SGA hosts ‘Sundaes with your senator’ to hear student needs

Suffolk University’s Student Government Association hosted its first ‘Mingle with your senator’ event since the pandemic on Monday.

The ‘Sundaes with your senators’ event gave students the opportunity to talk with various SGA senators and e-board members.

“I definitely believe it’s important for the general consensus of students to know what we do,” said Matthew McDonald, senator for the class of 2025.

Vice President Stephen Rykola, said that the event aimed to get students comfortable with SGA and bring senators closer to their constituents. 

“We’re just trying to get really out there and involved so people know who their senators are, you know, where we’re located,” said Rykola. “[SGA’s goal is] hearing concerns people might have that they might not bring up on a regular day.”

Senator for the class of 2024 Stephen Merrick said the difficult balance of SGA and academics can make connecting with students more difficult.

“At the end of the day SGA’s job is to represent the students and to be an outlet for them to voice their concerns,” Merrick said. “That being said, sometimes it’s hard in the hustle and bustle of things to talk to everyone, so events like this provide a great opportunity for just that.”

Senator for the class of 2025 Matthew Lee commented on the experience for new and freshmen senators.  

“As freshmen senators, we are new to the school and it’s important for us to get to know the Suffolk community,” said Lee. 

He added that, as a freshman, this event combined outreach and inclusion.

“I’ve met a ton of new people who I’m happily going to represent in the Senate, so having that outreach is really important,” Lee said. 

According to Rykola, SGA had done ‘Mingle with your senator’ events before, but the pandemic complicated ways in which it could interact with the student body. He later explained that the e-board is looking to do more events of a similar nature because of its positive impact. 

“[COVID-19] had an impact last year because everything was online and not many people came to the online stuff,” Rykola said. “It definitely did start off a little difficult, but it has gotten better. This looked like a success to me tonight.”

Nathaly Lemus, senator for the class of 2024 and chair of the diversity committee, emphasized that ‘Mingle with your senator’ aims to help students with readjustment to an in-person campus.

“This event is important because it gives the opportunity for students and senators to connect, especially with the transition back to in-person campus life,” Lemus said.

Rykola also said that COVID-19 has changed the way SGA interacts with the student body overall.

“We’ve been trying to do more of an online model just because everyone is on social media, you know? Social media and online has become one of the best ways to reach people because everybody’s always on their phones now,” said Rykola.

SGA meets every Thursday in room 275 in Sargent Hall and can be found on Instagram @suffolksga