Town hall addresses students’ concerns

Participants at Wednesday’s town hall meeting. Photo courtesy: Kia Cannon

Florida A&M University housing and the Residence Hall Association put together a campus services town hall meeting on Wednesday.

The Residence Hall Association is a student-led organization with the purpose of bettering the experiences of students living on campus through advocacy and student leadership.

Caleb Young, a third-year computer science major and president of the Residence Hall Association, opened the meeting and introduced the panel.

The panel included Jennifer Wilder, director of the Office of University Housing, Keri Brown from Facilities, Allison Mcnealy from Parking Services, Michael Smith and Chasity Brown from Business Services & Dining, and Sgt. Erica Herring from FAMU PD. They answered questions sent in anonymously by students.

The questions ranged from residence hall key card issues, residence hall renovations, housing rates, to the Venom routes. The hot topics at the meeting were about parking, campus food options, and campus safety for homecoming.

Two anonymous students complained about parking and wondered when there would be more parking available.

Mcnealy said that there is enough parking for students and staff, but there isn’t convenient parking.

“We recognize there isn’t a lot of parking where students want to park, which is why we will be putting a parking lot where the pool is being demolished and where Paddyfoote used to be,” Mcnealy said.

One topic that was brought up multiple times from the students concerned The Hub being open later hours during the week and weekend. One student went to extenuating lengths of getting a petition with 602 signatures to have The Hub open past 10 p.m.

The Hub is the new cafe located near FAMU Towers. It operates from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and was opened while the old top cafe above the bookstore was being renovated.

Smith said he would fall on the sword for the miscommunication regarding The Hub.

“The Hub’s business model does not support longer hours,” Smith said. “Longer hours in the cafes will require more staff, pricing on the meal plans to increase, and other small factors. We will continue to look at it, but as for now, The Hub was designed to always have these types of hours, and I will fall on the sword for not communication that to you all from the start of the semester.”

One of the last issues asked anonymously concerned FAMU PD, and if it will be taking more safety precautions during homecoming week — especially with the recent shootings near campus.

Herrington said more precautions were already in place for homecoming week.

“FAMU PD will be making multiple rounds during homecoming week,” Herrington said. “We will have officers on foot, in ATVs, and cars throughout campus. We also have upgraded out security camera systems on campus and I advise you all to be careful driving through campus because we will be watching.”

Wilder said that housing will have more security throughout all residence halls to make sure everyone is safe during homecoming.

Jarius Williams, with university housing, announced that they have a couple of upcoming events planned this month.

“On Oct. 20, there will be the campus safety walk held by FAMU PD, a bingo and game night on Oct. 22 held by university housing, and homecoming clean up on Oct. 31 from 11a.m. to 2 p.m.,” Williams said.