Are you up for Late Night?

Audrey Gilliam

For those who associate themselves with the drinking and partying scene at Villanova, the choice between Late Night at Connelly and late night at the Courts appears to be obvious — the kegs, crowded apartments and loud music of the Courts are more enticing than a sober evening in the Connelly Center. With one click of the mouse, most of Villanova students quickly delete the Late Night e-mails and move on with their day. But what actually goes on in the Connelly Center on these weekend evenings? And are these activities aimed only at students who choose not to drink?

Late Night, which is organized by graduate students Olivia Martel and Lauren Sellers, provides free entertainment, food and movies for students on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Movies are shown on Friday evenings at 10 p.m. and midnight and also on Saturday evenings at midnight. “Campus Activities Team chooses the movies and is able to bring them to campus fairly quickly after they are released,” Martel explained. “For example, we will be showing “The Ring”, “8 Mile,” “Harry Potter 2,” and “Jackass: The Movie” in the next couple of weeks.”

Late Night at Connelly also provides a variety of entertainment alternatives on Saturday evenings, including comedians, dance parties, local bands and open-mic nights. “We try to get a good mix of local talent, national acts and student bands,” Martel said. These evenings are usually sponsored by student groups and this student involvement provides both publicity for the student organization and experience in running an event. In addition, food is provided by outside vendors such as Campus Corner, Hope’s Cookies and Chili’s.

“Attendance varies between 100 and 300 people. We are trying to increase attendance and make the events bigger by finding acts that the students will truly enjoy,” Martel said. Some of the events that she mentioned were the Playstation tournament, comedian Owen Smith, a planned fashion show in March and a chance for students to watch the basketball games on the big screen TV’s. We also have great bands playing — the Love Syndicate has performed here and Something Corporate is coming later in the month. We have some great acts and would love to see more people come out.”

Many students, however, are inhibited by perceptions about the nature of Late Night. Sophomore Caitlin Prentice said, “I don’t think that Late Night is aimed at the entire student body, but instead at the kids who don’t drink. If you’re someone who prefers the partying scene, you don’t go to Connelly to be sober.” While these perceptions inhibit some students from attending Late Night, they encourage others. “I love Late Night at Villanova because, really, you can’t drink seven nights a week — it’s nice to take a night off sometimes,” junior Chris Stack stated. Sophomore Marissa Ferrazzo also enjoys the more relaxed atmosphere, “I try to go to Late Night about three times a semester. I don’t like to stay out that late, so usually I’ll just stay until I’m tired and then leave. It’s a fun time.”

Martel and Sellers emphasize, however, that Late Night is not aimed at a particular crowd. “We provide quality music and popular comedians like Owen Smith so that we can give all students a chance to do something different and see something different,” said Sellers. “We’re not geared towards anyone and we always see a different group of people at the events,” said Sellers. Martel agreed, “We are organized so that people can come for part of the night and then go out with their friends afterwards.”