FAMU, FSU students ‘Bridge the Gap’

Students line up to go through security before entering the Civic Center Wednesday evening. Photo courtesy: Maeve Francois

This fall has brought all the nostalgic memories of college back to campus.

That includes “Bridge the Gap,” a homecoming event at Florida State University hosted by its Black Student Union. It is a pep rally created to essentially bridge the gap between the students at Florida A&M University and FSU.

The pep rally, held at FSU’s Civic Center, featured various performances from organizations on FAMU’s and FSU’s campus. It also made sure to maintain the CDC guidelines, requiring masks for entry.

Among the organizations were Strikers Dance Troupe, BPhi dance group, Royalty Dance Team, Attack dance group and Mahogany Dance Theatre.

This was the first year it was held since the pandemic hit 19 months ago and the first time at the  Civic Center.

Many seemed excited to be  part of the event. For freshmen and sophomores experiencing if for the first time, they seemed eager to see how these two schools brought their students together successfully.

For first-year FAMU student Aisha Washington, it was her first time performing in a collegiate pep rally.

“I was extremely nervous for this to be my first time performing in front of such a big crowd,” the Mahogany Dance Theatre member said. “I can’t wait to show everyone that I’m a part of such a known and talented organization.”

Along with the performances, the FSU’s BSU had segments where its members engaged with the crowd and asked them trivia questions regarding both universities’ histories.

One of the co-hosts, Slim, said this was her first time doing something like this, and she is looking forward to the next opportunity.

“I had a lot of fun hosting this event and I can’t wait until the next time I’m given that opportunity,” she said. “I feel like the crowd was really messing with us, and we were definitely having fun. It was overall a good feeling.”

Other students who had been to previous versions of the pep rally noticed a few changes — especially the location.

Breah Simms, a fourth-year student at FAMU, seemed a bit disappointed with the quality of the performances and the crowd engagement.

“I honestly felt like the vibe wasn’t really the same,” Simms said. “They didn’t have highlights or anything. It was just different.”

“Bridge the Gap “ is scheduled to return next fall. The location has not yet been decided but it will most likely still be hosted by FSU’s Black Student Union.