Though it might seem events and concerts drain the bank account, there are programs on campus that provide free entertainment for students. Gamecock Entertainment, the same organization that brought A$AP Ferg, Leslie David Baker and First Night Carolina, will be back with a full schedule next semester.
As a multifaceted portion of student life, Gamecock Entertainment helps neighboring organizations schedule activities and events for students.
Raegan Brizek, president of Carolina Productions, said all of the events are free and the "diverse" calendar includes "something that appeals to everyone."
"It really provides some great programming, things that people can do with their friends; gets them out of their dorms or their apartments. It can really help them feel closer to campus," Brizek said. "You can never go wrong with something that's free."
As it is only two semesters old, Gamecock Entertainment has worked on becoming a familiar name on campus in order to help student programming.
Beyond establishing a name for itself, it has branded together with Carolina Productions, Homecoming, Dance Marathon, Thursdays After Dark and Gamecock Picture Show. Many events and opportunities that students have seen around campus in the fall semester have been Gamecock Entertainment's handiwork.
Next semester, the organization is planning another comedy show because of the success from Leslie David Baker's appearance in October. So many people showed up to the event in Russell House that it was standing room only.
Not only will it be looking to host at the much larger Koger Center, but it is going to be having a celebrity comedian of students' choosing, based on a now closed survey with possibilities such as Josh Peck, David Koechner, Marlon Wayans, Rachel Bloom and others.
Jacob Hoffman, who will be the Carolina Productions president this spring, said he values student input and participation heavily for the club, such as with the comedian survey.
“One thing that I’m really trying to accomplish is making sure students are coming to our events, and that we’re planning the types of events that students want to see,” Hoffman said.
Other events next semester include movie showings and an acoustic event called Project Patio. Campus Movie Fest, a weeklong, campus-wide competition aided and funded by an Atlanta-based film company, allows students to create short films that culminate in an award show. All students will be able to take part in the competition, and there will be prizes for the best voted films. Last year, USC broke the record for the most student submissions at a university.
Students can expect relatively new events to student entertainment at USC. In a partnership with freshman council, there will be a dating game event hosted by a celebrity in February.
Early in the semester, there will be several events surrounding Thursday After Dark's “Week of Wicked,” for which the organization has paid for a number of students to see the Broadway production of "Wicked" at the Koger Center. During the same week, Carolina Productions has its “Defying Gravity” event with inflatables and Dance Marathon's Forever to Thee Kids Day.
“Just having a full week dedicated to, kind of like a city-wide event ... that's something that we haven’t done, especially within Gamecock Entertainment. We haven’t really had a week where we've all kind of collaborated on an event or an effort, so that will be really exciting,” Brizek said.
Gamecock Entertainment’s roster for spring events will be finalized and a full calendar of events should be available for students after winter break.