Thanks for your questions!
Honestly, college food is never of Michelin Star quantity (unless you’re at Bowdoin, I’ve heard), but I would say Mac’s food isn’t half bad. Most of the food issues, like fewer choices or a lack of napkins, have originated from broader supply chain issues. The food can get repetitive, but it’s definitely palatable. My friends at William and Mary and Georgia Tech say their food is barely edible-- that’s not been the case at Mac.
There are auxiliary food locations separate from the cafe (a sandwich shop, Mediterranean takeout place, American grill, and Tex-Mex place) that allow for a bit more variety and convenience.
My friends who are picky eaters have definitely had certain nights where they dislike the food, though. (I am not a picky eater, so make of that what you will.)
In terms of minority/international students, I have found that the domestic BIPOC students interact much more with domestic white students than international students interact with either group. (Of course, BIPOC students also make use of the many BIPOC-only spaces on campus, which is helpful at a PWI.) Almost half of my closest friends are nonwhite, but all are from the US. I’ve talked to a few international students, but they tend to stay much more separate, unfortunately.
Regarding campus safety: the campus is located in one of the wealthiest, most gentrified neighborhoods in the Twin Cities, Macalester-Groveland. So the surrounding area is what you’d expect from that description; Mac students are far more likely to encounter residents who disagree with rent stabilization or complain about party noise than they are to witness “city life.” As someone who has lived in gentrified suburbs all her life, Mac-Groveland and the campus feel familiar. The student body is constantly pushing for the college to break out of the neighborhood bubble, and care about underserved and marginalized sections of the Twin Cities.
The protests of Summer 2020 (which did not occur in Mac-Groveland for the most part) are not representative of the current Twin Cities atmosphere. Discussion regarding police violence continues, but is now mainly centered around the upcoming Minneapolis mayoral race (most Mac students believe the incumbent has not treated racist violence seriously enough).
As a white woman, I can’t speak to the danger felt from police. But it is true that MPD has committed multiple, unacceptable racist killings within a very short timeframe. There is much work to be done, and many Mac students were and are at the forefront of it. MPD has been particularly egregious as of late, but their behavior mirrors that of many police departments across the country. I live in North Carolina, and as I said to my grandma, “The next racist killing could occur in Raleigh-- it’s not limited to Minneapolis.”
One thing I will note is that Mac offered to pay bail for students arrested in protests last year. Don’t think that happened, as far as I know, but they got a Fox News clickbait article in return for that announcement.