Since Florida A&M University recently reclaimed its title as the number one college for blacks in the United States, both new and returning rattlers are optimistic about the future of the university.
The Agnew-Gillum administration believes this victory is merely the beginning of greater things to come as the Student Government Association prepares for the “New AGE” of the university.
According to Student Body President Phillip Agnew, this new age means students can look forward to more tangible contributions from SGA.
” I really want students to be able to say ‘I really see what SGA has done for me,'” Agnew said.
Some New AGE initiatives include the implementation of a mobile campus service and the promotion of Rattler Card acceptance with more businesses.
The administration is also working toward offering 24-hour food options and expanding library hours.Agnew’s plans extend far beyond his term as president. His ultimate goal is to contribute to the long-term preservation of the university.
“I want to lay the framework,” Agnew said. “My goal is to raise the standards and expectations people have for the next person who comes along.”
Student body Vice President Monique Gillum said she and Agnew are working tirelessly to accomplish their platform.
“It is extremely important that we accomplish our platform because that’s what people elect you on,” Gillum said.
“Otherwise we would be selling dreams, and Phillip and I are not dream merchants.”
The platform addresses issues concerning improvements in campus housing and safety and revolutionizing student services.
In addition to fulfilling their responsibilities to the student body, Agnew and Gillum are focused on building campus morale.
“I want to be an ambassador for FAMU,” Agnew said. “I want to spread good will and inspire people to excel. I remember the Humphries era when everyone was excited to be a Rattler; I want to return to that.”
Gillum agreed that she would like students to be happy that they attend FAMU.
She believes the New AGE administration can accomplish this by being good communicators and being politically active.
“I want students to feel as though they have a stake in SGA because they do,” Gillum said. “As issues arise, I want us to do things on the students’ behalf.”
Although the administration is positive this will be a great year for SGA, some students are skeptical because of previous experiences.
“There’s been a lot of fronting going on with SGA,” said Elijah Moore, 22, a senior business administration student from Miami.
“I think this administration has been doing a good job so far. They haven’t made any false promises. I just hope they keep it up,” he said.
Moore said his primary concern is that this administration maintains a good relationship with the student body and serves as a voice for students.
Agnew said their administration has been successful so far because there has been a good working relationship between the SGA branches.
“In the past, there’s been known to be tension between the senate and the legislative branch,” Agnew said. “Thankfully, we don’t have that problem. We are going to have a great year internally in order to provide great services externally.”
The administration has been extremely open with recognizing the problems SGA has had in the past, both internally and externally.
They said they are working to eradicate the negative aspects and expand the positive.
Isaiah Branton, 22, a senior political science student from Jacksonville, said although the university has its issues, he believes student government can be effective if they unite and use their resources.
SGA has the manpower to do so much, Moore said. “If they tapped into their resources they run like a well-oiled machine.”Agnew and Gillum said their administration’s vision is to have a student government that is accessible.
Gillum assures students that they will see the difference in the New AGE administration.
“At the end of the day, I want students to be able to say that we were the people’s administration,” Gillum said.
“Even if they don’t remember us, I want them to remember the work we’ve done and know that we stood up for what was right,” she said.