TGIT: a tradition worth preserving

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Photo by Peter Burleigh

Dear UD Community,

As many of you already know, there are significant changes happening to TGIT this semester. These changes were an upper administrative decision made to curb the binge drinking culture, to be more budget friendly and to streamline our programming events. While the changes were not my decision, it is important to me that I clarify the process of the change, as well as communicate why I believe the traditional model of TGIT is a tradition worth preserving. 

First, to clarify the changes. This semester, we (CAB) will be having TGIT weekly, however, two-thirds of the TGITs will be earlier in the evening (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.). We have decided to call it “TGIT before dark,” in order to differentiate earlier TGITs from the later TGITs. Every third week, TGIT will take place at the traditional time. For inquiring minds (and proactive costume buyers) the complete semester schedule for TGITs will be listed in the online version of this letter, and emailed out to students next week. 

As a community, we are notorious for not being particularly fond of change, especially when it concerns our well-loved traditions. So, it is understandable that this change will likely be met with emotions ranging from frustration to disappointment, as it certainly was for me. However, when you think about TGIT from the point of view of those who made the decision, it makes sense. It is financially responsible, and a potential solution to some issues that have grown more prevalent at TGIT including a lack of attendance for a substantial amount of time to an unhealthy drinking culture that seems to be associated with the event. Having TGIT at an earlier time lessens security costs substantially, and with major budget adjustments this Spring semester, we wouldn’t be able to afford to have TGIT weekly without doing so. Additionally, the administration found it difficult to justify the cost of an event that many students were only attending for 30 minutes. This is not to say that I agree with the decision to have earlier TGITs, or that I think it is the best solution to some of the problems with the event; however, I am able to understand and respect the reasoning behind the decision. I hope that the student body can as well. 

Despite having come to terms with the changes this semester, I would like to express my hope that the tradition of TGIT does not die, in all its 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. glory. Having the event at this later time is what gives it its identity. An earlier time slot will need to be planned and executed differently, simply by virtue of the fact that putting on a costume and dancing the night away is simply not something a sane person does 6 to 9. For students like myself, who love dressing up and dancing with friends, there are no similar events which offer this opportunity. Sure, we have our formal and cotillion, but having a fun, themed event like TGIT to look forward to each week is a wonderful part of the UD experience. It is unique, and something I firmly believe is worth preserving. 

I expressed these concerns to Dean Julia Carrano. She was incredibly understanding and gave the green light to have 5 “traditional” TGITs this semester. While I am uncertain what the future of TGIT looks like, my hope is that this quirky and unique tradition, which gives students the opportunity to kickstart their weekend with friends, costumes, dancing and fun, is not lost. If you, as a student, agree and want to help maintain this tradition, you can help by coming out to TGIT, letting others know why the event is important to you and supporting a healthy and respectful culture while at the event. Even for those students who don’t love dancing and loud music, we have been working to make the earlier portion of the event more fun for those who might prefer sitting and chatting with a friend over a beer, doing coloring pages, singing karaoke or partaking in activities beyond dancing on a packed patio. I am always open to feedback and constructive criticism and my email is always open for recommendations! (tgit@udallas.edu)

Concerning TGIT Before Dark: It has been called to my attention that some students are in class at the time, and many are working on homework that they want to be done before attending TGIT. That being said, we truly want TGIT Before Dark to be a fun, successful, and compelling event. The plan is to model it more after Wine Down Wednesday or Quiz Bowl, and provide a fun space to eat, drink and talk in a more happy-hour-like setting. I encourage all students to come, and hope that it will provide the opportunity to involve more clubs and professors in TGIT. If you would like to get involved let me know! 

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the changes, feel free to email me. Thanks for reading, and long live TGIT! 

-Ella Sullivan 

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To my fellow Students, and to our Faculty, Staff, & Alumni Members of our UD Community,

Like many Crusaders, I enjoy TGIT and greatly value its role as an informal and uniquely student-centered event that gives us a welcome respite from our daily academic and extracurricular hustle and bustle. Although, as a member of Student Government I play no role in facilitating or directing our TGIT program, I wish to share two primary thoughts on TGIT, both as a student and TGIT-goer.

Firstly, I’d like to affirm the hard work Ella Sullivan has put into TGIT this year. In this semester of flux for TGIT, I know that Ella won’t miss a beat in working to make each TGIT program the very best it can be.

Secondly, and centrally, I want to affirm and emphasize the enduring value of late-night Thursday programming. This semester, I truly look forward to attending all TGITs, both Before-Dark and Traditional. In future semesters, however, I also firmly believe that, in future years, we should maintain some sort of student-centered and student-driven programming post-9:00 p.m. on Thursday evenings. TGITs are great opportunities for developing friendships and healthily kicking back with folks from all class levels and majors. And fundamentally, this tradition can’t be entirely separated from its historically scheduled time, although there is always room for such growth and adaptation as is suitable and necessary.

Like many, I agree that TGIT constitutes a valuable community tradition. But it’s certainly not one we can take for granted. The most important factor in its continuance is sustained student body attendance and engagement. Student safety also constitutes a vital consideration of current and future TGIT programming plans, and the behavior of intoxicated students at TGITs past is a cause for sensible concern from all angles. I ask that, out of our shared desire to continue our TGIT tradition, we all try to attend each TGIT this semester in as safe, regular, and timely a fashion as our schedules reasonably permit, fostering an authentic and laid-back sense of Crusader community.

TGIT is indeed a tradition most worth preserving for future Crusaders, and the process of its preservation starts with each one of us intentionally making it a part of our lives here at UD. 

I’ll see you at TGIT!

-Joe Scholz, SG President

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Spring Semester TGIT Schedule:

Those in bold will be at the traditional 9-12 time, TGIT Before Dark will take place 6-9pm

  • January
    1. 30th – Groundhog TGIT
  • February 
    1. 6th – TGIT Before Dark: Lunar New Year 
    2. 13th – TGIT Before Dark: Valentine’s TGIT 
    3. 20th – Mardi Gras TGIT
    4. 27th – TGIT Before Dark: TBD
  • March
    1. 5th – TGIT Before Dark: Shakespeare in the Bar
    2. 12th –St Patrick’s TGIT 
    3. Spring Break
    4. 26th – TGIT Before Dark: Grease TGIT 
  • April
    1. 2nd – TGIT Before Dark: Game Night TGIT
    2. 9th – EASTER BREAK
    3. 16th – 80s TGIT
    4. 23rd – TGIT Before Dark: Around the World 
    5. 30th – TGIT Before Dark: TBD
  • May
  1. 7th – Senior TGIT


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