On Sunday, students from both Florida A&M University and Florida State University gathered at the Leon County Civic Center for the second annual State of The Student Summit.
Orchestrated by both FAMU and FSU student Government Association, the purpose of the summit was to bring together an ethnically diverse compilation of today’s top leaders from around the nation in business, academia, media, politics and education to attack major issues affecting America’s students not only domestically but also globally.
The program begins with an introduction of panelist by the host, newly elected Miss FAMU NaKena Cromartie and event coordinator Trenton Kirksey.
The panelist included former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, gospel-recording artist Kirk Frankin, Dom Sagolla who is the co-founder of Twitter and local attorney and professor Van Jones.
SGA presidents from each university were also in attendance. This event was deemed a time for action, and was the first year that both schools were able to partner together for a great cause.
Although the civic center holds seating for 6,000 people, an estimated 500 students filled the empty arena.
Prior to the event students were able to submit video question for the panelist via Facebook as well as submit Twitter questions via Twitter @studentSummit11.
Questions ranged from the war on terrorism to the war on intelligence. Audience members were given an opportunity to ask questions in which panelist answered to the best of their ability.
“I was glad I was able to offer more than just a religious perspective,” Franklin said. “Students came with such a wealth of knowledge, and we see this often from our youth, but we never really get to see the action, and to get to see it executed.”
Vincent Evans, A FAMU student who served as the stage manager for the event, said FAMU proved that they are leaders in producing events like the state of the student summit.
“We really gave the opportunity to students, not just at FAMU but at FSU and TCC as well, to engage on the important and pressing issues facing our nation and facing our student bodies,” Evans said.
Briana Forde, 18, a first-year elementary education student at FSU said she learned a lot from attending the event.
“I left with so much information,” Forde said. “I couldn’t wait to go back and spread the word to my peers.”
Forde said she looks forward to more events that partners with FAMU and TCC and that the event showed a sense of togetherness and school pride.
“I’ve learned through five years of having Twitter how excellent of a platform it is to have a voice, yet it doesn’t matter at all if no one is listening,” said Sogalla.