During the summer of 2003, the Office of Residential Life at Washington University in St. Louis, under the guidance of Assistant Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students Justin Carroll, began a steering committee to examine the possibilities to increase student use of the Ursa's Cafe on the South 40, develop an alternative late night programming presence, and to utilize Ursa's Cafe as an entertainment venue.

Many ideas came from the committee, but one idea stood out among them all, to create a late night programming effort in order to institute alternative entertainment on weekend nights and to establish Ursa's Cafe as an entertainment venue and not just a study space. That idea was Ursa's Nite Life.

On Friday, August 29, 2003, Ursa's Nite Life debuted with Mama's Pot Roast, a Washington University improv comedy troupe, and the Mosaic Whispers, a Washington University a capella group. Over 180 people attended and thus began the wonderful tradition of late night alternative programming at Washington University.

Ursa's Nite Life is sponsored in part by CS40, Dining Services, and the Office of Residential Life at Washington University in St. Louis.