Students should make voices heard

There is a huge problem with SGA right now – you.

Well, not you specifically, but us the students at this University. Forget about who is going to spend the most money on ads, who is going to hand out the best candy or which candidate is most fluent in Greek.

We can argue over the campaign finance laws and decide whether ripping off the Burger King logo is acceptable all day and all night. But it won’t make a difference.

SGA could pass a law tomorrow banning all Greeks from being involved in SGA or conversely, banning all non-Greeks from participating and it wouldn’t change a thing. This is because the real problem with SGA is that students at FAMU don’t hold their representatives accountable.

This year, if you are having trouble filling out your FASFA, there is help for you. There are plans in the works to change how parking services operates. Do you know who worked for these things?

A senator was recently impeached for not showing up for work, the dorms still do not have cable, and Jesse Jackson was invited to speak at FAMU. Do you know who is responsible for these things?

Can you possibly imagine how frustrating it is to work hard in SGA, accomplish everything you promised the students you would, and then when election time comes around know that your chances of being re-elected aren’t much better than the person who was threatened with losing their job for never showing up for work? What type of person do you think will continue to run year after year for an office in SGA after he or she sees the person who does nothing but sit at a desk, collect a check every two weeks and be re-elected or reappointed time after time?

SGA is supposed to represent us. Its job is to serve our interests and our needs, the student body. Yet, most of the programs that are started by SGA are in reaction to generalized grumbling and not actual formally submitted complaints. And by formal, I mean a student actually walking up to SGA and telling someone he or she has a problem.

There is an actual position in SGA called the Secretary of Student Welfare. That position’s sole reason for existence is to handle any and every problem you have. Financial aid messing you over, can’t understand a word your professor is saying, can’t get on the FAMU wireless Ethernet, dryers in the dorm broke? It doesn’t matter. If you have a problem it is that person’s job to handle it.

The motto of this University is “Excellence with Caring”. The “Caring” part of our motto refers to the fact that at FAMU there is no reason for us to handle our problems alone. The people in SGA are being paid, to serve our every whim and fancy.

SGA is a good system that gives any student on campus access to similar powers and authority that our administrators enjoy. But like any good system, its weakest point will always be the people who use it. If we don’t reward those who work hard for us, and if we don’t punish those who lie to us, there will never be any change in SGA or in the way the organization carries out its duties. Therefore, it’s up to you to choose the “right” candidate.

Daniel Watkins is a senior computer information sciences student from Hephzibah, Ga. He can be reached at