Senate talks retention, approves financial demands – The Suffolk Journal

At the March 24 SGA meeting, students spoke with Peter Fowler, Deputy Provost for Retention at Suffolk, and voted on two financial initiatives.

Fowler explained the significance of his job title at SGA and outlined his plans for working with students to help improve retention across the university.

According to Fowler, the current retention rate in Suffolk is between 73 and 76%. Under the Suffolk 2025 plan, the aim is to increase retention to 83%, which Flower thinks it can do. Retention is based on the number of students returning for their second year.

“The Suffolk 2025 plan has explicit retention targets to hit that 83 per cent mark,” he said.

Fowler said he will present a retention plan to the provost on Aug. 1 after getting input from across the university.

When asked by SGA why retention is a problem, Fowler said that on college campuses there are issues with mental health and sense of belonging. He also cited location and cost as a Suffolk-specific issue.

Ben Issac, Class of 2022, asked SGA for $6,000 to run a Win Hoff Method workshop. The cost would cover the instructor as well as all necessary materials.

The event is still being considered by risk management and, according to Issac, Counseling, Health, and Wellness is concerned that attendees willfully hold their breath for an extended period of time, as the workshop would require. All participants would sign a waiver, Issac said.

Issac also explained that he was creating a documentary about Suffolk students learning the method and hopes the event could take place in Suffolk every year.

The Senate voted 30-0 in favor of the event, with five abstentions.

Program Board presented with President Lauren Frost and Sammy Todaro, Vice President of Finance and Administration. PC requested $7,200 for the club’s annual Spring Ball event. Sammy explained that the Halloween Bash had to be moved to February due to COVID-19, so the event became Winter Bash. There was extra spending to hold Halloween-themed events in October in place of the party, so the budget ran differently than normal, according to PC.

PC allocated $21,000, with venue and food costing $19,000. In 2019, PC spent $30,000 on the event. The extra money would include things like a photo booth, lighting, and a chosen DJ. Sammy explained that without the extra money the event could still be held, but it would be less of an experience.

The senate voted in favor of allocating the money to the PC with 19 senators for, four against and 11 abstentions.

SGA will meet again Thursday for activities at Sargent 385.

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