FAMU mired in negative headlines

Photo courtesy: Google search.
A screenshot of google search results after entering “FAMU”.

Florida A&M University faced unwanted media attention in the first few weeks of the academic
school year. FAMU, as students are aware, is an institution that is often in the news for some
purpose. However, FAMU’s image appears to be depicted negatively in recent occurrences.

Many students are concerned about FAMU’s reputation because of this.

Since the start of the school year, FAMU has dealt with housing issues, ineligible football
players, a devastating loss in our second football game versus JSU, and multiple car accidents
on campus.

It is said that this string of ill luck began in the summer when a graduating student took
indecent photos in front of the rattler statue. In addition, at the beginning of the semester, the
eternal flame also malfunctioned.

Jayda Miller, a fourth-year Elementary Education Major, is disappointed in the portrayal of
FAMU in the media.

“Honestly, it is heartbreaking to see the amount of chaos occurring on this campus,” Miller said.
“For years and years, the rattlers who came before us put so much time and effort into making
this institution a respectable, safe space. I am hoping we can construct a plan and return to the
excellence that we have always displayed.”

Major news agencies such as ESPN and prominent blogs such as “The Athletic” have covered
the rift between FAMU sports and the administration. These articles are about the 26 ineligible
players unable to play in the season opener versus the University of North Carolina.

Football players signed a joint statement highlighting various concerns inside the sports
department affecting their lives and careers. The well-written message received much fewer
headlines than the ineligible players. Due to these circumstances, players protested by kneeling
throughout two school songs.

The ineligible players are not the only thing that has harmed FAMU’s reputation. Following
posting nude images in front of FAMU’s prized rattler statue by graduating student Terica
Williams, a few major social media sites took an interest in the photo. “The Shaderoom,”with
27.2 million followers, and “The Neighborhood Talk,” with 1.1 million followers, chose to focus
on the negative backlash that followed when Williams posted the pictures.

The Shaderoom then interviewed Williams alongside host Justin Carter to obtain her thoughts
on the matter. With all the quality FAMU has demonstrated over the years, being recognized in
this way on a powerful social media platform is highly harmful to the institution’s image.

Heavyn Willis, a fourth-year Psychology major, hopes that FAMU takes all the negative
attention and puts it toward something more positive.

” I’m happy that light is finally being brought to all the issues that have been swept under the
rug for years,Willis said. “Hopefully, FAMU will begin to resolve these issues now that it has
the nation’s attention.

FAMU is making efforts to maintain its status as a distinguished HBCU. The sports department
has worked hard to fix its errors. Ineligible players have been reduced from 26 to fewer than
ten. Students are also beginning to return to Palmetto Phase III residences.