While having a casual conversation with some colleagues, one of them brought up a recruitment poster titled “Top 12 reasons to attend Florida A&M University.”
What I thought would be included on the list, wasn’t what I saw when I got a chance to read it. Perusing the list, I discovered that current students are standing on the shoulders of giants, but these giants are due to expire.
Obviously we have an above average band in terms of entertainment. However, this shouldn’t take precedence over our university’s academic integrity. And the band is residual, therefore it shouldn’t be a way to persuade a prospective student to attend this or any university. Since 1946, the “100” has been the selling point for FAMU. Time for a new pitch, no?
Being named “Time Magazine/Princeton Review’s” College of the year is an honor, but that was 13 years ago and is no longer relevant. The school was given the award in 1997. This accomplishment isn’t ingrained in the memory of current student or future Rattlers.
Reason number 5 stated FAMU was listed in Business Week as one of the country’s “Most Innovative Colleges” in the area of technology transfer; it’s an obscure honor. Whatever it means, administrators should create new ways to keep our university on this list annually.
Although these accolades are important, this outdated list demonstrates the complacency that has plagued the university for decades.
Instead of touting our accreditation, which is expected, why don’t we work toward a new “Top 12?”
Things like being considered a Public Ivy institution by “US News and World Report” is not out of our reach. We would be the first and only HBCU with such an honor, and one of few in the southeastern U.S.
Instead of bragging about the marching band, why not a school, rather than a department of music?
It’s not too late for our school to dismiss the HBCU title. We will always be historically black, now let’s make progress toward being a more inclusive university. FAMU could be school that is 40 percent black, caters to other economic minorities, and still not forget “where we came from.”
FAMU recruiters have been preaching the same sermon for years and frankly the choir has gotten tired.
If we continue to think that these are adequate reasons for people to come to “the Hill,” we will have the same poster with the same “Top 12,” 20 years from now.