It occurs to me that this may very well be my last article as Student Body President, so I wanted to leave message from the heart, borne of an extended history with this university and her students.
I hope I am able to leave an impression on some Rattlers about the vitality of FAMU’s continued existence, and the value students must invest in it to protect the heritage and quality that defines her.
In order for us to truly claim excellence as a university, such aims must be embodied not just by administrators and elected officials, but by all students.
Though some believe that this university’s distinction stems solely from its academic prowess, understand that students possess extraordinary influence on the light in which our beloved university is cast.
I say this to emphasize that if nothing else unifies us, our mutual concern for this university should.
There are many complaints to be heard on the Hill, but relatively few solutions offered by those making them.
Ask yourself, how often do you see the need for improvement in some aspect of FAMU?
Then ask yourself, what have you done to try and fix it?
Though many of us often believe that our sole duty is to go to class and get an education, we each have an integral responsibility to don a hard hat in the construction of FAMU’s future.
I have been blessed to work with many students inspired by a vested commitment to enhancing this university’s eminence; yet I have often had to witness them socially bludgeoned by others who care more about seeking attention than seeking solutions.
We must realize that being a Rattler makes you part of a family, and the Highest of Seven Hills is your home.
To progress as a student body (and as a people for that matter) we must absent ourselves from the “us” and “them” philosophy that dominates so many aspects of campus life.
In fact, I charge each of you to regard with a healthy dose of skepticism those who preach such malevolent rhetoric.
There is a much greater battle to be fought.
The forces wishing to see FAMU shut down may be one day appeased if we allow complacency and apathy to prevail.
I urge everyone to focus on commonalities that genuinely unite us, for we are much stronger united than divided.
Always remember that you do not have to hold a position on your campus to engineer positive change on your campus.
My job would not have been possible without the contributions made by fellow students with common goals and vibrant backgrounds.
If I can leave students with but one message as I depart from the Hill it is this:
As a student body, we are empowered with indomitable potential.I charge every student walking the Hill to get involved, keep yourself informed about your campus, and be the change you want to see.
Thank you, Rattlers, for the opportunity to serve.
I will treasure this experience forever.
Andrew Collins is Student Body President.