Students say homecoming exceeded expectations

Members of Jewels Inc in front of their table. Photo courtesy: Edna Rutland

Y’all hear that? That’s the collective sigh of relief now that homecoming is over.

The laces have been laid, the fits have been worn, and the Rattlers have struck. This was a great delight to some students on campus who have been looking forward to on-campus events since last month’s organizational fair.

Accurately titled “An Epic Return ,” this year’s homecoming was one for the books. In an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat, Col. Gregory Clark, president of the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association, said to expect as many as 40,000 people at the homecoming game. And with highly anticipated celebrity appearances all week, along with canceled homecoming at several HBCUs, FAMU ended with a whopping 31,887 in attendance and several thousands more in and around the stadium.

FAMU definitely met and exceeded expectations.

For FAMU students this was a long awaited moment. Last month FAMU held an organizational fair on The Set. Different organizations, sororities and fraternities gathered in person to show off what their chapters have to offer. This was just a small sample of what was to come. One student, Yakora Pitts, a third year business admin NCNW member, was just happy to soak it in.

“I love that campus is back open. Although I can’t get back that one year,” Pitts said. “It’s good. We out here, and I can experience the next year.”

Members of FAMU’s Elite Dance Squad at their table on The Set. Photo courtesy: Edna Rutland

Other students welcomed the opportunity to finally meet in-person as opposed to through a screen. Edreshia Bowles, who serves as Miss Big Sister Little Sister for her organization, has been waiting for an opportunity just like this.

“We’re out here meeting FAMU, and it’s been a great turnout,” Bowles said. “We’ve met seniors, freshmen, juniors, sophomores. They’re great, and have a lot of spirit.”

This was one of the bigger events this year that really allowed students to interact with one another face to face. The college experience through the phone or a computer, while necessary,  does leave something to be desired, especially for freshmen and sophomores.

When asked what else she would like to see, second year student Alexis Wright said,  “More. More events like this where people are approachable and welcoming.”

We have yet to see any health data post-epic return, as it is still too early to read into the full effect, but there is still an urge from students and others who want to get back out there. It’s up to not just students but faculty and the administration to take it upon themselves to #ProtecttheFAMUly.