Dennard oversteps expertise with summit criticism

Being one of the coordinators of the recent summit appropriately titled, “How High Is Too High,” I find it offensive that Dr. Sharon Ames-Dennard would use her regularly scheduled column to bring bad press to an event she was invited to attend because of her professional, as opposed to personal, opinion.

It appears to me that Ames- Dennard, who no doubt is an expert in her field, has over-stepped her boundaries in the assessment of our event. And as no disrespect to Ames-Dennard, I offer a response to her discontentment.

The summit title, as in all previous titles, allows for an open-ended interpretation of what the summit will be about.

We in no way advocate nor chastise our counterparts who choose to engage in smoking or drinking. Nor was the summit an avenue for those who do engage in such activities to promote their course of action to others.

We simply allow anyone who wants to be heard a chance.

Secondly, it would be a waste of time to address the comment about the music.

Music is simply a freedom of expression not to be limited by one person’s mind.

Thirdly, professionals or specialists must realize that lectured or forced opinions carry little weight to the average college mind.

This perhaps explains why Ames-Dennard’s assessments weren’t taken too kindly.

I have learned that regardless of the number of degrees one possesses, all expressed opinions are valued opinions.

In short, Ames-Dennard was asked to attend because she has a respected voice on this campus.

However, after receiving her blatant criticisms, I am not so sure that I would ever feel comfortable sharing my thoughts with her.

If Ames-Dennard is a true advocate of knowledge, and if she were so offended by the atmosphere of the summit, then she should have gotten with one of the young ladies and expressed her concern and ideas on how to make the summit more effective.

The event, hosted by the ladies of Shades Of Black Essence. was done in an effort to educate and stimulate our collective thinking.

We at FAMU should have a welcomed voice and opinion, and we all have something to learn from one another.

The purpose of Rattler Summits is to openly discuss what’s real on college campuses – nothing sugar coated, nothing watered down.

Shakira Crandol, 21, is a junior political science student from Birmingham, Ala. She can be reached at