Have you ever felt the urge to ride a mechanical shark, play laser tag in the library, eat late-night pancakes, or play bingo? Luckily, thanks to the new Late at Bates initiative, on weekend nights you can do all of these and other fun (and weird) events.
Late at Bates is another response by the administration to the drinking culture at Bates. Yet, instead of trying to control the drinking culture by removing events such as Trick or Drink and Throwback Night, here the administration is creating new events to add to the community feeling of Bates.
Late at Bates, which started early this semester semester, is run by first-year Katie Carlton, senior Olivia Jacobs, and sophomore Calvin Reedy, with help from Assistant Dean of Students Keith Tannenbaum, who seems to have a hand in every single fun event on campus, and Coordinator of Student Activities Qiu Meng Fogarty. The students read proposals from different students and student groups for events and later play a direct role in planning the events with the various students and groups. To be approved, the events must be on a Friday or Saturday after 9:00 P.M., they must be open to everyone, and they must be interactive.
Some events have included Valentine’s Day card-making, inflatable games in the Gray Cage, Big Prize Bingo, Big Prize Poker, and of course, laser tag in Ladd.
Carlton says, “Bingo, inflatables, and laser tag were all super successful, but the card-making was not very successful given that it was very last minute since we were all hired the week before.”
So far, the most fun and out of the box event has been laser tag, also known as Lazer Ladd. The brainchild of first-year Ben Roop, Lazer Ladd was born when Roop realized the library would make a great space for some kind of campus-wide event. He submitted the proposal for laser tag to Late at Bates with the help of fellow first-year Emma Russell.
Coincidentally, the Chase Hall Committee was already planning on having laser tag in Chase Hall, but they decided to back Roop’s idea of the library. Initially, Library Services had hesitation but with some convincing from Tannenbaum, they agreed to host the laser tag. Originally, the plan was to have the laser tag take place on the third floor of the library, but Library Services were weary of the balcony so they agreed on the basement.
The library also nixed the idea of the fog machine because of the possible damage to the books. They also had the odd condition of having the laser tag being videotaped. The event was given a 10:00 P.M. start time so that Ladd had enough time to close before the event started.
“The laser tag company came so early that we had to set up while people were still working in the library,” Roop said. The company set the time for each round at 15 minutes and the slots were taken as quickly as tables in Commons at noon. The laser tag itself worked out amazingly.
“There was a lot of spirit in the games; lots of people came dressed up and they were super pumped. There was a men’s crew team vs. the women’s crew team, the swim team played together, and the football team did as well,” Roop added.
Roop was surprised by how respectful everyone was and how almost everyone showed up to their time slot on time despite various other weekend events being held on campus.
Late at Bates is proving that there can be alternative late night events that are well attended by the student body. Especially with Lazer Ladd, it shows that people will leave their weekend night plans to go to a community-oriented event. Late at Bates is a great way to move the culture of Bates away from binge drinking and more towards events that increase the community feeling among the students.