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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 announces Judicial Council, meets with liaison

MCSG announces Judicial Council, meets with liaison

Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) met on Thursday, Sept. 21 in the Harmon Room of the DeWitt Wallace Library. Following the land acknowledgment, each member of the Legislative Body (LB) introduced themselves. Interim Associate Dean of Students, Angela Walker, then announced newly elected Judicial Council (JC) members. 

The JC consists of students outside of MCSG tasked with interpreting the MCSG constitution and bylaws when needed. The impartial nature of the council aims to allow electoral disputes, attendance matters or interpersonal issues to be efficiently dealt with, mitigating conflict within the student government. The newly elected JC is Dallas Watson ’26, Linh Nguyen ’26 and Aidan Gulliksen ’26. Students and faculty selected each JC nominee in an effort to ensure a council of students prepared to provide an accurate and fair interpretation of the MCSG constitution. The motion to approve the new JC was passed with none in opposition. 

President Mariah Loeffler-Kemp ’24 moved the meeting toward committee updates. 

The Financial Affairs Committee (FAC) presented first. The FAC works with student organizations to more efficiently allocate funds from the activity budget. In their meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 20, they voted and reviewed requests from various student orgs. 

Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) updates began with AAC chair Tristan Niedzielski ’25 outlining concerns and questions regarding the Barnes & Noble textbook contract. 

“How do we really cement a strong and vocal voice against this contract, because literally nobody likes it?” Niedzielski asked. “Part of that is just going through all of the questions about how does this impact people [receiving] financial aid? How is this going to impact open educational resources? How is this going to impact what textbooks professors can even choose for a course?” 

Niedzielski plans to attend a meeting with Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Kathryn Kay Coquemont to discuss these questions and concerns regarding the contract and get more information on contract implementation. 

Following committee updates, the Cabinet Chair Willow Albano ’26 discussed a community chest fund request that was approved by the Program Board (PB) and brainstormed ideas for individual Student Liaison projects.

Loeffler-Kemp concluded updates and transitioned the meeting to the nomination of a Legislative Body (LB) speaker. The speaker of the LB runs meetings, keeps track of the agenda, and attends executive board meetings. The position is open to any LB reps, and nominees will be voted on by the current LB using a secret ballot. This year’s LB speaker nominees were Luke Evans ’26 and Reagan Kimzey ’24. 

Emma Kopplin ’24 then introduced Student Liaison for the Board of Trustees, Bobbie Pennington ’24. The student liaison is not an elected position, but has ties to MCSG as the student representative to bring LB voices to the Board of Trustees. The board meets three times a year to discuss legislation, the strategic plan and the campus plan. 

As the student liaison, Pennington attends these meetings with the intent of informing higher-level administrators about student opinions, questions and concerns.

“I get a two or three minute allocation to speak to the board and give them an update from the student body’s perspective, and that will give them the pros, [such as] what’s going well this year, as well as some concerns that they [students] have,” Pennington said. “And those don’t need to be super high level; they don’t need to take action on those things but it’s just like an overview.” 

Pennington then opened up discussion to the LB. Representatives discussed the upcoming demolition of the Cultural House, winter housing for students staying on campus and reimplementing COVID-19 housing. These topics will be discussed in the upcoming Board of Trustees meeting. 

Committees then began discussing the omnibus bill and different positions’ roles within the bylaws. The omnibus bill determines how MCSG is facilitated and each committee’s responsibilities. Each year the bylaws are brought to the LB to edit and ensure everything is up to date and accurate. 

In reviewing the bill, members of the LB brainstormed how to increase engagement with MCSG. Assigning the primary reason to lack of knowledge, representatives discussed ways to make elections and events more well known through Instagram and other forms of social media. 

Committees have two weeks to review and edit the omnibus bill before it passes. 

Lastly, Loffeler-Kemp reminded representatives of the MCSG retreat, which was held on Sunday, Sept. 24, and Chief of Staff Ryan Connor ’25 announced that food/travel waivers were sent out. Communications & Engagement Committee (CEC) chair Mathilda Barr ’25 reminded students that the upcoming Kagin ball, the ‘Hallowagin,’ — which will be held in the Kagin Commons on Friday, Oct. 20 — needs people to help set up, and the meeting was adjourned. 


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