More than one HBCU has announced that it is canceling this year’s homecoming due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This news has Rattlers wondering what impact the coronavirus will have on homecoming on The Hill. Some people remain hopeful that there is a possibility of a homecoming, while others have accepted that homecoming will not be seen until 2021 and possibly 2022.
Under FAMU’s final reopening plan, practices will continue for fall athletics even under the current COVID-19conditions. However, there have been no updates on attendance at games.
Students and alumni believe there would have to be safety precautions in place to have a homecoming.
Brad Bruton, a FAMU alum who is neutral about the cancellation and keeping the tradition, said,“The football team should be really good again this year. Not having that for almost a decade has the entire Rattler nation hungry to see how we can continue from last year.”
It’s uncertain what precautions can be made to accommodate such a large group of fans who would like to support the school and its football team.
Vincent Ross, a FAMU grad, suggested limiting the game to only allow certain people. “If the school does opt to have a homecoming game, maybe allowing only season ticket holders and large donors may work but that also can cause a good amount of problems as well. I’m not sure what the best solution is beyond canceling altogether,” he said.
Beyond the homecoming football game, Rattlers associate homecoming with many other events, including the fashion and comedy shows and live concert from their favorite artists. With Florida experiencing arise in COVID-19 cases, none of these events will be ideal.
A’shauntae Arnold, a Tallahassee resident, said she would still attend some homecoming events if there was a mandatory policy to wear masks. “I feel like by the time of homecoming, the second wave will hit and it could be really bad. If the school required masks and limiting the capacity for events, I would still attend,” she said.
Mandates, policies, and procedures are changing every day in regard to COVID-19 precautions.
FAMU SGA Vice President Carrington Whigham said that plans are being made under CDC social distancing guidelines. “Everyday things are changing and we just want to make sure we do what’s best for the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” she said.
As the homecoming season approaches, Whigham believes FAMU will be releasing a statement in the near future with more details on the event.