TGIT: thank goodness (there still) is TGIT

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Students at Texas TGIT during the first week of classes. Photo by Emily Ashman

This year CAB has taken a new approach to TGIT and other on campus activities: TGIT is now once a month, and during the interim Thursdays CAB hosts other smaller and more creative activities. 

Essentially, there are two reasons for lessening the frequency of traditional TGITs: a re-prioritization of events and COVID-19 concerns.

TGIT is expensive to host and to organize. CAB pays for each band, security, themed decorations and the food and drink which UD students love so much. 

The majority of these costs are unavoidable according to Julianne Wheeler, a senior business major and CAB’s Traditions Intern. When an event provides drinks, the events must also have food and security. 

Wheeler stated that, “[They] try to make sure that what money [CAB] is spending is actually contributing positively to student life and campus culture.” 

Similarly, according to Damien Walz, a senior politics major and CAB’s Academics Intern, CAB has decided to devote some funds to smaller and more creative events in order to foster community in a different and more unique way. 

Considering this, it makes sense to restrict the frequency of TGIT while still allowing the few TGITs we do have to be wonderfully full-bodied events. 

UD hosted one traditional TGIT so far which was well-attended and certainly festive in the best sense — sadly, COVID-19 cases spiked shortly thereafter. According to some, this event could have functioned as a super-spreader. 

That being said, considering UD students’ love of communal events — especially TGIT — it is not illogical to conclude that some students would have gathered off-campus thereby contributing to the spread of COVID-19 regardless of whether or not TGIT was officially hosted. 

What is CAB’s remedy for this illness inflicted on our ability to foster community? Smaller events every Thursday — and occasionally other days — are hosted in order to supplement the loss of TGIT. 

This decision to host smaller events has two benefits: the creation of unique atmospheres that foster the UD community and the potential slowing of the spread of COVID-19. 

So far UD students have taken part in two fantastic events: the Bob Ross painting expedition put on by CAB and the UD Art Village Association, and last week’s Faculty-Student Social hosted by Walz. 

Each event has been a smashing success, with the Faculty Happy Hour drawing around 150 attendees with 10-12 professors, according to Walz. Among these, there were four professors who remained until 10:00 p.m., well after the event had ended and the beer was gone in order to converse with students. Their long attendance speaks to the success of the event. 

What’s coming up next? This Thursday, the Philosophy Club will host their own happy hour on the Mall at 7:00 p.m. with alcohol for those of legal age and a “topic for discussion” led by the club president and faculty sponsor, according to Walz.

The event is open to all students and professors, so let your professors know and invite them! We need to spend time with our wonderful faculty and Philosophy Club members.

Wheeler said that our next TGIT will be Halloween TGIT. “As always this may be subject to change if a COVID outbreak were to happen again,” Wheeler wrote. 

“We’re hoping to continue our Happy Hour series in the meantime and hope that students will attend. The event was created with the intention of giving us a way to celebrate Thursdays that could be modified to adhere to COVID protocols if necessary. We will continue to discuss COVID policy with the Office of Student Affairs to make sure we are doing what is best for the student body,” Wheeler continued.

Hopefully in two weeks we will have another wonderfully lively TGIT with as much, if not more, attendance than our first. Make TGIT great again, folks, and in the interim enjoy the variety of new and unique events held each Thursday. 

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