Chillin’ in The Cove

By Jazelle Artman and Shianna Gibbons

Student Involvement introduced Friday Nights at The Cove from 7 to 10 p.m. at the beginning of the spring semester.

Caleb Queen, a coordinator of Student Involvement, said Friday Nights at The Cove are for students looking for something fun to do.

“We are trying to have some programming in The Cove with extended hours on Friday nights so that students that are looking for something to do or students that live on campus and want something fun to do, there’s some kind of option for them during that time,” Queen said.

The Cove opened in January 2018 and is a space for students to relax and socialize with one another. The Cove has ping pong tables, pool tables and TVs to watch movies or play video games. Last spring semester, The Cove introduced Snack and Chill, where students can buy ice cream and other sweet treats.

Queen said each student organization sponsors a Friday Nights at The Cove, and it can range in activities such as a ping-pong tournament, a movie night and more.

“Anyone can come hang out, but typically we are looking for our departments, clubs or registered student organizations to sponsor an event in there,” Queen said. “It can be a game night, a movie night, or something more extensive like a dance, a disco or something like that.”

Queen also said all students are invited to come without being involved in the sponsoring organization, even if they don’t want to participate in the set activities.

The Student Digest sends a weekly newsletter that features Friday Nights at The Cove, with each student organization sponsoring the event and a brief summary of activities that will be sponsored that night.

Planned Parenthood Generation Action and YSUnity will be sponsoring events April 14 for students to come play games and unwind at the end of the week.

YSUnity will also be sponsoring the week after — April 21 — to host a 1920s art deco-themed Gayla.

Rayvin Gorrell, YSUnity president and junior anthropology major, said the Gayla is meant to be a second-chance prom. 

“My members discussed wanting to have a second-chance prom because maybe they didn’t feel like they and their partner or who they were dating at the time weren’t accepted at their high school prom, so they wanted one — a second-chance dance — and this was our opportunity to throw one for our collegiate pride month during April,” Gorrell said.

Gorrell said there will be decorations, light refreshments and a photo-op. The event is open to students and staff to come with their friends or partners.

“Although it is more accepted to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community now, it is still a feat to overcome and come out of the closet,” Gorrell said. “It’s just very important to feel welcome and have a fun place to party with who you love. Other people are obviously welcome to bring their partners it is not just LGBTQ+ people who are welcome to come.”

The Residence Hall Association will sponsor the last Friday Nights at the Cove event for the spring semester April 28. All events are free and open to the Youngstown State University community.