You’re walking to your car. Just as you get close and the day’s almost over, there, wearing a dark hat with matching pants and a tan shirt, clipboard ready, is a Florida A&M Parking Services worker tapping keys, filling his screen with the information about your car. You try to plead your case: “This is my third one this week” or “I got a boot last month. How much do I owe now?”
Maybe, he will be merciful today and cut you a break. As he turns to greet you and explain himself, you notice that it is President James H. Ammons who is writing your ticket. A quiet “Ammons?” slips from your mouth as he places a ticket under your car’s wiper and continues through the parking garage, hungry for the next $30 ticket.
So, that will never happen, but the truth is parking services is relentless. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard someone complain about getting a ticket.
If our administration worked as hard as parking services, the university could have it together. We could be claiming a better share of state money to enhance academics like others schools have done.
Recent budget cuts have caused FAMU and other state universities to rethink how they will stay open. Tuition increases of up to 15 percent and the looming hand of Gov. Rick Scott threaten FAMU, it seems. Ammons has recommended we dip into the university’s reserve funds to make up the balance. Thursday, presidents Bernie Machen, University of Florida, and Eric Barron, Florida State, pleaded their cases to Scott to avoid tuition hikes at their universities. Why was Ammons absent?
Is FAMU in too much hot water to have any sway at a meeting like that? I think not.
Just like the reoccurring ticket under the windshield wiper, the administration should be out, fighting for everything it can get, pulling in enough to bring us back, $30 and a boot at a time.