During the 25th session of the 36th Student Senate, a displeased student addressed the Senate about the lack of funding the Essential Theatre obtains to develop its performance showcases.
“Basically the whole problem is all the money we get comes solely from SGA,” said Ebony Loneal, 22, a senior theater education student from Deerfield. “Any shows we put up, set, props or any materials, we have the money to get these things from A&S funds.”
Loneal said the Essential Theatre requested $69,630 and were given $25.613 of it.
“We came because it was a big cut, and we didn’t even get half,” Loneal said. “Our set is deteriorating because our funds are down versus how we used to have a beautiful set. If we don’t have the funds, we have to come out of our pocket.
Loneal said recruitment for theatre performers came from the FAMU Connection, a traveling theater group that sang about FAMU history. Without the money, the group will not be able to continue to perform.
“It’s a problem because when we go on recruitment, the FAMU Connection is solely to drawing schools to FAMU,” Loneal said.
Student Dominique Lemon said theatre is considered under the same category as dance troupes, but theatre is actually a major directed toward education.
“We are classified with the Strikers, we are a major department,” said Lemon, 21, a sophomore theatre performance student from Tampa.
“Why are we classified with them? If they have money to get to the Apollo, how come we don’t have money for Broadway?”
Sophomore Sen. Phylicia Ross said the Essential Theatre could use the resources around them to promote awareness about the theatre’s lack of funds.
“Since they are a major, they should ask the University questions about how to seek out more funding,” said Ross, 19, a computer information systems student from Orlando. “They should use more resources, not only with the legislature branch, but with the executive branch on ways to promote awareness.”
One student asked Senate for funding for campus ministries, saying it would affect lives.
“Students’ lives would be changed,” said Valentine Dike, 21, a senior political science student from Bronx, N.Y. “If such an investment is made towards Every Nation Campus Ministries then the trickle will effect would result into the lives of individual students being changed spiritually.”
The question about if the Strikers are allowed to charge people for their shows came up among Senate members. Since the Strikers are funded through A&S funds, the organization is not allowed to charge because students have already paid. Charging students for a show would be like charging students twice.
Another item on the agenda for the meeting was that the judicial branch is setting up a meeting with the vice president of student affairs to discuss the Mr. FAMU elections.
The constitutional amendments CA07SP-003, SB07SP-004 AND CA07SP-002, which deal with the impeachment and removal of offices, are scheduled for a third review for the next Senate session.
A committee for the A&S budget presented its budget to the Senate, showing what organizations got what money and the reason for allocating the funds.
In next week’s meeting the Senate will see if there is a need to move around funds.