‘Be Out Day’ pales in comparison

The 13th annual Be Out Day was held Saturday at a new location, and the activities were limited in comparison to previous years.

The new intramural field was packed with students, Tallahassee residents, alumni and even out-of-state visitors.

“This year was weird,” said Victricia Chandler, a junior health care management student from Miami. “It seemed like there were too many rules, like no pets. The new location was different as well.”

Despite the cool weather with temperatures in the mid ’60s, there was still a good turnout, but not as many people as previous years.

This year’s events included flag football games, music concerts and a large inflatable jungle gym for children. “They need to have more activities,” Chandler said. “Last year it was more interactive.”

Chandler referred to the HIV/AIDS awareness tables that were set up in the Gaither Gymnasium last year as missing from this year’s Be Out Day.

Time restraints were also a major concern with Be Out Day participants this year.

“It wasn’t long enough and it was cold. Personally, I think 12-4 was too short of a time period,” said Gillian Turner, a Georgia resident who came to Tallahassee for a second year to enjoy the Be Out Day festivities. “I missed the atmosphere of a black university and black people getting together without any negative connotations like smoking, drinking, fighting and drugs,” Turner said.

This is the main purpose of Be Out Day, to get students and residents together for a positive function and to have a good time.

“This is a big event for the community because it is put on by the only HBCU in Tallahassee and it is for African Americans,” said Racquel Jackson, a freshmen student government association senator. “It is just a nice social gathering that we do. ”

Jackson, who volunteered to pass out free food to the line of participants, continued to share that SGA was the sole sponsor of Be Out Day, which has not been the case in previous years.

In recent years SGA ran into problems with sponsorship for Be Out Day. Last year they gained a new sponsor, Boeing, who did not serve as a sponsor this year. SGA used leftover monies to host this year’s event.

“It was funded through SGA,” Jackson said. “In the past years we had sponsors but not this year. There is no money brought in for Be Out Day; it is just a free social for the community.”

With free food, refreshments, live performances by local artists and with students and the community just being out, the 13th Annual Be Out Day came to an end.

The event turned out fine despite the weather, small turnout and limited activities.

The event ended around 4 p.m. as promised with a rowdy performance by Shawn J, one of the two members from rap group Field Mob.