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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

MCSG Observer: LB holds first meeting of the academic year

MCSG Observer: LB holds first meeting of the academic year

Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) convened in the Harmon Room of the DeWitt Wallace Library on Thursday, Sept. 14 for their first Legislative Body (LB) meeting of the academic year. Representatives introduced themselves, heard about changes to MCSG for this academic year and discussed with others in their class year.

The meeting began with a land acknowledgement delivered by Vice President Emma Kopplin ’24 and introductions facilitated by President Mariah Loeffler-Kemp ’24.

Kopplin then reminded representatives of new LB procedures. She explained that MCSG is now using different rules of order to guide the LB Speaker in meeting facilitation; it is primarily the responsibility of the LB Speaker, who will be appointed at a later date, to understand these guidelines. 

Kopplin shared that the LB Speaker will be selected following results of MCSG’s most recent elections. On Tuesday, Sept. 19, the Election Procedures Commission (EPC) released an email, announcing the election results. Mikayla Giehler ’24 was elected as the Student Organizations Committee (SOC) chair. Diarra Chartham ’27, Mahkai Hunt ’27 and Owen King ’27 were elected as first-year representatives. Aditya Choubal ’27 and AnLian Krishnamurthy ’27, who ran together on a split ticket, were also elected as first-year representatives. Sabine Sullivan ’25 was elected as a junior class representative, and Ellen Patrickson ’24 was elected as a senior class representative.

Following this, the Financial Affairs Committee (FAC) Chair Eliora Hansonbrook ’25 presented on how to interact with student organizations in their role as class representative. She specifically focused on communicating with orgs requesting funding from the LB, as student organizations requesting more than $4,000 in funding must receive LB approval in addition to FAC approval. Student organizations that were denied funding from FAC may appeal to the LB to request more funding. 

“This entire document could be brought down to, one, understand the financial code; two, understand what the org is and what they need to function as they should be and three, have compassion for the org,” Hansonbrook said.

Before moving to discuss the Fall 2023 omnibus bill, Loeffler-Kemp added that the best practices that Hansonbrook highlighted while discussing funding requests also apply to interacting with organizations when they attend LB meetings to get chartered. The SOC Chair is typically responsible for guiding organizations through the charter process. 

Loeffler-Kemp then explained that the omnibus bill allows MCSG to adjust their bylaws. Loeffler-Kemp emphasized that reviewing the omnibus bill is important to “making sure that you [LB members] are understanding all of your duties and completing everything that you’re supposed to, but also understanding other people’s duties.”

MCSG bylaws mandate that the LB must vote on the omnibus bill by their fourth meeting, which falls on Thursday, Oct. 5. In order for the bill to pass, two-thirds of the LB must vote to approve the amendments.

Following, the LB got into groups with other representatives in their class year. They discussed goals for the upcoming semester, the roles and responsibilities of new positions and accountability.

Communications & Engagement Committee (CEC) Chair Mathilda Barr ’25 then reminded LB members of the upcoming MCSG retreat on Sunday, Sept. 24.  Barr shared that members will have the opportunity to submit topics to discuss through a google form.

“We want to make sure that this retreat since we’re spending a whole day on this, is beneficial to all of you and that we’re providing everybody, both returners to MCSG, but especially newcomers, all the information that you would like to have to have a successful year,” Barr said. “And we want to set up a space where we’re comfortable talking to each other discussing things, whether we agree or disagree.”

The meeting concluded with committee updates and announcements. Kopplin invited representatives to volunteer at the Minnesota National College Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 4 and Thursday, Oct. 5. 

Continuing with committee updates, Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) Chair Tristan Niedzielski ’25 shared that AAC plans to continue addressing concerns over the automatic textbook billing contract with Barnes and Noble.

Giving an update for the CEC, Barr reported that the committee had slated a date for a Kagin — a social event open to all Macalester students, functioning similarly to a school dance, held in the Alexander Hill ballroom in Kagin. 

Hansonbrook shared that the FAC approved three requests for funding from student orgs — $226.17 in operating costs for MacBike, $1103.51 in travel funds for MCSG and $442.83 in operating funds for Friends of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) — and rejected one request for funding — a funding request to prepare for the Involvement Fair from Game Developers at Mac (GDaM).

Chief of Staff Ryan Connor ’25 delivered one final announcement, reminding the LB of MCSG’s attendance policy, which allows for two unexcused absences throughout the academic year. Connor requested that the LB inform him 24 hours before an LB meeting for an excused absence.

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Cal Martinez
Cal Martinez, News Editor
Cal Martinez '26 (they/them) is one of the news editors and an English major from metro Detroit, Michigan. Their best friend in high school, who happened to be their English teacher, introduced them to journalism and annotating poetry with fancy highlighters, and their sleep schedule has never been the same since.

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