MCSG discusses college strategic plan

The COVID-19 Omicron variant has forced Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) to hold its first spring semester meeting online. They spent most of their time discussing the college’s strategic plan. The strategic plan, also called “Imagine, Macalester”, is an ongoing financial and social process for deciding the future of the college. It includes a board of “champions” made up of students, staff, faculty and alumni.

“Some of the challenges we face in the coming years include rising costs … and a shift in population away from the Midwest, so that’s what we’re trying to address with part of the strategic plan,” Bobbie Pennington said. ’24, sophomore rep.

Sophomore Rep. Anna Sene ’24, Pennington and Financial Affairs Committee Chair Rebecca Gentry ’23, all of whom are champions of strategic planning, asked members of the Legislative Body (LB) what changes they would like to see in Macalester in the years to come.

The LB spent an hour and a half discussing possible changes to Macalester, which tended to focus on equity among Macalester students and engagement with local communities.

“[I want to see] international students have good support systems within Mac to help them navigate the college experience,” said second-year representative Eric Yu ’24.

“I would like a closer relationship with the indigenous communities,” junior representative Heaji Kang ’23 said. “Either more scholarships or no tuition for Indigenous students, and hire more Indigenous faculty and staff.

The LB then agreed on three issues for strategic planning champions to focus on:

not increase tuition fees or create financial stress for students, build closer relationships with Indigenous communities, and include discussions dedicated to building a supportive and welcoming community in the curriculum for every class.

The MCSG has yet to decide whether future meetings will be held in person after Macalester’s period of silence ends on February 1. However, President Shreya Nagdev ’22 promised a hybrid option if LB members felt more comfortable with virtual meetings.

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