Lack of homecoming enthusiasm observed by both students and alumni

A flurry of students stand impatiently under the rays of the steaming florida sun, waiting. Some are upset about the heat, others could care less, and there are a few who are so excited, they’ve taken the bad situation and turned it into something enjoyable. Whether they are waiting in line for tickets, waiting for the doors to open at a show, or waiting in line for a plate of free food, they all have one thing in common, they are Florida A&M students in the midst of homecoming week.

In the eyes of many, the pre-homecoming events are there to create a “hype” atmosphere. One that is filled with fun and anticipation of the events that are to come. This year, as always, the events included a fashion show, a dorm step show, a comedy/talent show, and numerous other events.

The pre-homecoming events, in the eyes of the students, had their up’s and downs. Of course that can be expected in any situation, and this year’s pre-homecoming events were no different.

Many returning students found this year’s student body less enthused about the events that took place and a few commented that there was a decline in attendance.

Gregory Bradford, a 20-year-old occupational therapy major from Orlando Fla. stated, “Not as many people as ususal, Not as many people are coming to town as usual.”

Ashley Ridley, a 19-year-old sophomore from Delray Beach, Fla., said, “Last year was a lot better. It seemed like the students were more involved. Maybe it’s this year’s freshman class.” The Pharmacy major said she felt it could have been bigger.”The fashion show was nice. It’s been cool all together.” Ridley added.

Freshmen experiencing FAMU homecoming for the first time are not to be forgotten. Quite a few of them were very excited about the pre-game events. Freshman Rodshawn Dorsey, a Biology pre-med major, stated “They have a lot of activities going on…they have something everyday.” The 18-year-old from Jacksonville, Fla., went on to say, “I think they did a good job setting up.”

Another freshman, Regina Love, shared her classmate’s viewpoint. The 18-year-old general studies major from Orlando, Fla., said: “It’s been good for this being my first time. We had a good time. The shows, like the talent show, [and] the step show, they are nice.”

Compared to upperclassmen, more freshmen felt that this year’s events ran smoothly. Being that they are new to the University, they don’t have last year to compare it to, but they do have an opinion. Freshman Rodshawn Dorsey brought up an issue that she felt was important and many students agreed.

“I didn’t like how they did the tickets. We (we are) paying for this in our tuition and only half of the population of kids get to go, even though we are paying our tuition.”

This issue seemed to be a major sore spot for everyone. Ishmael Qawiy, a 19-year-old pharmacy major from Daytona Beach, Fla., said: “The tickets, that’s crazy. They didn’t even open up at eight. game tickets the same way. They need to find a better way to distribute tickets.”

While some didn’t care for the manner in which the tickets were distributed, others took it in stride. Ridley laughed, “The ticket experience was hilarious. It should have been more organized.”

Organization may have been needed, but school pride was bold and in the forefront.

Anthony Washington, Mr. Housing, is a transferring junior from Lakeland, Fla. He spoke about the school spirit competition that was held. Different buildings, as many noticed, were competing to show who had the most school spirit by decorating their exteriors.

“They had the competing of the buildings. That was cool you got to see a lot of school spirit.”

It is indeed a matter of opinion as to whether or not this year’s pre-homecoming events did the job of getting the students excited for the game. One thing that can’t be disputed is that FAMU has a wonderful reputation for giving a very enjoyable homecoming, where people from all over come to cheer on the rattler football team and rejoice in school pride. Washington, the twenty-one year-old business administration major, captured the essence of homecoming best when he said, “Not too many schools have a homecoming like FAMU. That’s where the school pride comes out.”

Contact Kamaria Hopkins at