On Friday I ran the Student Union Board‘s (SUB’s) first late night event of the semester!
The event was First Friday, which features numerous galleries and local artists from the Philly area!
“First Friday is a unique cultural event in Philadelphia and one of the city’s most popular evening escapes. Held the first Friday night of each month, this arts community ‘open house’ brings together city dwellers and suburbanites, contemporary arts and antique collectors, aficionados of classical and contemporary design, and theater and performance buffs.”
This was the first time SUB had First Friday as an event in all the years of event planning. As a freshman, I remember wanting to go into Philly to partake in cultural events to really explore and see all that the city had to offer! I also know that a lot of people regret not utilizing the city more often in their freshman and sophomore years so I really wanted to pick and plan an event that would really help students to get better acclimated!
While in the city, there was a numerous amount of vendors from local artists to caricature artists to henna artists to jewelry and clothing vendors. N 2nd Street was filled with an array of different styles of art — there was truly something for everyone.
First Friday also provides a really good depiction of Philadelphia’s art scene. It was cool to see and support local artists that aren’t usually able to afford to put their paintings or drawings or pottery in well-known galleries throughout the city.
On the other hand, it was also really cool to see the art galleries for free! By going in, you could be added to mailing lists to hear about upcoming events as well as enjoy hors d’oeuvres and conversation with the local community.
I also feel like there is a big misconception about SUB events: THEY ARE NOT JUST FOR FRESHMAN! SUB provides a ton of events for free or for a very reduced cost than any SJU undergrad can attend.
That is also another reason why I pushed for this event to be on the calendar: 1) it provided an opportunity to explore Philly and it’s art scene; 2) it reached a new crowd of students because it was never done before; and 3) all four classes were represented (not just freshman!)
However, I will say that I felt fortunate to be able to run one of the first events of the semester, because I really got to interact with freshman after their second week of being on campus.
It’s still weird for me not to be the youngest and newest on campus (I sometimes still feel like a freshman), but I think being able to meet them through SUB and SUB events provides a very cool dynamic.
I remember feeling very intimidated by upperclassman, especially since it was my first time living away from home. So, for me, by going to the SUB events and meetings and eventually joining the Executive Board, I was able to feel more comfortable away from home, more confident in my leadership skills, and less intimidated by upperclassman.
I want to be able to be a resource to anyone interested in becoming an Exec Board member, or for anyone who is feeling stressed, homesick, or just needs someone to talk to!
First Friday made me very excited for the upcoming semester, especially to continue to meet new and current members of Hawk Hill!
Everyone on the trip was especially thankful and I can’t even begin to express how much that meant to me as an Exec Board member, but also more as a fellow Saint Joe’s community member.