Changed Campus: Suffolk’s global community speaks out

Condensed campus causes ripples overseas

Alexa Gagosz

For more than 100 years, Suffolk University has stood on and been apart of the Beacon Hill community. As of this Summer, part of the identity of Suffolk and its reputation for being throughout the heart of Boston is about to disappear. With the sale of its Temple Street properties, the once spread-out university will become evidently much more compact.

Some of the students studying abroad see the changes occurring to the Boston campus and are hesitant to come back to the United States next semester.

Sophomore film studies and production major Matt Brown has been studying abroad at the Madrid campus and said that returning to a changed campus makes him not know what to expect, especially when it comes to the number of classes that he saw offered when he registered for classes for the fall.

“The effects of the changes that I’ve experienced here in Madrid are minimal, excluding the fact that significantly less classes were offered,” said Brown. “Since the class offerings when I was trying to register for the fall semester were so lacking, it leads me to believe that it’s due to the fact that we have downsized in the number of classrooms.”

Even though he is being forced to return to the Boston campus, he is weary that he may come back to a minimal amount of classroom and programing space.

“Suffolk will really need to find a way to optimize the reduced space somehow,” said Brown. “It’s concerning being over here in Madrid, and not seeing the changes that are happening, because I know it’s going to affect so many students.”

Said Brown when asked if he knows if any others feel similarly, “I know tons of people that have been saying that they don’t think the changes are good or necessary, and have thought about staying here in Madrid.”

The International Business Club (IBC) has usually held their meetings in Sawyer for the past four years, but have had events and programs throughout the Suffolk-owned Beacon Hill buildings. However, their biggest concern as an organization on campus is how they will recruit new students, since they planned to do most of their recruitment at the annual Temple Street Fair.

“Where will the Fall involvement fair be,” they asked. “[The Temple Street Fair has] marked the beginning of a new school year and semester with Suffolk students who are involved in the Suffolk community and activities.”

The IBC, as well as many other organizations on campus, are skeptical about the move until they find out more information on where the fall involvement fair will be hosted.

Junior Broadcast Journalism major Jessica DiLorenzo said that it has finally started to hit her that Archer and Donahue will no longer be around for when she comes back to the Boston campus from Madrid. For her, the Donahue building was a comforting space where she had worked in the Student Leadership & Involvement (SLI) and Orientation and New Student Programs Offices, where her chapter meetings were for Theta Phi Alpha, as well as where she met up with some of her commuter friends.

“It will be weird that when I return for my senior year, that it [the Donahue building] will be gone,” said DiLorenzo.

Junior Broadcast Journalism major Matt Durkin has been involved with a number of clubs and organizations on campus, including being an orientation leader in the past, being a part of Studio 73, and was a Trustee Ambassador where he gave tours of the campus to prospective students. He believes that it was necessary to remodel the campus, but the school may have been too hasty to make decisions.

“I know that space is going to be an issue,” said Durkin as he said he was going to miss going to school on the historic Beacon Hill.

“I just believe that Suffolk University will hopefully help to accommodate students as they continue to increase class sizes,” said Brown. “Hopefully the school will work with us to be able to come up with solutions to space-related or any other issues that do arise.”

“It’s more urban now, not as homey,” Durkin said as he brought up the growing downtown atmosphere that Suffolk is leaning toward as they leave Beacon Hill.

For junior psychology and French double major and President of the Francophone Culture Club Gabrielle Kosta, the move from Temple Street will be bittersweet, but she is hopeful for some office space of their own of the third floor of Sawyer, which they are currently on the waiting list for.

“I don’t think it’s a loss so much as a shift. Change is constant, and the best way to be successful is to be able to adapt to those changes,” said Kosta. “I personally am sad to see [Donahue, Archer, and C. Walsh Theatre] go, but we have to keep moving forward while keeping in mind what is important to all the prospective students who have choosing to be at Suffolk.”

While the school continues to condense the university, many students who are studying abroad have mixed feelings on the current and former administration’s decisions.

“I know that many students, including myself, don’t agree with the decision to condense the campus,” said Brown. “Not only did this move create a loss of a theater and more class space, but now Suffolk’s campus is confined to solely the outskirts of Beacon Hill.

Brown brought up the fact that Suffolk’s uniqueness is dying and getting closer to a traditional college campus- the exact thing that Suffolk prided itself in not being.

“Suffolk’s ‘city-school’ label is, in a way, fading,” said Brown.

However, some students are excited about the changes.

Suffolk Hillel, the Jewish organization on campus, has always shared the Interfaith Center with other organizations on campus. According to their executive board, they may have their own space with this move and hopes that it will make it easier for students on campus to get more involved.

“We are excited and looking forward to moving into a more central location on campus,” said President of Suffolk Hillel and junior graphic design major Rachel Baruch.

Sophomore finance major and publicity specialist for Suffolk Hillel, Jacqueline Pisano, is positive about the change on campus for her organization.

“[This is the] chance for Suffolk Hillel to meet other students and participate with fellow clubs and organizations,” said Pisano.

Sophomore Biology major Gabby Zawadzki, who has been studying abroad since the beginning of the fall semester, said that this change couldn’t be any more ideal for a science major.

“I like the change better because Somerset is where most of my classes and labs are in so it’s nice that it’s closer to the library and the dorms,” said Zawadzki. “I think Suffolk made a good decision changing the campus because the buildings are closer and the new addition was much needed due to the former labs being out-dated.”

Sophomore entrepreneurship and accounting double major Tiana Maraia has been studying in Madrid and enjoyed most of the semester gallivanting throughout Europe. Holding one of the more uncommon opinions at Suffolk, she looks forward to coming back to the modernized campus.

“I never liked Archer or Donahue because they were older buildings and farther away from Sawyer,” said Maraia. “The new 20 Somerset building is really nice and modern.”

Sophomore psychology major Victoria Davis travelled to the University College Cork (UCC) in Cork Ireland for the semester and had spent a lot of time in the Donahue building for student programs, such as the Jumpstart office, but has attempted to be optimistic about the changed campus.

During her time at UCC, she was subjected to a traditional college campus and still does not consider Suffolk to have that classic campus impression, even with the sale of the buildings on Temple Street.

“It may be easier for students to get to class on time,” said Davis. “The new Somerset building is really nice and it’s good to see our tuition going to something that will benefit our students and make it more efficient for our staff to teach.”

Sophomore Journalism major Denise Fortin went along with Davis, her friend and former roommate, to Cork for this spring semester and remembered one of the main reasons why she left hometown of Orlando, Fl. to head to New England.

“Part of the reason I wanted to go to Suffolk was because of its integration in the city and I don’t think [this] transition takes away from that,” said Fortin.

For Kosta, who speaks for the entire Francophone Culture Club, said that this change will not hurt the school in the admissions department, just the people who had experienced Temple Street.

“It is not a loss of identity, we are definitely losing something that will be missed, but we are still Suffolk,” said Kosta.