Paper needs respect

Established in 1900 and still going strong, it’s about time for FAMU to start respecting The Famuan for the institution it is. Older than any organization on campus, The Famuan has produced a steady stream of proficient professionals in the competitive field of journalism.

In the past year alone, the “Uan,” as some staffers call it, has produced interns at The New York Times, The Boston Globe and the St. Petersburg Times.

During the seventh annual Black College Communication Association National HBCU Newspaper Convention, the Famuan won the general excellence award for best student newspaper produced twice or more weekly, the conference’s highest award.

Despite its great track record, the administration at FAMU refuses to assist the paper’s budding journalists by declining to be interviewed on nearly every occasion, denying reporters entrance into important meetings and hardly ever returning a phone call, (seemingly all in an effort to limit bad press).

What the administration fails to realize is one of the best ways to limit bad press is to maintain a good track record by not being in debt in the millions, by not keeping books so faulty that the Board of Trustees does not trust the figures and by not firing a different key executive every week.

Lack of cooperation with The Famuan on behalf of the administration is hurting the University in two ways.

First, the administration is prohibiting the students working in campus media from pursuing their chosen field and stifling their educational process.

The administration is also making itself look all the more guilty by trying to cover up its shortcomings, instead of being honest about them and dealing with them in the open.

There are no prerequisites to work for The Famuan. We just require that you are willing to achieve your goal regardless of the obstacles that stand in your way, even if it’s an unwilling source in the administration.

Politicians late on effort to rehabilitate inmates

For nearly 30 years, politicians have thwarted attempts to place more emphasis on rehabilitation in the U.S. prison system. Instead, they’ve created tougher penalties for offenders and built more jails to capitalize off cheap labor.

Now, California “Governator” Arnold Schwarzenegger is part of a nationwide effort, along with several other politicians, to do just that.

Wow! What a foreign concept.

It’s sad that it took nearly three decades for the U.S. government to figure out that locking up, neglecting, abusing and exploiting criminals is actually more harmful than helpful. It’s an outright shame that our elected officials are just realizing that their system is somewhat to blame for the ever increasing recidivism rate.

If there are no programs in place when first-time offenders are incarcerated to prevent them from becoming repeat offenders, then the current penal system is nothing more than a college for convicts to meet up with others of like minds before going back in the streets to rob, steal and kill again.

Still, it’s up to the individual to do the time and not let the time do them. For every Malcolm X, Ruben “Hurricane” Carter or Eldridge Clever, there are thousands upon thousands of brothers and sisters who end up trapped.

While the relationship between blacks and the government might still be a tragic case of the blind leading the blind, at least one side is showing signs of beginning to pull the wool from over their eyes.