Although the student senate voted to remove SGA President Larry O. Rivers more than a week ago, Rivers continues to act as SGA President, frequenting SGA-sponsored events.
The night of his impeachment trial, Rivers was present at the annual Relay for Life Kick-off in Perry Paige. The large fund-raising effort has been a student government staple for two years and is generally attended by most officials. During the event Rivers spoke with students and mingled in a fashion similar to his routine prior to the impeachment.
Two days after the impeachment trial, Rivers spoke at the Founder’s Day Convocation in Lee Hall. Throughout the program Rivers was introduced as SGA President. Several of the program’s speakers, including former SGA President and City Commissioner Andrew Gillum, endorsed Rivers.
“This too shall pass,” said Gillum referring to Rivers’ impeachment. After the remark many members of the audience stood and clapped in support.
Much of the confusion concerning Rivers presidency stems from the FAMU administration’s decision to disregard the student senate ruling and maintain that Rivers is still SGA president. This contradiction has peaked the interest of much of the student body.
“It seems the administration is taking over and a high power is controlling the process,” said Mackie McNeil, a junior computer information systems student from Chicago.
Students who originally accepted the senate’s verdict share McNeil’s sentiment. The senate has given little attention to the Rivers issue since the impeachment.
They have made no official statement regarding the status of Rivers’ impeachment since Henry L. Kirby, associate vice president and dean of students, announced the day after the trial that the administration still recognize Rivers as SGA president.
The legitimacy of the initial trial and charges is still in question for many students and they continue to view Rivers as the head of SGA
“Larry is still the face of the SGA because nobody thought what he was doing was so wrong except the senate,” said Joy Sanders, a junior biochemistry student from San Diego.
Former student senator, Robin Bell, a junior economics student from Minneapolis said he has always been impressed with Rivers’ ability and in his opinion Rivers remains “the symbol of the student government.”
Steven Jumper can be reached at email@example.com.