Could new budget restrictions affect film selection?
By: CHRISTIAN HARGAS
On Friday, Nov. 10, the STLCC–Meramec Student Activities Council (SAC) held the “Flix and Chill” event in the cafeteria in the Student Center. For $1, students and community members came to view the film “Trainwreck” and were offered popcorn, soda and ice cream.
The event was great for how it was rooted, SAC President Maddie Marlow said.
“Our goal is to just put on events that we think our students are going to like and the more hype that our events get, the more people learn about them and the more people can come out and appreciate them,” Marlow said. “We have a lot of students who actually want to come out and make it a point to attend these events and having that kind of loyalty is great.”
Meramec has a long tradition of showing Friday night movies, Manager of Campus Life Carolyn O’Laughlin said.
“For years and years, we have had Friday night movies where we have shown kind of second-run movies that you would see at the dollar show, on Friday night in the cafeteria,” O’Laughlin said. “Now, we have a new manager and we have new budget restrictions.”
Those budget restrictions prompted the SAC to reduce the number of movies shown each semester, O’Laughlin said.
“We were finding that we were not getting as many people showing up at these Friday night movies when we looked back at the data from years before,” O’Laughlin said. “At the same time, I have been working with the Student Activities Council and really trying to put the planning of these events in the hands of the students.”
The film that was shown was “Trainwreck” starring Amy Schumer. This was a different type of movie shown compared to previous viewings, Marlow said.
“We have never shown a movie that was just intended for an adult audience before. So, we just wanted to see how well that went over, how well it did with attendance and how many people talked about it,” Marlow said. “So that is still up in the air.”
Student Activities Council member Erica Green said she thought the event was successful.
“I actually have never seen that movie before, so I am really glad we picked it. It was a really good and hilarious movie, but it also made me cry too but that is okay,” Green said. “It was a good turnout though.”
The last Movie Night event featured “The Avengers 2.” Attendance included more than 80 people, O’Laughlin said.
“That is a great turnout for a movie that you could have watched On-Demand,” O’Laughlin said. “There were also people who were in costumes. I mean, it was really fun and we had a good time.”
The amount of people who attend is important, but it is all about the enjoyment of the event, Marlow said.
“If we put on this event and only 20 people show up, but they are enjoying themselves, then I am happy,” Marlow said. “If each of those people tell three more people, then next time 60 people will come out and that will be even better.”
Improving the advertising aspect of the production is what the Student Activities Council is focusing on, Green said.
“I think if we do this next year, we will want to work on advertising a lot harder to push for more people,” Green said.
The best part about the Movie Nights is to see the couples from the community who come out every time, Marlow said.
“The more I work the event, the more I recognize them and the more they say ‘oh I saw you last time’,” Marlow said. “It is cool to know that there are people who have been attending these since the first year they were being put on and they look at our college and how we are engaging with the community.”
O’Laughlin said her favorite time is when she gets to see the behind the scenes aspect of the student leaders’ involvement with the event.
“The most fun times for me is when I get to see the student leaders that I work with every week — when they are hanging out in the concession stand and just having a good time,” O’Laughlin said. “I appreciate the work that students do very much and I also appreciate when they get to let their hair down with it a little.”
Special thanks go to the advisors of the Campus Life Office, Green said.
“I would like to applaud Carolyn O’Laughlin and Phil Campbell for letting us do this whole STLCC ‘Flix and Chill’,” Green said. “They really trusted us to do this and do it well, so I would like to thank them for allowing us to do this.”
Considering the event took place on Friday, Nov. 13, there was serious consideration for showing one of the “Friday the 13th” horror films, O’Laughlin said. There was also discussion for different movies.
“We talked about showing “Friday the 13th”, but we just completed Trunk or Treat. We discussed a couple of different movies, which is funny because there is so much diversity in the room,” O’Laughlin said.
Marlow said there is a possibility for one more movie showing on campus this semester.
“We are in the works of that,” Marlow said. “We are talking about showing National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation sometime in December.”
Instead of scheduling the event on a Friday night, the SAC might do it during the school day, Marlow said.
“Maybe during finals week where people do not have back to back classes and they would have some time,” Marlow said. “It could also be the week before finals, but that is still being decided. At our meeting, we are going to go over how this went, what went well, what we can do better at, and we are going to talk about our December movie.”