Friday night event becomes a hit for students

The Center for Student Involvement has combated student boredom with its experimental Cougar Nights, a biweekly Friday night festival-like event during the first two months the semester.

Appeasing a student body of almost 40,000 can be a trying goal.

“There’s actually a programming committee that has graduate students on it, and they make recommendations on what activities to do,” said Marcella Leung, director at the Center for Student Involvement.

“It’s students who (are in) a field for this kind of thing, primarily students who are involved in organizations of some sort (on campus).”

Upon entering Cougar Night, students are greeted with a myriad of possible activities to participate in. The festival has every imaginable scope of entertainment from karaoke, video games, live performances, movies and crafts.

The most recent addition to the event is a photo-frame making room, allowing students to take canvas crafts and create a sentimental item.

“So far, I’ve heard really good things about (the crafting room). We’ve had a lot of repeaters,” said Lila Marchatto, biology sophomore and president of the Residence Halls Association.

Each Cougar Night hosts a different live act. Friday-night acoustic rock artist Hana Pestle set the stage.

“She’s pretty good. I like the fact that she did this for school projects back in high school,” said film production freshman Marcus Cantù. “I just wish more people would applaud her; this is some real true talent right here.”

Pestle’s performance was well received among the audience, particularly her popular music covers and her rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

Pestle spent the evening afterwards meeting with fans and giving out free digital downloads of her latest album “For the Sky.” This was her second time to perform at the University. She performs exclusively by herself.

“I have three EPs and a full length album,” Pestle said. “My stuff is produced, but I never tour with a band.”

Pestle enjoyed the show but commented on the random nature of college shows.

“When people don’t really know you and it’s a wander situation like this, you don’t know what to expect. I had fun; I’m glad people were sitting,” Pestle said.

The success of the final Cougar Nights event on Oct. 12 will determine if there will be more series of events like these. Graduate assistant for the Student Program Board Kristen Ernst noted that the event has been attracting about 250 students each night.

“Everything went really well; I’m really excited about the environment that’s being created by Cougar Nights,” Ernst said.

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1 Comment

  • It’s definitely awesome. I really enjoyed it the previous week. Very entertaining and a nice break from things. I hope they keep it up next semester too.

    It’d be nice if they emphasized sustainability practices into their events as well by putting out recycling bins and stuff.

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