University launches ‘Protect the FAMUly’ campaign

Students gather at the eternal flame on the quad. Photo courtesy

As the number of COVID-19 cases in Florida continues to increase, Florida A&M University announced that it will be launching the “Protect the FAMUly” campaign as a way to share safety and reopening information with faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni and other stakeholders.

News of the campaign came as the university announced an adjustment of the phased employee return to campus, which pushed the phase three return date back from July 15 to July, 24. “Protect the FAMUly” signs will be placed in classrooms, stairways, buildings and at intersections, acting as a constant reminder of the three main actionable steps of the university: w to wash or sanitize hands, wear a face mask or covering, and practice social distancing.

FAMU President Larry Robinson explained why the campaign was created in a news release. “We created ‘Protect the FAMUly’ to reinforce the message that all of us — faculty, students, staff, parents and alumni — are in this together,” Robinson said. “The fight against COVID-19 requires a collective approach. It gives FAMU another opportunity to practice our motto, ‘Excellence with Caring.’ The health and safety of everyone remains our highest priorities.”

Vice President of Student Affairs William Hudson said the campaign is not only a way to set reminders, but it is also productively trying to keep stakeholders safe by actions. “It is not just reminders. Training modules for students, faculty and staff are available prior to returning to campus, focus groups through SGA, clubs, and organizations will be available for discussion,  housing protocols will be provided by resident assistants and residence hall directors, and town halls have been available throughout the COVID-19 epidemic to keep all stakeholders informed on the changing dynamics,” Hudson said.

Hudson added that it will take all parties involved for the campaign to be effective. “It is everyone’s responsibility to be informed and accountable for protecting the FAMULY during the epidemic. The campaign should not be seen as the only mechanism to spread the message. We need The Famuan Journey Magazine, 90.5, and all social media to help spread the information on the impact of COVID-19 on our communities,” Hudson said. “We need students to help by adhering to guidelines as they are the quickest growing age group to have positive test results.  We all are accountable for each other and as a FAMULY we must protect each other.”

Some students believe that FAMU could do more with the campaign for it to be truly effective. FAMU student Deandra Pierre gave suggestions for what FAMU could do to make the campaign better. “I think the campaign would be more effective if FAMU set up hand sanitizing stations around campus. That way students can sanitizer their hands without having to go to the bathroom which has a lot of germs,” Pierre said

Another precaution the university is making for the fall semester is having smaller class sizes to accommodate social distancing. Fall semester classes start on Monday, August 24.