By Lacey Keefer, Staff Writer—

Students escaped the stress of a new semester by watching Escape Room this past Thursday, Jan. 10.

The Office of the Dean of Students hosted a movie night at the Majestic 12 during their Winter Welcome Week on campus. Students had to reserve a seat through OrgSync, and transportation was an option for those who needed it. 

According to the Assistant Director for Student Engagement in the Dean of Students, Laura Petrus, the Dean of Students booked all 140 seats of one theater for the movie night, and each ticket was about $11. While Petrus and the Dean of Students weren’t sure about how much excitement this event would receive, all of the tickets were booked by Tuesday. 127 students attended the movie night. 

“We weren’t sure what student interest would be like, but it was overwhelming,” Petrus said. 

Students enjoyed the chance to do something free with their friends. UTC freshman Tyreniqua Jones attended the movie night with her friends. 

“I enjoyed the movie and it’s always nice to get into things free. I would most definitely do another movie night with UTC. It gave my friends and I something to do. You could tell everyone in the theater loved the movie as well,” Jones said. 

As a new semester begins, movie night, and Welcome Week in general, is designed to help students get involved. All students, including new students, freshmen and transfer students have the opportunity to attend these events.

“It can be really overwhelming just starting college in general, so this idea for Winter Welcome Week really evolved as a need to help students still feel connected to campus in the spring,” Petrus said.  

But the goal of this event was far more long-term than just the spring semester. Events during Winter Welcome Week may help more students graduate. 

“Research shows that students who feel connected to a campus are more likely to stay in college and graduate on time,” Petrus said.  

Hopefully, students can look forward to more movie nights in the future. 

“If it’s something our students really enjoy, then I think we’ll certainly look at ways to do it in the future and increase capacity, lowering that student price point for how much we’re paying per student, to maximize the budget that we have to do events like this. And to include as many students as we can, as well,” Petrus said. 

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