Set Friday just hasn’t been the same

Students gathered together in excitement at Set Friday.
Photo courtesy:

Set Friday has been a longstanding tradition since the early 1990s. Every Friday, students would gather on the “set”, the brick-lined path separating what is now the Will Packer Amphitheater and Office of Student Union, to socialize with their peers, and enjoy local and student vendors, and music.

Since COVID, the University has attempted to bring back what Set used to be like, but the engagement from students has since gone down.

Takeyvia Smith, a fourth-year bio pre-med major, feels as if Set has lost its value since her time at Florida A&M University.

“Usually people couldn’t wait until Friday to get to Set and experience it, but now it’s not something that people look forward to,” Smith said.

“Leading up until the time that I came here, it was something I was looking forward to experiencing, Set on the actual Set, barely being able to walk through,” Smith said. “That’s always what I wanted to experience and while there have been a couple like that, my expectations they just weren’t met when I got here.”

Side by side with academics, FAMU prides itself on its student life, and Set Friday has been the most impactful in bringing students together and strengthening the “FAMUly” bond. But what’s been the cause of low attendance?

Elijah Townsend-Avella, a fourth-year broadcast journalism major with a minor in criminal justice, believes that students’ voices should be considered when deciding what happens at Set Friday.

“If they just gave one hour to student spotlights, where a couple of students are selected and have 15 minutes to present any idea they want,” Avella said. “If they gave students the opportunity to express what they want to see instead of what the University wants us to see, I believe more students will come to Set Friday.”

Avella continues by saying that students need to band together to voice their concerns to student leaders who can advocate for them. Pushing for students to be heard and their ideas to be used further strengthens the bond between students and their university.

With Instagram being the medium for upcoming activities on campus,  many have turned to the Strike page or Office of Student Activities to stay updated about upcoming Set Friday dates.

Jayden Flemming, a third-year accounting major who is currently running for SGA’s vice president, believes Set Friday isn’t marketed as frequently as it should.

“I feel like they broadcast Set once every year, like all the dates, and then they never really come back to it,” Flemming said.

Flemming hopes to restore some engagement by attempting to implement interactive games and activities that’ll allow students to engage and get active while also socializing with friends.

With Set Friday’s attendance dwindling as the weeks continue, students fear an old tradition may be lost upon these seven hills.