Senate addresses paperwork snag

Students who didn’t fill out disbursement forms will still receive their net checks, Dandrea Cotton, Assistant Comptroller for Florida A&M University’s financial affairs office, announced Monday.

At the third session of the 38th Student Senate, Cotton informed students that whether or not they had filled out the newly issued disbursement release form, the disbursement process wouldn’t be hindered. However, she said the form will be a requirement for all students next semester.

In the upcoming months, Cotton said she plans to set up a question and answer forum in conjunction with the Student Senate so that students will be able to clear up any confusion about financial aid. Senate President Ricquel Jackson, a third year business administration student from Tallahassee, urged all students to fill out the disbursement form.

“Nowhere does it say that if you don’t turn in the form you won’t get your money,” Jackson said. During the community forum portion the session, a very pregnant Ruth Campbell, Esq. spent five minutes to inform both the Senate and the guests in the gallery FAMU’s Ombuds office.

Campbell is aware that many students on campus do not know about the University Ombuds. She explained that its purpose is to enhance the collegial environment. She informed the Senate that parents and students can come if they have questions about the school, if someone at a certain department is not answering phone calls or if they are not receiving any form of feedback from a department. “The time frame for a student to complain about a department is listed in the student handbook,” Campbell said. “But students usually have about two weeks depending on the situation.”

The University Ombuds is located in room 103 in the Foote-Hilyer Administration Building. More information on the department can be found at

Also on the community forum agenda was FAMU Thurgood Marshall Fund Student Ambassador John Williams, a mass-history graduate student from Baconton, Ga. He announced that the FAMU Career Center will be conducting interviews for students interested in participating in the Thurgood Marshall Leadership Conference on Monday, Sept. 15, 2008, and Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Career Center. His goal is to get as many students from the university to attend the all expense paid conference that will be held in New York’s Time Square on Oct. 24 through Oct. 27. Williams said prospective interviewees must have a 3.0 GPA, be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and express their career objectives. For more information regarding this event, students may contact Williams via email at, or telephone at 229-291-8032. In Monday evening’s meeting, the Senate confirmed six people to various positions within Student Government Association. Among those confirmed was Kristin Murray, a junior newspaper journalism student from Jacksonville,20, as the secretary of communications and Kianta Key, a senior public relations student from Atlanta, 22, was confirmed as the secretary of economic development.

In addition, Benicia Mitchell, a senior mathematics education student from Triangle, Va., 20, was confirmed as the secretary of community affairs; Kristen Solomon, a junior bio-med student from Atlanta, 20, as surgeon general; Stephanie Foster, a senior broadcasting student from Columbus, Ohio, 21, as the secretary of athletic affairs; and Christopher Stukes, a second year graduate student from Washington, D.C., 23, as the secretary of graduate affairs.

All the confirmations were either confirmed unanimously or with no opposition. In other business, the student relations committee announced that the annual SGA Explosion event will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008, in the Grand Ballroom from 7p.m. to 9p.m. This year’s theme will be the game of Life. Also, the election and rules committee announced that Monday, Sept. 8, 2008, was the first day that the candidates for the upcoming fall elections declared their candidacy. The last day for candidates to declare their candidacy will be Friday, Sept. 12, 2008. Lastly, the organizations and finance committee and the economic development department will be hosting “True Life: Living on a College Budget” on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008, in the Journalism Lecture Hall at 6:30p.m.