It’s official: graduation no longer requires tickets

FAMU updates website for ticket requirements. Photo Courtesy of FAMU website.

After six weeks of waiting, Florida A&M University rejoiced after hearing the eight ticket restriction for guests wanting to attend the spring 2022 commencement ceremony was officially removed yesterday.

Senate Government Association President Carrington Whigham pushed for the removal of tickets, and the decision was approved by several school officials.

“The student body was literally texting me everyday and calling me, so I said let me do something about it,” said Whigham.

Whigham confirmed the new requirements for graduation, taking to her Instagram story last night with an updated picture from the website saying, “Ask and you shall receive.”

“The student body was literally texting me everyday and calling me, so I said let me do something about it,” said Whigham.

Tickets for guests were originally put in place as a COVID-19 precaution to limit contact and allow for social distancing measures. The new directive is a major step for the university towards returning to a post-COVID campus.

Earlier this semester, fourth-year senator Zion Lampley introduced bill SR22SP-005 aimed at raising the number of tickets allowed to graduates.

Senators ended up agreeing the ticket requirement should be removed altogether, saying the mandate was now hypocritical for the university after throwing several activities, including football games and a homecoming concert, without any limitations for attendance.

Though Lampley’s bill was passed with the revision of ending the ticket requirement entirely, giving students some hope, the ticket requirement remained in place for over a month and that hope dwindled.

Graduating seniors at the university have complained about the eight guest limit all semester, saying it is unfair to limit how many loved ones should be allowed to take part in the celebratory event.

“If FAMU can allow over 31 thousand people to the game, then they should allow us to invite more people for graduation,” said FAMU senior Kenton Elliot on Twitter.

Many students signed a petition against the ticket rule and some even went as far as planning a boycott against the ceremony to communicate their frustration with other campus events, such as the recent Be Out Day and spring preview activities, being allowed without capacity restrictions.

With the lifted mandate, any family or friend — from any place — looking to attend and support a graduate will be allowed to take part in commencement ceremonies.

Director of Student Health Services Tanya Tatum said though transmission rates have declined in the area, COVID-19 is still spreading and families traveling for graduation should take measures to stay safe.

“There isn’t a specific guidance for wearing masks unless you’re immunocompromised or have some other condition that puts you at higher risk, but honestly that might change in three weeks or four weeks,” Tatum said. “We are seeing an increase in the number of cases for the new subvariant of omicron, the BA.2 variant, so it’s kind of a wait and see situation.”

The Centers for Disease Control recommends vaccinations as the best preventative measure against COVID-19 variants and suggests masks be worn inside by anyone two years or older that lives in a community with a high COVID-19 community level.

FAMU offers free testing, vaccinations and booster shots on campus by appointment at a site behind the intramural fields, located behind the Hansel Tookes Recreation Center.

FAMU spring commencement ceremonies will be held Fri, April 29 at 6 p.m. and Sat, April 30 at 9 a.m. For more information about graduation requirements, please visit

To learn more about recent COVID-19 data and trends in your area, visit