Monday marked the last President’s Forum of the semester, highlighting progress that James Ammons’ administration has made in assuring school safety and developing plans for the future of FAMU.
President Ammons began his address by congratulating student body president and vice president elects Andrew Collins and Mellori Lumpkin.
He went on to commend FAMU Police Chief Calvin Ross and the FAMU Police Department for their timely apprehension of the five suspects involved in the recent campus shooting.
“Thank you for making us aware,” Ammons said to students in reference to their concerns about heightened security. “We hear you.”
As a result four new officers have been hired. Ammons encouraged all students to do their part by signing up for the E2 campus alert system.
In addition to increasing officer visibility Ammons said other positive changes have been made, such as installing new lighting around campus and adding cable in the dorms.
More improvements are underway. Ammons said Tucker Hall, Jones Hall and General Education Complex will be modernized and equipped with wireless Internet.
Ammons explained his 10-point plan. Topping the list is maintaining accreditation. June 24-26 in North Carolina will tell the story of just how far FAMU has come according to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. One of three decisions will be made: removing FAMU from probation, extending probation or removing the University from membership in SACS.
Only about 30 students showed up for the forum.
“I feel the attendance was very low,” said Joseph Agboola, a freshman graphic design student. “Students will pack Lee Hall for the Striker show though.
Those who did attend voiced their concerns on issues such as lessening the amount of parking tickets, installing more cameras on campus and cleaning up the negative image of FAMU created by students with sagging pants, gold teeth and a street mentality.
Tiffany Bowe, from Tampa, said she feels students are concerned but for the wrong reasons.
“It wasn’t my first meeting and I was a little disappointed by the questions people were asking,” said the pharmacy student. “The focus should be on the spring elections trial we just had and also recruiting and academics.”
Student William Miller found Ammons’ forum beneficial.
“It was very informative,” said the graduate business administration student. “Dr. Ammons was pretty straightforward with his answers to students’ questions, and if he wasn’t able to answer members of his administration team answered to the best of their ability.”
Ammons was pleased with the results of his Presidents Forum Series.
“I hope that you all have found these forums to be helpful,” he said. “They’ve certainly been helpful for me.”