Author Topic: Lion's experience at Florida A&M University  (Read 18475 times)

Offline Lion

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Lion's experience at Florida A&M University
« on: October 22, 2009, 05:19:21 am »
In case you guys didn't know, the HEF FOI (mods) have a private forum where we pass things around, talk about stuff that comes up on the board, and do a lot of talking of our own.

One of the subjects that came up was the HBCU experience. (Historically Black College and University) Reggie asked a question based on what he's heard from countless people who have attended HBCU's and I answered with my own experience. He asked me to share it.

This is copied and pasted directly from our thread.

==============================================

It's true. FAMU was the same way.

What made it such a shocker for me was that here I was coming from a school district where you could count the number of Black faces on one hand (at the time) where things WERE done a certain way and very little, if any exceptions, were made.

Then I turn DOWN a full ride to Kent State (only 4 hours away by car) to go to what was supposed to be a full ride with a paid internship to boot to FAMU (a 20 hour bus ride)... and I had other scholarship money when I went down there.

1.) I find out when I got there that there was going to be NO internship. Why? Because I was a music major. Of course, I wasn't informed of this when I was awarded the scholarship.

2.) FAMU reduced the amount of my full ride by the amount of the other scholarship money I was awarded and applied it to the "balance."

3.) The scholarship - called the Life Gets Better Scholarship - insisted I apply for financial aid every year... and in my second year strung me out before they paid my bills because my parents refused to supply them a statement of my autistic brother's SSI. (social security something...) I finally got fed up and got it.

4.) My third year, the LGB scholarship strung out paying the bills all the way until two months into the spring semester. Why? "Apparently" Mom filled in the wrong code on the Financial Aid form.

5.) When they did pay up, instead of the stipend for two semesters (total of $2000) I was expecting, I find a bill for $580. I went to the LGBS office and asked what the hell that was. The coordinator - and she was doing her best to get me kicked off scholarship and tried to provoke me - informed me that was because I had been taking more than 15 hours.

I admit... That was true. By that time, I had taken 12, 22, 17, 19, 20, and was in the middle of a 21 hour semester at that point. My contract never specifically told me I couldn't. It just said I had to take 15 hours.

By the way... that 12 and the 22? I was supposed to be added into a Calculus II class. I went faithfully and aced it. I came to find out I wasn't registered... (after I spent days getting overrides... and this was my first week at FAMU that I did that!) so I made an arrangement with the teacher and registered the Spring Semester and didn't have to go.

6.) Being on scholarship, I wasn't supposed to work. It was against the rules. If I hadn't been working - playing piano for Campus Ministries and accompanying at a middle school in town - I wouldn't have had the money in the bank to go and pay the damn bill so I wouldn't be taken out of my classes.

7.) I was stashing away that money - and waiting on my stipend money - so I could pay for summer semester of school, graduate a year early, and get the hell out of there. Since they balked at paying everything AND I had to pay the rest of my Spring semester fees out of pocket, I was now short $2600. I had already applied to do my student-teaching and arranged for a DIS with the College of Education to get my last class in.

8.) I wrote a letter to the President of FAMU (Frederick Humphries. Don't trust his ass to shine your shoes...) and the LGBS Program and dropped copies of it over the university... My academic advisor. Asst. Dept. Chair... Dept Chair... Dean of Arts and Sciences... and the Provost. I dropped one at the School newspaper too, but they refused to touch it with a ten foot pole.

In the letter, I laid out the cost of the paid internship I didn't receive, the stipends I didn't receive, and the money I paid out of my own pocket. I still have the letter around here somewhere, but I think the total ended up at around $15000. (Years later, I looked at the letter and thought to myself... "Dumbass, you forgot to add in THIS and THIS!")

I then calculated the amount of money it would cost for them to keep me for year 4 and laid it next to what it would cost them to pay for summer semester and get rid of me... which would be a savings to them of I think $6000.

I received a call informing me that my request for second semester had been approved.

9.) So... Summer, I'm student teaching in Jacksonville, FL and already registered for my DIS. Sometime during the middle of the time, I start getting a gut feeling something is going on. Mom is acting all funny on the phone and so is the Music Secretary. I had a sneaking suspicion that I was pulled out of my classes... and I was right. FAMU sent a letter to my house saying that I was being withdrawn from my classes for nonpayment.

10.) Mom and the Music Dept. Secretary harangued and harassed the LGBS Coordinator - Dedra Azonobi-Oneal... - who promptly outright LIED to the Music Dept. Secretary and said everything would be cleared up. My father was flipping out because they didn't have $3600 lying around. A family friend - who may as well be my grandmother - pulled the money out of her account, gave it to my father, and told him to just pay it off. It was YEARS before me or even my mother knew this!

11.) After I finish my student teaching, I find out that all record of my registering for my DIS was wiped... the week before graduation. They claimed I never registered. I knew it was bull. I had to go to the Dean of College of Education, get a letter, and go to the Registrar - who cussed me out - and get a few other people to flex to get that pushed through.

12.) I graduate Summa Cum Laude. (3.9 GPA) Three years. Thought I was done...

13.) FAMU decided to withhold my transcripts because they claimed I owed $1200. I snapped, raised holy hell, and told them like HELL I did. They "found" the memo on a desk... At least, that was what I was told over the phone.

14.) I ordered a transcript for each graduate school I applied to and ordered three to be sent to my house. I received only one in the mail. I called down... They claimed they sent the transcripts. I told them that was a lie because I knew what I ordered. The woman hung up the phone on me.

15.) When I had my graduate interview at Indiana University, I confirmed that FAMU NEVER sent my transcripts. The sad thing was that I was carrying the lone sealed one I had in my coat... and I handed it personally to the Dept. Chair.

There's all sorts of other stuff I didn't mention... One example:

The night before I had a 7:30 A.M. Final Exam, I was waken up at 2:30 A.M. by six Campus police officers walking into my dorm room. "Health and Safety Welfare Inspection." They spent the next hour and a half searching my dorm room and asking me questions... while I was sitting on my bed butt naked and hiding my balls from view of the female police officer who stood in the doorway the entire time snickering and smiling.

After my exam, I called the police station and asked what the hell that was about. He said the RD requested it and told me that he was not allowed to tell me anything specific. I asked the RD and he didn't know anything about it. I called the police officer back. He started getting pissy and I KNEW I had him nailed. I told him I wanted him to come down and discuss it with the RD and me in the office. He refused, chewed me out, and hung the phone up on me.

If you love your children, DON'T send them or even allow them to consider an HBCU... Yeah, I said it. I can say it. You can even tell someone that I said it. I don't care.

Offline Magic Wand

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Re: Lion's experience at Florida A&M University
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2009, 06:04:33 am »
Thanks for sharing, Lion.

It appears that attending an HBCU instills students with incredible patience, unparalleled ingenuity as well as outstanding perserverance to endure such a jacked-up system.

At least that is what my Morehouse and Howard friends have told me.

Kudos on your survival!
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Offline bluezulu

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Re: Lion's experience at Florida A&M University
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2009, 06:12:34 am »
I went on a prospective student trip to FT. Valley State and for lunch they served us bologna sandwiches. I went on a prospective student trip to my alma mata and they gave us steak and shrimp and threw a pool party later that evening. Not the true measure of what is important in choosing a institution of higher learning right. My alma mata was beautiful like an old southern plantation. I accompanied my roommate at the time to Albany State to see his girlfriend and one of his homeboys. There was broken glass in the shower stalls. I would never go to a hbcu but I can understand why some would. But hey at least the band will be off the chain. :)

Offline Lion

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Re: Lion's experience at Florida A&M University
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2009, 06:44:10 am »
Hell yeah, the Marching 100 was out of the world. I'd do like everyone else did when they went to a football game at home. After the Band show at half time, I'd leave! I think the only time I ever saw the end of a FAMU Football Game is when they played Bethune Cookman and had a battle of the bands. (I was in the choir.)

It's a little bit of a mixed bag for me to put all that front and center, even though that does express both my experience and my feelings on the matter. I have met people that are lifelong friends and I have a great relationship with the music department there...

...and yet, it will be a cold day in hell before I contribute one dime to Florida A&M University, much less send a child of mine there. That bullsh*t is something that pervades ALL facets of the college experience down there. f*ck... It would take two weeks for anything mailed on campus. If I wanted to mail anything, I walked a mile down to the Tallahassee post office and sent it.

I don't care what anyone says. That is not normal and there is no excuse for it.

Offline BmoreAkuma

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Re: Lion's experience at Florida A&M University
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2009, 05:28:05 pm »
I won't deny the some of the problems but honestly who fault is this really. You have so many graduates that don't want to contribute towards anything to make the school better by being apart of the alumni association. If one notice that some of the larger schools alumni associations and boosters are massive and they make sure the school is on top. But when you compare them to HBCU's ha! It is f*cking joke. It is almost as if some of these "graduates" are embarrassed.

What got my gears grinding was that you clearly didn't follow the guidelines of the scholarship (probably your entire time there) but have the nerve to complain? whatever dude.

I have a former roommate that went at University of Maryland College Park with a few issues so I guess he will blindly say that "white schools are bad"  ::)

I never experienced what you went through as a HBCU alum but I think it is highly unfair to place that emphasis and make that claim. So for each and every bad experience you will go through IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE you will just generalize it and leave it at that?

With these choices, I felt that the American black man only needed to choose which one to get eaten by; the liberal fox or the conservative wolf because both of them will eat him.

Offline Magic Wand

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Re: Lion's experience at Florida A&M University
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2009, 05:46:02 pm »

I have a former roommate that went at University of Maryland College Park with a few issues so I guess he will blindly say that "white schools are bad"  ::)


Prejudice is born!


I never experienced what you went through as a HBCU alum but I think it is highly unfair to place that emphasis and make that claim. So for each and every bad experience you will go through IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE you will just generalize it and leave it at that?

Akuma,
I've got plenty of friends that graduated from HBCUs that would say that your experience is MUCH more unique than Lion's.

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." --Aristotle, Greek philosopher

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Offline JLI Jesse

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Re: Lion's experience at Florida A&M University
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2009, 06:20:46 pm »
I have a former roommate that went at University of Maryland College Park with a few issues so I guess he will blindly say that "white schools are bad"  ::)

What a coincidence, I once loved a girl from University of Maryland College Park (for a night, at least) and she stole my hoodie...I also hate the school now  ;)

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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Re: Lion's experience at Florida A&M University
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2009, 06:21:17 pm »
Lion, should I mark you down for 2 or 3 thousand dollars to the FAMU alumni fund? 8)


Offline Lion

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Re: Lion's experience at Florida A&M University
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2009, 06:42:56 pm »
I won't deny the some of the problems but honestly who fault is this really. You have so many graduates that don't want to contribute towards anything to make the school better by being apart of the alumni association.

Whose fault is this, really? Bullsh*t. Fact is, they lied to get me there, they broke the contract once I got there, and they did their damndest to force me out once I got there.

Treat me like sh*t and it will be a cold day in hell before I help you out.

If one notice that some of the larger schools alumni associations and boosters are massive and they make sure the school is on top. But when you compare them to HBCU's ha! It is f*cking joke. It is almost as if some of these "graduates" are embarrassed.


Embarrassed? Nah... Disenchanted? I can buy it.

What got my gears grinding was that you clearly didn't follow the guidelines of the scholarship (probably your entire time there) but have the nerve to complain? whatever dude.


Man... You are hilarious. Let me count the way I broke the "rules."

1.) I worked.

By the way... that rule against working wasn't in the f*cking contract. It was sprung on us after we got there. It was a damn good thing I did work, otherwise I wouldn't have had a dime when they were f*cking around with my money... which they did every semester I was there.

2.) I took more than 15 hours a semester.

Damn right I did. Especially since in the orientation meeting, we were told we had to take a minimum of 15 to stay on scholarship. They didn't give a damn that I was taking more until my third year.

Let me count the ways they broke the contract.

1.) Paid internship - Never saw it. Never saw the money I would have earned, either.
2.) Stipend every semester - Saw it the first year and never saw it after that.
3.) Room and board - I received an eviction notice from the dorm my second and third year... Why? Because they f*cked around on paying the bills. I started off every year with a week-long fast, seeing that it took that long to get them to activate my f*cking meal card.
4.) Full tuition - Bullsh*t. I paid for my last two semesters.

Unless you were there, you don't have a f*cking leg to stand on or to judge. They wanted the f*cking best. They got the f*cking best. They didn't hold up their end of the deal.

They couldn't get me on grades. They couldn't get me on behavior. So they made up something to get me on. After one year of having put up with their sh*t, I decided that rather than transfer and waste a year - and likely pay for schooling out of pocket because I wouldn't be getting another full ride - that I would take more classes and get the hell out. And that's what I did.

I have a former roommate that went at University of Maryland College Park with a few issues so I guess he will blindly say that "white schools are bad"  ::)

I never experienced what you went through as a HBCU alum but I think it is highly unfair to place that emphasis and make that claim. So for each and every bad experience you will go through IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE you will just generalize it and leave it at that?

If you think I am the only person who has had an experience like that and that this sh*t only happens at FAMU, you really don't have a f*cking clue. So quit pretending that you do.

Offline Lion

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Re: Lion's experience at Florida A&M University
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2009, 06:47:36 pm »
Lion, should I mark you down for 2 or 3 thousand dollars to the FAMU alumni fund? 8)

Why not? Just make sure you have gloves and a plastic bag when you come to collect it, because I plan to eat it first. I promise not to flush.

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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Re: Lion's experience at Florida A&M University
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2009, 07:40:46 pm »
Lion, should I mark you down for 2 or 3 thousand dollars to the FAMU alumni fund? 8)

Why not? Just make sure you have gloves and a plastic bag when you come to collect it, because I plan to eat it first. I promise not to flush.

You can arrange the exchange with Jenn who is a part of FAMU alumni affairs.

Offline Lion

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Re: Lion's experience at Florida A&M University
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2009, 07:44:08 pm »
For real, though... Are you a rattler? I know Jenn is. If so, when did you come out?

Offline BmoreAkuma

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Re: Lion's experience at Florida A&M University
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2009, 09:25:13 pm »

Akuma,
I've got plenty of friends that graduated from HBCUs that would say that your experience is MUCH more unique than Lion's.


So what and I have a large amount of friends with the same positive experiences at HBCUs as mine and friends with negative experiences at non-HBCUs. Your point? 

Whose fault is this, really? Bullsh*t. Fact is, they lied to get me there, they broke the contract once I got there, and they did their damndest to force me out once I got there.

Treat me like sh*t and it will be a cold day in hell before I help you out.
So they lied to a music major where the scholarship is meant for students that is in engineering & sciences to get you there? I don't believe you at all.  I have a hard time believing that the school didn't tell you that prior to you getting it.
Man... You are hilarious. Let me count the way I broke the "rules."

1.) I worked.

By the way... that rule against working wasn't in the f*cking contract. It was sprung on us after we got there. It was a damn good thing I did work, otherwise I wouldn't have had a dime when they were f*cking around with my money... which they did every semester I was there.

2.) I took more than 15 hours a semester.

Damn right I did. Especially since in the orientation meeting, we were told we had to take a minimum of 15 to stay on scholarship. They didn't give a damn that I was taking more until my third year.

Let me count the ways they broke the contract.

1.) Paid internship - Never saw it. Never saw the money I would have earned, either.
2.) Stipend every semester - Saw it the first year and never saw it after that.
3.) Room and board - I received an eviction notice from the dorm my second and third year... Why? Because they f*cked around on paying the bills. I started off every year with a week-long fast, seeing that it took that long to get them to activate my f*cking meal card.
4.) Full tuition - Bullsh*t. I paid for my last two semesters.

Unless you were there, you don't have a f*cking leg to stand on or to judge. They wanted the f*cking best. They got the f*cking best. They didn't hold up their end of the deal.

They couldn't get me on grades. They couldn't get me on behavior. So they made up something to get me on. After one year of having put up with their sh*t, I decided that rather than transfer and waste a year - and likely pay for schooling out of pocket because I wouldn't be getting another full ride - that I would take more classes and get the hell out. And that's what I did.

Maybe just maybe if you didn't went over the 15 hours then you wouldn't have pay all of the extra money out of pocket in the first place so by trying to find a loophole and you got yourself in a worse situation. Maybe the reason why one cant go over 15 hours since it could be a possibility of over spending. I wouldn't be surprised if that their is an actual cap of money being used for 15 hours. If it goes over then the money from the next semester would be used to pay for it. Most likely it led to the point of no money left later than it should. So who fault is it again?  Saying the line "it didn't specially say it" kind of doesn't give you a valid reason to go over but hey mission accomplished.

If you think I am the only person who has had an experience like that and that this sh*t only happens at FAMU, you really don't have a f*cking clue. So quit pretending that you do.
No one said you were only person whom experience your "terrible woes" nor stating only FAMU but again blindly bashing all 105 schools for no reason is silly plain and simple. So once again for every bad experience you have encountered and if just so happens they have a similar experience like you it must be FACT and blindly generalize it all.  Right I got it now.

So I guess the rest of the 104 are exactly like your experiences. I'll keep that in mind. And I don't need to pretend because once again I never experienced your mess.




With these choices, I felt that the American black man only needed to choose which one to get eaten by; the liberal fox or the conservative wolf because both of them will eat him.

Offline Magic Wand

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Re: Lion's experience at Florida A&M University
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2009, 10:19:20 pm »

Akuma,
I've got plenty of friends that graduated from HBCUs that would say that your experience is MUCH more unique than Lion's.


So what and I have a large amount of friends with the same positive experiences at HBCUs as mine and friends with negative experiences at non-HBCUs. Your point? 

My point is clearly stated.
Lion's HBCU experience isn't unusual, even amongst the "Ivy League" HBCUs.
Which school did you attend and how do you "give back"?





Shoot,
I've got my own HBCU horror story; I refused to tolerate the idiocy of the administration and bailed within a week!
Landed my intolerant ass in aviation school instead.
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." --Aristotle, Greek philosopher

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Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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Re: Lion's experience at Florida A&M University
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2009, 10:22:43 pm »
For real, though... Are you a rattler? I know Jenn is. If so, when did you come out?

No, I'm not a rattler but if I get a FAMU connect I will be more than happy to get information that will keep Jenn in line!