Black and Gold pageant moved to tonight

The Miss Black and Gold Pageant that was to be held in Lee Hall Thursday, was postponed until today for security reasons.

The pageant is sponsored by the Beta Nu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Representatives of the Beta Nu chapter announced the decision to postpone the event nearly an hour after it’s scheduled start time of 7:06 p.m.

“It (the pageant) was pushed back primarily because adequate security measures were not met,” said Harvey Smith, coordinator of administrative services. “It is the responsibility of the organization producing the event to follow up with the office of student activities to make sure that their facility request form has been signed off by the appropriate parties.”

Smith said all clubs and organizations that have events on Florida A&M University’s campus must go through a set number of channels. A facility request form is to be signed by officials in the facility where the event is to be held. For insurance purposes, the university risk manager must sign the request, and the FAMU Police Department must decide how much security is needed. The Physical Plant Department has to decide what supplies the event will require, and the event has to be approved by the director of Student Affairs.

In the case of the Miss Black and Gold Pageant, there was a misunderstanding in terms of the security. The FAMUPD called for the pageant to have four law enforcement officers and two security officers.

Law enforcement officers are policemen who carry guns and have actual arresting powers, while security officers are more of a physical presence for keeping the peace.

At the time of the event, the pageant did not have the recommended security team, so officials were forced to postpone it until a later date.

Many in the audience were disappointed the event was postponed.

“I really feel sorry for those young ladies, and I wish them the best as they prepare for next week,” said Rachel Melson, 19, a second year business administration student from Dayton, Ohio. “I know that they have been preparing for this night for weeks, and I’m sure it’s disheartening for them to have to wait.”

Shortly after the announcement the event had been postponed, officers from the FAMUPD helped to clear the Lee Hall auditorium and surrounding areas.

In a phone interview, Jonathan Quarles, a 21-year-old member of Alpha Phi Alpha and Miss Black and Gold host, said the pageant would take place tonight at 7:06 p.m. and that tickets that were used on Thursday will be honored.

However, as students left Lee Hall on Thursday they were given another ticket for tonight’s pageant.

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