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Field day brings back memories for students

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For some, the words “field day” bring back memories of elementary school and games like jump rope, running races and obstacle courses.

But this weekend, those words meant a reason to get freshmen together with upperclassmen giving everyone a chance to mingle and get familiar with two campus programs.

About 50 upperclass mentors and freshmen mentees from the Students of Color Mentoring, Aiding, Retaining and Teaching (S.M.A.R.T.) Program, along with members of Black Student Union, gathered at the Field House Saturday afternoon to have relays, three-legged races and play other games.

The event was sponsored by BSU and S.M.A.R.T. and included music by a live DJ. Games included kick ball, dodge ball and egg races. Winners of the egg race were awarded gold medals.

This was the first year that the field day took place.

The S.M.A.R.T. staff includes 25 mentors, four team leaders and 210 mentees.

“We’re trying to unite the community more,” said Latrice Flanagan, a S.M.A.R.T. Program team leader.

The S.M.A.R.T. Program became involved with BSU for this event because S.M.A.R.T. is a program in the Office of Residence Life, and BSU is a way for students of color to get involved on campus.

Together the groups can work on the retention of students from two different ways, said Tiffany Davis, S.M.A.R.T. Program coordinator.

“It was really important for us [BSU] to collaborate with S.M.A.R.T. because they work on retention of freshmen of color,” said Tawana Jackson, senior and president of BSU.

One of the main purposes was to, “have a fun day where people can really get out and meet each other,” Davis said.

Despite the heat, with water balloons cooled off participants.

Freshmen Will Scott and Giovanni Fillari, mentees in the S.M.A.R.T. Program, just went out to enjoy the weather, socialize and play games.

“It’s a way to meet new people,” Scott said.

For Fillari, stepping out of his comfort zone and trying out new activities – and new people – was the best way to broaden his social network at the University.

“Once we get involved with our mentors more and we interact with other groups, we’ll start to know more people,” Fillari said.

This was a good event for meeting new people, especially upperclassmen, because now Fillari can recognize them on campus and say, “Hey, I saw you at field day.”

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