Aoun, VPs, discuss Master Plan, drinking

Aoun, VPs, discuss Master Plan, drinking

Call it a meeting of the minds – of presidential proportions.

Northeastern President Joseph Aoun answered a wide variety of questions in a student forum in the Curry Student Center Ballroom Thursday, hosted by the Student Government Association (SGA).

President Aoun was joined by members of his senior administration, as students asked questions ranging from academic and financial concerns to the status of the university’s Institutional Master Plan and the possibility of a new athletic facility.

SGA President Rogan O’Handley kicked off the session by asking about the extent of student involvement in the master plan, prompting Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance Larry Mucciolo to briefly describe the master plan process.

“The master plan in the narrow sense is a document that is required by the city of Boston that enables you to construct new facilities and to use our facilities for whatever range of activities we have here,” he explained.

Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Life Philomena Mantella said the master plan document is 10 years old and that students are “very much a part of it.”

Chris Kelley, SGA vice president for financial affairs, expressed concern with student financial aid at the forum, saying he knows students who have not returned to Northeastern after only one semester due to financial strains.

Mantella said improving financial aid remains a priority for the university as it will “continue to put focus into it moving forward, and we’re making really good progress.”

“We recognize the challenge of financing your education for you and your families,” Mantella said.

Aoun followed up by saying all private universities are faced with the issue of assisting students in financing their education.

A question was brought up regarding alcohol being sold at university events.

Vice President for Student Affairs Ed Klotzbier said the administration wants to teach responsible drinking, and there are a variety of occasions, such as the wine tasting event during Alcohol Awareness Week, that try to introduce safe drinking.

“This issue of underage drinking is such a large issue on college campuses today that we really have to be careful how much we can introduce it into all of our activities,” Klotzbier said. “It’s just not the time and place for us to be doing that kind of thing in such a public forum.”

SGA Executive Vice President for Student Affairs Adriana Campos raised the issue that Northeastern students seemingly lack school spirit.

Aoun argued Campos’ claim by saying he believes Northeastern has a lot of school spirit on different levels.

“I don’t believe that there is no school spirit. It exists. I come from a place that in fact suffered because there was one option for school spirit – athletics,” Aoun said. “When you wear your sweatshirts in the city you are making a statement of who you are, your identity. We have school spirit

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