SGA expresses strength of Patriot spirit


Photo by: Elodi Breg

During the FMU State of the Student Body Address, SGA President Tymoshio Robinson discusses minimum wage increase for student workers.

Kei'Yona Jordon, Copy Editor

The FMU Student Government Association (SGA) hosted their first State of the Student Body Address on March 16 in the Chapman Auditorium.

Leaders in the Florence community and on the FMU campus came out to show their support.

The newly elected, first female African-American mayor of Florence, Teresa Ervin, made a guest appearance at the event.

This school year, SGA worked to establish their governing presence throughout the school with different initiatives and campaigns. During the leadership event, SGA President Tymoshio Robinson, SGA Attorney General Ariana Prete and other speakers highlighted the different changes SGA has undergone to solidify their role in the student community.

“We govern, we advocate and we represent,” Prete said during her speech about what SGA is.

FMU President Fred Carter introduced Robinson and said his hard work and leadership were responsible for a lot of the changes happening throughout the university.

“His leadership, always vibrant, unwavering and visionary has played an essential role in realizing many of the successes the university has achieved during this past year,” Carter said.

Robinson said SGA’s first piece of legislation was a resolution to establish SGA as the elected and sole sovereign body of the entire FMU student population.

SGA welcomed their first president’s cabinet and renewed their relationship with the Campus Activities Board (CAB), appointing them as an agency of SGA.

The SGA also passed an omnibus of resolutions geared toward advocating for the students.

The resolutions in the omnibus called for feminine hygiene products in women’s restrooms, professors to place mental health statements at the end of every syllabus, making all unofficial transcripts free of charge, the expansion of campus dining services and incorporating mental health days into the spring 2020-2021 calendar.

Robinson said SGA accomplished the biggest goal of the year by passing a resolution that recommended the overall campus minimum wage be raised to $8 an hour. The minimum wage change went into effect on Jan. 28, 2021.

During his speech, Robinson said a true patriot is a student who is resolute, tenacious and someone who is a fighter.

“What better words can be used to describe the unmatched force that is the student population of FMU,” Robinson said.

Robinson spoke of the many actions and projects SGA accomplished on campus during the pandemic and civil unrest throughout the country. He highlighted the executive board’s mission to condemn systemic racism, excessive use of force by police and supporting Black Lives Matter in support of George Floyd, which he said he believed set the precedence for the upcoming year.

“It was a signal of hope and understanding to the FMU community from the first all-Black Student Government Association executive cabinet,” Robinson said.

The Robinson administration hosted events that were geared toward every aspect of what FMU students needed and focused on different policies and legislation that would support the FMU student experience on campus.

Robinson said these events and actions were taken to enhance student’s experiences in the present and future.

During his first days as SGA president, Robinson formed different task forces to take on issues among the student population. One of those task forces was geared toward continuing the policies that the previous SGA president, Kendria Mason, started with food insecurity.

“The task force on food insecurity worked diligently to restructure the SGA food pantry and was extremely successful in getting the initiative rerunning for the 2020-2021 academic year,” Robinson said.

Robison’s administration also created a voters’ registration task force, which he said provided FMU students with as many opportunities as possible to allow them to participate in the 2020 presidential election.

“In all, we hosted and co-sponsored five different opportunities for voter registration last semester,” Robinson said.

Having partnered with other organizations on campus, Robinson thanked all the organizations involved for helping to promote voting throughout the campus.

SGA hosted financial literacy events, improving mental health events, SGA awareness week and welcome week events for incoming new students.

They also hosted many diversity and inclusion events such as “Your Lives Matter: Students Speak Out.” Robinson said this event gave students a safe platform to share their difficult experiences.

Robinson gave the audience a sneak peek at some of the events planned for the next semester, such as the education symposium and a first-generation college student event.

Robinson ended his speech by thanking the SGA senate and other organizations on campus that excelled in helping all the initiatives take place.

“On behalf of all FMU patriots, your hardwork and dedication to our student body means a lot, and we appreciate your event planning and initiative planning you have been able to host this academic year,” Robinson said.