The fix for underage drinking: late night programming?
It’s Friday at 1 a.m. and Trabant is a ghost town. Clamors of students in drunken stupor can be heard from the sidewalks. For students who do not party, campus leaves little to do.
This will soon change, as the university is pushing to shift programming to later in the night. Thanks to a grant from Dupont-affiliated Unidel Foundation Inc., student organizations will be given incentive next fall to host events from 10 p.m to 1 a.m.
The Division of Student Life applied for funding to provide late night programming during the weekend for students and received word in January that the proposal was granted, Meaghan Davidson, assistant director for University Student Centers, said. Expenses are still being reviewed, but the new grant from the Unidel Foundation, Inc. amounted to a couple hundred thousand dollars, she said.
Every Friday night Perkins Student Center will host “Perkins Live” while Trabant University Center will host a new series called “Trabant Now.” Both programs will happen 10 of the 12 weekends of the fall semester, Davidson said.
While some see this as an opportunity to provide alternatives to binge drinking for underage students, Davidson says the goal of the program is to create, market and execute late night on-campus engagement opportunities.
“We are hoping to create a culture of exciting events for students,” Davidson said.
Some of the RSOs that have already signed up to participate are UDress and HOLA. UDress magazine publisher Courtney Cook said they hope to use the funding to host an after party for their annual Fall Fashion Event, just in time for the magazine’s 10th anniversary.
“Having this partnership between UDress and the late night programming will be a mutual beneficial relationship,” Cook said. “For us, we get additional large-scale advertising and the late night programming will also gain advertising for who they are and what they do through the UDress community.”
Sophomore Brooke Spicer says she would be interested in attending university-hosted late night events and thinks they will be beneficial for students. Most campus events end at 10 p.m., but the majority of students stay up much later, so the programming will give students options to stay out late without the involvement of alcohol, she said.
Some of the events Spicer would like to see are ones like the Cash Cash concert UDance hosted this past fall in Trabant.
“Something like that, but later would be really fun and cool to see,” Spicer said.
Amy du Pont founded Unidel, the foundation that provided the grant, in 1939 with its primary mission to promote higher education by supplying grants to the university. The foundation also donated $5 million for the construction of the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Lab.
The Student Centers will be partnering with other departments of Division of Student Life, departments outside of Student Life and student organizations for the new programming.
A calendar with the scheduled events will be available as soon as programming is finalized.