Program aims to recruit new students

Members of the Student Government Association and the Royal Court plan to develop a targeted recruitment program before the end of the semester.

“SGA and the Royal Court are in the process of getting proposals to form a committee to recruit prospective students during the Christmas holidays,” said Phillip Agnew, SGA vice president.

Agnew, 20, a junior business administration student, from Chicago, said the idea is to allow scholars at Florida A&M University to go back to the youth of their hometowns and show them that success is possible despite their current situation.

Agnew also said that improved student services play a large role in getting more students to attend the university.

“How they are treated in the dorms, cafeteria, housing and financial aid office also determines if students choose to come to FAMU,” Agnew said.

Students, faculty and staff attended an open forum Nov. 22 to discuss new recruitment ideas for the university.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Debra Austin hosted the forum, which was held in the Grand Ballroom.

Austin began the forum by describing the current status of FAMU’s enrollment. She also gave some reasons as to why current enrollment is not working.

The current enrollment is lower than recent years, Austin said.

“We need to develop a recruitment strategy based on real data,” Austin said.

During the forum, Vincent June, vice president for student affairs, gave those in at attendance the chance to brainstorm in groups and come up with a list of characteristics that prospective students should have.

Several groups, mixed with faculty and students, came up with similar characteristics including, good character, honesty, respect for others and motivation to attend college.

One tool of recruitment that has been used in recent years is the FAMU Connection. Anthony Green, 21, a senior theatre performance student, from Charleston, S.C., and member of the Connection, noticed a decline in enrollment last year when the Connection did not travel as much.

Green also served as the recruitment liaison for the FAMU Essential Theatre last school year, and played a large role in giving prospective students information about the theatre school, their professors and what they offer as a whole.

Green said the Connection was able to reach out to high school students through performances in the past.

“We recruit through entertainment,” Green said. “While singing and dancing, we give historical info about FAMU and introduce extracurricular activities the university has.”

“The Connection has traveled to Miami, Orlando and even Baltimore to recruit students,” Green said.

Although the Connection no longer travels for the recruitment fairs, some say the future plans will lower costs.

Mr. FAMU Hasan Flake is also involved in the plan of sending students to recruit in their hometowns. Along with giving potential Rattlers the opportunity to have one-on-one contact with current Rattlers, allowing students to go into their own neighborhoods is less expensive, said Flake.

“The biggest issue FAMU was running into was money. Recruitment fairs were expensive,” said Flake, 21, a senior business administration student from Queens, N.Y.

The procedure will train all students who want to participate, and then contact the high schools of the people involved, Flake said. The high school student will then be able to ask questions to those who have been trained.

Flake said, “We will use little to no expenses in this effort. All we are waiting on now is the green light on this.”

Contact Darian Magee at