As a student at FAMU, I find myself in a quintessential dilemma between the school I love and the information being taught to me at the school.
I don’t believe a student has to be in SBI to understand the idea of consumer buying power. A consumer has the power to shape a business because that business is dependent on its customers.
If you go shopping and you feel constantly disrespected, undervalued and unappreciated you can either complain about the service or take your business elsewhere.
My dilemma is more complex. I love FAMU and everything it has to offer but as a customer I am constantly disappointed with FAMU, be it parking services, the registrar’s office, in-state procedures or the worst of them all, financial aid.
Throughout my years here at FAMU I have constantly been made to feel that people who work in those areas couldn’t care less about me as a customer or what I think of them as employees, which is similar to the behavior of someone who operates a monopoly.
Sprint local telephone treats me terribly as a customer, but I have to deal with it because for the time being they have a monopoly on local phone service. So if I want to have local phone service, I have to deal with it.
FAMU does not have the same type of monopoly on students because it is possible to transfer to a different university.
The problem I face is that I LOVE FAMU as a University and in lieu of all the problems, it would be very difficult for me to leave for personal reasons.
Secondly, publicizing all the faults of FAMU, as the media so anxiously does, will put FAMU on the spot and somewhat force them to deal with the public outcry of students.
At the same time, future employers, admissions counselors and prospective students are reading these outcries. Consequently, it is making the stock of the University I love drop. It is making my degree less valuable, decreasing freshman admissions and making it much harder to compete with students from other Universities.
Both options are theoretically possible but will cost me either my University or the future reputation of my University.
The University officials have been doing an outstanding job lately with FAMU’s financial problems, athletic problems, etc.
I just hope that somewhere on President Bryant’s “to-do list” is a serious upgrade in FAMU customer service because I hope FAMU will forever live on.
However, FAMU can only live on through its customers, which are the students.
Phillip Pitchford is a fifth-year business student from Milwaukee. He can be reached at PhilPitchford@yahoo.com