FCC Students in the dark about Black History Month

Story By: Rampage Editorial Board

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While February carries a full load of celebrations to recognize Black History Month, the attendance is severely lacking, and students have shown very little appreciation for the effort put into coordinating the events.

In light of Black History Month, Fresno City College has been honoring and will continue to honor both the historical season and figures everyday during February.

In an effort to celebrate the Black faculty and students on campus, the college has collaborated speeches, shown films, and assembled book clubs.

To much dismay though, people of all ethnicities do not appear interested in any of these ceremonies. Not only do students fail to participate in Black History Month events, but the students who do actually attend seldom provide respect for the coordinators and speakers who take part in the commemoration.

Several are distracted by their cell phones or take the time during an event to sleep, which begs the question as to why they even attend. It is an insult to the speakers and the FCC community as a whole.

While it is understandable that many individuals on campus have hectic schedules, the college has accommodated those who cannot attend by holding events at least every day during the month for the majority of the day. With that being said, many students are unaware that such events are taking placing on campus.

With regard to why students fail to involve themselves in these Black History Month events, the question arises as to who is to blame for such low attendance and immense disrespect.

It would be appropriate to suggest that the students are at fault, but lack of advertisement and recognition implies that the college in and of itself struggles when trying to involve students.

Granted, the schedule of events has been posted on marquees, bulletin boards, and online, but it appears that what is taking place on campus does not interest students.

If the goal of the Black History Month events is to attract and involve students, then the college needs to develop ways to do so. It may be incredibly impolite to fall asleep during a speech, or text during a film, but in the defense of the students, if something is boring, chances are they will only be able to hold their attention for so long.

In the defense of the administration, the disrespect the attending students exhibit is completely unacceptable, and should not be tolerated.

With February coming to a close and the final ceremonies creeping up within the next week, FCC needs to reflect on this semester’s performance and develop a way to avoid the same issues next year.

In an effort to attract audiences, teachers need to better recognize the events that are taking place, especially instructors in the Social Science and Humanities Divisions, and require students to attend for participation points or extra credit points. There is no excuse as to why teachers have failed to announce events.

Many students argue that they were completely unaware that anything was taking place during Black History Month. Unfortunately, according to some observers, the main issue impacting participation is the internal fighting between factions in the African American leadership on campus.

On one side is the executive board of the Black Faculty and Staff association — Genean Brown, president; Cindy Dunn and and Linda Jackson, vice presidents and Homer Greene, historian, against

Karla Kirk, instructor of African American studies; Granville Redmond, counselor for IDILE and Trevor Brackett, counselor for SYMBAA.

If this is the case, then FCC as a whole is at fault. Regardless of personal conflict, the college itself needs to find a way to make up for neglecting Black History Month.

By releasing more advertisements and enforcing social media as one of the prominent communication outlets, students will have a much better idea of the events that are being held and will be able to pass the news along. But, announcing and advertising is hardly enough.

While FCC may be able to get students talking, the main goal is to attract them and keep them involved. The bottom line is that the events on February’s agenda will bore students.

While administration has worked hard on the ceremonies, they are not geared toward entertaining the students.

The events have been nestled throughout campus in small rooms, forum halls, or auditoriums, when they could have been introduced in more public locations, such as the free speech area or in front of the school fountain. And nothing makes college students more appreciative than food. Including traditional African American cuisine will only attract more audiences, and if it takes place outside, students will come.

Attending these Black History events may not seem like much, but collectively it makes a statement that people care, and Black lives do matter.

Students should be reprimanded for disrespecting those who have put so much work into these commemorations, but the administration and the college as a whole is to blame for bringing shame upon Black History Month here at FCC.