When people find out that I don’t like to go out and party on the weekends, I generally receive some kind of stunned look, a “Wait, seriously?” or some combination of the two.
Sometimes, it’s hard to find something else to do on the weekend in a college town, but one more option got added to my list last Friday.
On Feb. 1, the Student Centers and Activities at Virginia Tech, or VTSCA, held Gobbler Nights at Squires Student Center from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. The event provided students with a free alternative on a Friday night and was the trial run for a program set to take place on the first Friday of every month for the remainder of the semester.
Heading into Gobbler Nights, I was already anticipating having a lot of fun, thanks in part to the huge social media buzz VTSCA had stirred up for the event. I applaud VTSCA for using social media to its advantage to get people excited for the event.
When Friday rolled around, I gathered up a few friends and headed to Squires. Although we weren’t able to get our hands on the free T-shirts that went to the first 100 people through the door, we were able to make it to the front of the “Stuff a Bear” line to make our stuffed animals.
This booth was, without a doubt, the hit of the event. After three years here, I’ve seen students get pretty excited over freebies, but never have I seen so many college guys waiting in line for a stuffed animal.
No matter where I turned throughout the night, I saw people holding a stuffed animal, and the booth had to shut down before midnight because it ran out. I never would have thought that a stuffed animal activity would do so well at a college event, but I will say that I am extremely happy with my stuffed wolf.
The rest of the activities at Gobbler Nights seemed to be big hits as well. Huge lines snaked their way through Commonwealth Ballroom for airbrushed T-shirts and an obstacle course where they wore drunk goggles from the Tech Police Department.
Other activities included a screening of the movie “Friday,” a putt-putt course in the main lobby and a midnight breakfast from Chick-fil-A.
People also really seemed to enjoy getting their pictures made with a 15-foot tall inflatable toilet. Students could climb inside, pose with their friends and have the picture printed to take home.
The only complaint that I had — which was echoed by most of my friends at the event — was that the lines were way too long. For VTSCA, long lines meant that the event did really well, but for the students standing in the lines, it was somewhat discouraging.
Generally, the lines moved quickly, but one activity was definitely an exception to this: the airbrushed t-shirts. I understand that it takes a while to make a T-shirt that will fit the request that you’re given. However, when we had been standing in line for 45 minutes and had only moved a few feet, we lost all motivation and abandoned our spots in line to find another activity.
After advertising the event so heavily, I completely understand why it would be difficult to keep lines short. Since the entire event is free, there probably isn’t a very good fix to this problem other than to play up the smaller activities.
The shortest lines I saw all night were for things like putt-putt and karaoke downstairs, probably because most people stayed with the larger activities in Commonwealth Ballroom. For the next Gobbler Nights event, I would definitely suggest heavily advertising the small activities along with the large ones.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed this event. It was a lot of fun, the staff was extremely nice and accommodating, and everything was well organized within Squires. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for something fun, and free, to do on the first Friday of each month.