Campus discusses concerns

Florida A&M University president and students gathered to discuss campus issues and concerns including budget cuts. President James Ammons said the cuts will not prevent students from taking courses required to graduate, however it will limit the amount of sections offered per semester.

“The courses will be offered, but there won’t be as many, so you may be getting up at 8 a.m.,” Ammons said.

Nakita Moody, third year food science student from St. Petersburg, said she wanted to know why her major always had the same two professors if the budget is only being cut now.

“I would have been able to graduate in Spring 2009, if they offered food science courses in the summer,” Moody said. “After our prerequisites, we’re stuck seeing the same two professors, and that’s how it’s been since I got to FAMU.”

Ammons and other members must rethink the budget set aside for campus renovations, new education facilities, and expanding of the electrical structure, New Pharmacy building, and FAMU/FSU engineering school.

“We’re hoping Gov. Charlie Crist will tap into some other reserves to cover the education budget cuts, but don’t count on it,” he said.

Ammons addressed the rumor of FAMU/FSU engineering school splitting and going their separate ways. He said the board of trustees has not discussed this yet, and they are the only ones who can make that decision.

He also said a meeting between the Board of Governors and state legislatures will discuss funding, if the two schools diverge.

“Things are going to look a little different and are going to take some time.” Ammons said.

He said accreditation coming up in 2009 is on the agenda and other long-term goals will also be assessed.  

Twan Capehart, fourth year chemical mechanical engineering student from Miami, said he hopes the engineering program stays intact.

“It won’t be as good of a program if it splits, because you learn from both FAMU/FSU point of view, and there is a lot of technology between the two,” Capehart said.

FAMU is the first HBCU to host ESPN Game Day. The kickoff is Saturday at 10 a.m.

“When we go live I want it to be a sea of orange and green,” Ammons said.

In order to get ESPN to agree, Ammons and Bethune Cookman’s President Trudie Kibbe Reed discussed covering the Florida Classic on ESPN’s main channel.

“We explained the culture of the bands and that HBCU’s are the market to go after, especially with over 14,000 attendees at these events,” Ammons said.

President Ammons also explained that he was unaware of the water being shut off at the Phase III Complex. He asked housing officials to evaluate the issues and see if they could be fixed this summer.

Housing officials stated that, money is unavailable to replace the pipes; therefore they shut off the water in the complex to fix leaks. Students were notified ahead of time, and housing officials apologized for any inconvenience.

Ammons explained where the money for dormitory issues come from.

“(Public education capital outlay) does not fund dormitories, dorms are funded through student room fees,” he said.

Ammons said they are discussing plans to renovate Samson Young, Polkinghorne Village and the women’s units. New housing units must be in place so students have a place to stay while renovations take place at the existing dorms.