It is Thursday night at eight and hundreds of people are filing into PLC while the smell of pizza wafts out the windows. This isn’t a class or a guest lecturer. These people aren’t a part of a specific group or club. Instead, they are gathering to watch “The Big Lebowski” and “Office Space.” @@[email protected]@This is Ducks After Dark.
The program started as a trial last year and has gained success this term. So much so, they were able to hire five students to help run operations. The Cultural Forum Coordinator Laura Morris@@[email protected]@ worked with the Associate Director of the EMU Jessi Steward @@[email protected]@and a group of students came up with the idea last spring.
“This year, it became more formalized,” Morris said. “We were able to hire people through Student Affairs. We are helping a new student group to take its own course.”
One of the new hires is University of Oregon senior Rafael Arroyo@@[email protected]@ who is now the program’s chairperson. He is in charge of coordinating and oversight of the program. He also works with the budget, which comes primarily from the Office of Student Affairs.
“We do get help from partnerships within the University,” Arroyo said. “Currently, we make requests to student programs like the Ticket Office, Craft Center, PE & REC, Outdoor Program, The Buzz, Zero Waste, amongst others. We offer these programs advertising space in our marketing for raffle prizes for students. Soon we will open the possibility for student groups to sponsor films and be featured that night.”
This year, attendance for the events has risen significantly. Morris had to find people seats in the dark during one of the movies because people had completely filled PLC.
“It is great, it is recognized,” Steward said. “People know what you’re doing.”
In between movies, there is a raffle. Prizes include gift certificates from places such as the Duck Store and various restaurants. To obtain these, group members must seek out potential donors and ask for a donation to the event.
Even with the program’s success, Arroyo said the group doesn’t intend on charging students for admission or pizza and drinks.
“Ducks After Dark was created to allow all students a space to have a free activity and relax. We will work hard to maintain this program free for all students,” he said.