Florida A&M University has a strong and vibrant alumni base that continuously supports its alma mater. But when does support and involvement go too far?
At FAMU, the standard set within the FAMULY can put pressure on current students pursuing their degrees on the Hill.
Tariq Atkins, who graduated in April, said everything can change over time and how alumni respond to events on campus can be the result of trying to meet a certain standard.
“I feel like they can comment on what they want, but it really shouldn’t matter,” Atkins said. “I understand that you pay your alumni dues, and you want the university to be great, but things change all the time. The only standard that current FAMU students should abide by is raising the bar on excellence that is set by alumni.”
Current students are also concerned with how involved alumni can be in daily activities, whether they take place on campus or off.
Senior health science student Jada Franklin will soon be a member of the alumni community.
“Becoming a part of FAMU’s alumni community sometimes seems like a lot of pressure,” Franklin said. “I’ll be a graduate in a few months and although I love my school, it can be overwhelming to constantly keep up with what is currently happening. When I graduate, I don’t think I’ll continue to surround my life around FAMU’s culture.”
The mission for FAMU’s National Alumni Association is to “serve its alumni and the university, to actively promote the interest of Florida A&M University as an institution of higher learning, research and public service, to focus on the educational needs of all Americans to support cultural diversity and equal access to a quality education at Florida A&M University.”
President of the FAMU NAA, Col. Gregory L. Clark, said he strives to keep everyone unified with “mother FAMU.”
“When you enter the halls of Florida A&M University you become part of the FAMULY,” Clark said. “We should never be in a position to try to tear each other down. In regard to you guys as students we’re there to be a support factor for you guys to help you matriculate through FAMU and we should never do anything to tear you down”.
FAMU’s NAA has multiple chapters spread across six regions in the United States to keep alumni connected and to provide scholarships to students in need.
If you would like to donate or learn more information on how to get involved visit famunaa.org