Low enrollment a major factor in the decrease in funds for SGA

Photo credits: Alyssa Cooper

Last night’s senate meeting lasted more than three-and-a-half hours. Many topics ranging from
new initiatives to questions about budgeting were discussed and a number of bills were either
passed, tabled, or rejected.

For a large portion of the meeting, questions surrounding university funding were discussed.

The revenue for SGA to allocate money to various organizations on campus depends greatly on
the number of enrolled students who have paid their fees for the fall and spring semester. The
amount of funds Murray projects SGA will have for the year depends on whether students
come back for the spring semester and if they pay their fees for the year.

Before COVID-19, the number of enrolled students was 10,000. Since the pandemic, that
number has decreased to just over 9,000. Less student enrollment means less funds. Murry
offered a solution to the present members of the senate meeting before leaving. She believes
that the Senate should do a better job of allocating resources towards programs that benefit all
students as opposed to just allocating resources to organizations on campus.

Senate President Pro Tempe Londe Mondelus is on board with Murry’s idea. “I like the idea of
programs,” said Mondelus.

In addition to the budget, several bills and proposals for legislation were presented in front of
the attending senators. Senator Hooks, Daniels and Strappy presented a bill that would allow
students to view their GPAs on iRattler during the semester as opposed to when grades are
finalized at the end of the semester. The bill, like a handful of others, were unanimously

Senator Hooks also presented a bill inviting members of the Florida Student Association made
up of student government members from all over Florida to visit FAMU for “Rally in Tally”, an
event being held later this week. This bill was approved on the conditions that certain
amendments be made.

While speaking on the bill, Hooks stated, “We cannot get things done if we don’t work
collaboratively. In unity, we get things done.”

For students hoping for earlier access to FAMU home football games for 2023, a bill drawn up
by Senator Jasmine Daniels and Senator Jaylin Strappy was approved seeking to increase the
amount of free student tickets available to students based on seats in the stadium as opposed
to the number of students enrolled.

This bill also aims to give students who couldn’t get their free ticket to the Homecoming Game
more time to purchase tickets before they are released to the general public.

One bill, however, hit a roadblock when presented. A bill presented by Senator Strappy
proposed a test to be given to students interested in running for Senate. In order for students
to be able to run, they must pass the test with a 70% or higher.

Many current members of the Senate were against this bill, including Senate President Kelton
Williams and first-year senator Jeffrey Francis. Questions about the threat to democracy arose
almost immediately. Senator Machia Sanders proposed that additional mandated training be
given to newly elected senators instead. The bill was tabled for further revision.

Senator Strappy stood firm in his thoughts on the bill. “This bill was not to disfranchise,
discourage, or stop people from running,” said Strappy. “If any student wants to run, they have
the objective and ability based off of the one-day procedure of always taking the test.”