Alcohol-free social programming increased

Cardinal Nights, an initiative of the Office of Alcohol Policy and Education, hosted a Welcome Home Carnival at FloMo field to celebrate the first night of school with hot air balloons and carnival games. (MADELINE SIDES/The Stanford Daily)

Cardinal Nights, the Office of Alcohol Policy and Education (OAPE) effort to provide and promote alcohol-free social events, is entering its sophomore year with an eye toward increasing programming and student outreach.

The initiative’s mission is “to shift the campus culture away from a focus on alcohol by providing premium, equally attractive, non-alcoholic social programming,” and notably brought performers Macklemore and Modest Mouse to campus last year.

According to Angelina Cardona ’11, OAPE assistant director and community engagement coordinator, other popular events from last year included those that took place off-campus, such as the trips to see Cirque du Soleil in San Francisco, play laser tag or go to Great America.

“We learned that students really love to get off campus and explore the Bay Area,” said Cardona. “This year there is certainly going to be more programming that takes students off the Farm.”

Last year, Cardinal Nights sponsored a total of 51 events, with a total of 15,646 students attending.

“We were very excited with what we were able to accomplish last year,” said Ralph Castro, associate dean of student affairs and director of OAPE, in an email to The Daily. “We partnered with many student groups and residences to expand fun social offering that de-emphasized alcohol in a way that had never been done before at Stanford.”

Cardinal Nights has already sponsored a few events this school year, including the We The Kings concert that took place during New Student Orientation (NSO) and the Sept. 24 Welcome Home Carnival on FloMo Field, which featured hot air balloons and carnival games and drew over 1,200 student attendees.

“[The event] looked very well put together, lively and colorful, and all of the activities and food trucks were amazing,” said Jen Kuang ’13 “It was probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen Stanford put on.”

Other events planned for this year include a trip to see the “Lion King” musical in San Francisco, a nighttime tour of Alcatraz and another show in Frost Amphitheater. Fall quarter will also feature weekly Friday night movie showings that will alternate locations between Wilbur and FloMo fields.

“We’ll be showing movies that were recently in theaters,” Cardona said, mentioning “The Dark Knight Rises” as an example.

In addition to a focus on more regular and off-campus events, the Cardinal Nights team will also be spending this year developing their advertising and outreach program. When speaking with The Daily, both Cardona and Castro referenced instances in which students had not heard about various Cardinal Nights until after the event had occurred.

“We are hoping to expand our listserv and get more followers on Facebook and Twitter to maximize our outreach,” Castro said.

Cardona said she is currently researching and working on ways to improve communication between the Cardinal Nights team and the student body.

“Many people have told me that the initiative has given them a space where they finally feel like they belong socially at Stanford,” Cardona said. “At the end of the day we are working to create events where students feel welcome, included, safe and have a blast!”

  • Eldritch

    The Welcome Home carnival was nice and all, but I’d rather have no balloons and free food than five balloons and a half waiver.