Suffolk’s proximity to the Massachusetts State House and Government Center puts our Government students right at the center of political action. But before policy decisions can be made, leaders must conduct research so they can make sound decisions. Students experience this process firsthand through the Government Department's annual student research conference.

Over 200 students and faculty members attended the 7th Annual Government Student Research Conference earlier this month. The conference provides students with an opportunity to share their research interests with the wider university.

“Suffolk students are intellectually curious and committed to the learning enterprise,” said Teri Platt, associate professor and organizer of the conference. “The research presented this year was interesting, exciting, and engaging. We are very proud of the hard work and commitment to excellence displayed throughout the conference by our student researchers.”

Some students presented their senior thesis research, while others presented papers and posters on research that they have explored independently outside of their regular coursework. Topics ranged from public policy to international relations to American politics to legal studies. Here are just a few of the 22 topics from this year’s conference:

Why Are We So Disappointed in Congress?

Congress currently holds a 16 percent approval rating despite being filled with newly elected representatives. Michael’s research asks how we as the American public continue to be so unsatisfied with the performance of our elected officials.

The Public and the Police

An effective police force is at the heart of any secure urban space. Tyler’s honors senior thesis examines the impact of highly publicized controversial police incidents on the public’s attitudes toward the police. He conducted polls among Suffolk undergraduate students prior to and after exposure to media coverage of the recent high-profile killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner by police.

Seniors and the City

How can urban cities become more livable for elderly citizens? Leslie analyzes how cities currently provide for senior citizen residents ages 60 and up, and also proposes incentives for elderly citizens to stay in and move to cities.

Mr. Always Right: Domestic Violence in Society and Law

Ashley examines domestic violence statistics among high school and college students, including the growing issue of assaults going unreported. How can schools and the law work together to better protect victims?