Candidates are full of promises and big plans. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University students can expect to find themselves on the receiving end of these each spring semester during campaign season. However, under the current pandemic and state of our country, implementing change that is visible to students in a primarily remote platform can be difficult.
This is the challenge that current FAMU student leaders are facing.
SGA President and Vice-President, Xavier McClinton and Carrington Whigham ran on the slogan “FAMU FIRST”. Among their platform points was “Advocacy First” which included their hope to improve the relationship between the law school and the main campus.
“Our plans were to build a bridge between campuses, a lot of that tied around campus culture so homecoming, graduation and football games,” McClinton said. “Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, every one of those options has been closed for consideration.”
Despite the large setback the pandemic has created in original plans, some of which included busing students from the Orlando campus for football games, McClinton assured the administration have started to develop new ways to bridge the gap between both campuses.
Tia Wynn, SGA Attorney General shared her hopes of mentorship initiatives and recruitment.
“To me, a successful collaboration looks like students being more aware of the opportunities that exist at FAMU’s law school,” Wynn said. “Educating people when they come in as freshmen on what our law school has to offer so they don’t have to look elsewhere.”
Wynn currently plans to host an event with the college of law this semester in an attempt to raise retention rates.
Student leaders have been able to fulfill their promise to become more inclusive within the Student Government Association, dedicating and holding one of the supreme court justice seats specifically for law school students.
Student body Vice-President, Carrington Whigham, said this is only the beginning in regards to fulfilled promises with the college of law as leaders are planning to continue and pass on the blueprints to the next administration in office.
“We want to be a cohesive university in general, despite the distance- all receiving the same spirit people come to FAMU for,” Whigham said. “We’ve been asking ourselves, what does a real campus look like during COVID-19? So there have been a lot of adjustments. Right now, we’re setting a foundation so when the virus goes away, all we have to do is pick it up and keep it moving.”