FAMU Student Senate shares hope for future president

Florida A&M Student Body President Anthony Siders discussed the board of trustees’ recent decision to continue the search for the university’s next president at Monday evening’s senate meeting.

The board’s standing policy, which eliminates candidates who serve in an interim capacity as candidates for permanent presidency, has created some controversy among student leaders and alumni.

According to Siders, this policy was why the search for the 11th president was placed on hold in the spring, along with a survey sent to students asking what qualities they wanted to see in the next president.

After FAMU was placed on probation in 2012, the search committee was unexpectedly suspended.
With the search for a new president underway, student leaders have high expectations for the university’s next president and members of the search committee.

“I’m expecting a fair, above ground, non-tainted process,” Siders said. “The 11th president of this university will be extremely critical.”
The probation has had a major effect on interim faculty members who have had to effectively serve in their positions during the current probation period, according to Siders.

“I am expecting a president that has FAMU first,” Siders said. “The student body is expecting that of me.”
Since being elected, Siders said the healing of FAMU has been at the forefront for him and his administration.

Members of Siders’ administration and Interim President Larry Robinson focused on the idea that great things are happening every day at FAMU, highlighting the rebirth of the university.

By focusing on the positive things that are taking place at the university involving students and faculty, Siders believes FAMU is beginning to heal.

“We definitely see a more vibrant FAMU since the Robert Champion incident,” Siders said. “We have been hovering by a dark cloud.”

Siders said he appreciates the efforts of Robinson and his administration to remain transparent with students.
“The students are the engine, the bloodline and the pulse of FAMU,” Siders said.

Siders and his administration plan to take a grassroots approach to better inform students on when the committee meetings will be.

“Even though the information is provided on FAMU Info,” Siders said, “I’m going to get out there and talk to students face to face.”

Ebony Dyson, a senior architecture student from Chaptico, Md., thinks the search for a new president is a necessity.

“The university needs a chief,” Dyson said. “We can’t afford not to have a set leader.”

Alfred Henderson was confirmed for the position of secretary of economic development, but before officially securing the position, Henderson faced backlash from Senate Pro Tempore Gregory George after failing to list some of the duties of the position.

Despite the difficulties, Henderson was not phased.

“When adversity comes to me, I don’t look at it as I’m being defeated,” Henderson said. “I look at it as I’m fighting for the students.”

Henderson said he plans to inform students on the different ways to gain funding for their organizations through outside companies.

By hosting grant-writing workshops and financial education workshops, Henderson said he would attempt to broaden organizations’ ideas on fundraising.

On Nov. 20, clubs and organization will be able to sign up for these workshops and programs on the Set.

Senate President Tonnette Graham said senators need to remember their main reason for attending FAMU, which is education.

“We have to get these books,” Graham said. “Outside of these senate chambers, you are a student first.”
Graham also set an expectation of 25 pieces of legislation to come through the senate before December.
Wednesday, the senate will host an activity and service fee funding workshop for clubs and organization at 6:30 p.m.

The workshop, which was originally scheduled for Oct. 14, had to be rescheduled because of homecoming activities.