SGA’s open door policy just lip-service

Yesterday, I walked into Florida A&M’s Student Government offices with hopes of having a brief discussion with Student Body President Gallop Franklin. However, I was shut down and locked-out, literally. I knocked on his door and from his seat he yelled, “I’m busy doing ‘some work.'” He said he would not be done until 5 p.m., the close of the business day.

In chapter 1302 of the student body statutes, “the responsibilities of student government officers to the student body shall be to: at all times think in terms of “students first…,” equally represent and pursue the interests of all students regardless of…personal interest… and facilitate an open, transparent student government….”

On September 22, I believe that I was denied the aforementioned. “It will only take about two minutes,” was my response as he continued to busy himself. I was still denied. I have a problem with being ignored by someone that was elected to serve the student body.

I was left befuddled and humiliated as I watched him through the glass door of his office. He never even thought it respectful enough to get up from his seat, unlock the door, open it and speak to me directly. Where does this happen? Apparently, in FAMU’s SGA now-a-days!

About a week ago I had a phone meeting scheduled with Franklin. I stood right next to him when he entered into his phone’s calendar. Needless to say I never received the call from him, but that was no surprise to me as this was not the first time this has happened. Yesterday’s visit was actually my attempt at rescheduling.

I have served in student government before, four years to be exact. Never in that time have I ever witnessed or known of an SGA President that has denied speaking to a student. And in all my years at FAMU, SGA has always had an open door policy for the student body at large. Perhaps that policy has changed. Maybe we should no longer hold student leaders accountable for the policies and procedures that have been put in place for them to abide by?

But since elected officials are usually ambiguous in their policies, one shouldn’t be surprised. 

Those that know me know that I am one to share my opinions on a situation all the time, but typically never in a rude manner. But hopefully this will reach the SGA President and maybe then he will have a sit down or a phone conversation with me. Let this be a reminder that our University’s motto is “Excellence with Caring” so let us all strive for excellence in all ways, always. It’s expected that elected officials uphold a certain standard of professionalism. And never be too busy for the people you’re supposed to represent. 

Magalie Yacinthe is a graduate MBA student from Miami. She can reached at