Instead of barhopping, Crowd 313 is giving students an alternative Friday night activity.
Crowd 313, a University organization aimed at connecting students with the developing culture and opportunity in the Detroit, is hosting its first Friday Nights in the D event Friday evening. The sold-out pilot event will serve as a preview of the monthly event series starting in the fall.
Friday Nights in the D offers students a chance to network with successful start-up businesses, become familiar with Detroit and experience the nightlife the cityhas to offer, said LSA sophomore Brandon Klein, the event coordinator.
“We noticed that people only go down to Detroit for sports games, concerts, and then they bolt,” Klein said. “We said, ‘let’s get a bus of people, all together, down. Let’s get them to experience the nightlife – show them that there’s stuff to do in Detroit. Also, let’s show them networking opportunities.’”
Participating students will be given a bus tour by the Detroit Bus Company through historic parts of Detroit as well as up-and-coming areas such as Midtown. After the tour, participants will be visiting Brooklyn Street Local and the Red Bull House of Art Gallery Opening where representatives from start-up businesses located in the M@dison Building will be available to talk.
Art & Design sophomore Matt Rosner, one of the event planners, said he hoped the event would draw students to Detroit after they graduate from the University.
“We want to give students the feel that people live in Detroit … with great-paying jobs and exciting lifestyles in a city where they can make an impact,” Rosner said.
Klein added that Detroit offers many opportunities for young people.
“In Detroit, you’re a big fish in a big pond … it’s a huge city, but no matter what, you’re making an impact by just being there,” Klein said.
Klein said he estimated that 40 to 45 students will be participating in the inaugural night and hopes the event would grow with time.
“I expect this to just be the start of something bigger,” Klein said. “I expect this to raise some curiosity, to open up their minds.”
Friday Nights in the D is one of three initiatives taken by Crowd 313 to change students’ perception of Detroit. Other projects include a website detailing internship opportunities in Detroit called DetroitWolverine.com, and a fall festival on the Diag.
“Our goal is to just get students down to Detroit to de-stigmatize the unsafe and un-happening idea of Detroit, and it’s to kind of to encourage an entrepreneurship culture from the students in Ann Arbor,” Rosner said.