Moricette promises accountability, activism

New student body president Rochard Moricette, left, has high hopes for the coming school year.
Photo Submitted by Rochard Moricette.

Rochard Moricette, a junior agribusiness major from Fort Lauderdale, and Natalie Antenor, a sophomore accounting major from Miami, were elected last week to become the student body president and vice president for the 2019-2020 academic year. 

In October of 2016, Moricette began serving the student body as a freshman and sophomore senator in the 46th and 47th student senate where he has held many positions.

“I have had the pleasure of serving as senate pro-tempore, an activity and service liaison, vice chairman of the annual budget committee and being awarded SGA member of the year for 2017-2018. I currently serve as the 48th student senate president,” he said.

Antenor began serving the student body as a freshman and sophomore senator in the 47th and 48th student senate.

“I served as a judicial and rules committee member, an activity and service liaison, vice chairwoman of the annual budget committee and I was awarded SGA freshman senator of the year,” she said.

Both Moricette and Antenor said that “all of our platform points are important uto us.” As they prepare for their term, their main focus is activism, accountability, accessibility, academics and student life.  

Moricette said the administration will provide activism by advocating for more state funding for university projects to protect student welfare, improve SGA’s involvement with civic issues and host dynamic panels that address major topics such as domestic violence, sexual assault, mental health and more. 

“Accountability will allow students to have input for leadership decisions, combine SGA, Campus Activities Board and the Royal Court to ensure an effective leadership and build relationships with university departments,” Moricette said.   

Accessibility will establish free printing in all the colleges and schools, a resources and benefits fair for students to acquire information about government assistance available to them, lobbying to make faculty evaluations prior to course selections, provide free legal services through the Legal Services program and develop a yearlong leadership series.  

Moricette and Antenor strongly believe in the importance of academics and will advocate for more student-professor research opportunities, implement student waivers for fund the Graduate school exams, and  advocate for more student input on the university curriculum committee.

They also want to promote and support academic tutoring services and bring awareness to the medical/mental health withdrawal program for students that experience unforeseen circumstances during the semester. 

Both Moricette and Antenor said that student life will provide weekend shuttles to local grocery stores, address on-campus student concerns regarding late-night and weekend food options, and provide on-campus practice facilities for performing arts organizations.

Student life will also offer a parking services crash course at the beginning of each semester, publicize and support resources for LGBTQ students, reach out to foreign exchange students to ensure a smooth transition to FAMU culture, advocate to extend campus recreation center hours, advocate for more general parking spaces on campus and create a dynamic off campus discounts through FAMU rattler card program.

“This year I aspire to establish a student-led Homecoming Committee to increase student involvement in the planning and execution of this year's homecoming.” 

Victor Chrispin, an alumnus of Florida A&M University, mentors both Moricette and Antenor. Chrispin also had a huge impact in SGA during his term in the 44th and 45th student senate being awarded senator of the year and committee of the year two times.  

Chrispin ran for student body president in the spring of 2016. “My goal in SGA was to always serve the students and protect our university. Within those goals Including fostering and supporting the student leaders behind me. As a previous candidate for SGA president I understand the plight of what it takes to run that election,” he said. 

“However despite the logistical parts of campaigning I understood that you have to have a ‘heart’ for this position. Through the journey of this position you are faced with the good bad and ugly, and I know that first hand," said Chrispin.

"In preparing my mentees I let them know that this will not be a position that I will allow to affect them mentally, spiritually, or physically. If it would drain them to the point that it will have them to lose their identity that they will not continue to chase this mantle because I’ve watched several students in the past diverge into those dark places,” he added. 

Chrispin added: “Now that they’ve reached their goals they know the work is not done. I’m proud to say that I was able to assist them, motivate and inspire them. As their mentor it feels like my work is done but I know it’s only beginning.”