USU is transformed into Las Vegas casino for Matador Nights

Eric Garcia, 22, CTVA senior, left, and Brenda Topete, 19, CDAC sophomore, right, playing the slot machine in the casino room at the Matador Nights on Friday, April 25, 2014 at the USU parking lot in Northridge, Calif. (Photo Credit: David J. Hawkins/Photo Editor)

The spring installment of Matador Nights brought together the old and the new with a club scene outdoors and a classic Las Vegas theme indoors. The event was hosted by the University Student Union (USU) and was filled to capacity despite the rain. A crowd gathered behind the velvet ropes and rushed in once the event opened.

Plaza del Sol was transformed into “The Strip” as Yesi Ortiz from Power 106 announced featured artists Sage the Gemini, Ty Dolla $ign, DJ Dre Sinatra, DJ Carisma and DJ Amen.The dance floor was packed with students gathering around their favorite performers. Booths were set up serving free pizza and corn dogs throughout the night while the carnival rides brought the energy to its peak.

“I’m most excited about the rides. I’ve been to this event before and I really like the energy,” says Shirley Ramos, marine biology major.

The entrance of the Northridge Center was converted into a posh lobby with a welcoming receptionist, suitcases and leather chairs. Further down the hallway, the energy picked up and the room was transformed into a Vegas-style casino. Rows of casino tables, casino dealers in bowties, slot machines and a caricature drawing station complemented the theme. An Elvis impersonator performed wedding ceremonies at the makeshift wedding chapel made complete with a wedding aisle and wedding arch. Students received a mock marriage certificate at the end of the ceremony.

“…I think they really brought the theme together this time around with the 21st installment of Matador Nights,” said Jenny Soto, marketing supervisor for the USU. “It’s a lot of fun with all the pieces they put together, to be able to get married and decorate their own wardrobes for their special wedding night,”

From here, students were given the option to relax in the High Rollers Lounge while sipping on a “mocktail” or non-alcoholic mixed drink. A group of Vegas showgirls adorned with glitter and feather headpieces lit up the stage. This performance was followed by a Frank Sinatra impersonator who sang “You Make Me Feel So Young” among other crooner hits.

Activities continued in “Circus Circus” where the Grand Salon was designed into a spacious arcade and karaoke room.

Kevin Gorman, 22, history major said he enjoyed the atmosphere and the multiple options. “If you want to dance you dance, if you want to do something else then you can,” he said. “It is not restrictive.”

Safety was also a priority as CSUN police officers were present at the scene, checking items at metal detectors. Brochures developed by the Health Promotion Department at CSUN were handed out near the mocktail booth which cautioned against alcohol consumption.

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