Vice president of FAMU’s SGA plans to carry on Bruno’s agenda
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer
Following the unexpected resignation of Justin Bruno as president of FAMU’s student government, his vice president vowed to continue their agenda until the next election.
“Everything is moving forward,” said Devin Harrison. “It doesn’t stop what we’re doing (and) hopefully this will bring SGA together even more.”
Bruno announced his resignation a week ago, saying that the process of governing FAMU’s student body is “badly broken.”
Among his reasons for giving up the post that he fought for in court after a controversial election in 2016, Bruno cited an ongoing effort by the student senate to impeach him. There were four attempts to remove him, including a recent effort.
“Experiences over the past several months have convinced me it is simply not possible in the current climate at FAMU” to stay in office, Bruno wrote in his resignation letter.
Copies of the letter were sent to president Larry Robinson, the Board of Trustees, Harrison, the student senate and the student body.
Bruno said he couldn’t continue to fight against “disruptive influences that thrive from increased polarization and ideological rigidity that leads to dysfunction, disorder and chaos.”
Bruno said conflicts with the senate go back several years, even during the year he served as a student senator.
The bumping of heads began during the 2016 elections when the opposing candidates challenged the outcome that favored the Bruno-Harrison team. The opposition, questioned validation of votes at FAMU’s law school campus in Orlando.
The Bruno-Harrison team’s victory was overwhelming in Orlando. The challenge eventually ended up in a Tallahassee court that sent the matter back to then president Elmira Mangum, who eventually installed the opposing team to head the SGA.
However, that team was eventually ruled ineligible to continue the term because of graduation. Bruno and Harrison took over the office before running a second time and winning.
Having gone through that and the senate’s effort to oust him created too much mental stress that led to Bruno’s decision, Harrison said.
“He said, ‘if they want to impeach me, let them do it,’ ” Harrison said. “I’m tired of fighting that. If they don’t want me I’d rather leave.”
Harrison said he doesn’t intend to run in the next election. His swearing-in ceremony is expected to take place within the week. Chief of staff Denver Smith will assume the vice president position.
Harrison said he wasn’t surprised by Bruno’s decision because they’ve had several conversations about his problems with the senate. He didn’t attempt to dissuade Bruno, Harrison said.
“My response was to do what’s best for you in terms of your future,” Harrison said. “We all know this is not his future; this is just in the present moment.”