Sexual assault, kidnapping, alcohol poisoning and robberies, are as much a part of homecoming as the parade and other festivities.
Throughout the week, events will be held continually. While having fun, there are some safety measures that everyone can take to ensure they have a safe yet memorable experience.
Rico Scott, a FAMU police officer, gave his advice on ways for students to stay safe during homecoming festivities.
According to Scott, the buddy system is always the golden rule when it comes to parties. Prior to leaving the house, have a plan of where you are going and whom you are going with. Always go out with trusted friends and pay attention to your surroundings. Be alert to strange environments and people.
“When going out to parties, don’t go alone,” Scott said. “Have a key group of people that you leave and return with, and it will prevent a lot of tragic incidents.”
Alcohol consumption is a norm in the college social experience. The legal drinking age in Florida is 21. Those who meet the drinking requirement and plan to drink must do so responsibly. Scott advises students to make sure they have a meal before they consume alcohol and alternate drinking water in between drinks. Also, while having a good time, he believes it is never appropriate to leave a drink unattended or accept a drink from a stranger.
Scott said it is never appropriate for anyone to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. He urges students to have a designated driver to ensure safety.
Saturday is the busiest and most crowded day of homecoming, and there will be a lot of security around.
Jamie Young, a FAMU alumna, believes that people, especially women, should dress for the occasion.
“Rattlers have the tendency to pull out their finest attire for the occasion,” Young said. “Ladies need to not worry less about fashion and focus more on being safe.”
Young remembers a year when she injured herself walking in high heels in Bragg Memorial Stadium.
“It began to rain, and I was running to shelter to prevent getting drenched,” she said.
Each homecoming since, she makes sure she wears shoes that she can move easily in.
“It will help if you’re in a big crowd and need to escape easily.”
Chris Williams, a senior political science student from Tallahassee, has advice for bringing personal items. During the eventful day, he believes there are only a few items that students need to bring.
“Only carry around the essential things, like car keys, an ID and cash,” Williams said. “Most vendors only accept cash so there is no need to have every form of identification and every credit card you own. They can potentially get lost in a big crowd and can be a hassle to replace.”
According to Scott, the most important tip for homecoming safety is to be accountable for yourself and make sure to have fun.
For more information about homecoming safety, contact the FAMU Department of Public Safety at 850-599-3256.