Students Rally Plans Fail Due to Unavailable Buses

Florida A&M students planned to rally for Trayvon Martin last week but were unable to acquire buses to travel from the university to Sanford, Fla.

Martin, 17, was killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman on Feb. 26. Martin was unarmed, and a month later, Zimmerman still has not been charged for the teen’s death.

University officials said in a statement that students weren’t prohibited from rallying, but the bus ride was not covered by the university’s liability insurance.

It was also stated that such travel was not included in student activity and service fees.

“In terms of utilizing the FAMU buses, such travel did not appear to constitute a university sanctioned or sponsored event that would be covered by our liability insurance with the Division of Risk Management,” said Sharon Saunders, FAMU’s chief communications officer.

Student activity and service fees are not meant to pay for such travel, given that this did not appear to be a situation which constituted an expenditure “for lawful purposes to benefit the student body in general,” as set forth in Section 1009.24(10)(b) of the Florida Statutes.