The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

First Friday Tailgate encourages smart choices

“There’s nothing like a good ol’ hangover to start your day,” said no one ever. That’s why the Student Activities Center, in collaboration with Student Rights and Responsibilities, kicked off the football season at First Friday on Sept. 7 with a Pressure Free Tailgate party.

Student Conduct Officer Shahla Nadem-Mollaei spoke to students about the goals of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Committee events. She said they encourage events such as these to provide fun without the peer pressure that comes with alcohol at these types of college gatherings.

“If we provide late-night alternative events for students, then we are creating substance-free options for students to become engaged on campus as an alternative to going off campus and possibly using or abusing alcohol or drugs,” Nadem-Mollaei said.

Students gathered around the big screen, enjoying Buffalo wings and snacks as they watched and interacted with one another. As the sun set students both inside Patriots’ Casa and outside on the outdoor pavilion played sand volleyball, corn hole, basketball and football toss.

Many students at the event felt as though these types of events are important and encouraging. And that’s exactly what the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Committee aimed for earlier this month.

“One of the AOD Committee’s goal is to educate students to be safe and responsible if they decide to drink alcohol,” Nadem-Mollaei said.

As the students socialized and enjoyed the evening, they spoke about having fun, even without alcohol present. Biology Freshman Josselyn Cervantes walked out to join her friends for a game of corn-hole and said she was having a great evening.

“If you know how to have fun, then you don’t need the help of alcohol and drugs to have fun,” Cervantes said.

Nadem-Mollaei said that these first Friday events are usually successful with some events even turning out with over 100 students attend.

“If they didn’t have events like this, students would feel obligated to go out and find places with drugs and alcohol,” said Biology Freshman Michaela Clapper.

Many students including English Freshman Kara Holliday, came to the same conclusion that this event was a success in providing a safe space for fun without pressure.

Students were so busy enjoying a competitive game of sand volleyball, a plate of hot wings in front of the screen to watch a game of college football or bonding about the beginning of the semester that the topic of alcohol was long from their minds.

The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Committee created a successful event.

This first Friday tailgate party was not only important for the purpose of providing that pressure free environment, but also brought people together to make new connections and friends.

Finance Freshman Jose Murillo took a moment to cool down after a game of sand volleyball. He said he appreciated that they could have a good time without the influences of drugs and alcohol. He said there was no judgement, and he wasn’t expecting to meet new people.

“These events also bring people together, I just made new friends,” said Murillo.

Around 50 people attended and enjoyed the opening first Friday event. There will be an event for every first Friday on campus this semester.

For more information visit First Friday Events.

About the Author

Tessa O. Pena
Tessa O. Peña is a senior communication major at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. She balances her full-time studies with her part-time job as a sales associate at Kendra Scott. Tessa is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. She was inducted into NSLS at Northwest Vista College, where she received her associate’s degree in Liberal Arts before transferring to A&M-San Antonio. She plans to work in the communication department of Kendra Scott after graduation.

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