Macalester students fight administration over controversial art project

Students at Macalester College have once again demonstrated their ability to think constructively and enact change in the face of academic and artistic repression, even if the culprit is their own administration.This is a Community Voices submission and is moderated but not edited. The opinions expressed by Community Voices contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TC Daily Planet.Months ago, Macalester College senior Elsa Goossen proposed a community art installation to the Macalester administration, to be on display during its 21st annual International Round Table. This project, which would take the form of a chain link fence decorated with student art and writing, was to highlight migrant experiences and bust myths surrounding worldwide borders. The administrative body approved the mock border wall, agreeing to place it on Old Main Lawn, the highest-traffic location on campus.Three weeks ago, citing dubious concerns over student and community sensitivities, the administration changed its mind about both the length the wall would be allowed to stay and its location. Goossen and other organizers proposed many compromises, including a two dimensional “tape border” in the same area, obelisks (an historical border marker) leading from the originally accepted location to the new location, and multiple fence “sections” that would lead along and only partially bisect the walkway of the newly imposed location.None of these last-minute compromises were accepted by the administration, despite its inability to provide reasons that student art of this nature should not be on display during an international event concerning migration. Continue Reading