With the absence of a permanent president, the replacement of James Corbin on the Board of Trustees and the deeply indebted financial status of the Athletic Department, it is clear that FAMU is in a major transition phase.
While this is a short list of the University’s problems, they are all situations that the next SGA President and Vice President will have to address during their tenure.
Tomorrow marks the spring 2005 election day for SGA and students should keep these seemingly daunting tasks in mind when casting their ballots.
The SGA president will become a member on the BOT and his position there cannot be taken lightly.
It was student body President Virgil Miller who made the motion to evaluate President Fred Gainous instead of abruptly removing him from office, allowing time for the BOT to find an interim and ease the transition. While the next SGA president may not have to vote to remove a president from office, he will be involved in the selection of the next president of the University.
In the past few years, it has become painfully clear to the FAMU community and the world what can become of a university without sound leadership. The task of finding a capable president who can successfully move the University to its former acclaim of 1997 College of Year is one the student body should be most concerned about.
Another issue facing the student body this year is block tuition. University presidents and state officials have already given their support for requiring all students to pay for a minimum of 15 credit hours. But this is an issue that ultimately affects students and parents, and the next SGA president should have a plan of action in mind on how FAMU students will respond to this new measure.
The next SGA president should also be aware of the safety issues facing the student body. A student was shot in the Student Services Center more than a week ago, leaving many students to wonder if their safety is in danger when they come to campus. Whoever is elected should take steps to ensure that measures are being taken to improve campus safety.
Another concern for SGA’s next leadership is uniting every branch of SGA and removing all of the apparent division in student government that takes away from the attention on student concerns. SGA was established to address the issues of every student and while its offices may be located on the Set, the student body is spread farther than that.
The new SGA president must also make it a point to seek out the concerns of the off-campus students in the FAMU College of Law and College of Engineering and address those concerns. To many students, it may seem that SGA president is just a title, but he must serve all of the students he will represent, even the ones who didn’t vote for him.
FAMU is on the cusp of change, and every decision that is made now will determine if the University will thrive or continue on a downward spiral. When considering who should represent the student body for the next year, the students should select the ticket that is open to hearing student concerns and involve students in major decisions
SGA’s next leadership must address all of these issues in a timely manner and not favor the will of the administration and ignore the will of the students.
Alexia R. Robinson is a senior magazine production student. She is the editor in chief of The Famuan. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org