Did the infamous snake photo put a curse on FAMU?

Columnist Ranyah McCloud.
Photo courtesy: McCloud

When you think of Florida A&M University, the first thing that probably comes to mind is that it is the number one public historically black university in the world. You may also think about the incomparable marching 100 or even the tremendous school spirit our student body displays.

But on July 29, 2022, Terica Williams, a recent master’s in education graduate, shocked the entire rattler nation as well as social media with her explicit graduate photos in front of the school’s rattler statue. This photo received a lot of attention from notable social media outlets such as The Shade Room and Baller Alert as well as alumni. FAMU began to make headlines all over regarding the inappropriate photo.

Williams graduate photos is one of the first images that come up when you search for FAMU on Google.

It is no secret that FAMU continued to make headlines at the start of this academic school year regarding a housing crisis following the football team’s ineligibility to play against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Some believe that this is happening to FAMU because of the inappropriate photo of Williams that has seemingly left a “curse” on the university. While two-time alum, Rashod Woods believes that these issues are gaining more coverage due to there not being a collective resistance against behaviors and actions that don’t align with who FAMU is.

“When I am seeing things happen and I’m not seeing students organizing, cause that’s the spirit of the FAMU student body. I came from an era of FAMU where students got together in a room in Coleman library and we organized, we planned, we rallied, we wrote letters and we started petitions…”

Whether Williams posted these explicit photos or not, the following chain of events was destined to happen. Jalen Bertrand, a fourth-year business student believes that FAMU should deal with problems when they happen instead of waiting for things to get worse.

“Solve the problems firsthand when they appear so these problems don’t continue to happen.”

Jasmine Jones, a 2016 cardiopulmonary science graduate, says this is not the first time FAMU has endured drastic problems with housing.

“It is frustrating to see that you guys’ as current undergraduates are still dealing with some of the same issues we dealt with when we were in undergrad. We came to the hill 2010,2011 and there was a housing crisis then where people didn’t know if they were going to have somewhere to stay and people had to stay in hotels.”

As a student body, we must hold our faculty and staff accountable in situations like the ones we are currently enduring so that changes can be made. Although recent master’s graduate, Terica Williams tried to tarnish our reputation and ruin our culture, and FAMU staff fell short in housing and athletics. We must always remember who we are and show the outsiders what it truly means to be a rattler.