Student Senate confirms Chief Diversity Officer on second attempt

Logo courtesy of SGA

Florida A&M University’s Student Senate filled multiple positions during its weekly Zoom meeting Monday evening. The senate confirmed appointees for Deputy Attorney General, Deputy Secretary of Athletic Affairs, Chief Diversity Officer and School of Law Associate Justice.

The candidates included Tareq Salley, Nikyya Smith, Jaelyn Guyton and Edward Lavant, respectively. Each candidate was provided a two-minute opening and closing period for remarks. The opening was followed by a 10-minute question and answer session, initiated by the Elections and Appointments Committee chairwoman Maya Robinson, followed by questions from  other senators.

All the appointees were successfully confirmed. The Chief Diversity Officer’s appointment was initiated in last week’s senate meeting. However, it was unsuccessful at that time. 

Like the last meeting, there was mild division among senators during Guyton’s appointment as Chief Diversity Officer. Senator Randall Leath urged senators to vote for the candidate based on the passion and qualifications the candidate would bring to the position.

“As I said last meeting, I believe that this candidate is definitely the best fit for this position,” Leath said. “He already proved that he is qualified for the job and I think he has the passion to make this department work the best.” 

Senator Bria Calvin urged senators not to vote for the candidate. Calvin argued that when she asked the candidate what issues plagued minority groups on campus, his answers were inadequate. 

“I believe that the questions asked to Mr. Guyton were pretty clear, simple and related to the inclusion and addition of this department,” Calvin said. “I think when I asked about who the minority groups on campus were and what their issues are, the answers were insufficient and that is an issue,” Calvin said.

Ultimately, Guyton was successful and confirmed for the position of Chief Diversity Officer. In the roll-call vote, Guyton had a strong majority with an 18-7-0 vote. In his two-minute closing Guyton was optimistic about the position and working with the senate for the remainder of the academic year.

“I think moving forward we’re going to have a wonderful rest of the year and I look forward to working with all of you,” Guyton said. “Hopefully, we can come together and make something great out of this position and the student body in the coming years.”