News | April 20th, 2020
FAMU Host Virtual Town Hall to Address Student Concerns
By: Amiya Abner
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thursday, April 16, President Larry Robinson along with the university’s leadership panel streamed Florida A&M’s Virtual Town Hall, via Zoom and Facebook Live. With a handful of questions regarding graduation, refunds, remote learning, and the updated grading policy, the meeting served as an online platform to seek answers and was moderated by the Interim Director of FAMU Office of Communications Keith Miles.
In the height of concerns from graduating seniors regarding commencement, Associate Provost Dr. Genyne Boston covered the refined upcoming graduation procedures stating.
“While COVID-19 may have changed our plans for a traditional ceremony, one thing hasn’t changed. We still want the opportunity to celebrate you,” she said. “We plan to acknowledge your accomplishments with a closed caption Virtual Ceremony that will air on Saturday, May 9 at 10 a.m. via a YouTube Live Platform.”
The university’s Virtual Ceremony will allow students and their families to continue to celebrate with fellow graduates through using a safe and modified version of a traditional graduate ceremony amid the pandemic. It was strongly encouraged for all graduates to actively partake in continued social distancing practices during the celebration of this momentous occasion. All students that were eligible for an honor cord will have it mailed to them, and if they have not yet received their regalia, those items will also be available for shipment.
The university’s in-person ceremony will be scheduled at a later date and an email from the Registrar’s office will have enclosed information on any additional details in regards to the ceremony. Boston also mentioned that FAMU’s social media platforms will be engaging in a graduation countdown campaign beginning April 25 through May 8. Students will be asked to share images and videos of in-home celebrations, decorative caps, and any other celebratory mementos while using the hashtag #FamuGrad20.
For the class of 2024, Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. William Hudson Jr stated: “Due to the cancellation of Spring Preview on March 28, the university is developing a Virtual Spring Preview that includes access to a virtual tour of the campus. The rattlers of 2024 will have an opportunity to hear from Larry Robinson, deans from the school and colleges, and brief information on financial aid and housing, as well as hearing from our student body on this Virtual Tour. The goal is to go live by the end of April.”
The university has also coordinated its New Student Orientation remotely which still includes orientation leaders. An orientation portal will be accessible on April 30 for students to sign up.
In regards to the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading policy, Vice President of Student Affairs Maurice Edington addressed how students will have the option for substituting S or U grades to their approved courses in effect for the Spring 2020 semester only. All courses this semester are available for the S/U option except for courses provided at the College of Law that hold a separate grading policy, and the College of Engineering graduate courses, which are exempt from the S/U grading policy completely.
For students that have enrolled for Summer 2020, those courses will be offered online with accordance to remote learning. Most textbooks for summer courses will be made in electronic versions, and the FAMU Bookstore will also be able to ship books, if necessary. Students in critical need regarding technology access are encouraged to contact their Academic Deans to request assistance. Academic support and tutorial services for students will continue to be offered remotely this summer.
The first ever Virtual Town Hall provided information regarding updated policies and procedures in effect amongst the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the plans for Fall 2020 still remain hazy. It was made clear that any decisions pertaining to online courses for Fall 2020 have not yet been made at this time.
Any additional questions or concerns can be addressed via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.