The 2022 Be Out Day committee has worked since December to make sure this year’s 30th anniversary of Be Out Day is a success.
Though I had a lot of pressure, I knew I had to end my presidential term with a bang to keep the tradition alive. I wanted it to be a moment I and hopefully others will remember forever.
Not only does this tradition mean a lot to the university, but I knew I was charged with the task to make sure that I could continue the legacy, despite everything COVID-19 has taken from my past two administrations as student body vice president and president.
How did I begin? I was thumbing through some emails and found an old Be Out Day memorandum from past SGA President Rochard Moricette. When I saw it, something in instantly clicked. A bone in my body told me that this would be my last and only chance to throw an essential homecoming-type event that I never had the chance to as vice president because of the pandemic.
I remember it vividly. It was during the Orlando Classic, the Rattler spirit was finally in the air again. I knew I had to keep the atmosphere “striking.” I appointed my committee the very next hour, selecting two representatives from each branch — legislative, judicial and executive — and chose my staff lead, Mary Brown. I sent out my memorandum and assured them that we would make this happen.
Be Out Day is the time in the spring that the community, student body and interested high school students attending spring preview, have a chance to unite and enjoy an entirely Student Government Association funded event. Traditionally, Be Out Day is surrounded by the spring football game. Still, this year I decided not to have it on the day of the game because of all the festivities happening in Tallahassee. April 9 is also the day of Florida State University’s spring game. My thought process was to split up the dates so the city would not be congested with collegiate festivities. Also, spring preview, an annual event at FAMU, was already scheduled for March 26. We had over 3,000 students and guests registered, so it made no sense to change the date.
Coming into the Whigham-Thomas administration, my one goal was to make this a “Redemption Year.” My mission was to reclaim everything COVID-19 took from our college experience and try to make it as normal as possible, so we could experience the FAMU we called our home again.
Attending FAMU during the pandemic really made the Rattler pride feel distant. I am not saying that it wasn’t there, but it was hard imagining the life we once lived at our illustrious HBCU when there was little to no human contact. That is why Be Out Day 2022 is so important for me to execute. If we were not to have this year’s Be Out Day, there probably would not be another Be Out Day for a long time. This is because my class was the last freshmen class to experience it. How can those who come after me host something they have never experienced? This itself is a big responsibility, and I knew that I could not let this wonderful tradition die on my watch.