First Friday is an event at USD where people enjoy food, music and get a chance to socialize with one another.
Carson Sehr, the current First Friday overseer, said he recognizes the importance of this event and plans to keep the tradition alive as an opportunity for students to socialize.
“It is important to show that there is a community up here and it’s been going on for years now. Nothing bonds people like food does and especially a free meal for college students. It is an important tradition to show that there is community up here and multicultural groups are welcome,” Sehr said.
With the average attendance of approximately 100 people, Sehr said, First Friday has proven to be successful as many students seem to enjoy the food and relaxed atmosphere while listening to music and socializing with their friends.
Ashley Charlie, who has catered various events at USD for approximately two years, said she was eager to cook for this event. She sees First Friday, and similar events, as a chance for students to experience new but simple tastes from various cultures.
“For each month, a different caterer makes the food. Sometimes the food goes with the theme and there is a specific food for that, such as January’s theme being Martin Luther King Day inspired. Most times we go with foods that are around and most people would love to taste, but never got the chance to,” Charlie said.
Each month different food is served as a different organization is either appointed or they volunteer to hold this event. The Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Union of African American Students were in charge for the month of March. At the event, a variety of food such as white rice, vegetarian kichery beans, chicken, kala puff puff and cornbread was offered.
“I worked along with Carson Sehr and we kind of figured out what would be simple to allow people to grow into those tastes. Most people haven’t had ingredients incorporated into food the way I made it,” Charlie said.
First Friday encourages students to come together in one space and gives a start to their monthly traditions. Traditions vary depending on the culture, family and community people are raised into. Whether people start their month with prayers or fasting, they all have some set rituals, Charlie said. Not only does First Friday encourage those rituals but it helps build into this idea of monthly traditions.
“Since this event is held at the beginning of each month, students tend to benefit from a little bit more free time than usual and so they are able to attend,” Charlie said.