As students, faculty and alumni prepare to indulge in the festivities of Homecoming, we must first stop and ask ourselves if this is the institution our founders envisioned. My guess would be no.
Apart from being praised as the number one college in the country in 1997, this university has since faltered. With the rate of incoming National Achievement students steadily declining and the resignations of more university officials sure to come, it is evident that this school is headed in the wrong direction.
Let’s face it most high schools operate more proficiently than this university has shown. Rather than the focus being on progressing black students through college, the consensus seems to be how fast one can ruin an undergraduate’s collegiate career.
Simply put, here is no excuse why FAMU’s athletic program has racked up “well over 200” NCAA violations. Top collegiate athletic programs don’t even manage to garner that many violations over a ten-year span.
Aside from an athletic program on life support, many members of the university’s faculty don’t even seem to remotely care about their students. If they did, financial aid would be in much better shape than it is right now, academic advisors would carry out their jobs more passionately, and people wouldn’t get the runaround each time they inquired about an important issue. However, while the incompetence of FAMU’s staff is inexcusable, it seems to be a recurring trend.
But let’s not just gang up on faculty. The student body shares a significant part of the blame as well. How can we expect people to look out for us when we can’t even look out for ourselves?
We seem to care more about getting to Chubby’s, than we do our classes. We sacrifice books and supplies for Jordan sneakers and Chanel stilettos. We’ve lost complete sight of the very reason we’re in college.
While everyone on this campus isn’t part of the problem, majority of us are. For every student that studies hard to make the grade, there are 100 more who’s sole objective is to be the “Illest Playa” or “Badst Chick”. For each professor that performs their job duties thoroughly, another 50 educators are stuck on an “It ain’t my job” mentality.
Part of the Mission Statement for FAMU reads: “The mission of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), as an 1890 land-grant institution, is to provide an enlightened and enriched academic, intellectual, moral, cultural, ethical, technological and student-centered environment, conducive to the development of highly qualified individuals who are prepared and capable of serving as leaders and contributors in our ever-evolving society.”
Sadly, not a single part of this mission statement is reflected through the student body or the university personnel.
If we are to remain as a prestigious black university then we must all begin to behave like it, both faculty and students. We must not forget what our predecessors fought and died for, but rather let their dreams shine through our actions.
Morgan L. McDaniel is a sophomore journalism student from Detroit, MI.