LB votes on Election Code and bylaws, talks student org budgeting

LB votes on Election Code and bylaws, talks student org budgeting

Lexington Smith, Staff Writer

This article is a reprint from The Mac Weekly’s Friday, March 24, 2023 issue. Due to previous inaccuracies in our reporting, the editorial board has decided to issue corrections in the form of an updated article to ensure that our readers receive the most in-depth, factual reporting. We thank the MCSG Executive Board for their assistance in correcting this article.

On Tuesday, March 20, Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) met in Room 206 of the DeWitt Wallace Library to vote on bylaw amendments regarding recent constitutional changes and to outline finances for annual student organizations budgets. 

Following the land acknowledgment, Chief of Staff Ryan Connor ’25 introduced Eliora Hansonbrook ’25 from the Strategic Planning and Analysis Committee to give a short presentation about the upcoming academic year. Hansonbrook informed the Legislative Body (LB) that Macalester has been looking into the college’s academic calendar, as well as those of other schools, in an attempt to craft an ideal schedule. This conversation included the idea of adding days to the semester that will act as wellness days.

Discussion regarding this structural change has been ongoing between faculty and administration and remains subject to change. As mentioned by Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) Chair Joel Sadofsky ’25, different ideas have previously been considered. 

“I know that there have been murmurs throughout various strategic planning sessions and such of a four-day workweek and just rethinking the actual order to make things more flexible,” Sadofsky said.

Hansonbrook explained that a survey open to students and staff showed that, while the four-day model was popular among students, it was not widely accepted by faculty members. However, the idea has not been turned down entirely. Feedback from this discussion, student surveys and faculty conversations is being collected in a document that will be revised and sent to President Suzanne Rivera and undergo final approval. 

After, Student Organizations Committee (SOC) Chair Eric Yu ’24 introduced the Macalester Pre-Dental Society charter, which the LB passed unanimously. 

Speaker of the LB Austin Wu ’23 then went over Constitutional Bylaw and Election Code edits to be voted on by the LB. Following the recently amendended MCSG Constitution, which dissolved the Student Services and Relations Committee (SSRC) and established the Communications and Engagement Committee (CEC) and the Cabinet, the Bylaw Bill proposed more structural changes that MCSG had previously discussed. The Bylaw Bill defined and established specific liaisons to give attention to varying aspects of student life. The LB passed this bill unanimously.

The LB unanimously passed a motion amending section 3.1, point 1A of MCSG’s election code, which allowed for more candidates to run on a split ticket ballot for certain positions. More information can be found in their election code.

Sophomore representative Tristan Niedzielski ’25 opened the discussion regarding section 3.1 of the Election Code and argued in favor of the split ticket updates, which allow individuals to run for the positions of AAC Chair, SOC Chair and the newly created CEC Chair on a split ticket. Niedzielski explained that this makes it so that students are able to continue their involvement with MCSG, even if they decide to participate in a study away program. They also believe that this is a good opportunity to increase engagement and explore a new policy. 

The idea was opened up for feedback and some issues were raised regarding transitions. 

“We’ve seen a lot of turnover in MCSG in the middle of the year this year and we’ve seen some of the issues that can cause in terms of getting things done,” Wu said. “It just becomes uncommunicative and then you’ve got a really rough transition.” 

Contrary to the issues that arose during the discussion, the motion to pass section 3.1 of the Election Code was approved with 13 in favor, three opposed and one abstaining. 

Transitioning to the review for annual organization budgets, Financial Affairs Committee Chair Heaji Kang ’23 shared a slideshow containing student organizations asking for over $4,000. Students from each of the following orgs presented to the LB explaining why the money was necessary: Adelante!, Asian Pacific Islander Desi Americans (APIDA), Black Liberation Affairs Committee (BLAC), Climbing Club, Latinx Student Union (LSU), Mac Slams, Macalester Association for South Asian Ethnic and Cultural Awareness (MASECA), MCSG, Mac First Aid, Habitat for Humanity, Hegemonocle, Macalester Jewish Organization (MJO), Model UN, Muslim Student Association (MSA) and Macalester West Coast Swing Dance Club. 

In total, student organizations are requesting $229,518.87 throughout the 2023-24 school year. 

Following the budget presentation, Kang shared a reminder that Budget Bonanza happened last weekend

Sadofsky then discussed the Open Education Month event about open-access textbooks, which took place on Thursday, March 30 at 12 p.m. in the Harmon Room of the DeWitt Wallace Library. 

Pennington also informed the group about the Lunch with the Presidents event, which took place on Wednesday, March 29, and he encouraged LB members to get their friends involved, as this lunch allows students to engage with Rivera and Pennington simultaneously. The signup sheet was in the Mac Daily this week. 

Lastly, it was announced that Orientation Leader (OL) applications were extended until March 31 and come with a $100 stipend. Information about the position is available in the Mac Daily. 


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