Student Senate is looking to cut budget

Student Senate body holding the Law school Circuit Justice Senate confirmation hearing on Zoom. Photo Courtesy: Tianie Howard

The focus of this week’s Florida A&M University (FAMU) student senate meeting was the first read of the annual budget draft. The budget was expected to be $2.7 million, but the senate was told the budget is only $2.35 million.

The meeting was led by Student senate President Zachary Bell. Bell said he has reached out about getting the budget raised, but there was a miscommunication.

“Hopefully by the next meeting we’ll have more funding,” Bell said. “One minute I’m being told we’re getting 2.7 million. 15 minutes later I’m being told that’s not the case.”

According to student senate member Kayla Braggs, $33,900 needs to be cut from the annual budget. Senate members shared ideas on possible cutbacks, such as printing expenses for the Famuan.

Bell assured that this was just the first reading of the budget’s draft, and the senate’s focus for the next two weeks will be more detailed.

Another portion of the senate meeting was the conducting of the law school Circuit Justice Senate confirmation hearing on Zoom. The confirmation hearing consisted of a two-minute opening statement from the candidate, a 10-minute questioning period by the board and an optional two-minute closing statement followed by a vote.

Tamonica Jones, a FAMU law student from Mobile, Ala, was appointed as a senate Law School Circuit Justice after a 19-1 vote by the Senate.

In her closing statement Jones thanked the senate body for appointing her as a justice.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity,” Jones said. “It’s great to see Black people doing great things.”

The senate discussed the Student Relations Committee’s (SRC) goal of having a mental health week. Discussed focused on, band appreciation day, yoga on the quad, painting and goodie bags for the mental health week. The official dates are currently unavailable, however the SRC plans to hold this event before finals week.

The senate meeting ended with the senate president assuring his fellow Senate members that he would keep fighting to get the budget increased.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear,” Bell said. “But of power, and of love, and a sound mind.”

The Organization and Finance Committee and the Student Relations Committee plan to continue deliberation this week regarding the senate’s meeting.