FAMU student senate meeting focused on special allocations and Spring election

Monday evening’s Student Government Association senate meeting was nothing less than informal this time around.

Senate President Derek Keaton, began the meeting, held in the Grand Ballroom, at 6:03 p.m., on Feb. 22, 2016. 22 senators were present at the first roll call. The usual executive branch and judicial branch reports were given.

Chelsey Brown, who serves as the Chief of Staff, gave the executive branch report. Brown mentioned that the executive branch is finalizing the Black Student Summit that will be held here at Florida A&M University.

Tawn-Tyba Takeli, Chief Justice Student Supreme Court, stated that the Judicial Branch has open positions available and the information to apply can be found on their Instagram page: @FAMU_JudicialBranch. Justice Takeli also mentioned that the Crispin-Mitchell ticket, have made appeals in the recent elections, to the Electoral Commission (EC) and Judicial Branch.  

Graduate student Tomia Austin went up for confirmation in the senate as a Graduate Senator. The 45th Student Senate confirmed her into the senate after a brief questioning, following the confirmation spearheaded by Elections and Appointments Chair Jaylen Smith.  

A document was sent in from a “Mr. George” at the Law School about an issue during the election. There was not a precinct supervisor at the law school from the EC, so technically those votes don’t count because they are to be present voting day and in the presence of ballots.

The Judicial Branch will be looking into this issue. This could affect the results on a certain position, but not most races that entail the law school vote.

The 6th Session Starting Balance for the meeting was $249,373.14. The organizations that went up for special allocations were Progressive Black Men, Incorporated; National Association of Black Journalist; Health and Educational Relief Organization; Addiction Dance Team; Essential Theatre; Mahogany Dance Theatre; and Rampage Step Team.

PBM’s special allocation request was tabled indefinitely due to the fact that they had already received funding for this academic year. NABJ’s special allocation request was tabled because there is time to fund-raise and find sponsors to lessen the cost. HERO received $1,784.16 leaving the account with $247,588.98. Addiction Dance Team received $4,090.01 leaving the account with $243,489.97.  

The Essential Theatre request was tabled because no one from the association was there to accept or deny recommendations. Mahogany Dance Theatre received $13,136.00, which left the account at $230,362.97. Rampage Step Team was the last special allocation request, which received $7,393.13. This left the account with a final balance of $222,969.84.

The excitement began when Kyle Washington, a student at FAMU, spoke during the Lobbying and Speakers Forum.

Washington began with a short anecdote of how the atmosphere among students shifted from when he first became a student.

“That type of mentorship has evolved and now it’s I’m going to make decisions for you and I’m going to live my life through you,” Washington affirmed. “Culturally, this is where we’ve gotten, here at FAMU.”

Washington felt that as student leaders, the senate should have done more awareness of Black History Month on an HBCU campus.

During the Candidate’s Declaration allegations were made of him being responsible for libelous claims that was made on FAMU’s current SGA President during the Fall semester. He made it clear that whenever he does something, his name will be on it.

He stated that it doesn’t matter which secret group you come from there should be one common goal: To move FAMU forward, not a goal of impeding FAMU’s forwardness. Things should not stay the same within different positions on campus, but move forward.

Campaign week: Campaign is messy because of how you all are presenting yourself.  If the facts are valid it shouldn’t matter how it’s delivered.

Another point of concern was the candidate’s debate. The questions that were asked were not “debate worthy” because there was not a rebuttal or a response.

“That [rebuttal and response] is important to effectively select leaders. If FAMU 19 doesn’t graduate in four years, we [FAMU] could possibly lose funding. That’s what I wanted to hear in the debate.”

Washington expressed that the process of manual voting is outdated and new initiatives should become reality.

“We can’t be in the process of moving FAMU forward when we’re moving back by manually completing a ballot. Writing names down and putting it in a box is like 1844, Lincoln era,” exclaimed Washington.

Washington ended with a charge to the student senate saying, “Are we going to follow the rules everyday? Are we going to follow the rules when it’s fair to our friends? Are we not going to follow them at all? What are we going to do? Whatever you do, be consistent. If you didn’t like my consistency, you didn’t like me from the jump. Don’t leave any room for interpretation.”

“If you do what you always do, you’ll get what you always got,” Washington ended.

The meeting ended with the Internal Procedures and Rules update, from Senators Mitchell and Orsborn.