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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 unable to grant budget appeals to student orgs

MCSG unable to grant budget appeals to student orgs

 Last week’s Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) meeting, held on Thursday, April 4, started with a packed house and agenda. Seven student organizations appealed their funding requests after the Financial Affairs Committee (FAC) implemented a 48% budget cut. The Legislative Body (LB) also discussed election engagement and heard campus committee updates. 

The bulk of the meeting was dedicated to FAC appeals, and FAC Chair Eliora Hansonbrook ’25 began the discussion by contextualizing this year’s Budget Bonanza. 

The FAC made two cuts: one for student orgs who did not correctly complete the budgeting process, including through failing to meet with the liaisons, not attending the mandatory budgeting workshop or submitting their budget late. 

The second cut was 48% from all student orgs. 

At the meeting, orgs appealed to get some of the money they were denied during this spring’s Budget Bonanza process back into their budget in the fall, requesting a combined total of $14,888. However, FAC only had $7,771.94 guaranteed for all additional allocation requests for the next academic year. 

Last year, FAC had $60,000 available for additional allocations. Additional allocations provide student organizations with funding during the current academic year that they were not approved for during the budgeting process. The money for these allocations is created from the roll-over or how much money orgs do not spend in a year. This year, there is expected to be minimal rollover and thus a much smaller amount available for additional allocations.

“That means in a worst-case scenario, if orgs were to spend all their money [and] you’re giving out all of the money for appeals today, there will be no money left over for the next year,” Hansonbrook said. 

The LB and FAC members explained that they could request additional allocations next year, but they did not have the money to approve anyone’s appeal.

Many student orgs said that the additional allocations are time-consuming and do not work when they are trying to host events on shorter notice.

First-Generation Low-Income Student Union (FSU) appealed to be able to plan events on a flexible schedule to best support and provide resources that the college does not offer. They requested $2,160 in appeals.

“This college’s structure, hierarchy and bureaucratic processes make it difficult for existing departments to adequately support FGLI [first generation and low-income students] needs,” FSU co-founder Matté Lopez ’25 said. “As a student org, we’re supposed to function outside of that bureaucracy. We’re asking you to not push us back into it by requiring us to go through that FAC’s additional application process and just give us adequate funding upfront.” 

This was the closest vote, with 11 members voting to approve, 11 opposed and two abstaining; the appeal was denied, as a majority plus one is needed to pass.

After hearing other orgs denials, Game Devs @ Mac amended their initial request to just $240 to be able to bring speakers who have experience in game design on campus. They were denied. 

“[It’s] really important to showcase to the Macalester community, especially those interested in game dev[elopment], that there are people who can give advice and be a mentor and speak to their experience, especially because this industry is really hard to get into already,” Linda Lor ’24, a representative for Game Devs @ Mac, said. 

In addition to FSU and Game Devs @ Mac, Mac Anime appealed for $208.95, Mac Chess for $3,560.40, MacSlams for $5,522.40, Macalester the Gathering for $326.40 and Mac Bike for $1,500.

After a tense process with no appeals accepted, the LB moved onto campus committee presentations by student representatives. The provost’s Student Advisory Committee discussed their monthly meeting with Provost Lisa Anderson-Levy, where they debrief campus events, student concerns and the administration’s role. Last semester, their main topic of discussion was the new automatic textbook billing contract, which is set for implementation this fall semester. 

Community Engagement Center (CEC) Elections & Democracy staff member Derek Johnson and Student Justice Coordinator Emma Runchey Smalley ’26 joined the meeting to discuss CEC’s current efforts towards increasing national and local election engagement. They also expressed a desire to work with MCSG and other student orgs to further spread information.

Runchey and Johnson shared that, according to a survey of democratic engagement at 1,100+ colleges, Macalester boasts the highest voter rates reporting a 81.9% voter turnout among students eligible to vote in 2016 and 79.1% in 2020.

Their new efforts include allowing students who live off campus to use their Mac ID to register to vote at their off-campus voting locations, as this option was previously only available to on-campus students.

The Strategic Planning Advisory* Committee (SPA)’s representatives shared how their committee made up of students, faculty and staff serves as an advisory role to the college’s president, creating reports about strategic goals for the college. The students shared their Fall 2023 reports on US News and World Report and the weekly class schedule. Due to the appeals process running long, committee and Cabinet updates were moved online.


*Emma Salomon is a member of SPA.

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Emma Salomon
Emma Salomon, Editor-in-Chief
Emma Salomon '24 (she/her) is the Editor-in-Chief, from Ithaca, NY. She majors in History and International Studies with a minor in French and concentration in human rights and humanitarianism. She is passionate and a little too intense about her Google Calendar.   

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