Where have all of the students gone? Many Rattlers, including myself, have been looking for an answer to this question.
There are currently 10,700 students enrolled at Florida A&M University; compared to 2004, there is a 2,367 student decrease. This is the first retention rate decrease since 2001 and FAMU is to blame.
Last spring, FAMU Financial Aid mistakingly mailed duplicate checks or rewarded too much money to students. Due to this mistake, Florida A&M lost thousands of dollars. Instead of accepting responsibility for the mistake and fixing the problem, President Castell Bryant ordered students to repay the misallocated funds.
The debt is not the fault of the students and should be repaid by the university.
In Bryant’s efforts to put FAMU back on solid ground and get the university back on its feet, she has lost thousands of students in the process. Due to the careless mistakes of financial aid, many students were forced to drop out and put a hold on their educational endeavors.
I am not doubting Bryant’s potential to run this university, but it is ironic that the school has lost so many students in less than one year. Her overall vision for FAMU is amazing, but in Bryant’s continued house-cleaning attempts, she continues to overlook many spots and stains.
This summer, Bryant decided to rid FAMU of University Gardens and Cottages at Magnolia Apartments as on-campus living for students. Bryant said the two apartments were costing FAMU too much money to sustain. Like many other instances, students were not properly informed of the cancellation, which caused many to be left homeless or forced to stay home during the school year.
These careless mistakes leave many students, like myself, infuriated at the university.
Coming to think about it, maybe it is a good thing that some students have left. It will just equal to less people in the unhelpful financial aid lines.
I am not saying Bryant should spoon feed information to students; however, students need to have access to such information because they are a vital part of this university.
I applaud Bryant’s efforts to save money and get this great university out of debt, but it is going to take more than spur of the moment decisions to do so.
For many years, Florida A&M University has been a strong force in the HBCU community, but now things are obviously changing.
Organization and communication are keys for any successful business. Obviously, the FAMU Administration is lacking in communication with one another and the student body. Until FAMU’s leaders step up and take responsibility for their errors, the enrollment numbers will continue to plummet.
Nyerere Davidson is a third year Public Relations student from Milwaukee.