SAA is planning Ole Night Out for the evening of Dec. 8. Students can sign up in groups of up to five and SAA will then match those groups up with alumni based on their interests. Ole Night Out is free and open to all students, regardless of class year.
Student do have to provide their own transportation, but SAA will accomodate those without access to cars by pairing them with alumni in Northfield.
The participating alumni live not only in the Northfield area, but also in the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs. According to Nicole Callies '06, coordinator of SAA, Ole Night Out offers students a unique opportunity to form connections to Oles beyond campus. "Indirectly, it is a networking opportunity," Callies said.
This semesters event will mark the second Ole Night Out, which SAA started last spring as a way to reach out to alumni and promote an interactive relationship between current and past students. "The point is to connect the two, for students to get off campus and see life off the Hill," Callies said, adding that the event is "as much for alumni as for students."
Callies said that the event last spring was a big success. A number of great relationships even formed after the dinner dates. She cited one group of men's track athletes who had an especially great experience. After their dinner with the family of the alumni, the family sent them care packages and came to their track meets.
Most of the alumni will be more recent graduates, but Ole Night Out will include alumni of all ages. SAA has been working through the Alumni and Parent Relations Office and Alumni Board to find former Oles to host current Oles.
Callies presented the idea for Ole Night Out to the Alumni Board at their annual meeting and said they were very excited about the event.
The SAA is in its second year of operation. As the group grows they hope to foster more interaction between students and alumni. More than anything, SAA hopes Ole Night Out and other events, such as Backpack to Briefcase, will all be "ways for alums to hang out with students" said Callies.
The Backpack to Briefcase event features a raffle as well as information about the SAA. The prizes are one-on-one consultations with alumni in their area of expertise.
Last spring was a bit of an experiment for Ole Night Out, and there was so much student interest that many students were disappointed when they did not get to participate. Callies said SAA has planned things a bit differently this year in hope of accommodating all interested students. "If it continues to be a success, Im sure well continue," Callies said.