Students enjoy a safe night off campus at Meijer Mania

With all of the exciting events going on at Eastern Michigan University for the new and returning students, one of the most well-known one is probably Meijer Mania.

College students gathered Thursday to cash in on all the free merchandise and samples that Meijer had given. Starting off the night with an ice cream vendor parked outside, students were able to enjoy a fresh treat as they made their way into the music-filled store.

Not only were EMU’s students excited about the event, but so were the employees of Meijer. While wearing shirts that read “Best Year Ever. College 2015,” employees encouraged store-goers to dance and move along with them while they celebrated.

Along with the fun of free samples and a photo booth, Meijer also provided its shoppers with an impromptu fashion show, dance off, and raffle games.

The raffle games were the hit of the night, giving anyone who won a raffle ticket the chance to receive a college-related prize. The prizes ranged from a four pack of paper towels to oversized laundry baskets.

Regardless of what the prizes were, students and shoppers alike swarmed to the raffle games around the store in hopes of winning an item.

“So far this year is more fun than the others; you get more free stuff this year. Always better than just free t-shirts,” said Alexi Davis, a junior at EMU.

Thanks to EMU program coordinator, Eric Ward, Meijer Mania attendees were able to have “a fun-filled activity, free from substance use (alcohol and/or drugs) as well as connect our students to off campus resources.”

Back in 2001, Meijer Mania started as a grant from the state of Michigan used to create a safe space for students to not only get to know the area but also each other and campus resources.

Ward is one of the many who have helped make the event possible with plans such as bus timeliness, event coordination, and working directly with the Meijer corporate office to allow the event.

“I wish there was more funding to provide additional entertainment options: Karaoke, inflatable activities, picture booths, etc," said Ward. "Also, it's tough to offer a program like this when there are lots of exciting and engaging activities on campus. We don't intend to compete but I hate making student choose."

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