FAMU deserves more representation from local businesses

Photo courtesy Daniel Londono

Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University is distinct from Florida State University in many obvious ways, but one less overt contrast between the two is the amount of attention Tallahassee corporations give one school over the other. 

From local businesses to larger franchises, there seems to be an insane bias in terms of product and merchandise for the two schools. This has led to frustration among many FAMU students, feeling it is unfair that businesses do not give our school the same attention they give to others. This institution is just as notable and highly regarded as any other in the state.

As a Historically Black College or University, FAMU already receives less attention than it should as a prestigious school. The unique situation of being situated less than a mile from FSU, an infamous Predominately White Institution, the stark indifference Tallahassee businesses seem to display could not be more obvious. 

This can be seen in situations ranging from small local businesses who focus their livelihood on catering to FSU students, to larger corporations such as K-Mart and Walmart who regularly have their shelves stuffed with FSU paraphernalia.

 FAMU in comparison, receives little to no attention outside their campus, with most Tallahassee stores having single shelves if any, of bargain-priced products with FAMU’s logo. More startlingly, outside of Tallahassee, you will continue to find FSU products in spades, as well as other Florida institutions like the University of Central Florida and the University of Miami. 

FAMU’s products are nowhere to be found, with apparel for the school with students and alumni across the globe practically non-existent outside of Tallahassee. 

Rachel Dunn, veterinary technology major, had some very passionate thoughts on the matter.

“We should be equally represented,” stated Dunn. “There is already a stigma between FAMU and FSU. Local businesses and their lack of support for our school only fuels the feeling but on a city level. You would think with so many people here in Tallahassee regularly supporting us during Homecoming and our football games. They would give us that same support on the business level”.

It very clear that there is an imbalance when it comes to the representation of two of Tallahassee’s biggest institutions. Our fellow Rattlers all agree that they deserve just as much recognition as FSU students, and the fact that the most diverse location available that we can buy FAMU products is our own bookstore is an insult. Big corporations have to begin to recognize that there are over 50,000 college students in Tallahassee. It is only fair to give proper representation to our portion if they want to continue to receive our business.