Senate gives public relations group money to fund convention trip

Allocations, building additions and unfair reporting were the main issues discussed at Monday’s senate meeting.

Public Relations Student Society of America president Kristen Taylor, 19, a public relations student from Chicago, informed the senators of the hard work the organization has done in efforts to fundraise for their five-day trip to Salt Lake City, which will be from Nov. 9-14.

“We have been invited back for our seventh trip to host a development session,” said Taylor.

The senate, who gave PRSSA more than $7,000, said it would only fund nine of the 10 members traveling to the PRSSA National Conference.

PRSSA has done five fundraisers this semester but have only collected a little more than $1,000, a portion of which must be used to pay national dues for its members. After national dues, their remaining balance will be about $700.

According to the Senate Appropriations Bill 06F-005, the senate has allocated money for one-third of the students’ registration fees, travel expenses, and two hotels.

Although only five members are required to present, Taylor said, it is important that all 10 students attend the conference to give FAMU a proper representation.

“Last year, we won the National Pace Setters award, which is awarded to the chapter that sets the standard for other chapters,” she said.

“I am getting older and I want to see my building,” said Ching-Jen Chen, dean of the Florida A&M University and Florida State University School of Engineering. He said the issue of expanding or adding to the school is briefly addressed each year, but always put on the backburner.

There are 2,200 students in the College of Engineering, 36 percent of them being black, Chen said. The college is the second highest producer of black engineers in the nation, he said.

According to an e-mail, FSU has moved the expansion up on their priority list but FAMU has failed to do the same.

The e-mail said the stalling on FAMU’s part is prolonging the process of the two schools expanding together.

In the meantime, FSU will be constructing a material building, which is separate from the engineering building.

Some students are concerned that FSU is doing their own expansion of the program.

Ruben Nelson, 21, a fourth-year electrical and computer engineering student from Fort Lauderdale, said FAMU should move the project up on its priority list.

The e-mail was actually sent by a FAMU alumna and not an FSU alumna, Nelson said. “I know because I know the person who wrote it.”

“I would like to see more engineering students but we are outgrowing our current building,” Chen said. “I have been waiting eight years.”

Chen said the money that would be used for the expansion would come from the Public Education Capital Outlay, which is money collected from grant utility taxes.

Within the next few weeks, the school of pharmacy will be reaccredited.

“The accreditation will be a provisional accreditation,” said Sen. Anthony Ware, 22, a fifth-year pharmacy candidate.

Provisional accreditation means pharmacy graduates will only be allowed to practice in Florida, limiting them to in-state residencies. And Nelson said students are not allowed to transfer.

Sen. Willie Barnes, 19, a public relations student from Lakeland, expressed his concern about the senate’s reputation.

He said The Famuan has unfairly covered senate meetings, which leads students who do not attend meetings to read biased coverage.

Sen. Candice Elliott said she was misquoted last week and voting facts were modified from the senate meeting.

Senate President Ebony Manchion said she has previously spoken with the news editor and deputy editor, extending her services as the official spokeswoman of the senate.

She suggested the problem might be that normally one person is assigned to cover senate meetings, but recently, numerous reporters have been covering the meetings.

“We can’t tell someone how to do their job,” Ware said.

As a response, Barnes suggested someone from the senate work closely with the reporter in attendance so the meetings will be properly represented.