Suddenly every Friday night there would be an event taking place on-campus. Free entertainment would be provided to students and their guests from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. College students love hearing that. Free. I think most of us do a double take to see what’s being offered for free.
Sykes After Dark has stepped up their level of entertainment since it first began. Last year, a number of events were a hit. This semester, every Friday night has been a success with over 250 students in attendance.
The events allow for students to take a break from their workload and have an enjoyable night on-campus. Popular events include dances and comedians, which are likely to continue to be included in each semester’s plan for Sykes After Dark. This semester, WCU welcomed Loni Love and friends. Students can also take home a free novelty (t-shirt, stuffed animal, fun picture, etc). The event follows with free food, karaoke in the common grounds, raffle prizes, and the Student Activities Council host a midnight movie.
Along with free fun for the students in attendance, the event has prompted other organizations to get involved. The TV club has recently started to videotape parts of the event to put on their channel and on YouTube. The WCUR radio station works with the event every Friday night, as one of their DJs helps make announcements and introduces the on-stage performers. Sykes After Dark coordinators, who plan months in advance, also partner with organizations such as RHA, Greek Life, BSU, and LGBTQA. Sykes After Dark continues to improve since its start five semesters ago. Fran Boshell, a Graduate Assistant for Sykes After Dark, said the Sykes Union staff conducts research with the help of the Association of College Unions International to plan out the semester’s schedule.
Sykes After Dark has become a place where students find themselves asking friends to join them. So far this semester, Sykes has been anything but quiet on a Friday night. For all the students that help make the weekly event possible, I hope they can still hear the screams of excitement that ring throughout the building, even long after they graduate.
~ Ginger Rae