Atop the highest of seven hills in Tallahassee sits a school of innovators, philosophers and young minds that seemingly have a bright future after a successful matriculation through Florida A&M.
But behind that iron curtain façade, which the university’s administration religiously uses as propaganda for the general public and taxpayers, are cult-like organizations that have become an obsession for students.
Now, before I continue, let me be the first to say that I am not a scorned member of any organization who has been denied access to any group. I am simply stating what appears to be truth.
Many organizations, especially those at FAMU, provide its members a false sense of reality. Those who join feel the need to fit in with a certain caliber of students. I truly believe that many students who lack the sense of validation and fulfillment in their life join certain organizations as a way to escape their personal struggles with self-identity.
That raises the question as to why students who are members of certain organizations tend to classify themselves higher than those who are not.
I believe students hide behind the masks of these organizations because they need to feel the sense of belonging. Members pay hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars just to have “friends” who think and feel the same way they do.
Cynthia Coleman, a clinical psychologist in Tallahassee, agrees that students who are members of particular organizations tend to feel superior to those who are not.
“Students, whether in fraternities, sororities, dance groups, SGA members and any other well known organization on campus, tend to think they are higher-classed than the general population on campus,” Coleman said. “It’s inevitable. The mindset seems to transition into a more elitist frame of mind and the student social self-esteem rises higher and higher.”
Whether you are in a particular organization or just part of the general population at FAMU, we must remember that we are all a family that came to this school to seek a better educational experience, not look down on anyone who is not part of our organization.