If you listened to Karamo Brown and Antoni Porowski of “Queer Eye” speak at the Tate Grand Hall, or if you’ve ever attended a Dawgs After Dark event, you have University Union to thank. The group is one of the most well-known student organizations on campus, split into four distinct committees that work together to put on quality events that — on occasion — include high-profile guests.
Typically, the Entertainment Committee finds talent through agents they seek out or agents who contact the committee director, Lla Anderson, a sophomore theatre and public relations major from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Anderson wanted to put on a Wild ‘n Out event since she joined University Union as a committee member her freshman year. Now she’s achieved her goal, the event is “hands down” her favorite event.
“When you look at it, it combines hip hop, pop culture … and comedy with improv,” Anderson said. “It’s just a great amalgamation of great things that people are really into [and] that I love myself.”
Many events like Silent Disco and Murder Mystery Dinner, are put on the calendar every year because people enjoyed them and come back. However, live events with talent are planned based on who is popular that year.
“Someone might be hot one year, like Fetty Wap,” Anderson said. “We brought him in for a concert a few years ago, but it’s different now. Fetty Wap’s not really on the radio. So if you were to bring him this year, people would probably look at us funny.”
The Late Night Committee also puts on popular events, like Dawgs After Dark. Every Dawgs After Dark event has a respective theme the evening’s events are planned around.
“We want to find an idea that’s kind of broad so we can incorporate a lot of things into it, but also kind of specific so we know what kind of things we want,” Heath Aston, a sophomore cellular biology major and the director of the Late Night Committee said.
Some of the Late Night Committee’s events are crowd favorites that have been going on for years, like some form of Skate in Tate or Harry Potter Dawgs After Dark. The ideas come from the committee members, who are expected to bring an event idea to each meeting.
This was one of the reasons Aston was drawn to University Union as a freshman.
“As a general committee member, it’s really cool when you have an idea and then the person in charge translates it into an actual event,” Aston said.
The first time an event came to life for Aston was the Halloween event his freshman year. The committee director at the time said they needed a name for their event. Aston was walking by Tate when he came up with the Trick or Tate, which became the name for the event.
The Late Night Committee also plans some of the Homecoming week events like the carnival that took place the night before the homecoming game. This past year they ran into a problem with line direction but were able to find a solution that wasn’t the most conventional.
“We used [trashcans] to form barriers that people could stand in and honestly it made the event a lot more organized,” Aston said.