Students were shielded from the rain by a glowing Festival lower drum last Friday, September 1st, at Student Activities and Involvement’s Dukes After Dark! Colorful and white flashing lights shone from all around the glow-stick filled room. However, the atmosphere was not anything like a claustrophobic rave. The music was loud but not too loud, and the only one who could probably feel the bass pounding in his chest was the DJ himself.
Altogether, the environment felt more like a relaxing hangout spot, unless you were dancing by the stage or in a heated game of air-hockey. Not much seemed to be different about the usual Festival; the games, DJ setup, food, lights, and (free!) tank-tops were simply added to the dark area.
“It’s always nice to put on something for students to introduce them to JMU,” Jordan Todd, the Organizational Development Graduate Assistant of Student Activities & Involvement said. “And on a Friday night it gives them the chance to relax, mingle, and get some free food.” As many may know, Dukes After Dark was originally meant to be held on the UREC turf field, but Festival might have been a better idea in the first place. There were places to sit around, hang out, and eat everywhere in the lower drum, as opposed to the open field; most of the attending students took advantage of the useful indoor space.
No one was sitting the whole time, though. When more popular songs played, the stage would fill with freshmen dancing their hearts out. Attendees also explored around with five or more glow-sticks around their necks and glowing halos on their heads, taking advantage of every activity they could. What could be better than foosball, air-hockey, dancing, and corn-hole? I’ll tell you: colorful light-up versions of those.
Although there were mixed feelings about the chosen DJ, there was not an unhappy person in the room. (Even the people working the event had fun!)
In the words of a passing glow-stick covered girl, “This is actually really cool.”
So many others seemed to agree with the mysterious glowing girl. Many of the attendees weren’t sure about coming but were glad they did.
Wrapping up the thoughts of many, Alyson Sisson, a freshman nursing major who spent her time dancing and playing foosball with her suitemates, said, “I didn’t know what to expect.”
A giant light-bright that everyone could change around definitely wasn’t something they’d expect. They could’ve expected the classic JMU letters photo-opp, but who doesn’t love that? Silly poses with friends and hanging your free tank-top around your shoulders to look tough never gets old.
Even though Student Org Night wasn’t held before this event as planned, excitement about learning about JMU’s clubs was still present. Attending students who are already involved on campus were interested in joining more clubs too. Sisson is already part of Young Life and her suitemates Delaney DelGallo, psychology major, is in Dance, Sarah Hall, IDLS major, is in Soccer, and Erin Dennis, kinesiology major, is a part of Intervarsity.
As these and many other students look forward to being involved in more clubs, DelGallo cheerfully said, “I’m waiting for Student Org Night.”