Happy Friday: Students add own flavor to T.G.I.F.

Audrey Gilliam

Fridays are viewed by the majority of Villanova students as a release; the last day of schoolwork and classes before they can experience the freedom from responsibility that the weekend brings. Several Villanova sophomores, however, have taken this Friday enthusiasm to a new level. These students have formed a Happy Friday organization dedicated to spreading smiles and happiness throughout the Villanova campus. These students camp out on a black futon at the Oreo on Friday afternoons wishing those who pass by “Happy Friday.”

This Friday enthusiasm is not a new phenomenon, however, as sophomore Tommy Ryan, founder of the Happy Friday crew, explained, “Last year my roommate Sean Gallagher and I used our reclining desk chairs and went to South Ithan Avenue. We would just wish everyone who walked by a Happy Friday. Although we’ve been moving to different places on campus this year, our goal is the same: we just want to spread as much love as possible.”

Ryan stated that the inspiration for this Friday well-wishing extends back to his Chicago hometown, where he and friends used to sit on driveways in stolen lawn furniture and wave at people who drove by.

The Happy Friday crew has grown both in numbers and in popularity since its inauspicious beginnings. Sophomore Jacque Reardon, one of the first members of the crew, believes they have a large impact on the Villanova campus. “We were talking to some freshmen this year who remembered us from when they were prospective students. They said that we were the reason that they came to Villanova.” Reardon also stated that the overall response from the student body has been a positive one: “People know us now and they look for us. A lot of times they say Happy Friday before we can even say it to them.”

Not all of the attention the Happy Fridayers received is positive, however. Sophomore Julie Cadogan said the crew experienced a minor problem with Public Safety. “We tried to bring the futon to the traffic light but Public Safety said someone might get hit by a car because we were distracting them,” she said. “They asked for our Wildcards and told us to move. So, we have been sitting at the Oreo since then.” The Happy Friday crew did not allow this negative experience or the idea of potential death or injury dampen their enthusiasm. However, they continue to stress their positive intentions. Sophomore Dan Perrone stated, “Anyone can come and sit with us. We don’t promote or sell anything and we’re not associated with any organization. We’re just trying to make people smile.” Sophomore Chesley Turner, a recent addition to the crew echoed these sentiments: “This is only my second Friday, but I feel like I’ve been here forever. It’s like one big, happy, non-exclusive family.”

Whether one is sitting on the black futon enthusiastically greeting students, or merely passing by and receiving these well wishes, the Happy Friday crew has an impact on the Villanova campus.

Sophomore Jessica Mendoza summed up the contribution of these Friday well-wishers:“They promote anusiastic introduction to my weekend. They are the ray of sunshine on my cloudy Fridays.”