Crew integrates individuality, talent

Floor Two Crew members (left to right) Eddie Casarez, Danielle Cormier, LaVelle Wilson, Maxine Mitchell, Ayana Brown and Ordell Williams share a laugh at the Oaks Residence Hall. FTC is a group on campus seeking positive recognition from the community. Some members have become Orientation Week Leaders, while others work at local group homes. For its members, FTC has provided a feeling of family away from home. / photo by Erica Paal
Floor Two Crew members (left to right) Eddie Casarez, Danielle Cormier, LaVelle Wilson, Maxine Mitchell, Ayana Brown and Ordell Williams share a laugh at the Oaks Residence Hall. FTC is a group on campus seeking positive recognition from the community. Some members have become Orientation Week Leaders, while others work at local group homes. For its members, FTC has provided a feeling of family away from home. / photo by Erica Paal

by Jason Cooper
Staff Writer

Originally started in Brandt Hall during the 1995-96 school year, Floor Two Crew (FTC) was born out of what senior Eddie Casarez called “boredom.”

Casarez, along with other founders like Liron Wilson and Carl Caston, disagreed with the ideals of the organizations on campus. The clubs did not suit their interests. They wanted to start something of their own.

“We were not founded on the blind faith that members of the greek systems follow,” said Casarez. “We brought our own ideals and beliefs to a place that could express them freely. This can be seen through our art, speech, poetry and rap.”

FTC has no constitution, presidents, or advisers. In fact, it is not even a recognized club on campus. Instead, the organization’s strength comes from its active participants. With over 30 members currently on campus and about 60 collectively, it is one of the biggest organizations on campus.

Each member brings something different to the group.

“I bring leadership and rap,” said junior David Edmond.

Edmond was an Orientation Week Leader and is currently the president of Afrikan American Student Alliance.

“With my busy schedule, FTC is the basis of my sanity. I am relaxed when I’m with them,” he said.

Through its interaction, FTC’s meaning is something different for each member.

“It stood for Floor Two Crew in the beginning,” explains junior Clyde Weems. “To me, it means ‘For The Cash.'”

“It means family, it means, friends, it means something for me to do [rap].”

For senior Ordell Williams, “It means ‘For The Cause’.

“It is a group of people hanging out doing what they think is fun. It means that you have friends that are not bought.”

As an organization, FTC raps, exchanges different political and social ideologies, and otherwise has fun.

“Anybody could come and be a part of us. We don’t discriminate,” said Williams. “We are all about having a good time.”

Williams along with Weems and Edmond have currently produced a rap CD, entitled “Nowhere,” for the benefit of the group.

“We are storytellers,” said Weems. “I rap about what I see.”

Besides rapping, members of FTC have assimilated themselves in many other school activities.

“We represent everywhere,” said Williams. “We had members who made up track teams as members on two championship football teams and leaders of other clubs on campus.”

FTC also has alumni who work on campus. Prospective adviser, Jason Neal and assistant coach to men’s basketball, Gabe Duran, are former members.

With the past living on, and the present ever-growing, what does the future hold for FTC?

“We want to be recognized as an organization on campus,” said Edmond.

FTC, like other organizations on campus, has painted the rock and has actively recruited students. Yet it lacks official club recognition from the Associated Student Federation (ASF) Forum.

“An acknowledgment would make us stronger and give us access to financial resources,” said Edmond.

Although an official recognition for FTC would be an added plus, the lack thereof has not hindered its united effort on campus.

As a united group, FTC members even have clothing apparel that distinguishes them on campus.

For the members of FTC, their significance goes above being a recognized organization on campus. Instead, their significance consists of friendships made. Rather, FTC brings a better understanding of a group on campus, with different interests; strong as other organizations founded in years past.

“No matter what happens,” said Weems. “I have friends and family that are going to be there for life.”

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Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

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