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Judge: New FAMU SGA Election Applies Only To Orlando Law School

Florida A&M University

A Leon Circuit Judge has granted a request for an injunction over Florida A&M University’s contested student government presidential election. On the line is a voting spot on FAMU’s board which must soon decide whether to renew the employment contract of President Elmira Mangum.

Justin Bruno won the February student government race at FAMU, but voting problems at the university’s Orlando law school resulted in his challenger appealing. FAMU’s administration upheld a student court ruling ordering a new election school-wide that will be held next week. Bruno filed a lawsuit in Leon County court.

Thursday a judge ruled the election will only apply to the law school, which Bruno carried by a wide margin. He says he plans to campaign gain in Orlando and is relieved.

I didn’t necessarily sign up for all of this, you can imagine. But I did sign up to serve the student body, and this is my way of doing it," he said. Student Body Presidents at all of Florida’s 12 public universities also serve on their schools board of trustees as voting members.

Current FAMU SGA President Tonette Graham cast a decisive vote against firing President Elmira Mangum last October. And Bruno, currently SGA Vice President, led a march to the capitol protesting the way trustees attempted to terminate Mangum -- through a conference call, instead of an in-person meeting.

Bruno's campaign had accused Mangum's administration of meddling in the SGA election, alleging the campaign manager for his opponent also works in the President's office.

FAMU isn’t the only school with a contested election. The Orlando Sentinel reports a UCF student voiced frustrations after being kicked off that school’s ballot.

Follow @HatterLynn

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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