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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 discusses resolution supporting MUWU, transparency policies

MCSG discusses resolution supporting MUWU, transparency policies

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this piece misstated the new tuition policy. We have updated the paragraph to read correctly.

 On Thursday, Feb. 22, Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) gathered for their weekly meeting to discuss increasing transparency surrounding tuition and changes in the student handbook, as well as the resolution regarding the Macalester Undergraduate Workers’ Union (MUWU). The Legislative Body (LB) also hosted the Senior Associate Director of the Macalester Fund Elizabeth Boyer and the Associate Director of the Outreach Center Abbey Kamin, who spoke about the upcoming Give to Macalester Days (GTMDs). 

President Mariah Loeffler-Kemp ’24 began the meeting with a discussion of MCSG’s initiative for a more open conversation between the student body and the administration about the annual raise of tuition.  This policy, already in place at some peer Minnesota private colleges, requires a member of the college’s Finance Department to attend a student government meeting to explain the reasons behind a raise in tuition for the upcoming year. Additionally, whenever there is an increase in tuition, the policy requires an email to all students explaining the change in tuition. Loeffler-Kemp and Macalester’s Vice President of Administration and Finance Patricia Langer agreed to implement a similar policy at Macalester.

The LB also discussed greater transparency concerning changes in the student handbook. MCSG is trying to implement a new transparency policy in collaboration with Dean of Students Javier Gutierrez. Their plan is to have Gutierrez announce to MCSG every time there is a considerable change in the student handbook moving forward, and to come to their meetings to explain the changes to students.

Following this, the LB engaged in a discussion regarding Resolution 15: “A Resolution in Support of the Macalester Undergraduate Workers’ Union (MUWU)”, as well as MCSG’s support of the school’s student workers. The resolution includes asking the college to grant MUWU voluntary recognition if they reach their goal of having 50% of student workers, plus one student, sign a union card. This would mean there would not need to be a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election, significantly speeding up the process of officially establishing the union.

Another section of the resolution asks for bargaining in good faith, which ensures that the Macalester administration treats the representatives of MUWU as their equals.

This presentation of the resolution was followed by an open discussion during which MCSG members expressed their remarks and concerns. Responding to a question regarding anticipated push backs from the college, Loeffler-Kemp explained that the biggest issue that MCSG anticipates is related to the NLRB election, which the resolution addresses. However, she said that she does not expect serious backlash from the administration.

“I think overall, we know our admin, we know that they’re not that [kind of] people [that would try to complicate this process],” Loeffler Kemp said. “They would love for us to be able to advocate for ourselves.” MCSG will vote on the resolution during their meeting on Feb. 29.

After the discussion, Boyer and Kamin gave a presentation on the upcoming GTMDs. Boyer first explained that Macalester’s funding comes from three sources: tuition, endowment and philanthropy operating through the Macalester Fund. In the last year, Macalester has received 8,018 individual gifts.

“Philanthropy is the third leg of the stool, a third source of funding that keeps Macalester up and running,” Boyer said.

This year’s GTMDs will take place from March 27-29. Boyer and Kamin reminded MCSG that they are again going to use the platform Give Campus, through which students can participate in Matches and Challenges. This tradition involves students and young alumni making $5 donations, which will each be matched by a $100 donation made by members of the Board of Trustees (BoT). Boyer said that staff, parents and other “friends of Macalester” are also highly encouraged to donate.

Boyer addressed a concern that many students sitting in the room were thinking: why should a student who is already paying tuition donate additional money to Macalester? She pointed out two main reasons why, the first being that students’ donations have, in the past, encouraged other donors to give money to Macalester. Boyer said that even such a small donation may convince a donor to give $200 instead of the obligatory $100.

“[Student donations are] really meaningful and motivate [the donors],” Boyer said. “[They allow] them to see that you care about this place and its financial future so much that you’re willing to give up [your own money].”

The second reason, Boyer added, is that a student can make a donation in the name of someone who has helped them in their academic journey and thus honor them.

The final minutes of the meeting were dedicated to committee updates. International Student Liaison Yosephine Manihuruk ’26 shared that she has been in contact with International Student Programs (ISP) in efforts to improve rooming and room draw arrangements for incoming international first-years. Residential Life & Dining Liaison Philomena Shuffleton-Sobe ’26 also spoke on the topic of room draws. The new room drawing system will now consider whether a student is international, ensuring that all international First Years room with domestic First-Years.

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