UMass screens ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ at Cinemark

Part of NSO’s #40Days of UMass program


Official Star Wars Facebook Page

By Abigail Charpentier, News Editor

Despite being one of the largest film releases of 2019, only a handful of University of Massachusetts students attended a free screening of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” at Cinemark at Hampshire Mall on Wednesday.

The goal was to welcome new and transfer undergraduate students to the UMass community, New Student Transition Coordinator Laura Bourque said.

“Since there has not historically been a formal welcome week for incoming spring [semester] students, we decided to host a couple of events to celebrate their transition to the campus community,” she said.

“The goal of this event is simply to celebrate the students coming to campus, much like we do with students entering in the fall. We want students who attend this event to feel welcome and hopefully connect with their peers,” Bourque added.

The University has worked with the Hampshire Mall at 367 Russell St. in Hadley previously for events like Mall Madness, in which Cinemark has participated. However, this is the first time the University has worked directly with the movie theater.

“This is the first year we’re trying something like this, so we’ll have to wait and see,” Bourque said prior to the event. “We’re hopeful that a large number of the incoming spring students will be interested in this movie and the other events we have scheduled for this week.”

When asked why this movie, Bourque explained, “Prior to the break I asked them [students who work in the New Students Orientation office] to look at the movies that would be out and choose one that would be appealing to students. They chose ‘Star Wars.’”

Two of the students who work in the NSO office, Allison Lepine and Kira Levenson, helped give away tickets at their table in the Campus Center on Wednesday afternoon. As of around 2 p.m., only four students had picked up the free tickets out of the 250 available for the 7 p.m. showing.

“We’re hoping that people can come, but we understand if people can’t because it’s cold and in addition, it is kind of far for people,” said Levenson, a sophomore biochemistry major.

Most of the students who picked up tickets had been transfer students, which Levenson assumed was because they had easier access to get to the movie theater.

“If we had any goal it would be to make anyone who does come get a ticket feel really welcome, welcomed to the campus,” she said.

Lepine, a junior industrial engineering major, added, “Maybe connect them with fellow transitioning students who are either transferring in or coming to the University for the first time.”

This event was a part of NSO’s #40Days of UMass, which is aimed to promote strategies for success on and off-campus, spirit and pride at UMass and getting involved on campus and in the surrounding communities. At the beginning of each week, transfer and new students can go on the site and check out events and ways to get involved on campus.

Abigail Charpentier can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @abigailcharp.