Ice cream trucks, mascot sightings, and lawn games might be typically associated with a carnival rather than a college campus. But, this week, BC’s campus has been filled with plenty of fun activities and giveaway events — one of these being a discounted trivia night at BC After Dark.
“I was actually surprised,” said Andrew Vagra, MCAS ’24, who took advantage of a 50 percent off night at the on-campus restaurant on Friday. “The entire place was packed inside for the entire night. There were no open tables, so I was very surprised to see that. But it was great, and I’m glad we have something like that on campus.”
To close out the semester and thank BC students for their dedication to following University COVID-19 protocols, the Undergraduate Government of BC, in partnership with BC Dining and BC Athletics, offered a series of campus-wide events, meet and greets, giveaways, and more in what they dubbed “Thank You Week.”
“The student body, and really the entire BC community but especially the students, put in a tremendous amount of work and a tremendous amount of effort to stay safe and ‘Keep the Heights Home,’” UGBC President Christian Guma, CSOM ’21, said. “So, we wanted to recognize that, and again reward students for the job that they did.”
Thank You Week began on April 24 with a BC Football game and discounted pricing at BC After Dark, and rounded out the following Saturday with more BC After Dark discounts and trivia.
The trivia drew UGBC communications director Jessica Paszko to stay on campus Friday night.
“I love trivia,” said Paszko, MCAS ’22. “I go to Cityside trivia a lot, won my freshman year trivia in Newton basement, so I came back to win some more trivia.”
For Vagra, it was the cheap prices that motivated him and his friends to go to the restaurant.
“It was really easy to get all my friends together to do it and convince them because everything was so cheap and it was right on campus,” he said.
Paszko said the atmosphere at BC After Dark was impressive on Friday, compared to last time she went during its opening weekend.
“I felt tonight was like very similar to like the Cityside bar atmosphere at trivia, which I really liked,” Paszko said. “People were like, you know, more energetic than usual, and that’s kind of like the scene I was hoping for.”
Vagra also said that the energy was great at BC After Dark on Thursday.
“It was a great vibe, ” he said. “Well, among us freshmen, it was like a great way to like have fun with our friends and get our minds off of all this COVID madness.”
The academic week’s events consisted of discount vouchers to restaurants like El Pélon Taquería, White Mountain, and Shake Shack, as well as on-campus lawn and board games. UGBC also gave out “I Survived the Eagles Care Pledge” t-shirts.
BC Dining also contributed to these events, providing peanut and butter jelly sandwiches and cookies on Monday, an ice cream truck on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a walking taco pop-up inside the Rat on Thursday. All of the food and treats were given to students for free, subsidized by UGBC.
After collaborating with Guma and UGBC Vice President Kevork Atinizian, CSOM ’22, throughout most of this academic year, BC Dining was excited to be involved in Thank You Week, according to Meg O’Neill, the associate director of BC Dining.
“We don’t need our staff and I don’t have a job if students aren’t here, so it was really important for us to figure out ways to get students here, keep them safe, get the message out, and UGBC has been an unbelievable partnership in that,” O’Neill said. “So we also are thanking the students who are doing their part, making it until April.”
Beyond just a reward for students’ diligence, O’Neill said that events centered around food can bring people together.
“The best times for me [are] when I’m sitting out in the dining room and I’m listening to the students just being together and laughing, having fun,” she said. “That to me is like, ‘Okay, this is why you do this.’”
UGBC also partnered with BC Athletics, who did a Sunday merchandise giveaway on Instagram for students, and scheduled opportunities on Monday and Tuesday for students to meet varsity coaches, like men’s hockey coach Jerry York and football coach Jeff Hafley.
“[Guma and Atinizian] presented it to us and we were very excited,” Associate Athletic Director Jamie DiLoreto said. “We’re starting to hopefully turn a corner here and we’re getting towards nicer weather, to be outside more — we were provided some opportunities to thank the students, and our coaching staff jumped at it.”
The meet and greet opportunities should build fan engagement going into next year, too, DiLoreto said.
Vagra said he hopes to see more in-person initiatives like it in the future.
“The whole [in]-person thing is tough right now, but in the future, I would love to see it because it was really fun,” he said. “[It was] just a good way to hang out with your friends and people.”
The event required a lot of time and planning for Guma and Atinizian especially, Guma said, but the opportunity to see a student happy made it all worth it.
“This year we really really stressed that every dollar we spend, all of our resources, are going outward toward the students, nothing is being used internally for UGBC, it’s all outward, and this week is the epitome of that,” Guma said. “Literally we’ve labored and spent a lot of money, all for the students—it’s an investment [in] them.”
Atinizian also emphasized the importance of thanking students for their work this year.
“It’s great to see our students enjoying themselves and I’m thrilled UGBC could play a small part in that,” Atinizian said in a statement to The Heights. “The student body has done a tremendous job this year, and we ought to recognize them.”
Correction 5/3/2021 10:40 a.m.: A previous version of this article misspelt the name of Associate Athletic Director Jamie DiLoreto, and that error has been corrected.
Featured Image Courtesy of Christian Guma