One year after the Center for Student Engagement discontinued its What’s After Dark program due to university-wide budget cuts, several groups, including the Georgetown Program Board, Relay for Life and the Black Student Association continue to face difficulties in funding late-night programs.

These groups traditionally used What’s After Dark funding for various nighttime events, including GPB’s Spring Concert and the Midnight Breakfast during finals week.

What’s After Dark was cancelled last year so that the funding could be redirected toward the construction and programming in Healey Family Student Center, which will have its own late night programs in coordination with GPB.

“The Center for Student Engagement made the decision to phase out What’s After Dark funding last year in the face of fiscal constraints, knowing that this academic year would bring new opportunities for late -night and weekend programming in the Healey Family Student Center,” Center for Student Engagement Director Erika Cohen Derr wrote in an email.

Cohen Derr said that she anticipates that late-night programming will move to the HFSC, which includes a film screening room, as well as the Bulldog Tavern, which is set to open Friday, pending the approval of its license.

“The full-time and student staff members managing the HFSC have experience in late-night and weekend programming, and the center has brought new opportunities to partner with student organizations like Georgetown Program Board, WGTB and many others,” Cohen Derr wrote. “We’re excited to make programming the focus of the space, now that the final construction is coming to an end.”

Groups that offer late-night programming that is unrelated to HFSC are still struggling due to the funding cuts, though.
GPB Late Night Committee Chair Nick Bailey (MSB ’17) said that the funding cut has continued to be a challenge for the group throughout the past year.

“The termination of What’s After Dark last year put an end to a lot of the late-night programming at Georgetown,” Bailey wrote in an email. “Since the cancellation of What’s After Dark, we’ve been doing our best to make up for the loss. We haven’t received any additional funding, however, so it’s been very difficult.”

Bailey also said that the lack of financial support for late-night programs may result in a decrease in the quality of events.

“The Spring Concert has come to rely on additional funding from What’s After Dark, and the loss of this funding will definitely have an impact on the type of concert we can afford to program,” Bailey wrote. “Another event I’ve worked on directly with What’s After Dark in the past is The Amazing Race, and the struggle this year is to try to conserve costs enough to still have the event without them.”

Additionally, the cancellation of What’s After Dark has also led to a decrease in GPB staff members.

“The loss of What’s After Dark is not just a financial one, however, and the loss of staff members who were dedicated to putting on late- night events is one we cannot recoup,” Bailey wrote. “Overall, the loss of What’s After Dark has seriously changed the landscape of late-night programming at Georgetown.”

Relay for Life Co-President Cayla Fappiano (NHS ’15) said that Relay is also facing difficulties after the funding cancellation. Although the Center for Social Justice and the Advisory Board for Student Organizations offered financial support for the event last year to compensate for the funding loss, they will not do so again this spring, according to Fappiano.

“This year, we are not in the same situation and will need to find other campus and corporate sponsors to support the cost of inflatables and activities at our event, otherwise it may look very different this year,” Fappiano said.

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