A new late night activity provider is combating alcohol-related events in an unprecedented fashion.

FUSA’s Programming Board already works towards planning and establishing multiple events every week.

Chair of the Programming Board Lindsey Hanley said earlier last week, “There’s a lot that goes into it. I don’t think many people know just how much work gets put into planning.”

However, with some of the FUSA events comes a culture that the new organization, Fairfield @ Night, is trying to fight. FUSA President Alex Long ‘14 said, “Any large event you attend, there’s drinking involved.”

FUSA, as well as the Fairfield staff, understands that drinking is not only a part of life, it’s a part of the campus culture. “We are not a dry campus,” said Kamala Kiem, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of New Student Programs. “Because of that, we understand that students will end up having to choose whether or not they want to take part in the drinking culture.”

Fairfield At Night (F@N) is only three semesters old. Created as a departmental initiative by the Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Affairs, it was formed “with the intention of providing late-night alternative programming for those who preferred not to attend ‘big’ events or ones that involve the drinking campus culture,” according to Kiem.

Past F@N Advisor Elissa Carroll said, “It’s an easy way for students to socialize without the worry of having to attend off-campus events.”

Both Kiem and the current advisor of F@N, Colleen Wilson, explained that through the application process, only those who truly believe in the cause are suited for the job. Keim and Wilson also said that payment is necessary because the students are putting in late hours on the weekends and the department feels that they should be compensated for it.

In addition to late weekends, the staff must also fulfill mandatory hours during the week. Carroll says the purpose behind F@N’s structure in employment is “not only to make money but to develop skills and competence.” In the past, it’s evident that F@N has made an impact to the campus.  FUSA’s Lindsey Hanley said, “It’s a great way to continue to provide more options on campus.”

FUSA and F@N both seek to provide options, but the student government sides with what it sees as most popular. Long said, “Because every student is a part of FUSA, because they paid their dues, we want to make sure that these events appeal to the majority. Therefore, we expect a large turnout. Otherwise, profits are lost. If profits are lost, then the student body loses out and their activities fee is essentially wasted. It’s a good thing that we can coordinate with other programs so that the minority is not left out.”

In comparison, F@N aims at those who prefer the alternative programming. Kiem said, “So while FUSA is having Prez Ball, a late-night double feature will be offered for those who didn’t want to go.”

F@N’s average attendance last year was about 100 per event – a figure both Kiem and Wilson view as a great turnout.

Different events around campus will largely remain scheduled by students, but Kiem and Wilson said that they welcome collaboration with all organizations and are even willing to supply a grant of up to $20,000 depending on the event and if it meets the substance-free criteria.

For finances this year, FUSA’s Board of Programming was approved of a $232,000 budget, while F@N is $65,000 for the year.

While FUSA’s budget size accounts for a greater number of various programs, including bigger events like the Fall Concert,  part of F@N’s mission “is to try to rework the mentality of the students when it comes to drinking that occurs at most of these ‘big’ events,” Wilson said.  Kiem said, “more money is needed in [FUSA’s] budget in order to produce bigger events. In any case, you need money and human resources and currently F@N seems to be lacking in that.

F@N wants to expand their capabilities to put on grand-scale substance-free events in the future.  Freshman Keniel Brown said that he wanted to “go somewhere fun on a Friday night where there was no drinking involved because I don’t drink.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.