The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Meet your incoming MCSG Executive Board members

Joel Sadofsky ’25. Photo courtesy of Sadofsky.
Ryan Connor ’25. Photo courtesy of MCSG.


On Friday, March 29, Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) shared the results of its Executive Board and Program Board Chair elections for the 2024-25 academic year. Joel Sadofsky ‘25 was elected president, and Ryan Connor ‘25 was elected vice president. Additional winners included Philomena Shuffleton-Sobe ‘26 as Cabinet Chair, Luke Evans ‘26 as Financial Affairs Committee (FAC) Chair, Tristan Niedzielski ‘25 as Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) Chair, Mena Feleke ‘25 as Communication and Engagement Committee (CEC) Chair, Sofia Vaz ‘25 as Program Board (PB) Chair and Sean Maxfield ‘26 and Alec Chen ‘26 each holding the position of Student Organization Committee (SOC) Chair for a semester respectively.

This year, 705 ballots were cast in the Executive Board elections, making up 33.3% of the student body. 

On Monday, March 25, MCSG held a candidates’ forum in the Loch, where each of the candidates presented their speeches and answered the audience’s questions. A few hours before the forum began, the Election Procedures Commission (EPC) released a statement on MCSG’s official Instagram page. In the post, EPC stated that they wanted “to address recent posts circulating within our community that do not align with our values of respect and engagement.”

EPC called for respect and consideration throughout the election process to give all candidates the opportunity to interact constructively with student voters.

The Mac Weekly reached out to EPC requesting more information on the matter, but EPC declined to elaborate.

“We want to respect people’s privacy and don’t want to further fuel anything,” EPC wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly. 

In the presidential election, Sadofsky received 62.0% of the votes. During the 2022-23 academic year, Sadofsky held the position of the AAC Chair and that he currently holds for the spring 2024 semester. In an interview with The Mac Weekly, they highlighted their involvement in work regarding the textbook plan, which taught them how to work closely with Macalester’s administration to create change.

“I think that I’ve learned to both understand what is a realistic, likely, achievable outcome or change I can make happen quickly, while also being able to still voice the dissents that I feel like I have to in order to accurately and effectively represent the students,” Sadofsky said. 

In his presidency, Sadofsky plans to establish stronger connections with faculty governance, such as Educational Policy and Governance (EPAG) and American Association of University Professors (AAUP), with which he collaborated as AAC Chair. They also hope to continue the efforts to improve communication between MCSG and Macalester’s student body by working with the CEC. He also hopes to make himself more approachable to students.

“I hope that now and next year, people will feel comfortable talking to me about anything,” Sadofsky said. “In my past experience, I’ve learned how governance of the school works and how change happens. I’m always hoping to discuss issues and ideas with people and to make myself available to the best of my ability.” 

The incoming vice president, Connor, felt motivated and excited when he saw the exponential increase in voter turnout, compared to the 2024 MCSG spring special elections. Connor previously served as Chief of Staff during the 2022-23 academic year and this fall semester, which allowed him to gain experience working with the entirety of MCSG.

“I already understand the processes, the stress and how work should be done,” Connor wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly. “Instead of worrying about what to say next, I’ve been able to see how others lead and learn from them.” 

Connor is dedicated to making MCSG more efficient. He noted that in the past, bureaucracy and lack of intention have limited MCSG in supporting student voices. Encouraging greater engagement of class representatives in the Legislative Body (LB) is one of Connor’s main goals. He hopes to motivate the representatives to bring in voices and projects from the student body. 

“My goal is to push past that barrier so the student body can see MCSG as a means to make real, active change,” Connor wrote. 

Shuffleton-Sobe is taking the position of Cabinet Chair with 56% of votes. She pointed to her current role as Residential Life and Dining Liaison as beneficial for the work she will do as Cabinet Chair. 

“I feel like I’m very aware of the difficulties that liaisons face,” Shuffleton-Sobe said. “It can be difficult to know how to talk to people who have a lot of power and it can be frustrating to get ‘non-answers’ from those people. I’m hoping that I can help the next year’s liaisons figure out how to have conversations, how to set up relationships and how to go about working on specific projects.”

That’s her main goal for the next semester: building connections between liaisons to better support them in advocating for their projects and communicating with one another.

Evans, another current sophomore representative, believes his previous experience will make for a smooth transition to his role as FAC Chair in the fall.

“I’ve served for about a year now as a sophomore class representative, and I’ve seen the work done, and it’s important work that requires someone to be dedicated and thoughtful and detail-oriented, all of which I think that I do a good job at,” Evans said.

He is aware that this is a contentious job, though. According to Evans, much of the student body sees the FAC’s role only as cutting budgets and denying student org funding requests. But at the end of the day, Evans just wants to help. 

“My number one goal is to make sure that … we don’t have to cut student orgs budgets as much as we did this year,” Evans said. “I want to make sure that, as FAC Chair, I can be a resource for those small orgs, to make sure they can fully fund their events and have an advocate on the Exec Board and within MCSG for those lesser known or less popular orgs.”

Maxfield and Chen ran on a split ticket for the SOC Chair position, and Maxfield is aware that their victory, with only 16 votes separating them and the other candidate, was a close one. However, as a current representative of the class of 2026, Maxfield was always confident that his knowledge of MCSG and of the position would lead to a win. 

“The one thing I don’t see is a lot of transparency about the support that MCSG provides to student orgs,” Maxfield said. “As SOC Chair, [I want to] increase the awareness that people have of the resources that are available within the great CSLE staff that can help them.”

After serving on the AAC for the past two semesters, Niedzielski was elected to serve as the chair beginning next fall. They are coming into their role with three priorities: informing students about the Barnes and Noble textbook contract, promoting AAC programs and pushing for greater collaboration with Macalester’s faculty.

Their main focus will be the textbook contract and helping the student body navigate the policies surrounding it. Niedzielski predicts that the current policies will create much confusion in the upcoming fall semester for both incoming first-year students, as well as upper division students.

“The AAC has a real responsibility to … become the spokesman for the student body when it comes to saying what’s happening with [the contract] and also relaying the information while still holding administration responsible,” Niedzielski said.

Niedzielski also plans to encourage students to take advantage of AAC programs, which make standardized tests and other academic expenses related to pursuing graduate studies affordable. They also want to continue to foster AAC’s relationship with faculty organizations such as EPAG and AAUP. They hope that they will be able to create an environment in which the students support the faculty, just as much as the faculty has supported the students.

As the new CEC Chair, Feleke plans to expand the number of events hosted on campus and implement a monthly newsletter to increase awareness about the current work of MCSG. She also hopes to encourage MCSG members to utilize their networks to reach students that are not as involved in campus life.

“I want to do more to encourage our members to promote MCSG in their own communities on campus, especially when it comes to elections, events and LB meetings or other opportunities to engage with the administration,” Feleke wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly.

Overall, Feleke hopes to follow in the footsteps of her predecessor, LeSean Green ’25, in making MCSG more engaging. She encouraged all students to reach out to her with any ideas, concerns or questions regarding ways that MCSG can be more connected to students.

Vaz was elected as the new PB Chair with 53.8% votes. She is coming into her new role with a lot of experience, from her years serving on MCSG as Community Engagement Officer, a class representative and Program Board co-chair.

She hopes to utilize her new role to connect the student body with PB’s campus resources. Her main goal for the upcoming year is to continue PB’s support of student organizations at Macalester. She also plans to create partnerships with off-campus programs and businesses in the Twin Cities to hopefully create more opportunities for off-campus events.

Vaz emphasized that when planning events, she will prioritize listening to student feedback and wishes.

“By fostering conversations between the board and the student body, we can ensure that our output is tailored to Mac students’ desires,” Vaz wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly.


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    Norman E WatkinsApr 17, 2024 at 6:32 pm

    I wish I had left Mac right before my senior year, having led anti-apartheid protests. My senior year I was blackmailed by a faculty member who was on leave.
    Norman Watkins 1979