New club helps students pursue career in nightclub, bar industry

Carolina Colon

Having the opportunity to create the first nightlife organization in colleges across the U.S. gives Iowa State a new topic to talk about.

The goal of the Nightlife Industry Club is to help students interested in pursuing careers in the nightclub and bar industry by providing them with speakers, field trips and educational sessions on market trends and information relating to the nightlife industry.

The club is affiliated with the Nightlife and Club Industry Association of America, which gives the group a different approach as a new organization on campus.

The Nightlife and Club Industry Association of America’s mission is to advocate the positive economic, social and cultural contributions of businesses in the nightlife and club industry.

The club is the first organization that involves nightlife on a college campus at Iowa State.

Daniel Waller, senior in hospitality management and president of the club, explained how it all started.

“I’ve been working for the nightlife industry for about 15 years of my life,” Waller said. “Noticing that [Iowa State] has no classes about nightlife or no clubs, we decided to get the education in it, potentially creating a class is one of our goals.”

Iowa State has about 200 students who are majoring in hospitality management.

There are classes on managing private clubs, such as city, country or social clubs, but there aren’t any specifically geared toward managing a nightlife establishment, according to course descriptions on the hospitality management course catalog

Allison Dittmer, senior in hospitality management and vice president of the club, explained how she feels about nightlife industry on campus.

“This is a niche business that needs to be covered,” Dittmer said. “I’m a little disappointed with the classes that are based on nightlife industry.”

Waller and Dittmer shared their goals of the new organization.

“Our goal is to raise awareness of the College of Human Sciences [because there are] no classes in this type of hospitality,” Waller said. “[We need] research about nightlife and also [need to] figure out trends in our area.”

Waller explained he would love to invite famous bartenders and speakers for the organization meetings.

Waller also hopes to plan a trip to Las Vegas. The Nightclub and Bar Show is an annual event and this year’s will be held from March 30 to April 1. More than 39,000 industry professionals come to Las Vegas to see what’s next for different clubs.

This event gives members an opportunity to acquire real knowledge of the nightclub industry. Jon Taffer from the show Bar Rescue will be present to speak and also will be hosting a happy hour.

Waller said he is honored to be the founder of this club and indicated the responsibility he has to take in an organization based on an industry involving alcohol.

“Since its alcohol-based, the school had policies that prohibit alcohol consumption,” Waller said. “There will be no alcohol consumed by us with the name of the school [and] we will make sure to keep moving this organization forward.”

The organization also has a Facebook page: Nightlife Industry Club. The club, which has 50 student members, meets Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. in LeBaron Hall in room 2088.