TOPS helps class of 2022 feel at home


Every year in the summer term, Florida A&M University puts on a showcase for the incoming class.

The showcase takes place in Lee Hall auditorium every Thursday for the period of freshman orientation. Called TOPS (total orientation planning and solution), the summer showcase is an opportunity to see some of the organizations available to students at the institution.

House Arrest II, Mahogany Dance Theatre, and Sigma Gamma Rho are just a few that participated in the latter of the two sessions.

The option is given to the performers to either engage in the Summer A or Summer B session. The university is currently showcasing the groups selected for Summer B session.

If an organization makes it through the auditions and they decide on the A session they are not allowed to do the B session, and vice versa. This rule is in place so that more organizations can showcase their talents.

Malcolm Wilkes, a fourth-year business student, said it was “an eye-opening experience that helped me to understand the impact that student-led organizations have on the incoming class. It exposes the baby Rattlers to a host of opportunities.”

While it is mainly about showcasing FAMU, parents and students alike are given the opportunity to showcase their moves. During the show, hosts ask volunteers from the audience to come up on stage and have a dance battle.

“The parent dance battle was the highlight of the show, seeing hard-working adults let loose and drop it like it’s hot had my stomach hurting from laughing so hard,” said FAMU student Christian Outler.

With the student battle, the winner is normally gifted a free roundtrip ride provided by the HBCU Shuttle. “I think it is awesome that an alumni of FAMU is helping students to get home for reasonable prices, especially the freshmen who are away from their parents for the first time,”  said David Dingle, a fourth-year nursing student.

Immediately following the showcase, the freshmen and upperclassmen are greeted with music and snacks at the Rattlers Den. The Rattlers Den encompasses a student lounge, unisex hair salon and a bowling alley.

For approximately two hours students are allowed to mingle with fellow Rattlers and meet their peers. It is a great way to slowly immerse the class of 2022 into the FAMU culture.