Florida A&M University Gospel Choir received $10,850 from the student senate Monday for funds that will be used toward their spring concert trip to Houston, Texas.
Brandon Johnson, second-year FAMU political science student and student senator, represented the Gospel Choir as they asked the student senate for $26,520 in special allocations to sponsor the trip.
After the first and second reading of the Gospel Choir bill, the student senate allocated $10,850 to cover hotel rooms for more than 50 students, cutting their funding by $15,670.
Johnson discussed how the student senate is attempting to be fiscally responsible with the money, over $200,000, in the special allocations account.
“The reason why my colleagues in the senate cut the funding for the Gospel Choir (is because) we are trying to be fiscally responsible and not spend all of the money we have in one night,” Johnson said.
English FAMU graduate from Tampa and president of FAMU Gospel Choir Larenz Johnson believes the senate provided them with great service and added that their representative did all he could do.
“Our senator Johnson was great. He really saw the need for the Gospel Choir and represented us well,” Johnson said. “However, the overall voting on the bill wasn’t a pleasant experience.”
The Gospel Choir is nonetheless pleased with the amount that was given and is now taking the necessary steps to make the trip successful.
Johnson also mentioned that the gospel choir has already raised $5,000 and plans to raise more to supplement what was not allocated for their budget.
Gospel Choir advisor, Valerie Singleton, was bothered by the decision the student senate made to cut their funding. Her main concern was that they would not fund the advisor to attend the trip.
“Considering the time and dedication I put in the choir, you would think the advisors will be funded too,” Singleton said. “I can admit, for all of the organizations that were represented at the meeting, none of the advisors were funded to go on their trips.”
Her only concerns were that everything is done fair and in order.
“I am pleased to know that all of the student organizations advisors were not funded to go on their trip, so it’s just not me,” Singleton said.
Singleton later added how the main purpose of their trip is to spread the good news, the Gospel and how the money from special allocations will allow them to do that.