Students should come first

The athletic department and president of Florida A&M University took the opportunity this homecoming game day to enrage thousands of students, alumni and other ticket holders. If you are not aware of the debacle that occurred on the home side of the stadium, follow closely this sad tale.

Current FAMU students entered the stadium as early as noon. Following the precedents set at other home games of this and previous years, students happily began filling in sections O and P – you know, the good seats on the 50 yard line right next to the band.

This euphoria was short-lived because an hour before kick-off, “paying” ticket holders began demanding that students relinquish their seats.

The same students who pay tuition fees upward of $18,000 a year for the right to sit in those seats.

The same students who had their classes cancelled because of an administration’s incompetence.

The same students who had occupied those sections for three hours. Only after multiple complaints by non-students was the announcement made that students were supposed to sit in sections K, L, R, S and T; It was about two hours and nearly two fist fights too late.

FAMU, this could have and should have been avoided.

Poor communication and poor planning gave way to anger and hostility between alumni and current students, visitors and fervent FAMU supporters. While the ticket holders’ outrage was justified, the university should have been more understanding to the students’ frustration.

Once again, students suffered from the carelessness of a department charged with looking out for their best interests. How long will it take for Florida A&M University to decide that its students, not the alumni, not the whole Tallahassee community, and definitely not random homecoming visitors, are their primary concern?

Marie Frasier, 20, is a junior English education student from Columbus, Ohio. She can be reached at .