A place where students can go for study help, free food and a fun time
By Adrianna Tarin
As it so happens, some of the best ideas for students come from students themselves.
You may ask, “What does that even mean?”
According to Monica Mueller, assistant director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, in 2007, Joel Lemus, a UNK student came up with the idea of creating a program that would serve as an alternative to alcohol and promote academics for OMA students.
“Late Niterz,” also known as “L8 Niterz,” was held in various residence hall lounges until the Multicultural Center was established in 2009. In 2011, OMA established a partnership with Peer Health Educators to enhance the alcohol education component of Late Niterz.
As the program continues to grow and change, it becomes even more beneficial for students and an integral part of OMA’s mission to provide academic support to students.
Tarin: What is L8 Niterz?
Mueller: L8 Niterz is an academic initiative, which helps students take time out of their busy schedules to study in a “homey” atmosphere with couches, snacks and friends. It’s also a great time to get help from peers. Anyone is welcome to join us every Wednesday night from 7 – 11 p.m.
The first half of the night is designated as a quiet study time where students can eat free food and reach scholastic goals. The second half of the L8 Niterz is known as the fun portion of the night. Each student organization within the Office of Multicultural Affairs takes a turn planning fun and entertaining activities for the students.
L8 Niterz also allows for students to work on group projects. The Office of Multicultural Affairs has several private study rooms that welcome all students to utilize to delve into their studies.
Tarin: How and when did this program get started?
Mueller: This idea came from a classmate of mine, Joel Lemus. His vision was to get students studying during a weeknight instead of going out to drink.
Tarin: What are the primary reasons for OMA to keep this program going?
Mueller: We provide a lot of leadership opportunities for students, but it’s important for us and them to remember what they are really here for. They are here to earn that diploma. It’s easy to get busy, and OMA likes to set apart one night a week where our office is not holding any meetings, but, instead, have everyone studying. It helps promote a culture where academics are important, and that studying is an important part of academics.
Tarin: Besides the academic help that students get, do you see any benefits of having this program?
Mueller: Most definitely! It’s a good excuse to get together with friends. We have done programming, and given out information to help educate students on topics we feel are important. Peer Health has played a big part in this, too. It has really become a family-type atmosphere.