Students show apathy through absence

Whenever there is a convocation or major gathering at FAMU, there is usually a point where a speaker (or three) gushes on about how the University has some of the nation’s most talented and best students. However, these speakers have a tendency to avoid the complete truth about FAMU’s student body.

FAMU has some of the nation’s most apathetic, willfully ignorant and pathetic students as well. This comes across harsh but is laden with truth.

During Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting, it became painfully obvious that changes need to be made at FAMU and not just at the administrative level.

For weeks, rumors and stories had been circulating that there would be a major push during September’s Board of Trustees meeting to remove President Fred Gainous from his position as the leader of FAMU.

Students have recently been bombarded with information that the problems at FAMU have come to a head and a change of leadership is eminent.

At most universities, the student body would stand up, take notice and mobilize. But FAMU is not most universities.

The students of FAMU stood idly by as the Board of Trustees deposed of their leader. I have not worn my “I love Gainous” T-shirt in many months, so I am not advocating that students should have been there to support him on his way down. However, there should have been a greater student presence at the Board of Trustees meeting.

To consider the reality that there are more FAMU students at Chubby’s (nightclub) than were at the BOT meeting is more than a bit upsetting. This meeting will have long ranging repercussions on students’ educational experiences and ultimately their futures. But of the thousands of students that attend FAMU, there was not even a hundred in attendance at the meeting.

This level of disregard for their own existence makes me thoroughly embarrassed that I am connected to so many apathetic and willfully ignorant students.

The fact that a great number of students were in class at the time is not lost on me, and neither is the fact that some students were standing outside of the Grand Ballroom during the meeting. However, the realization that there was a greater number of students on the Set than even attempted to attend the meeting is not lost on me either.

The winds of change that are swirling around FAMU need to blow across the student body as well. Even if there is a change in leadership at this University, if the students insist on not being active or visible in the changes that take place, we can expect to have our concerns left behind.

I hope that I will never again have to be as incensed with my fellow Rattlers as I was on Tuesday. We as students have a responsibility to take a vested interest in our academic institution and the individual that are making decisions on our behalf.

If we fail to pay close attention to the major changes that are taking place at our University now, we will spend an entire lifetime paying for our self-imposed ignorance.

Jason E. Hutchins is a senior business administration student from Athens, Ga. He is the opinions editor for The Famuan. Contact him at