Since 2016, the Student Government Association at Florida A&M University (FAMU) has come through a couple of rough tumble elections.
Plagued by accusations and court proceedings involving election tampering, re-vote, impeachment and resignation, the period between the spring 2016 and fall 2017 can be described as a truculent student government administration at best.
Now, in the spring elections of 2018, with no recounts or scandalous accusations, it appears that hope has arrived at the FAMU Student Government Association. A second-year student of businesses and administration, David Jackson III, who served as a freshman student body senator for two years, has been elected as the new president of SGA.
Jackson graduated from Lincoln High School in 2016, where he served as the Vice-President of the Future Business Leaders of America and was also the President of the Distinguished Young Gentlemen of America while at Lincoln High.
“When I came to Florida A&M University, I actually had no intentions of joining SGA. It was really something that kind of happened…,” Jackson said.
“When I came to FAMU, I knew that I wanted to be involved, I knew that I wanted to help students at the university, so I ended up talking to a lot of upperclassmen and they said that they thought that I would be good in SGA; they thought that I’d be good in the Senate, so, I decided to run, so that’s how I got here,” Jackson continued.
Jackson should take the President’s office in summer 2018, and plans to hit the ground running in an effort to fulfill his platform promises to the student body.
One of the priority objectives of his platform is to unify the legislative and executive branches of student government after the controversial elections of the previous years.
“Well, one of the things that I want to do is really unite SGA. I feel like SGA has kind of factored off and segmented off between the different branches,” said Jackson. “So, coming from the legislative branch of student government and being able to come into the executive branch, I feel like I can be able to make a more cohesive student government association.”
Jackson faces one a key scrutiny: can a young senator go straight into the presidency and deliver a job well done?
“I don’t know him personally, but from me not knowing him personally and seeing that he was a senator; well, he is my senator because I am FAMU-20 and that he’s only a sophomore, I thought that it was a stretch for him to run for SGA president,” said Jillisa Plummer, a second-year theater performance major from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Plummer expressed that she did not vote for Jackson, but hoped that he and his running mate would prove everybody wrong for those who think he is too young to be SGA president.
“Just prove us all wrong. I am hoping for the best,” Plummer said.
As a member of the 46 student senate, Jackson said that he is proud that he helped to get students money to study abroad in Dubai, South Africa, and Cuba.
Jackson helped to fund different entities such as the National Society of Black Engineers, and that he was able to help get funding for the Mahogany dance team, Addictions dance team, and the Student Occupational Therapy Association to attend a conference.
In addition to uniting SGA, Jackson hopes to be the student voice on the Board of Trustees, “I am looking forward to working closely with the Board of Trustees and being the voice of the students on the Board of Trustees,” Jackson voiced.
In terms of his different platform points, Jackson says that he is excited about his plan to get students more involved in the various political processes that are going around in local, state, and national government.
Jackson is also working on apps to help students travel around school faster,
“We are also working on a Venom tracker app.”
Nutrition and the health of the student body are heavy on his mind as well, “I want to get bi-weekly or monthly shuttles to take students to different grocery stores,” Jackson said.
Devin Harrison, the current SGA president until Jackson is sworn in, says that Jackson is an honest person who has his head on straight.
“He has good intentions coming in. Just from our communications and talking, he is open to learning. I think that in a position like this, you have to be open to learning from everybody because I don’t have all the answers myself. So, it takes a team of us to work together to get things done,” Harrison said.
Jackson says that after graduation from FAMU he plans to get his Master of Business Administration degree and work for a Fortune 500 or Fortune 100 company. He has no intent to pursue a career in politics past FAMU student government.