Lack of Black nominees for FSU homecoming chief draws rebuke

Things looked a little different at FSU in 2018. Photo courtesy: The Seminole Tribune

A coalition of Black student leaders at Florida State University last week released a statement to the Student Alumni Association in response to the lack of diversity among FSU’s homecoming nominees.

According to the official website of the FSU Alumni Association, the Student Alumni Association is a student-run organization that specializes in connecting the student body and alumni by fostering various connections and traditions in order to build profound leaders.

The organization offers students the chance to develop their leadership skills and create a connection for success.

SAA is also known for organizing various FSU homecoming activities including planning the homecoming parade; overseeing the homecoming court nominees, especially homecoming chief and princess.

The Coalition of Black Student Leaders released a statement in response to recent events involving the SAA homecoming court.

“The SAA should definitely make the necessary changes especially with the racial tension that is happening on campus,” Florida State student Destiny Clarke said. “I don’t agree with them not even having at least one Black man as a nominee especially the amount of tension the university is experiencing.”

In the statement the coalition addressed the lack of diversity within the nominee selections. They asked for the SAA to look over it s policies and procedures involving diversity when it comes to the candidates vying to become the next homecoming chief and princess.

The statement also requested that at least one Black male be considered a candidate for homecoming chief, saying this position will represent the university’s diversity of the student body.

Also, the statement addresses the lack of diversity demonstrated within the homecoming court. The statement was drafted by Khamare J. Garner with 17 signatures from prominent Black student leaders from various organizations across campus who supported the statement.

“I am not surprised with the selections, the Black population at Florida State is extremely small,” FSU student India Renee said. “It’s 2021, we shouldn’t keep talking about diversity and inclusion for Black students. I fully support the statement. Florida State needs to include Black students.”

Imani Lewis, a student leader with FSU’s SAA, has been part of the organization since her sophomore year. Lewis believes a response won’t be issued to the Black coalition’s statement. She said SAA leaders believe the issue isn’t big enough to release a statement.

“I believe their making every effort to avoid the situation and just overall keep the candidates the same,” Lewis said.

Florida State University’s homecoming is scheduled to be held the week of Oct. 18-23. For more information, visit the official FSU Alumni Association website.