Student leaders meet to address key issues

The Florida Student Association Board of Directors hosted a discussion about higher education issues with Chancellor Frank Brogan Thursday inside the Florida A&M Student Senate Chambers.

The Student Government Association leaders within the State University System from all 11 universities met to discuss strategic ways to create a strong unifying system to better serve the 300,000 students within the State University System.

Brogan said the strategic plan focuses on three key issues: funding and productivity, faculty and students and accountability.

“We can begin to create a knowledge based economy by using our universities as a platform,” Brogan said.

Brogan said the recent passing of the differential tuition bill, allowing universities to raise tuition to gain more revenue, would allow sustainable growth for the public universities in Florida.

“This allows a business plan that goes beyond one year,” Brogan said. Brogan said the differential tuition bill might create a business plan to hire more professors, get more equipment and to respond to other financial needs.

“Advocating for the State University System to provide world class academic programs and social experiences while not placing the financial burden on the backs of students, and lobbying the legislature to increase its commitment to higher education is the number one priority of the Florida Student Association,” said Vice Chairman and FAMU SGA President Gallop Franklin.

The Florida State University System is the third largest in the nation.Of Brogan’s goals, the most important is sticking to one message and standing together.

“To enable us to walk into a meeting with a certain swagger, individually as each separate university, but most importantly collectively from Florida,” Brogan said.

Brogan said he wants to create more jobs so Florida is not just a place to educate students, but also a place for them to work when a degree is obtained. The chancellor said the next legislative session is one of the most important in recent years.

“We have to work together with colleges and state colleges so we do not have a mass duplication or worse,” Brogan said.

Florida Atlantic University’s Student Body President Tiffany Weimar said: “The best way for us to move forward is creating a unified front. If we [are] on different pages nothing can get accomplished.”