College Night Draws Students Downtown with Discounts

Yale University Properties held College Night on Thursday (Sept. 20). Various stores offered students free samples of food, games to win prizes, and discounts through the weekend. Live music, featuring University of New Haven students,  was in the center of it all.

University students from the Greater New Haven area had the chance to experience what downtown New Haven has to offer. The biannual event was free, and students could register online or at the event. Upon registration, students were given a coupon book to be redeemed at the local shops, and a flyer that detailed all the places they can go and things they could see.

College night is how businesses around Yale get their name out to other colleges, and help change those students’ view on what the area has to offer.

“We want them to see that it’s a safe neighborhood,” said Natashya Fernando, marketing coordinator at Yale University Properties. “We want them to see that they can bring their friends down here, not just at night time but during the day and come and hang out at a cafe.”

Locations like Donut Crazy distributed free donuts, while others gave out their product in stores and offered discounts. For example, Tomatillo’s offered a free bag of churros inside Patagonia.  

Broadway Island, the small parking lot and sitting area that sits in the middle of the circular street in the center of the business district, featured live music from local bands, including the university’s own Sonar Shack and Crystal Clear.

Although Broadway was once the center of the event, the organizers have changed it to include Chapel street, according to Fernando.

“We wanted the students to learn the different variety of stores and restaurants on Broadway, but also Chapel,” she said.

The Shubert Theater offered participants drawstring bags, and Shake Shack gave out free fries, which encouraged further exploration.

If students did not want to venture far, there was plenty to do only feet from registration. Fat Face, a new store on College Night’s roster, had a corn-hole  challenge that offered students three attempts to land a bean bag in a small hole cut into wood

Fernando says the purpose of the event is to show students “they can come down here, have fun, have a good time, get some food, do some shopping, and then leave happy.”