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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

Newly elected representatives spring into MCSG

First-year representative Norah Juzenas ’27.
First-year representative Liv Peterson ’27.


On Friday, Feb. 9, Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) released the results of their spring special election, announcing that Norah Juzenas ’27, Liv Peterson ’27, Tristan Niedzielski ’25 and Eleanor Harden ’24 will join current members in representing their respective class years for the remainder of the semester. 

Students typically elect four representatives from each class year to serve on MCSG at the beginning of the academic year. However, 

MCSG’s Election Procedures Committee held a special election last week to fill two vacant seats in the first-year class, one in the junior class and one in the senior class.

The class of 2027 has elected two new representatives that ran for the first time ever: Juzenas and Peterson.

Out of the total of 282 votes, Juzenas received 86. As a member of Macalester’s cross country team, Juzenas was inspired to run by her fellow athletes involved in the student government.

“So many members of [the] cross country team are on MCSG and I’ve always kind of admired them,” Juzenas said. “They just seem to be doing it all, and they’re such caring people.”

Juzenas hopes to improve locker room conditions for Macalester athletes and give more recognition to women’s sports, which she feels are often disregarded in favor of men’s. She is also planning to increase collaboration between MCSG and the Laurie Hamre Center for Health and Wellness, as well as with student organizations that need promotion or funding.

Reflecting on her position as a first-year, Juzenas additionally hopes to improve the organization behind first-year orientation and to ensure better integration of the incoming first-year class in the Macalester community.

During the candidates’ forum on Monday, Feb. 5, Juzenas expressed the need for MCSG to get involved in more conversations regarding current events and providing mediators.

“I think it would be great [for] students to be able to hear from one another and maybe understand where the other ideas [are] coming from, rather than just sort of assuming what the other side is trying to say,” Juzenas said. “I think that would help just make our community more understanding.” 

Peterson, like Juzenas, is passionate about improving the lives of incoming Mac students. She especially highlighted an issue concerning the gendered bathrooms in first-year dorms and unclear wording included in housing forms, which resulted in many non-binary and gender fluid first-year students living on floors with gendered bathrooms.

Another important goal for Peterson is improving the conversation between the students and administration regarding non-white and queer students’ experiences, which she believes that MCSG should facilitate.

“I think that there needs to be more done regarding non-white students’ experience in a predominantly white institution (PWI),” Peterson said. “We advocate so much for internationalism, which is good, but we also need to be promoting different types of students domestically.”

Last semester, Niedzielski served as Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) Chair after running on a split ticket to hold the position during fall semester. Now, they’re serving as a junior class representative.

“Being a representative is such a fortunate position to be in as you have the opportunity to bring student voices into so many key campus spaces,” Niedzielski wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly. “Additionally, you have the opportunity to work with other MCSG members and campus partners to bring about the change and projects that will make a real impact on students’ lives and experiences at Mac.”

Junior representative Tristan Niedzielski ’25.

This semester, Niedzielski plans on staying involved in implementing the textbook billing contract that Macalester recently signed with Barnes & Noble College (B&NC).

They also intend on continuing to work with Health and Wellness liaison Emma Rohrs ’26 and Vice President Emma Kopplin ’24 on expanding access to harm reduction resources by adding a public health vending machine to campus, which would ensure anonymous access to fentanyl test strips, Naloxone and other supplies. Currently, students can request free fentanyl test strips, among other health resources, to be delivered to their PO box through the Hamre Center for Health and Wellness’ confidential form. These resources are also available on a table outside the Hamre Center.

Harden, who was elected as a write-in candidate with 33% of senior class votes, did not attend the candidates’ forum because she did not intend on getting elected. In an interview with The Mac Weekly, Harden shared that she only knew two of the six seniors who voted for her.

“I feel a little bit of obligation,” Harden said. “It feels like even though it was only six people [who voted for me,] still it’s nice to know that people were thinking of me in that way.”

Senior representative Eleanor Harden ’24.

Having served on student government in her high school and attended a few Legislative Body (LB) meetings, Harden feels familiar with the general responsibilities of a class representative but intends on further researching MCSG’s current and past initiatives. She is particularly interested in learning more about the strategic plan and the upcoming demolition of the Cultural House.

“I mainly hope to support my fellow representatives, rather than really like taking initiative, on new things, just because this is such an unexpected thing and because I have only a couple of months,” Harden said. “That’s not to say that I’m not going to advocate; I think I want to focus more on supporting the things that are already going on rather than starting new initiatives.”


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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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