Students from other HBCUs are flocking to FAMU’s epic return of homecoming this year, eager to experience a fully opened homecoming.
Florida A&M University homecoming began Sunday, Oct. 24 , and continues to Saturday this coming Sunday. It started with the coronation of Mr. and Miss FAMU and will end with a gospel concert. On Saturday FAMU hosts Grambling State University.
It isn’t unheard of for students from different universities to visit and experience another school’s homecoming. However, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s homecoming may see more attendees than usual.
Many HBCUs have adjusted their traditional homecoming festivities to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. North Carolina A&T University’s homecoming, popularly known as “Greatest Homecoming on Earth (GHOE),” decided to adjust to their traditional events. In September, the university released a statement announcing its cancellation of their annual homecoming parade, Greek cookout and their “Aggie fan fest” festival. Upon issuing the announcement, many students decided to begin making plans to visit other schools.
NCAT isn’t the only college that decided to cancel their homecoming. The popular Spelhouse homecoming that combines the colleges of Spelman and Morehouse also announced in September the cancellation of their homecoming. In exchange for the cancellation, there will be a student-only fall festival that will stand in its place.
Jonathan Bain, a student from Prairie View A&M University, decided to enjoy his homecoming experience at FAMU this year.
“I decided to come to FAMU to truly get the homecoming experience,” Bain said. “My university announced they would offer virtual events majority of the week, and it felt like I would be missing out on a true HBCU homecoming; that’s why I decided to come here.”
Despite other universities canceling their homecoming or making adjustments to their lineup, FAMU decided to offer various events throughout the week — all in-person.
“I already know for homecoming week Tallahassee, even FAMU will be full to capacity,” sophomore student Aniyah Hoggett said. “With the cancellation of other schools and their homecomings, everyone will be coming here; I’ve seen students from Southern and Clark Atlanta who arrived on campus.”
Countless FAMU alumni are expected to find their way to back to their alma mater this week, and the addition of students from other HBCUs raises concerns for some.
“Homecoming is a joyous time, but I think people are forgetting we are still in the midst of a pandemic; safety precautions aren’t being taken seriously,” student Erin Howard said. “FAMU knows everyone is coming to our homecoming; they should have stricter protocols.”
For more information on upcoming homecoming events, visit homecomingatfamu.com.