Students unsure of graduation ceremony plans – The Famuan

FAMU graduate students are unsure of graduation plans regarding family dating. Photo courtesy of

Three months away from graduation and with Homecoming in effect, graduate students at Florida A&M University don’t know what to expect for the start in December.

The school’s website posted a statement under the start tab that reads: “The FAMU Fall 2021 Kick-Off Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, December 10 at 6 p.m. EST. More information will be announced and published soon.

In Tallahassee, major Florida State University and FAMU events take place on the same weekend – home games, orientation and, most importantly, graduation.

This causes heavy traffic, a spike in activity, and increased demand – and prices – for Airbnb hotels and rentals. Although more and more hotels have opened in Tallahassee in recent years, the problem remains the same.

Joycelyn Shores, a graduate in public health, comes from a large family residing on both sides of the coast. She plans to invite them to graduate from California and the state.

“I’m not sure about the graduation protocols, but I’m excited about it,” Shores said. “I thought it would be open to everyone because everything is open on campus without any social distancing action being taken.”

Tony Ferguson, a social work student graduating this fall, wants to invite five people to graduation: his parents and three uncles. Although he plans to have a graduation dinner and a party to celebrate, his family being physically present to watch him walk through the stage is his top priority. He worries about ticket restrictions and feels they don’t make sense.

“The fall classes are much smaller than the previous graduating classes; Al Lawson fits over 9,000 people, there are more than enough seats for more families to come, ”Ferguson said.

Launch president Valencia Matthews, Ph.D., explained that there will only be 4 tickets given to students from now on, and the quantity is unlikely to change.

“We are staying up to date through the FAMU Info website and intend to keep students informed in this way,” Matthews said.

Information about FSU’s fall 2021 graduation ceremony is readily available on their website, while students receive 8 tickets each for both Friday ceremonies.

Shores is discouraged that the most important event of the year is the one that the university prohibits many people from attending.

“You can come home any year, but you only graduate once,” Shores said.

While most students expected an open ceremony, Aisha Peguero, a general health sciences graduate, planned to invite only her mother and father to the graduation ceremony.

“I was only expecting two tickets to be handed out, so I’m happy to bring more family,” Peguero said. “I understand the increase in hotel prices and the restrictions on graduation as many older family members may be present and we need to take that into account.”

The ceremony can be watched live on the FAMU Facebook page.

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