NU Nights looks to bring alternative nighttime events for students

Jillian Sandler

This spring, a new student group hopes to diversify nightlife on Northwestern’s campus, with possible options including arts and crafts, athletics and maybe a petting zoo.

NU Nights, a group looking to bring nighttime programming to campus, came to life Fall Quarter. The organization has received funding from the University and is looking to start hosting events in the spring.

Andrew Christy, incoming president of NU Nights, said the group’s purpose is to foster an increased sense of community on campus through weekly nighttime programs. The events, he said, aim to fill a need for regularly scheduled late-night campus activities.

“Things like A&O (Productions) and Mayfest really bring the community together,” the Weinberg sophomore said. “But it’s even better to have more weekly events that are not as large in scale, but are still popular events.”

NU Nights intends to schedule fun on-campus events between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. The group plans to host a number of activities in the spring, including a movie night in collaboration with A&O, Christy said.

NU Nights’ current president, SESP senior Kirstin Nordhaus, said the group also plans to put on athletic and arts and crafts events and perhaps bring a petting zoo to campus. She said she hopes the variety of events will appeal to all NU students.

“Hopefully these will be things that cater to a lot of different interests and get a lot of students in attendance at the events,” she said.

Nordhaus said she researched late-night programming at other universities around the country and found that those schools have allocated thousands of dollars to the cause. Believing that NU lacked this amount of nighttime programming, Nordhaus set out to change the situation. She said she believes the group can have an immediate impact.

“I think it was a void to fill at Northwestern,” she said. “Just going from zero (late night programs) to having something is something that was really important.”

Nordhaus worked with University staff members to create funding proposals for NU Nights. After some revisions, Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia Telles-Irvin awarded the organization $25,000 toward programming plus additional funds to pay graduate students as program employees, Nordhaus said.

NU Nights has not yet received Associated Student Government funding, but the governing body passed a unanimous resolution in support of NU Nights in the fall. Nordhaus notes NU Nights hopes to secure ASG funds in the future.

Communication junior Max Kelley said although he believes NU already has many nighttime events for students, he thinks additional programming could be beneficial.

“I already feel like there’s so many events I don’t go to,” he said. “However, there’s nothing wrong with having more because I think students are … dedicated to getting involved in things that interest us.”

McCormick junior John Hodges said he believes the issue is not a lack of programming but rather that students are unaware of the events occurring across the entire University.

“I think there’s a ton of things (to do); I think the real problem is just advertising it,” Hodges said. “I just don’t really realize all the things that are going on. There are so many things that I recently discovered and activities that I want to get involved with, but there’s not a general pool for information to be gathered.”

Though NU Nights has not yet fully organized most of its events, Christy said the group has already reserved rooms in Norris University Center for Spring Quarter. The type of event will likely vary on a weekly basis and size of the activities will differ as well.

“It’s going to be Friday night programming for large scale events, and some Monday nights will be smaller-scale things,” Christy said. “We have a base set for a lot of events, but the actual programs are not set in place yet.”

Christy added the organization hope other students will become more involved with NU Nights and the group is open to any ideas students may have for potential programs. He said he hopes NU Nights will bring the NU community together.

“The big events we do have on campus really kind of define Northwestern,” he said. “I hope that this is something (that becomes) part of the culture.”

NU Nights is accepting applications for its executive board until Sunday.

[email protected]