constituents by addressing common concerns that first-years may face.

“We can at least provide a safe space for people to vent how they feel,” first-year representative Willow Albano ’26 said. “I feel like a lot of [the] first-year community is mad about the first-year stuff.”

The first-years also discussed transparency and the amount of information given to students, especially first-years.

“There’s a lack of transparency,” representative Alec Chen ’26 said. “Students complain about Cafe Mac, but if you understand how Cafe Mac works, you understand why things are done the way they are.”

Sophomore representatives brainstormed potential activities for the night. Representative Cooper Glick ’25 suggested that games could be a possible avenue to gain constituent feedback.

“You’ve hooked them in with a game, and then you’re like ‘so, what are your feelings on student government? How can we improve? What are the issues that matter to you?’” Glick said.

The junior representatives began their discussion by listing potential games and activities to get student voices more involved with MCSG. They decided on setting out a large piece of paper and markers for students to write their semester goals, things they like about Macalester and things they wish to improve.

In discussing potential areas for improvement, the juniors brought up the prices connected to online platforms utilized in the language department. Textbooks and access codes average $200 a class and the lack of grants or financial aid options make languages inaccessible to many.

Conversation among senior representatives turned to the general disposition of the senior class. They considered that many seniors would be more interested in catching up with friends than having a centralized activity.

Afterwards, the LB transitioned into short committee meetings to plan for the upcoming semester and concluded the meeting with announcements from committee chairs.

Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) chair Joel Sadofsky ’25 shared that the AAC plans on inviting Ann Minnick, Director of Academic Programs and Advising, and Timothy Traffie, Registrar, to a future MCSG meeting. Sustainability Officer Shaherazade Khan ’23 announced that Megan Butler has been appointed as the Sustainability Director.

The meeting concluded with Executive Board announcements. Sadofsky shared that there is an available representative position on the Educational Policy and Governance Committee (EPAG). This committee’s work pertains to issues such as registering for classes and other forms of access to education.

Finally, Pennington reminded the LB about the candidates’ forum. At 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26, MCSG held a candidates’ forum in the John B. Davis Lecture Hall to familiarize the student body with the candidates running for Community Engagement Officer and Student Organization Committee (SOC) chair. These elections will be uncontested, meaning that only one person is running for each position.

Pennington also recommended that representatives develop a more active presence in student organizations and athletic events. “It’s great for people to know that MCSG members are [attending athletic events], even if you’re not there in an official capacity,” Pennington said. “It’s great for people to know that we’re getting out into the Mac community.” 

[email protected]

[email protected]