As the result of a glitch in the University’s newly-implemented Enterprise Resource Planning system, graduate elections have been extended to today.
The problem arose when a number of graduate students turned up to cast their votes in Monday’s elections and were turned away because they were classified as undergraduate students. It was not until then that Student Government Association officials realized the slipup.
“Unfortunately, we did not know that the ERP system still has tons of graduate students listed as undergraduates … and because of that we have now continued the primary elections for all the graduate positions,” said Student Government Elections and Appointment Chairwoman Candice Elliott.
Elliott noted that SGA officials usually receive a printout of the alpha listing of students directly from Foote-Hilyer, but due to the new “paperless” system, such a printout could not be issued, leaving officials to no choice but to obtain the listings directly from the ERP system.
Graduate president and vice president write-in candidates Sandy Jean Baptiste and Rachel Young – the only candidates running for the position – view the election extension as somewhat of a setback.
“It’s real discouraging,” said Young, who saw the initial election process, as the best chance to get the votes of the graduate students.
Those graduate students who were denied the opportunity to vote in the graduate elections are encouraged to return to the polls today. The other graduate students who were able to vote on Monday will not be given the opportunity to do so again. Their ballots were taken and secured by the Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho.
“We do have track of who voted and will not allow students who voted during the primary elections to vote again … ERP has already given us the new listing,” Elliot said.
SGA elections were held Monday for freshman president and vice president, eight freshman senators, freshman attendant, graduate president and vice president, three graduate senators and graduate attendant.
The elections were also moved up a day early this year. SGA President Virgil Miller attributed the change in Election Day to two reasons: this year’s football schedule and an effort from the student government to afford newly elected officers the opportunity to participate in the Student Government Retreat.
“We wanted to make sure we included all the classes,” Miller said.
In previous years officers of certain classes were not able to participate in retreat might have happened before they were actually elected.
“It gives the freshman officers and graduate officers a chance to attend the retreat, and be oriented on what student government is and what their new role is for student government to effectively serve the students,” Miller said.
Miller also noted that SGA recruits heavily during the football season and with the number of away games in September, they had to find a way to work around that.
The elected officers will leave for the retreat tonight. It will be held in Philadelphia in conjunction with the recruitment fair the student government will be attending.
Miller, Vice President Keneshia Grant and Senate President Ramon Alexander, were the individuals who actually proposed that Election Day be moved up.
“We met this summer and discussed it with our office managers and our adviser, to see what’s the best possible time for everything,” Miller said.
Alexander then took it to the Elections and Appointment Committee and also to the electoral commissioner.
With regards to the freshman elections, run-off elections will be held today for the positions of freshman class president and vice president and freshman attendant. The run-off for freshman class president is between the twosomes Bethany Jones and Jamille Wade, and Lamarious Myers and James Bland. For freshman attendant the run-off is between Jina Haynes and Sheerie Shante Edwards. The eight freshman senators are Vandoline Ivey, Elijah Bowdre, Anthony Murphy Jr., Biko Smith, Candice Pelham, Syreeta Lynette Williams, James Niro and Monique Gillum.
Gillum, 18, the younger sister of City Commissioner Andrew Gillum, got 532 votes, the second highest number of votes behind Vandoline Ivey who got the most votes with a total of 552.
Gillum expressed eagerness to work on the issues on her platforms, which include working on improving the communication between student government and the students, improving the service at FAMU from financial aid to cafeteria, and safety on campus.
“Yes, my older brother is Andrew Gillum, so I’m excited by it because he came here and he was a senator and then became senate president, and then student body president, so if that means anything, then Gillum will be around for a while.”
Contact Kalifa Hickinson at email@example.com.