Auditors to evaluate each branch

The One FAMU Association has formed an auditing committee for the Student Government Association, and members of the One FAMU Association presented their new ideas during Monday’s Student Senate meeting.

The committee was formed in an effort to create a line of communication between the student government and the student body by evaluating each of the SGA branches.

Damita Davis, chairwoman of the One FAMU Association’s audit committee, spoke to senators about the SGA audit initiative.

“We hope to offer a better communication of what is going on because there are a lot of rumors,” said Davis, a junior business student from Landover, Md. “If students want to get involved in student government, they can, but this will allow others who are not involved an opportunity to see what the Senate is doing. This is our way of seeing that senators are not just going to meetings, but making changes that are going to help the University.”

Davis said members of the committee will attend and grade senate meetings based upon five categories, which include adherence to the student body constitution and appropriation of funds. Final reports will be available for students and senators by the next meeting.

“Under each category are four subcategories for which the auditor will assign points on a scale from zero to five,” Davis said. “For any score lower than a five, the auditor will be required to comment and put an explanation.”

“The audit is very thorough and was professionally put together by SBI (School of Business and Industry) students,” said Junior Sen. Yvette Wilmoth, after reading a template of the audit report.

“I know that the outcome will help the Senate and other branches make improvements that will help us be more effective.”

Davis began testing the audit process at Monday’s meeting, but official audit reports will not begin until the spring semester.

“Right now we are just in training. Some students have never been to a Senate meeting, so they are unfamiliar with technical terms,” Davis said. “It is important for the auditors to be acquainted with the procedures and terms used in meetings.”

David Gibson Jr., president of the One FAMU Association, said the purpose of the audit is to show that, on behalf of the student body, the SGA is being held accountable.

“We pay their salaries, and a lot of students want to know what the senators, executive branch and judicial branch members are doing,” Gibson said. “We want to make sure they are doing their job according to what the constitution says their duties and responsibilities are as well as recognize those that go above and beyond their constitutional obligations.”

Junior Sen. Torey Alston said it is all about checks and balances between the elected officials and the constituents who vote for them.

“I think it is a great idea for students who are outside of the student government process to actually give input because this is our student government, and everyone’s opinion counts in making it better,” Alston said.

Although the audit committee will focus on the Senate first, Davis said she plans to expand its services to evaluate the other SGA branches.

She added she especially wants to conduct an audit of the electoral commission with the approaching spring elections.

Senate President Ramon Alexander said he is excited about the auditing initiative.

“I am pleased to see that the One FAMU Association has really grown and is really accomplishing the goals it was established to achieve,” Alexander said. “I am excited for the feedback, the initiative and for our students being proactive and having vested interest in the University.”

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