Late Night UB: An alternative way to spend a Friday night

Program offers students chance to have fun without going out

Contrary to popular belief, not every UB student wants to spend his or her Friday night going out drinking.

At least that’s what Darshini Saikumar says. As Late Night UB’s outreach coordinator, Saikumar sees students spending their Friday nights in the Student Union riding mechanical bulls, taking on inflatable obstacles courses and eating pancakes and pizza.

“Students want to have fun,” Saikumar, a junior business administration major, said. “I feel like it’s exciting for students to have an option on campus where they can go out and grab food and do things with friends.”

Late Night UB is a program under the Division of Student Affairs that offers students late night entrainment in an alcohol-free environment on Friday nights throughout the semester. Any student can come enjoy activities such as inflatable obstacle courses, music and food for free.

On Feb. 26, Late Night UB held “Nerdy Science Night,” which featured different activities such as the “Oobleck pool” which was made from cornstarch and water. Students could make their own lava lamp out of a mason jar and there was a clay boat station where those who attended had the chance to win a prize if their boat didn’t sink.

“I like how there’s always a variety of activities,” said Sarah Kostek, a freshman occupational therapy major who attended the event. “There’s normally one general theme for each night but then they’re all these tables of all the different things you can do. I think that really makes it more fun to come to.”

Saikumar remembers her freshman year in 2013 when Late Night UB held a pancake breakfast. She immediately knew she wanted to get involved. Three years later, Saikumar is still involved, and she thinks she knows why other students come to Late Night UB events.

This time of year, most students are buried under their coursework. Late Night UB allows students to take a break. For some, that break happens immediately after the hardest part of college.

“We just walked out of a chemistry exam and walked into everything happening and figured we’d stick around and relax a little,” said Ivan Wong, a freshman biomedical science major.

Late Night UB tends to get a lot of first-year students in attendance because the event gets introduced to freshman at orientation, but they aren’t the only students who come to these events.

Late Night UB events have an attendance rate of about 200 to 250 students. Regardless of the turnout, the organization, according to Saikumar, still wants to grow and reach out to more students.

Hannah Bogart, a freshman biochemistry major, said she and her friends had planned on studying last Friday night until they heard there would be Dippin’ Dots at the Nerdy Science Night event.

Free ice cream was just a part of what Bogart got out of showing up. She said every time she attends Late Night UB, she sees her friends there and also meets new people.

“Without a doubt, Late Night UB builds community amongst UB students,” Saikumar said. “We’re a part of student life and I feel like people get to experience another side of college by coming out to our events. Late Night UB keeps students on campus and interested in getting more of what the university has to offer.”

Late Night UB also hosts the Club Terrace events that take place at the Ellicott Complex in the warmer season. But Late Night UB isn’t only focused on on-campus activities, they also offer options for students who are looking to go off campus and explore the Buffalo area.

“Our UB Trippin’ event allows students to get off campus and see other parts of what Buffalo has to offer. We take trips to the Niagara Falls outlet, the botanical gardens, and the Buffalo Zoo,” Saikumar said.

These trips allow students to get a taste of the buffalo community and develop a life outside of campus.

“Buffalo is known for beef-on-weck and wings, but it’s also known for community and UB is very proud of the people we have in our college,” Saikumar said.

Tomas Olivier is a features editor and can be reached at