SGA Meeting Illustrates Coalition for Future
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Thursday, December 6, 2012 12:12
Dozens of Student Government Association members, observers, and photographers attended last week's general meeting. President of Suffolk University, James McCarthy, addressed SGA and also answered many different questions.
President McCarthy began by highlighting SGA President Samienta Pierre-Vil's commitment to the school thus far. "I want to assure you that Samienta has already fulfilled some of the promises she had made," McCarthy said.
President McCarthy's first order of business was the Board of Trustees' approval of the new Strategic Plan. McCarthy will host a town hall meeting in the upcoming weeks to discuss the specifics of the new plan. President McCarthy also announced that four of the seven points would pertain to student needs and goals.
His focus on the student body has been evident this school year. By participating in dinning events within resident halls, and planning pizza parties with students, McCarthy is trying to make himself more accessible to students across the campus.
After giving some remarks, the President took questions from the attendees.
When asked about the approval of new buildings for classrooms and expansions, he made it very clear that no new buildings would be opened any time soon. However, he spoke about the property on 20 Somerset Street and said that the Strategic Plan would outline more details on the matter.
President McCarthy also reaffirmed Suffolk's commitment to the Study Abroad program, despite the closing of Suffolk's Dakar campus in 2011.
"The I.T. (Information Technology) and the financial situation is far better than what I thought it was," he announced, focusing on the positive observations he has made since becoming President.
When asked about his goals for the academic year, he pointed again to the Strategic Plan. Last year was the lowest increase of tuition rates in the past 35 years, and keeping the increase underneath three percent was set as the benchmark. Attaining scholarship money to retain and attract more students was also listed as an important goal.
"We must do all we can to increase graduation and retention rates," President McCarthy said to the packed room.
At the end of the meeting, President McCarthy who was celebrating a birthday the next day, and Pierre-Vil who was also celebrating a birthday, both shared a cake together. Their unity throughout the meeting signaled a strong focused year ahead.
Dean of Student Affairs, Nancy Stoll, attended the meeting as well. It was her duty to swear in the new student leaders for this academic school year. Stoll also gave a few remarks, which focused on the importance of hard work and commitment that SGA would have to put forward this year.
Thursday's meeting was also the first meeting involving the new incoming class of senators.
"There is always room for improvement and I want to make that improvement a reality," said Freshman Senator Benjamin Linares after the meeting.
"The first meeting with the President was great," said Linares, commenting on President McCarthy's involvement in the meeting. "He is a great leader and I feel like he will help take Suffolk to the next level. He has not been here that long but I think he is going to be great for the school and the entire Suffolk community."