Students work to host modified Friday Night Live event

By Isabel Landers

A small group of students on campus are meeting every week to try and figure out how to still host the university’s most popular social event of the year.

Friday Night Live, an event based on the popular TV show Saturday Night Live, typically draws more than 200 students a year.  After canceling last year’s show because of COVID-19, organizers are in the process of figuring out how to host the event this year in line with restrictions on crowd gatherings.

Rachel Thompson, social life director, hopes that the show is similar to how it has always been. She knows that there will be a few minor differences but thinks that from an audience perspective it will look the same. 

Thompson said there will still be live components and video components.  The event will hopefully be live-streamed, and actors will be wearing masks.  Thompson is unsure how many audience members will be able to attend in-person because that will depend on the local government guidelines in April.

Under current Davidson county guidelines, no more than eight people can gather in a space. 

“The problem for the show is deciding who will get first priority for the tickets,” said Thompson. “I have a hard time because I know it’s the last time seniors will be able to experience FNL.”

Zack Church will be hosting the event this year. Church was supposed to host last year but was unable to because the event was canceled due to the pandemic. 

“I am glad that the students this year will get to experience FNL in some capacity. We were unable to put on the show last year after the pandemic hit in March and school moved completely online,” said Emma Schmahl, former social life director. 

Trying to make sure the popular tradition continues this year has been the priority of the social life committee. 

“I am excited to be able to provide some traditional events for students. I want it to be enjoyable for everyone and to create a normal college experience,” said Madi Malone, social life coordinator.

Meetings to plan this event are currently at 8 p.m. Mondays and 7 p.m. on Thursdays on zoom. Thompson hopes that soon they can gather in person.  The meetings and participation are open to all students. To get involved you can email

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