The University Student Union held its biannual Matador Nights festival this past Friday at the Satellite Student Union.
The circus-themed event was free to CSUN students with a current student identification card and they were allowed to bring one guest with a current college identification as well.
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There was a craft corner where students could make key chains or spray paint tote bags. Students could also spin a wheel and answer questions about sexually transmitted diseases for the chance to win a Blockbuster gift certificate.
Twenty-three-year-old Julie Bottrell from San Francisco State University was at CSUN for the Association of College Unions International Conference held from Nov. 15-17.
Part of the conference included attending Matador Nights in order to get ideas to produce similar events at other California State University campuses.
“It’s great,” Bottrell said while getting a henna tattoo. “I wish my school had something like this. You guys are lucky.”
To attend the festival, students were asked to donate a canned-food item for MEND (Meeting Each Need with Dignity), an organization that helps feed needy families in the northeast San Fernando Valley.
Junior television production major Hannah Goodman, who was working the bungee run sign-up sheet, said the event was “awesome.”
“People see others having fun and they come to sign up as well,” Goodman said.
Freshman English major Mark Anthony Hernandez said he came because he lives in the dormitories and knew a lot of people who were going to attend the event.
“I’m looking forward to getting on the Ferris wheel,” Hernandez said.
Other thrills included an obstacle course and a Hi-striker, where contestants could test their strength by swinging a hammer against a block and try to ring the bell at the top.
Students feasted on free food like popcorn, funnel cake, corn dogs, deep-fried Milky Ways and Snickers, and grilled corn.
There was an outdoor dance featuring a disc jockey playing music from 9 p.m. to midnight.
Sharon Fei, an exchange student from China who waited 20 minutes to get on the Ferris wheel, said she was happy to be at Matador Nights because it was an opportunity to meet other students.
Inside the SSU, students could get airbrushed tattoos of Chinese figures and butterflies, sit for caricature drawings, or take pictures in front of a circus-theme background.
There was also a hypnotist and a juggler in the Shoshone Room of the University Student Union.
This year, CSUN decided to include live animals as an attraction by having representatives from Saving Wildlife International, a conservation group that performs educational and entertaining shows featuring wild and exotic animals for schools and special events.
People could touch and interact with animals that included an alligator, a lemur and an ocelot.
Several students could be also seen sporting balloon hats made by one of the three clowns in attendance. One of them, named Wacky the Clown, said the most requested balloon art items are the hats and flowers.
This year, USU expected approximately 2,000 people, so they extended the space by using the grass area in front of the SSU.
The first Matador Nights was held during April 2006 and more than 1,200 students attended the event.