Story by James Jolly
Pre-physical release films for no cost every Friday? Although it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t.
Free Movie Friday, although not the oldest of Drake traditions, is one of the more popular on campus.
Sussman Theater is hopping on Friday evenings, with a free assortment of candy, drinks and of course, popcorn.
Since its debut last year, where upwards of 250 Bulldogs crammed into the theater in lower Olmsted Center, Free Movie Friday hasn’t missed a step.
Every showing rivals the biggest Hollywood premieres, at least in terms of excitement.
“The program is a huge success in (my) book,” said Former Student Activities Board President Carly Kinzler.
It has been hailed as an alternative to drinking on Friday nights. The program even won Best Alcohol Alternative Program in last year’s Adams Leadership Convocation.
There have been some doubts, both old and new, however.
When the idea was first presented in 2012, concerns were raised about money and attendance, saying it would only attract the same people every week.
Another concern was the number of films being shown every month.
More recently, some students have expressed displeasure with the choices in movies, saying the movies are slightly skewed towards men, citing movies like “Superman” and “Fast and Furious 6.”
Additionally, some feel that the funds spent for FMF could be better spent elsewhere.
But despite these concerns, Free Movie Fridays continues to see a steady stream of students, young and old and popularity around campus.
When asked about the cost, Zach Keller, a former student senator instrumental in the inception of the idea said, “The costs are worth the experience.”
Free Movie Fridays now in a transitionary period after it’s initial trial run.
It is partially funded by the Quasi Endowment Fund, a reserve account comprised of leftover funds from previous years.
The future of its funding is still being determined, with a plan being developed over the next few months.
During its trial run, the Student Senate was in control and regular senate funds were used. The Student Involvement and Leadership Office has begun oversight of the program, with Keller and Kinzler having co-chair positions.
During the initial phase the event and in continued discussions in the Student Senate, alternatives where planned.
Installing water bottle refill stations around campus was one initiative that came to fruition during these discussions.
It was also funded by the Quasi Endowment Fund and cost around $13,000.
Other ideas that are still in active discussion within the senate are renovations to the D-shoppe, the construction of a new Olmsted Mezzanine and the possible introduction of a new food option at the Olmsted coffee shop.
Keller and the Campus Advancement Committee drafted a document outlining these plans, in hopes of putting the Quasi fund to good use.
Despite the funding dispute, Free Movie Fridays seems to be a mainstay at Drake, hopefully lasting longer than the fame of the celebrities that grace its screens.