SPB offers new option for students to experience Meadow Brook Hall

Laurel Kraus, Managing Editor

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Hosted by the Student Program Board (SPB), OU Date Night will take place on Monday, Feb. 11, as a romantic evening for students with a three-course meal and live string quartet at Meadow Brook Hall.

“We knew that Meadow Brook Ball has always been a highly successful event, and there’s been issues in the past where they’ve sold out so quickly, students haven’t felt the availability was something that they had access to,” President of SPB Christopher Russell said. “So we really tried to create an intermediary where it’s a different style of an event… but still kind of a nice, little formal setting where people can just go, relax, not spend too much money, and just have a nice evening out.”

In contrast to the ball or SPB’s Murder Mystery, which spread throughout Meadow Brook Hall, OU Date Night will be more confined to just a few rooms.

Guests will be seated prom style with 10 people at a table in order to accommodate the 100 attendees. The doors open at 6:30 p.m., dinner will be served at 7 p.m., and the event is open to students until 9-9:30 p.m.

The three-course meal will include a chicken entree, chef’s choice of appetizer and chef’s choice of dessert, with vegetarian options, and the live music will be provided by The RONDO String Quartet.

“They have a great track record for Meadow Brook Hall, they play there for weddings all the time,” Special Events Director for SPB Joshua Robinson said. “I’m actually really excited to watch them play live.”

OU Date Night is considered one of SPB’s “special events,” which are often geared toward commuter students according to Russell.

“They’re just something that we don’t do annually, we try to switch it up and kind of bring something interesting and different to campus every year with those,” he said.

Recent examples include Painting Without a Twist and the VR Matrix event from the start of the semester.

While the event is taking place for the first time, Russell reported the plan was to test out the viability and, since it has sold out, there is a strong probability it could become an annual event.

“We’re just trying to gauge interest, see how the event turns out, maybe collect some feedback after the event, then go from there to see if this is really something the students would enjoy having on a year-to-year basis,” he said.

According to Robinson, the possibility of OU Date Night has been floating around SPB’s event ideas for a few years now.

“We were really interested in having it during Valentine’s Day week, just because it’s right before spring break, a lot of people need affordable options to be able to spend time with their significant other, and we realized we don’t have a lot of programming specifically designed for couples, so that’s what we were trying to go for here,” Russell said.

The next SPB event will Sexpo on Tuesday, Feb. 12, hosted in the Oakland Center, which will include speakers from Haven talking on sexual violence.

“We’re trying to hit both sides of the theme here, have a light-hearted and fun event but at the same time understand that there’s a few different aspects of it,” Russell said.