May 18, 2024  
College Catalog 2013-2014 
College Catalog 2013-2014 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Support Services


Student Affairs

Student Affairs is an important part of the Macalester student experience. While many of these services provide for immediate day-to-day needs in areas such as health and housing, the goal of Student Affairs is to offer a variety of programs and services which enhance and supplement students’ academic experience. The offices and programs described below provide opportunities for students to grow as individuals, to develop a greater sense of interdependence, as well as independence. Programs and activities are designed to encourage the balance of individuality and responsibility.

The Macalester College Student Government provides official representation for students in College governance, coordinates student action and allocates the student activity fees. The legislative body meets regularly throughout the year providing a forum for the expression of student opinions.

Macalester students have created over eighty-five organizations, and new ones are formed based on student interest. Student organizations are chartered through MCSG. Some of the organizations include: Adelante!, Latino students’ group; Amnesty International; the Black Liberation Affairs Committee (B.L.A.C.); Queer Union; the Macalester International Organization (M.I.O.); Mac Christian Fellowship; MacGOP; Mac Jewish Organization; Mac Peace and Justice Coalition; Feminists in Action (F.I.A.); MACTION, the community service organization; the Program Board; and Mac-Ultimate frisbee.

Music performance groups include the Concert Choir, Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band and ensembles, the Flying Fingers (a folk music instrumental group), Pipe Band and Highland Dancers, chamber ensembles, Andean Music Ensemble, African Music Ensemble, and men’s and women’s a capella singing groups. Speech and Theatre groups include the MacPlayers, along with Bad Comedy and Fresh Concepts-Improvisation groups.

Student media includes: the Mac Weekly newspaper, the Chanter literary magazine, WMCN-FM radio, the Banshee women’s journal, and several other periodic publications.

Vice President for Student Affairs, Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Students

The Vice President for Student Affairs serves as the chief student affairs officer of the College. The Vice President, Dean of Students, and Associate Dean of Students work jointly and are concerned primarily with the general welfare and collegiate life of all students. The office is responsible for the Campus Center, Campus Programs, Campus Grievance Procedures and the Mediation Process, Career Development Center, Chaplaincy and Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, Disability Services, Family Fest, Health and Wellness Center (health education, medical, and psychological), New Student Orientation, Residential Life, Multicultural Life, Leadership Programs, Student Government, Media and Student Organizations and the Athletics program. The Vice President, Dean, and Associate Dean assist in answering any student or parent questions related to College policies or procedures, and provide ombudsman services to students who have a specific problem or inquiry. The office maintains the personal records of all current students and alumni for eight years after graduation. The Dean of Students serves as an ex officio member of the Academic Standing Committee.

Student Life


Macalester’s sports and recreation program is extensive, including intercollegiate, intramural, club, and recreational activities. Intercollegiate athletic programs compete in the MIAC and NCAA Division III. Men compete in baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, golf, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, and track and field. Women compete in basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track and field, water polo, and volleyball. Club sports currently include men’s and women’s crew, men’s and women’s Nordic skiing, men’s volleyball, men’s rugby, men’s and women’s ultimate Frisbee and men’s water polo. Intramural competition is available in a wide variety of sport activities throughout the school year. Team sports have men’s, women’s and co-ed schedules. Individual sports have men’s and women’s singles, doubles tournaments and co-ed doubles tournaments.

Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center

The Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center opened in January 2001. The Campus Center provides the Macalester community a place to meet, celebrate, eat, and interact. The mission of the Campus Center is to foster community by providing centralized facilities and services for programs which encourage interaction, fulfill daily needs, promote development, embrace diversity, generate revenue, and cultivate connections to the college.

Student organizations, faculty and staff can take advantage of any of the six meeting rooms, the lecture hall, television lounge, and Café. The Campus Center houses Document Services (copy center), Mailing Services (post office), Campus Information, Central Reservations, the offices of four student organizations (Macalester College Student Government [MCSG], MACTION [community service], Program Board [PB], Residence Hall Association [RHA], and Habitat for Humanity. In addition, the offices of Campus Center & Conferences, Campus Programs and Residential Life and the Student Organization Resource Center [The SORC] are located in the Eichhorn Student Activities Center on the second floor of the Campus Center.

Campus Center staff coordinates reservations of Macalester College facilities, summer conferences and facility rentals. In addition, staff within the Campus Center coordinates services at the Information Desk providing access to discounted movie tickets, discounted bus passes, laptop checkout, Bike Share checkout, fax service, and the campus Lost and Found. Finally, student identification card and meal plan assignment are coordinated by Campus Center staff.

Campus Life

The Department of Campus Life is the home to both the Office of Residential Life and Office of Campus Programs. Campus Life works collaboratively with faculty, staff, and students on campus to foster a rich and vigorous educational environment beyond the classroom at Macalester. Campus Life also coordinates the student conduct system and new student orientation.

Campus Programs

The staff of Campus Programs works with student leaders, faculty and staff to foster intentional learning outside of the classroom. Campus Programs, in collaboration with others, fosters the creation of social, cultural, recreational and educational programs for the campus community. In addition to working with various student organizations, the Campus Programs staff coordinates the programming activities of cultural heritage months and the advisement of the Program Board.

Career Development Center

The Career Development Center assists students in the creation, interpretation and application of the educational experience to meet career goals.

Among some of the more common issues addressed by the Career Development Center are: choosing a major, finding summer, part-time, or full-time employment, deciding on and applying to graduate/professional school, building an experience base as an undergraduate in areas of leadership and involvement, doing a job search and the mechanics of that search, career decision-making, broadening competence to support a strong professional beginning, developing a personal and professional network and applying a liberal arts degree to the workplace.

A comprehensive system of resources has been developed by the staff of the Career Development Center. Services offered include: one-on-one counseling, workshops, interest inventories, handouts, an extensive alumni network, a career resource library, job listings, on-campus recruiters, job fairs, newsletter, computer-accessible employment resources, collaborations with other colleges and campus offices, and other resources/services as requested by students, staff, faculty, and employers. A website has been developed for additional access (http: //

The Career Development Center staff serve as advocates and as a resource for students, addressing personal, academic and professional concerns encountered by students during their four years at Macalester and beyond. The CDC is conveniently located in Kagin Commons along with the Internship Program, Civic Engagement Center, Macalester Academic Excellence Center, Lealtad-Suzuki Center and Multicultural Life, and the Lilly Project for Work, Ethics and Vocation. This support, combined with extensive opportunities to connect with alumni, employers, and graduate/professional schools, provides Macalester students with excellent opportunities to meet personal goals and put their degree to work.

Chaplaincy/Center for Religious and Spiritual Life

The College is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Associate Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life/Chaplain, and the Catholic, Protestant and Jewish Chaplains seek to offer support to students, faculty and staff of all faiths through their programming as well as by actively cooperating with religious communities within the Twin Cities. Believing that the religious dimension is an essential part of education and values formation, Macalester College offers many opportunities for growth in religious understanding and expressing religious faith. The Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, along with the Macalester Multifaith Council, provides leadership in addressing issues of social, ethical and religious importance. It works with academic departments, the Civic Engagement Center and student organizations to address these issues. The staff of the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life also provide pastoral counseling and appropriate professional referrals on-campus and off-campus.

The Weyerhaeuser Memorial Chapel houses the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and the chaplains offices. The CRSL (lower level of the Chapel) is a space where religious and spiritual organizations can host events. The Muslim Students Association, in association with the CRSL, maintains a mosque for weekly prayers and other activities. The Hebrew House is the location of Shabbat Services. Other traditions are celebrated on the campus regularly, and close relations are maintained with churches and religious leaders in the Twin Cities.

Civic Engagement Center

The Civic Engagement Center works with students to learn the skills of democracy to be creative problem solvers and innovative agents of hope and change, drawing jointly on their interdisciplinary study of the liberal arts and their applied community knowledge to work for a common good. We work with the community in a spirit of respectful reciprocity and partnership to connect the resources of the college with community needs and strengths in order to reinforce the capacity of local communities. Learning to be an informed and active citizen is a core component of global citizenship and part of the mission of Macalester College.

The CEC has developed relationships with numerous community organizations. We offer hundreds of diverse opportunities for students to use their unique skills and interests. Weekly commitment to a local organization is encouraged in order to gain the most learning and make the greatest impact, however, one-time service events are also available. Community visits and self-guided neighborhood tour sheets are also offered by the CEC to encourage students to be a part of their new twin cities home.

Each semester dozens of classes are offered by faculty who have incorporated a community-based learning or community-based research component into their class. The CEC can help students in identifying these classes and assist them with community referrals.

Opportunities for training, discussion and leadership development are also offered through the center. We offer four different civic leadership programs for students who seek a more extensive involvement with the community and their peers.

We also assist students in developing new service programs, while gaining valuable leadership skills through the process. Entrepreneurial students can apply for funding for their project through the “Action Fund.”

The CEC also administers the Off-Campus Student Employment Program (OCSE). This program is an opportunity for students to earn their financial aid award (work-study) while working at a local nonprofit organization or school. The program includes a monthly training on social change strategies and the role of nonprofit organizations.

Food Service

Macalester’s dining program is housed in the Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center and is provided by Bon Appetit, a contracted service. Cafe Mac is an entirely new style of campus dining. The dining experience is a passport to view the world’s different cuisine and an adventure through flavors of hemispheric influence.

Students who live in the residence halls are required to participate in the dining program.

Health and Wellness Center

Health and Wellness Center provides a range of preventive and primary health care and education for Macalester students. Medical care, counseling, and health promotion are partnerships where students and professionals share a commitment to a healthy community. Staff provide opportunities for students to gain the knowledge and develop the skills and attitudes necessary to make healthy lifestyle choices and to achieve personal and academic success.

Specific services provided include:

Counseling and Psychological. Short-term counseling services are offered. This includes personal counseling, crisis intervention, consultation with faculty, staff and students, educational programming and referral to on-campus and off-campus resources.

Medical. Out-patient ambulatory care for many general medical problems is offered, including diagnosis and treatment for sick and injured students, with referral to other medical services as appropriate.

Health Promotion. Information, activities, events, resources, and referrals are offered to help students identify health choices and adapt new behaviors for a healthier lifestyle and community. Classroom presentations, small group workshops, student training, class projects and literature resources are a few of the strategies employed.

Staff. The staff of Macalester Health and Wellness Center includes licensed psychologists, mental health counselors, a nurse practitioner, RNs, and a Certified Health Education Specialist, as well as experienced administrative staff. A consulting physician is available one afternoon each week and a consulting psychiatrist is available several days a month. Full staffing and services are available only during the academic school year.

Requirements/Fees. To insure the best health care possible, students must have a current health record and physical on file in the Health and Wellness Center. Additionally, Macalester College and the State of Minnesota require that immunization requirements be met in order to be enrolled for classes. New international students are also required to have a TB test upon arrival.

There are no charges for medical, psychological or education services provided by Health Services; students are charged only for laboratory services, immunizations, medications, and transportation to other medical facilities. Any medical, surgical or psychological services incurred outside the Health Services are the student’s responsibility. All records and services provided are confidential. Students with chronic health concerns (both emotional and medical) are encouraged to identify providers in the Twin Cities for treatment; Macalester Health Services staff can assist with referrals.


Macalester College requires all students maintain comprehensive personal health insurance. Information on health insurance plans and supplemental accident insurance is available from the Health and Wellness Center.

Information Technology Services

Information Technology Services (ITS) coordinates the development and supports the use of computer, network and telecommunications resources at Macalester. These resources include the campus-wide local area network, Internet connections, general-use computing facilities, administrative and faculty computers, the College switchboard and telecommunications systems. ITS maintains centralized servers for file storage and specialized applications, as well as a Help Desk supporting these services.

Computers are used extensively throughout the curriculum, and Macalester provides student access to computer resources both for academic research/course work and for individual explorations. The College furnishes approximately 600 computers for student use; roughly 200 of these are available for general access. A staffed computer lab is located in the basement of DeWitt Wallace Library. A 24-hour lab in Kirk Hall is staffed during class hours. These labs support a mixture of Apple Macintosh and Windows PC workstations, as well as networked printers. These computers are equipped with a wide array of software  including Microsoft Office. Students may borrow specially configured notebook computers in the library and campus center for wireless connection to the network. There are unstaffed, 24-hour labs in Dupre 253 and 353.

The remaining student-use computers are dispersed through 26 academic departmental facilities dedicated to discipline-specific instructional objectives. These facilities include Linux-based laboratories in the department of mathematics, statistics and computer science, where students are taught introductory and advanced courses in programming (currently emphasized languages and applications include C++, Java, Mathematica, Scheme and Prolog) as well as many other aspects of computer use and design. The department of economics uses a Macintosh-based teaching classroom to help students master econometrics, statistics and other mathematical tools. The department of psychology utilizes clusters of Macintoshes and PCs to aid students in quantitative methods and cognition. The department of biology maintains one teaching classroom and a number of small computer clusters to help students visualize and experiment with ideas presented in class. Laboratories in the physics and astronomy department are equipped with microcomputers to permit real-time experimentation, and the observatory relies on high-end Linux workstations to gather and analyze astronomical data. Other academic uses of information technologies include mathematical modeling, CAD and 2-D print design, computational/statistical analysis, interactive multimedia language learning and musical composition.

Use of computers in support of Macalester’s educational objectives is assisted by a wide range of facilities and initiatives. ITS maintains two computer classrooms for occasional use by any instructor. These rooms are equipped with high-end computers, data projectors and whiteboards. All academic classrooms are equipped with data ports so that faculty may connect laptop or desktop computers to the network for instructional purposes. Several classrooms in academic buildings have been designated as “presentation” classrooms, and are fully equipped with projection and presentation devices, laptop connections and specialized lighting controls. Most faculty enrich their classroom teaching with Moodle, an online course management tool that includes electronic discussion forums, interactive exercises, and additional curricular resources such as research data and scholarly databases.

The College operates a high-speed data network connecting all academic and administrative buildings as well as permanent residence halls. This network provides excellent capabilities for accessing the internet, through both wired and wirelessly. Students are not required to purchase or own computers, but may bring and connect personally-owned computers to the network, which supports the most common modern network standards for both Windows and Macintosh computers. Permanent residence hall rooms are wired with one Ethernet port per pillow. Wireless access is ubiquitous across campus.

In addition to the residence hall network connections, students are provided with voicemail boxes and telephone handsets by request, email accounts, access to file and print servers and networked storage space. Students may create their own Web pages. ITS provides useful news on the  Notices and Alerts blog,  ITS’s Help Desk is located in Humanities 314 and open daily to assist students with computer or account problems.  There is no extra charge for any of these services.

All computing endeavors at Macalester, whether by students, staff members or faculty members, are governed by the Information Technology Responsible Use Policy:

International Student Program

The International Student Program serves the educational, cross-cultural, and personal development needs of Macalester’s international students. Its goals are to integrate international students into all aspects of college life, to help them participate in and contribute to Macalester’s high quality liberal arts education, and to assist them in applying their learning to their own lives and cultural contexts. In working toward achieving these goals, the International Student Program provides advising on immigration and other U.S. regulations and laws; assistance in completing mandatory U.S. tax returns; a Pre-Orientation emphasizing immigration regulations and cultural issues; a fall semester mentoring relationship matching international first year students with upper-class students; a host family program; consultations with faculty and staff on immigration, cultural, and learning issues related to international students. The Coordinator also works with other offices to facilitate international and intercultural learning among international and U.S. students.

A long held value of Macalester, many departments and student organizations offer programs throughout the year designed to focus attention on international affairs, global issues, and intercultural relations. These include lectures, panel discussions, films, various cultural events, the International Roundtable, International Week events, and special orientation and advising sessions for study abroad participants and international students.

Library, Media and Web Services

DeWitt Wallace Library

Through innovative services and inviting facilities, the Library supports the mission of the College and is committed to the words from Macalester’s Statement of Purpose and Belief: “We expect students to develop a broad understanding of the liberal arts while they are at Macalester…. Students should develop the ability to use information and communication resources effectively, be adept at critical, analytical and logical thinking, and express themselves well in both oral and written forms.”

Library staff are involved in the instructional mission of the College by providing reference service, classroom instruction, and informal classes and workshops, as well as personalized consultations for research assistance. All entering first year students receive an orientation to library and computing services during their first year seminar.  This gives students a basic foundation and understanding of the extensive scholarly resources available in an academic environment, and introduces them to the variety of staff members who are available to provide personal assistance for technology and research needs. This initial orientation is often followed by more specialized and discipline-focused instruction in the first year, or in intermediate and upper-level courses.

Located at the heart of the campus and designed as a community gathering space, the library building provides ample study space, comfortably housing up to one-third of the student body at any one time. Individual, small group, and larger sized rooms are available to accommodate the needs of the community. The building features multiple computer work spaces including an “imaging annex” geared toward imaging needs and digital project creation. Community members take advantage of a wireless network in the library, either using their own laptops or by checking out a laptop from our circulating “pool.”

The library collection includes nearly half-a-million volumes and 1400 periodical and newspaper subscriptions, the building is open over 100 hours a week during the academic year, with extended hours until 3:00am during finals periods. A 24 x 7 study space is offered in the “Link”—an area with vending machines connecting the library with Old Main.

Recognizing early on that library services transcend physical spaces and individual collections, much time and effort is spent on developing our “virtual” library at Here one can readily search our online catalog shared with seven other private Twin Cities colleges and universities with access to over two million volumes. Materials from the other colleges may be requested online, and are delivered via twice-daily courier service to our circulation desk. Macalester community members also have access, through interlibrary loan, to the research library collections at the University of Minnesota and beyond. In addition, the library offers a full range of networked online indexes and fulltext article databases, featuring subscription-level access to over 1500 online journals. Nearly all virtual library content can be accessed from off-campus, providing services to community members wherever they are needed—be it at home over the summer, or in another country during a study-away semester.

Media Services provides professional educational media support to the Macalester academic program. Classroom technology, event support, video production, posters and graphics and a full range of audiovisual equipment and materials are accessible to all students and faculty. In addition, new technologies such as international TV reception, satellite teleconferences, and video streaming are now available. Media Services has a growing collection of over 6,000 videocassettes and DVD titles, as well as films from Films on Demand, which are accessible through the online catalog. More information about Media Services will be found on our web pages at

The Macalester Academic Excellence (MAX) Center

The MAX Center supports students so that they can do their best possible academic work. The MAX Center focuses on: A) the disciplines of math, science, and writing; B) the skills required for good time-management and study habits; C) building a culturally diverse learning community; and D) academic accommodations for students with documented disabilities. We offer individual and group assistance at no charge in mathematics, biology, chemistry, writing, study skills, time management, and other areas. 

Beyond classroom work, we help students with capstone papers and honors projects, along with personal statements and applications for scholarships and study-abroad programs.  We also help students prepare for graduate school applications and examinations.

Multicultural Life and The Lealtad-Suzuki Center

The Department of Multicultural Life at Macalester (DML) through the Lealtad Suzuki Center, the Cultural House, and signature programs provides leadership in supporting Macalester’s stated purpose “to prepare people to become intellectually vital and productive citizen leaders in a world that includes a multiplicity of cultures, perspectives, and needs.” It recognizes that campus diversity and close contact among people of different backgrounds often perpetuate cultural conflicts that emanate from unresolved histories in the larger society and they create a need for collective responsibility to ensure a high-quality learning environment. The DML helps the campus community to address these concerns with intention, inclusion, and integrity.

The mission of the Department of Multicultural Life is to integrate and consistently affirm the values and cultures of historically marginalized peoples and their ideas, discourses, and concerns. The current goals of the Department of Multicultural Life are to identify, assess, and promote multicultural core competencies for the campus community; to create partnerships with academic and administrative departments to infuse and sustain multiculturalism throughout all aspect of campus life; and to foster and promote an inclusive environment.

The Department of Multicultural Life serves all students through a Dean of Multicultural Life who works collaboratively with the Dean for the Study of Race and Ethnicity to address institutional concerns, four professional staff members who coordinate academic and cultural support, and several trained student employees and volunteers who help deliver programs and services to the campus.

New Student Orientation

The New Student Orientation (NSO) program offers a five-day program to welcome and orient all new Macalester students and their families. The New Student Orientation program strives to guide new students through the transition from high school to college, create a specific program to ease the transition for transfer students, and provide specific programs for family members to increase understanding and offer insight into the development of their first year college student’s potential experience. Campus Programs staff works in conjunction with upper-class students to coordinate the New Student Orientation program.

Office of the Registrar

The Office of the Registrar is responsible for class scheduling, maintenance of academic records of all students, and the collection and dissemination of certain institutional data. In addition, the office administers all student registrations, processes changes of course registration and grading options, publishes fall and spring term final examination schedules, endorses teacher licensure applications, evaluates transfer credits, acts upon applications from students not seeking a degree from Macalester, issues transcripts and statements certifying full-time attendance and/or good academic standing, and certifies to the faculty those students eligible for graduation.

Residential Life

The mission of the Department of Residential Life is to engage students in the creation of inclusive communities that foster students’ intellectual and emotional development. The department encourages the increased understanding of global issues through interpersonal relationships and dialogue within a residential setting. The programs and services of the department provide opportunities in accordance with Macalester College’s core values.

First year students and sophomores must fulfill a residency requirement of living on campus for their first and second years at Macalester. The requirement stems from the belief that a fuller and richer college experience can be obtained by living among one’s peers for two years. This requirement does not apply to transfer students and housing is not guaranteed for transfer or upperclass students.

There are many varied housing options available such as traditional residence halls, campus houses, apartment style living, and special interest housing such as a vegetarian co-op, gender open housing, a Hebrew house, language houses, an eco house, and a cultural house. In addition, first year students have the option of living in a residential cluster comprised of the students in their first year seminar course.

Residence Hall Directors are full-time professional staff with Master’s degrees in College Student Personnel or a related field, who live in the residence halls. These individuals are charged with the most important task of implementing the department’s mission and developing strong learning communities within each hall. The Residence Hall Directors supervise paraprofessional staff who are undergraduates living on each residence hall floor.


The Sustainability Office supports Macalester’s sustainability efforts and works with both operational and academic parts of the college. Current initiatives include development of an Institutional Climate Action Plan and a campus-wide Sustainability Plan.

Services for Students with Disabilities

Macalester College seeks to create a welcoming environment in which all students can reach their academic potential and have equal access to academic opportunities and co-curricular activities. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Acts of 1973 individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination and assured services. The College is committed to responding in a flexible manner to the individual needs of all members of the Macalester community to include reasonable accommodations when appropriate documentation is provided to the Associate Dean of Students.

Safety, Security and Annual Crime Security Report Information

At Macalester College the Safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is always a priority. With the support of other departments, we have hundreds of people involved in keeping this campus safe and secure. However, a truly safe campus can only be achieved through the cooperation of all students, faculty and staff.

The Macalester College Annual Security and Fire Safety Report known as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and its amendments and the HEOA Campus Fire Safety Report. These reports include statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Macalester; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional polices concerning campus security, such as polices concerning sexual assault, and other matters. The annual fire safety report outlines fire safety practices, standards, and all fire-related on-campus statistics. The Macalester College Clery Campus Crime and the Campus Fire Safety Reports are available upon request, at no charge, from the Macalester Security Department at 651-696-6278, the Admissions Office at 651-696-6367 or by accessing the annual crime report web page at

In addition, matriculated student users of Macalester’s facilities or services are required to comply with the Campus Security Act and Sex Crimes Prevention Act of 2002, including self-registration with appropriate State agencies. Failure to comply with this requirement, if applicable, may jeopardize your status as a Macalester student.

For more information about safety or security matters please contact the Director of Environmental Health, Safety and Security.