Agnew criticized at Senate

The 23rd session of the Student Senate took a turn when upset student Kyle Washington told the senate he wanted to impeach Student Body President Phillip Agnew for neglecting to represent the students.

“We need to impeach Philip Agnew for the basis on not doing his job, not informing us on what’s going on with the Board of Trustees and administrators, violating state laws, purchasing contracts, and allowing our administration to spend out of control as they have,” said Washington, 20, a physical education student from Tallahassee. “I made a motion for students to stand aside and impeach Phillip Agnew because he’s our board and trustee and he’s not doing his job.”

Agnew said Washington had “no relevance in terms of impeachment.”

“The accusations are unfounded and ridiculous,” said Agnew, 21, a fourth-year business student from Chicago. “The board is not responsible for day to day operations.”

Agnew said he has done his best to keep students informed on campus and is not responsible for the University’s financial problems.

“I have done my best to keep all students informed,” he said. “I understand his anger, and I’m angry too. But I am no way to blame for these issues. I will continue to work for the students as I have this year, and I take issue with his suggestion that I have not.”

Agnew said in terms of the University’s finances, that is a problem that can’t be handled by him alone.

“This is an issue far bigger than I, but one that I have been working best of my ability and my record on the board speaks for itself,” Agnew said. “These are problems of the University, but it’s not the responsibility of each board member to micro-manage the day-to-day activities or infringe on presidents’ rights.”

Washington also alleged there was illegal work being done within the University.

“There are lawsuits that are pending to the University, but now people are suing our board of trustee members as individuals,” Washington said. “There are contracts that didn’t go through the bidding process that violated state law and Phillip Trustee Agnew went along with said contracts.”

Agnew countered Washington by explaining who is in charge of contracts.

“All contracts are the president’s duty,” Agnew said.Washington said FAMU needs to change the way it is running its organizations as well as its administration.

“If you hear one appeal then you should hear them all,” Washington said. “If we continue to run this University like this, we are promoting Jim Crow, the new age.”

At another point in the meeting, Dean of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication James Hawkins addressed the senate to ask for $25,547.92 to cover The Famuan’s budget deficit.

“We can’t stop publishing,” Hawkins said. “If we do, we jeopardize our reputation with our advertisers.”

Hawkins said the paper began the school year with a $20,000 deficit from last year.

But Senate President Ebony Manchion said organizations have to keep up with their budgets.

“We already know they’re serious, they went on strike about their money,” said Machion, 23, a graduate student from Fort Lauderdale. “Every time someone goes over the budget, are we going to say OK?”

The Senate ultimately passed a motion for $25,547.92 from its unallocated account to be placed into The Famuan account, with the stipulation that the newspaper recoup the money in revenue by the end of the fiscal year.

In a creative attempt to appeal to the senate, the orchestra played a selection and requested $14,000 for new instruments.

“We apply for funding because we need new instruments, and most of our instruments are borrowed,” said Aaron Haydon, 25, a senior mechanical engineer student from Detroit. “Even the few borrowed instruments are too few to facilitate the ensemble.”

Other business handled during the meeting was the announcement that Be Out Day will be April 7 at the intramural field. The senate motioned to fund Be Out Day with $29,610 from the senate special projects unallocated accounts.

The senate also said there are currently one open sophomore senate seat and two available freshman senate seats.