Picture this: it’s a Friday night, you don’t have any plans, and the only option that seems viable is going to the bars. If not that, what else can you do besides sit in your room and feel an intense sense of FOMO (fear of missing out)?
College, especially freshman year, is a time when people can feel overwhelming peer pressure to drink. While some people welcome the typical college lifestyle, it is not for everyone. For those who do not feel comfortable or simply do not want to drink, it can feel like there are no options.
Here’s where After Class Events comes in. You might recognize the name from your email inbox. After Class Events is a website that shares a variety of different events for students to attend most nights of the week. Examples of these events include comedy shows, movies, game nights, and e-sports tournaments.
After Class Events provides a great alternative for those who don’t want to participate in the party culture but still want to have fun with their friends.
These events can be sponsored by campus clubs and organization, recreational services, and campus activity boards, among others. Any organizations can request their event be posted on After Class Events by completing a form on the website. An example of this would be the Poindexter Coffeehouse series. This event includes many activities such as open-mic nights and magicians.
A study of over 700 University of Iowa students shows that students at the UI engage in more high-risk behavior concerning alcohol than our peers nationally. Considering the university is rated 13th in party schools by Niche.com, this statistic should not come as a shock.
With this high-risk behavior, comes potential legal consequences. In Iowa, it is a $200 fine for your first offense of underage drinking and $500 for your second offense, and your driver’s license may be revoked.
Having an underage drinking charge on your record can be detrimental to future studies or jobs. In some cases, it can threaten scholarships a student has or their spot on an athletic team. This is why finding an alternative to drinking when you are underage is so important.
While planning these events, organizations understand that students have different levels of comfortability regarding COVID-19 restrictions, so many of the events are hosted outside.
In an email to The Daily Iowan, Mara Cheney, the UI’s late night initiatives and assessment coordinator, wrote that “Late Night Programming is an Alcohol Harm Reduction strategy that is focused on building a sense of belonging on campus.”
Having these events open to all students can create a sense of community on campus as students meet new people and make new friends. It can help students feel as though they belong if going out and drinking does not interest them, and it helps them find like-minded people, which can be difficult on a college campus.
After Class Events provide fun environments for students to bond with their peers and enjoy themselves. If you ever find yourself wondering what you want to do tonight, make sure to check out the After Class Events page.
Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.