Swifties crowd the Student Union for another promising UConn Late Night 


Soundless screams swept through the silent disco in the Student Union this Friday as countless Taylor Swift fans — clad with headphones and enthusiasm — mouthed the lyrics to songs they could sing backwards in their sleep.  

Just minutes prior, students of all ages, backgrounds and areas of study eagerly waited in line for UConn Late Night’s first event of the school year: a Taylor Swift-themed night.  

Every Friday night from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the Student Union, the UConn Late Night organization sets up a themed evening complete with activities, games, food, trivia, crafts and more for all students to enjoy.  

It’s “something different every weekend … everything is different but you can always expect something fun, you can always expect food and games,” said Katie Dattner, a seventh-semester political science major.  

As she helped choose what songs were played through the headphones of those jamming out at the silent disco, you could see and feel the energy in the room.  

Exhilarated friends from all around campus waited together in anticipation for their favorite Swift tunes. Like a concert — minus the exorbitant fees and wait times — this Late Night was surreal. Taylor-themed trivia, lemonade with lavender syrup, friendship bracelets, a raffle and karaoke were all part of the fun-filled evening. 

The most compelling thing about these Late Night evenings is the sense of community and camaraderie that people feel. While there were friends from high school enjoying themselves, there were relationships formed in the mere minutes spent waiting in line for the program to start. 

It’s this sense of unfiltered enjoyment that prompted countless students to take part in karaoke in front of the Student Union cafe. As the night wore on, deviations from Taylor Swift could be heard, and the works of other artists made it into the event.  

When asked what inspired her to courageously partake in a performance of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone,” Molly Deptula, a first-semester student double majoring in mechanical engineering and entertainment engineering, proudly exclaimed, “I don’t know! I do theater and it looked like fun!”  

It’s this care-free environment and spur-of-the-moment fun that is a constant amongst UConn Late Nights, no matter the topic.  

These evenings may have another purpose, especially for incoming freshmen looking to find fellowship and a great time with other new students. “They have…amazing ways to get the community involved, especially at the beginning of the semester. For freshmen and sophomores who might not have that community now, it’s a great way to make friends” explained Dattner.  

It’s clear that no matter who you are, your personality can find a special place in these evenings, each of which cater to countless types of students.  

“They have…amazing ways to get the community involved, especially at the beginning of the semester. For freshmen and sophomores who might not have that community now, it’s a great way to make friends,”

Katie Dattner, a seventh-semester political science major

When asked if she planned to attend another UConn Late Night, Steffi Dickenson, a first-semester biology major, said, “Absolutely! I look forward to seeing what the Late Night organization plans for the rest of the year.”  

With a totally different theme each Friday, you’re sure to find a Late Night that hits the sweet spot.   

Note that UConn Late Night events are not put on by the Student Union Board of Governors.  SUBOG is responsible for hosting many major events in the Union; however, the UConn Late Night organization was founded as a separate entity to specifically host themed Friday evenings, managed by the Major Events & Programs Office within UConn’s Student Activities Department.  

Taken together, the dedication to community enjoyment, free activities and supplies, food and all around fun each Friday makes UConn Late Nights popular. Even before the 8 p.m. starting time, students can be seen waiting in the Union. So, make sure to hurry next Friday — you’ll need to be Swift to beat the line! 

Leave a Reply