No hiatus for senate

The workload for the SGA Student Senate was heavy during Homecoming week as senators dealt with Florida House Bill 353 compliance, fund allocation and a confirmation at Monday’s Senate meeting.

The senate wrestled with exactly how they were going to comply with House Bill 353 in the Student Body Constitution. The bill essentially gives the student government the power to govern itself, said Senate President Michael Morton.

Despite a special meeting Saturday to discuss the bill, some senators still had concerns with word choice and punctuation in the proposed amendments to the constitution.

Judicial & Rules Committee Chair Ramon Alexander came before the Senate to discuss with senators changes they wanted to make to the amendments.

The amendments were passed by majority vote, but only after an hour of questions from senators.

“There were about 300 or more amendments made,” Morton said.

Morton said the amendments include grammatical and consistency changes. The removal from office clause was also amended. The amendments change the way in which elected and appointed SGA officials can be removed from office.

However, the amendments must be approved by the Board of Trustees before they can be added into the constitution, said Senate President Michael Morton.

The amendments were due to the Board by noon Tuesday.

Morton said he’s not sure when the board will respond.

Another passed bill allowed for members of the Essence Dance Theatre to charge for tickets to their events.

As a part of unfinished business, the senate also voted to give Essence extra funding in order to cover such charges as renting out Lee Hall, security and hiring a choreographer.

“The OFC Committee has been really helpful,” Kelle Coleman, 20, a member of Essence said.

FACES Modeling Troupe Inc. and Future Public Health Professionals also went before the Senate Monday to request additional funding.

FACES requested $4,003.84 in order to cover the expenses of its fall shows.

“We need more than what we asked for, but we asked for [that amount] thinking that it was reasonable,” FACES secretary Rosie Nwakanma said.

Senators requested two time extensions so they could ask questions to representatives of the modeling troupe. Nwakanma said she and her FACES counterparts, Lashonda Futrell and Rita Williams needed more time to communicate with the Senate.

Hillery Kelly, 23, a second-year public health graduate student, came before the senate to request $7,000 from the OFC Committee in order to fund a trip to the American Public Health Association’s annual conference in San Francisco.

“They’re allocating $3,792,” Kelly said. However, Kelly reassured the senate that if given the allocated money, the lack of the remainder of the needed funds will not stop them from going to San Francisco.

To make her case before the Senate, Kelly cited the importance of FAMU students attending this conference.

“There are only two accredited black schools of Public Health in the nation. We’re one and Morehouse is the other,” Kelly said.

She went on to say that “There are a lot of diseases that disproportionately affect the African-American community. It’s important that we have black educated professionals that are trained to meet the needs of the community.”

Both requests for additional funding by FACES and Future Public Health Professionals will be voted on Monday.

The only confirmation of the night was Jatisha Marsh, a fifth-year MBA candidate from Columbus, Ga. Marsh was unanimously confirmed by the senate as the Chief Justice of the Student Traffic Court.