by, Lauren Raziano, Contributor
For the month of September, Manhattan College’s Student Government has set up outdoor movie nights every Friday night on the quad. As an incentive for students to attend, Student Government provides green and blue gingham blankets which students can sit on and then keep for free. These blankets, set six feet apart, serve as a great visual for social distancing among groups of students.
These events are a joint effort between Student Government, Manhattan Events Committee, and Student Engagement. The Event Committee sets up the inflatable projector, Student Government provides blankets, and Student Engagement procures the movies.
John Benett, the director of Student Engagement, said that although the movie nights have been a hit or miss in the past, now was the perfect timing to bring them back.
“With the help of student government, it was one of the ideas for the opening of this fall semester, to bring them back on campus and it really fits perfectly with the whole state of the time right now and COVID and group settings and being outdoors,” Bennett said. “It really worked out perfect timing-wise to start it up. So we then thought it was then good to really instead of doing a one off, making it a weekly series.”
Most of the movies screened are recently released movies, such as “Jumanji: The Next Level” and “Captain Marvel” so the Student Engagement office needs to buy the rights to show these movies. It may be pricier, but Bennet considers it is worth the student turnout.
“A lot of times we will try to show movies that aren’t out on DVD yet or that you can’t download yet or those sorts of things,” Bennett said. “This year is obviously is a little different because there haven’t been many new releases in movie theatres but, historically that is what we would do. We would show movies that are not available to be seen at home.”
The movie for Friday, Sept. 18, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” was chosen by the Student Government Executive Board, but the other movies were chosen by Student Engagement.
Shannon Gleba, the student body president and a member of The Quadrangle, said that the Student Government originally chose “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” as a singular event, but it grew into a weekly thing.
“Student Engagement chose to make it a whole month thing and chose the other movies to show to students,” Gleba said.
Freshman Jasmine Allen said that the movies have given her a reason to go out.
“I’m an avid movie goer, so the fact that theaters have been closed has been a bummer,” she said. “I really appreciate the opportunity to watch a movie in the company of my friends and others. It gives us all a reason to get out for the night which is nice,” Allen said.
Gleba has been impressed with the turnout of students who attend movies nights.
“I think people are having fun and I’m impressed with the people who have been coming so far,” she said.
There is a certain atmosphere about being out on the quadranle and watching movies with friends which makes the movies more special, but as the weather gets colder it might not last for much longer.
“Moving it indoors is something we have considered and that we have done in the past, but in the past it hasn’t been as popular as outside because it is honestly not as comfortable being inside, whether you’re in a chair or setting the blanket,” Bennett said.
However, Bennett said, “If students want to continue we would definitely be able to continue it [outside] for sure.”
This coming Friday wraps up the movies on the quadrangle series, with a screening of “Knives Out.”
Editor’s Note: Gleba and Allen are contributing members of The Quadrangle.