The Florida Board of Governors approved funds on Jan. 25 for Florida’s 11 public universities, which could aid some of FAMU’s major building concerns and construction projects.
Over the years, the faculty and staff members who work in both Tucker Hall and Gore Education Complex have made several complaints about their work environment. Many of the complaints are a result of bad insulation in GEC, poor spacing arrangements and a lack of technology-enhanced classrooms.
“I’ve been working at FAMU for 12 years, and I feel that this building is needing to be remodeled based on what I’ve heard from those who proceeded me and from knowing what I’ve experienced here through the years,” said Karen Parker, academic adviser and counselor in the School of General Studies. “One thing that has always bothered me is that the temperature is not accommodating, it remains uncomfortably cold both in the winter and summer.”
Parker also mentioned how the building does not meet the needs of the handicapped.
“The handicap access is not good,” she said. “There are no restrooms, the elevators don’t always work properly for them to have full access of the building and no ramped sidewalks to make their transport easier.”
Willie Cook, assistant dean of the School of General Studies, works in the GEC building and is more concerned about the spacing arrangement. Cook said he feels that general studies needs its own building, with everyone under one roof, instead of being spread all over campus.
“It’s cramped,” Cook said. “At one time, there were three schools operating out of this one building. We need our own space. It doesn’t have to be new. It can be old as long as we’re all together. Even right now, we are spread all the way out to the old physical plant.”
He proposed that GEC be remodeled for the College of Education and that general studies be moved to FAMU Developmental Research School once their new facility is finished.
Students, on the other hand, focused their worries more on the lack of technology in the buildings and the need for technology-enhanced classrooms.
Monique Mattingly, 23, a senior physical education student, said students encounter difficulty doing the simplest tasks, such as delivering Power Point presentations in the classroom, because of the lack of updated technical equipment available to students.
“My main concern is that the technology should be more advanced,” Mattingly said. “We still use chalkboards. As students coming up in the technology age, we should have more technology in the classroom to utilize.”
The advisers of the general studies program have expressed their concerns with the lack of technology in building as well. In particular, all of the offices do not have access to the Internet, which can be problematic.
“Professional advisers need to be able to access OurFAMU,” said Lisa Lang, director of the general studies program.
“The adviser needs to be able audit students’ transcripts and find out a student is on hold, instead of asking students to bring in transcripts or request one from the registrar’s office.”
Right now five advisers share one computer.
To accommodate those advisers without Internet access, another office has been set up for the advisers to share.
“We have made provisions for those advisers by setting up a centrally located computer that they must share,” Lang said.
She also said the situation needs to be changed.
“I personally feel that they should not have to share,” Lang said. “It should just be automatic that the advisers have access to the Internet, especially for the use of OurFAMU.”
Advisers agree that sharing one office is a hassle.
“It’s inconvenient to have to leave your desk and go to another desk just to get what you need,” said Dollin Franklin, a general studies adviser. “Then, if you forget something you have to go back. By then someone else could already be there, and you have to wait for them to finish.”