Support from ‘The Hilltop’

As reported by Sidney Wright IV for Black College Wire in today’s issue of The Hilltop, several members of The Famuan newspaper have gone on strike due to failure to receive paychecks from the University. 

Seventeen members of the newspaper’s staff, along with many adjunct professors and other student employees, have not been paid by Florida A&M University this semester.

Castell Bryant, FAMU’s interim president, said the students will be paid this week and there is no clear or distinct reason for the hold up.

This state university should be held accountable for the inability to pay so many employees in a timely fashion.

It is wrong that they are not paying these students and blaming it on an error in budgeting.

The frequent question that The Hilltop editorial board members asked was, “How can something like this happen at a university that has been in existence for so long and has state backing financially?”

The answers have to be stronger than a budgeting error that was overseen during the last administration.

It is unreal to believe that a state-funded university could incur that much financial ruin to the point where a budgeting error would not allow them to pay a significant number of people.

But it is real that The Famuan’s Editor In Chief Alaythia C. Burkins had the lights in her home turned off for inability to pay her bills.

At an editorial roundtable at the HBCU Newspaper Conference, The Famuan Business Editor Robbyn Mitchell said some of the staff members could not pay their rent, and several have received eviction notices. 

The Hilltop staff members have encountered problems receiving payment from the University when first getting on staff, but that is not due to accounting issues.

We support The Famuan in their effort to ensure they get paid, but hope they are able to get back to work soon.

If the University fails to pay these students and they remain on strike, it will only hurt the University at-large. 

Although they will be required to print the advertisements they have already sold at a minimum in the newspaper, the University’s community will remain uninformed about issues that affect their lives.

The Editorial Board of Howard University’s The Hilltop.