Collegiate Reporting

Collegiate Reporting

Electrical smoke sounds alarms in 73 Tremont


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Alarms went off multiple times throughout Friday morning before an evacuation tone drew both Suffolk University and Citizens Bank employees out of the Rosalie K. Stahl Building at 73 Tremont Street.

Employees from various departments across the university stood outside in the rain for more than an hour while members of the Boston Fire Department checked each floor of the building, from the garage to the roof. Suffolk University Police Department (SUPD) officers told employees standing outside on Beacon Street that there was electrical smoke that had sounded the alarms in the lobby area from what he said was an electrical fuse.

Employees on the 12th floor of 73 had told a Journal reporter that the alarm had sounded multiple times, some for only a few seconds, before the evacuation tone sounded around 8:40 a.m.

Three Boston Fire Department trucks were parked along the Tremont Street property on Beacon Street with multiple others on Tremont.

Employees were allowed back into the building between 10:00a.m. and 10:15 a.m.

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Collegiate Reporting

Seniors say goodbye: The historic class that has ‘seen it all’ turns to next chapter


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For four years, the undergraduate students of Suffolk University have questioned their institutions’ stability in regards to maintaining consistent leadership in upper administration and the decisions that each reign conducted in each of their short tenure.

This class, the class of 2017, had seen a change in leadership each year they attended Suffolk and much like the presidential turnovers in the corner office of 73 Tremont, they endured the ousting of former Board of Trustees Chairman Andrew Meyer, the sale of both the Fenton building and Temple Street properties, the New England School of Art & Design’s feeling of disconnect from the rest of campus, saw the cut of the Beacon Hill Institute, lived through the loss of a main theatre and the addition of the 20 Somerset building and witnessed the deep divide that was wedged between both the campus and the rest of the nation after election night.

However, this class was also the class that held three-straight Men’s Baseball Championships, rallied together and behind former President Margaret McKenna, marched in more than one Boston championship parade and stood in defiance at the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing on Boylston Street. The class of 2017 not only observed the changes in and around Suffolk over their first three years, but also the successes and consequences that occurred during their final year.

On May 21, the undergraduate senior classes of the Sawyer Business School (SBS) and College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) poured into the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, beginning early in the morning, decked in blue and gold with diverse flags and cords bearing around their necks.

After four presidential changes in as many years, Acting President Marisa Kelly, however, gave a promising note to those who bore cap and gown at the 2017 Commencement on their readiness to turn to the next chapter in their lives.

“The Suffolk Experience is a powerful thing. I suspect the experience that you gained during your time at Suffolk has changed your lives forever,” said Kelly at the College of Arts & Sciences Commencement. “And the experiential learning that you embraced –- both inside and outside of the classroom — will make a world of difference in your futures.”

This same angst that these students sometimes felt over the reputation of Suffolk, some now face the challenge of today’s turbulent political climate that this diverse class faces. CAS speaker and Political Scientist Robert D. Putnam said that America has failed as a “we” society, and has very much turned into an “I” society. However, Putnam said this arts and sciences class of 653 graduates could possibly change America’s new selfish stigma around.

“I’m actually optimistic that your generation can turn these trends around, because Americans just like you and just in this place have done so before,” said Putnam to CAS graduates that afternoon. “If our country today faces polarization, political polarization and economic inequality and social fragmentation, you, collaborating with one another, you can reverse those trends. Your generation can lead the way to a more diverse, more tolerant, more cohesive, more equal society, a society in which, rather than shout at one another, we listen to one another, actually, listen to one another.”


Just hours before, now graduate Thinh La gave a riveting and dynamic speech on how his very life could be used as the very reason for the American dream. La, whose family climbed out of the grips of Vietnam’s poverty level, where his parents would consistently refuse food in order to feed La and his sister and lived for just under two dollars a day, would eventually be standing in front of his graduating class of business students in a commencement ceremony. La spoke about the power of overcoming adversity, much like many of the 535 graduating business class of 2017 has had to do, instead of growing up with privilege.

“Suffolk was founded to open access to higher education to immigrants and working people who could not otherwise afford it,” said La. “Suffolk has given us a place to advance our education, to succeed, and we must pay it forward. Tomorrow, we may pursue different careers and have different paths, but don’t forget where we came from.”
Putnam, who mirrored La’s experiences later that day from an political scientists’ point of view said that the new graduates could be the ones to transform the politically and economically polarized America. He proposed graduates to become reformers of the generation

“You are the heirs of those Americans, including young immigrants, and your generation faces exactly the same challenges they did a century ago,” said Putnam. “Raise your voices, to be sure, but talk is not enough. Your lives will speak more loudly than your voices.”

For the graduating class of 2017, who has seen “it all” here at Suffolk, in addition to the aftermath of these decisions and events their senior year, now face another obstacle: the divided state of the world in which they live in.

Collegiate Reporting

Boston sports soul leaves lasting impact at Suffolk


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Emily Perlmutter could typically be found walking into Suffolk University’s mailroom each day sporting her signature Boston Red Sox baseball hat and preaching about the New England Patriots to everyone she met.

“She followed sports religiously, she knew everything about them– specifically baseball,” said Mail Services Manager Anthony Voto. “She loved baseball and went to a bunch of games. She knew everything that was going on whether it was the Red Sox season or the Patriots season. That’s how up on her Boston sports team she was.”

Senior Sociology major Suad Diriye remembers Perlmutter’s passion for the Patriots. “She would always say ‘Go Pats’ or ‘Free Brady, free Brady.’”

Friends and coworkers alike saw Perlmutter’s ambition to continuously make people laugh where her comic relief from a day of work in the Sawyer building, Sargent Hall or on Temple Street would fill hallways.

“She was definitely a joker,” said Voto.

Senior sociology major Danica Dang who worked alongside Perlmutter said she will always remember her for her charisma and lighthearted personality. “She’d come into work like ‘this happened today, you would not believe this’ and she was always so animated, it would just make the room more exciting and fun to work in.”

Being the first one in the office each morning, her coworkers said that she was faithful in helping her team.

“She was the type of person that was never shy, she loved greeting people, talking to people, she had the biggest smile you could imagine,” said Assistant Manager Johanny Mejia. “Whenever she’d see people walking outside she’d just stop them and talk to them about life and how they were doing.”

Perlmutter was the daugher of Law Professor Emeritus Richard Perlmutter. According to a statement that was sent to Suffolk’s employees, Perlmutter was ill in her final days.

“She was very close with everyone in her family,” said Voto. “She was all about family outside of work. When it wasn’t work– it was family.”

Although Voto and Perlmutter were coworkers, he considered her a dear friend. Voto recalled to a Journal reporter that when he received an award from the university for being employed for thirty years, she was “one of the people that was standing behind me cheering.”

“She will be sorely missed,” said Acting President Marisa Kelly in a statement.

After being employed at the university for a number of years, Perlmutter left her mark on nearly every person she came in contact with.

Program Manager for the Law School’s Clinical Programs & Experiential Learning Joan Luke told a Journal reporter on Tuesday night that Perlmutter would bring her and the Clinic’s mail each day.

“We became good friends over time,” said Luke. “She cared about everyone in the building. She came by to visit us, even when she was on medical leave, she would call us and keep us up-to-date on how things were going.”

Perlmutter’s impression that she left with those that she effected at the university will continue to last at Suffolk.

“She left an imprint on people, she definitely has a legacy that she leaves behind here,” said Voto.

Contributions in Perlmutter’s memory can be sent to Melanoma Foundation of New England or Suffolk University’s Office of Advancement.

Collegiate Reporting

Former Suffolk Law student earns jail time in lieu of degree


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Collegiate Reporting

Temple Street speaks out


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More than 30 years ago, Ralph Indrisano moved into his brick stone- Revolutionary era apartment, which stood, overshadowed by Suffolk University’s properties known as the C. Walsh Theatre, the Archer and Donahue buildings. Students would travel up and down both Temple Street and Ridgeway Lane, a small alley just between Temple and Hancock Street, where they would get to and from the State House and Cambridge Street. The university was respectful, Indrisano said, and it was a “good feeling” to have Suffolk just across the street.

For years, Suffolk had helped the residents of Temple Street to conduct neighborhood “cleanups,” the university donated funds to purchase Temple Park and even went as far as maintaining the landscape of the rest of the street until leaving Beacon Hill last May.

“Suffolk was always kind to me and the rest of the Beacon Hill community,” said Indrisano, a resident who took various classes and even used the Mildred Sawyer Library, in an interview with a Journal reporter in November.

The Dedham, MA company JDMD Owner LLC, an affiliate of Center Court Properties, purchased Suffolk’s former properties for $43.5 million in July of 2015. The sale of the buildings came after the university’s several-year long battle with the Beacon Hill Civic Association who claimed that residents did not want college students in the area- including the two historic buildings on Temple Street any longer.

Since the sale, the purchaser, JDMD, has faced a number of issues on their proposed project of renovating the buildings to create 75 condos and 60 parking spaces in an underground garage. Temple Street residents have voiced their concern and opposition over both the height of the building being raised for a penthouse as well as the possible traffic increase on a predominantly pedestrian street.

The existing Donahue and Archer buildings are already 16.75 feet higher than height limit in Beacon Hill. The project design’s penthouses have made many residents worry about the cast shadows that are not currently there.

JDMD, who could not be contacted for an interview, has been approved to reconvert both buildings by the Beacon Hill Architectural Commission as of late February after months of revising outstanding issues to the proposal plans, but several residents of Temple Street said there have been no signs of construction, or even activity.

“The building – the birthplace of Suffolk University – has been recognized by the National Park Service and the Massachusetts Commission as a significant and important contributor to the National Landmark District,” said member of the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s original Institutional Advisory Group (IAG) Rob Whitney to the Beacon Hill Times in November on his frustration with JDMD’s proposition to add penthouse floors that would not align with the Hill’s historic “charm.”

Since late September, an alarm has sounded throughout the Donahue building. Many residents claimed in interviews with The Suffolk Journal that they called the number listed on sheets of paper in the windows of the Donahue building to reporting the alarms, but said that no one came to shut them off.

“It’s been really irritating to have the alarm constantly going off,” said Craig Bagley, who has lived on Temple Street for just over a year. “It’s been going off for months.”

In the 1970s, it was Suffolk that had aided the Beacon Hill Civic Association and the Northeast Slope Neighborhood Association transform the street from a neglected concrete slab into the brick walkway and minimal automotive traffic that it has today by donating funds.

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous said that “most” of the residents on Temple Street did not want the university to leave.

“I never did mind the university being there. It was their right,” said the woman in an interview with a Journal reporter in late February. “They were part of the historic neighborhood too. It was a shame when they left. We all thought so.”

The woman said that she had lived on Temple Street for a number of years but then moved onto Hancock Street. She said that the university would have “never” created the traffic that the proposed 60-space parking garage will and the traffic that the condos will create.

“We have lost that battle,” she said. “It’s not even the construction that we are concerned with, it’s what comes next with the influx of traffic.”

Collegiate Reporting

Moulton challenges Trump, addresses Russia’s ties to election


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United States Congressman Seth Moulton sat down with Boston Globe reporter Joshua Miller on Thursday for a “Live Political Happy Hour” on Boylston Street, where the Marine veteran discussed his critiques within his own party, the current administration’s ties to Russia and tensions between the branches.

Moulton, who supported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton throughout the campaign trail, said that one of his largest frustrations after Nov. 8 was that the democratic party’s leaders asked, “what are we going to do” instead of implying “we need to change.”

“You may not have been the biggest Clinton fan but if you voted for [current President Donald] Trump over her, there’s a problem,” said Moulton to a room of reporters, constituents and democratic party backers. On the second floor of the AT&T store, patrons absorbed Moulton’s words and asked their own questions to accompany the string of hard hitting ones Miller came armed with about recent political rumors and strains.

Moulton explained that it was going to be the job of all democrats to show the American people a new vision.

“I want to talk about not how we lead in the next year, but the next 20 years,” said Moulton. “And I don’t think people in the Democratic party are [now] doing that.”

As the 38-year-old looked back on former President Barack Obama’s presidency and noted that the past eight years did not “have any scandals throughout the entire presidency,” and contrasted it to today’s political climate.

Recently, the story behind Russia’s involvement in the election has swirled from the FBI offices to intelligence communities and Congress’ committees that are “looking into the situation.” Several news reports have congressmen on record that have claimed it is “hard to deny” that Russia tampered with the election. Trump’s alleged relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin has spawned a host of indictment toward the current administration, which has led some Americans to believe the nation is not in full control of itself.

“One thing that Putin does is when he gets a little bit, he takes a lot,” said Moulton on Russia’s involvement in the election.

The now president ran his complete campaign on “making America great again,” in the sense of bringing jobs “back” to the U.S. In rural areas of the country, he has promised the blue collar workers that he will reopen coal mines, factories and mills.

Moulton, though, said not all of these jobs will be possible to bring back in the twenty-first century.

“We have a president that is telling us that we should go backwards,” said Moulton as he explained that even if some of the coal mines could reopen, there would be machinery that would prevent the mines from having to hire a slew of workers.

Said Moulton on the future “our jobs are changing.”

However, the congressman did hint that losing these jobs would not necessarily make a negative impact on the country, as there are always waves of changes that America goes through.

“America has always succeeded because of our talents across the country,” he said.

As a veteran who served a total of four tours of duty in Iraq from 2003 to 2008, does not typically discuss his war stories and remains a fighter for veterans’ health care reform, said that he has even seen a change in those serving in the Middle East today.

“When we ask our troops in Syria what they are fighting for, they don’t know,” said Moulton.

Moulton’s decorated career as a member of the Marine Corps as well as in Congress had led some to speculate if a run for a higher office is his next tactical move.

“If there’s an opportunity to serve more effectively than where I am I’ll do it,” said Moulton.

Collegiate Reporting

Suffolk’s flood gates opened; case not closed


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After nearly two weeks, students are still waiting for news that they will be able to return to their rooms in the 10 West dormitories after water flooded into apartments and living spaces. Unsure of the state of their rooms, many affected students have had to make trips back to retrieve belongings and assess damages on their own.

All 150 Tremont residents who have also been affected by water damage have returned to their rooms but the repairs are ongoing at 10 West with a completion date set for next week.

An explanation for the pipes having burst is still under investigation by insurance adjusters and engineering staff, according to a university spokesperson late Tuesday night, but students are still troubled at the length of time they have already been displaced.

“The time in which repairs would be finished was not specified,” said sophomore finance major Michal Kanra in an interview with The Suffolk Journal Tuesday. “In fact, I asked the Residence Director if we would be moving in before the semester ends and I did not get a definitive answer.”

In the interim, students have been provided with alternative housing– vacant dormitory beds and hotel rooms. Those placed in a hotel have been compensated for food and necessary linens, according to a university spokesperson.

“They’re making progress fixing it, but it doesn’t seem like a priority for Suffolk to do it as quickly as possible,” said Kanra who is staying with his old roommate in another dorm in 10 West.

Kanra said that the carpets are dry and some of the drywall is replaced in his room, but is concerned about timeliness.

“All my faith in the administration to get us back into the room as quickly and efficiently as possible is gone,” said Kanra.

The university has offered to pay for damaged textbooks, one of the common items that have been ruined for many students displaced by the flooding. In addition to this, students have been provided pre-loaded RAM Cards for use in cleaning any laundry affected by the water, another common inconvenience for those affected.  The Office of Student Affairs has also offered to assist students who have fallen behind in their classes with obtaining extensions for their assignments from their professors, as some of the affected Rams have had trouble completing their coursework after they were removed from their rooms.

“Residence Life staff also met with every student affected to ask them about their needs,” said a university spokesperson. “We provided counseling services as needed.”

However, not all students said they received this treatment.

“The administration only contacted us through email since the event,” said sophomore print journalism major Jillian Hanson in an interview Tuesday night with The Journal.

Hanson said that a staff member from Residence Life told her that students would not be compensated for damages because the office offered her roommates a place to stay.

“[I] was forced into a triple with strangers on the fifth floor,” said Hanson.

She told a Journal reporter that the students that were staying in the room she was given the keys to were suppose to be aware that she would also be temporarily staying there, but when she opened the door, the girls “had no idea that we were coming.” Hanson said that she will not be living on-campus next year because of how Residence Life handled this situation.

According to a university spokesperson, this repair process has enlisted the services of three separate parties, including Suffolk’s maintenance staff, a remediation company to clean the water and dry all surfaces and a construction company that is tasked with repairing the rooms.

One student, government major Sabrina Young, has questioned whether it would be beneficial to them to return to their old room.

“If it is going to take longer than two weeks it would be more inconvenient to move back to my room after moving my stuff up to the new room,” said Young who is expecting to graduate at the conclusion of this semester.

Young, who has claimed to a Journal reporter to be “vocally outspoken on the failures” of the university said that the education has been “stellar, but the way they have dealt with student issues has really not lived up to my hopes.”

Collegiate Reporting

The Great Flood: Students misplaced, no timeline for repairs as of yet


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It is last Wednesday night and on-campus residents across the university are attending to their daily activities, cooking dinner and starting homework, but unbeknownst to them water would soon be cascading from mainspace vents and pipes in the ceiling. Textbooks, tablets, a laptop, clothes, food, personal documentation papers and bedding were soaked and destroyed.

A discharge of steaming, black and musty hot water from heating pipes bursted into the residency of multiple students. One in particular, senior government major Sabrina Young, who has lived in room 213 in 10 West since the beginning of the fall semester, said they and their suitemates initially speculated that the water may have been contaminated.

“I didn’t know if there might have been something toxic in the water,” said Young to a Suffolk Journal reporter on Thursday.

University Assistant Dean of Students Elizabeth Ching-Bush assured residents of 10 West and 150 Tremont dormitories in an email sent on Thursday night that the water did not pose as a health hazard, but an “inconvenience.”

Young’s bathroom and kitchen were flooded, and water protruded down the hallway as far as some of the bedrooms within the apartment. Young said an estimated $300 worth of their own food was destroyed from the dark-colored water.

The fire department told Young and their suitemates to leave the suite for their safety and each of them were offered to relocate to a different room that had a vacant bed by the residence hall’s Director Jessica Wheeler. Each of the suitemates declined to enter “a stranger’s dorm,” according to Young.

Wheeler declined to be interviewed for this article on Tuesday night.

Also equally as shocked were the residents of room 408, who described how a typically normal scene of cooking dinner ended with water being sprayed down on them from above.

“It sounded like an earthquake, like the ceiling was going to come through,” said one of the female residents.

We weren’t told the room would be left open all day. There are definitely personal items that I know have been left behind that I [now] can’t locate.”

— Sabrina Young

For days, the main door to Young’s suite was propped open, but the residents were not officially allowed inside to retrieve their belongings unless they contacted Suffolk University Police Department (SUPD), according to Young.

“We weren’t told the room would be left open all day. There are definitely personal items that I know have been left behind that I [now] can’t locate,” said Young.

Industrial dehumidifiers and fans were placed around the affected suites by Pro-Care Disaster Restoration Services. One employee of the company expressed that their current job was to clean and dry the rooms before further actions were taken, but some residents were not satisfied with this process.

Young’s concern lied not in the heating pipes, but in the carpets, fearing that mold would have already spawned and spread in such a short time.

“It’s honestly not good enough for me,” said Young. “They better be ripping the carpets out and replacing it [because of] the likelihood of mold already growing even after one hour.”

However, it was not only Suffolk students affected by the pipes bursting. Just below some of the resident halls is both the Back Deck restaurant and Boston Common Coffee Company– both of which pay rent to the university. Back Deck said that they received minimal damage and were able to open the following night for dinner. However, Boston Common Coffee expects to remain closed for an additional week or two.

Co-owner of Boston Common Coffee Tony Massari said in a phone interview with The Suffolk Journal on Tuesday night that three different pipes bursted, which caused damage to the shop’s retail merchandise, coffee and sitting areas.

“[Suffolk University] has been great,” said Massari. “But now the insurance has to handle things.”

Massari explained that he and his partner, Peter Femino, have experienced water damage at their Canal Street location in the past when the shop was closed for four days. Yet this time, the co-owners will have to file for both damages and loss of business.

In total, 46 student residents across 150 Tremont and 10 West have been affected by water damage throughout the month of March. Gia Sarkis, a resident of room 313 in 10 West explained that she too felt uncomfortable with the idea of staying with new people.

“The first night I stayed in a hotel that my mom paid for, I went home for the weekend, and now I am staying on my friends couch at her apartment because I feel uncomfortable staying with a random person,” said Sarkis in an interview with The Journal on Monday.

Sarkis said that she was informed her finances will not be reimbursed for her hotel stay. Students who have experienced damage to their personal belongings will not be compensated for their loss, as residents were encouraged to purchase renter’s insurance at their orientations.

“The student understands that the University is not liable for loss or damage to their personal property whether by way of fire, flood, accident, Act of God, loss or interruption of heat, electricity, air conditioning, burglary, theft, vandalism, or for whatever reason not directly, proximately and consequentially the result of the sole and exclusive negligence or misconduct of the University,” reads the University policy on Liability for Student Property.

A university spokesperson said that Residence Life staff met with the affected students in order to assist with room relocation. He said that Ching-Bush conducted small meetings with each of the students in order to discuss what occurred.

Ching-Bush did not respond to Journal reporters for an interview as of Tuesday night.

 

Director of Construction Services Andre Vega said in an interview on Tuesday afternoon that an outside contractor went into the dormitories and assessed how long it would take to repair the damages. Insurance adjusters went into the dormitories both Monday and Tuesday to assess the amount of money it would cost to repair the affected areas of the buildings. Vega said that he will oversee the drying out and construction phase as he said the pipes were already repaired.

Vega confirmed that the pipes that had bursted were heating pipes and “warm water” had leaked into the residents’ rooms. Vega was not able to give an approximate temperature of the water.

Michal Kanra, a sophomore living in room 214 of 10 West, awoke to the sound of his roommate stepping off his bed and onto the ground where a pool of water had developed in their room, while they slept.

“I personally feel they don’t know how to handle the situation considering they have done nothing to compensate us and have done nothing to fix the problem,” said Sarkis. “So if anything, I don’t feel the response was rushed at all, I just feel like they don’t know what to do.”

Some of the students suggested that the pipes had burst due to their heat not working for a significant amount of time- a complaint that many residents of the building have complained about whether they have been affected by water damage or not.

“We are still investigating the root cause and depending on what is determined that will dictate how we proceed in taking preventative steps,” said the university spokesperson. “This is not something that has happened previously.  It was not a case frozen pipes bursting.  We will look at the results of the investigation and then determine the best plan going forward.”

See more photos of damage in our slideshow here.

Contributors: Felicity Otterbein and Kyle Crozier

Collegiate Reporting

University forum weighs heavy on rankings, international recruitment


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Alexa+Gagosz%2F+Editor-in-Chief
Acting Provost Sebastian Royo
 Few seats were left vacant when Suffolk administration took center stage in front of concerned members of the university’s community Tuesday afternoon to address the expansion of the strategic plan. Acting President Marisa Kelly began the forum by outlining a broad addition to the university’s 2012 strategic plan that will be extended through 2019. This plan, which Kelly said will be tied to the university budget, will include a potential partnership with international student recruitment firm INTO University Partnerships.

Kelly, who tackled how to respond to the national decreasing numbers of traditionally-aged college students seeking a higher education in the Northeast, the high cost of earning a college degree, the challenges of international student enrollment and the external threat of local competition, said that the plan will reinforce “our historic mission but builds upon it in ways necessary to ensure our future.”

Acting Provost Sebastian Royo introduced INTO as a resource that has 33 global offices as well as nine partnerships across the United States in predominantly public universities such as Washington State University, Colorado State University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The partnership, which would be a commission-based entity instead of an outside contractor, according to Kelly, is scheduled to be sent to New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) for review by the end of the week. After NEASC’s approval, the Board of Trustees will then review and potentially approve it for it to be possibly implemented at the university by January 2018, according to Royo.

Royo said that with the decrease in international student enrollment– from 1,509 in the 2015 academic year to 1,388 international students in the 2016 academic year– and the possibility of the new federal programs that President Donald Trump has looked to implement, raise questions with student visas.

“[International students] are worried that what they can do in the U.S. will be affected by the policies of the Trump administration,” said Royo.

Royo argued INTO would “increase our competitiveness in [the] international market” by leveraging enrollment through INTO’s reach and developing a stronger global footprint. This partnership, Royo said, would allow the university to admit a selective population of international students who are aligned with the brand and prestige Suffolk represents.

Kelly, who spoke extensively on ensuring that Suffolk was ranked both regionally and nationally, said it was time to conquer external threats that both all colleges in the country are facing, but also those threats specific to Suffolk.

Managing Associate Director of Student Financial Services Jennifer Ricciardi spoke on incorporating new initiatives that would promote diversity and inclusion on campus, focus on human resources, amplify student organizations and the Athletics department as well as increase housing opportunities.

“It’s Suffolk’s goal to make an agreement of an externally funded housing opportunity to most likely be opened in 2019,” said Ricciardi in an interview with The Suffolk Journal after the forum.

The university is currently unsure of the exact location or if the new housing would require students to take public transportation just yet, according to Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration Treasurer Laura Sander in an interview on Tuesday. The idea of the externally funded housing would “most likely be a developer owning the property,” but Suffolk would still have enough control, according to Ricciardi, where it would be a partnership, but not an outside contractor. The price, however, has not been determined as there are several conversation occurring on location still, but Sander hopes that pricing will be comparable to on-campus housing in Suffolk’s residence halls.

“What’s important is that the housing is accessible to students while also being financially affordable,” said Ricciardi.

Kelly suggested in an interview with The Journal that the goal is to generate housing for undergraduate students to take up residence for two years and expressed her hopes for the potential housing for graduate students.

 

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Hillary Clinton stuns in speech on race, equality at Conference for Women


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The modern, pristine walls of the Boston Convention Center were full of true feminine grit as more than 10,000 female industry leaders came out to the 10th Annual Massachusetts Conference for Women.

The conference, an amalgamation of women across various industries and backgrounds, is the largest of its kind in the nation, according to president of Bentley University and Massachusetts Conference for Women board member Gloria Larson.

A morning of breakout sessions and exhibits on the main floor of the Center preceded a luncheon with speeches from Hillary Rodham Clinton and Lupita Nyong’o.

Clinton started her speech with comments on America’s criminal justice system.

“Each of us have to grapple with some hard truths about the state of race relations in America,” said Clinton, who then quoted Michael Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr., who said, “I personally hope we find out balance again,” in reference to the criminal justice system.

She connected with the families of those affected, and said, “The pain and frustration that Americans are going through with the justice system right now. A lot of hearts are breaking and we find ourselves asking, aren’t these our sons? Aren’t these our brothers?”

Clinton addressed recent incidents in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York, where in both cases black men were killed after confrontations with police, leading to investigations and a ruling from the grand jury in each state respectively.

The former First Lady said she is pleased to see that investigations in the system will be occurring, and that reforms must be put into effect.

“Despite all the progress that we made together, Africans Americans, most particularly African-American men, are still more likely to be stopped and searched by police, and charged with crimes, and sentenced with longer prison terms,” she said.

Clinton talked about the issues that women and families face in the nation, and recounted her days as a lawyer and young mother taking care of her daughter Chelsea. She said she couldn’t have done it without having a support system, and noted that Massachusetts offering paid sick days will contribute to lessening the anxiety that women and families feel daily when trying to keep their personal and professional lives in tact.

“Massachusetts voted on paid sick days, being just the third state in the nation to do so. And I think you have set a great model for every single state to move toward the polls, getting as many as we possibly can by 2016,” the former secretary of state said.

Because Clinton mentioned the presidential race of 2016 when giving this answer, the crowd went ecstatic. However, Clinton dodged questions about whether she will run for president again.

When asked what qualities she thinks are important in a first gentleman, Clinton coyly diverted the conversation away from the race by talking about how difficult it is to be president, and how many hard choices President Barack Obama has to make everyday.

When asked how she developed a thick skin in politics, Clinton said, “Learning how to take criticism seriously and appropriately has been a great lesson.”

Academy Award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o described Clinton as “literally a leader among men” in her keynote. Nyong’o described her journey to becoming an actress, and the state of “personal crisis” she felt when trying to decide what to do in life. When Nyong’o was cast in 12 Years a Slave, she said she couldn’t sleep at night thinking that people would know she was an “imposter of talent,” but fought it. She encouraged audience members to “recognize fear with compassion and act in spite of it,” and “slay the dragons that are self-hate, self-doubt, self-denial.”

According to the American Association of University Women, Massachusetts ranks 16th in the nation for wage equality and women take home 79 cents for every dollar that a man makes.

Also, 46 of Massachusetts’ top 100 public companies have no female executive officers, according to Boston Club. The Club describes themselves as one of the largest communities of women executives and professional leaders in the Northeast.

The well-attended conference offered dozens of speaker-led workshops on personal finance, business, work/life balance, education, health, entrepreneurship, and more, and was a commonplace for women to share their ideas, establish new contacts, and inspire one another.

Sponsors for the event included, but were not limited to, State Street Corporation, Suffolk Construction, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and John Hancock.