University offers alternative nightlife options


Traffic passes on Lincoln Way on the night of Aug 25. 

Sarah Muller

After a long week of classes and studying, many students like to blow off steam on the weekends, and Iowa State offers many alternative night life options.

“I think that we want students to have a safe, enjoyable environment to interact with each other, make connections and to stay connected to the university,” said George Micalone, director of Student Activities.

ISU After Dark takes place at the Memorial Union from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. the first weekend of the month. It is free for all students, and events include comedians, music, games and multiple prizes. 

The Maintenance Shop provides entertainment featuring comedians and musicians for all ages. While the M-Shop serves alcohol behind a bar, it is in a controlled environment for those who are of age.

“[The M-Shop] is one of the very few venues that serves alcohol and allows people under 18,” Micalone said.

Cyclone Cinema shows movies Thursdays through Sundays in Carver 101. Major blockbusters are available for students for free.

New to Cyclone Cinema this year is overflow seating, available Fridays through Sundays.

“Basically the same experience, just one floor down,” Micalone said. “Fridays and Saturdays are always a little bit busier, so I always encourage folks to come earlier.”

CyBowl and Billiards is in the basement of the Memorial Union and offers an arcade, food and drinks. It’s open seven days a week and provides discounts for students who want to bowl, play billiards or table tennis.

“Between bowling, billiards and Cyclone Cinema there is always something available for free or very cheap,” Micalone said.

The residents halls include many house and hall events that Megan Koppenhafer, senior in environmental science and a community adviser at Oak-Elm, thinks people should look into.

“Even if it’s not your house or hall, like all the Facebook pages of all the residence halls,” Koppenhafer said.

Events are posted on social media and are available for all residence hall members.

With more than 800 clubs and organizations on campus, Koppenhafer encourages students to go support the events and get involved. The diversity of people that students meet at alternative nightlife options are vital in her eyes.

“You get to know a different group of people, people that you might not have otherwise,” Koppenhafer said. “Oftentimes these activities are things that will get you out of shells to get you talking to a variety of different people.”