By: Andrew Bowers
What’s an on campus event that intertwines new and old students, games, entertainment, and food? Well, of course, it’s Vol Night Long! This event is always a good way to kick off the year, and definitely gets you out of the residence hall and out of your personal shell. This is the first step in getting you used to the Vol atmosphere.
While the Engagement Fair was continuing on Pedestrian Walkway, you could see staff preparing for this event; an event that would make a memorable night for all students. With inflatable activities blown up, lights and DJ on, the food making its way to the tables, and the students in line to enter, the event looked more than promising. Something interesting about me is that I never experienced this type of event until that night. I transferred from another university where there were events and activities to do for first year students, but nothing of this magnitude. Not only was the entertainment well-thought-out by the event committee, but also there were large amounts of students present and enjoying themselves. Each of these things are different than what I am used to.
I stood near the stage waiting for the performers to start, and I could see so many memories being made. This made me realize something I already knew: this university cares for its student body. Hosting something like this is no easy task, but the staff (mainly student workers) really make it what it is. Seeing resident assistants from halls getting out with the students and making them feel welcomed was truly something special to witness. The motto, Vols Help Vols, was really exemplified by this. Seeing people who were initially by themselves have the courage to go up to another individual and introduce themselves was also great to see. Whether they continue a relationship of some kind or not, those particular people will remember that this was one of many steps to college, and that the atmosphere here is open and welcoming.
Student Engagement really outdoes themselves as well as all the staff that works this event. It not only pushes everyone to look into more events that occur throughout the university as a whole, but also shows students that there are SO MANY affiliations and activities that happen throughout the year. Getting inVOLved is simple. Seeing this event made me even more aware of how the University of Tennessee atmosphere is like no other, and that good times never stop; you just have to get out of the residence hall and come back onto campus to make the memories you want. As an upperclassman, I plan to see what more there is to this university than what I’m already involved in. I can make more friends and be a part of something new and exciting because that’s what all of UT has to offer. You as first year and upper division students reading this should do the same. Go get inVOLved and find programs!
I am currently a senior studying Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee. I currently work with the University Housing department in which I build and reach out to our student body via social media. I am also active as a student assistant in the athletics department, vice-president of the communications Studies Club and working at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. My goals revolve around building a network with the professionals I work with as well as providing myself an opportunity to always learn about my institution.