Six Rattlers have united to form The STRIKE Party, a new political party at Florida A&M University.
Former SGA President Anthony Siders, Sean Siders, Kenneth Johnson, Jasmine Louis, Candace Daymond, and graduate senator Iman Sandifer, who is also the party’s chairman, founded the party on Oct. 25, 2014. However the party introduced itself to the public exactly a year later on Sunday.
Daymond, a Spring 2015 graduate, says they saw that students and student leaders had limited access to information about university issues that directly impacted them.
“We felt that student government could play a more active, intimate and effective role in the decisions that are made at the university,” Daymond said. “There are so many opportunities for student involvement in administrative decision making that students are often unaware of.”
The STRIKE Party plans to help students get informed by connecting them with FAMU administration, the faculty senate, community leaders and elected officials.
The party also seeks to endorse candidates for student government who they feel are most qualified for office.
Kordell Wilson, STRIKE Party vice chairman and a fourth-year FAMU economics student, said he believes the party will hold student leaders accountable.
“I believe that a political party forces student leaders to garner support based on their merit, experiences and goals that they set for the student body and the university, instead of merely gaining support based off of friendship,” Wilson said.
The party is not meant to be in competition with SGA, but it has its own platform and agenda of issues that members believe should be addressed, according to Wilson.
However, the party is receiving some resistance.
According to Kandice Ashbury, a fourth-year political science student and press secretary for the STRIKE Party, the opposition is coming from those who may not understand the party’s mission.
"Any of the negative feedback that we have received is due to people not being open to change or not actually being sure of what the organization is about,” Ashbury said.
Freshman Class President Onyx Franklin, a FAMU pre-physical therapy student, said she thinks that the party is a way for students to get involved without having to hold an official position.
“My thoughts toward the STRIKE Party are that it’s new and innovative and it has a great mode of operation behind it,” Franklin said.
According to its constitution, students are allowed to join the STRIKE Party if they are enrolled full time and in good academic standing.