Love Won’t Keep the Lights On

It’s Homecoming on the Hill, and the Rattler faithful are slithering around campus in their orange and green, enjoying the camaraderie of the annual event.

But after all the alumni hit the road after a weekend of nostalgic hangovers; and after the vendors skip town leaving behind littered parking lots and street sides, the students, faculty, staff and administrators will return to reality…a bleak reality.

On Monday morning, some students will return to out-of-date-class rooms in buildings that aren’t up to code. Underpaid faculty who barely has markers to write on a white board will teach them.

The alumni give back rate is laughable. The largest and self-proclaimed premier HBCU has a cowering alumni donation rate of just under $1 million.

With almost 60,000 alumni, it’s evident that those who pledge their allegiance to the orange and green are all talk. The same ones who suddenly tighten their wallets when asked to give back are the ones who have been carousing around campus all week in new outfits, fresh weaves and haircuts and luxury rental cars.

After 125 years of cultivating and successfully matriculating America’s Black intelligentsia, FAMU has next to nothing to show for it. That’s sad, because FAMU has a bold, historic mission: to educate Black people. And the university has been able to do this for decades while existing in a place where opposition to its mission is hostile and carelessly vocal.

Do we really expect the state to continue this mission?

True, some will begrudgingly cut checks worth chump-change for their “beloved” alma mater.

But if they truly loved the school, FAMU could have found the money to save the jobs of 200 university employees, which most certainly impacted the already high unemployment rate among blacks in Tallahassee.

Sadly, many will go back to their places of origin bragging about how they love FAMU.