Billikens After Dark: New leadership seeks growth

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The spring semester ushered in a new wave of changes at St. Louis University.  For one club in particular, this means the implementation of a new executive board.  Known as Billikens After Dark (BAD), this organization hopes that with the new board, the club will be more effective.

Gwen Dailey, the organization’s graduate assistant, said that the club’s overall goal this semester is  “to increase campus wide participation as well as promote growth within the organization.” The new executive board, which contains positions like events chairman and public relations, hopes to accomplish the group’s objectives.

Founded in 2007, SLU started the organization as a late-night, alcohol-alternative programming initiative for students. Rising in popularity since, the group offers a wide range of activities, such as outings to Sky Zone, movie premiers, and even a Pinterest Party.

Josh Ferrante, the group’s student intern added, “BAD is always thinking of new ways to get the student body involved. For example, this week we are going laser tagging, something we haven’t done before.” While the off-campus events always run out of spots, the group sometimes struggled with on-campus participation events in the past.

However, the new executive board is making strides to increase participation. At the annual “Treat Yo Self,” two weeks ago, student participation was at its highest yet. The event, which featured a movie showing, massages, food, and other relaxing activities, attracted students from all around campus.

“I would definitely attribute this growth in participation to our new executive board. By marketing more aggressively and getting things done more efficiently, we are seeing more and more people come out,” added Dailey.

Nonetheless, BAD still wants to see growth. The point of the organization is to provide late-night alterna-tives for students to enjoy time with friends doing fun, alcohol-free activities. Getting students to come to these events rather than “go out,” continues to be a struggle. By adding the new board and providing innovative, exciting activities, there is an expectation for increased participation.

In addition to growing participation, BAD wants to see more participation within the group. Made up of around 20 students, the organization wants more cohesiveness within the group and to function as one unit. By eventually implementing committees and more responsibilities for members, BAD believes students will feel more connected to the club.

Junior Mari Kerwin, the club’s PR chairman, said, “This process takes time and hard work, but we think the benefits will be worth it.  By strengthening our campus presence, more and more people will come to our events.”

Midterms are approaching and the semester is almost halfway over, but BAD has many fun things in store for the student body. With a trip to Sky Zone, an “Avengers” movie showing, trivia and a few surprises, the organization thinks this semester will be its best yet.

Whether increasing campus-wide participation or strengthening the group from within, BAD is attempting to target new students to come out. With a lot hard work, and a little bit of being “bad,” the group will surely succeed.