Many students have begun to take necessary precautions as they figure out how to stay safe during a busy homecoming schedule.
With recent shooting incidents near FAMU’s campus within the last few weeks, everyone is on edge.
Simone Johnson, a first-year criminal justice major from Jacksonville, was shot in the early morning hours of Oct. 10 while she was out hanging with friends a block from Bragg Memorial Stadium. She experienced first-hand what it meant when people say be aware of your surroundings.
“When the first shots began to ring out, me and my friend began to panic because we didn’t know where our other friends were at the time,” Johnson said. “As we began to make our way down the street, we hid behind a car using it as a shield and that’s when I was shot in the leg.”
The FAMU students interviewed for this story said that partying and being socially interactive with their peers is always exciting — but also potentially traumatizing because they feel as if they’re putting their lives on the line to have fun.
Nadia Buggs, a second-year science major from Tampa, said that with homecoming approaching, she plans to be on high alert in terms of who she’s around.
“With homecoming coming up, I plan to invest in pepper spray and be around friends who will look out for me,” Buggs said. “Drinking responsibly and keeping my drink close by at all times is necessary as well.”
Gabrielle Smith, a third-year pre physical therapy major from New Jersey, said that people always choose violence without being considerate of those who are around them.
“Kids in our generation choose violence because they want to show out or have a popular reputation,” Smith said. “As for me with homecoming approaching, I plan to not be out alone at nighttime, and I plan to also have my self-defense kit handy.”
Students at FAMU have been on high alert recently with shootings happening at other HBCUs, particularly Grambling State University in Louisiana — which happens to be FAMU’s homecoming opponent.
Two shootings took place during Grambling’s homecoming week, including a fatal shooting of a person who didn’t attend the school.
The scariest part about homecoming is that it’s always crowded, and it almost always has visitors from other universities. While this is always one of the most electrifying times of the year, it is also one of the scariest.
FAMU students all agreed that if everyone is out to have a good time safely, there should be no violent incidents.