Why Convocation Matters to Every FAMU Student

After attending Friday’s Martin Luther King Jr. convocation, a frequent question that my peers ask popped into my mind: Why is attending convocation important?

Convocation is an event where the student body, faculty and administrators gather in Jake Gaither Gym or Al Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center to rejuvenate the spirits and pride of Rattlers. It is an event where speakers encourage students to have an auspicious life and never yield to omnipresent discouragement. Convocation is an opportunity for students to become motivated to achieve their goals. They learn that their goal is as viable as long as they stay committed and dedicated.

This year, distinguished U.S. Representative Maxine Walters spoke to students.

But for some, sleeping in and starting an early weekend seems like a better option.

It is important to listen to guest speakers because they have the experience and wisdom to help guide us into the future. It is also imperative that we welcome our guests with gratitude and give them a glimpse of the pride we have in our university. Between the negative image that detractors have of FAMU and the rumors that have circulated, student unity at convocation might be the only positive perception the speaker receives of our school.

Not only is convocation an opportunity for us to learn about our speakers, but also for them to learn a little about us, and for us to learn a little about ourselves.

Our speakers indulge in something we call FAMU culture. Every student knows how to stand tall and firm as they begin to introduce themselves with those three words, “Greetings! I am…”

Our line dances are also an integral part of our culture because we use them to represent our class and school. We learn that sometimes we can identify with a complete stranger on a level we never expected. Sometimes we can’t imagine that someone else struggled through the same adversities as we did.

Simply put, convocation is a time for reflection and self-awareness. Besides, who wouldn’t enjoy seeing young African Americans wearing their “Sunday’s best” to represent their university in the best light?