UPDATE — 2/27/17
FAMUAN receives SGA letter sent to Chancellor Criser
Last week, Florida A&M University Student Government Association agreed to send a letter to the SUS Chancellor in the hopes of receiving help to prevent the Division of Students Affairs from intruding on SGA business.
Today, the FAMUAN received the formal letter that was dated for Feb. 22. The letter is below.
2/21/17 —– SGA seeks Chancellor's help
The FAMU Student Senate agreed to send a formal memorandum Monday evening to the Chancellor of the State University System to prevent the Division of Student Affairs from interfering in the business of the SGA.
The request came in the form of a memorandum sent from Senate President Brandon Johnson with the approval of the Student Senate to Mr. Marshall Criser III, chancellor of the Florida State University System.
“The institution of Student Government is under extreme duress by our administration,” said the memo to Criser. “The Division of Student Affairs, inclusive of the following individuals: William Hudson, Jr., Ph.D., Angela Coleman, Ph.D., and Thomas Alexander have intervened in the internal affairs beyond what the Board of Governors’ regulations, Florida State statutes, and our internal documents allow.”
The senate further accused the DSA’s actions of “becoming retaliatory against employees of Student Government,” speaking of a February 20 email from Thomas Alexander, associate vice president for student life, and Angela Coleman, dean of students, to SGA Director Brandi Tatum unilaterally overturning the Student Supreme Court’s impeachment conviction of Student Body President Justin Bruno and Vice President Devin Harrison and instructed Tatum to redirect the SGA.
“Ronald Nelson’s term on the Student Supreme Court expired when he graduated December 9, 2016,” Alexander and Coleman said. “Mr. Nelson does not have the authority to convene the Student Body Supreme Court.”
Administration double down on its position by removing Nelson as a member of the court and canceling his SGA OPS pay contract from the FAMU Human Resources system, effective immediately.
Bruno and Harrison were found guilty of formal charges dealing with their mid-semester ascension to their positions in an impeachment trial before the Court chaired by Nelson on Thursday, Feb. 16.
The Senate holds that both Nelson and recently confirmed Associate Justice Dawayne King, were duly recognized appointees made by former President Jaylen Smith before the Senate recognized Bruno and Harrison’s installment, as Smith was never officially removed from office, and therefore that the impeachment trial was indeed valid.
Alexander and Coleman, however, claimed that the Court’s verdict was invalid since Nelson and King were not appointed by Bruno.
“Pursuant to the SB Constitution and SB Statutes, Dawayne King is an individual student and not a member of the Student Supreme Court.”
The Senate voted unanimously on Jan. 30 to accept Smith’s appointees and both Nelson and King allegedly went through all official senate actions to become installed upon the Court.
Johnson claims that administration was over-reaching its jurisdiction since no official appeal of the Courts decision against Bruno or Harrison has been made.
“According to Article 5, Section 5 of the Constitution, only the Vice President of Student Affairs and University President can remand the Court’s decision,” Johnson said. “Neither Alexander nor Coleman has the jurisdiction to do what they did, therefore their memo is completely irrelevant to the Student Government Association. It’s time that we as students put an end to administration’s bullying.”
Johnson also claimed that Alexander was acting as “A Monday morning quarter back” as he attended the impeachment trail and know of the proceedings but waited until after the verdict to send his concerns.
“Alexander not only sat through the entire trial, but also met with Chief Justice Nelson the day after to make sure that the entire trial procedure was conducted according to the statutes,” Johnson Said. “Administration is completely out of line and we hop the State Chancellor can put a stop to it.
Nelson stated that he would continue to serve as the Supreme Court Chief Justice despite Alexander and Coleman’s memo.
“I was duly appointed and confirmed as the Supreme Court Chief Justice of the Student Government Association,” Nelson said in an address to the Senate. “I will continue to fulfill the duties of my position and will serve the students of this Institution to the best of my ability.”
The Senate also took further action against Hudson and moved to request that the University General Counsel initiate a formal “Conflict of Interest Investigation” to consider his personal dealings into the matter.