In the 9th session of the 37th Student Senate meeting, the senate was bombarded with complaints about their actions, or lack thereof from Student Body President Monique Gillum and students.
Senator Joyia Smith, 21, a fourth-year agricultural business student from Greenville, Miss. expressed her anger and frustration with her fellow senators because of their lack of support for FAMU athletics.
Smith criticized the senate for not being in attendance at the university’s last football game against MEAC rival, Norfolk State University. “We allocate money to the SGA for FAMU apparel… Can it not get wet?” Smith asked.
Gillum agreed with Smith.
“You have students looking for our leadership to be in place and we neglected them,” Gillum said.
Gillum said she noticed while students were voicing their concerns during the meeting that senators were “looking up at the sky.”
“These are your constituents talking, without them, you wouldn’t have been elected,” Gillum said. “If you aren’t here for service then leave. You’re wasting a seat.”
Constantly reiterating that their seats on the senate are finite, Gillium said, “We have five months left, I’m graduating. I won’t be here to see some of you get unelected. I don’t ever want to stand in front of the senate and say that I am disappointed.”
Following Gillum’s speech to the senate, Vincent Evans, 19, a sophomore political science student from Jacksonville addressed the senate about the distribution of this year’s homecoming tickets.
As usual, 3,000 students received free tickets to the homecoming fashion show, comedy show and dorm step show. Those who do not receive the free tickets can pay for the tickets instead.
Last year, the tickets could be purchased for $10 apiece. This year tickets cost $20 each, amounting to $60 for the entire packet.
“Sixty dollars for three tickets to go sit in Gaither Gym?” Evans asked. “That’s an outrage.”
Challenging the senate to find a way to lower the costs for students Evans said, “Florida A&M has the only student government in the state that is not under the Office of Student Activities. You can do what the hell you want to do. Get some passion under you.”
Toward the end of the meeting, the senate received a sealed letter from Sandra R. Inge, interim director of the OSA, that stated monies from purchased tickets will be used as start-up money for next year’s homecoming.
The letter also said that tickets would now be sold for $10 each to students. Student Government Vice-President, James Bland, 21, a business administration student from Titusville said, “Students who want the $10 refund can go to the OSA and they will refund the student’s money.”
Bland also mentioned that 500 more homecoming concert tickets will be available to purchase at the student price. Members of the senate acknowledged that there were still discrepancies in this situation, because it was unclear as to where the money for tickets purchased went last year.