Our growing pains

As the end of the year approaches, and the time of my graduation draws near, I really question the future of my soon to be alma mater.

In the four years that I’ve attended FAMU, I’ve seen the school go through all kinds of trials and tribulations.

The bomb in Perry Paige, the anti-“One Florida” march, Fred Humphries leaving, Fred Gainous entering, implementation of “One FAMU,” campus beautification, and last but not least, campus diversification.

As I prepare to leave the campus set upon the “highest of seven hills,” things are definitely changing.

I don’t know if the changes are for better or for worse.

It is obvious that the “war on terrorism” has financially deprived many areas such as education, which the government would normally supply ample funding to.

Historically black colleges and universities are one of the hardest hit.

According to the Committee on Education Workforce Democratic staff Web site, HBCUs receive only 4 percent of the $29 billion in federal funds for universities each year.

Is it a possibility that the campus of FAMU could be swallowed up by a more powerful scholastic entity that resides in the same city?

I guess anything is possible.

When I walk through campus, I see a lot more classmates without melanin commuting to classes just as I am.

I am by no way a racist, just simply making an observation of things that have changed in my years at FAMU.

I have no problem with FAMU being an equal opportunity university, but I question the reasons, other than financial woes or just feeling comfortable around black culture, of why some would attend an HBCU, without being the “B”.

But whatever floats your boat.

In 1999, when I arrived at FAMU, I can probably only recall seeing one or two faces who didn’t look like mine around campus, pretty much what I expected to see at an HBCU. My sophomore and junior years, things remained pretty much the same.

But now, it is almost 2003, and there has been a change of guard, and funding for HBCUs definitely isn’t a top priority for the government.

Which leads me to the question whether we’ll continue to graduate successful Rattlers, or will the school be a branch of a larger tree?

Jared McArthur, 20, is a senior public relations student from Orlando. He can be reached at jarmcar187@aol.com.