Movie nights act as stress reliever for students

A group of students gather for a movie night in January at the Gulliot University Center. UPC will give away UNA sweatshirts to the first 100 students at the next movie night Nov. 8, where “The Purge: Election Year” will be the featured film, said Briana Tanner, the University Program Council movie and novelty committee chair.

As students become overwhelmed with classes, homework, jobs and extracurricular activities, University Program Council strives to relieve some of the burden.

A seemingly popular choice among students is the UPC Movie Nights, which UPC hosts every two or three weeks on different weeknights.

This year, UPC has seen a slight increase in attendance at the Movie Nights, said Briana Tanner, the UPC movie and novelty committee chair.

Movie night attendance typically draws 150-200 people, Tanner said.

“I feel like the movies that were played last semester weren’t aimed at what the students wanted to see,” Tanner said. “The attendance wasn’t bad (last year), but I feel like this fall semester has definitely been better.”

Movie Nights have always been popular among students, said SGA President Sarah Green.

“We put them on so frequently so people know they’re coming,” Green said. “A lot of students look forward to them.”

This year, UPC has put on movies such as “Finding Dory,” “Suicide Squad” and “The Conjuring 2” for students to view either in the Guillot University Center Performance Center or Memorial Amphitheater.

UPC finds recent movies that were popular in theaters and usually spends at least $500 to rent them from a catalogue before they release on DVD, Green said.

Each movie night is free for students with a valid mane card and includes snacks, drinks and novelty items, such as blankets, towels and umbrellas.

UPC will give away UNA sweatshirts to the first 100 students at the next movie night Nov. 8, where “The Purge: Election Year” will be the featured film, Tanner said. The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election happens to be on the same day as the movie night.

Sophomore Jessica Lenz said she attends almost every movie night and appreciates the effort UPC puts forth to show movies that match a certain theme.

“They choose fun movies,” Lenz said. “During Halloween season, they picked out a horror movie. I usually don’t like horror movies though, but I like that they choose movies based on what’s popular nowadays.”

While Movie Nights are free to students, they average around $2,000 to put on with the movie, snacks, drinks, equipment and swag items included, Green said.

While the movie budget is about the same as last year, the committee focuses on providing better novelty items, Tanner said.

“We are trying to keep our costs relatively in the same area (as last year),” Tanner said. “Sometimes we go a little over (budget), but that’s of course due to us having a better novelty item. Our novelty may cost a little more than just a T-shirt, like our next upcoming movie with sweatshirts.”

Green said one consideration the movie night committee takes into account is showing different genres of film to engage interest from more students.

“I think that with movie nights, they hit a lot of different areas on campus because you can change it up so often and make sure everybody is happy at least once,” Green said. “I think it’s a really good way to reach out to students and let students have a good break for two or three hours.”

Having Movie Nights are also a good way to bring people of different backgrounds and classifications together, said sophomore Zarif Shadman.

“The fact that all the students can get together to watch a free movie is what I enjoy,” Shadman said. “As an international student, the movies give me a better understanding of the American culture and helps me build friendships with people that share the same taste in movies as I do.”

Lenz said she uses Movie Nights as her getaway from school.

“It’s definitely a stress reliever for most students, especially me,” Lenz said. “When you have a 15-16 hour workload, you just want to chill and hang out with your friends.”