Upset workers address Senate

Unpaid graduate students voiced their opinions about being neglected of pay at the 20th session of the 36th Student Senate meeting in hopes of fixing the ongoing payroll situation.

Other matters addressed during the meeting included the passing of a bill for the honors program and a discussion of the problems in the Orange Room.

“We are just trying to let everyone know, it’s not only journalism,” said Jermaine White, 24, a biology graduate student from South Korea. “I want to put pressure on whose doing payroll. Each semester it’s a different process.”

White informed the Senate that many workers on campus do not know where to go for questions about nonpayment.

“We don’t know how to get paid or who we get paid from,” White said. “We are trying to complain about not being paid. We get the runaround because we don’t know who to see.”

White also issued his personal complaints to the Senate.

“I didn’t get my check from last semester until this semester,” he said. “The contrast of the teaching stipend has been coming in bits and pieces.

If we are getting paid by a grant then why are we not getting paid weekly, and who do you talk to once you talked to the highest person?”

Senate President Ebony Manchion addressed the graduate students in attendance.

“We are trying to do the best we can,” said Ebony Manchion, 21, a graduate business student from Fort Lauderdale. “I have a meeting with Dr. (Vincent) June so he can address this situation, Wednesday at 3. He has also talked to The Famuan.”

In addition to financial issues, the Senate also addressed spring elections, convocation, the royal court and Essence magazine’s mentorship program.

Ricquel Jackson, 19, a freshman senator, informed senators that she attended the town hall meeting Thursday. She said many students are still having trouble with the Orange Room.

“At the town hall meeting, students were talking about their Ratter cards not working, and I have been hearing this for weeks,” said Jackson, a business student from Tallahassee. “We are trying to figure out if there is another strategy.”

“The Rattler card breakdown is inconvenient and time-consuming,” she continued.

Next on the agenda, sophomore Sen. Chuck Manchion proposed a bill to change the SGA constitution.

“The bill introduced is to let the SGA constitution be opened to the public,” said Manchion, a political science student from Rochester, NY.

The Senate later approved bill SAB07-002 for the honors program, which granted $4,375.50 to help fund the honors program week. It will be March 26-30.

The Senate also discussed the convocation that will be held this week in Gaither Gym.

“We are encouraging people to come to the black history convocation this Friday at 11 o’clock,” said Vincent Evans, freshman political science student from Jacksonville. He is the director of the student-lobbying branch.

Jarveal Baker, king of orange and green, gave an update on the royal court.

“A lot of people think that all royal court does is wave, but we do more,” said Baker, a business student from Winter Haven. “We have talked to future members about the royal court, set up mentorship with FAMU DRS, shuttles to Wal-Mart and recruitment fairs.”

The Senate also began planning for the upcoming elections. Test questions for the presidential debate will be given Feb. 26. In addition, there are two vacant freshman Senate seats that will be addressed after elections.

Former Sen. Birdette Hughey announced a mentorship program that was to be introduced to the campus Tuesday in Perry Paige Auditorium. This program is a project that Essence magazine has launched. She said Florida is the first place it has landed, and the NAACP is one of its national partners.