August Late Night Highlight: IUPUI

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August Late Night Highlight: IUPUI

Posted by Kristin Kreher on Aug 27, 2018 11:06 am

Introducing our community’s new monthly highlight of late night programming! We kick off this series with a feature on Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

At an urban institution enrolling 30,000 students and having a 90% commuter population, late night programming looks different than at most institutions. Competing with all Indianapolis has to offer, Late Nights have less of an alcohol-alternative or alcohol-deterrent focus and more of a focus on trying to keep students around campus on weekends. With 87% of students calling Indiana home, students often travel home on weekends or visit friends at other campuses that have more of a “traditional” feel. This time away poses significant threats to student retention, which Late Nights aim to address.

In 2015, the Student Activities Programming Board (SAPB) launched a small-scale late night program featuring 2-3 events per semester, often with one or two activities to engage students. Over the past academic year, SAPB overhauled and reimagined what Late Nights look like. Action steps included:
  • Increasing the frequency of Late Nights to occur monthly, with consistent days of the week, times, and locations
  • Expanding the elements at Late Nights to always include 2-5 activities, 1-2 crafts, food, games, and a film showing
  • Building campus-wide collaborations with entities such as Residence Hall Association, Health & Wellness Promotion, Office of International Affairs, Campus Recreation, Multicultural Center, Orientation, and other prominent student organizations
  • Increasing annual funding by nearly 350%
  • Theming every Late Night with focuses on innovation and diversity
  • Shifting the first major event of Weeks of Welcome to be a part of the Late Night series by SAPB, intentionally building brand recognition among new students
  • Leveraging low- or no-cost opportunities to make programs more robust
  • Rallying support for late night programming at all levels, from students to senior campus administrators
  • Securing a practicum graduate student dedicated to research, benchmarking, and assessment of late night programming
  • Visiting surrounding campuses to experience other late night programming models
In just the first year of revising the program, SAPB saw a 300% increase in attendance from the fall to spring semester (from an average of 100 students to 300 students per program). With Late Nights lasting four hours, we have actually seen several students come at the beginning and stay until the end; which has been made possible through intentional selection of activities that offer ample engagement and opportunities to interact and meet other students. Examples of such activities include:
  • Crafts that take 20-30 minutes to complete, which further promotes interaction among students sitting at the same tables
  • Team-oriented activities such as human foosball or laser tag, which help participants build interpersonal skills
  • Novelty artists such as henna and caricature artists, which are hugely popular and lead to students standing in lines (which is a positive to us!)
  • Entertainers such as hypnotists or magicians providing 30-60 minute shows

Now, in the first full year of consistent programming guided by data and research, SAPB Late Nights has shattered records, engaging over 1,600 students with its very first program of the year. For more information on Late Nights at IUPUI, reach out to me, Kristin Kreher at

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Interested in contributing to the monthly highlights? Email Late Night Community of Practice Leader, Jamie Alt at
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Re: August Late Night Highlight: IUPUI

Posted by Jamie Alt on Sep 12, 2018 4:31 pm


Thanks so much for kicking off our monthly Late Night Highlights and sharing about IUPUI's late night model!! Sounds like you're team has done some FABULOUS intentional thinking and work around improving the late night experience, and what a pay off! Congrats!