As the four inaugurates entered the auditorium, you could sense the audience’s admiration for the Student Government Association.
SGA President Marissa West, Vice President Michael Jefferson II, President Pro-tempore Tonnette Graham and Chief Justice Louis Jean-Baptiste were inaugurated to their positions on Friday at Lee Hall.
Florida A&M University student Christina Jean initiated the inauguration ceremony with a rendition of the National Anthem, which was followed by a performance by the Mahogany Dance Team.
Interim President Larry Robinson swore West and Jefferson II into office. Wearing a pink blazer and a bright smile, West appeared to be honored with assuming the role of president. Jefferson II, standing to her right, was equally as thrilled and honored as West. West then swore Graham and Jean-Baptiste into office.
West, 22, is a third-year doctor of pharmacy student from Chicago. Jefferson II, 21, is a senior environmental science student from Indianapolis. Tonnette Graham, 19, is a second-year cardiopulmonary science student from Newark, Del. Louis Jean-Baptiste, 20, is a graduating senior political science student from Palm Beach County, Fla.
West and Jefferson II said they think the top issues at FAMU are recruitment, enrollment and morale. Both West and Jefferson II said they’re committed to restoring the old Rattler pride and increasing the trust students have in FAMU.
According to West and Jefferson II, the theme for the administration is making sure students are put first and serve the university well. Their goal is to provide a meaningful and monumental experience to the student body.
“I think West has a lot of discipline and she is innovative, yet she follows the rules very strictly,” said Tia Haynes, 21, a former student senator and senior architecture student from Tallahassee. “She is fair and honest, which brings integrity to the position and having a woman’s perspective is always nice. They say that men run to be recognized and women run to make a difference.”
“Michael and Marissa possess knowledge and energy to galvanize the student body. I cannot expect more from the leaders, than I can expect from myself,” said Reamonn Soto, 26, a graduating senior physics student from Tallahassee.
The Inauguration 2012 Program praised both Graham and Jean-Baptist commenting, “Louis firmly believes that: everything is orchestrated by God and are just meant to happen, including the curve balls that come along the way.” With regard to Graham the program offered, “Wherever a helping hand is needed, Tonnette always offers before one can even ask.”