What’s so ‘Millennial’, FAMU?


The student body at the illustrious Florida A&M University was wrongfully deemed the “Millennial FAMUan.” We effortlessly throw our attention toward students stuffing ballot boxes during campus elections. However, it pains us to discuss the problems plaguing our institution.

 Maybe the only thing “Millennial” about FAMU is the newly enforced dress code. Or maybe it’s the newly renovated Sampson and Young Halls? That, my fellow Rattlers, needs to change.

FAMU is rebuilding both literal and figurative foundations. Even the name “Millennial FAMUan” is a rebranding tool. To some, it’s a distraction from the current hardships our school is facing. But one thing we can’t ignore is our lack of a university president and marching band.

Students are quick to raise a hand and say, “Hey, didn’t we walk to Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s house?” That is true. But what’s happened since then?

Will it take the government choosing our president to get those vocal cords to start working again? This is our university, which means our choices, our decisions. To genuinely care is to do so when the cameras leave. 

History professor Reginald Ellis constantly lectures about the importance of knowing the morals and ideals that this campus stands on. Being a Famuan, he always compares the past FAMU to the present.

 “Black people’s issue is not that we are proactive, but we are reactive,” said Ellis.

To be a great fighter is to see the punch before it’s thrown and to be well armed and ready at any time.

While the students are conversing about why they couldn’t see Hip-Hop artist Future at halftime during the first home football game, the Florida Civil Rights Association asked the Board of Trustees to consider a person outside the African-American race as our next president.

“Determining that a historically black college or university must have a black president, without serious and genuine consideration for persons of other ethnicities, will lead the board to ignore candidates who understand the challenges faced by FAMU and the gravity of failing to take major steps to restore the credibility of the university,” said the FCRA in a statement.

How can an individual who is not African-American or a historically black college graduate understand the challenges faced here? If this is the case, why aren’t we urging the University of Florida or University of South Florida to try having an African-American candidate grace the president’s throne?

In 1924, students protested against injustices committed toward them. They battled authorities by burning down residence halls on campus so their voices could be heard. They also marched against merging FSU and FAMU.

Rapidly advancing technology has desensitized society. Our attention is constantly divided.  I was told that the students have the opportunity to make a change. So put down your iPhone and log off Instagram.

Open the pages of FAMU 2012 and start writing our own book. We are making history everyday.