‘First Fridays’: Revived Student Council event aims to unite grades

Graphics+such+as+this+hang+around+campus+and+were+posted+on+StuCo+social+media+platforms%2C+informing+students+of+the+revived+StuCo+event.+First+Fridays+is+a+celebration+held+in+the+courtyard+on+the+first+Friday+of+the+month.+During+these+celebrations%2C+a+table+is+set+up+with+free+food%2C+StuCo+plays+music+and+everyone+dances.

Photo credit: StuCo Instagram Account

Graphics such as this hang around campus and were posted on StuCo social media platforms, informing students of the revived StuCo event. First Fridays is a celebration held in the courtyard on the first Friday of the month. During these celebrations, a table is set up with free food, StuCo plays music and everyone dances.

By Cadence Callahan, Senior Reporter

The sound of music can be heard throughout Archer’s courtyard. Students smile and dance with their peers, and a table is set with free food for all community members to enjoy. ‘First Fridays,’ an event revived by the current Student Council (StuCo) Executive Board, is in full effect. First Fridays are held on the first Friday of every month, and the Archer community gathers in the courtyard during the lunch period to celebrate.

The first and only First Fridays event this school year was celebrated by the community on Sept. 3. According to Student Body President Langdon Janos, the purpose of First Fridays is to “unite the whole school.”

“A lot of the StuCo events are about grade versus grade and competition,” Janos said. “This is an event [StuCo] wanted to put in place this year to bring everyone together.”

First Fridays was an event created by the Class of 2020’s executive board. Due to the switch to online learning, only one First Fridays celebration was held. Resurrecting the event was something Janos promised to do in her exec board election speech last May.

We decided [First Fridays] were something we wanted to maintain, and we wanted everyone to know that no matter what happens in the world, they always have a loving community at Archer”

— Exec Board member Marissa Gendy

According to StuCo exec board member Marissa Gendy, a lot goes into planning a First Friday celebration, from perfectly crafting the party playlist to making posters and organizing food while ensuring everything is COVID-19 safe. Gendy said it was “tough work” planning the first celebration back in September, but since posters have been made and StuCo continually adds to the music playlist, organizing future First Friday events won’t be as complicated.

The StuCo advisor and Dean of Student Life, Equity and Inclusion Samantha Hazell-O’Brien oversees First Fridays and helps organize the event. HazellO’Brien also works with facilities to coordinate set up and clean up and with the tech department to prepare for the celebration.

“I’m really the wizard behind the scenes,” HazellO’Brien said, “If they want a variety of candies and cookies, I look on Costco and Amazon and try to find the best deals.”

According to Janos, StuCo hopes to collaborate with different clubs during future First Fridays. Club leaders will work together to organize special promotions for their club during the celebration.

“If a club has a specific event they want to promote, we’re going to have it in combination with First Fridays, so everyone is already in the courtyard and there’s more of a reason to go to that specific club event,” Janos said.

StuCo hopes to plan an Art Festival in combination with First Fridays to highlight artists’ work in the community.

“Later in the year, we hope to have an Art Festival. All the art is down in the basement, and the artists at Archer are so talented,” Janos said. “We want to promote, share and celebrate all their amazing work.”

Grade representatives may also be able to host their own First Friday. The reps will work together to customize the lunch period and celebrate how they choose.

Although there wasn’t a First Fridays celebration this month as Color Clash coincided with the first Friday of October, there will be a celebration in November.

Gendy said she hopes First Fridays will be an Archer tradition that continues after she graduates.

“First Fridays is this amazing event that gets people pumped. I hope that Archer continues this beautiful tradition and it’s something so small, easy to prepare and it works perfectly with the StuCo budget,” Gendy said.

O’Brien said she sees the “value of community” in the First Friday celebrations, especially since returning to campus.

“I hope [students] can come with an unabated sense of self—with no fear that your dance moves may look as bad as mine, and that you can mix with other grade levels and friends from classes you might not have had in a couple of years,” Hazell-O’Brien said. “I hope these celebrations lead to something tangible in these students’ lives beyond just the lunch period.”

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  • Student Body President Langdon Janos’22 and StuCo Exec Board members Marissa Gendy’22, Nyah Fernandez’22 and Bess Frierson’22 stand next to a First Fridays poster during the celebration on Sept. 3.