SGA President Fox uses technology to connect with students

By Chelsea Reil, News Staff

‘ Just a few days shy of his first full month in office, Student Government Association (SGA) President Ryan Fox is already making changes, he said. ‘In the past, it was a lot of SGA expecting students to approach us. But we should approach them,’ Fox said. ‘We want to pull them in to what we’re doing.’ SGA is now on Facebook; students can join the more than 300 Huskies who have become fans already. There is a thread inviting students to list their complaints about the university so SGA ‘can improve your experience at Northeastern and the experience of future students,’ according to the thread. As of press time, no one has posted. SGA also has a Twitter account, NortheasternSGA. It is updated every few days with plans to increase tweets as the semester picks up, Fox said. More than 150 Twitter users following the SGA account.’ Fox discussed a recent tweet posted by SGA asking for input from students on what to do with the game room in the Curry Student Center.’ ‘No one really had any ideas, but it got people talking,’ he said. ‘There has been an increased level of feedback and a lot more spontaneous feedback due to the Twitter account,’ said Mike Rockland, vice president of administration and public relations. ‘When students see something on campus they tweet about it and tag @northeasternsga. ‘ This has proven to be a useful tool for increased feedback and we expect even more feedback in the fall when campus is more populated again.’ A new website is also in the works for SGA, Fox said. The group’s current website, www.sga.neu.edu, is down, but Fox said the new one should be up within two weeks. He said the new site will be more clear and easier to navigate ‘- more interactive, letting students know how to get involved. ‘We want to reach across every medium possible to make sure that everyone is able to receive information in his or her own preferred method,’ Rockland said. There will also be places on the site for students to submit suggestions. From there, other students can comment and vote on the suggestions, giving SGA a more comprehensive look at the opinions of the student body. ‘It’s the same model Starbucks uses on their website and it has proven to be pretty effective,’ Fox said. In addition to improving its website, SGA is working to revamp campus recreation this summer, Fox said. The Speare quad whiffle ball field will be re-turfed and modified. A full-sized beach volleyball court will be built between Willis Hall and West Village G, utilizing a fairly unused quad. There are also plans to wire some of the machines in Marino for televisions. All of these improvements are being funded by the mandatory Student Activity Fee. But when it came to White Stadium, a proposed site for the Northeastern football program, Fox had little to say. ‘I don’t know enough about it to talk about it,’ he said. ‘And I don’t think Northeastern was ready to talk about it either ‘hellip; I still think the stadium is five to 10 years out.’ Fox also alluded to a two-day university-wide event in the fall, but declined to give any specific information. ‘We’re not a programming body, but events are a great way to help other groups, so we know what the kinks are that they go through every time they plan something,’ he said. Fox emphasized the effort SGA is making and will continue to make to get its name out there. ‘We try and make this university feel smaller, both physically and web-based,’ he said. Fox said he wants students to know that he, along with the rest of SGA, is here to serve the student body. ‘I speak at every orientation letting students know whatever they want to do, be it SGA or something, get involved,’ he said. SGA looks at the previous administration’s mistakes, he said, but it is primarily focused on the future. ‘We are trying to evaluate what we did well, what we didn’t do so well and work from there,’ he said. Kelsey Roberson, an incoming freshman studying chemistry, attended orientation on campus this week. ‘I thought that the SGA seemed really organized and interesting,’ Roberson said after hearing Fox speak at her orientation. ‘I plan to be involved in some type of organization but I’m not quite sure which one yet. SGA seems to be a little overwhelming.’

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