Update: Student senate places leaders in limbo

Justin Bruno


On the same day that Student Government President Justin Bruno and Vice President Devin Harrison were sworn in to their respective posts at Florida A&M, the university’s student senate held an emergency meeting to reverse the decision naming the two men to their positions.

The student senate’s meeting was held Friday night. The group said Bruno and Harrison should not be in their leadership roles because no vote was taken prior to the two being declared president and vice president.

“The president and vice-president appointment was invalid because the electoral commission did not follow the guidelines of the law,” said student Attorney General Jeremiah Carter.

Bruno and Harrison were named to their posts by the electoral commission on Wednesday after months of legal fighting. Last year,  the Bruno-Harrison ticket defeated Victor Chrispin Jr. and Pernell Mitchell II who were running for president and vice president, respectively. Chrispin and Mitchell filed an appeal with the Student Supreme Court, following the Election Code in the FAMU Student Body Statutes.

“The appeal argued that the election results should be invalidated because the ballots at the law school precinct were not secured or counted in accordance with the Student Body Statutes,” said the 12-page court document.

Bruno filed an emergency injunctive relief in Leon County Circuit Court to stop the new election, suggested by the Student Supreme Court.

In December, university officials announced that FAMU would hold an election from Jan. 11-17. That changed on Wednesday when the electoral commission declared a winner.

“There has to be an election, or it’s a violation of the law,” said senator Marquis MacMiller Friday evening.

Other student senators believed students' rights had been taken away because there was no formal vote.

“We must do what is right for the student body,” senator Simone Nesbitt. “We need to remember why we became senators.”

Student senators will hold a teleconference call Sunday to review their next steps.

Journalist Cara Hackett contributed to this report.