NEIU’s First Annual All-Nighter Party

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Ananth Prabhu, writer

NEIU had its first annual all-nighter party on the night of Sept. 30 and morning of Oct. 1. The premise of the event was to accept the challenge by staying up all night until sunrise, from 7p.m. – 7a.m. Those students who spent the entire night were awarded t-shirts that commemorated the event. It took place in the P.E. Complex. It was organized by the P.E. Complex’s faculty and staff members and Student Leadership Development. It was exclusive to students only.

 

A copious number of activities were available for all student attendees to embrace, and they were hosted by several student clubs and organizations. The main gymnasium had bumper cars, free-play volleyball games and free-play basketball games. The auxiliary gymnasium had karaoke, a photobooth, a projector for video gaming and food. The karaoke activity, as hosted by the Pinoy Club, had a stage set up with microphones, loud speakers, a screen with lyrics and instrumental music playing when there were no karaoke participants. The photobooth, hosted by the Student Media Board, consisted of umbrella lights, costumes and masks to wear. The food consisted of all-you-can eat waffle sundaes on sticks, freshly dipped caramel apples, bags of chips, soda, water and Domino’s pizza. Unfortunately, the pizza limit was capped at two slices per student.

 

Photo credits by Ananth Prabhu

Photo caption: Students are driving bumper cars in the main gymnasium.

 

Each of the racquetball courts had a different activity. Racquetball court one had Disney+ content playing on the wall. Blue mats were on the floor for students to relax upon while watching Disney movies. Racquetball court two had group board games and arts and crafts projects. Racquetball court three had free-play badminton games in progress. Fitness Studio one had a self-defense class happening, but it ended at 8:30 p.m.

 

There were many things to enjoy throughout the night, but hanging out and socializing with fellow students may have been the highlight of the event. Aaron Le, student and Pinoy Club member, stated that “my favorite part was coming back to campus and using the campus recreation center.” Another student and Pinoy Club member, Alvin Gutierrez, stated that “my favorite part was that it was the first all-nighter ever.” It was a marvelous opportunity for the Nest students to “get out of their rooms and hang out,” as Gutierrez elaborated.

 

When it comes to the event, Le enjoyed the, “karaoke, photobooth and bumper cars,” above all else. Those three activities seemed to be the highlight of the night’s event because those are not normally offered by the P. E Complex.

 

Le felt that he had experienced “a sense of community [by] having fun together.” On one hand, Le admitted that unfortunately, the event “feels as if attendance died down around 11 pm, [and] it needed more programming of events” to keep the event thrilling and exhilarating. On the other hand, Gutierrez thought that attendance of the event had a “good [overall] turnout” rate, and it was “very well run.” Gutierrez agreed that supposedly, the facility could have opened the outside fields behind the building for a greater number of activities by setting up more equipment and turning on some outdoor flood lights.

 

The bumper cars ended by 11 p.m. and some people, including Mac Varilla, staff member and aquatics coordinator, were saddened by it upon the end of his shift, by admitting that he really wanted to ride it. For what was supposed to be an all-nighter event, some activities seemed to have ended a little bit too early. Le agrees with this sentiment by stating the “self-defense class should have been advertised more and it ended too early at 8:30 p.m.”

 

Gutierrez stated that “I stayed until 10:30 p.m., [and] I would have stayed [longer] if more than just tacos were available at 1 a.m.” Speaking of which, there were tacos catered from a nearby restaurant at 1 am. Unfortunately, the tacos were composed of corn tortillas and only filled with pork. There were no alternatives for the vegetarians, vegans, Jews, Muslims and Hindus who abstain from certain animal products. Gutierrez has agreed by saying, “I agree that it was not inclusive of other diets”.

 

For being the first annual event of this type in the history of NEIU, it was still an all-around worthwhile and fun development. Could it have been improved? Certainly, yes! Does it look like event organizers tried? Absolutely, yes! There are definitely more considerations to make for the second annual all Nighters Party.