Financial aid, campus enrollment and student concerns were the focus of President James H. Ammons forum held in Lee Hall on Monday.
Addressing the crowd of students along with his leadership team, Ammons said providing financial aid to students was a high priority and made it known that the university plans to raise funds to accommodate more students.
“The goal of the university is to provide as many scholarships possible to students since 75 percent of the students (need aid), “Ammons said.
Currently Florida A&M University has 12,000 students and in the next few years Ammons said he hopes to increase that number to 15,000.
Ed Willis, assistant Vice President, said he is excited about the university’s enrollment and said the quality of students at FAMU is high.
“This will impact the university to do more, do better and having a great faculty staff,” Willis said.
During the session, Ammons encouraged students to vote early and take all the necessary steps to ensure their addresses, social security numbers and driver’s licenses match up with their voter registration cards before they go out and vote.
Ammons stressed voter’s deadlines and the importance of voting and asked students to be leaders for their peers and make sure they are in fact registered and prepared to vote. He said early voter registration week is Oct. 20.
He addressed how FAMU’s School of Business and Industry program is the first institution to win consecutively in the annual National Black MBA National Case Competition in its 14 year’s history.
Some of the campus issues mentioned in the forum were housing maintenance and internet connectivity. One freshman student who lives at Copper Hall explained how she got sick as a result of mildew and a leak in her room.
This problem allegedly exists at McGuinn and Wheatley Halls as well. One of leadership team members said the engineering department is aware of the issue and is working on resolving the problem.
As for the internet connectivity, one sophomore student said the internet only works in Coleman library and the B. L. Perry building. A university official from the Information Technology department said they are aware of issue and are trying to find a solution.
“Students can’t operate effectively if they’re suffering from housing maintenance problems,” said William Miller,23, a fifth year business administration student from Chicago.
Dwight Williams II,18, a freshman math student from Charlotte N.C, said the housing maintenance issue at Copper Hall needs to be resolved. He was quick to add that it will get fixed given the president’ concerns and willingness to get to the bottom of the problem.
Williams said having sort of this discussion will get him and other underclassmen more involved. He said “he would like to see the university bring true FAMU students from everywhere through scholarships.”
One student suggested creating a better website with tours to attract prospective students. In response, one university official said to look into upgrading the site in the next few weeks.
The president reminded everyone to attend the 10th president of FAMU inauguration homecoming week on Oct. 31 2008. This will be the first president inauguration since 1986.
Classes will be suspended for that day. The next forum discussion on university issues is scheduled for Nov. 12 2008.