Leaders of the 34th Student Senate revealed plans for the spring semester and reflected upon fall semester accomplishments during its first meeting of the spring Monday.
The University presidential change will affect the Senate as Interim President Castell Bryant becomes acclimated to her new position. Senate President Ramon Alexander, who plans to meet with Bryant to discuss issues involving the school, said the change would allow the Senate to establish closer relations with Bryant throughout the semester.
“Dr. Bryant will address the Senate at the next meeting,” Alexander said. “Allowing students to ask questions relating to her plans for the University and the Senate will meet with her regularly throughout the semester.”
The main focus of the Senate this semester is outreach to the student body, which stems from its Bridging the G.A.P. (Goals Achieved through Progression) platform.
During the meeting, senators discussed the events of the fall semester that were geared toward benefiting the student body, including Student Appreciation Day and credit management seminars. They also discussed upcoming events such as Striking, a drumming and dancing competition for charity.
Sen. Pro Tempore Jessica Larche’ said that although the Senate is focusing on creating a holistically aware student body by planning events, the Senate is constitutionally not a programming body and they often go beyond their primary legislative duties.
The Student Senate allocates and performs the expenditure of student’s Activities and Services (A&S) fees and the A&S monthly budget report, which holds all A&S Agencies accountable for their allotted funds, is due Jan. 19.
Alexander,20, a native of Tallahassee, said the Senate had problems accessing funds with the new ERP system last semester, but they are working with the administration to have open access to funds.
Sen. Carey Goins, chairman of the Organization and Finance Committee, said the spring semester goal of the OFC is to give the organization’s excess funds of $50,000 to various clubs and organizations.
“We’re trying to get rid of the extra money, because the money doesn’t help if it’s just sitting around,” said Goins, 20, a second year business student from Chicago.
During the meeting, senators discussed student input on A&S funds. Students now have the opportunity to provide feedback online about the allocation of their fees.
Goins said students also have input on where their A&S fees go by electing their representatives and attending committee meetings in which funds are allocated.
According to Alexander, the Senate “staffs the cafÃ©” every month and holds town hall meetings regularly to gain feedback from and interact with students.
Some students believe that one of the SGA’s problems is interacting with students, a problem that the Senate addressed during the meeting.
“The diversity of the Senate allows representatives to compromise and explore the options best for the student body,” said Larche’, 20, a second year political science student from New Orleans.
Although senators represent FAMU students, Larche’ said students have the important role of holding their officials in SGA accountable.
As the 34th Student Senate embarks upon a new semester and welcomes the new interim president, Alexander said the members of the organization are excited and are looking forward to providing service and a proactive role on campus.
Contact Ebonie Ledbetter at firstname.lastname@example.org.