SCAB relaunches Thursday Night Live with a brand-new mission
by Katie Milligan
The Student Center Activity Board is revamping a Cedarville tradition this year: Thursday Night Live is returning to campus to help strengthen student community.
Thursday Night Live (TNL) was formerly headed by the Student Government Association and occurred every Tuesday and Thursday night. It also used to include the Interruption, a concert in which various student bands performed.
This year, however, the Student Center Activity Board (SCAB) has compiled a student team to recreate this campus tradition and to give students a break during a busy week.
Graham Benefiel, a junior and high school education major, is the student director of TNL. He has been involved with SCAB since last year.
“The goal [of TNL] is to provide entertainment and a break where students can come in, with whatever stress or classes are going on, and not worry about anything, just be entertained,” Benefiel said.
Unlike the Interruption, which was primarily music-based, TNL’s entertainment will be varied. TNL also differentiates itself from SGA’s Tuesday night event, Coffee and Community. While Coffee and Community’s purpose is to spark deep discussions, TNL seeks to provide a relaxing and refreshing time.
Additionally, the team includes senior communication major Lexi Baird, a student executive for SCAB. She has been deeply involved in Student Life Programs throughout her Cedarville years.
“Event planning is one of my passions, and so is being able to do more events that help create campus culture,” she said.
The team is led by Brian Burns, the director of campus experience and the original creator of TNL.
“TNL is a destination. We are very much in the beginning stages,” Burns said. “We just need to breathe some new air into it.”
TNL will occur every Thursday night throughout the school year from 7-9 p.m. in Stinger’s. The restaurant’s renovations and technology make it the ideal location.
The premiere of TNL opened with a bang: on Sept. 6, TNL partnered with the Center for Apologetics and Dr. Dan DeWitt to host Flame, a professional Christian rapper and speaker.
Another night to mark on the calendar is Oct. 11: TNL is teaming with Global Outreach for a prayer and worship night to celebrate the many ministries here on campus.
Many other exciting activities are also in the works. Possibilities include a board game night, trivia night, stand up comedy, various speakers, live musicians and dorm productions such as Lawlor night.
Rinnova will also play a role in TNL. While discounts are unlikely, there will be specials available, such as the new Chemex pour-over coffee. Only during TNL, students can purchase enough coffee for four people, priced at $10.
Furthermore, TNL hopes to continue last year’s town hall meetings with Dr. Thomas White and/or other Cedarville faculty. Burns said White is interested in pursuing more panel discussions after the positive response last year.
The SCAB team is searching for possible feature acts; instead of holding open auditions, they intend use word of mouth to discover hidden talents on campus. They also plan to attend the upcoming New Student Talent Show to look for potential entertainment.
SCAB invites any student who is interested (or wants to recommend someone else) to email them at email@example.com and include TNL in the subject line.
Benefiel aims to diversify TNL by including a variety of different talents rather than strictly musicians.
“We have such a diversely talented student population,” he said. “The goal is to give students a stage where they can show everyone these cool talents; otherwise, they’re not going to get recognized. I think it’s cool that we can offer that platform.”
Burns said he realizes that no matter how much marketing SCAB does for TNL, it won’t be a success unless they can get students excited about supporting each other.
“We’re not going to overly promote it or give drastic discounts away. People go to events because of people,” Burns said. “That’s community; that’s what we want to celebrate.”
Baird is already anticipating the lasting impact TNL can have.
“We’re the group that gets to help create community,” She said. “It would be really cool to see friendships formed because they met at a Thursday Night Live, [especially] since we have such a record-breaking freshman class.”
For Burns, the ultimate objective of TNL is impressing upon students the lifelong importance of seeking out community.
“I want the student body to know that community works—authentic, biblical community where we do life together. It’s worth the investment,” he said. “My dream is that TNL is just a glimpse of what community could be if you really sought it out.”
To experience this brand-new tradition, come to Stinger’s on a Thursday night from 7-9 p.m.
Katie Milligan is a sophomore English major. She enjoys eating pasta, taking Polaroid photos and playing with her dachshund, Audrey.