SGA copes with host of issues

Monday’s SGA meeting. Photo courtesy: Lebaron Fields

Florida A&M’s Student Government Association met Monday and discussed a variety of topics, with Hurricane Ian mentioned several times due to its disruption of student life.

The storm devastated the west coast of Florida, and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) was in its path. A letter sent from FGCU’s student body president was read to the senate by Zachary Bell, FAMU’s student body president. The letter detailed the substantial damage done to the University and asked for financial assistance. Bell urged SGA to possibly donate any available funds to our neighbors.

Other senate members acknowledged FGCU’s plight and our duty to help those affected by hurricane Ian, but redirected attention to our own students affected by the storm. Additionally, senators shined light on our HBCU neighbor, Bethune Cookman University, whose campus also sustained a considerable amount of damage.

The much-discussed topic of student elections was debated due to the university’s closure. Elections were initially pushed back prior to hurricane Ian. The university’s closure last week caused candidates to halt their campaigns.

It was argued by the Election Commissioner to continue the campaign where we left off due to schedule conflicts in the future regarding FAMU events. Senate members debated and consulted the constitution to determine if this was constitutional or not; ultimately, it was approved with no objection.

Kelton Williams led the presentation regarding ‘closing the gap’ between FAMU and Florida State. It was proposed that SGA appoints a liaison that would attend FSU student government meetings and coordinate between the two schools. FSU has already come forward with a resolution that is set to be voted on. The presentation detailed the plans of the two universities working together on projects, starting with beautification efforts around the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.

The issues of parking and housing were yet again revisited. During game days, students that live on campus are required to move their cars or risk being towed for tailgaters. Every game day, the parking lots usually allotted for students are given to tailgaters and ticket holders. Students often complain that they should not bear the brunt of FAMU’s failures.

To make matters worse, the leasing agreements students sign does not include a code that states students have to move their cars for tailgaters. The Senate has taken the student’s side and issued a Resolution Bill to hold FAMU accountable. However, other senate members argued whether or not any actual measures could be taken. This topic will be up for discussion at the next senate meeting.