Senate confirms six at opening session

The 34th Student Senate opened its first meeting of the school year Wednesday with a visit from old and new university officials. After greetings from the new Student Government Association President and FAMU Board of Trustees member Virgil Miller, the senate was treated to greetings from President Fred Gainous.

Gainous was in attendance to make announcements and answer questions from the senate and the gallery. He said active campus construction includes a student recreation center, with an expected July 2005 completion, and a new multi-purpose gymnasium, with hopes of new learning facilities.

“We need to build new, smart classrooms,” Gainous said.

Gainous also said the board of trustees accepted a new housing plan, which calls for the demolition of Polkinghorne Village and Palmetto North and South, citing the latter as not being good construction work to begin with.

After words from Gainous, senators were eager to discuss the confirmation of several prospective electoral commission members.

The senate confirmed six people for the staff including the deputy electoral commissioner, Kevin Joseph and five precinct supervisors: Andrea Holmes, LaToya Keys, Tara Bell, Courtney Laws, Khia Johnson and Diamond Case.

Senate President Ramon Alexander, who had a recent dinner meeting with the commissioner to discuss dates for the fall elections, said that he was impressed with Cartwright’s progress.

Cartwright came before the senate and the gallery to bring her report on the fall elections. She said her staff has worked diligently to produce dates for the freshmen and graduate elections.

After a majority vote, the senate declared Sept. 13 as the official election day and Sept. 15 as the run-off date.

Sophomore Sen. Carey Goins agreed, adding that the money SGA will save by pushing the elections up can be distributed to clubs and organizations that need it.

Among these groups is The Famuan. Robbyn Mitchell, managing editor of the publication, came before the senate to ask for additional funding.

“The Famuan is going to be broadsheet every issue now,” Mitchell said, pointing out that the new size will give student writers the benefit of writing lengthy, more in-depth articles. “But it will cost us $73,000.”

The budget has already allotted $58,000 to the paper.

Deandre Etherly gave the senate an update on scheduled performers for the homecoming concert. The senior engineering student from Dallas and concert committee chair said Fat Joe and the Terror Squad, G-Unit, Lil’ Scrappy and T.I. are all slated to perform. Tickets are $15 and will go on sale Sept. 7.

Senior Sen. LaJoy Mercer announced dates for upcoming campus events. Rattler Appreciation Day is Sept. 1 and the SGA Explosion, a small clubs and organizations expo, is Sept. 8.

Alexander and Senate Pro-Tempore Jessica Larche said they are excited about the senate this year and its plans.

“Many see us just writing legislation,” Larche said.

“We tend to lose ourselves in all of that. (This year), we will be reconnecting with students through various efforts.”

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