Students take their concerns to Senate

Senate President Mellori Lumpkin and the 37th Senate hosted its first “Minute with The Senate” to a full senate chamber Wednesday evening.

During the forum, several students addressed their comments, concerns and questions to the student senate.

Lumpkin, 20, a junior business administration student from Bainbridge, Ga., explained that when she was elected last year, her platform consisted of “no agenda.”

“The open forum with students is to pretty much answer student questions, such as what a senator does, or what our committees do, or just bringing issues to the senate’s attention.” Lumpkin said. “This is an extended version of the community forum that we have in the senate meetings, just a more ‘lax version.”

Later on in the meeting, former Student Relations Committee Chair Nadiyah Knight, Junior Senator Justin Clarke, Kyle Washington and Vincent Evans voiced their inquiries and concerns. The “it” topic for many of the guests was accountability.

Knight, 19, a sophomore agricultural business student from Tallahassee, questioned the senators on their slow approach to filling the vacant sophomore senate positions while Clarke voiced his concerns on the lack of parking for students majoring in the School Allied Health.

“When Quinton [Stroud] was confirmed to Associate Justice, I asked him where would he build a parking garage…I feel that other students on campus have closer parking while the students in Allied Health have to wake up much earlier to try and get parking spaces.” Clarke said.

Washington, 20, a junior public relations student from Tallahassee, asked a number of questions about the accountability of the senate.

“Can you explain what happened to the funds in the Carry-Forward account that weren’t spent from the fall…$62,000 was allocated to OFC, was it used properly?” Washington asked.

Evans, 18, a sophomore political science student from Jacksonville, said that SGA is in turmoil and it is a problem that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.

Evans suggested that SGA “should separate business and pleasure.”

“That’s not what my $10.50 is for!” Evans exclaimed. “Leave your personal business at home!”

Washington added that senators often bring their personal matters and feelings in the senate chambers.

At the conclusion of the hour and fifteen-minute forum, Lumpkin said Wednesday night’s forum was successful.

Lumpkin said she plans to take the “open-dialogue” event to the campus residence halls.