Story by Will Thornton
Friday nights on campus will be getting more exciting starting Feb. 8, when Drake’s Student Activities Board will be unveiling their new event series “Free Movie Friday.” SAB plans to show pre-released movies such as “Skyfall,” “Life of Pi” and “Argo,” using Sussman Theater and Aliber 101 as venues.
Student Senate’s campus advancement committee, first-year interest committee and SAB helped develop the idea as a way to use excess student activities fees from past years, which had built up in the senate’s reserve account to near-capacity.
“The main thing people are confused about is that the money for the event is not affiliated with any organization,” Zachary Keller, campus advancement committee chairman, said. “The reserve account is just leftover student activities fees that have gone unspent.”
Moreover, supporters of the event believe giving students a regular on-campus event will provide a sort of morale boost to the campus.
“We want students to have something to do on campus,” Carly Kinzler, Senate’s vice president of student activities, said. “As far as events go on this campus, it’s one of the less expensive events. Even if only 50 to 100 students are there, in our minds, that’s worth the money.”
Kinzler said $750 as an estimate of the cost of purchasing the screening rights for the movies, which together with food costs would bring the cost of each “Free Movie Friday” to around $1,000. Kinzler said the plan is to show 10 movies, and that the cost in total should not “exceed $13,000.”
The proposal for the event was well-received within Student Senate, with the main concern being the frequency of the event and the effect it may have on its popularity. Though formal allocation from Senate’s student fees allocation committee was not required (because the money would come from a reserve account), the committee also believed the event was a worthy use of the otherwise unused money.
Students’ reaction to the event has been quite good. In the few days the event has been publicized, the “Free Movie Friday” Facebook page has nearly 400 likes. Students have also praised the movie choices for the first three dates.
“I barely missed out on seeing ‘Skyfall’ in theaters, so I was pumped when I saw they’d be showing it for free on campus,” John Kenealy, first-year actuarial science and finance major, said. “Free movie nights will make sure there’s always something interesting to do on Fridays.”
“We may have students vote on the new movies,” Kinzler said, “We’re probably going to be doing some Facebook polls just to see what students want.”
“I can’t wait to see ‘Life of Pi,’” Veronica Jandura, first-year psychology major, said.
“It’s a great idea, we already have a theater on campus and it’s hardly ever used. I’m hoping they will show ‘Les Misérables’ once it comes out,” Jandura said.
Kinzler and Keller are confident that, should “Free Movie Friday” prove to be as popular as they hope, it will become a long-standing tradition within Drake.
Corrections: An earlier version of this article state the estimated amount of each “Free Movie Friday” would be around $1,200. It has been clarified to $1,000. Further, with spring break and Relays week falling during the spring semester, a movie will not be shown every Friday, which would change the estimated total cost from $25,000 to $13,000. “Free Movie Friday” does not have an on-campus organization sponsoring it from week to week.