Senior sees Suffolk’s squabbles


Alexa Gagosz/Journal Staff

Serina Gousby

While I am excited about upcoming senior events, trips, finishing classes, and graduation, I am constantly worrying about my fate as a future alumna of a university that seems to be going on a downward spiral.

In light of the public dispute between President Margaret McKenna and the Board of Trustees, there needs to be serious improvements of Suffolk in order for students to have confidence in and hope that their education and future will not be affected.

I entered Suffolk University as former President James McCarthy filled in for the role. Since then, there have been three presidents during my undergraduate career, and that is extremely embarrassing. Our current president, McKenna is the only one who has listened to students’, staff, and faculty’s concerns, and has made more progress than prior appointed presidents have within a seven-month period.

I believe her presence and successful experience as a civil rights attorney and former Lesley University president of 22 years is just what Suffolk University needs. The allegations that are made against her do not give any justified reasons to terminate her within the third week of the spring semester. It takes time for a university’s commander-in-chief to repair financial and economic issues, and the Board of Trustees should trust her decisions, as they felt that she was perfect for the job a few months ago.

As a person of color, she has restored my faith that my voice, and other voices of color, will be heard. Without McKenna’s guidance and continuous actions, I don’t think anyone else can fill that void and represent the heart of diversity and equality on campus.

On top of that, my concerns rest on the future of the College of Arts and Sciences’ departments and how the closings of three buildings and a theater will affect that.

As we all know, the Donahue building, C. Walsh Theatre, and the Archer building on Temple Street will no longer be a part of Suffolk after this semester and are currently on lease. These buildings are added to the list with another sold building, Fenton, formerly the home of the English and Math departments, which closed in 2014.

This means that the theater department, the science departments, the financial aid office, the bursar and registrar’s offices, the Center for Community Engagement, our beloved Suffolk Journal office, and more are being moved to one of the other three buildings. There is clearly not enough room in 73 Tremont, Sawyer, and 20 Somerset to cram all of these classes and departments together.

Just by observing Suffolk this year, even with the opening of 20 Somerset, there are still many students in the leased buildings, and when they are officially gone, how are Suffolk’s last three buildings going to accommodate all of these departments and faculty?

It is rumored that the environmental sciences, physics, and engineering departments will come to an end by this semester, and many art departments, including communications and English will be reviewed. Seniors who are majors in these departments are limited in opportunities like becoming teaching assistants.

In addition, if there is possible termination of professors in these departments, it will be hard for students to stay in contact and solidify their connections with them. In this situation, I wonder if there is value to their degrees and if this decision diminishes their chances to find a great career after graduation. As an English major, I fear for my own degree and if I will have opportunities to work with Suffolk or any workplace in the future.

For the theater department, the C. Walsh is a huge loss to the university, and there is no way to have huge events and production shows with small spaces like 20 Somerset’s cafe or the Modern Theatre.

I love my university, and I am grateful for the opportunities that I have been exposed to, but there needs to be immediate change that will ensure that Suffolk has my back as a future alumna.