Monday, January 16, 2017

Student Senate launches apparent attempt to return Smith to president’s chair Bruno won

On Wednesday, Justin Bruno took office as FAMU Student Government Association (SGA) president nearly 11 months after students voted to elect him to that job. The FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) directory was also updated to show that Bruno is a member of that body.

Jaylen Smith is now in the seat he was originally supposed to be in since May, the Student Senate presidency. He served as interim SGA President for about seven months due to a legal battle over the Spring 2016 election results and the failure of SGA officials to move quickly to schedule a new election.

But it now looks like some of Smith’s fellow senators are moving to get him back into the seat that Bruno won.

Two days after Bruno and his vice-president Devin Harrison were sworn in, The FAMUan reported that the “student senate held an emergency meeting to reverse the decision naming the two men to their positions…The group said Bruno and Harrison should not be in their leadership roles because no vote was taken prior to the two being declared president and vice president.”

A vote wasn’t taken because there was no longer an opposing ticket for Bruno and Harrison to run against. Victor Chrispin, the presidential candidate who they defeated in February 2016, has graduated and is no longer a student.

If Bruno and Harrison leave office and wait for another election to be scheduled, Smith will be able to resume his previous role as interim SGA president.

Jeremiah Carter, who became SGA attorney general when Smith was interim president, also joined in attacking the decision to declare Bruno and Harrison the election winners.

“The president and vice-president appointment was invalid because the electoral commission did not follow the guidelines of the law,” he said in a quote published by The FAMUan.

Carter supported an unsuccessful effort to try and get large numbers of students to protest against the finalization of an exit plan that the BOT negotiated with then-President Elmira Mangum. Smith wanted Mangum to stay in office.

Now that Bruno is president, Carter could lose his job because the new SGA president has the option to appoint his own attorney general.

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