Rattlers Strike Back to Stand By Mangum

FAMU students prepare to march down to the governor's office in
support of University President Mangum.
Photo courtesy of Napierra Nicole

Early Thursday morning Florida A&M University's Board of Trustees called an emergency meeting via teleconference in the president’s conference room where a three-hour hasty discussion involved two attempts at terminating President Elmira Mangum.

The initial motion to fire Mangum was called by Vice Chair Kelvin Lawson and second by Trustee Robert Woody. Lawson said the reason for his motion was of “incurable causes” but was declined by the board with a five to seven vote.

As the conference call continues a hour after the initial set time, a second motion of termination was called by the board but for the cause of no confidence which was also defeated with a six to six vote.

After ending the over extended meeting, another flame ignited with the student body once they discovered the board’s intentions on removing Mangum.

Knowing the prior animosity between the president and the board, students were still outraged at the motions called by trustees.

Kendia Ellison, a fourth-year nursing student,  feels that removing Mangum would slow down the progression that FAMU’s gaining.

“To take away President Mangum would not only stop the university from moving forward, but will also depict the school as divided which FAMU is not. I stand by Mangum just like many other student rattlers," Ellison said.  

Later that day Vice President of Student Government Association Justin Bruno called a student rally at Lee Hall to reassure students that their voices will be heard. Bruno took the stand by initiating a chant saying, “Don't play politics with my school” and challenging rattlers to take action.

“I challenge you all to pay attention to what's going on and to fight for President Mangum because to fight for Mangum is to fight for your university. We do not play these type of games and they will not play politics with FAMU,” Bruno said.

FAMU’s Mr. Orange and Green, LaDarius Calhoun, expressed that he appreciates the support and action that the students have shown and hope it continues.

“Since I been here she's done more for students than what I’ve seen and heard from any past president. It is vital that  we stand as rattlers and have Mangum’s back," Calhoun said.  

An amped and ambitious SGA and student body decided after the rally to demand attention by staging a respectful protest up to the governor’s office at the Capitol. Rattlers showed strong support by voicing their opinions physically and socially with #StandByMangum.