Railroad tracks aren’t the only thing dividing the students at Florida State University and Florida A&M University. Many students from both universities believe there are numerous ways in which the two schools are divided, including the atmosphere, culture and education at each institution.
FAMU and FSU are both public universities and members of the Florida State University System.
There have been debates about how the power of an education at a predominantly white institution is better than one from a historically black school.
When comparing the graduation rates between the two schools, FSU’s graduation percentage is dramatically higher than the percentage at FAMU.
FSU has the highest four-year graduation rate in the state of Florida at 72 percent.
The four-year graduation rate at FAMU is a SUS-worst 22 percent.
Despite the graduation rates at FAMU, graduating seniors such as Aiyana Ishmael believe that statistics don’t define a university.
“Although our graduation rate is lower at FAMU, that doesn’t mean that we as students aren’t working diligently to prove ourselves every day. Our graduation percent raises questions about the quality of our education but many fail to realize we have to work twice as hard as anybody else,” said Ishmael.
One of the main topics that arise when discussing these two schools is the cultural difference between both universities.
Darvin Taylor II, a former FSU football player who is now a grad student majoring in integrated
marketing communications, said that as a minority at FSU, adapting to the culture and atmosphere was a challenging experience.
“As a minority at FSU the way I adapted was hanging around my teammates and other students that were in the CARE program. However, one thing we do work on at FSU is diversity and inclusion, so including everybody from different countries and ethnicities help us keep everybody connected,” Taylor said.
The students at both universities embody love and pride for their school.
Tiffany Bui has had the chance to experience both schools. Bui is a student at FAMU, majoring in interdisciplinary studies. Bui started off at FAMU majoring in bio pre-med for her first two years and then transferred to FSU.
During her time at FSU, Bui noticed the differences between the two institutions. At FSU, Bui felt as if she was just another number in her classes. Bui said when she started failing, her professors never really took the time to help her succeed.
“When I was at FAMU, I was taking some hard classes, but my professors were always there to help me. When I got to Florida State it was different. I didn’t feel supported and I was failing badly,” Bui said.
After a challenging year at Florida State, Bui transferred back to FAMU and she now serves as an anchor for FAMU TV 20 News.
Bui transferred back to FAMU because of the love she felt from both her peers and her professors. Although Bui is of Asian descent, she explained how FAMU never made her feel as if she was of a different race. Not only did Bui feel comfortable in her own skin, she felt comfortable financially.
“At FSU I was constantly reminded that I was in the middle class, being that I was surrounded by a lot of privileged white kids, who didn’t have to work,” Bui added.
Though the two schools are separated by many factors, the ultimate goal for all of the students is to graduate and pursue jobs in their fields, regardless of which institution they attend.