Florida A&M University’s student senate held a productive meeting confirming three executive branch members, passing two legislative bills, discussing important committee updates and holding an informative, yet touching presentation for suicide prevention following World Suicide Prevention Day, which took place Sept. 10.
The meeting was run by Student Senate President Artise Lewis and Student Senate Pro-Tempore Zachary Bell. The meeting started with the confirmations of the executive branch positions.
The three student nominees confirmed for executive branch positions included Christopher Allen for Secretary of Academic Affairs, Hayley Giannuzi for Deputy of Student Welfare, and Randall Leath Jr. for Deputy Comptroller.
Each student nominee addressed a series of questions brought forth by the student senate to assess their knowledge and comprehension of the position applied for.
The students also declared how they intended on using their executive branch positions to serve the student body and gain tangible skills for their professional endeavors after FAMU.
All three of the student nominees respectively received unanimous votes confirming their newly appointed positions within the student senate.
Following the confirmations, the Student Relations Committee presented an informative presentation on suicide awareness. The presentation included statistical facts and data involving self-harm and common mental health concerns among college students.
Following this, each senate committee gave updates on their developing plans and events.
The Campus Activities Board announced that their first event will be hosted in the middle of Oct. and there will be a Cram Jam this semester. The first CAB general body meeting is set to take place on Thursday, Sept. 23.
Student Government Association President Carrington Whigham, along with the Executive Assistant to Chief of Staff Lawrencia Palmer, also announced several upcoming events on behalf of the executive branch.
One of these events was an Amazon session, taking place on Sept. 23. Students of all majors will be invited to meet with professionals from Amazon to learn about career opportunities, internships, and an insight into the company.
The executive branch also proposed the Rally for Tally conference on Oct. 16, which will be held at Florida State University.
Chairman Kelton Williams of the Elections & Appointment Committee announced that they will continue interviewing for executive branch positions. Out of 80 applications requested, only 20 applications were submitted. As a result, they are still accepting applications and actively seeking to fill positions.
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Ricky Rodriguez also gave a brief announcement that they are still working on filling the Solicitors General position.
Another major highlight of the Student Senate meeting was the discussion of three legislative bills.
The first to be introduced was the Strike Team Internal Rules of Procedure Revisions Bill, which intends to increase the GPA requirement for joining the Strike Team from a 2.0 to 2.25 GPA. This bill was passed and was intentionally ruled by the senate that students with a 2.0 GPA or below will be ineligible to join the Strike Team and participate in voting.
The second bill discussed was the Ad-Hoc Committee Bill, which was also passed with the purpose of simply informing Student Relations Committee liaisons on duties and GPA requirements.
The final, and most controversial, bill discussed was the Senate Point System. This bill set out to introduce a point system to enforce the disciplinary and accountability measures for senators that are inexcusably absent from senate meetings.
This particular bill caused an eruption of differences in viewpoints among the senate and required numerous readings to find a common ground.
The bill required lengthy discussion and assessment in order to make a final decision moving forward, and eventually was tabled until the following senate meeting next Monday.
Senate President Lewis reminded senators about the importance of staying updated and prompt, especially those in student senate positions.
“The most important takeaway from tonight’s meeting is the importance of checking phones and emails,” Lewis said. “Paying attention to your email or phone is important because there is a lot of info that can be missed, such as an emergency meeting.”
Lewis provided a real example of a senator that was not checking their inboxes, which resulted in an unexcused absence from an emergency meeting.
Genesis Walker, time keeper for the senate meetings, spoke on how tonight’s meeting was far more productive and deliberate than previous meetings before this semester.
“..The deliberation by the senators regarding bills and confirmations was a lot better. They seemed more attentive to the people and bills they were passing tonight,” said Walker.
For more information on SGA and the weekly senate meetings, visit sga.famu.edu.