Monday night’s 42nd student senate meeting got intense as senators discussed issues such as residence hall maintenance, Strikers’ special allocation request, homecoming and Royal Court male attendants.
While living on campus may be a dream for some students, others complain that the dorms are outdated badly maintained. Some students are outraged that they have to live with mold and leaking ceilings for their first college experience. Some said they have witnessed maintenance problems being covered up and never fixed.
“I get leaked on by the A/C all the time,” said Amber Hodge, a first-year pre-med student who lives in Truth Hall. “I have to sleep on a certain side of the bed just to not get leaked on. It happens every day.”
The Residence Hall Maintenance Bill, created freshmen senators Derek Keaton and Travis Milton, will encourage the Florida A&M Housing Department to constantly maintain on-campus housing. The issue was raised after complaints from students on campus.
While some students focus on housing, others are concerned with money for transportation. The Strikers are hoping to enter a competition and possibly win the $10,000 prize.
The Strikers’ request would cover transportation and lodging fees.
While some senators argued against the bill in hopes to save money, Shepiro Hardemon, artistic director and founder of the Strikers, stressed the safety of his dancers.
“You can go a cheaper route, but you can’t put students’ lives in jeopardy to try save a couple hundred dollars or a thousand at that.” Hardemon said. “These prices aren’t completely made up. It came from Florida A&M University.”
He backed up his reasoning by explaining what happened on their last trip to Miami. Hardemon said they almost got into a fatal accident twice.
Junior senator Marquise McMiller, the author of the bill, also stressed the importance of giving the Strikers the funds to help cover the trip.
“They do not live off of A&S fees,” McMiller said. “If they were not funded, the Strikers will still exist. They will continue to do programming and a thing of that nature without the assistance of Student Activities. My problem is with organizations that live off A&S fees.”
McMiller’s other bill emphasized that this year’s homecoming was not one brought to you by the student body.
“I know this is my opinion, but I believe this opinion is a matter of fact,” McMiller said. “Mr. Green did not take much consideration of the student body, especially in the area of artists.”
Another issue that came up was the election. Keaton has initiated a bill that might change the 2014 election period.
Keaton feels that the student body should elect the male “escorts” who assist Mr. FAMU.
“I’m a person that is for equal opportunity and responsibility,” Keaton said. “I want the everyday male student at FAMU to have the opportunity to be part of the Royal Court if they aspire to do so.”
If this bill sounds familiar, that is because in 2010, Trenton Kirksey addressed this same issue with the senate.
“The system works fine but does not best serve the student body,” Kirksey said in 2010.
While Keaton and Kirksey feel that the bill should be passed, the Royal Court advisor and Mr.FAMU think differently.
“”I disagree with that notion, they are simply what their title states; an escort,” said Khala Adams, the Royal Court advisor. “It is a perk of being Mr. FAMU that you get to pick who is a part of your court.”
Mr. FAMU, Larry Polynice agrees with Adams.
“I feel that is a bit much for an escort position there’s no need for it,” Polynice said.
While the bill is still being considered, Kirksey still feels strongly about this notion that he suggested years ago.
“It is great to see that they want to move forward and get away from the political spoiler system that is emplaced on every level of government,” Kirksey said. “It will make the court a face for the university and it will be literal in its meaning.”