A group that gives students an alternative to going out and partying on Thursday nights had its first meeting in the Ceddia Union Building (CUB) on Wednesday.
The group, named Afterhours, meets every Thursday night from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Shippensburg First Church of God Annex on the corner of Prince and King streets. Its goal is to attract students and to let them have a safe and good time without going out and drinking all night. The main selling point of Afterhours is free homemade milkshakes.
Afterhours is run mostly by students and some alumni, but it is supported and advertised by a Christian group on campus called FUSE. FUSE meets every Thursday at 8 p.m. and many of the students that attend FUSE head over to Afterhours at the end of the meeting. FUSE is a student-run group, but part of an organization called the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO), a campus-oriented Christian ministry.
The leaders of FUSE and Afterhours met halfway through the semester and discussed a possible Afterhours at McFeely’s in the CUB instead of the normal location. Some former leaders of FUSE, like Andrew Thiel, were very pleased with the change of scene.
“I’ve been trying to get Afterhours moved to campus for years,” Thiel said. He believed having Afterhours off campus made it more difficult for a lot of students to make it there and that having it in a more central location like the CUB would bring in a lot more people.
The average number of students that come every week to Afterhours is around 70. The night at the CUB brought in more than 250 students in just more than two hours.
“Having Afterhours at the CUB was an amazing opportunity to show students what the weekly event is all about,” Thiel said. “I hope that more students take advantage of the opportunity to get their hands on free milkshakes every week.”
The two flavors of milkshakes offered the night at the CUB were the Chunk O’ Time and chocolate strawberry. Chunk O’ Time was the biggest seller, but both flavors received a lot of praise from the students. Halfway through the night, the supplies for milkshakes ran out and the staff needed to run out to the store and restocked on milk and ice cream. According to the leaders there, this was the first time in many years that they ran out of things to make shakes.
As the students got their milkshakes, representatives from FUSE handed them a card advertising Afterhours and invited them to come out and meet other people. Many of those students said that they would come and try out Afterhours actual location.
Shippensburg CCO minister Antonio Morton attended the event and was surprised by how many people showed up at McFeely’s.
“I loved the fact that so many new students came out and that we could allow them to have a safe place to interact and hang out with other students,” Morton said. He said they would try to hold an event like this again in the future in the hopes of reaching more students.