Concerned students gathered at the gates of Florida A&M President Elmira Mangum’s house Friday in protest of the actions taken by the university's trustees and with hopes of having their voices heard.
“For the next 11 minutes stand in unity — not only for President Mangum but for our voice and our university,” said Miss FAMU Amberly Williams. “No one gets in without our say so which means nobody gets out without our say so!”
Following the FAMU trustees' decision against extending Mangum’s contract beyond April 2017, there has been a proposal from a committee, which if passed could have Mangum out of office as soon as Sept. 15. Leaving the position of university president up for grabs.
The issue of communication is one that has been presented by the student body and is at the core of why the student-organized rally took place.
Mr. FAMU, Randall Griffin, shares his views on why there is such unrest among the student body.
“We realize that without the students this university wouldn’t function. So we are trying to get everybody involved. Not just the board of trustees, not just the royal court but the average everyday student,” Griffin said.
He added “… a lot of people aren’t really educated as to what’s going on with the school and this is their money that they are paying. They are paying thousands of dollars to go to a school and we want it to function 100%.”
But students aren’t the only ones concerned with the future of the university.
Life-long Tallahassee resident, Miasha Mitchell said, “It takes time to do this work. Until you give a person an opportunity to work through the agenda the way you want it, it doesn’t really give us any good feedback about what’s happening at the university.”
“If we were able to do it (track President’s Mangum’s progress) together, I think that would really satisfy the students here and also the members of the community," Mitchell added.
Mangum’s future with FAMU will be clarified at the board of trustees meeting on Thursday, Sept. 15 in the Grand Ballroom at 9 a.m.