|Submission Date||Jan. 19, 2021|
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy
|2.00 / 2.00||
Director of Sustainability
Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level:
Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level:
On July 6, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued guidance pertaining to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), stating that the U.S. “would remove temporary exemptions for international students taking online classes due to the pandemic for the fall 2020 semester, and would bar them from entering or remaining in the country if their fall classes are taught exclusively online” (Rivera, 2020). In response to decisions made by the DHS, the state of Minnesota joined the Massachusetts Attorney General in the legal case to oppose the directive. By supporting the state’s decision, President Suzanne Rivera advocates on behalf of the broader Macalester community for public policies that grant needed flexibility for institutions and international students. Commitment to the well-being and holistic sustainability of Macalester College is evident at the state, national, and international level.
Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level:
In 2017, former Macalester College President Brian Rosenberg joined numerous college and university presidents in signing the “We Are Still In” statement. This action confirmed Macalester College's continued support of the Paris Climate Accord, despite President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the agreement.
Former Macalester College President Brian Rosenberg, who departed in the spring of 2020, signed the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge in 2015, joining more than 200 campuses across the country. Although signed in 2015, the institution remains engaged in public policy relating to climate change and maintains its commitment to a sustainable future.
In a public meeting in late 2017, Rosenberg indirectly took a political stance on national issues pertaining to immigration and social justice. In a response to the meeting attendees, Rosenberg says "...things like the immigration ban has an ability to directly impede our recruitment and admission of international students, and it harms a lot of our students. Same with the repeal of DACA...it’s my responsibility to think about the mission of the college and the students of the college and to say something when I feel like they’re being threatened." Rosenberg opposed the Trump administration's decisions to implement an immigration ban and repeal DACA, thereby supporting goals of broader sustainability, particularly related to individual rights, holistic well-being, and social justice.
In July, 2020, Macalester partnered with the Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration to advocate for the rights of DACA students. Macalester joined several colleges and universities across the country to fight against any policies that needlessly place undocumented students at risk.
In a public statement in 2020, President Suzanne Rivera said, “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued guidance regarding immigration requirements for international students who hold F-1 visas that allow them to study at U.S. colleges and universities. The guidance would bar these students from entering or remaining in the country if their fall classes will be taught exclusively online.” On behalf of the Macalester community, President Rivera signed an amicus brief being submitted by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration in support of the Harvard/MIT lawsuit challenging the ruling. In a message from President Rivera in July of 2020, she said, “We also signed the American Council on Education (ACE) letter to Congress condemning the ICE directive. The letter asks Congress to encourage the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to withdraw the ICE directive.”
Macalester is a member of the Ceres Investor Network on Climate Risk and Sustainability. The coalition supports the Green New Deal, the American Innovation in Manufacturing (AIM) Act, clean car regulations, and other initiatives focused on reducing emissions and promoting environmental justice.
Macalester College is a signatory to Climate Action 100+, an investor initiative aimed at curbing emissions, improving governance and strengthening climate-related financial disclosures at both the national and international levels.
Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level:
Macalester sends a delegation to the UN Conference of the Parties each year. Macalester signed the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge to demonstrate our commitment to the importance of international climate action ahead of the UN COP21. Additionally, our former President Brian Rosenberg signed his support for the "We Are Still In" statement supporting the Paris Climate Accords after the Trump Administration pulled the US out of the international agreement.
A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):
Through his actions in support of environmental sustainability and social justice and equity, former President Brian Rosenberg has actively taken political positions on behalf of the Macalester College community. Whether referring to legislation pertaining to climate change, immigration rights, or other sustainability issues, the institution has continued its commitment to sustainability and environmental justice. Through her recent comments and actions, President Rivera gives the impression that she is equally committed to combating climate change and advocating for social justice and sustainability.
A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit institution, Macalester College is prohibited from making political donations.
Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability advocacy efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.