Rattlers come out for fun, games

Be Out Day brought several hundred people to the FAMU Intramural field Saturday. Under a sunny spring sky, the crowd gathered for a day of music, food and fellowship.

The annual event was organized by Student Government Association and sponsored by Kimberly-Clark Corporation. For many in the community, Be Out Day has become a customary part of their lives.

Evelyn Chambers said she continues to come to attend Be Out Day because it is a family-oriented environment.”

“It’s the atmosphere. I love the feeling of positivity that surrounds (Be Out Day),” said the Monticello native, who said this was the fourth consecutive year that she has brought her two sons to the event. “I like to bring the kids so that they can see educated blacks in a college setting.”

Jennifer Green said she enjoyed herself because there were many more activities available this year and the ladies showed a lot more restraint in their attire.

“I think the girls dressed a lot classier this year,” said the sophomore pharmacy student from Tampa. “Last year I had a big problem with young ladies disrespecting themselves by dressing the way that they did.”

The event consisted of a number of games that kept the crowd entertained throughout the day. A joust, Sumo wrestling and a sticky wall were among the many activities that helped Be out Day live up to its hype.

A wide variety of goods were also offered by the vendors who were in attendance. Saturday was Sharifa Milligan’s third trip to Be Out Day as a vendor. She said business was especially strong this year.

“It’s such a beautiful day today and I think that goes a long way in students being eager to buy,” said Milligan, who sold sunglasses, purses and other clothing accessories.

Officers from a variety of area police departments patrolled the event through out the day.

One of the primary concerns of the event’s organizers was student safety. They said they spent months coordinating the security of Be Out Day.

The 2005 Be Out Day was the fifth for Capt. Jackie Martin of the Leon County Sheriff’s office.

Martin said his department has been working with both the FAMU Police Department and the Tallahassee Police Department to find the best ways to keep the peace without over exerting their authority.

“(Most) came out today to have a good time, but we know that there are also a few who can get unruly. Our job is to just be on the lookout for those one or two bad seeds,” Martin said. “We have officers making themselves visible circulating throughout the crowd and we have traffic control and other standard security items.”

Many Be Out Day attendees agreed that this year’s was one of the best Be Out Days in recent memory.

“This really has been my best year out here,” Milligan said.

Contact Anthony Moore at a_m_moore@hotmail.com.