Each year, Stamp Student Union holds its “All Niter” in hopes of generating student interest in Stamp’s offerings. This Friday night, it did just that.
More than 30 activities and giveaways sponsored by campus clubs and organizations occupied various areas in and around Stamp, all offering something unique but aligned with this year’s theme, All Around the World.
Students looking for something to do on a Friday night enjoyed the hustle and bustle on Campus Drive.
“I love the events at the Stamp,” said freshman biology major Grayson Kelmer. “I’m really glad Maryland has school-sponsored events every weekend for people that aren’t doing anything.”
Activities included ballroom dance lessons, free airbrushed T-shirts, breakdancing battles, trivia and escape rooms.
Zombie laser tag, a new activity this year, was a big hit among attendees. Players enjoyed the adrenaline rush, and the game promoted camaraderie among teammates. Gabby Flores, a junior nursing major at University of Maryland, Baltimore, didn’t know many people at the event, but still felt included.
“It felt like I was welcome in their team even though I was a stranger to them,” Flores said. “That was the nice thing about it.”
Stamp began the annual All Niter in 1982, making this its 35th year. Its purpose is to welcome both new and current students to the Stamp, showcase the programs and services in the Stamp and provide a fun event for students to enjoy, Manager of Student Organization Development Ashley Venneman said.
As the number of people waiting to get into each activity grew, students seemed to be enjoying themselves – except when it came to the long lines.
“Overall it was fun, but there’s just so many lines,” said Blessing Bolomope, a sophomore in letters and sciences.
The All Around the World theme spoke to many of the organizations and clubs participating. Matthew Lee, a senior geographical information systems major and treasurer of breakdancing club B-Terps, felt breakdancing fit perfectly within the theme and that All Niter was a good way to advertise and generate interest in the club.
“Breakdancing as a culture is really international,” Lee said. “Dancing is what brings people together around the world. We’re making it our mission this year to really advertise our presence. And the All Niter is one of the best avenues for that.”
Andi Hopkins, VP Special for Ballroom at Maryland and computer science major, echoed Lee’s statement.
“We saw how much more people came if we came to the All Niter and did [lessons],” Hopkins said.
However, Hopkins did voice concern for the lack of organization and advertising she experienced in trying to get her club into the All Niter.
“All the dance teams that were said to have showcases at the All Niter weren’t on the schedule for the All Niter until today,” Hopkins said. “We’re definitely gonna do the All Niter again … However, I really do wish that Stamp were more prepared for the All Niter and meeting the requirements that all the clubs would expect.”
Lee also deemed this year “not as live” for B-Terps as in previous years. “It’s still a great atmosphere in there, no doubt about it, but all my previous years of being in B-Terps, it was great, it was a lot better.”
The event wasn’t just about fun; a Memorial Chapel-sponsored activity also gave students an opportunity to make blankets for children in hospitals.
Though a Stamp volunteer and not a student, chapel manager Denise McHugh still looks forward to the All Niter every year.
“The All Niter’s just a great time for students to come together and do all kinds of really cool activities,” McHugh said. “It’s just really fun.”
When asked if they’d come to the All Niter again, students are quick to answer with a chorus of yeses. Even Flores was eager to return. It seems the scope of people who enjoy the All Niter is even larger than Stamp intended.
Photos by Lynsey Jeffery