Students scramble to get enough graduation tickets

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After what has been a tumultuous year of coping with the coronavirus pandemic, Florida A&M University decided in early March to host in-person spring commencement ceremonies which will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday and continue through the weekend.

With many graduating seniors overjoyed by an in-person graduation — the first since December 2019 — there’s still a larger issue many students are now navigating: a ticket shortage. For many FAMU seniors, the allotted four tickets is not enough to cover their family members who hope to watch them walk across the stage.

With tickets in high demand, many students are offering to purchase fellow students’ tickets in hopes of obtaining more than they were granted.

Elmer Fuller III, tFAMU’s box office director, explained that these tickets are unique to each student.

“The university does not encourage or promote the selling of commencement tickets,” Fuller said. “If a student who is not attending graduation transfers their tickets to another student, then those tickets will work.  However, one ticket cannot be scanned multiple times — like screenshots or copies. The limited number of guests is to allow for safe social distancing in the stadium. Students should not sell tickets.

Commencement tickets were released Friday, April 16. Graduating seniors were emailed instructions on how to download the tickets. 

“Students who plan on attending graduation this spring will only need to use their email address to log into the FAMU-TicketMaster account manager website to access their commencement tickets,” Fuller said. “Further instructions will come from the Registrar’s Office.”

The selling of tickets also means more students cross-purchasing tickets from varying ceremonies, but Fuller says that these tickets will only work for their respective ceremony. 

“A graduate will only have access to tickets for their respective commencement ceremony and each ticket will only grant admission into that specific ceremony,” Fuller said. “Remember, each ticket will only work once for the ceremony it is intended for. It should not be duplicated and will not work for other ceremonies.”

Fuller wants students to know that these tickets are secure and should not be duplicated for any reason.

“These digital tickets are very secure,” Fuller said. “Any attempts to duplicate them will result in guests not being able to enter the ceremony. Tickets should not be printed as they will not work either.  Also, it is in the guests’ best interest to have the tickets downloaded and saved on the phone prior to arriving at the stadium. Seating will be first-come first-serve and guests will have to sit in designated social distanced areas.”

At 6:30 p.m. on Friday,  graduates of the School of Allied Health Sciences, School of Environment and the College of Education will have their commencement ceremony.

At 9:30 a.m. Saturday, students graduating from the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health and School of Business and Industry will be highlighted.

Saturday evening’s ceremony will include graduates from the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities as well as a military commissioning ceremony. 

The 9:30 a.m. Sunday ceremony will include students from the College of Science and Technology, the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, School of Architecture and Engineering Technology, School of Journalism and Graphic Communication, College of Engineering and School of Nursing.

According to FAMU, ceremonies will be held at Bragg Memorial Stadium. In the event of inclement weather, they may be moved to the Al Lawson Center or Gaither Gymnasium.