As a gesture to welcome Stevens students back onto campus, the Office of Residence Life held an event in which all students could relax after their first day. The regular lights in Walker Gym were turned down low while colorful strobe lights illuminated the gym to transform it into a rave scene. Although it was advertised as a “fiesta,” which would imply a Latin theme, the fiesta ambiance was subtle, mostly noticeable by the free food that was served and the piñatas full of candy. Latin-inspired chicken quesadillas and mini burritos, along with more American treats such as cupcakes and donuts, were served to those who attended.
The near 800 students that attended were surprised to find a party that was more reminiscent of a club than a Latin party. The EDM spun by Stevens alumnus and WCPR fan-favorite DJ Stanley Switalski definitely added to the rave-like atmosphere, leading an anonymous student to comment, “WCPR plays way too much techno,” which reflects the differences in the expectations from the public versus the reality of the event.
To further enforce the nightclub feel of the event, the first 150 guests were given “glow swag”; however, most students found more enjoyment in launching the glow stick projectiles back and forth across the room.
During the event, RAs Tim Kliks, Matt Heinrich, and Hayley Logan broke out three different piñatas filled with candy, pleasing many of the students in attendance. They were especially amused when the bat that was supposed to break the piñatas lost a mighty battle against the papier-mâché beast when it broke after putting up a great fight in the first swing. The RAs even featured the first ever deadmau5 piñata stuffed with over $300 in candy, which was a pleasant surprise for the student donning a deadmau5 mask.
When RAs Wesley Elford and Mary Beth Irwin hosted the dance competition, most people near the inner part of the circle enjoyed themselves, jumping up and down to the music as other students danced in the middle. However, the unlucky students who were on the outskirts of the circle could only sway back and forth while they tried to catch a glimpse of their classmates in the middle through the crowd of jumping young adults. A civil engineering student summed up her entire experience in a single sentence, “I wanted to get into the circle.”
Although the real party seemed to be in the middle, those outside of it still had fun, despite the impending doom of classes the next morning. One computer science student commented, “The dancing was fun, but everyone was thinking about school tomorrow.” Although we did have class the next day, the fiesta ended at a reasonable time so that students could get some rest.