Neos in spotlight at Set Friday

The Alpha Eta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity strolling at Set Friday. Photo courtesy: Nia Roberts

Set Friday is one of Florida A&M University’s most cherished traditions. Students come together to dance, dress to impress, support Black vendors, represent their organizations and celebrate all things FAMU. This week’s Set Friday was all about the campus’s neophytes, typically referred to as neos, or newly inducted members of Greek letter organizations.

The event began around 1:30 and included artist performances, a collaboration with Relay for Life and a presentation by Wells Fargo with guest appearances.

The highly anticipated strolling by Greek letter organizations began around 3:15. Organizations in attendance included Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and others.

Juliana Olodude, 2022-23 FAMU Queen of Greek Life and a spring ‘20 initiate of the Gamma Alpha Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, hosted the event along with her King of Greek Life, Robert Tucker II. She said even though she is social, she was a bit nervous about hosting.

“I’m a really talkative person but this was my first time speaking in front of a crowd on a microphone,” Olodude said. “I was a little nervous.”

She also appreciated the diversity of the artists who performed.

“The artists were different,” she said. “The blind rapper was pretty cool and the other rapper from Miami was dope.”

Olodude said she loved the event and its atmosphere.

“It was cool to see the energy around,” she said. “I love seeing the neos come out.”

The event was mostly well received. However, there were some things attendees wish had gone differently.

Kamari West, a spring ‘22 initiate of the Alpha Eta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, said that Set Friday was great but he wishes there were more opportunities for the organizations to stroll after performing.

“I thought it was a great event,” West said. “However, the one thing I didn’t like was that after all the orgs strolled [individually] they only had like two stroll songs.”

Regardless, West is excited for himself and his neos to take on this new journey.

“I like being a prophyte,” he said. “We can be seen as a mentor within the organization. My neos are like my little brothers and I like them for real,” West said.

Essence Williams, a spring ‘23 initiate of the Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, said she enjoyed the event and appreciates being a new member of her organization.

“It was our first Set Friday as neos, so it was really exciting,” Williams said. “This was such a great and rewarding experience.”

Williams is also happy to continue her mother’s legacy within the Beta Alpha chapter.

“My mom is BA so it was really good to share this experience with her,” she said.

Neo Set Friday was an overall successful event. FAMU’s neophytes have much to offer their campus and community. They’re starting a new, exciting chapter in their college stories and the people around them are excited to witness it.