Early Homecoming, High Expectations at FAMU

As the seasons change and the excitement builds, the university community doesn’t have long to prepare for an early homecoming.

With this year’s theme of “This is How We Do It,” the city will be filled with FAMU and Howard fans. But this year, fans will have to be ready to celebrate Homecoming the first week of October, just two weeks after the Atlanta Classic.

“Traditionally, when FAMU has four home games, the Homecoming will always fall on the third home game. That game this year just happens to be Oct. 8,” said Angela Suggs, the assistant athletic director for marketing.

“Even though the game seems early, it’s still within two weeks of the classic games so there is still time to build excitement,” said Suggs. There are Facebook pages and small advertisements around the city to create buzz about the week of festivities.

As a freshman, Dayrus Etienne, 18, a pre-elementary education student from Lakeland, Fla., finds it hard to get excited about Homecoming because it is so early. “We just got into the flow of things and don’t really have time to get ready and get money together.” It feels as if everything is rushed this year,” said Ebony Willis, an alumnus of the sociology and criminal justice department.” Here I am preparing for the Atlanta Classic, and right after that Homecoming will be here. I’m trying to get in the spirit but it’s all happening too fast,” said Willis, from Tallahassee.

Around town, the Quality Inn and Suites hotel on Apalachee Parkway, noticed a difference in room bookings for the weekend. “We actually haven’t been as busy as we would in earlier years around Homecoming. Usually we would be almost full but we still have about 45 rooms left, so I am noticing a small shift, said Assistant Manager Matt Lindley.

Some hotels aren’t experiencing any downfall. The Residence Inn Tallahassee Universities at the Capitol, Assistant Director Manager Patricia Vanburen said, “As of now I think that our guest from previous years will still check even though it may be earlier.”

Many alumni expected homecoming to be in late October, but according to Suggs, after the schedule was official, no changes could be made.”The schedule for this year’s football season was made some time ago and the MEAC has control over that,” said Suggs. “I don’t think that attendance will be affected due to the date being earlier.”

Homecoming week activities will begin Oct. 3 and continue through Oct. 9. There are events for alumni, current students, future students and the Tallahassee community. For an official schedule of all FAMU Homecoming events visit www.famu.edu/studentactivities