Panelists address student problems

Ever had a problem at Florida A&M University but was not sure where to go or who to talk to in order to get it resolved? On Wednesday, March 18, the School of General Studies and the Undergraduate Experience Program presented “Let‘s Talk! A Student Issue Forum.”

Students brought their questions, comments and concerns to Perry Paige Auditorium in front of panelists from housing, catering, safety, and student government. Panelists included Interim Director of Housing Oscar Crumity, Director of Catering Edmond

McClendon, Sgt. Sherri Luke and Student Government Association President-elect Gallop Franklin. 

Students got personal with questions pertaining to safety and registration.  
Carlton Barnaby, 19, a freshman general studies student from Orlando, reached out to the panelists about his past registration issues. He explained he had to wait a week to register for his spring classes and he was not treated with respect.

“I love FAMU from the heart, but that whole experience changed the way I felt about the school,” Barnaby said.  “I waited in line time after time and nothing was getting done.”
In response to these concerns, the panelists assured him that nothing like that would ever happen again and an apology was given.

Franklin expanded on his plan to make registration for fall 2009 easier for the students.  
“We want to remain accountable when things go wrong,” he said.  “We are trying to bring in Comcast, Embark and The City of Tallahassee, during registration, to make life easier for students.”

Another big issue was campus safety. Several students who reside in Palmetto shared their concerns and experiences during the late night commutes to and from campus.  
Mr. Undergraduate, Trenton Kirksey, 18, a freshman music student, said he will become an advocate for campus safety especially for students who live in Palmetto housing. 

“Every spot should be lit,” Kirksey said. “Making sure these young ladies are safe coming home from campus should take precedence and we should not stop complaining until something is done.”

Luke explained that lighting and on-campus residence safety was their top priority. She went on to explain that the campus’ SAFE Team has been under-funded but she encourages students to be proactive in ensuring their safety. 

Pertaining to the recent break-ins in Palmetto, Crumity said they are working on reinforcing the doors with better locks. 

Certain student athletes argued they were not receiving credit for their mandatory study hall hours and they wanted more time and locations to complete them. Representatives from the athletic department and the Office of Student Affairs made assurances that this issue will be resolved. They said they understand the athlete’s concerns and also submitted an apology. 

Other issues included on-campus housing cleaning and payment options in the cafeteria. Students from resident halls complained about unsanitary living conditions and were told this problem will be handled immediately. The inability to use a debit card to pay for dining in the cafeteria was also addressed. 

The School of General Studies and the Undergraduate Experience Program hosts these types of forums for students several times a year. They invite students to contact their offices and share their problems.