Tulane After Dark programs provide weekend options beyond Broadway

When weekend nights strike, some students assume their only option is to hit The Boot Bar and Grill. Tulane After Dark aims to broaden the range of choices available to all students.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, primarily in the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life, TAD hosts several late-night programs, including trivia, film screenings, drag queen bingo, silent discos and many others.

“I think that there’s a misconception … that the only thing that happens here is that students are drinking,” Katie Cannella, assistant director for student development, said. “… It’s not every student.”

This year, TAD has focused on becoming a more fully-developed organization with a visible campus presence. Revamping strategies to engage students, TAD is offering a co-programming fund to student organizations to host Friday night activities.

“It’s an easy way to meet people, to get involved, to feel like you’re doing something,” Cannella said. “And it doesn’t come with some of the other pressures that you might experience elsewhere.”

TAD screens movies not yet available for streaming and offers free popcorn and soda at 9 p.m. every Thursday at City Diner. Friday nights are reserved for larger, more involved programs and departmental or student-run events. TAD’s trivia night takes place at 10 p.m. on Saturdays, where students can win various prizes for their trivia knowledge and even for coming up with witty team names.

Some events infuse education with fun activities. Drag queen bingo, for instance, educates participants about safe sex practices and consent during the game. And not all late-night programs are in the LBC. One recent Friday night program involved a bike ride down Oak Street, allowing students to explore the neighborhood around Tulane without having to navigate on their own.

TAD events are organized by the Late Night Programming Committee, which involves representatives from Campus Recreation, Dining Services, Housing and Residence Life, Student Resources and Support Services, the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Office of Sustainability, the Well for Health Promotion, Tulane University Campus Programming and University Services.

Late-night programming has undergone some rebranding in the recent past, primarily in its outreach initiatives. TAD, the acronym for Tulane After Dark, is also the name of the organization’s new and recognizable mascot: the late-night llama. Student participation is continuing to grow, as students are not only attending these events and providing feedback, but also spreading the word to peers.

“By packaging all that together, we’re really seeking to communicate that this is yours,” Cannella said. “You know that Tulane After Dark is for you. It is made for you and it is only made for you.”

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