When asked what his or her favorite campus-wide program was last year, there is a good chance an upperclassman will tell you it was Dogtown After Hours.
On April 8, 2011, hundreds of students congregated in Olmsted on a spring night to throw a world record-breaking number of pies at each other. In addition to the massive pie fight, there were games, competitions, music and prizes. It was like a carnival in the middle of campus. This year, Student Senate and the Student Activities Board are collaborating again to try to top it.
Junior Matthew Van Hoeck, vice president of student life, said that the best part of Dogtown After Hours is that the event is completely student-driven and involves a multitude of campus organizations. Between the brainstorming, the planning and all of the logistics, it requires nearly half of the student groups on campus. The goal of all of this collaboration is to get as many people involved and incorporated in the event as possible, in a sort of “grass roots movement programming.” He said that more students helping with the event means that there will be something for everyone, and everybody will have a good time.
However, having a hugely diverse group of people all planning one event can lead to complications. The hardest part of all of the planning is divvying up the responsibility. Choices have to be made for what to do and what not to do, and the original idea is often tweaked to fit the venue, student interest and the budget. The budget for this event comes from a variety of sources. The bulk of it comes from a chunk of unspent money from student fees called the quasi-endowment fund. It is set aside for several years and allowed to grow until a big event like Dogtown After Hours comes up that requires more funding. The budget will also be getting support from SAB, private donors and even President David Maxwell. Van Hoeck expects to raise and spend more than $10,000 this year. Student Senate hopes that if more can be invested in this event, students will get more out of it.
First-year Kristen Bramhall, president of Herriot Hall’s executive council, was on the team that had the winning idea for this year. Although she reported that the idea originally came from first-year Stacy Christensen and the Crawford Hall executive council, the Crawford EC recognized that they would need more help. Bramhall and Christensen had to fill out an event proposal, defining things like the budget, the activities and the preparation it would require. They had to present their idea to SAB for it to be voted on. Now that it’s been chosen, they meet with SAB and Student Senate to work on putting their plan into action.
Christensen and Bramhall realized that everybody has a bucket list and wanted Dogtown After Hours to give college kids the chance to fulfill their bucket lists. Many people have something like “travel to all seven continents,” so Olmsted will be decorated to reflect the seven continents, letting students travel internationally without leaving campus. It’s another common dream for people to “win big at a casino,” so there will be casino games for students to play throughout the night. Dogtown After Hours is going to be a huge event that the entire campus gets involved in, even bigger than Celebrate Drake. There will be games and events going on throughout the night, and there are over a dozen organizations working to make sure that every student has fun.