As my car, Minerva, and I were cruising along Monday evening, she began to putter, signaling that her gas light had been on for one week too long.
Panicking, I began to pump the brakes to prevent her from breaking down in front of the Florida A&M University School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.
As we were etching closer to the School of Business and Industry, there was a U-Haul truck parked in an unusual spot directly across from the building. I saw the words “Project Force” on the side of the truck with pictures of upcoming Student Government Association candidates performing “public service.”
Aside from the blatant pre-campaign techniques of the candidates, I was appalled they were trying to pimp me for a vote.
We all know what a pimp is, but it can also be defined as one who uses trickery to obtain something permanently.
This semester, I witnessed the birth of two “community service organizations,” Project Force and FAMUnity.
Initially, I thought it was progressive for students to actually start a movement of that magnitude to better the community. After seeing it endorsed by local leaders, I was even proud.
And sure, pictures of the “founders” were slapped on every flyer and Facebook group, but we needed to know what they looked like, right?
However, after reviewing the posted candidates list last week, their intentions seemed rather sinister. If they were actually passionate about the issues in the community, why kick it off at the beginning of the spring semester?
Why now? If you knew that FAMU DRS needed help raising their FCAT scores, why wait until three months before the test to initiate a tutorial program?
If you knew that Holton Street had trash cluttering the sidewalks, what provoked you to document how well you pick up garbage and call it service? Why now?
From what I am told, a pimp will tell you how beautiful you are, how they’ll take care of you, and how much you mean to them.
They pull you in with these promises, but in the end they leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.
My issue is not with the purpose of the community service organizations, but the underlying personal agendas in creating them.
During campaign week, the candidates should give the student body a real approach toward the betterment of our University instead of shoving a plate of barbeque at students and offering fancy religious rhetoric.
Stop using the issues in our community as a way to procure votes. Stop pimping the system.
By the way, Minerva and I made it to the gas station OK.
Kianta Key is a senior public relations student from Atlanta. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.