Lifestyles changes programming name, location to attract more students

"Lifestyles After Dark," beginning this semester, tries to get students to connect with one another in a non-academic atmosphere, which for now means residing in Lake Effect Café.

Every Thursday the Lifestyles Center will be in the Lake Effect Café to host "Open Mic," study sessions and coffee hours. This is a modification from last semester where events were being held in different locations.

The main focus of After Dark is to give students a place to hang out and give them a positive experience without alcohol. The image that "After Dark" holds is more in line with what students want, according to Alcohol and Other Drug Coordinator Ted Winkworth.

"Being at the Lake Effect café every Thursday is a centralized location for you to know ‘oh, "Open Mics" [is] going on,’" said Lifestyles Graduate Assistant Jessica Ryan.

"Lifestyles After Dark," previously known as "Grooves and Grinds," is an updated program designed to get students to connect with other students from outside their residence halls.

"We are trying to create a community rather then just have a bunch of events," Winkworth said.

Lifestyles made the switch from "Grooves and Grinds" to its new name to appeal to more students. Students were not always sure what "Grooves and Grinds" was, Ryan said.

The switch to "After Dark" makes students more aware that Lifestyles is putting on the events. It also is a more enticing and provocative name, Winkworth said.

Along with their name, Lifestyles’ program is making other changes from previous semesters. Lifestyles’ main concern with the events was consistency. They wanted a centralized location where students felt comfortable to hang out for a few hours without the presence of alcohol, and to them, Lake Effect Café was the perfect place.

In the past, events have switched from the café to the Campus Center. Now, regardless of the event, they will always be in the café. Switching from "Open Mic," which is every other Thursday at 7 p.m. and coffee hours, Lifestlyes will always be there.

"I think that people are more excited about having a place to go," Winkworth said.

"After Dark" will also consist of two study sessions. These sessions will be held the Thursday before spring break and the Thursday before finals. Study sessions were added because of Lake Effect’s connection to Penfield Library.

"That’s one of the ways we are trying to give back to the library and thank them for doing something that might be outside their comfort level," Winkworth said.

The Lifestyles Center does not want to disrupt students with excessive noise, but they do want a space that is comfortable and "laid back," Winkworth said.

Attendance has increased a substantial amount since the renaming and location change and is more consistent then it was in the past. An average "Grooves and Grinds" event would include about 50 people. The numbers are more consistent since the switch to "After Dark."

"We are holding events during the evening that students on the campus asked for and were more interested in coming to based on a cost-benefit analysis," said Ryan.

"The Lifestyles Center is trying to create a community on campus," said junior adolescent education major Jonathon McDonald. He admitted that there is not much to do on campus at night and students who want a place to go will have a consistent activity on Thursdays.

"I feel that Lifestyles is blazing a trail that hopefully other students organizations and members and groups on campus will follow," McDonald said.