Homecoming is the most anticipated event of the year. It is our time to get together as Rattlers and have a good time in the name of orange and green. However, while we are holding events and cheering for our Rattler football team, one can only wonder how things are in the land of garnet and gold.
Rumors have been circling for years that many Florida State University students find the best time to take a quick vacation is during Florida A&M’s homecoming week. Of course, we know that correlation does not mean causation, yet we have seen FSU students leaving Tallahassee year after year as Rattler families make their way into the city.
I do not know anyone who has openly admitted to leaving town because of FAMU festivities. If I did know someone, my first question is why? I happily stay in town during FSU’s homecoming. In fact, some FAMU students call on out-of-town friends and family to join them for FSU’s homecoming events.
The issue of population control does not seem like a logical problem considering FSU clearly has more students than FAMU. Seminole families travel from all over the country to our state capital for the big FSU homecoming game. And instead of avoiding FSU’s campus, Rattlers tend to join in celebration by attending the game, afterparties and concerts.
Maybe it is the age-old rivalry that some students still feed into. Although the tension between our schools dates back to when my parents were in college, it is simply old and unnecessary. I would hope that neither FAMU nor FSU students would still feel so negatively toward each other that they would rather pack up and leave than be surrounded by yet another fan. After all, we do not play each other in football nor are we natural rivals. All we do is share a city. Officials at both schools have worked hard to bring our two universities closer together. This should encourage all students to want to happily mingle.
Yes, there are FAMU students who pit themselves against FSU students and vice versa, bringing up issues of quality of education, wealth and, as much as we would like to deny, race. But the hatred has to stop. Although the relationship between both schools has come a long way, there are still some barriers that can be broken. I would love to see more FSU students over on the Hill during our games, not just for homecoming. It not only diversifies the crowd, but it allows us to more directly share our “FAMUly” love, which, to me, is what homecoming is all about.