A Strike at FAMU's Campus Newspaper

By: Trenton Davis Email
By: Trenton Davis Email

The latest issue of The Famuan told the story. The headline on the front page read: "Famuan staff walks out." The issue was called the Strike Edition and the paper was only four pages long. It usually contains eight to twelve pages of content. The editor-in-chief said the paper will stay that way until they get paid. The Famuan newspaper staff has yet to receive a single paycheck this semester.

"On separate occasions we were promised a paycheck and then told only days prior to the day that we were suppose to get paid that we were not getting paid and finally we weren't told anything at all," said Alaythia Burkins, Editor-In-Chief of The Famuan.

The staff met with the Dean of the School of Journalism and Graphic Design Dr. James Hawkins and the Student Government Association President Phillip Agnew hoping to solve their financial woes.

"It was definitely important for me to come over here because I was armed with the information, maybe not all the answers, but the information I think they needed," said Phillip Agnew.

Dean Hawkins told the staff the university informed him The Famuan employees will receive a check on Wednesday or Thursday.

"I did tell the staff that we are doing everything we can that's humanly possible to get them the money that they are due. We all work for a salary. We all expect to be pain when we're suppose to be paid," added Hawkins.

This is the first time The Famuan has gone on strike but they know what its like to work without pay. In the fall semester some staff members did not get a check until the third pay period.

"You feel like you're working for nothing when you don't get a paycheck. Especially when it's something you have a contract for that's been promised to you," said Sidney Wright, former Editor-In-Chief of The FAMUAN.

In all, 17 staff members worked 42 days producing 16 newspapers without receiving a check. The total amount owed is more than $14,000.

"We felt like this was the final straw. Something had to be done to make administration pay attention to our demands," added Burkins.

In the meantime The Famuan staff said it's their civic duty to provide a paper for students and everyone can expect a paper on Wednesday but it will primarily focus on the issue at hand.


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