The College Union Board (CUB) confuted the famous slogan “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” by hosting a Las Vegas themed 19th annual Latenighter in Brower Student Center on Saturday.
Attendees of the event were treated to the crooning of an Elvis impersonator as they milled around the blackjack and roulette tables. They watched as balloon and wire figures were being made and sat for caricatures or henna. Other activities included massages, tarot card and palm readings, and drinking mock-tails such as pi?a coladas, strawberry daiquiris and mudslides. Students could also make their own dance video or superimpose themselves with their favorite characters at the Chapel of Love.
“There is lots of variety, something for everyone to do,” Tom Paulmann, sophomore mechanical engineering major, said. “It’s a very organized event.”
The organization took five-and-a-half months of planning and an abundance of advertising. CUB used table tents in Eickhoff and the student center, full-color flyers and poker chip key chains to get the word out.
CUB staffers Erin Cunliffe, sophomore graphic design major, and Shawn Peterson, junior biology major, explained that this free event was offered as a healthy and fun alternative to partying and was something everyone would be able to enjoy. The $25,000 price tag was funded entirely by the Student Finance Board. The event had a large turnout with 600 to 700 students attending throughout the night.
“This is something we do every year,” Joe Stathius, junior chemistry major and event coordinator of CUB, said. “Lots of events hosted by CUB charge the students. This is a way for us to give back to the College community.”
CUB was also helped by volunteers of the Asian American Association, Delta Sigma Pi, Lambda Sigma Upsilon, chemistry faculty, Uni?n Latina and Student Government Association with planning and staffing the event. Many members manned the henna or game stations, while some made mock-tails for the crowd.
Many of the offered events were very popular: balloon animals and caricatures in particular drew large crowds. The balloon animal sculptor could make everything from turtles and eagles to wings and crazy hats. There was also a wire sculptor who made people out of wire and personalized them with various props.
“Marlo, the magician, was awesome,” Chris Rindosh, senior mechanical engineering major, said.
However, the main attraction was the Texas Hold’em Tournament. The three-hour tournament, which occured in the student activities section of the student center from 9 p.m. to midnight, had a large attendance with approximately 90 people taking part. There were prizes offered from first all the way to 16th place in the competition, ranging from a $10 QuickChek card to a $200 dollar Visa gift certificate. The three top finishers were Krishna Patel, Jon Borst and Chris Mezzacappa.
Stathius, who came up with the Latenighter theme, said that the whole event was “a huge extension of the UV Latenight Texas Hold’em Poker activities.”
However, the Vegas theme didn’t stop there. At the end of the night, patrons could exchange the chips they won at the tables for tickets to win an expensive electronics raffle; the biggest prize was a 20-inch flat screen television. After the casino raffle, some students attended the video dance party until Elvis left the building.
“The Vegas Latenighter was fun and successful,” Brianna Glynn, freshman biology major, said. “More people should take advantage of events like this offered by the College.”