Student Senate works to close out the semester

Senator TaMya Braclet and Chairpersons Kole Fortson and Jasamine Daniels presenting bill SPB23FA-002.
Photo courtesy: Alyssa Cooper

Cleaning up the Student Government Association and refocusing on acting as representatives for the Florida A&M was the focus for the 53rd Student Senate heading into one of the last meetings before the end of the semester.

Representatives presented only one bill, SPB23FA-002, on Monday. Sen. TaMya Braclet and Chairpersons Jasmine Daniels and Kole Fortson authored the bill, titled “The Authors Increase.”

The bill aimed to increase the number of authors allowed on the introduction of a bill, and also suggested clubs and organizations can author a bill themselves as opposed to only one representative from the group.

Daniels stated during the introduction of the bill that they wanted to increase the author count from three to six to reflect the true American government system.

“In the real senate you can have up to six authors,” Chairwoman Daniels said. “We only have three so we wanted to kind of change it, so that it’s not only limited to three authors.”

Representatives from the executive branch of SGA brought concerns over the necessity of allowing multiple organizations on a bill, especially if the bill involves the division of funds. There also was a concern about individuals claiming to represent an organization without having received consent from the organization itself.

Following these concerns, the authors agreed to add specifications to the bill regarding organizations authoring a bill. The authors will present an updated version of the bill again during the next meeting.

After the bill reading, Zahmira Williams, a first-year political science student, took the podium to lobby for stricter enforcement on dining hours at the HUB and the increase of dining hours. Williams referenced an unpleasant situation that occurred earlier when stating her grievances.

“On a specific occasion, I arrived at The HUB around 7:00 p.m. well before the posted closing time and was denied service for a sandwich because the staff indicated they were “almost” about to close,” Williams said. “This inconsistency in service creates frustration and undermines the value of the meal plan, especially considering the significant financial investment many students make.”

The senate promised to work towards a solution and would revisit the issue at a later meeting.

The senate and executive branch of the SGA also aimed to shift the focus from hosting and attending events to acting as the governing body and representatives of the school. SGA Chief of Staff, Jada Jenkins, presented a report to the senate chambers listing ways that SGA should operate going forward.

“The executive branch is working to refocus their attention on their duties and responsibilities listed in the student body constitution,” Jenkins said. “I think we kind of got away from following our actual duties and responsibilities and started focusing on event planning and that’s not who we are.”

The senate is also looking for a new SGA Attorney General as Elijah Hooks has recently resigned. Applications for the position are not yet available.