‘The hobbit’ after dark

- Kaycee Beilman

***The writer is enrolled in Comm 240 News Reporting.***

Fort Hays State University students participated in various fun-filled activities Friday, April 4, at an After Dark event in the Memorial Union from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Providing a wide variety of games, food, and performances, After Dark acts as an alternative to copious amounts of alcohol consumption.

Alexandra Shaw, head organizer of After Dark, along with the Center for Student Involvement staff, has been involved with organizing these events this year.

“After a theme for the event is established, we begin contacting performers, caterers and specialty vendors,” Shaw said.

With the theme of this particular After Dark event being “The Hobbit,” Shaw said she and the rest of her team brainstormed different activities, which complemented the popular book and film.

Since typically anywhere from 200-400 people attend an After Dark event, Shaw said that she considers what activities would appeal to students.

At this specific After Dark, activities included a showing of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” stand-up comedy by Jack Merrywell, chain-mail jewelry making, palm-reading, henna tattoos, and learning to write one’s name in “elvish.”

“Once those activities are established, we begin advertising, reserve specific rooms in the Union, and begin sign-ups for student volunteers,” Shaw said.

One volunteer, Aaron Simpson, Wichita freshman, said he enjoyed lending a hand at the various After Dark events.

“I like coming to these events mainly because I don’t drink, and After Dark is an enjoyable and free activity that I can go to,” Simpson said.

Agreeing with Simpson were Natalie Bethel, Hays sophomore, and Felix Albl, Berlin, Germany, sophomore.

“After Dark has a lot of activities; you’ll never get bored,” Bethel said. Albl chimed in, saying, “It’s a great way to meet people, and the prizes are also a bonus.”

The prizes included a new 39-inch Emerson LED television, Xbox One, and Hobbit book set.

After Dark this year has been funded by the Student Government Association.

“Next year, After Dark will become a co-sponsored event, with the University Activities Board paying for half and the Memorial Union covering the other half of the events,” said Vincent Bowhay, assistant director of the memorial union.

After Dark also has many sponsors including the Memorial Union, Center for Student Involvement, University
Activities Board, Chartwells, FHSU Fraternities and Sororities, The Post Rock Chapter of the Alumni Association, Tiger CLAWS, and DAWN.

The April 4 After Dark event was the last one scheduled for this semester, so students will have to wait until Fall 2014 to partake again.

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