Student senators say money is missing

FAMU Students Senators during their weekly Monday meeting. Photo Courtesy: Kyla Hill

Florida A&M University’s Student Senate gathered Monday for their weekly meeting in the Efferson Student Union.

During the meeting, the senators went over upcoming events, confirmations and new bills they would like to pass this academic year.

Londe Mondelus, pro tempore, led the first half of the meeting due to the late arrival of Kelton Williams, the Senate president.

Nyla Sams, chief of staff, gave the Executive Branch report. According to Sams, FAMU only about 11% of FAMU students took part in August’s primary election. She expressed her disappointment in the numbers because voting was available on campus.

The Executive Branch also started a canned food drive in the lobby of the SGA building, which is located in the Efferson Student Union. The donations will be going to Second Harvest of the Big Bend. The drive ends on Nov. 21.

Jaylin Hankerson-Strappy and Jasmine Daniels, junior senators, and Kobe Buggs, a sophomore senator, proposed a bill to raise and extend the amount and time of student game-day tickets.

The senators hope to convince the athletic department that 25% of Bragg Memorial Stadium seating should be allotted for only enrolled FAMU students. With the proposed bill, they want students to have early access to tickets.

“The Senate should also advocate for students to be able to purchase tickets one day before the tickets get posted for the general public,” Strappy said.

Buggs also proposed a new meal plan bill for students. After doing a poll around campus, out of 121 responses, 52.9% of students use their flex bucks, which are used for chain restaurants on campus, more than their meal swipes, which are used for the dining halls on campus.

Buggs suggested that FAMU offer another meal plan tier for on-campus students with more flex dollars than meal swipes. However, Buggs mentioned that William Hudson, vice president of student affairs, has some concerns about the proposed bill.

“[Dr. Hudson] doesn’t know when this could take place,” Buggs said. “Being that Metz offers jobs. And he also doesn’t want students to go hungry with the new plan.”

Williams informed the senators of a proposed offer by Hudson: Hudson will provide $20,000 to allow all of SGA to go to the Florida Classic in Orlando as long as SGA agrees to pay back the money.

In a unanimous vote, the Senate voted to accept Hudson’s offer.

During the open forum about the Florida Classic, many senators were confused about why SGA has to borrow money and asked, “Where is SGA’s money?”

“Due to inflation is the answer we’ve been getting the remainder of the semester,” Williams answered.

Senator Malachi Gibbs voided his concern about where the SGA money is.

“It seems like it is becoming a recurring issue about money missing. Thousands of dollars are unaccounted for,” Gibbs said.

After some time, the Senate voted unanimously to file an audit against Joint Operations to get to the bottom of where their money is being distributed.

The Senate meeting saw four confirmations, and all were successfully sworn in their new Senate positions.