Hundreds of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) students gathered for a town hall meeting, Monday, in Lee Hall Auditorium where they were able to dialogue with FAMU President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D., about important topics affecting the student body, including their role in helping the University achieve its performance metrics.
In addition to a moderated question and answer session, the “Town Hall Turn Up” featured performances by FAMU cheerleaders, Diamonds of FAMU, Addiction Dance Company, Mahogany Dance Theatre, and Strikers Dance Troupe. The event served to encourage students to enjoy campus life while staying focused on their academic pursuits. Throughout the program, student audience members were also able to submit questions for President Mangum to answer at the end of the event.
School of Journalism and Graphic Communication student LaCrai Mitchell served as the moderator for the question and answer session. Mitchell asked Mangum questions on topics such as performance-based funding, customer service, scholarships, and study abroad opportunities. While explaining the various initiatives her administration has launched in these areas, Mangum also advised students on how they can contribute to the forward progression of the University.
“We are going to be competitive with any student and with any university, but you have to make sure you do your part because I am definitely going to do mine,” Mangum said to the crowd of students.
She emphasized that the best way students can contribute to the success of FAMU is by graduating in four years and entering the workforce or graduate school as soon as possible. Upon graduation, Mangum encouraged students to use each other as resources for job opportunities.
“Right now you are sitting among some of the greatest minds you will ever meet, so work together,” Mangum said.
Victor Chrispin, student relations chairman for the FAMU Student Senate, said he most enjoyed the question and answer portion of the meeting because Mangum provided clarity on how performance metrics work and the role students play in the performance-based funding system.
“My favorite part was the question and answer period,” Chrispin said. “Before last night, I thought all students had to do was perform well and graduate and that was it. Now, I’ve learned that performance funding encompasses other things too, like where students work after they graduate and if they support the University financially after they leave.”
Mangum’s willingness to have a candid conversation with students is what Alexis Garnett, a freshman political science student from Boynton Beach, Fla., appreciated most about the student town hall meeting.
“I feel that it was very productive. We were able to get some of our questions and concerns addressed by the President, and that doesn’t just happen at most universities,” Garnett said.
Garnett added that she feels that students were able to leave with a clearer understanding of the direction FAMU is heading and Mangum’s plans to move the University forward.
“Not only was I able to hear her view and her side of things, but I also learned a lot about different resources that we have on campus like the passport program and many study abroad opportunities.”