Students cheer as names were called for the Friday Knight Dry raffle in Alliot. (Photo by Alexander Foy)

Jack Nelson | Staff Writer |

The aroma of fresh pizza and wings filled the air in Alliot as Jeff Vincent, the assistant dean of students and director of residence life, played Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond over the speakers. With COVID restrictions loosening up, there were plenty of smiling faces to be seen at almost every table during Friday Knight Dry on March 4. 

Friday Knight Dry is a way for students to connect in a different way other than a typical Friday night, which usually consists of party culture for most. The purpose of the event is to get students out of their comfort zone and the Student Government Association along with St. Michael’s College staff does this by hosting this event twice a year. Friday Knight Dry consists of free food and games with the main event, the raffle.

Students were eager to fill baskets with tickets to win their most sought after prizes. Smart watches, Airpods, gift cards, dorm appliances, and even a 58-inch TV were a part of the raffle. f Many students walked into Alliot with handfuls of tickets, while some had just had a few. 

Sierah Miles ‘22 and Anna Witkowski ‘22, who put together Friday Knight Dry, collaborated with Residential Life, Student Activities, and multiple clubs on campus in order to make the events happen. Many of the events throughout the night took place not only in Alliot,  but all around campus. Students had the opportunity to see the school’s play, Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, visit Latin Night hosted by the Diversity Coalition so students could learn more about Latin cultures, and visit the Vermont Room to play carnival games as well. By attending these events, students had the chance to earn extra tickets for the raffle. Along with these events, students who visited different residential buildings across campus had the chance to earn tickets by attending RA events where they could play even more games and eat more snacks.

From 7-9:30 p.m., students were on the hunt in droves to get as many tickets as possible, some staying for the games and food, and some running to the next floor or building for more tickets. Tickets were almost flying out of the RA’s hands, and by 9:30, Alliot Dining Hall was packed with students crossing their fingers to hear their name announced for a prize. 

Students filled baskets with tickets to win their most sought after prizes. Smart watches, AirPods, gift cards, dorm appliances, and even a 58-inch TV were a part of the raffle. Many students walked into Alliot with handfuls of tickets, while some had just had a few.  

Although the raffle was the main event of the night, many students participated in rounds of bingo in the dining hall where Vincent called out numbers over the speakers. With the exception of a few miscalculations, from some who thought they won paired with a quick break to sing, the energy with the students was heated. Shortly after, silence enveloped the room as students eagerly waited to hear the winners of the raffle. 

“I can’t say enough about Sierah and Anna,” said Kerri Leach, assistant dean of students and director of student activities. “They put in a ton of work and went out and got a lot of prizes, did all the work with their committee, the Student Government Association, and set up and cleaned the event once it was over.” The event was clearly a lot of work based on the amount of time that was put into it. 

According to Miles and Witkowski, planning for the Spring Friday Knight Dry began during the fall semester, in which they hunted Black Friday deals to get the most prizes they could for the upcoming event. From that point on, planning continued through winter break, all the way until the day of the event.  

As we approach a new “normal,” Friday Knight Dry really marked a big moment in St. Michael’s College post-pandemic age. With the cafeteria full of roughly 200 students, it was notable that restrictions are beginning to loosen up. Students crowded around their tables with their friends, laughing, eating, smiling, and cheering throughout the night. 

“We are particularly proud that this was the second “normal” FKD we were able to have since COVID. The event feels encouraging about where our campus is headed during these times, and it makes us feel as though the COVID situation is getting better and will only continue to improve,” Witkowsi said. 

 Jack Lavoie ‘25 won a $25 Amazon gift card. 

“I felt like the raffle was a very fun experience and being able to win a prize was awesome,” Lavoie said. “Personally, I can’t remember the last time I won a raffle so even winning a small prize was a big win in my book.”  

As Levoie walked to the center of the room to retrieve his prize, the room clapped and cheered as they did for each winner.  His table of friends roared with cheers as he stepped onto the platform to retrieve his gift. 

58 prizes were raffled on Friday Knight Dry. to be won throughout the night, of course there were major upsets. As the prizes began to grow in value, such as the smart watches and airpods, students threw up their arms in defeat while tables of friends cheered for each other and even screamed with excitement for their peers who won valuable prizes. 

As the night began to wind down and the raffle came to an end, members of the Student Government Association cleaned trash from the tables, as several students ran to secure leftover boxes full of pizza and soda. 

For Miles and Witkowski, their final Friday Knight Dry was clearly sentimental in a time where things on campus are transitioning to a new normal.

“What we will miss most about being the SGA programmers is the opportunity the role gave us to have a direct and positive impact on so many students – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic where it became all the more important for students to feel a sense of community and belonging,” Miles said.