Coast Guard vet looks to get feet wet in politics

Alexa Gagosz/ Editor-in-Chief

Alexa Gagosz/ Editor-in-Chief

Student Government Association (SGA) Senator-at-Large for commuter students and Vice Presidential candidate Matt Wood found his way to Suffolk in a non-traditional fashion. Having served four years in the Coast Guard and taking time off from school to gain experience in the workforce, Wood has his sights set on the position of vice president for SGA’s executive board.

“I have a bunch of life experience – I’m older than most of the people here,” said Wood in a recent interview with The Suffolk Journal. “Older doesn’t always win, but with that comes experience. I’ve been able to see different situations, and see what works and what doesn’t work.”

Wood intends for one of his primary focal points if elected SGA Vice President to center around campus security. The criminal justice major said that Suffolk’s campus safety is not lacking, but mentioned the frequent robberies that occur in the Citizens Bank located in the 73 Tremont St. Wood said there are valuable resources in place, such as on-demand police service and phone apps that assist students to maintain their safety.

“I don’t think that the communication of those tools is really available,” said Wood. “There’s a bunch of students that don’t know. They don’t know where things have moved in the building, and I think that communication from the faculty to students needs to be better.”

Wood spoke of the procedures and processes that have been put for in order to increase campus safety, such as the check-in points in 73 Tremont. He said this is an issue he has been working on as the situation has created a fire hazard as clusters of students enter.

Campus divisiveness is another concern of Wood that he said he plans to dedicate time to if elected SGA Vice President. Wood talked about this issue, and said that he wants to make sure each and every person feels like they have a voice and a home at Suffolk.

“As the country will continue to be more and more divisive here the only way we can get through it in the only way we can be productive is to work together,” said Wood

He said that with the constant cycle of students entering and exiting the university, it is important to keep in mind the errors that the university has made on any number of issues in order to structure the future of Suffolk in a more effective fashion. Wood also said that students need to ask more of their university.

“I think all too often people that go to college forget they are the customer and the education is the product,” said Wood. They feel that they have to but they can’t demand certain things of the institution – which you can, and obviously you have to do your part. But as a student there’s certain overreaching things like that where you have to demand better.”