Minority scholarships would increase diversity at university

The trend presented in Monday’s article in The Famuan on “diverse recruitment” is nothing new.

Over a decade ago, the permanent powers that are at Florida A & M University encouraged and achieved diversity on the Hill.

So how about giving me a scholarship?

The Miami Herald’s 1991 story “Florida A & M seeks whites, Asians” showed former President Frederick Humphries achieving “non-black enrollment (at) almost 12 percent” in fall of 1990. Throughout the ’90s, this enrollment declined and, with it, those scholarships.

“For many years, FAMU offered scholarships to minority students,” according to “Rattling the status quo,” a front page St. Petersburg Times article last year. “Which at this school means whites, Asians and Hispanics.”

“We” have always been at FAMU.

Not just as a silent minority, but also as a minority that simply doesn’t know what to say.

Certainly, I’m not the first to speak on the issue. There are those in FAMU’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communication, a school whose faculty is actively and peacefully integrated, who have pondered this issue for some time.

“This year (2005), about 4 percent of the 13,000 students at FAMU are white. That’s down from almost 10 percent in 1990,” according to the Times story.

“Many of the 550 white students who are at the school came for its well-regarded pharmacy, architecture or business programs.”

In my case, it was the accredited journalism program.

I am a lifelong Tallahassee local and I swell with pride at the density of educated black and non-black people of Tallahassee.

This came into play when it came time to continue my education.

When I visited the University of Florida’s journalism program, it was far too big and, frankly, a little too competitive for my tastes.

I wanted a small school where I could stay in a comfort zone for four years before going onto a career and possibly graduate school.

Being educated in majority-black public schools, I decided to attend FAMU’s accredited School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.

Besides, being in the newspaper sequence doesn’t give you much face time outside of an opinion piece, like now.

But I digress.

FAMU’s SJGC is but one entry in Tallahassee’s academic battery that has made this city a delightful oddity of the north Florida country.

I am proud to call myself a local and, in 2008, I will be proud to call myself a Florida A & M graduate.

I will be proud to hold an HBCU degree from an accredited and, yes, black, journalism program.

But let’s be real: I want free money like everyone else does.

It’s not about black or white, it’s about green.

If you want us and want to keep us, then how about throwing us a little something?

Paul de Revere is a sophomore newspaper journalism student from Tallahassee. He can be reached at famuanopinions@hotmail.com.