Students, faculty and alumni came together in senate chambers Wednesday for a town hall meeting to hear Florida A&M President Elmira Mangum the night before trustees were expected to vote on her fate in leading the university.
The town hall meeting was hosted by the student relations committee. Other student leaders who attended are: FAMU’s acting Student Government Association President Jaylen Smith, acting vice president Paris Ellis and senate president Brandon Johnson along with other Student Government Association (SGA) officials. Each came to the event after a day of trustee sub-committee meetings.
“You control the quality of education by using your voices and by using your voice when it is time to use them,” Mangum said to the group reiterating some initiatives she and her administration put in place.
Mangum highlighted student performance and student success at Florida A&M University since her presidency through the current budget requests that have been made to the Board of Governors.
“It’s not about me, but the quality of education,” Mangum said. She discussed the current proposals that were made to renovate student housing as well as The Set by adding stores and to modernize the campus.
When asked how she felt about the current situation regarding the board of trustees’ decisions Mangum responded, “It can be hurtful … I will still advocate for success for the students and the university and the need for a quality of educational experience for the students no matter what seat I hold.”
One group that supported Mangum was FAMU’s Marching 100, which filled both the front and back of Senate Chambers. One student band leader asked Mangum what can the student body do to stay abreast of things that will take place during the changes in leadership.
“Make sure that initiatives that were put in place are actually being done… I believe the team we have in place is committed to doing that, the question is making sure they’re allowed to do it,” said President Mangum.
After hearing what may have been the last words from Mangum as the president, SGA acting Vice President Paris Ellis reassured the student body to let their voices be heard through a survey. SGA created the survey for students to voice their opinions and concerns regarding Mangum.