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Late Night BU sends students packing: Airline tickets to warm climates not enough to encourage high attendance

Students at last Friday’s Late Night BU channeled the era of leg warmers, Rubik’s cubes and Molly Ringwald.

Eighties night at Late Night BU provided students with activities such as throwback crafts, inflatable obstacle courses, free McDonald’s, ’80s cover band Hello McFly and two vacation opportunities.

Assistant Director of Student Affairs Dain Gotto said students can expect vacation giveaways at every Late Night BU for the rest of the year.

“[Allegiant] Airs gave away two plane trips to Phoenix, Tampa or Las Vegas, and they came to Bradley looking to break into the college market,” he said. “Once they realized what a great marketing tool Late Night BU was, they decided to continue giving away tickets for the rest of the year.”

In addition, students could win two cruise tickets through a raffle at the end of the night, provided by the Peoria Rivermen.

’80s night at Late Night BU also featured a $2,000 roller skating rink, which was driven in Friday morning from North Carolina.

“I’ve worked all of the Late Night BU’s,” senior elementary education major Marcus Belin said. “And the roller skating rink is one of the coolest and most unique things I have seen since working here.”

Freshman theatre production major Ellie Cashen joined several other students in dressing up in the spirit of the ’80s.

“I’ve been to three other Late Night BU’s,” she said. “But I really like this theme because it gives people the chance to participate and dress up.”

The theme went over well with students, though some said they felt the attendance was lower than usual.

“I love the ’80s theme,” junior biochemistry major Beth Boudreau said. “And the food was great because there were both hamburgers and the healthier option of fruit. But the turnout seemed so much lower.”

Freshman nursing major Katy Bednarczyk said she thought there was not enough publicity to get students to attend.

“The hamburgers were a great addition, but more people would have come if it was advertised,” she said. “There were definitely less people here, but it was fun overall.”

Despite a perceived lower attendance, Gotto said attendance is up from last year.

“Last year we had about 800 students attend each Late Night BU, but this year we have averaged over 1,000,” he said. “And while it may be a pain to wait in line for two hours to get a photo mug, it gives people the chance to talk to the people around them in line. It’s a great way to get students out of the residence halls on a Friday night.”

Gotto said he felt the ’80s Late Night BU was a success.

“One of the big challenges for Late Night BU is trying to fit so much into one night so we have to come up with a lot of new activities for the next one, “ he said. “But we were so excited to find something like the roller skating rink, something we haven’t had before. The student coordinators work very hard to keep it new and exciting, and they are doing a great job.”

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