A night on the town

A+night+on+the+town

Leslie Sanchez

[media-credit id=2194 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]College Night is a biannual free event for college students, whether it be Quinnipiac, Yale, Gateway, Southern State University or any other school in Connecticut. Quinnipiac is one of many schools included in the event, where you walk on Broadway and Chapel Street in New Haven to find the specific stores that contain free food and discounts at local stores.

Originally started 10 years ago by organizer Natashya Fernando, the event has been building from the ground up to welcome students in the New Haven area. Fernando originally started the idea for Yale students, but in the recent years, she has decided to include other universities for the day of fun and treats.

At the island in between Broadway and Chapel, students sign in and get a flyer for the event and tickets for the free food. With many people around to help, all anyone had to do was show their school ID and they would get access to the event.

It was almost like a mini scavenger hunt to try to find the item on your ticket, whether it be the free pizza, ice cream, cookies, etc. There were college students surrounding each location.

A long line for henna tattoos was visible and no matter the pattern you got, each tattoo looked amazing. Many people left the store satisfied with the wonderful pattern and memory of this day.

Next stop was Yorkside Pizza, crowded with students wanting the New Haven staple, beloved by the people of Connecticut. Ice cream from Ashley’s, cookies from Insomnia, palm reading, fortune telling and live music were just a couple of things included in this day. There were many things to keep the students busy all night.

Being college students, spending the day in New Haven was a good break from those study sessions in the library or long hours trying to write a paper. Students have enough stress, and thanks to Fernando, local students had the opportunity to enjoy themselves with friends. The idea of an event like College Night was designed for students who were concerned that the stores were not marketing to them.

Fernando stated that the purpose of the event was to give in-state and out-of-state students the feel of the city life and learn what New Haven has to offer. Coming from an hour away, University of Connecticut student Kelly McSpiritt made the trip down from Storrs.

“Being from New Jersey, it’s different coming here, I’ve known New York as being the city for most of my life, it’s weird coming here and learning how New Haven is,” McSpiritt said. “In a way, New Haven reminds me of Princeton, since they have the same vibe.”

[media-credit id=2194 align=”alignright” width=”196″][/media-credit]Only a half hour away, student Kyle Richardson from Sacred Heart University had similar views on the event.

“I’ve only ever known the Boston and New York area so coming here was a change, I’ve never been to New Haven, but it doesn’t seem that different from other cities I’ve been to, it kind of reminds me of my own town,” Richardson said.

Quinnipiac freshman Melissa Calcavecchio, described the night as different from the norm.

“It was different than going to the city like New York or Philly, it had the feeling of a city, but it seemed more relaxed than an actual city, which you don’t often see in Milford, New Jersey,” Calcavecchio said.

With the event’s attendance growing in numbers year after year, it boasted about 850-900 students in total from surrounding institutions located in Connecticut. A great turnout, Fernando deserves special thanks for managing to put the night together.

The event proved a breath of fresh air for college students across the state. Students who could not attend the event will be able to next semester although the date itself is still unclear.

Whether you did go or did not go, there is no denying that New Haven is a city that’s busy and full of life. Any student, in-state or out-of-state was able to feel the liveliness of the Connecticut area, with the hope that they can come back and enjoy it again next fall.