Student advisers ‘make-up’ royal court

Make-up, hair setting lotion and laughter filled the room while the student royal court advisers prepared the attendants, escorts and Mr. and Miss FAMU.

“Let’s start over,” said Adrienne Rogers,a student royal court adviser, as she applied a matching shade of lipstick to freshman attendant Sheerie Edwards.

Rogers, 21, is a business administration student from Charlotte, N.C.

“Have you seen it?” asked Afton Ellis, another student adviser, as she handed Edwards a mirror.

Ellis, 21, is a junior mathematics and pre-dentistry student from Fort Valley, Ga.

The two student advisers to the royal court always make sure the court is well groomed and flawless. Although they are not in the limelight and do not receive all of the attention the court does, they said they are content.

“I don’t have a problem with being behind the scenes. It is more fulfilling for me to sit back and look at what I have accomplished,” Ellis said.

Proper etiquette is one reason why Ellis said she has what it takes to serve the court. This is Ellis’ first academic year as a student adviser to the royal court, but her qualifications go back to her adolescent years.

She was the homecoming queen at Peach County High School in Georgia her sophomore year. She also served as a debutante for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Hence, in the spring of 2004, she was inducted into the Beta Alpha chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha.

There were more than 10 students competing for the three paid positions of student royal court advisers. However, only two positions were filled.

“The students must have an overall grade point average of 2.5 and go through a rigorous interview process,” said Brooke Smith, the reigning Miss FAMU.

She said there is a panel of six people who vote the individual in.

“This is a checks and balance system,” Smith said.

This year, Smith and Ryan Morand, the current Mr. FAMU, implemented new job descriptions for the student royal court advisers.

The duties of the student advisers are choosing the attire, hair and makeup, checking hosiery, schedule and time of events, and sometimes steaming suits.

“They are the discipline of the court,” Smith said.

Smith said Ellis had a quiet presence, but seemed capable to work.

Ellis said she felt worthy of the position, and she agreed she had a good interview.

During the FAMU vs. Nicholls State University game on Oct. 9, members of the royal court sat side by side waiting to go onto the football field for the pre-game show. The court was led on the field by Ellis in the front and Rogers in the back, and then the attendants and escorts, with their neatly pressed suits and decorative sashes, lined up on the field. The student advisers stood back on the field close to the 50 yard line with a look of comfort and approval.

“They are important to us because they make sure we are intact and in proper protocol. They provide us with advice on make-up to the smallest thing like earrings that match,” said junior attendant Stephanie Evans.

Morand also showed his appreciation for the two advisers.

“Adrienne and Afton, you’re the best,” he said.

Contact Anthony S. Ray Jr. at