Gatepost Interview: Dan Costello, SGA Vice President, President-Elect

(Photo by Melina Bourdeau)

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Medford – I’ve lived there my entire life. It’s right outside of Boston and I went to public high school there. I’m going into my senior year here at Framingham State. My background in SGA is I’ve been on SGA for three years and two years as vice president. So I’ve been vice president since my sophomore year.

What is your major and what are some of your favorite courses?

I’m a sociology major. I’ve taken a lot of courses, and my sociology courses I really like. I’m in political sociology right now, which is up there, and I have a love-hate relationship with my research method’s class. It’s a lot of work and it’s very tedious at times, but it is the capstone for sociology, and I really enjoy the class and the professor and all that.

What are you excited to do as SGA president next year?

As vice president, my main job is to work with the clubs and organizations, and being their main contact person and liaison between SGA. The past two years, I’ve tried to work to improve communication between those two outlets – SGA and clubs and organizations – try to make us more approachable, be more of a resource than just the money-givers. Which I like to think I did that fairly well but I’ve picked up some other initiatives. … And going with that theme of student engagement, I want to build upon that for next year. I’ve had a lot of fun working with a lot of student groups on campus, but I want to work with different offices on campus. I think SGA can do a better job – in my three years’ experience – of working with different offices and administrators on campus – not just the typical senior staff, but other people on campus. … I think SGA is going to have a great year next year and I’m very excited to work with everyone. I’m really looking forward to having a fantastic year.

What are some of your favorite memories from SGA?

One thing is the people. It’s definitely working with different people, and in my position as vice president, I work with a lot of clubs and organizations. I’m a little biased, but I would say it’s one of the best leadership positions on campus because I get to work with such a wide array of students and it’s really opened me to different students with different hobbies and backgrounds, and that’s why it’s the best positon on campus in my biased opinion. So, that’s definitely my favorite part of this, and it’s something that I definitely want to continue as president.

What are some of your favorite events that SGA has participated in?

One thing that we always do is our end-of-the-year banquet. That is my favorite because there’s always so much energy. Everyone is so excited. Sandbox is earlier that day, and not just that, it’s just a time to celebrate the year of fantastic clubs and fantastic students. So while SGA puts it on and organizes it, it’s really the student body’s banquet and we’re just the coordinators. That’s always been one of my favorite events to go to. I got the opportunity to present my freshman year. I had to present as an e-Board presenter last year. It’s very fun to be able to present an award to somebody and see the smile on their face.

What are your plans for after you graduate?

I have no idea! When I came into Framingham State, I thought I was going to be an English teacher – I was an English major with secondary education – and within a semester, I dropped that. The English department was great, but it wasn’t for me. So then I explored different options. I’ve considered a career in politics – in government – I’ve considered going to law school and I’m still hanging on to education, but I don’t know – we’ll see. So I have a wide array of options open right now.

What are some of your favorite hobbies and activities?

Well, this isn’t an everyday hobby, but I like to travel. I’ve been to Europe a couple of times. I’ve been to England, and Paris briefly for like 24 hours, but yeah, I spent a month in England summer of freshman year, and I’ve been to Italy. I’m looking to go back this summer. I was elected SGA vice president at the end of my freshmen year, so at that point I knew I wanted to stick with SGA for the remainder of it. But I really wanted to study abroad, so I saw there was an option to take a summer class, so I thought that I want to do this before anything else packs on. So I took a class in England for a month summer after freshman year – it was a geopolitics class.

What would you suggest to students about studying abroad?

I always tell students there’s always a plan to do it. Like, I could never do a semester, but I did the summer class. There’s week-long trips, which isn’t necessarily a semester, but there’s different options and they should explore those options and don’t just assume you can or cannot do it.

What advice would you give to students?

What I’ve learned with SGA is be engaged, be informed and be involved. Because if you have those three things – you’re engaged in the Framingham State community, you’re involved in it – it will really make your time better here. You’ll really enjoy your time here and you’ll find out we are a welcoming and accepting environment all around.