Senate to decide election changes

The student senate will decide Monday whether to change requirements for Student Government Association officials in light of recent controversy over the election of Cyrah Hawkins as Mr. Florida A&M University and the uproar over of his grade point average falling below student government guidelines. The amendments for consideration are meant to clear any ambiguity that may have previously existed and caused the recent debate.

Authored by Sen. Matthew Beatty, a 22 year-old graduate business administration student from Miami, the proposed amendment calls for elected leaders of student government to ensure that documents are “unambiguous in their language regarding the eligibility of all elected student body representatives.”

Although seemingly minute, the changes suggested for the SGA statutes aim to limit any further criticism of election policy. Under the new amendment, elected officials would be required to have and maintain the agreed-upon GPA for each respective position.

The SGA president and vice president, senate president and pro-tempore and Mr. and Miss FAMU must have and keep at least a 2.8 GPA, while student senators and king and queen of orange and green must keep a 2.5 GPA.

Previous documents only called for elected officials to have the required GPA upon declaration of candidacy and not throughout elections and their term in office.

Many SGA officials said they believe the changes will help to avoid any future confusion. With the statutes’ revised language, many feel as though little space will be left open for interpretation.

“These changes will leave no room for error. They are clear and concise and will leave out having to go through unnecessary trials,” said SGA Vice President Monique Gillum, 20.

Commenting on the benefits of the new guidelines, Gillum, a junior political science student from Gainesville, said if a student is vying for an SGA position “you know when you declare what is expected of you.”

Last week SGA conducted a campus-wide survey to gain an understanding of student concerns related to the Hawkins controversy. SGA officials canvassed classrooms, administration offices and The Set to find out what changes students would suggest.

Student Sen. Candace Pelham, a 20 year-old junior health care management student from Miami, said the surveys helped SGA to appreciate the sentiment of the student body. She also said students expressed the importance of a high GPA for students who hold positions that affect scholarships and recruitment.

“These standards benefit the university in the long run because they encourage students to aspire for more and not to settle for the average GPA,” said Danielle Alexander, a 20-year-old graduating sociology student from Miami.

It seems that this move is a clear statement from SGA that higher standards are necessary for student leaders.

Student Sen. Lamarious Myers, a 21-year-old junior business administration student from Titusville, said the campus must have confidence that its leaders can “handle the responsibility of holding such a position.”