Soleyn seeks student input

By By Rob Tokanel, News Staff

‘ Junior Matt Soleyn’s candidacy for Student Government Association (SGA) president will focus primarily on increasing the communication between the SGA and the student body, Soleyn said.
‘I think the biggest issue I’d like to tackle is the mere fact that student government doesn’t become aware of all the issues that students have,’ he said. ‘It’s purely an outreach issue; students aren’t aware of issues they can bring to student government, and we need a process where it’s easy for students to come to SGA.’
Soleyn, an information science and business administration major, is an SGA Special Interest Senator for the Resident Student Association (RSA) and Vice President for Housing Services in RSA. He grew up in Maryland and became involved with SGA as a sophomore.
Soleyn said his plan to make the president and SGA more accessible to students would involve adding anonymous comment boxes to residence halls, adding a feature to the myNEU portal that would allow students to directly contact SGA and holding public meetings at regular intervals where students could converse directly with him.
Soleyn said another of his major initiatives would be to try to save money by spending more sensibly.
‘We, as a campus, really need to look at how we can cut costs,’ he said. ‘When students put down tuition money, they need to see that it’s used as effectively as possible. One area we need to look at is where we are wasting money.’
For instance, Soleyn said, a lot of money slips through the cracks for the sake of extravagance during department meetings.
‘A lot of times I’ve seen where a department has a meeting, and catering comes in or you’ve got 10 bottles of water sitting on a table that cost at least $2 each’ he said. ‘Right there you’re seeing $20 of waste that could have gone to another initiative to really benefit the students.’
He also said Northeastern could save money by trying to save energy and increase recycling services.
Like his opponent, Soleyn has set up a website and a Facebook group to promote his candidacy. He has updated the site several times, once with a response to a student e-mail and once with a rebuttal to statements made by Ryan Fox in the March 9 issue of The News.
‘My opponent accuses me of pandering to the special interests,’ Soleyn said on the website. ‘He claims that I do not look at the student body as a whole but rather believe in doing whatever any individual student wants. Such rhetoric is untrue. I believe that each and every individual student’s voice should be heard and listened to.’
Soleyn said the biggest difference between Fox and himself is his intention to focus on the desires of the students and to fully commit himself to advocating for them. With respect to issues like the proposed city ordinance requiring universities to report students’ addresses to the city, Soleyn said he will stand up for students’ rights to be treated as equal members of the community.
‘I feel the role of student government is to really look at what the students want and to allow the students to be the primary voice,’ he said. ‘It could be something really simple, or a bigger issue we see on campus that relates to city ordinances, where we might have to go out and petition the city for the students.’

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