Gainous addresses concerns

Fred Gainous’ “One FAMU” includes closing off streets for better student travel, building new classroom complexes for better interaction and creating more parking facilities for better access to buildings in the heart of campus.He conveyed his ideas to the faculty during their first meeting of the semester Monday afternoon.”The next 115 years will be brighter than the previous 115,” Gainous told the audience of nearly 300 faculty, staff and students.In his speech, Gainous praised the teachers for their ability to nurture the 12,444 students, including 89 enrolled in the law school in Orlando, and keeping in line with the university motto of “excellence with caring.””Our students are among the best,” he said.Issues facing the Gainous administration include finding replacements for the provost, dean of the School of Education and the university’s five vice presidents. The posts were left vacant due to terminations and resignations that ran rampant during the first weeks Gainous was in office.”We are currently in the process of filling those spots,” he said. “We hope to select the best possible candidates for those positions.”Other asterisks on his list included adding buildings to the campus to help with the overcrowding of classes.While Gainous ran through his list of goals for the university, audience members were jotting down their suggestions for what should be addressed quickly.One audience member suggested faculty receiving more computers to carry out daily plans.Gainous said it was being worked out.Another said something should be done about the service in the financial aid office.Gainous said it was in the works.When another audience member asked why the block of Gamble Street between Wahnish Way and the entrance to the Tucker Hall was closed off, a short silence hit the lectern.”That decision was made prior to my arrival,” he said, adding that the closure made it easier for students to navigate the university. He also hinted at plans to close off part of Wahnish Way to allow for access to the Student Services Center, which houses the copy center, the bookstore, Rattlercard offices and the Cafeteria.”It’s a busy intersection that can be a hazard for some students,” he said.Other areas of discussion included student reinstatement. Gainous said students who did not pay their fees in full will have their cases decided on in a case-by-case basis. The last day to pay all fees was Tuesday.”This will teach students to be reliable and take responsibility,” he said.The loss of faculty parking spaces due to construction of the new School of Journalism and Graphic Communications building and the new wing for Coleman Library is something Gainous said has been “given no thought.””Overall, there will be some changes,” he said. “Perhaps some of those have already been made.””My intent is to be timely in my approach.”