Fifth annual After Dark event draws record crowd

Students flocked to the library for a night of pizza, games and entertainment


Tuesday night McIntyre Library kicked off its semester in style by holding the fifth annual After Dark event, which drew an estimated crowd of over 1,000 people.

With activities ranging from mini golf to laser tag, students were given the chance to have a blast in the library and enjoy free Toppers pizza.

“We want students to think of the library as their place,” Eric Jennings, event coordinator, said. “It’s a place to have fun. It’s a place to study.”

Jennings, an instruction and outreach librarian, said the event was originally based on similar events held at other universities, but each year After Dark tries to add something new. This year’s estimated crowd of 1,100 to 1,200 was the largest yet, surpassing last years estimated 900 attendees.

“It was really cool to see an event on campus that has a large population going,” Anne Wickland, senior, said.

The event included three hours of live entertainment from students, which included a folk band, an improv comedy team and a show from freshman magician Dominic Faraglia.

“We have students on campus that are really talented,” Jennings said. “It’s nice to provide them with a venue to showcase these talents.”

Students and faculty alike participated in activities such as mini golf on a course that went up and down the first two floors, poker, bingo, laser tag, family feud and even a life sized version of Clue. Mini Golf and this year’s new activity. Laser tag seemed to be the most popular games, with students often waiting in line to get their chance to play.

“Laser tag is in the basement, but I’ve seen the line extend well up the stairs,” Hans Kishel, research and instruction librarian, said.

There were also several video game systems set up on the first floor of the library so students could challenge each other to games such as Rock Band, Super Smash Bros and compete in a Mario Kart tournament.

UW-Eau Claire fraternity Delta Sigma Phi had a booth set up where students could race to complete in several minute to win it challenges such as twerk pong, a game that entails someone trying to shake several ping pong balls out of a tissue box attached to their waist.

Although the games and events of the night were a hit with the students, the most popular attraction had to be the free pizza. Toppers pizza donated over 100 pizzas to the event with deliveries coming every hour to feed the students waiting in long lines.

“This time I appreciate (the pizza) more because I don’t have a food plan,” Tyler Richardson, senior, said.

However, the most understated and least tangible draw of the evening had to be the opportunities for social interaction and bonding amongst students. Most of the freshmen and transfer students have only been on campus since late last week, and this event provided them with the chance to have some fun with friends they’ve made and maybe even meet some new ones.

“(After Dark) is a great atmosphere to introduce yourself and meet new people,” Tyler Clausen, junior transfer student, said.