Some Florida A&M University students are demanding a public apology from a Tallahassee city commissioner. The FAMU students say Mark Mustian discredited them by assuming their involvement in a recent rally was not sincere.
On February 25, a rally over rising utility bills drew dozens to Tallahassee City Hall, many of them students, but in a March 10 City Commission meeting, Commissioner Mark Mustian questioned the FAMU students’ motives and who was behind their attendance.
“This is what I was told, that these students were in a class that was required to be there to further the instructor's political purpose,” says Mustian.
That instructor was FAMU professor and county commissioner, Bill Proctor.
Mustian says the rally was a staged event to further the misconception the city charges different rates for different utility customers.
“Wasn't there for a grade. Commissioner Proctor did not tell me to go there for extra credit. It was never brought up,” says Rikkia Rellford, a FAMU sophomore.
FAMU students held a press conference Monday asking Mustian for a public apology and making a comment based on misinformation.
Tiffany Parker, a FAMU sophomore, says, “That reflects badly on the County Commission and us. Now we have to hold a press conference instead of backing the commission.”
Mustian says he has apologized via e-mail and is sorry if the students felt discredited. However, he does not apologize for what he calls a mean spirited campaign against the city.