BostoNU: Q&A: Ryan Fox, student body president

BostoNU: Q&A: Ryan Fox, student body president
News Staff File Photo/Meghan McVeigh

by Bill Shaner, News Staff

Huntington News: What is SGA?
Ryan Fox: SGA is the Student Government Association. It represents undergraduate students on campus. We just work to make sure students get the most out of their time here, whether it be in academics or student life or anywhere else in the university. We work with the students and the administration to make sure the students get their voices heard and that they’re getting the most out of their time here.

HN: What specifically does SGA do for the students?
RF: We handle pretty much any issue any student has on campus. Any time a student feels they’re getting the run-around or not being listened to, we make sure they get help. If they have a new idea or something else they want to do on campus or see changed on campus we’re here to work towards that as well.

HN: What sort of concerns should students bring to SGA?
RF: Anything, literally any concern a student has on campus or even with the community and how the community relates with Northeastern. Big or small, we’re here to tackle them all. We’re here to help. If we don’t know the answer we’ll find it out; if it’s something new, we can work on it. And if it’s something best serviced elsewhere we can direct a student in that direction.

HN: How can students contact SGA if they have a problem?
RF: We have a multitude of ways: phone, e-mail, website, office, Twitter, Facebook. I mean, we’re trying to throw ourselves out there as much as possible. The easiest way to find out how to get in contact with us is our website, www.sga.neu.edu.

HN: What are some ways SGA can help solve student’s problems?
RF: A lot of the problems that get brought to us we can help with our leverage with the university’s administration. We can help students with the run-around or privy students to it when we’ve discovered the issue. We can point students in the right direction, direct students to the right office. We can look at a cause a student has and help them out. If it takes escalation – kind of going higher up the university chain – we can do that as well. A lot of it is just using the access we’ve developed and kind of seeing what the common trends are and tackling the big issues on the whole instead of just on a case by case basis.

HN: Can you think of an example offhand of a student coming to SGA for help and SGA coming through for them?
RF: If you look at a lot of the dining services changes that have happened over the past year, a lot of those were students coming to us saying they wanted more opportunities to use their meals. So we worked on those and worked on meal equivalencies at Rebecca’s Café and the West End, additional points at Outtakes, later night hours at the dining halls. We’ve done a lot with that over the past year and its all because students have come to us and said they wanted more opportunities to use their meals.

HN: What are some of the larger projects SGA has done on behalf of students over the past few years?
RF: Well the Library is open 24/7 due to the advocacy we’ve done, Outtakes just a few years ago was open 9 hours a day, now its open 18 hours a day during the week. The dining halls used to be open ‘til 9 p.m., now [Stetson East is] open ‘til 11 p.m. The [recreation] fee that had gone to renovations in Matthew’s Arena last year, which made a huge improvement [to the quality of the arena]. The Teacher Rating and Course Evaluations, TRACE, used to be a paper program but that was overhauled a few years ago as well.

HN: What does SGA have planned for the year ahead?
RF: A lot of it’s just kind of formalizing our communication channels with students, making sure students know that we’re here and reaching out to them and kind of tackling all those little sensitive cracks in the past. We’ve got a lot done. Hard to say where the next big thing will come from but we’re excited to see where it comes up, where the opportunity arises. One of the big things that we do every year is the funding priorities survey. That will be out in the next month or so. That will give students the opportunity to kind of look at those big tasks and prioritize and let us know what’s important to them and we’ll start tackling things from there.

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