Caribbean students voice their concerns

The upcoming SGA fall elections and concerns over lack of representation in the senate were among the topics discussed during the third session of the 35th Student Senate on Sept. 12.

Some FAMU students are unhappy with the lack of Caribbean representation in the Student Government Association.

When Monique Gillum, Student Relations Committee (SRC) chairperson, gave her report during the meeting, she informed fellow senators about the concerns of some Caribbean students on campus.

Gillum, 19, said two concerned students voiced opinions earlier that day about the topic.

“I was actually stopped on my way to class,” said Gillum, a sophomore political science student from Gainesville.

She listened to the two students’ opinions and informed them that at FAMU, classes elect members of the student senate.

“At some schools, if you are the president of a certain club, you get a seat (on the senate),” Gillum said after the meeting.

The SRC chairperson said she plans to do something about the situation.

Gillum said the other members of the SRC will make an effort to inform more students at the University of when senate sessions occur and the upcoming elections.

“We should send e-mails to different organizations and clubs,” Gillum said. “I would never want it to be that they couldn’t run.”

The Caribbean Student Association sends a member of their club to a senate meeting each week so they can keep track of what is going on with the senate.

Kandice Pereira was there on Monday.

Pereira, 22, who is from Trinidad, also believes SGA should have more Caribbean members.

“I think we should be represented,” said Pereira, a senior biology pre-med student. “We help build FAMU like everyone else.”

Declaration of candidacy for the fall elections also began Monday and will last until Friday.

There are 11 freshmen and four graduate seats open to FAMU students.

Another issue that took much of the meeting’s time and attention was the point system for the elections.

Senate Pro-Tempore Ebony Ivory, 20, said before the meeting that the election point system would most likely be the only point of old business that they would have to put to bed.

“We’ll be going over the point system,” said Ivory, a junior business administrations student from Fort Lauderdale. “That’ll be the gist of the night. We’ll revise it and approve it tonight.”

During the elections period, there are points a candidate can rack up because of violations.

While the number of points a candidate can receive for a minor violation can vary from five to 40 points, all major violations come with a 50-point penalty.

According to Monday night’s agenda, some minor violations are placing posters in unauthorized areas, using bullhorns after dark and campaigning in or less than 50 feet away from a voting precinct.

Some major violations include bribing, ballot tampering or posting copyrighted or trademarked logos.

Contact Brandon D.