Groups discuss SGA representation

Leaders from nine student organizations met with the Student Government Association’s (SGA) executive board Saturday in an effort to address the concerns of their membership, with issues ranging from diversity among faculty, staff and students to the creation of a university-wide calendar of events.

The two-hour forum was planned by the organizations as a means to “put the issues on the table and find out what’s going on,” said Sergio Marrero, Latin American Student Organization (LASO) president.

“We were trying to create a welcoming environment where we could openly discuss the issues and share our genuine concern,” Marrero said.

Several leaders at the meeting, including Will Reese, president of the Northeastern Black Student Association (NBSA), called for the interests of their groups to be represented more strongly in Senate.

“A lot of students at Northeastern are very connected to specific student organizations, and it just seems more appropriate that the students be given the option to pick their senators in relation to whom they actually communicate with,” Reese said.

However, Student Government Association Executive Vice President for Student Affairs John Guilfoil said changing the composition of the university’s student government is a move that should not be taken lightly.

“The very first thing that these groups need to do is appoint a special interest senator,” he said. “Before students start to preach that we should totally change the structure and the mission of student government, we need to effectively test what we have right now.”

Marrero said the meeting, requested last month by e-mail, provided opportunities for dialogues that may not have occurred otherwise.

“If people from the outside don’t find it comfortable coming in, and they find it intimidating, how can that be a forum to share their concerns?” he said.

Some issues raised at the meeting – like the calendar of events – were already in the process of being resolved. Others though, like communication difficulties with the Campus Activities Office described by Northeastern University African Student Organization (NASO) Treasurer Marieme Ba, will have to be assessed further by the executive board.

“I honestly heard a lot of things that were general student group concerns,” Guilfoil said.

Although it could take some time before the meeting’s effects are clear, LASO member Paola Mesadieu, a middler international affairs major, said she is interested to see how it will shape collaboration between the organizations in the future.

“We can say, ‘We’re going to do this, we’re going to do that,’ but if no action is behind that

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