Mizzou After Dark brings good, clean fun to campus on opening night

The event provided free food, crafts and games for students.

On the weekends, Mizzou After Dark offers food, games and a dance party all combined into one. Last Friday in the MU Student Center, the organization hosted "Mizzou Up All Night," its first event of the academic year.

Mizzou After Dark hosts a series of events co-sponsored by the Missouri Students Association, Graduate Professional Council and the Department of Student Life in order to give students an alcohol-free, on-campus alternative to weekend parties. The first event of the year provided a range of activities, including Frisbee-making, door-handle decorating and a photo booth.

Freshman Johanna Brown said that as a new student, she was glad to participate in a fun, safe event where she felt comfortable.

“This event provides a positive environment for all involved because it shows that you do not need alcohol to enjoy yourself,” she said. “You can be here fully sober and enjoy friends and also bring family.”

Students danced to songs such as “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO and “Halo” by Beyoncé while eating food from places such as Italian Village Pizza and Hot Box Cookies. These activities and free food, along with the promise of prizes and fun, draw students to the Friday events.

Mizzou After Dark’s main goal is to provide students with alcohol-free options for their Fridays. The organization also prides itself on bringing together individuals of every age, sex and race for activities.

Sophomore Briana Session said the activities, along with the people, are the reasons why she regularly attends the Mizzou After Dark events.

“The activities allow me to be creative in ways I couldn’t be in other places with things like alcohol (and) allow me to be comfortable enough to be myself with my friends and people I haven’t met but want to know,” she said. “I especially liked the door hangers because I could write funny lines without people getting upset because those lines have something to do with KU.”

MSA member Karri Williams said she felt the theme of unity between students is the reason why people continue to be interested by Mizzou After Dark events.

“We try to start off the year with a bang so the students can feel comfortable being together,” she said. “It’s a part of their Student Activities Fee, so I think they figure that they should attend because we want them to come and enjoy what we have to offer.”

Brown said the events were appropriate for a college setting without coming off as juvenile, suggesting students should get used to being treated in a more mature manner.

“This was a fun event but it also showed that we're all not babies anymore,” she said. “We have to start thinking for ourselves and try to build friendships and find different ways of enjoyment besides liquor.”

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