The Chronicle’s View: Partying Harty at the Union

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For college students, there’s nothing as satisfying as hearing one magical word: free.

Tonight from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., the Union Programming Council will put on its second Crimson Nights event, which, like the last one, will include free music, bowling, billiards, entertainment and other activities.

The first installment of the event, which was launched in early March, was a huge success as organizers gratefully complained that they ran out of activities for students. Judging by the lineup of activities, tonight’s event will likely be just as popular.

Off By One, a band that played on the Warped Tour, will highlight the evening with a show starting at 10 p.m. The night will also include basketball and ping pong tournaments, karaoke singing, a root beer chugging contest, a screening of the movie “Catch Me if You Can” and an hour and a half long performance by the Quickwits comedy troupe.

An event like Crimson Nights at the U is long overdue. The event serves to craft campus community and bring students from all across campus into one place. It’s something that not only the U’s resident and greek system students can get involved in, but it’s also an activity worth commuting to for a casual and cost-efficient Friday evening.

Students yearn for a cheap place to meet other college-aged students and hang out late on weekends, but it is a real problem for new students or those who aren’t the legal age for Salt Lake night life.

For Fall Semester, the Union Programming Council wants the event to take place every month, and further in the future the Council hopes to make it into a once-a-week thing. Considering the turnout for the first Crimson Nights (the Crimson Underground was packed), this is an outstanding idea.

It gives students a late-night hangout that won’t break their already thin pocketbooks. It lets them unwind from a week of classes and exams and gets them to explore the social aspects of college life.

And don’t forget that magic word: free.