Band needs more funds to operate

The senate chambers were overflowing with students and faculty from various organizations waiting to give their input about the allocation of funds.

Unfortunately, many Florida A&M University organizations members were upset about the budgeting so far.

The Marching “100” band especially voiced their concern.  Florida A&M University Marching “100” band especially voiced their concern.        

With the first reading of the budget held on March 23 regarding the expected funding amount to each organization, Band Operations has an estimated budget of $25,000.

During the community forum on March 30, most of the speakers represented FAMU’s band indicating that $25,000 is far from the amount needed to operate the band.

After many band members gave their say, senators suggested that band director Julian White speak to help identify what funds the band needs.

“I would like to be allocated $400, 000,” White said.

Many of the senators looked uncomfortable with the suggested amount.

“It would be nice to have half of that,” White said with laughter.

Senate President Ricquel Jackson offered some advice to White if all the funds he requested are not given.

Jackson asked White if the band could fundraise in order to supplement for money that might not be allocated.

White responded by mentioning that the band’s expenses call for so much more and while the community helps, it can only do so much.

“We need funding for instrument repair, uniform cleaning, music, our PA system, field maintenance,” White said. “Instrument repair is a great deal, it’s an urgent need.”

The $25,000 estimate was budgeted to house members during band conditioning.
White said additional funding will be needed to operate the band.

“There is no back up plan. I’m relying on the senate to fund us as adequately as they possibly can,” White said.  “I realize that this is a difficult time throughout the university. I don’t want them to see that the band is the least priority over the others, but I need to emphasize that the band serves the entire university.”

White said that the Marching “100” must have a greater allocation as the band plays a major role in the university for recruitment.

“Football games, parades, convocations, playing on the set. We represent the entire university and we serve the university,” White said. “The survival of the marching 100 is not an option. “Another organization that made their voices heard at the senate meeting was the concert choir.

FAMU Concert Choir members Trenton Kirksey and Brittney Tanksly first addressed the senate on March 23 about the concert choir not appearing on the budget. The members said that funding was needed for their upcoming tours and events.

“Not having any funding is definitely going to make a major dent in the things we are going to be able to do, but we have to move forward the best way that we can,” said Tanksly, 19, a sophomore music education student from North Jersey, N.J.  “We have to fundraise and find other ways of bringing in funding.”

Senator Sammy Lamy said he would support the concert choir. Further order of business included the elections of the Senate Pro-Tempore and Senate President.

Senators Eric Majors and Kamilia Landrum both competed for the  Senate Pro-Tempore positions while Senator Quintin Haynes and current Senate Pro-Tempore, Asia McFarland, competed for Senate President.

Each candidate was given 20 minutes for a presentation and 15 minutes for questioning from fellow senators. In the end, Eric Majors walked away as the victor and Asia McFarland was also chosen as Senate President-elect.

Furthermore, a special budget meeting will be held in the senate chambers April 1 at 7:30 p.m.