Program promotes equality

After several racist incidents targeted at minority students in the classroom and on campus, a resolution was created.

The University of Colorado is preparing to implement some new restrictions for racial harassment, according to an article in the Colorado Daily.

According to the report, the decision came after 58 cases of racism were reported since August 2004.

FAMU has already implemented a department to make sure issues of racism can be addressed and taken care of.

The Equal Opportunity Program is the department dedicated to these cases. Though there is no special place for particular races of students to go, all students can go to the EOP to resolve any issues.

The EOP also deals with other issues including religion, age, disability, gender, marital status, national origin and veteran status.

Officials said that even though FAMU is predominantly black, EOP seems to receive more complaints from black student’s than white students about professors and campus activities.

“The race of the majority of the students that complain to the EOP office is African-American,” said Carrie Gavin, director of Equal Opportunity Program’s for the past nine years.

Some of the minority students on FAMU’s campus don’t even feel the need to use EOP.

“I’m really happy with all my professors and the campus,” said Jason Akin, a third year pharmacy student. “I have no complaints, except for the dorms.”

Some minority students might feel that professors of certain classes are bias, but teachers seem to be consistent in not offending their students.

“In my African American experience class, we have white students and she (the professor) does a good job, of not offending anybody,” said Brandon Adtkins a freshman physical therapy student from Pensacola. On campus activities are not open for racism either.

When issues of racism occur outside the classroom the EOP still handles those cases but students must make a report.

Student activities are doing their part to ensure that students are not discriminated against. “All student organizations are open to everyone,” a student activities representative said “discrimination is not allowed”.

The first step is to file your complaint with the EOP, no investigation will be held until the complaint is filed first. After a complaint is filed in writing the EOP will inform the person who the complaint is being filed against, then they start their investigation.

All students who file complaints information are confidential. The complaint is given to the president of the university, who reviews the investigation and decides. Before the president decides depending on how serious the case, it maybe transferred to the University Personnel Committee.

The EOP is trying to inform student’s early on how to file complaints and what they need to do to get help. “(The EOP) speaks to all incoming students at the TOPS Orientations during the summer and trains students via classroom presentations” Gavin said. Student’s appreciate knowing when they feel discriminated they have somewhere to go. “It’s good that we have a program dealing with these issues” Adtkins said.

If a student believes that he or she is being harassed or discriminated against then he or she can contact the following office on FAMU’s campus: Office of Equal Opportunity Programs; Ardelia Court, Unit 5; Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL 32307; (850) 599-3076 for more information read the Non-Discrimination Policy and Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedures Guide.

Contact Royle King at