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NESAC Holds Open Forum for Students

An accreditation team from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NESAC) held an open forum for Suffolk University students on Tuesday.  Students were asked by members of the accreditation team about various aspects of Suffolk. The event, held in the new 9th floor lounge of 73 Tremont, allowed students to voice their opinion about the pros and cons of attending Suffolk.

When asked why she chose Suffolk, a sophomore student told the panel that the admissions process was very “welcoming” as an undeclared student. She said the Career Services program greatly helped her, and that she now has a double major and now serves as a student leader.

Another senior student said that walking around Suffolk, “it felt like a family, it felt like a community. I felt like I knew these people, but I knew no one.” As an Orientation Leader, she said that she had “the experience of my life, helping students who were coming to Suffolk.”

When asked if students at Suffolk felt safe in the city, every student said that they did. Despite the occasional odd event, they said that Suffolk does a great job ensuring security.

Each student’s testimony seemed to provide a snapshot of Suffolk life. Collectively, students said that they were glad they chose Suffolk.

While students seemed content with Suffolk, there were a few drawbacks. For example, student athletes spoke about issues within the Athletic Department. Student Government Association President, William Cerullo, spoke about the isolation of the New England School of Art and Design (NESAD) from the main campus, another student brought up the issue of student housing. Corporate card funding for clubs was a predominant concern for students

A representative from Residence Life at Suffolk said that because the corporate cards were taken away, it is harder for Res Life to hold spontaneous events compared to last year. Another student said it was a major obstacle. “Being a student organization, especially in the Performing Arts Office, it’s really hard to access our budgets. That’s technically our money. We pay our student activity fees, we have all that type of stuff, and now we have to go through purchase orders, or check requests, and who takes a check anymore? Who uses purchase orders anymore? … I just think it was an unfortunate situation that has really been putting a struggle on a lot of our student groups.”

A representative for student athletes said that the fitness center at Ridgeway is too crowded, and they “don’t have the space we need.

I’m a transfer from a Division One school, so I’ve seen what state of the art facilities look like. … None of [the teams] have their own fields. The baseball team plays in Quincy, [softball] plays in the North End –  but it’s not our field … it’s not even regulation. The basketball team, the court downstairs isn’t regulation. We have to rely on a van schedule that’s fairly inconvenient for us.”

Overall, students were able to publicly air their concerns to Suffolk. As part of the re-accreditation process, the NESAC team will take into consideration what the students said on Tuesday.

“We appreciate your honesty and transparency,” a member of the accreditation team said. “It has been very helpful to us and you are certainly a very impressive group of students. We’ve been quite impressed by all the students we’ve had an opportunity to interact with, as well as your faculty, staff, and administrators.”

For updates on Suffolk’s re-accreditation process, stay tuned to The Voice.


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