SGA tenure examined

Student Body President and Vice President, Gallop Franklin and Calvin Hayes, are approaching the end of their first year in office. While campaigning in 2009, Franklin and Hayes presented a 52-point platform, “The Dawn of a New Horizon.

Franklin said his administration has completed 70 percent of his platform points so far. He is running again for student-body president.

“We want to offer high quality,” said Franklin. “When we offer high quality, we protect the culture and environment where student leaders are cultivated.”

The Franklin-Hayes administration said they tried to develop and implement a number of initiatives. The SGA hosted a series of health events, such as the blood drives that donated money to the Haiti Relief effort.

They funded packages to allow students to travel home and to games; cafeteria operation hours has been extended; they approved funding for campus enhancements; leadership programs for high school and college students have been implemented, and initiatives to erase the dividing line that separate the main campus from affiliate schools.

Franklin and Hayes have even been made honorary members of the Marching 100 for their assertive efforts.

Hayes added the emphasis on the importance of student morale. “Programs such as the State of the Student Summit allow students to get involved,” he said.

Some students are displeased with the administration this year.

“You can say you’ve accomplished your goals…but did it actually serve the students?”said Ashlee Lewis, 22, a former associate justice of the supreme court.

The dissatisfaction with Franklin prompted some senators to try to remove him from office. Franklin was impeached by a vote of nine for and 16 against for failing to select a chief justice of the judicial branch.

Another area of unhappiness involved Franklin and Hayes’ stimulus package.

“They accepted applications, but see if you can find anybody who ever received the money,” Lewis said. “It’s easy to say a lot of the stuff that you did, but find people who can corroborate that story. [People that] are not in your cabinet,that aren’t in SGA. I’m talking about regular students.”

Amari Jones, 20, Houston, serves as the associate chief justice for the judicial branch.
“Many students are unaware of the fact that if they feel something is unjust that they can bring it to trial,” Jones said.

The Student Government Association is designed to resolve student issues including traffic violations, a need for more funding for an organization, or the inability to register for class. Franklin promised to nurture and perpetuate the motto of Florida A&M University: “Excellence with Caring.”

Asia McFarland, 21, president of the 39th Student Senate, discussed several programs handled by the legislative branch that not only provided services to student, but to the university as well.

“We host events such as legislative week which informs students about the role of the legislative branch and they get a chance to participate and become senator for a day,” McFarland said. “Also, the Coleman Library showcase was implemented to raise funds for the library and all proceeds went to Coleman Library.”

The fourth-year M.B.A student from Raleigh, N.C. also discussed other initiatives such as a bill-writing workshop, a campus beautification project, and SGA Explosion, a symposium on the inner workings of the Student Government Association.

The Student Government Association offers funding for organizations that provide security and entertainment to the university. Breyon Love, a second year business administration student from Atlanta who serves as the Organization and Finance Committee Chairman, said they administration has taken steps to improve student safety.

“They gave FAMU’s S.A.F.E. team over $1000, Love said. “The S.A.F.E. team needed more golf carts, radios, umbrellas and T-shirts,” said Love, who is also Franklin’s vice presidential running mate. Funding was also provided to enhance some of the universities entertainment centers such as, the bowling alley and Rattlers Den.

Love said additional funding was provided to dance troupes such as Strikers and Mahogany for uniforms.

Lewis, the former associate justice of the student supreme court, said she remembers too much talk and not enough action. “We had several meetings, phone interviews…he was basically not responsible [and] procrastinating. It was always excuses.”