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Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, the Undergraduate Student Government sponsors a free “Movie(s) of the Week” through its Undergraduate Film Organization (UFO) at the Princeton Garden Theatre, complete with complimentary snacks and drinks. The selection is wide-ranging, including critically acclaimed films, lesser known films, and advanced screenings. It is quite popular as well, with the past two movies, “La La Land” and “Moana,” having at least one sold-out screening. The Editorial Board commends UFO for sponsoring this well-organized, non-alcoholic activity for students, and encourages USG to sponsor similar substance-free events more frequently and to show movies at earlier times.

First, the Board appreciates UFO’s thought and dedication behind planning this weekly event. By carefully selecting and screening a diverse set of movies, mixing Blockbuster hits with the more obscure, the UFO successfully sponsors a way for students to become exposed to all genres of film at no cost. Given that movies, especially those shown during weekend nights, are quite expensive, this event is valuable in providing a great deal for students. Additionally, because this event consistently happens throughout the school year, it is a reliable source of fun for all students. This event is also well-publicized, with two regularly updated social media accounts and a section in the weekly USG e-mail.

Furthermore, the Board would like to commend USG for their commitment to sponsoring non-alcoholic alternatives on weekend nights. Based on the success of the weekly USG movies and the benefits they bring to our community, the Board encourages USG and the University to increase the amount of recurring, non-alcoholic programming it offers. To increase the variety of events, we encourage other groups on campus to take advantage of funding from the Alcohol Initiative to plan their own events as well. By providing alternative options, these substance-free events reduce social pressures encouraging drinking and promote a more inclusive community for students who prefer not to drink due to personal, religious, medical, or other reasons. If other popular substance-free events, like Skate Night, happened more frequently, students who may not be interested in the Street would be able to select from a larger variety of activities on the weekends that more easily fit their interests.

Although we understand that UFO has already attempted to reschedule free movie nights to earlier times with the Garden Theatre in the past, we believe that this event could garner even more popularity and further benefit students by showing movies earlier on Fridays or Saturdays. It would be more inclusive to students who go to sleep earlier but would still like to take advantage of this free movie initiative. The Board recommends that UFO continue efforts to move movie times even slightly earlier, remaining cognizant of the Garden Theatre’s other commercial business on the weekends.

Overall, the Board commends these USG weekly movie screenings for providing an enjoyable, well-planned alternative to alcoholic activities that occur during the weekend and would like to encourage USG to sponsor similar events more often and work with the Garden Theatre to screen movies earlier.

The Editorial Board is an independent body and decides its opinions separately from the regular staff and editors of The Daily Princetonian. The Board answers only to its Co-Chairs, the Opinion Editor, and the Editor-in-Chief. It can be reached at editorialboard@dailyprincetonian.com.

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