‘National Night Out’ draws hundreds

By Gaby Galindo


The University of the Incarnate Word celebrated its second annual “National Night Out” event Tuesday, Oct. 6, from 4 to 7 p.m. outside Alice McDermott Convocation Center.

This free event – with the theme, “Flock the Block” — featured complimentary gourmet hot dogs from Pugel’s, snow cones courtesy of Wells Fargo and Bahama Bucks, paletas, T-shirts, raffle prizes, and other goodies.

There were many games and activities for attendees to participate in, such as ladder golf, musical chairs, as well as driving a small go-kart and a beanbag toss while wearing goggles that simulate an intoxicated person’s eyesight.

Attendees were also treated to performances from UIW’s Bollywood dancers and the Cheer and Dance team as well as receiving valuable information about campus safety, healthy living, sexual assault prevention and drug and alcohol awareness.

“Oct. 6 is when San Antonio celebrates ‘National Night Out,’ so everywhere in the city there are people having block parties and ‘Flock the Block’ is our version of a block party,” said event coordinator Janine Chavez, office manager for Campus Life.

Chavez said this event was in conjunction with a number of departments at UIW, including the Wellness Center, UIW Police Department, Communications and Marketing, Ettling Center for Civic Leadership, Faculty Senate, and J.E. and L.E. Mabee Library. UIW’s professional schools — Rosenberg School of Optometry, John and Rita Feik School of Pharmacy, School of Physical Therapy and School of Osteopathic Medicine — were eager to get involved as well.

“This event is important to me because it brings all the students out,” said Chavez. “(It) lets them know that the University supports positive lifestyles and that you can have fun without drinking and driving or doing drugs.”

Texas Highway Patrol Capt. Steven Tellez attended the event to promote safety and teach others about the dangers of drinking while driving. He let students wear simulation goggles while trying to preform simple tasks that would be in a sobriety test, such as walking a straight line and dancing to keep the feeling of fun that the event had.

“I was very fortunate to be part of it and I think it’s good for the community, as well as the University,” said Tellez, who’s with the Department of Safety office in San Antonio. “DWI is still the leading cause of serious crashes and results in injury and sometimes death. It’s good to send out the message about being safe, don’t drink and drive, buckle up, keep your eyes on the road, and just general safety messages. This event lets people know that we’re part of the community.

“I think it’s a good thing any time that college students have an opportunity to have a night like this with representatives from Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and DPS and other law enforcement officers. I think it bridges that gap and lets people know we’re just like them. We want everybody to enjoy themselves and we want them to get home safely.”

Sye Bennefield, a communication arts major concentrating in journalism, said he attended last year’s event and thought this year’s was better.

“I feel like it’s such a great event for the students and all the faculty as well,” Bennefield said. “It gives them media that they can read and learn about, things like that and just celebrate.”

Last year’s event placed first among local universities and second in the city, Chavez said. She said she’s hoping for a repeat and more.

“We’ve had over 600 people attend and we hope to compete and place first among colleges and universities in the city,” Chavez said. “It’ll probably be the middle of November when we find out.”


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