Aug. 27 marked the day of the first and last Set Friday at FAMU. While the university plans to discontinue this popular on-campus event for the 2021-2022 school year, stipulations regarding homecoming arise.
Florida A&M’s Set Friday has been canceled due to the lingering COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the university’s Student Government Association has assured that after 19 months of quarantine, homecoming will make an “Epic Return.”
Marcus Thomas, SGA’s vice president, said: “There will be a homecoming this year … we are planning as if homecoming is an open and free world like we know from before.”
So if COVID precautions were at the forefront of the decision to cancel Set Friday, under what conditions will homecoming be held?
Sydney Richardson, a freshman who attended her first Set Friday last month, had mixed feelings about the event.
“It was pretty cool, but not exactly what I expected. People were really close together during a pandemic, which made me kind of anxious, but overall it was an OK experience. I would like to attend at least one or two more set Fridays, but I know they were stopped because of COVID, which I totally understand,” Richardson said.
First-year students appear to be OK with the on-campus event being canceled for safety precautions. While their responses are positive, they aren’t necessarily against experiencing additional Set Fridays either.
Kayla Delcham, a freshman volunteer at Set Friday, said: “I served food at the crab boil during Set Friday. Afterwards, I got to see the strolls and dance orgs. It was fun. We should have more Set Fridays, especially during homecoming, and I think by the spring we should be able to have them again all together.”
As Delcham mentioned, the university catered a seafood boil for the students. The boil seemed to be the highlight of the event, as SGA member Ahmad Kebe said that the food was his favorite memory.
“It was great to not only have a crab boil, but to also have at least one Set Friday. It reminded me of when we had one in the summer my freshman year,” Kebe said.
By the looks of it, FAMU plans to follow through with hosting a homecoming in late October. The question remains: will another Set Friday be in the works?
“We’re basically planning homecoming from a statistical standpoint, right now we are considering how many people are getting vaccinated, and so far campus has done well with students, faculty, and staff wearing masks. If everyone continues to do their part, then we will definitely have a homecoming without any restrictions, and maybe even another set Friday too,” Kebe further assured.