Students in dorms relieved to have curfew lifted

Students living in FAMU Towners and other residence halls had their curfew lifted on Friday. Photo courtesy

Payton Williams, a second-year business administration major at Florida A&M who lives in the Palmettos Phase 3 residence hall, was relieved when the university lifted the curfew for students living on campus this past Friday.

“I feel like [the curfew] was put in place for those who don’t understand the consequences of their actions. I am happy it is lifted now so I don’t have to worry about the consequences,” she said.

The curfew had been in place since the start of the semester.  In a statement released Friday by the Dean of Students, Bonnie Spells, she said that “the positivity rate has declined to a manageably low level.” Students are also expected to continue as wearing a facial mask and practicing social distancing, temperature checks and notifying Student Health Services if they are showing symptoms or have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Another restriction that has been adjusted is that gatherings are now allowed to have up to 30 people as long as the attendees are still wearing facial coverings and practicing social distancing.

The curfew that was put into effect in August required students to be in their assigned dorms from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Monday through Thursday and from midnight to 6 a.m. on Friday through Sunday.

If you were caught out past curfew and not following the guidelines set by the university, some of the consequences a student could face would be suspension or even expulsion from FAMU.

The curfew was put in place “to prevent large gatherings/parties on campus or in the Tallahassee community and not to restrict students’ movement,” according to Spells, but some students believe the curfew didn’t stop other students from going out.

Devin Watkins, a fourth-year architecture student who lives in FAMU Towers, said: “The first weekend the curfew was put in was pretty boring. I usually hang out with my friends but I had to report back to my room like I was in prison. The curfew was kind of useless because students still stayed out past curfew and attended parties.”

FAMU was one of multiple colleges within Florida’s State University System that put in place different rules to limit students from participating in large off-campus gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watkins said he understood why the university put the restrictions in place. “I don’t feel like it was a matter of trust on the school’s part, but more of responsibility among the students.”

Students, faculty and staff are asked to continue taking the self-assessment on the FAMU app before arriving on campus and going to classes.

As stated in the statement, “Violation of any of FAMU’s Emergency Procedures is still considered an offense in the Student Code of Conduct with penalties that can lead to suspension from the University.”