Markin may not have been as packed with students as typical Late Night BU (LNBU) events, but students were still eager to participate in an in-person event last Friday.
Given the COVID-19 guidelines, the attendance process for LNBU this year was different. As opposed to students walking through night-of, a registration process was utilized in which students signed up for an hour-long time slot and received a wristband corresponding to their slot.
Some activities included hot chocolate, chili, a snowglobe creation station, dodgeball, a skating rink, a chili bowl giveaway and a “stuff-a-critter”, where students could stuff their own stuffed animals, with the choices of a penguin, reindeer or polar bear.
According to Naomi Hegarty, an event coordinator for LNBU, the group chose to use the time slot system because they felt that it would be the most effective way to host an indoor event such as LNBU given COVID-19 restrictions.
Additionally, Hegarty explained these restrictions limited Markin’s capacity and wanted to give in-person learners an equal opportunity to participate in the activities. The time slots allowed them to permit a certain number of students per hour with enough space to spread out and honor social distancing guidelines.
Aside from the capacity limit, Hegarty found there was one other challenge they had to overcome: getting the event off the ground quickly.
“We did not know that the campus restrictions would be lifted enough to accommodate indoor events until only a few weeks from the Late Night event itself, which is a very short amount of time to get contracts with vendors planned and signed,” Hegarty, a junior French and hospitality leadership double major, said. “We usually have to get things planned and organized quickly, but normally we have an extra week or two to do so.”
Just under 500 students attended the event, according to Hegarty.
Kaitlyn Morrison, a freshman history and social studies secondary education major, really enjoyed the stuffed animals and crafts.
“I think I liked the ones last semester more, but because this one’s inside, I don’t think they could do as much,” Morrison said.
Mark Naom, a freshman biomedical science major, said he went because he saw flyers and advertisements about the event in his email. Although he liked features such as the chili and do-it-yourself activities, , there was just something he liked better about past LNBUs.
“I liked the first one a little bit more, just because it was outdoors,” Naom said. “But for what we’ve got this is still good.”
At the end of the day, Hegarty said the best part of all the work is seeing students having fun.
“There are a lot of people on campus who adore Late Night BU, and it is so heartwarming for me to see how happy they are to be there,” Hegarty said.