Attendance high for first Late Night BU Thursday event

Late Night BU hosted its first Thursday night event last week, and participation from the student body exceeded the Wellness Center’s expectations.

Director of Wellness Programs Melissa Sage-Bollenbach said they wanted to see if a LNBU on a Thursday night had as much interest as a weekend event.

“We actually were going to try it out last April,” she said. “But we ended up moving it at the last minute. We decided we still wanted to try it again this year to see if students would come out and support a Late Night event on a Thursday and clearly they did.”

ACBU Coordinator Crystal Rains said part of the motivation for hosting a Thursday event was because of student drinking.

“Studies show that students are drinking frequently on Thursday nights,” she said. “So we wanted to try a LNBU on a Thursday night to see if it would serve our purpose and give students another option.”

The exact number of students in attendance has not been officially calculated, but Sage-Bollenbach said an estimate of 850 students attended. The average number of students in attendance at this year’s Late Night events is 1,300.

“For me that exceeded my expectations,” she said. “I am excited about the turn out and that demonstrated that students want more Thursday events.”

The event had a military theme, one LNBU has not pursued before. Bradley’s Chapter of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps sponsored and helped coordinate the event, said Director of Student Activities Michelle Whited.

“I thought it went great,” she said. “Better than I thought it would for an experiment on a Thursday night and some of it can be attributed to ROTC for putting the word out.”

Freshman management and administration major Dee Barbaro attended the event last Thursday and said she would go again if they hosted another LNBU on a Thursday.

“I liked it,” she said. “Less happens on Thursdays so a lot of people went. I thought the theme was good too.”

Although the Wellness Center saw the first Thursday LNBU as a success, they are not planning to host another in the near future.

“Our dates for next year are already set,” Sage-Bollenbach said. “I wouldn’t rule out that we wouldn’t never do it again. But knowing that having something on a Friday or Saturday draws a larger crowd we would probably stay with those nights.”

Even though LNBU isn’t planning on hosting any more Thursday events, Sage-Bollenbach said she is pushing student organizations to host more Thursday night events.

“We’ve been encouraging students to host Thursday night events for over two years,” Whited said. “There is a fund set aside for student organizations to host Thursday, Friday or Saturday events and some student groups have used it. If a student group wanted to host an event, the funds are there and any given week we need more late night events.”

Sage-Bollenbach said LNBU has significantly grown since the program began in 2008 and students can look forward to fun and new themes next year.

“This year we have had the highest average attendance number,” she said. “That speaks well that students enjoy [LNBU events] and want to come out. As long as they do that I would love to see the program grow.”