After a long hiatus, TGIT, the traditional University of Dallas celebration of Thursday, is back. . Campus Activities Board (CAB) announced the return of one of UD’s most beloved traditions in an email in late August. The event styled “TGIT…for now,” was originally scheduled for Sept. 3, yet was postponed until the following Thursday.
Unsurprisingly, some alterations and restrictions to the traditional TGIT setting were observed. Participants were required to fill out a Google form in order to attend. Limited seating in the Ratskeller and Haggar Patio featured chairs placed several feet apart. Temperatures were recorded at the door and ushers showed participants to a seat where they were instructed to remain until the end of the event. Masks and social distancing were to “be strongly enforced during the event,” according to the CAB email.
Rather than structuring the event around a specific theme, TGIT brought in the student band Screwtop, who performed at Groundhog 2020 earlier this year.
Admittedly, the new format was not the traditional TGIT ideal. Screwtop drummer Tommy Thompson wrote in a text, “Before playing, we were a bit worried about jamming out with a seated, socially-distanced crowd.”
Nearly all the seats were full, and some students watched from outside the Rathskeller as well.
Thompson said, “Everyone there was really responsive, the energy was high, and the overall experience was really fun and much needed.”
Students belted out covers with the band, danced in their seats rather than in a group and came together as a UD community, albeit socially distanced.
The return of TGIT reminds us that in chaotic times we must hold fast to our traditions, even the triviality of blowing off steam on Thursday nights. Reviving events such as TGIT causes us to be grateful for the time we have been given and remain hopeful for better times ahead.
Yet for new students,“TGIT…for now” was a fresh experience. Freshman Aubrey Wieburg, after speaking with her friends freshmen Lydia Wilson and Elise Valdez, wrote in a message, “We didn’t really have any other TGITs to compare this one to, and, since we didn’t come in with any preconceived notions about how the event should go, we just enjoyed it for what it was.”
Wieburg said that after so many cancellations, attending TGIT is a taste of normalcy.
Wieburg said, “I think the freshman class is just glad to be here, honestly. With all the things we missed out on senior year, it’s just nice to even be on campus… It was nice to have one UD tradition that stayed, even if our first TGIT looked a bit different.”
CAB has not mentioned its plans for more TGITs this semester.
Thompson aptly summarized, “I was grateful for everyone who came out on Thursday to listen, dance in their seats, do the wave and belt out “Mr. Brightside.’”