Does nepotism affect student organizations?

Someone being excluded from the group. Photo courtesy: Kennedy Patton

On the campus of Florida A&M University, organizations rolling out newly inducted members ended the spring semester with a bang. According to, there are over 300 registered organizations on campus. It is possible for Rattlers to get involved in a variety of ways.

The student body currently holds about 10,000 students. Some students question the opportunity for all students to get a fair chance. Nepotism is the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives, friends and associates, especially when it comes to giving jobs. FAMU allows students to hold influence and power positions. The SGA president not only oversees entities like student funds but also serves as a voting member of the university’s board of trustees. This responsibility is not to be taken lightly.

The board of trustees makes major decisions that impact the well-being of the school and more importantly the student body. It is essential to allow all perspectives in the room, however many positions are allocated to associates of the same inner circle. Does this hinder progression?

An anonymous source believes that organizations should consider all applicants and not show bias toward picking the most popular among the student body.

“I feel the favoritism is clear to see. We constantly see the same few people representing that school for everything,” the anonymous source said. “This takes the opportunities away from other qualified candidates who aren’t the most popular.”

Organizations like Big Brother Little Brother allow students to get involved on campus and in the Tallahassee community through mentorship. Elliot Ford, a graduating electrical engineering major, felt joining BBLB taught him to put others before himself and trust people.

“The trials and tribulations during the process created bonds and memories that will last a lifetime,” Ford said.

Even though Elliot never personally experienced favoritism, he is not naive to the concern and believes students should understand the commitment to some organizations.

“Organizations consider what an applicant can bring,” Elliot said. “So in some cases, it might seem as if they overlooked but in reality, the fit might not have been as good as the applicant thought.”

FAMU students have seen prominent students denounce organizations due to second thoughts. It is crucial to be sure that you are willing to commit to these organizations.

Voting qualified candidates into SGA positions that make decisions that directly impact the student body is imperative. Limited positions make school-wide races hard for candidates, so normally well-known students will have an upper hand.

Elijah Hooks, a former junior senator, applied for the Senate instead of running for the position. This is another avenue for students that feel unsure about election season. “The truth is again it all starts at the top,” Hooks said. “ We can’t have effective leaders in any place especially the Senate if they don’t do their jobs.”

The FAMU student body is no stranger to using social media platforms to express their concerns. Twitter was the main social media platform but the new wave is Fizz. According to the app store, Fizz is a private discussion and news feed for your school with a full suite of features such as direct messages, polls and images. Users can remain anonymous when posting or using their domain name.

Fair judgment is necessary when navigating the app due to social media trolling. Comments that express concern from a genuine perspective should be considered when getting a general consensus from the student body.

One anonymous source wrote, “ If FAMU wasn’t a school based so much on popularity I think people would be more active in school politics.”

Another person wrote, “Beyonce tickets, hotels and flight giveaways. Who’s going to bring back a lit hoco?”

According to the FAMU elections Instagram page, 2,932 students voted in the run-off SGA president elections. If the total number of students is about 10,000 students that would mean only 29.32% participated. These numbers are shocking, and encouraging students to choose student leaders that reflect their views will help numbers in the fall.