Oh please, we’ve all had one of those moments. Whether it was because you were told you didn’t have housing until move-in day or your paperwork fell victim to the mysterious dog that wanders campus preying on students’ most important documents.
Anyone who has attended FAMU can recall at least one experience where they were given a classic runaround by a university staff member or administrator.
Here’s my story.
This is my fifth semester as a FAMU-FSU Co-op student. Last week, after a month of classes being in session, I discovered, purely by chance, that I wasn’t enrolled in classes there. Now, the joint registration process between the two schools can be questionable. But usually any discrepancies on the part of both institutions is cleared up by the second week or so. And at the start of this semester, I had faith in that.
So, after not being enrolled on FSU Blackboard, and having to bum assignments from unsuspecting classmates, I went to FSU Registrar to finally resolve the issue.
“You’re not even registered,” the Co-op representative told me, with a smug ‘you’re screwed’ type chuckle.
He’d told me that FAMU’s Co-op representative hadn’t even turned in my application for that semester.
“Wtf?” I said to myself acronymically after leaving the FSU registrar office. But to be honest, after four years on the Hill, I’ve grown numb to these types of experiences, and have come to expect them.
After having similar “WTF?” moments with the Co-op office throughout the year, I decided: “No more Mr. Nice Guy.”
That’s right…I went home and wrote a letter. I made sure to send a carbon copy to every administrator I could think of, which probably included people who didn’t have the jurisdiction to solve my problem. “Oh well,” I thought.
By the way, thanks for the speedy response President Ammons.
Although, the stink I raised about my personal, very serious issue was resolved with begrudging haste, I could only help but think to myself: “December, where art thou?” Even though some may think that’s the wrong attitude to have, I’m sure I’m not alone.
Too often graduates leave FAMU unsatisfied and sometimes bitter about their experiences. And honestly, who could blame them? I mean what consumer in their right mind would continue to patronize a business from which they’ve received horrible customer service?
As a student, and more so customer of the university, I should expect much better service than what I’ve received over the past four years.
FAMU has the potential to be the total package: stellar academic programs, a growing student body and rich traditions. But what’s holding it back is the subpar treatment of students by some staff members and the smug indifference of its big-wig administrators.
In no way will I let my experiences sway me to not give back to FAMU – Namely, because I’d be a hypocrite for writing this and other columns about the importance of alumni contributions. But also, because it’s important to break the cycle of neglect inflicted on HBCUs by the very people who attended and owe their professional successes to them.