Tickets are required to attend the first graduation ceremony on May 3, where former President Bill Clinton will be the guest speaker.
The graduates affected by this rule are students of the College of Arts and Sciences, The School of Architecture, The Environmental Science Institute, and The College of Law.
Graduates from these schools are allowed to distribute 10 tickets to family members and friends. This is the only ceremony where tickets are required for admission.
Starting April 23, graduates can collect tickets at the Student Union ticket booth from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through May 1.
In order for graduates to pick up their tickets, they must be listed to graduate in the 9 a.m. session, have a valid Rattler ID, and a graduation card from the Registrar’s Office.
According to the university, 500 students are expected to graduate at the 9 a.m. ceremony. The 5000 (500×10) tickets that are disbursed, will leave a little over 2000 seats for the general public.
Many graduates are upset about the last minute ticket information..
Alana Lewis, 21, a graduating psychology student from Augusta, Ga., said the university should have let students know ahead of time about the tickets and the limited amount that can be distributed.
“It is affecting me in a negative way because I was told at the last minute,” Lewis said. “I feel like we should have gotten an advanced notice because many of my family members have reserved hotels, and now I have to worry about who is going to get the ticket.”
Though many students are not satisfied with the 10-ticket limit, the university leadership team, said they made the best decision for students.
Henry Kirby, associate vice president and dean of Student Affairs, said the university did the best they could to accommodate everyone who plans to attend graduation.
“We want to ensure that members of the graduate’s family have an opportunity to be seated,” Kirby said. “We have received an overwhelming number of calls from the general public who want to attend the 9 a.m. service. We believe that we have developed a solid plan that will provide an opportunity to many to have access.”
Felicia Perry, a graduating psychology student from Palm Beach, said the number of tickets should increase.
“I understand that the university is trying to be helpful with the graduate’s family by making us have to have 10 tickets, but I do wish that I could give more than 10 tickets away,” Derry said.
Though students are upset about the tickets, Sharon Saunders, FAMU chief communication officer, said 10 tickets was the best option.
“We would have liked to open the ceremony to all, but the demand expressed for seating has been tremendous,” Saunders said.
Saunders added that the university is working streaming the ceremonies live.
“We are also working to webcast the commencement exercises. We are also making the video available after the ceremony through the office of communications,” she said.