With the school year in full swing, students are starting to miss the abundance of free food and activities offered on a silver platter during welcome week.
The good news: the end has yet to arrive.
Vol Night Long, an event sponsored by the Campus Entertainment Board, promises students a night of free food and recreation. The event is tonight at Skatetown, a local roller rink. It begins at 11 p.m. and runs until 2 a.m.
Admission is free with a Volcard and shuttles will be running from the UC from 11 p.m. to 1:20 a.m.
Alexandra Chiasson, press secretary for the Central Program Council, said that the CEB is taking the event to a new level based on its popularity among students.
"The Campus Entertainment Board was asked by administration to sort of 'amp up' their late night programming, so now they're having a Vol Night Long every month," Chiasson said, junior in English. "That was in response to student surveys. People said that they really liked Vol Night Long and alternative programming at night, so they catered to that by having one every month."
Jackie Gardner, graduate advisor for the CEB, said that this particular Vol Night Long differs from those in the past.
"This one is special because it's the first one in a long time that's been off campus," Gardner said.
Chiasson said she believes that people are excited to take a skate down memory lane.
"I haven't roller skated since I was in middle school, and I know I'm not the only one," Chiasson said. "I think everyone's pretty anxious to give it a whirl again."
This particular event's theme is a tribute to the student body's favorite campus celebrity.
"It's centered around Smokey's birthday, which is in September, and there will be cupcakes, pizza and ice cream," Gardner said. "It's kind of a throwback birthday bash. Unfortunately, Smokey will be getting on a plane to go to Oregon, but we're still going to celebrate him and he'll be there in spirit."
In addition to free refreshments, students will also have the chance to win prizes and skate their hearts out while listening to two live disc jockeys.
Mike Nash, better known throughout campus as DJ Mike Nasty, has had experience with Vol Night Long in the past. In addition to DJ Mike Nasty, there will be another student disc jockey at the event.
"I'll be deejaying with my friend, DJ Logan Garrett, so we'll kind of feed off each other and just have a chill vibe throughout the night and get everybody amped up and hyped like we normally do," Nash said, senior in supply chain management. "His style is similar to mine. We're pretty well rounded and we can deejay for almost any crowd here at UT."
By sponsoring this event, UT seeks to provide students with a safe alternative to some of the other Friday night happenings on campus.
"We're hoping to provide a unique experience that's safe and fun," Gardner said. "It's a fun event where students don't feel pressured to do some of the things their friends might be doing out on the strip."
Even from behind the turntables, Nash said it's clear that students who come to Vol Night Long have a blast.
"Students definitely enjoy the event," Nash said. "My favorite thing is the food and seeing all of the different cultures that come out and have a great time."
Chiasson said that students should not let anything prevent them from attending the event.
"It doesn't cost anything and it shouldn't conflict with anything," Chiasson said. "Even if you go for a couple of hours before going out, it's still worth your while. It's a good place to hang out with friends. Even if you're not interested in skating, there will also be food, two DJs, and a dance floor."
Nash encourages the freshman class to take advantage of these resources and to come out and have a good time.
"I hope to see a lot of UTK '17," Nash said. "I want to see them come to ... Vol Night Long, and hopefully it will draw them to the rest of these events in the future while they're at UT."
For more information on the event, click here.