In recent weeks the Slippery Rock Student Government Association (SGA) has moved their Movie Series to a virtual platform. Once gathering in the third floor theater of the Smith Student Center, students can now participate from the comfort of wherever they reside, whether on campus or at home.
During the first semester of the 2020-2021 academic year, the movie series was held socially-distanced and at a smaller capacity. Only about 25 students were allowed in the theater at a time, including those who volunteered in the operations.
The lack of attendance and the worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic gave SGA the push to change their format to virtual viewing for students.
The hope was that by moving the movies to a platform more safe and accessible to students, there would be more participation.
The platform SGA is now using is called Swank Motion Pictures, Inc. This platform has a plentiful amount of movies to choose from, but they are facing one downside by using it: SGA has no way of tracking those who click the link or watch the movies.
“With the streaming, it is going a lot better. I’ve streamed the movies with friends and it’s been good,” said Amanda Reilly, vice president of diversity and inclusion for SGA and viewer.
Students are able to get engaged with the movie series via CORE. There is a link available for streaming on the SGA CORE page where students will get access to after putting in their SRU email.
With February being Black History Month, SGA had a double feature including “Just Mercy” and “True Justice.”
This semester holds hope for some in-person movies. Reilly started to get into the plans, “In March, I believe, we’re going to be starting our drive-in movies again,” Reilly said. “We’re actually partnering with UPB for those events.”
COVID-19 has altered the way people socialize and it has made staying inside so much easier for everyone. Reilly is hoping that the drive-in movie series will help with these two struggles.
“We’re hoping to get students out of their dorms a little bit more and out of their apartments,” Reilly said. “With COVID and everything, socializing and just being around people is really important for interaction.”
The hope is that giving this opportunity of socially-distanced socialization will help boost students’ moods and serve as a light for students to have as a push through the rest of the semester.
The drive-in movies are currently planned for “Grease” on March 12 and “Jurassic Park” for March 26.
“. . . with COVID there weren’t a lot of current releases, so we’re just hoping to do a more fun throwback with movies that you might have watched when you were younger,” Reilly said.
Not only has COVID-19 caused some questions in the longevity of the movie series, but so has the rise of streaming services. Most college students and families in general have some version of Hulu or Netflix.
Reilly talks about the way SGA has been working through this dilemma.
“We were like, ‘what’s gonna happen with the movie series?,’ so we’re trying to take these steps now so in the future we’re still able to have a really strong grasp on our students,” Reilly said.
With all of the new events and collaborations happening, Reilly’s position may be expanding to be two rather than one. Although there is not an official title for this new position, it is a possibility in the works.
“There will be a new position that will be a new job opening within the Office of Student Engagement and would work alongside UPB and SGA,” Reilly said. “So that’s a position that students will be able to apply for come next semester.”
SGA is also hoping to open the movie series up to being an outlet for on-campus clubs and organizations. The hope is that SGA is the vessel for the space, and the club or organization will take care of choosing their movie and the discussion that may follow.
SGA has many plans and ideas looking to be implemented that students can look forward to. Information regarding the Movie Series is available on CORE and there will soon be more information regarding the drive-in movie series.