Our love-hate relationship with Aggieland

When I think about all the things I hear about A&T, inside and outside of the Aggie community, I like to think about a Jay-Z line, “Either love me, or leave me alone.”

It’s crazy how many people really don’t want to be here or have become so frustrated with unmet expectations at A&T that they don’t know what to do.

Focusing on the students, faculty and administration at this university, I’ve come to the conclusion that we are either spoiled and ungrateful or this school is really failing to live up to the expectations of the people who matter the most.

Everyday you hear endless remarks comparing us to UNCG, UNC-Chapel Hill or any other predominantly white university in the area. Comments like “If we were at UNCG, we would have…” or “My friend goes to Appalachian State and she never had to deal with…” All of which may be true but every university comes with it’s unique set of problems.

I hear faculty members constantly complain about everything from building conditions, finances, student effort and the failure of other professors to do what they need to do to shape young minds but do you think things will be different anywhere else? Schools everywhere are broke and in need of upgrades in various areas. There are students in the Ivy League that don’t give an honest effort in their classes so why wouldn’t it be the same here.

Say what you want but A&T is an elite BLACK college, we are one of the few HBCU’s who, outside of legacies, can attract students nationally because of our name alone. Even if our image takes shots in the local media.

You might not have to walk back forth to financial aid four or five times for something that could have been done with one click somewhere else but do other schools offer than students the opportunities A&T offers many of us.

Faculty members at this university have the opportunity to interact with future leaders in industry and corporate trend setters, independent minds who are searching for something to believe in. Sure you may have chalkboards in Gibbs, while the teachers in NSB and Crosby have white boards and built-in projectors and your office might be in Moore Gym while another professor has a view but does that change affect the quality of student you have in your class?

Students (their parents or Sallie Mae) pay to have the right to complain about the environment but are we doing everything we can to make this a place where good things happen? How many of us have laughed at the girl who asks a lot of questions in class or been happy to have a teacher that never shows up for class, we don’t even take advantage of what this university has to offer. Are we challenging our professors to do more?

This A&T probably isn’t the one you saw as a kid or heard about before you got here and if you’re trying to make it that, you’re wasting time you could be using to make this A&T a better A&T.

I get tired of hearing, “You can’t do this or do that at A&T” when you can’t do those things at other schools. I know there is no way I could go up the road and be able to have my hands in as many pots as I do here.

A&T is like the ex-girlfriend that you love to death but you just hate sometimes. You see the potential in her and want the best for her but some days she pushes you to the point where you have to just walk away or call her out of her name.

It’s the university’s job to make this a nurturing environment, that inspires and unlifts it’s students and if A&T has failed you in that, maybe you should think about leaving but if not, either love it here or leave because you’re not helping.

  • Mike McCray