Florida A&M University alumni, students, and supporters flocked to the Capitol in orange and green on April 6 to celebrate and advocate for the only public historically black university in the state.
The annual FAMU Day at the Capitol kicked off Thursday morning with supporters meeting with representatives and senators to hear from the entire FAMU community about issues that plague the university.
“All of our issues are centered around student success,” said FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson.
From the student services center to the student success center, all funds are proposed for the benefits of students.
Robinson expressed his happiness in seeing the large turnout of FAMU alumni at the Capitol.
“They know about the issues we are working on. They know that it doesn’t just stop here or even start here. So when they leave here, they know how and to whom to carry the message. So even after it ends, we can continue to fight on behalf of Florida A&M University,” said Robinson.
The Student Services Building requested $23.5 million and Student Success Initiatives requested $5.6 million with $1 million in base funding from the Senate.
To increase online course offerings, a $5 million budget was proposed with a $1.8 million recommendation from the Senate.
The House and Senate have included $165,000 in recurring money for the Black Male College Explorers Program.
$7.16 million was proposed to better align FAMU faculty salaries with those of FSU for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering with $1 million included from the Senate.
The Senate allocated $200,000 for the Brooksville facility with a $1.36 million budget proposal.
FAMU alumus and state Sen. Bobby Powell was present not only as an elected official, but as a proud Rattler.
He attended the event to challenge students and university supporters to make their voices heard throughout the House and Senate.
“I am here to empower our students, to empower our university and empower our staff, faculty and alumni,” said Powell.
“As a legislator, it’s my role to make sure that I advocate on behalf of the university to make sure that we receive the proper amount of funding, and make sure that the policies that are passed are not damaging to Florida A&M University,” continued Powell.
While the day served as a mini reunion for some, it was a time for others to be enlightened on university’s policies. FAMU alum and local resident, Carolyn Hill visits the Capitol annually.
“I come every year to listen to the legislative concerns and try to keep up with what’s going on with the university,” said Hill.
Hill encourages people to stay informed as much as they can,“You have to be informed. There’s a lot of stuff they post from the alumni association on social media. You can’t (be uninformed) and expect to understand the changes that are happening.”