Union facelift on ballot

During the fourth session of the 37th Student Senate held Monday evening in the Senate Chambers, senators discussed the possibility of revamping the student union building.

In other business, prospects for a new garage were discussed, vacant Senate positions were filled and a donation was made to the Coleman Library.

SGA Executive Branch Chief Financial Officer Morris Hawkins provided details on a proposed referendum to gauge interest in a new student union building.

Sen. Ricquel Jackson, who serves as the Judicial & Rules Committee chair, informed both the senators and guests in the chamber’s gallery that the referendum will give the students a chance to vote on whether they would like a new student union building.

 Jackson said the new building could provide a new career resource center, amphitheatre, financial aid and scholarship offices, banking facilities and a large computer lab.

Jackson also explained that the current student union building cannot be expanded; a new one would have to be built from the ground up.

“Without student consent, we can’t do it,” Jackson said.

Jackson said the projected date for the construction of the new student building, if approved, would be 2013-2019.          

Dean Henry L. Kirby of Student Affairs, expressed his support for the referendum being proposed and giving the student body the chance to make a choice about the issue.

Kirby said the project could be funded with student fees in conjunction with non-student fees and grants if it is approved. Kirby also said that A&S funds, private, state and federal funds can be used to fund the project as well.

The proposed location for the new student union is the gravel parking lot located past the architecture building. Plans for a new parking garage are being made for that same location. However, parking lots located at Bragg Stadium, Gaither Gym and Gibbs Hall are also prospective locations for a new garage.

Jackson reminded the senators and the gallery guests that the projected plans are in their infancy stages and have not been solidified.

The referendum will be available on the ballot for the upcoming spring term elections for students to place their vote.

Two vacant senator positions were filled during the meeting.

Garreth Hubbard, 18, a freshman animal science student from Macon, Ga., was confirmed to the position of freshman senator, replacing former Freshman Senator Brittney Akins. Also, Rayvin Julien, a senior business administration student from Chicago, was confirmed to the position of senior senator.

Both were confirmed as senators without any opposition or any abstained votes.

Christina Jackson, 20, a junior philosophy student from Orlando, was denied the confirmation to become Deputy Attorney General. Eleven senators voted for her confirmation, 11 voted against her confirmation, and two senators abstained from the vote.

During community forum, Sen. James Nero of the Student Relations Committee presented a $1,500 check to Director of Libraries Lauren Sapp and the Coleman Library administration for the Coleman Library Showcase.

Sapp said she appreciated the initiative to help the library buy black-oriented materials that will be beneficial to students and incoming Baby Rattlers.

The $1,500 was raised by ticket sales and donations made to the Coleman Library Showcase that was held Jan. 23.

Sen. Phylicia Ross, Chair of the Organization & Finance Committee, announced that she will be extending the deadline for organizations to submit A&S budget applications to Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. Applications will be made available online until Friday on www.famu.edu.