Late Night BU reaches five years and increased attendance

Over the past five years, Bradley’s late night program targeted to provide an alcohol-free environment has undergone some changes.

Bradley first held Late Night BU (LNBU) on Halloween night in 2008. There was a showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, inflatables and food from Alexander’s Steakhouse, said Assistant Director of Alcohol Education and Wellness Lyndsey Hawkins.

“The first year, we were trying to figure out what Bradley students liked and what they would want to do,” she said.

Hawkins said that some of the setup of LNBU has changed since then, including new locations for activities and the need for more space.

“When we got a crowd of 1,000 students, we knew we needed to provide more activities and use the entire Markin space,” Hawkins said. “The food was also [in the basement] for the very first LNBU which we quickly learned was a terrible idea.”

Over the years, LNBU’s attendance has grown from 700 to 1,200 students per event, Hawkins said. The number of events has also increased, with seven the first year and eight the following year. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, ten LNBU events have been hosted each year.

The program’s directors now have a better feel for what Bradley students enjoy, Hawkins said. The petting zoo, interactive rock show, puppies, ice cream, food and giveaways such as airbrush bags and hats or caricatures have been some of the most popular events so far.

“The activities at LNBU are constantly being changed, but the committees try not to stray too far from the most popular themes and activities,” Hawkins said. “However, we are trying to provide more activities that will interest guys.”

Sophomore finance major Ryan Johnson said he wishes there were more live bands at LNBU.

“I love going to LNBU because it’s always a fun time to hang out with friends and get free food,” Johnson said. “It’s awesome that there are fun events provided by the school, but I do wish there were live bands more often.”

Hawkins said each event costs about $7,000 and is funded by the student activities fee, sponsors and donations.

“I think it’s great that people are willing to sponsor and donate to LNBU so that we can have a fun and safe event to go to,” Johnson said.

Other students said the current activities of LNBU are great the way they are.

“All of the LNBUs have been pretty freaking awesome,” freshman computer engineering major Evan Parish said. “My favorite events were the blow-up obstacle course and the reptile exhibit.”

LNBU’s goal is to provide alcohol-free entertainment for students, Hawkins said. Freshman hospitality leadership major Kelsey Hogan said she prefers going to LNBU on the weekends.

“I don’t drink,” she said. “so going to LNBU gives me something fun and safe to do on the weekends. My favorite event was when Wags for Mags came because I got to spend the night with the puppies.”

Hawkins said LNBU is always willing to try new things and welcome to suggestions and ideas, which can be sent to latenightbu@bradley.edu.