TGIT has finally got it going on

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Students Maggie Gruschow, Jeremiah Sullivan and Bridget Burch attend Disney TGIT as characters from the movie "Moana." Photo by Marquel Plavan.

Ella Sullivan, the new musical entertainment intern for the Campus Activities Board, is killing it with TGIT this year.

To begin with, it has been said in the past that TGIT doesn’t really start until 11 p.m., but that is no longer true.

“I’ve made it a goal of mine to have something for people to do from 9-10 p.m. each week, as we normally struggle with earlier attendance,” Sullivan said.

So far, Texas TGIT had line dancing lessons, Luau TGIT had a limbo contest, Disney TGIT started with a Disney trivia Quiz Bowl, Greek TGIT had karaoke, and Middle School TGIT had Just Dance” on the Wii.

The most noticeable improvement is the amount of thought that has been put into the themes. One Thursday last year featured the theme Taylor vs. Kanye TGIT, which was a cool idea in theory but didn’t inspire a clear vision or variety for easy dress-up, and perhaps included too large a spectrum of songs that were rather difficult to dance to.

This year’s Middle School themed TGIT, however, made it simple, calling for looks every middle-schooler wore or saw worn regularly and playing throwback songs that none of us were strong enough to delete from our playlists and were happy to hear again. Greek TGIT gave students a chance to repurpose spare bed sheets that had been lying around and dust off their flower crowns while they enjoyed Greek food.

“This year I have attended every TGIT, though last year I did not go to any,” said sophomore Jordyn Buell. “Currently, I think the themes are great … my favorite thing about TGIT is dressing up for each of themes.”

Freshman Versana Roche-Diaz, too, has not missed a TGIT this year and agrees that she loves the themes as well as the good selection of music.

In regards to music, Sullivan says she looks for music that is on-theme, well-known, not too explicit, and high energy.

“I initially started [by] doing about half of the music on-theme and about half as current popular songs, but, on recommendation from others, have adjusted to do almost the entire playlist in accordance with the theme when possible,” Sullivan said.

For some themes, like Disney or Middle School, a whole playlist that fits the theme is straightforward, but with other themes like Luau or Greek the event benefits from having more current popular songs mixed in. Finding a balance that everyone can enjoy is challenging, but, as seen from the TGITs so far, is possible.

When asked whether it was a simple decision to bring “Stacy’s Mom” back, Sullivan replied, “Short answer: of course.”  

“‘Stacy’s Mom’ helps to make TGIT TGIT … I wouldn’t dream of ending TGIT any other way,” Sullivan said. “When students leave [UD] and hear ‘Stacy’s Mom,’ I want them to think of their time at UD and memories with friends at TGIT.

“Music and memory are closely bound, and I’m sure alumni everywhere smile when they hear the first notes of Fountains of Wayne’s playful, albeit slightly controversial, tune. Honoring these small traditions brings us together, no matter how insignificant they may seem. To quote the song … ‘I know it might be wrong, but I’m in love with Stacy’s mom’ and its accompanying memories.”

Another reason to mark your calendars for TGIT earlier is the extra effort put into the new snack spreads.

“Catering was unheard of my freshman year, but they began to implement it last spring,” Sullivan said. “It’s been a huge success, and another motivator for people to arrive early. Aramark is super accommodating and Sean [Doran] helps with on-theme ideas every week.”

“As a student, I know what gets students in the door and keeps them coming: fun themes, good food and good music,” Sullivan added. “I’ve found it’s pretty simple and that if you have these three things people have a good time and want to come back.”

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