MSU Texas Night Out Downtown Helps Students Relax Before Finals


Casee Harl

Students socialize as they explore Wichita Falls downtown are, April 26.

MSU community members gathered downtown Tuesday, April 26 from 5 to 9 p.m. for MSU Texas Night Out Downtown. The office of Student Leadership and Involvement coordinated with Downtown Wichita Falls Development to make the event possible. Various downtown businesses agreed to offer student discounts and other special offers for the night.

Mario Ramirez, director for Student Leadership and Involvement, said this is the second occurrence of the MSU Texas Night Out Downtown event, the first time taking place in the fall of 2021. Ramirez said one of the initiatives of the office of Student Leadership and Involvement is to engage students with the Wichita Falls community. He also said a lot of planning goes into organizing an event like Night Out Downtown.

“A little bit of marketing is really all it takes and coordination. It is a lot of communication back and forth between everyone. Just to make sure that everyone knows the date and time and knows what they are doing,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez also said introducing students to the downtown area was his department’s first goal last year. He said because last semester’s Night Out Downtown event went well, the office of Student Leadership and Involvement has decided that the event will transpire more often.

“Let’s do it again, once a semester. Kind of a night out downtown. It helps the downtown businesses. It also helps the students, faculty and staff to go and visit the downtown area because there is plenty to do from restaurants to bars to dessert places to art displays and murals and whatnot. So there is a little bit of everything for everyone to do,” Ramirez said.

The office of Student Leadership and Involvement organized Night Out Downtown the week before finals to give students a chance to relax in the midst of a chaotic time like finals. The goal is for students to be less stressed when important exam days arrive. Nadia Serna, 2020 alumnus, knows the importance of taking a break during a stressful time like the week before finals. She said taking care of mental stability should be a priority for students.

“It’s definitely important to take a break, especially for mental health, and especially during finals week. It’s very stressful, so just coming down for even a nice walk outside and being downtown with great friends is very beneficial,” Serna said.

Students try axe throwing at the MSU Texas Night Out Downtown, April 26.
Students try axe throwing at the MSU Texas Night Out Downtown, April 26. (Casee Harl)

Shuttle buses were available to pick up and drop students off from campus to downtown and vice versa. Three live musical acts performed in the area, and the Farmers Market was open with vendors and artists offering special deals to students. Night Out Downtown also facilitates a way for students to create new relationships with one another and possibly even find new opportunities.

Julia Stephenson, marketing freshman, said that she got her job at the Gypsy Kit, a downtown business, by attending the first Night Out Downtown event in the fall of 2021. She also said that attending Night Out Downtown is a great way for students to find new employment possibilities and relax with classmates.

“Usually we get a lot of business when we have something like this, and we’re also always hiring and a lot of places down here are always hiring so you could find a job for the summer. You can play games with your friends, enjoy the outside because it’s getting warmer,” Stephenson said.

The week before finals can be stressful for some students. Studying and making sure affairs are in order before the semester is over can take up a significant amount of time, so much so that some students might not get to attend events like Night Out Downtown.

Marcus McGee, owner of Maniac’s Mansion, wants students to know that even though they may not have been able to attend Night Out Downtown this time around, downtown is always available to students as a relaxing destination to unwind after a long week of school work.

“Just come on through whenever you can. I know a lot of students right now are trying to get ready for their finals or they are doing the last thing they have to do before they graduate, which that’s more important, but as of right now as a staple of downtown I feel like I’m not going anywhere so once you pass that test or whatever just come on down and celebrate and relax. That’s all I ask,” McGee said.