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Dogtown After Hours proves to be successful again

Photo by Taylor Soule, photo editor

Students all across campus flocked to Olmsted Center on a misty Saturday night with the sole purpose of tackling something on their bucket list. Dogtown After Hours, or #dtah, was presented by SAB and Student Senate as a campus-wide program to give students a non-alcoholic weekend activity. It featured everything from a black light dodge ball to tricking lessons and airbrush tattoos. The night began at 10 p.m., and wrapped up at 1 a.m. with giveaways like skydiving tickets and a meet and greet with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

Vice President of Student Life Matthew Van Hoeck said that the biggest challenge of putting on a huge program like this was the number of people it took. The planning committee, though dominated by SAB and Student Senate, included nearly half of the student groups on campus. The goal was to have something for everybody, and that required getting everybody involved. Such a diverse group of people, however, brings complications. The hardest part of all of the planning was divvying up the responsibility, especially since the event was so big and so many decisions had to be made. Student groups had to cooperate and collaborate on what to do and what not to do, and the original idea was tweaked a little bit to fit the venue, student interest, and the budget. Tasha Stiger, the director of campus programming and advisor to SAB, said that the original plan was to have a couple bands play throughout the night, but that couldn’t happen, so black light dodge ball was brought up as an alternative attraction.

Most of last year’s participants, including sophomore Megan Miller, have fond memories of the pie fight. In the past, that served as a hook or main attraction to entice people to attend. This year, epic black light dodge ball game aside, there was no huge hook that Dogtown was centered around. Some people think that Dogtown lost some of its sparkle and excitement this year because there was no main attraction, but most agree that they liked the wide variety of smaller activities better.

New this year were the events that went on around campus the week before Dogtown night. Everybody saw the giant chalkboard in front of Olmsted, graffitied with bucket list ideas. Nicki Mittelbrun of the SAB planning committee passed out goldfish in Helmick. The goal was to get people excited about the theme, and make Dogtown more of an event instead of a program.

For those who didn’t attend, the “food was amazing,” said first-year Sara Brock. Following the bucket list theme, students got the chance to sample something from countries around the world, with Asian egg rolls, Mediterranean pizza, and Australian coconut bars. Over in Pomerantz, a disco party raged in silence. Students were given a pair of headphones with a random station playing, so a person had no idea what their neighbors were dancing to. Upstairs was a hip hop dance class, and mats and safety spotters to try tricking, as well as the black light dodge ball game in Parents Hall. Downstairs in lower Olmsted, masters of the future told fortunes and read palms. Henna and airbrush tattoos gave the whole area the feel of a grown-up carnival. Bulldog Theater featured “Minute to Win It” and “Family Feud” competitions, as well as a Mentalist, whose card tricks defied nature. There truly was something for everybody, and students and faculty alike agreed that there was much more interaction.

Relays are right around the corner, and spring fever and school pride is in the air. Dogtown After Hours proved that no matter how stressful classes may get in these last few weeks, there’s still no better place to be than Drake.

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