Students are reaching out to the broader Grambling State University community after a pair of shootings brought the school's first homecoming since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to an early end.
Viontre Petty, a student, created a post on Twitter to encourage students to speak up and help prevent such incidents from reoccurring.
“The student body has to take it upon ourselves to rectify the situation in cooperation with administration and GSUPD. Our first step is to list our concerns,” Petty told The Gramblinite in the aftermath.
Two shootings interrupted GSU’s Homecoming Week this year, held Oct. 10 through 17.
The shootings occurred on Oct. 13 and 17. Both shootings claimed the lives of innocent bystanders.
The two people were shot about 1:08 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13 in front of Favrot Student Union during an event not sanctioned by the school. Neither person is a student and there was no active threat to the campus after the initial incident.
On the morning of October 17 at 1:00 a.m., a shooting occurred in the quad area of campus. Eight victims were confirmed, one of which is an enrolled student who was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Grambling State University President Rick Gallot said in a press release the violence was from off-campus guests.
“Our students come here for an education and far too often it’s outsiders who have created these situations that have put life and limb in danger,” Gallot said in the press release. “That’s not why we’re here. That’s not what we’re about after 120 years, and so again, our priority is keeping our students safe.”
Classes were canceled for Monday, Oct. 18, and Tuesday, Oct. 19. GSU administrators met with student leaders to determine the implementation of a curfew that will be in effect from 9:30 p.m. through 6 a.m. until further notice. Counseling services have also been made available.
Despite the tragedy, students and alums reported a favorable Homecoming overall.
“I really enjoyed seeing my GramFam and had a good time besides all the other sad news,” alumnus, Kyron Johnson, told The Gramblinite.
Homecoming at an HBCU is very big. An HBCU homecoming is more than attending a football game before heading back to the dorm to cram in some studying.
The weekly event is only held once a year but is taken seriously by the student body. Through history, style and music, students develop a sense of unity and pride for their historically black college or university.
Homecoming is a big deal for alumni just as much as it is for current students. Graduates travel miles across the country to come back to celebrate their alma mater.
Alumni and current college students are living on a legacy that their black ancestors built for black education when it was denied elsewhere. Homecoming is a celebration of black history and an opportunity to rejoice in the present.
For homecoming in Grambling, plenty of events were set in place to cater to both current students and the alumni who come home to celebrate with their old classmates.
The biggest events during this week were the talent show, comedy show, homecoming concert, step show and the homecoming football game. These events are what people look forward to the most when attending homecoming.
Some events were for the alumni only; which includes, “Black and Bougie Maskerade Alumni Party”, a “Casino Royale Alumni Party”, and an "Alumni Breakfast Bar.”
Most of the events were a complete success.
Unfortunately, one of the headlining artists of the homecoming concert, Yung Bleu, did not show up for his performance. The details as to why, are unknown.