UNM students got a jumpstart on fun this year by attending Friday Night Live 2013 in the Student Union building. Sponsored by the Student Activities Center, the welcome back event drew more than 2,000 students on the Friday evening before classes began.
Friday Night Live was just the first of a weeklong schedule of events for Welcome Back Days, which include Freshman Family Day, the President’s Ice Cream Social, and other activities focused on student health, involvement, employment and culture.
The evening at the SUB offers games and other activities including Karaoke, dancing, a photo booth, student organization tables, Henna tattoos and, of course, the most popular attraction: food.
Freshman Cassie Adams said, “We wobbled, we danced a lot, and getting lots of free food is nice.” Classmate, Virginia Kotz added: “It’s a lot of fun. There’s dancing, people to meet, activities to see and be in.”
Friday Night Live started in 2007 as a way to get newly moved-in freshmen involved on campus and to help them meet other students. But it turned out to be popular as well with upper classmen wanting to reconnect after summer break.
“Each year we try to add something different to keep students excited,” said Debbie Morris, director of Student Activities. “This year it was laser tag and that proved to be a big hit with all the students.”
Associate Director Ryan Lindquist and a half-dozen staff members worked all afternoon setting up booths, putting out signs and getting the games ready to go. Even though it starts at 8 p.m., students show up much earlier.
Student Courtney Spencer said she really enjoyed the event. “I liked all the free food. There are so many activities. I met a lot of new people. It’s a great thing for freshman to come to.”
“The music and the activities make it really engaging,” said Freshman Waverly Mathis. “But at the same time, it’s a fun way to find out about all kinds of student organizations and events happening around campus.”