For the past 10 years, Fairfield@Night (F@N) has offered university students the opportunity to partake in student-led, substance free activities on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Those numbers equal three nights a week, 12 nights a month, 24 nights a year and 240 total activities designed to increase students’ social engagement on campus. To celebrate this feat, the organization held a tenth birthday party for the organization on Saturday, March 23.

“F@N has accomplished so many amazing things, and we took this birthday bash as an opportunity to celebrate the great ten years, say thank you to any and all of the students who attended our events, and give a special thanks to our staff,” said F@N Supervisor Danielle Parisi.

The birthday bash, located in the lower level of the Barone Campus Center, featured lawn games as well as Double Axe Throwing and Mini Golf, an Open-Air Photo Booth, custom street sign making, a raffle and grub from one of campus’ most popular food trucks, Fork in the Road. Food vouchers were available at a F@N table and all students were invited to join the festivities from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.. 

By encouraging students once again to connect with old and new friends, the organization’s mission to provide fun, diverse and upbeat social events proved successful. Parisi noted the overarching enjoyment felt by F@N while planning and hosting this event, which required weekly meetings with Parisi and Creative Directors. 

From 2012 to 2014, a number of incidents involving drug and alcohol use were reported on Fairfield University’s campus. In light of these situations, the Office of Student Engagement conducted research around substance-free programming on college campuses and, thus, F@N was born. Parisi acknowledges the evident success of the substance-free implementation and its popularity among students.

“Since F@N has been added to the campus there has been a significant decrease in incident reports, making our campus safer for everybody. These events give students a fun activity to take part in if they do not feel comfortable with other options.”

In its early years, Parisi conveyed that the nature of F@N “felt very limiting.” She continued that students would plan specific events such as bingo, trivia, late night at the RecPlex nights and DIY nights. As it has evolved, however, and a schedule has been adapted to “stick with students and create a sort of routine.”

“We now have DIY nights on Thursdays, game nights on Fridays and general events on Saturdays,” Parisi explained. “We try to offer something for everyone and are always taking suggestions for new events!”

Other F@N events include crafts and game shows, with prizes often included. As the program continues into the future, Parisi conveyed their purpose to provide students something to look forward to at the end of the week. Furthermore, she assured the pleasure that student members feel while providing these events for their peers and watching friendships form.

“Executing fun activities that I have enjoyed during my time here makes me happy that other students enjoy them too,” stated Creative Director Maddy Donohue ‘26. “It is a great option and provided every weekend which is not something you see on every campus.” 

Nohea Breedan ‘25, another Creative Director, shares similar feelings towards F@N activities:

“These are great events, all of them being student run and student driven. It is awesome to see students come and check it out. I have been a part of F@N since my freshman year and I am so grateful for all the adventures F@N has brought me on.” 

F@N often works with co-sponsors to ensure the seamless flow of activities along with executing their key initiative to “support the development and funding of approved events, while also providing guidance in the planning process and increased student engagement opportunities,” as provided by their Life@Fairfield page.

As it continues to grow, F@N certainly does not plan to halt its efforts of creating campus impact. Parisi informed that, to meet the shifting interests of students, the program constantly works on new events and brainstorms new ideas during their January and August training sessions, closely preceding the start of each new semester. This preparation comes with the goal of establishing a fun, welcoming environment as well as a place where students can hang out and make friends. 

The impact it holds for its student leaders, however, is just as valued. While it issues an important social resource for students, it also builds a certain skill set for its staff.

Creative Director Olivia Murphy ‘25 confides that the organization has given her and “so many students who work for the organization opportunities to learn and grow in leadership.” She added that, “It has also been a great experience being able to provide an environment for students where they feel comfortable and welcomed.”

On April 12, F@N will be hosting a game of pictionary and, on April 18, the opportunity to create Earth Day-themed tote bags. Summer Bingo is also offered on April 27 in anticipation of the approaching summer break.

Positive student feedback and excitement drives F@N staff to continue what they do. To keep up with upcoming events, Parisi encourages students to follow their Instagram page, @fairfieldatnight.

“We are so grateful for all of the love and support Fairfield@Night has gotten over the last 10 years,” Parisi declared, “and we can’t wait to put on more fun events for our campus community.”

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