he 2001 year has ended but students have no record of account, at least not as far as campus is concerned.
The Little Black Book, the yearbook for the 2000-2001 school year, was delayed until after a meeting among the yearbook’s editor-in-chief, its adviser, Interim President Lewis and other university officials, according to Director of Student Activities, Ronald M. Joe, who is also the yearbook’s sponsor.
The yearbook’s editor-in-chief for the 2001-2002 school year, Tiffany Hayes, said the yearbooks arrived on campus on Dec. 4, 2001. Hayes planned to distribute the yearbooks Tuesday, but said she was told by Joe not to until a later notice.
“Col. Joe came to me on Dec. 14 and told me not to give out the yearbooks. He told me that there were grammatical errors and possibly a problem with the tone of the editor’s note.”
Joe said that he did ask Hayes not to distribute the yearbooks although he is not sure of the date.
“I heard that the tone of the editor’s note was a concern with faculty and staff, but it’s not a personal concern of mine,” Joe said.
Hayes, Joe, Lewis and other officials were originally scheduled to meet on Jan. 7, but the meeting was delayed until Jan.22.
Holly McGee, editor-in-chief of the Little Black Book, said she felt that delaying the distribution of yearbooks to students was an injustice and makes administration look bad.
“To halt distribution is an admission of wrongdoing on their part,” McGee said.
McGee also said she was confused as to why the Authentic 2000, the 1999-2000 yearbook was released on time but Little Black Book is being held back due to the tone of the editor’s note.
McGee, who graduated in December, also served as the yearbook’s editor-in-chief for the 1999-2000 school year.
“I don’t understand. I was just as forthright and outspoken in last year’s [yearbook], as I was in this one. I encourage students to exercise your right to get a book and read the note for yourself.”
Any student who was enrolled at FAMU during 2000 or 2001 and paid activity and services fees included in tuition, is eligible to receive a yearbook. However, like football tickets, the number of yearbooks available is scarce.
“Our budget determines how many books we can print every year. We’re not allowed to have raffles or fundraisers for extra money,” McGee said.
Angela Ross, budget coordinator for the Student Union, said that because the yearbook is an activities and services agency, its money is appropriated by the student government association.
“Like all A&S agencies, the yearbook is required to submit a budget packet to the senate committee including a proposal. After the budget is set by the committee, the packet is sent to Delories Sloane, vice president for student affairs and is approved by a board on her level. The final step is the approval by the president of the university,” Ross said.
Some students were not aware that the yearbooks were paid with fees from tuition.
“I didn’t think that I could get a yearbook, but I thought I had to sign-up for one and pay for it directly,” said Erick Anderson, 19, a freshman jazz studies and commercial music student from St. Paul, Minn.
Although there are never enough yearbooks for every student, McGee said that during her tenure, she tried her very best to make sure that all the yearbooks went to students.
McGee said she sent yearbooks to the Office of the President, the library and the Black Archives free of charge, but orders and sells books to administrators, alumni, and departments upon request.
“I was completely opposed to giving free yearbooks to administrators because for every administrator who has one, there’s a student that doesn’t,” McGee said.
Hayes said students often questioned about the yearbook delay, especially those who recently graduated in December.
As far as the editor’s note is concerned, McGee said she is not sorry for what was printed.
“I’ve said my piece. Postponing the yearbook is fear on their part. I don’t apologize…I told the truth.”
Hayes said she will continue to work with university officials in order to get the yearbooks distributed in a timely fashion.
“I’m going to do my very best to work with the school,” Hayes said. “I want students to get their books as soon as possible, but I also want to follow the rules.”