Team of Four Suffolk Students Look to Win SGA Elections
Four Suffolk University students are taking the Student Government Elections by storm, running as a group for the first time in Suffolk history. Better known as GRIT, Logan Trupiano, Hope Burnside, Connor Peterson and Karine Kanj are asking for your vote in this year’s SGA elections. Trupiano is looking for your vote for president, Burnside for vice president, Peterson as secretary and Kanj for treasurer.
The idea to run together started at a fall retreat. Freshman government major Kanj, said she was approached by Trupiano. This was the second time they had spoken, and Trupiano asked her if she would want to work together, him as presidential candidate and her as treasurer candidate, to make a difference in SGA. That was the start of what would now be known as GRIT. Burnside and Peterson joined forces with the two, and they’ve been planning together ever since. The first document the four ever shared together was titled “GRIT Action Plan.” They wanted to make change to SGA.
The GRIT team has made themselves known on campus thanks to their constant social media updates, (their Facebook and Instagram pages are @grit4SGA), posters and flyers and one more important thing.
“The most important thing we have done and continue to do on this campaign is talk to individual students,” says junior, Trupiano. “Everyday, each of us makes it a goal to talk to a Suffolk student, especially new faces, and see what their concerns are. Those concerns are what we want to address if elected.”
To GRIT, the most important goal is to be student centric. The group wants every student, no matter the age, interests or major, to have a voice in things that go on at Suffolk University. The group believes that there is always more that can be done to improve the lives of Suffolk students. The GRIT team has a goal to reach everyone, which is something they believe SGA is failing to do. They will stop at nothing to change that.
The GRIT team has a long list of actions they want to put in place if elected, starting with the creation of several committees and councils, with one getting a little more attention than the rest: a Suffolk University Police Department (SUPD) Committee.
This committee would consist of students majoring in criminal justice and social justice, and they would work closely with Suffolk’s security force to discuss issues facing Suffolk students. One of the policies that GRIT hopes to enact with this committee is what they call a “less dry campus.” The team wants to ensure that the Suffolk community understands what this means; this does not mean a wet campus, but allowing certain clubs and events to have liquor licenses so students 21 and older are able to drink alcohol. They used the fall Post Malone concert (one that Trupiano says was his idea) as an example of an event that could have offered alcohol to students of age. GRIT believes this will allow for more involvement from the older Suffolk students as well as giving the older Suffolk community something they want (and can legally do). At these events, Boston Police Department as well as SUPD would be present, ensuring that no underage student would have any opportunity to consume the alcohol offered. They used the Spring Ball as an example of an event that serves alcohol to students who are legal to drink, and they cited the event as one with the most attendance and the least incidents with SUPD.
Along with these committees and councils, GRIT wants to work on the legislation that is currently in place at Suffolk, not only educating those of what those policies for clubs and organizations are, but also making it easier for them to do the things they are trying to accomplish. Burnside, a vice presidential candidate, explained it this way.
“We want to support the students in as many ways as we can. This means doing more for them, and requiring less laws that restrict them.”
Another goal for GRIT is to increase public relations for SGA as a whole. Peterson, a secretary candidate, currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Public Relations Committee. There are lots of improvements he hopes to create if elected.
“Unfortunately, the role of secretary has diminished over time, and that was very much seen in the questions asked to the secretary candidates at the SGA forum,” says Peterson. “I am not running to be a glorified note taker.
“Social media is so key nowadays, and I want to increase SGA’s presence on every platform as much as possible. This means working with Suffolk’s media groups, getting more public relations majors on board, and having a better budget for PR. I think this is the best way to increase involvement among the students.”
Above all, the GRIT team promises to be an executive board for the students. Kanj and the rest of the team thinks this can best be done through strong communication and a transparent SGA.
“I’m very much of a people’s person, just as the other three members of this team are,” says Kanj. “We work best with face-to-face contact with as many students as possible. Suffolk needs to listen to the students, and we guarantee changes will be made for concerns that students have.”
The group is extremely focused on teamwork and are passionate towards that. They never saw this election as an individual effort; they don’t even answer questions as individuals, but always a group. GRIT promises to focus on the issues that SGA has been neglecting.
Trupiano says that GRIT is the best option for the representation of students.
“Electing us is getting the students elected. Like minded, great people can make change and GRIT will ensure that the great students of Suffolk get the solutions they need.”
SGA elections begin on Monday, March 5th at 9 AM and end on Wednesday, March 7th at 5 PM. Students can vote on SU Connect.