Set Friday returns to ‘the Set’

Set Friday on the set. Photo courtesy: Jazlen Patrick

It’s a new school year and that means a full year of the revered Set Friday. But this time, it’s back on “the Set.”

We asked and they listened. Florida A&M University on Friday hosted “Rock the set: Return to the set.”

Last school year, FAMU opened its new amphitheater, the Will Packer Performing Arts Amphitheater, and decided to hold Set Fridays there. There were many reasons why the university did this, but one of the main ones was that the amphitheater allowed students to spread out in the midst of a still thriving pandemic.

The switch got mixed reviews but it’s safe to say that students were excited to experience Set Friday the traditional way again, on the actual Set.

Reanna Wilson, a fourth-year architecture student from San Antonio, Texas, said it felt great to be back on the real set.

“I really enjoy seeing the campus come together to have some fun,” Wilson said.

Zachary Bell, a fourth-year business administration student and student body president, said that Set Friday back on the set felt like a blast from the past.

“I was completely reminded of my freshman year prior to COVID-19 with seeing the culture from the set, seeing the divine nine organizations, seeing the modeling troupes and seeing the dance troupes, everybody just all back in one place,” Bell said.

Just like the relocation, Set Friday continued to stay true to its theme. Students encountered vendors selling an array of items from FAMU paraphernalia to jewelry and other knick knacks, and everyone’s favorite, Irie Ice. This was sure to keep everyone cooled down on a steamy, hot afternoon.

Wilson said she especially enjoyed seeing the vintage FAMU apparel.

As always, DJ Loosekid dj’d the event, playing everyone’s favorite stroll songs. Bell said that the FAMU unity strolls are his favorite part of Set Fridays.

“Regardless of whatever Greek organization you’re in, whatever modeling troupe, whatever dance troupe or social organization, it doesn’t matter — everybody loves to do the FAMU strolls,” Bell said. “That’s my favorite part of the set, seeing everyone line dancing and just having a good time.”

This specific Set Friday, however, featured booths with Xfinity giving away free items and allowing students to take short videos using their 360 camera booth. FAMU alum Elijah Rutland created a FAMU mural for Xfinity’s 2022 HBCU Tour that students had the opportunity to sign as well.

This Set Friday also featured musical performances from local artists such as rapper Big Mali.

“I try to cherish these moments on campus, especially being a senior and trying to make up for lost time on the hill. It feels great to be back on the set,” said A’nia Lanier, a fourth-year physical therapy student, when asked how it felt to be back on the Set.

It is unknown whether or not Set Fridays will continue to occur every Friday or whether it will take place on the actual set again, but hopes are high for this new school year.