We started out last October by asking, “Hoos a night owl?”
IM-Rec Sports’ first After Hours initiative took place on Saturday October 24. We offered late night sports at Mem Gym, Carr’s Hill Field, and Nameless Field, as well as s’mores and hot chocolate at the Outdoor Rec Center. Soon after, we expanded to Slaughter Rec Center and added Fridays into the fold before we landed on the two-night format at the Aquatic & Fitness Center that has proven to be so successful this past semester.
The goal was simple: offer students fun, late night things to do each weekend. For the first couple of months, we were learning right along with you, trying to figure out the best formula to get people in the door and moving. From Day 1, we listened to feedback from students to get an idea of what you would like to see. That is how we went from having a handful of attendees making s’mores at our first events to averaging 150-250 students every Saturday night.
A significant key to our success this past semester was bringing in more outside vendors and collaborating partners. Knockerball was always a huge hit, which is we brought it back - twice! Grocery Bingo gave students a chance to take home a haul of much needed everyday essentials. The Dodgeball Tournament brought out everyone’s inner Patches O’Houlihan. Our poker faces were tested at Casino Night and we practiced our sharpshooting during Laser Tag. Other highlights included an O’Hill Night Hike, Tie-Dye Night, an exhilarating Glow Run through Grounds. Additionally, we were able to collaborate with University Programs Council (UPC) for a Glow Dance Party and a night of throwback games: Gym Class Heroes. We sought to keep the activities fresh, engaging, and most of all, fun.
We could not have carried out this initiative without the dedicated, exceptional work of our After Hours Event Managers. Mary Kathryn McLucas, Ford Slater, Jack Cavanagh, and Trevor Lane. These students did an amazing job organizing the events on a weekly basis and were able to take a lead in the implementation of each weekend’s program and were empowered to make administrative decisions on site.
For next fall, we’re looking to keep the momentum going. Expect the AFC to continue keeping its doors open late on Fridays and Saturdays, with all new activities and some returning favorites. Plus, rumor on the street is that there is an After Hours concert in the works to kick off the fall semester. Are you sure I have to graduate?
A more visual retrospective can be found in our After Hours photo albums on Facebook. We'd love to hear student feedback about After Hours activities so we can continue to grow and cater to what you want. You can be entered for a chance to win a $10 gift card to Bodo's by completing this survey!