During the first week of school, the Union Programming Council (UPC) hosts an event every day for students to meet new people and get free food. This Friday is the culmination of it all — Crimson Nights.
Beginning at 9 p.m., students can party, dance, go through giant obstacle courses and play giant Jenga, said Brooke Newhall, a junior in strategic communication and director of the event. This year’s theme is “tailgate,” and Newhall said it is an effort to reach out to U athletes.
“We wanted to address a different crowd than we normally have and include the athletic department,” she said.
Some of the sports teams, such as women’s soccer, have helped UPC plan the event, and, in return, UPC members will be attending their Friday game.
All U students can enter the event free of charge with their UID, and students from other colleges can pay $5 with their respective school IDs. There will be free food catered from Chili’s, Starbucks, Del Taco and FreeBirds. Dead Cool and DJ Raszo will perform outside until 12 a.m. while DJ Fayze and DJ Bangarang will play on the inside stage until the close of the event at 2 a.m.
With a variety of activities, UPC is hoping to attract students from all over campus.
“We would love to see a diverse group of students,” Newhall said. “Students that love to do art, students that love to dance, students that love to play board games or tailgate games. We want activities that reach a wide range of students and will continue that theme throughout the year.”
Austin Elphick, a junior in chemical engineering, thinks there is something fun for every student at Crimson Nights. For him and his friends, it is bowling. His group has gone together for the last three years, and he’s not planning to break the streak now.
“It’s a good friend-group activity, and it’s free,” Elphick said.
It may be free for students to attend, but to have all the activities and security on campus for Crimson Nights is no cheap feat. In total, it costs about $12,000 to put on the event.
Newhall said the ultimate purpose for events such as these is to provide opportunities for students to get involved at the U and meet new people. That’s why students like Kellie Murray, a pre-med freshman, attend.
“Since I’m new, I like to go to all the events to meet new people and learn more about the school,” Murray said.
Thirty-five student groups will also table at the event, so students like Murray can learn about other opportunities to get involved on campus.
Newhall said: “We can show how students from all backgrounds can have an amazing and safe experience on campus.”