Talk:Macalester College

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Major Overhaul[edit]

I was looking over the Macalester Wikipedia page and quite frankly I think it is not up to par with many comparable colleges. I would like to propose some overall changes if I don't get any objections.

  1. Clean up the header. It should be shorter, and information such as how many Rhodes scholars Macalester and notable alumni has had should be elsewhere.
  2. Less of a brochure feel, more use of encyclopedia language.
  3. Expand on the student life section. I definitely want to include an LGBTQ inclusivity section. It is a very important part of Macalester and deserves to be included. I would also like to include some Macalester traditions and expand on student organizations, but may need help with that. Finally, I would like to include some statistics on civic engagement and study abroad.
  4. Removal of the controversy section. Regardless of whether or not you cite Mac Weekly articles, this section is extremely subjective. This is an encyclopedia about Macalester, and that does not belong there. Let's keep it more about the school and less about personal problems with the administration.
  5. Include more up-to-date photos.
  6. Expand on academics section. I would like to include more information about the academic programs Macalester has to offer, as well as more recent rankings and awards. I would also like to include information about ACTC. Perhaps include some information on fellowships and internships if I can find the information.
  7. Include more campus buildings beyond housing.

Let me know what you all think. I will wait to make the changes until I get some response. I think this page can and should be dramatically improved. Bamarty (talk) 07:37, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Nobody has said anything so I started a bit. I cleaned up the header and expanded academics and student life. I also tried to make the language sound a bit more formal.

Academic program still needs to be expanded to include things like internships and study abroad. (Or should that go in student life?) I also still want to add traditions, campus buildings, and more photos. I was thinking about shortening the section on student housing. It seems disproportionately large and not necessarily that important to have details on every single dorm. Thoughts on this?

I don't know much about the history or athletics of the college, but I'm guessing this could use some work too. Maybe someone who knows more about it could expand on those sections.

The notable alumni section could use a lot of cleaning up. I think the list of alumni on the main page should include maybe 10 people in a neatly organized bullet point list. Right now it is a mess to read. Any other alumni can be mentioned on the separate list of Macalester people. Bamarty (talk) 10:26, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Alright I cleaned up the alumni list. I still want to change the following:

  1. Internship and fellowship information and statistics under academic program
  2. Study abroad information and statistics under academic program
  3. Major campus section overhaul. I can't find a single other college with half as many details about dorms. I will significantly shorten that and add more information about other campus buildings. (CC, IGC, Janet Wallace, and more)
  4. Update sustainability section
  5. Clean up and revamp history section
  6. Add traditions
  7. More and better pictures
  8. Clean up athletic section

I will probably tackle them in that order. Number 3 is probably the most important but it will take a while so I'll do the easier changes first. If anyone wants to help me get started, it would be appreciated. Anyone have any thoughts on any of these proposals or any changes I already made? Bamarty (talk) 06:36, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

First questions[edit]

Most of this is just a brochure and promotional material that is not qualified by dates (espcially the statistics) and is missleading. The entry should be about what the school is about, its purpose and mission, not how many buildings it has or its diversity, which could easily change from year to year.

The links and some of the special characters went all funky and should probably be fixed; the Bulgarian, Japanese and Korean characters seem to have turned into question marks. User:Cwilli201

For the most part the info is accurate, though I agree it reads a little like a brochure. It might be worth noting the current state of political debate on campus--I've largely severed ties with and disavowed my alma mater due to the radical left's ascendancy on campus, so I'll have to leave that to other hands more up on events.

At some point I need to bone up on the place's history, which isn't deal with for the most part in the article's current form. This would include the DeWitt Wallace funding which has long been at the heart of Mac's financial picture--again, I'll have to call on someone a bit more recently informed here, as I'm nearly 15 years removed (class of '92)... DarthTMN 18:08, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Is Bob Mould worthy of being in the heading?

There's a picture of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts building on the main page, but that building is currently a pile of rubble.

Politics on campus[edit]

I removed the reference to the "active" conservative faction on campus. The MacGOP exists on paper but, as a current student, I have no knowledge of any meetings, events, or other activities they've engaged in. The vast majority of students are left-leaning, with swatchs of apathy and a small resurgent radical population. -Brendan '10

Just be careful not to turn the article into a posterchild for left-wing politics. -Mike '09

Wouldn't dream of it. But I think I'm being accurate with this description, no? -Brendan '10

I would dream of it. -William '08

Regarding Brendon's post about the MacGOP, they do infact exist, meet, and do things. They are a very small organization, and do not advertise much, however as a member of the MacDems I can assure you that representatives of the MacGOP have come to us to discuss bipartisan matters. They do exist, and should be included in this entry.

Okay, well any conversation about it has been taken out now by somebody else. Fine by me. -Brendan '10 13:57, 11 June 2007 (UTC)


The huge new section of this article says some good things but, if anything, belongs further down the page, and regardless of position needs to have hyperlinks put in and stuff. I think the information is relevant, but I think some of the stuff contained (naming students, for example, or mentioning the "façade" posters) is a little gratuitous for a WIkipedia page. Most college pages feature pictures of campus or something. The rock pic is legit but I think, for as long as this article is, we just need a basic shot of Old Main or something comparable. Maybe I'm being a stickler for protocol but it is an encyclopedia. Cwilli201 21:04, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Also, where the hell is the history section? Cwilli201 21:07, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

History section added, albeit skeletally.

Lamb Controversy[edit]

The lamb tradition is a well-known at mac and if you ask almost any student they will attest to it.

I agree. Whoever tried to edit out the lamb roast post obviously hasn't been to mac in the last several years. or is just laughably out of touch with the student body.

I disagree. I'm a first year, but have never heard of it. There's a difference between something being popular among an inner group and the whole campus.

If you're a first year, it's possible that you haven't experienced every tradition at Macalester. Do you think that "the whole campus" participates in the Christmas Candlelight Service? Wait a few years before commenting on Macalester traditions.

I also agree the lamb is a very well known tradition among Mac students.

I'm another first year student and I'm well aware of the lamb tradition.

I suppose that depending on what kind of student you are, you may or may not have heard about the lamb tradition. It is my opinion that, based on the many people who were at the lamb roast this year, “anyone who is anyone” would have heard of it: if anything, you would have heard of its success! The lamb tradition is one of Mac's most fun and pleasurable events: of course, word of mouth through the social networks of this small college is the most successful form of advertising for any event (as opposed to the fliers at the tables in Café Mac or the online bulletin) and if you haven't heard about the lamb roast, then, well, I'm sorry, but it seems that you could be considered overtly anti-social or snobbishly clinging to a sad, secluded clique.

i totally disagree. i am a senior and i have never heard of any lamb roast. i even talked to some of my fellow students and they also have no idea what the lamb roast is. And i'm sorry, but we are definately not 'out of touch with the student body'. maybe i know of it by a different name...what is it exactly?

How did a snowball fight get on there when the lamb roast is left off? I've never heard of a campus-wide snowball and I am a fifth year senior. The lamb on the other hand, now there is a tradition! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:49, 2 November 2007 (UTC)


MITY redirects here, yet this article doesn't actually mention MITY. Something should probably be done about that. --Zarel 02:01, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Flag at top of page[edit]

I didn't put the NPOV flag up but I can see why it's there - there are lots and lots of unresearched statements such as "many people criticize the meal plan, etc." I don't think thart many people criticize it, to begin with, but if they do, provide research or leave out the "weasel word" comments. I'm going to try to clean this up over the next few days. Also, I added a list of Macalester College people article, and any help expanding that would be much appreciated. Cwilli201 16:31, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Major updates[edit]

I added a rather large history section, put the college's official seal in, and shuffled some other stuff around as well. It's looking better, so I took down the flag at the top, and I added a section about the controversies on campus that conforms a little better to Wikipedia standards and takes up less space. There are still some missing citations and something needs to be done with the trivia page, but otherwise I think it's improved. Cwilli201 19:37, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Photo request[edit]

Old Main is on the List of Registered Historic Places in Minnesota. It would be nice to have a picture of it.--Appraiser (talk) 19:38, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Trivia Section[edit]

There seems to be a general lack of citations regarding anything in the trivia section, and given the non-encyclopedic nature of trivia sections, I have removed it. If anyone wants to provide citation, then please feel free to return the section, and a decision can then be met at a later point on how to integrate the section into the rest of the article. Jacotto (talk) 03:15, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

"Highly selective"[edit]

There's an IP user who is on a campaign to insert "highly selective" into the lead section, where this kind of subjective detail does not belong (per WP:Lead section). This detail could be included in the article text, but there should be a citation to the source (who says it's "highly selective"?) and that source's criteria for defining "highly selective." --Orlady (talk) 23:34, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

  • I've removed "highly selective" from the first sentence as it is a hollow term and violates WP:PEACOCK and WP:BOOSTER. I'll keep a look on watchlist. Madcoverboy (talk) 19:29, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Acceptance Rate[edit]

Apparently a certain IP user believes Macalester to have a 35% acceptance rate. I have seen two different sources state that it stands at 41% (collegeboard and macalester itself). If this number is a true value please add a citation to verify it. JKOLO 1:40, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Again... is not a valid citation for the claim of a 35% acceptance rate. Where does it state this information on this page? Don't just cite a random page on the website. If IP user is not making this number up please cite it. JKOLO 21:48, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Coeducation in lead[edit]

I don't believe coeducation should be mentioned in the first sentence since its a non-notable distinction - one would no more mention that it is racially integrated. In the cases of colleges such as Wellesley College or Mount Holyoke College, certainly making this explicit would be important, but as coeducation is the norm in the vast majority of institutions it doesn't bear mentioning. Madcoverboy (talk) 19:50, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

"Coeducational" is an basic and objective piece of information about a school that appears in the lead in articles for many coeducational colleges, including Amherst College, Belmont University, Beloit College, Bowdoin College, Carleton College, Connecticut College, Dartmouth College, Vanderbilt University, and Vassar College. The fact that you assume these schools are co-ed unless told otherwise does not justify excluding this detail -- not every reader of the encyclopedia makes the same assumptions you make. Since this could affect many articles, if you believe that this detail should not be included in article leads, the Wikiproject for universities (Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Universities) would be a good place to discuss your proposal. --Orlady (talk) 20:06, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

The Rock[edit]

The claim that the rock "was at one point stolen by students from Carleton College of Northfield and mailed back to Macalester COD" is unsourced and does not seem especially credible (I highly doubt the USPS, or any credible shipper would accept a 1000-lb COD package without question). I'm removing it.--Mandoliniment (talk) 18:44, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

According to a professor, this story is a load of bunk. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:00, 24 July 2009 (UTC)


Given that this section is entirely lacking in citations and has a palpable 'trivia' air to it, I'd like to remove it from the article, but I'd like to hear the opinions of other editors first. Jacotto (talk) 06:41, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Speciality housing & Food servicesa[edit]

'[R]esidents of the Cultural House are usually required to work or volunteer for the Department of Multicultural Life[.]' I'd love to know how someone can be required to volunteer.

'The standard option (and the mandatory one for new students) [...]' I'd love to know how something mandatory can be an option.

re: the Cultural House, the C-house is a special living option for which students must apply, so it's more of a privilege and stuents who wish to live there must be involved in the DML or other cultural activities on campus. It could perhaps be reworded more clearly, however. And I agree that the second sentence is poorly written. Quamobrem (talk) 19:53, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Who was the college named after, or why?[edit]

I haven't found it on their site or any other. Kind of important, no? (talk) 23:20, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

List Dispute[edit]

Is there any reason to have a list of dozens of student org groups? None of them appear to be notable in terms of the scope of a wikipedia article. Unless anybody strongly objects, I'll remove them and clean the section up a bit. Jacotto (talk) 20:46, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

"Controversy" section[edit]

I have made some edits to this section to try and make it a little more balanced and provide more information to the casual reader. Given the back-and-forth edit wars ongoing over these incidents, perhaps it would be best to have a discussion about their inclusion on the talk page.

I don't really remember what the standard is to have information included in an article. I do know that pages upon pages about these two incidents have been written by Mac alums and students, far more than could probably be fit on the page. I'd be interested to hear opinions from people about whether or not this section should be included, and why. (talk) 22:59, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

How do you decide what a controversy is? Macalester's stance on the marriage amendment and the lack of stance on voter ID caused controversy on campus and off. New buildings, need blind admission, presidential salary, tuition hikes, student body diversity and plenty others are controversial. What do other pages have in terms of controversy? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:35, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

See my comments in the major overhaul section. While they are important current events, they do not belong in the encyclopedia entry of Macalester College. The page should be presenting information about the school in an unbiased way. I agree with the previous poster and will be removing the section in my overhaul of the page. Bamarty (talk) 07:42, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

In my opinion, this section is totally unnecessary, besides the Wang Ping bullet. A small note of student activism could be made in the student life section. This controversy section is just more propaganda for KWOC and an arena for them to voice their opinions. kellen111 (talk) 11:58, 26 July 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

I do not even think the Wang Ping bullet is necessary. It is important to remember that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and information should be presented as such. I will save removing all of it until it is further discussed and I work on some other changes, but eventually it needs to go. What is the time frame for how long this should stay on? It is current event news, not information about the school. I don't see a single other school with such a section. Currently that section takes up nearly 20% of the Wikipedia page, clearly something is wrong. Bamarty (talk) 08:32, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

It appears then, that we have consensus about what belongs on the page as far as controversy goes. I will note that information about KWOC and Brian Rosenberg has been added to Rosenberg's page, and I see no reason why information about Wang Ping's lawsuit could not be added to her page as well. I will remove the section, and if IP editors continue to revert edits, someone can put in a request for protection. (talk) 19:06, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

I second the idea of a section on student activism under student life. Mac's well know for it. Just from the sheer amount of coverage and alumni involvement in KWOC it probably should be mentioned. Plenty of people are confused. jukebox (talk) 15:18, 29 July 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

I agree with that only so long as it remains about student activism and not just about KWOC. Maybe a list (perhaps even bullet point?) of current and previous student movements. No more than a couple sentences per movement at most. It doesn't need to dominate the page. That's part of why the old section was inappropriate. I can start a student activism section if someone can give me some references and movements. Bamarty (talk) 05:33, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

I agree it would be better to have a section on student activism, with some brief overviews of the ones like KWOC that have been particularly significant, but it's entirely unnecessary to include in-depth information on any particular issue. Any school could have entire volumes written about the history of student/administration conflict on campus over the years, but that really isn't the point of an encyclopedic article. Quamobrem (talk) 19:57, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Eco house[edit]

Does the eco house really warrant its own page? It's not quite a stub but the article currently just consists of a lot of inflated information about the house's purpose and how it was renovated, as well as a brief mention of the reaction of the community to its creation. Granted, I'm new, but I don't think it lives up to notability standards...any thoughts? Quamobrem (talk) 21:36, 2 November 2013 (UTC)