Jacob Dayton Contributing Writer
With the end of the semester quickly approaching, it feels like all the planets are aligning: last minute papers and presentations are due, cumulative finals are staring me down, and the post-Thanksgiving motivation struggle is real. As a senior, this experience is not unique. Since freshman year, I have felt that the end of the fall semester is difficult for everybody. This is one of the reasons why C.O.P.S. Open Rec Night was always such a welcome Friday-night reprieve.
For those unfamiliar, C.O.P.S. Open Rec Night is an annual event hosted by Eastern Connecticut State University’s Police Department, Student Government Association, the Offices of Student Affairs and Housing. While I have been at Eastern, Open Rec Night ran the first Friday in December from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. in the Sports Center. It provided a night of entertainment for the over 800 students who attended every year. Specifically, activities included board games, arts and crafts, sports tournaments, dancing, eating, candy-number estimation, and raffles. With so many options, there was always something for everybody. Although it was loud from intense board games or music, the Sports Center would become quiet on every hour during the raffles; that is, of course, until you would hear the groans from people who did not have the winning tickets.
This year, on Nov. 16, Chief Garewski sent an email to the student body explaining that Open Rec Night would not be held this year. Although I was bummed that this event will not be occurring in my senior year, I am grateful for the Open Rec Nights over the last three years. I recognize it takes an incredible amount of time, resources, and patience to host such a great event. Since this is such a well-attended evening which promotes a positive school climate, I hope it will continue next year with the twenty third C.O.P.S. Open Rec Night!
In the meantime, I think the success of C.O.P.S. Open Rec Night highlights several lessons that other organizers on campus could learn from: One, the amount of hard work and volunteers it requires to successfully plan/host a large event. Two, the need for persistent, strong advertising to publicize and attract people. Finally, the benefit of hosting one large event rather than unsatisfactory small ones.