SGA turns out for FAMU Day at the Capitol

FAMU SGA Secretary of State Jalen McClees during FAMU Day at the Capitol on Thursday. Photo by Izzy Young

Rattler Nation, including Florida A&M’s Student Government Association, flooded the state Capitol Thursday for the annual FAMU Day at the Capitol.

“Today is a great day for people to learn about FAMU, because a lot of people still don’t know about the university and the great things that we’re doing,” said Jeremiah Carter, a FAMU graduate and a former senior senator.

FAMU Day at the Capitol is an event that was organized and put together by SGA and FAMU’s National Alumni Association. Both showed up in force to promote the legislative priorities that need to be discussed with Florida lawmakers, who have three weeks left in they annual session.

The day is an opportunity for the SGA to lobby and request financial support and allocations.

From the beautiful view from the Capitol’s 22nd floor, the Rattler pride was flowing through the entire building.  Former and current SGA members passionately voiced their concerns and needs to better FAMU.

Current FAMU Secretary of State Jalen McClees went in depth about what exactly the university as a whole is looking to get done in order to improve.

“We ask for funding for all of our programs at the university,” he said, “but specifically one of the programs that we want to make sure we take care of is the School of Pharmacy.”

McClees said  that the school alone has generated more than $1 million in sponsored research grants. While that is a noteworthy accomplishment, SGA is requesting around $1.6 million to build on the momentum.

Carrington Whigham, the student body president and a member of the FAMU Board of Trustees, emphasized the importance of having student representation during FAMU Day at the Capitol.

“It’s good to see these faces and bodies in this space because as students and as a university we’re not represented enough,” Whigham said. “Today we have warriors fighting and lobbying on our behalf.”

Whigham also noted that the student body and SGA have been well prepared for FAMU Day at the Capitol. They practiced for about two months, every Tuesday and Thursday with scripts and overviews of legislative priorities with FAMU President Larry Robinson.

The SGA and other members of the student body made sure they were well equipped for this important day.

The event allowed students to tell their stories and impress on legislators why they should invest and why they should care. The day gave the students the exposure and voice that they need.

“FAMU Day is the day we get to paint the Capitol with orange and green,” Whigham said. “And I hope that they’re very receptive of what we have to say.”

If you are interested in participating in the next FAMU Day at the Capitol, contact SGA.