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New Leaders to Move FAMU Forward

By Darias Bowers
On April 27, 2016

Justin Bruno and Devin Harrison filed an injunction against Florida A&M University in regards to the recent fiasco over the results from this spring’s election. 

The case has not yet been resolved, therefore, Jaylen Smith, newly elected Senate President, will serve as SGA Interim President, and newly elected Pro-temp Brandon Johnson will serve as Senate President until then.

Student Government Association (SGA) outgoing 45th Student Senate held an election to select new leadership for the 2016-2017 school year.

The offices of Senate President and Senate Pro-tempore (Senate Pro-temp) are voted upon by the senators, and the newly elected Senate President and Pro-temp select their cabinet, which consists of six committee chairpersons.

Derek Keaton, a graduating senior political science student from Chicago, IL., who will be continuing his education at the University of Virginia Law School, shared his thoughts and expectations of the Senate.

“It has been a long journey in the senate. I remember when I was first elected; nervous and unsure of what to expect, yet ambitious and anxious to leave my mark. My experiences have not all been the best, but I have learned to make the best of every experience.” stated Keaton. “The 46th is in good hands, I believe. Take advantage of these experiences, and make the best of them. All of these experiences will only aid them in becoming a better student leader.”

Dajuh Sawyer, a second-year business administration student from St. Petersburgh, Fla., also shared her sentiments on the future of the student senate.

“I see the senate going in a positive direction. I feel that the Senators in the 46th will bring forth a diverse leadership style and effective plans of action for the betterment of the student body.”

Sawyer was appointed into the senate fall of 2015, and now serves as the chairman of the Elections and Appointments Committee.

The Elections and Appointments chair has the responsibility to verify all SGA appointed positions and oversee all that falls under the umbrella of elections, such as the current SGA presidential elections case.

“I view the senate as an opportunity for students to build relationships with clubs, organizations, and faculty through different engagements.” stated Sawyer.

Aside from the senate, Sawyer has also hosted numerous panels to empower Black women and the student body as a whole. “I love what I do,” added Sawyer.

Soladeen Hamilton, a second-year psychology student from Tampa, Fla., gave his opinion on the status of and future of the student senate.

“The Senate is headed in a progressive direction,” ensured Hamilton. “The senate has made a lot of improvements since I first was voted in my freshman year. The senate body has become more productive and transparent to the student body.”

Hamilton is the Student Relations Committee (SRC) Chairman for the 2016-2017 academic year and served on the committee since the beginning of his freshman year.

Student leaders must remember they are students first and everything else should follow their academics. The importance of maintaining academic success on top of maintaining your identity is imperative.

“The first thing is to always know who you are, and who you are not. A lot of times students tend to lose themselves and get caught up in what’s happening at the moment,” exclaimed Sawyer.

FAMU is known for their student elections and campaigns, as well as their academic success and the leadership positions they hold, rather it be in SGA, the royal court, fraternities, sororities, or other student organizations.

Angela Robinson, actress from Tyler Perry’s “The Have and The Have nots,” served as Miss Florida A&M University while in school and told news outlets that the experience was amazing..

“It taught me that if you believe in yourself, and if you dream it, it can really come through,” Robinson told the Tallahassee Democrat.

The new leaders are planning on moving FAMU forward.

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