Matador Nights double last year’s attendance

Jaclyn Rymer

From left, Siliva Torres, 22; Noffar Kaspi, 23; and Shandiz Kamrava, 21, show off their school spirit in costume at Matador Nights last Friday. Torres came dressed as Wonder Woman, Kaspi appeared as "Super Noffar," and Kamrava was a female Cyclops. Photo Credit:

From left, Siliva Torres, 22; Noffar Kaspi, 23; and Shandiz Kamrava, 21, show off their school spirit in costume at Matador Nights last Friday. Torres came dressed as Wonder Woman, Kaspi appeared as "Super Noffar," and Kamrava was a female Cyclops. Photo Credit: Zara Aleksanyan / Staff Photographer

The University Student Union (USU) opened its gates promptly at 9 p.m. Friday to a long line of CSUN students and guests eager for this semester’s Matador Nights.

Many students honored the event’s theme, “A Night In the Comics,” by creatively dressing as superheroes and comic book characters.

CTVA major Lou Twilley, 21, arrived at Matador Nights dressed as the Green Lantern, sporting a green spandex and mask. Twilley, a CSUN cheerleader, said Matador Nights is an event he looks forward to and enjoys every year.

“It’s good to have school spirit,” said 18-year-old psychology major Sabrina Whitten. She was dressed in an original costume she called ‘Superrina‘ said.

“You should get prizes for costumes,” said 21-year-old urban and regional planning major, Erin Walker who was dressed as the classic Lois Lane in a button-down white shirt, black pencil skirt and black-rimmed glasses.

The Cal Poly Pomona student came to Matador Nights as the guest of CSUN student Chris Brebaker, 24.

Brebaker, a business management major, stood by Walker’s side in an authentic-looking  red and blue Superman costume.

CSUN brothers Wasiu Animashaun, 20, and Hakeem Animashaun, 18, were enjoying the party in costumes inspired by Michael Jackson and comic book character Flash.

“The atmosphere is always great at Matador Nights,” said the 20-year-old urban planning and studies major.  “This is one of the few times we can come together as a school.”

“This is my first party at CSUN and I’m rollin with my big bro,” said Animashaun, the 18-year-old health administration major.

Observing creative costumes was not the only entertainment of the night.  The Plaza Del Sol welcomed students to the dance floor where Power 106 DJs were playing music from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

The Associated Students courtyard also had students busting out dance moves as DJ Rich and DJ A.J. managed the music on the floor.

Inside the USU there was an area marked off as “Poison Ivy’s Grotto.”  Students flocked to the grotto to get airbrushed tattoos and caricatures of themselves.

After receiving an airbrushed tattoo of a red, white and blue star design, Jasmin Palomera,  20-year-old child development major and volunteer for Matador Nights, said she was hoping to see many CSUN students have a good time.

By 11 p.m., 3,400 students had entered the USU.  Rachel Serrano, the USU programs assistant, was excited about the attendance of this year’s event because it more than doubled last year’s attendance.

Among the other activities were Green Goblin Laser Tag and an inflatable obstacle course.  Both games were set up indoors.

A winner of the inflatable obstacle course race was Hector Fuentez.

“It was challenging,” Fuentez, the 18-year-old undecided major, said.  He came to Matador Nights to see what the event was all about and to experience his first college event.

The longest line during the event, until supplies ran out, was the food line. There were many different dishes to choose from: Thundercats teriyaki beef skewers, Aquaman’s grilled shrimp skewers, Team Titans petite hamburgers, Spiderman’s mini cheese pizza, Hulks Hawaiian meatballs, kryptonite green rock candy and comic cookies.

The Pub Sports Grill was transformed into The Fortress of Solitude, or chill zone.  It was the place to escape the loud music, sit on inflatable furniture, read comic books and have mocktails.

CTVA major Richard Duryea, 20, was relaxing in the Fortress of Solitude, sitting on a blue inflatable chair reading “Year one Batman Shadow of the Bat.”

“I usually come to the other Matador Nights. This is my fourth one,” Duryea said.

Serving the mocktails, also known as alcohol free drinks, were volunteer students of the Alive and Well peer educators.  This group was volunteering at Matador Nights to promote the Living Well Lounge, found in the USU, which provides resources to students about health and living healthy, said Marianne Link, the assistant director of Health Promotion.

Other CSUN clubs and organizations were volunteering their time at Matador Nights as well.  The Latino Business Association and the Filipino American Student Association all attended the event.

The 2009 Matador Nights was a successful event lasting until 1 a.m. as CSUN students had a chance to meet some new faces and show school spirit. Students were not shy about taking advantage of the free games, activities, giveaways and food either.

Photo slideshow by Zara Aleksanyan / Staff Photographer