In April 2008, newly installed University President Joanne Glasser carefully selected a committee of staff, student leaders and faculty to formulate the Alcohol Action Plan (AAP), a decision that would lead to the eventual creation of Late Night BU (LNBU).
The AAP states that its purpose and creation were “in response to increasing recognition of alcohol use and abuse on college campuses.”
The document cites a survey, the American College Health Association (ACHA) Health Assessment survey, that Bradley students participated in during the 2006 school year. Results revealed that of the completed surveys, 98 percent of Bradley students had consumed alcohol within 30 days of taking the survey.
Glasser and her AAP committee said they felt that providing a positive and empowering environment for students on campus would help to “change student behavior with regard to alcohol consumption.”
As a result, the committee solidified alcohol reinforcement policies, cited current alcohol and substance prevention measures and proposed new efforts to both prevent and intervene.
Out of these efforts came the birth of LNBU.
Bradley hosted the very first LNBU in October 2008 with a Halloween theme that invited students to celebrate a night of Bradley pride in a positive and healthy environment.
Five years later, LNBU is hosted on a Friday or Saturday night in the Markin Center every month, and it is averaging more than 1,000 students per event, showcasing various themes and activities.
“I think one of the things that makes LNBU unique to Bradley is that this program is not just focused on deterring alcohol usage,” Coy said. “The LNBU program is focused on building a campus community and providing the opportunity for students to experience new things.”
During the past five years, LNBU has hosted events and activities such as a performance from the rapper Big Sean, camel rides, paint ball tournaments, henna tattoos, exotic petting zoos and the customization of road signs and novelty hats.
“The LNBU held in the Coliseum has been my favorite so far,” said junior and sports communication major Bintu Njie. “I like the way they decided to utilize both gyms and the walking area above the court.”
Students are not only able to participate in free events and get free food, but students are also welcomed to participate in the planning and execution of the event offering opportunities event coordinators, logistics coordinators, graphic designers and volunteers.
“Having the events planned by the student coordinators really puts the event back in the hands of the student body,” Director of Student Activities Tom Coy said.
Coy reported that the most recent LNBU, the Jan. 26 “Winter Wonderland” theme, and brought more than 1,030 students.
Over the course of the spring 2013 semester, approximately 30 percent of students who attended LNBU reported they would have otherwise consumed alcohol.
The next LNBU event is scheduled from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Feb. 21 in the Markin Center to celebrate Bradley’s Sibling’s Weekend. For more information, visit facebook.com/LateNightBU.