System change disrupts semester

In the 2008 presidential election, president-elect Barack Obama’s emphasis of the word “CHANGE” served as a primary focus for a new beginning. 

Florida A&M University has adopted an identical principle in their decision to update the OurFAMU/IRattler Web site.

Change isn’t always good when it creates chaos. The fact that this chaos occurs when students are eager to kick off the spring 2009 semester is very discouraging.

In theory, changing the OurFamu website sounds like a wonderful idea, but unfortunately students found themselves waiting in ridiculously long lines in order to register for classes. Even when students were given a receipt guaranteeing an advance in the waiting process, many students were left confused in the same position as the day before. 

In less than no time this issue became the topic of everyone’s conversation. No one could understand why FAMU didn’t address the errors before this problem was created.

Many people would have been satisfied with a simple apology but instead, students were greeted by frustrated staff members.

Many students registered early for spring 2009 classes in order to avoid difficulties getting into courses that fit into their schedules.

Somehow I ended up having to run from my adviser’s office to register in the Grand Ballroom. I must say that the 20 or so chairs placed against the wall outside the ballroom were a reward for those that survived hours of waiting in line. I can’t forget about the 35 or so chairs you had to sit in once you’ve made it into the ballroom. 

“Well, you attend a black university,” is the same old justification that many students get often.  This excuse wouldn’t be accepted in corporate America, so why should it be acceptable for FAMU students?  Seriously, we’re paying money for this.

Fortunately, I was seen 20 minutes before my class started.  But that didn’t restrain me from my journalistic ways in reporting and documenting this outrageous incident. It’s a shame how many classes my neighbors missed; for instance, Raphael Thompson who topped the charts by missing four classes within his two day quest.

It seemed that the receipts could only get a person so far.  The administration didn’t offer any compassion or refreshments, despite their knowledge of students spending the majority of their day in a line.     

Hopefully, the new system is worth the frustration that it has placed on students, either way I will still remain a proud Rattler. 
Marvin Newsome is a third year public relations student from Philadelphia, Pa.  He can be reached at