The most widely attended and talked about campus event is just beyond the “looking glass.”
Matador Nights is returning to CSUN on Friday, and its “Alice and Wonderland” theme will be sure to leave students ‘futterwacken’ foxtrotting like the Mad Hatter.
The USU will be transformed into a Wonderland extravaganza, where students will be able to dance and sip tea alongside neon mushrooms, heart-shaped carousels and quirky characters.
“I think students are going to have a lot of fun,” said Imran Shaikh, a USU coordinator who organized the event. “The theme’s really cool this semester, (and) we’ve got a lot of great activities planned.”
Carnival games and activities
Guests will be able to enjoy cosmic golf, zip lines down the ‘rabbit hole,’ casino games and karaoke judged by the Queen of Hearts.
Favorite “Alice and Wonderland” characters including Alice, the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit will also present at the event.
“We auditioned CSUN students for the character roles,” Shaikh said. “They’ll be walking around, greeting people and most likely posing for pictures.”
Students will also get the chance to peruse carnival tents with free food, including popcorn, nachos and Frozen Crush.
Shaikh said the dance area, the most popular Matador Nights hot spot, will be headlined by D.J. Kid Capri.
“D.J. Capri is really big name in the DJ world,” Shaikh said. “He’s worked with people like Dr. Dre and Busta Rhymes, and I think he’ll bring a lot of energy to the dance floor.”
Security and restrictions
But threatening the vibe of the night, according to students on the USU Facebook page, are the event’s new restrictions and security detail.
The greatest letdown, as mentioned on Facebook, is the new rule that only allows CSUN students to attend the event.
“They [the USU] should allow guests to go,” said Peter Solis, freshman art major. “Or at least charge them. More people will show up.”
Other changes include bag checks and three security checkpoints.
These rules are a result of the Spring 2011 Matador Nights, which ended abruptly due to student intoxication, 11 reported crimes and a fight that broke out, according to USU events manager Shanell Tyus in a previous interview with the Sundial.
This time around, Shaikh said the USU is adamant to prevent misguided behavior.
“We just want to make sure everyone’s safe and has a good time without interruptions,” he said.
The USU spent an estimated $6,000 to hire security company Allied Barton, Tyus said. Allied Barton will watch for intoxication and run a command center located on the third floor of the Sol Center, which will overlook the dance area.
Freshman microbiology major Clarabelle Perez, 18, said despite security changes, she still plans on going to the event.
“I’m actually kind of excited,” Perez said. “Finally, I don’t have to leave campus to have some fun and hang out with friends.”
Sophomore Karissa Tarango, who’s never attended Matador Nights, is also looking forward to the event.
“The theme’s pretty cool — it definitely sounds like something worth checking out,” Tarango said.