Student Government Association student body president candidates are gearing up for a week of campaigning to hopefully become the next leader of some 10,000 students at FAMU.
The three candidates, all seasoned members of SGA, are Jabari Knox, Rochard Moricette and Robyn Seniors.
The SGA president has many duties outlined in the student body constitution, but the most important duties are to serve as a voting member of the FAMU Board of Trustees and as the head of the executive branch of the FAMU SGA. The SGA president also makes appointments to numerous committees across the university and serves on the Florida Student Association, which is a body of students tasked with lobbying on behalf of the State University System of Florida.
David Jackson III, a senior business administration major from Tallahassee and the current student body president, is not seeking re-election.
“It is important to vote for a candidate that is for the student body, because the SGA president is the student representation for the student body. Many times the SGA president is tasked with advocating on behalf of students and if they don't have the best interest of students at heart there's no telling what type of agenda they will push,” Jackson sasid.
FAMU has had student body presidents hold office for two years, if they were to run for a second term. Jackson says he chose not to run for a second term because he believes he has accomplished what he wanted to for the student body.
“I saw issues around the campus, and had programs that I wanted to implement for the students and being the student body president gave me the platform to do so, and during my term I was able to accomplish those feats for the students,” he said.
According to Jackson, his administration added the campus safety team to the annual budget, created a CITF proposal to add additional study rooms in Coleman Library, and is creating a place for dance organizations to practice on campus.
Moricette, a junior agribusiness major from Fort Lauderdale who, last week, took a temporary leave from his post as Senate president to focus on the campaign, came into student government as a freshman senator in the fall of 2016 and became the Activity and Service Fee liaison that same year.
“I was the vice chair of the $2.8 million annual budget committee as a freshman. I served as the senate president pro-tempore as a sophomore and currently serve as the senate president,” he said.
Moricette was raised in Port-de-Paix, Haiti and his family came to America in search of better opportunities. “FAMU has blessed me with an opportunity to seek higher education in order to live out my dreams. I have had an incredible student experience from my different roles in student leadership. I have helped drive the incredible growth and a shift in culture within student government and consequently this student body,” he added.
Moricette says he would love to continue to stimulate the growth and impact the campus culture as the student body president. This is not for personal gain, he said, and added that he is running with student welfare and experience as the driving motivating factors behind his efforts.
Jabari Knox, a junior political science major from Chicago who currently serve as the chief of staff for FAMU’s Student Government Association, is a also a candidate for SGA president. “I started in SGA fall 2016 as a freshman senator. Within Student Senate I served in the Student Relations Committee, then moved over to the Judicial and Rules Committee my second semester. My sophomore year I became the vice-chairman for the Organization Finance Committee and ran for a junior senate position in the spring. I saw a need for a new challenge and decided to accepted the role of chief of staff within the executive branch,” he said.
“Ever since I touched this campus I have truly been blessed by the lessons learned not only in the classroom but in the intense environments I have been around such as SGA,” Knox added. “FAMU has exposed me to things and people I could never imagine to meet. I want to give back the same energy and love this university has given me.”
Seniors, a sophomore business administration major and Tallahassee native, has been vice president under Jackson since May. She did not respond to requests for an interview.