Past bills reviewed at meeting

Topics discussed at Monday’s student Senate meeting included previously passed bills, university finances, upcoming events and cabinet confirmations.

Senate President Ebony Manchion said because of the case with Mr. Florida A&M University, the senate recently had to amend Senate Bill 06F-002 and Senate Amendment 06F-001 concerning the minimum grade point average elected officials must maintain in order to run for and hold office.

Manchion also discussed another bill that was recently passed involving candidates during election weeks. She said SB 06F-001 keeps the university out of trouble if candidates use trademarked and or copyrighted material in their campaign material.

SB 06F-003, a finance reform bill, also passed. Manchion elaborated on how the Senate can improve how students receive payment through university activities and services funds.

“Right now, the way A&S fees are distributed to students is substandard,” said Manchion, 21, a business administration student from Fort Lauderdale. “Hopefully, the reforms will make the process a lot more clear. It should help allocate money more effectively.”

But after senators discussed a smooth flow of A&S money, they were faced with declining scholarship funds.

Donations from the FAMU foundation, the main source for scholarship money, have dropped dramatically from $3 million to $1.6 million, said Sen. Phylicia Ross, A&S liaison.

“Sponsors have decided not to make anymore contributions until we have found a permanent president, and as of now, interviews for the president will begin in March,” said the sophomore computer information systems student from Orlando.

After discussing finances, the Senate finalized plans for its upcoming events.

Sophomore Sen. Ashley Duprat, the Student Relations chairwoman, detailed the efforts being made in preparation for the Coleman Library Showcase.

“We’re staffing the Café on Wednesday and doing some dorm storming on Thursday and Sunday,” said Duprat, 20, from Fort Lauderdale.

Sophomore Sen. Charles Manchion, 20, a political science student from Cincinnati, said he was elated about the upcoming showcase.

“It’s a wonderful display of talent and enthusiasm formed into a vehicle to raise money for Coleman Library to help maintain the excellence that is Coleman Library,” he said.

The Senate president said she was expecting around 700 students to attend the showcase.

After upcoming events were discussed, there were two confirmations.

Shakir Williams, a 20-year-old criminal justice student from Miami, was confirmed as deputy secretary of athletic affairs for the 2006-2007 school year, and Vincent Evans, a freshman political science student from Jacksonville, was confirmed as director of students.

Williams, who was quite enthused about the senate’s decision to confirm her as deputy secretary of athletic affairs, wants to use her time in office to shed light onto the athletic department.

“I want to help get more students more aware of and involved in the athletic department,” she said. “Full and partial scholarships are offered for walk-ons at the coach’s discretion and students need to know that.”

FAMU’S athletic department has accomplished athletic feats of which many students might not be aware.

“Our volleyball team has won three MEAC tournaments in a row, and many of the students aren’t even able to name all the 18 sports that are offered,” Williams said.

“Students should come out and support our student athletes because (the athletes) spend their precious time and hard work to help FAMU.”