Late Night Noms: An Oaks Neighborhood Tradition

Students get free snacks and a break in one of the neighborhood’s longest-standing events

Every second and fourth Tuesday of the month from 8 to 9 p.m., residents of the Oaks Neighborhood can come out to Late Night Noms, a social tradition featuring free food and an activity around the neighborhood theme of “Emerging Adulthood.”

Oaks Community Director Trianne Smith and the apartment managers develop ideas and then plan the Late Night Noms.

“We spend a lot of time thinking and planning what our students need based on best practices, based on research, based on what the apartment managers are saying they feel their students need and what we’re observing,” Smith said.

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This past semester, students who attended the “positivitea” Late Night Noms at the beginning of October, learned about sustainability and drank tea. At the end of October, students enjoyed fall-themed food and decorated pumpkins in celebration of Halloween.

Late Night Noms allows students to take a break, whether they stay the whole time or just drop by.

“It’s a good form of self-care to just go ahead and go somewhere, socialize for a bit, grab some food while you’re there and just relax,” said Oaks apartment manager Perla Salazar-Rangel.

They are held in the McCoy Commons club room, so it’s only a short walk from Oaks residents’ apartments.

“It’s not something that they have to go out of their way to go somewhere completely off campus,” Salazar-Rangel said. “It’s so close and it’s in a nice space.”

While students do get to enjoy free snacks and fun activities, Late Night Noms also helps advance the neighborhood theme by promoting useful skills. For example, last year, Assistant Professor of Finance Kate Upton taught students about financial literacy.

“If we say that emerging adulthood is really important, and we think that political engagement is really important as one of our subthemes, we can’t just say, ‘Oh, political engagement is important, go learn about it,’” Smith said. “We have to provide opportunities and create an environment where that learning and discovery can happen, so I think Late Night Noms helps with that.”