Meeting welcomes students back to the hill

Nearly 70 students gathered at the town hall meeting in the new Pharmacy Building on August 30, which was hosted by the Student Government Association.

The meeting welcomed new and returning students back to the hill and informed students, specifically first year students about college life.

Crystal Gathers, the Activities Coordinator of the Freshman and Sophomore Program (FSYE), was one of the presenters who encouraged students to take part in new programs geared to incoming freshman and returning sophomores.

Like many on campus organizations, Gathers stressed the importance of getting involved as a freshman and emphasized that FYSE is a program strictly designed for incoming and returning students in efforts to enhance student academic performance and freshman retention rates.

Through FSYE, freshman and sophomore students are offered academic advisement, professional tutors, peer-to-peer groups, financial planning seminars and also parental outreach classes, which cater to future student-parents.

Following Gather was Dr. Yolanda Bogan, licensed psychologist and interim director at the Counseling and Assessment Center 101, located at Sunshine Manor.

Similar to the FSYE, the Counseling and Assessment Center is a confidential support group that offers educational workshops and forums, support groups and individual counseling sessions for students.

At the Counseling and Assessment Center, students are also offered one on one psychiatric medication consulting which can be crucial for students who may show signs of depression as a result of a decrease in academic performance.

“We don’t judge you, we are there to solemnly listen to you and to support you in making the right decision for yourself,” said Bogan.

Following the two presenters was special guest, Eva Wanton, vice president in the Office of the President. Wanton, a retired teacher and fellow rattler, brought greetings from the Office of the President followed by an inspirational message to students about her journey through life as a young adult from the small town of Thunderbolt, Georgia.

Similar to many successful educators, Wanton stressed her will to over come various obstacles in her life, which would result in a performance of completing college in four years and earning not one but two PhD’s.

“When I started college, I had three children and three jobs for each child. Those four years of college proved to me that I could do anything and now my life is a service to all mankind. As a faith based person, I go through life knowing there are ups and downs, so I say to you, life is beautiful and it has its obstacles but with a strong will and character you can’t fail, you see, you have no excuse,” Wanton said.

SGA President, Ramon Alexander briefly entertained students about upcoming events and minor updates of issues circling FAMU in regards to FAMU’s reputation, which he insists is the biggest problem today.

“The biggest problem facing FAMU is our reputation, and as students it is our duty to rebuild our reputation by staying informed and being involved with issues facing the student body and FAMU,” Alexander said.

Following Alexander, the meeting ended in a student panel discussion on issues that freshman tend to encounter while arriving to FAMU.

Many of the panelists revealed vital information that ranged from how to get involved in campus organizations to forming financial aid awareness seminars for incoming students who are new to the ways of financial aid.

At the end of the meeting, SGA Vice President Phillip Agnew left students confident to FAMU’s future by encouraging everyone to stay informed in order to defend FAMU in its time of reconstruction.

“As students, we must stay informed about what is going on with FAMU so we are ready to present them [those against us] with a vital defense,” Agnew said.

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