Gotta Get on Down Big Red Fridays

Starting on Sept. 1, Sacred Heart University introduced Big Red Fridays. Every Friday, students are encouraged to celebrate pioneer pride by dressing in SHU gear and attending the weekly event on Friday evenings.  

“Over the past two years we have heard a lot from students about looking for more school spirit outside of athletics and for bigger and cooler events,” said Alex Barkley, Director of Student Engagement and Involvement at SHU. “Hearing both points, Big Red Fridays was created.” 

On top of the events, Big Red Fridays offers a new system of Pio Points for when you check in at these events. The events range in value of points from one, three, or five. These points will build up on students’ SHU Engage account and they will eventually be able to redeem them in the online store through SHU Engage.  

“I think Pio Points are a great incentive for students to get more involved on campus,” said senior Senator Julianna Aligo. “I know lots of students that would love to have more opportunities to get SHU merchandise.” 

The first Big Red Friday event, the Just SHU It Involvement Fair, took place Friday, Sept. 1 in Pioneer Village. This was an opportunity for undergraduate students to learn more about campus clubs and organizations.   

“Each Big Red Friday event will provide a limited number of special edition SHU shirts that will be available as supplies last at each Big Red Friday event over the year,” said Barkley. 

Future Big Red Friday events include the Arcade Edition on Sept. 22 featuring a human claw machine, the Pride Edition on Oct. 1 featuring a full drag show, and the Paint Edition on Oct. 20 featuring a glow paint dance party. 

“We are hoping that everyone wearing SHU apparel on Fridays will show how large and connected our community is,” said Barkley. “The events are unlike what we have normally seen at SHU, they are a great way to have fun with friends both new and old.” 

The events for Big Red Friday are put on by Student Life, and other clubs and organizations may also contribute to the events. In the future, clubs such as SET and Student Government have plans for collaboration.  

“This will bring the campus together by involving a large number of students,” said senior Finance Comptroller for Student Government Boris Paul. 

“Overall, it is a really great way to show pride in our school and bring the community together,” he said. 

This past Friday, on Sept. 8 the Big Red Friday event was the President’s Gala. This is an annual gala thrown for students to come together at the beginning of the year.  

This year, the theme of the gala was “All That Glitters,” and students were encouraged to take photos at the varying locations around campus with glittery décor.  

“The President’s Gala is something my friends and I look forward to every year,” said senior Alissa Dorey. “The glitter theme made for some fun pictures. Between the Just SHU It Fair and the Gala, First Year Fridays are off to a great start.” 

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