Vegas Night fills the rec.

Melissa Sidebotham

Eager students filled the hallways of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center on Friday, waiting for their chance to win big as colored lights flashed on the gym floor.

An Elvis impersonator greeted 850 students at a table where they received their $10,000 in playing money and turned in between 1,000 and 1,500 non-perishable food items.

“Vegas Night sounded like fun,” Stephanie Szabat, sophomore nursing major, said. “It’s a great way to learn the games without using real money!”

Vegas Night was the second late night event of the semester at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

A lined formed right away for free Subway, pasta and chips. Some students weren’t shy about why they came.

“I’m here for the free food!” exclaimed Matt Jackson, freshman exploratory major.

A red carpet surrounded by white pillars lead to where the entertainment would take place.

Magician Rick Smith Jr. drew the biggest crowd of the night with his 2 a.m. show. Smith Jr. said he loves how this show is up-close and personal. He likes to do tricks that keep students wondering.

Nick Allison, freshman Spanish major, got to join Smith Jr. on stage for a card throwing trick. Even though Allison’s card throwing skills weren’t up to par compared to Smith Jr., he still had fun.

“Rick Smith Jr. is cool. I liked him a lot even though I felt like a complete idiot throwing my card,” he said.

Kim Wisniewski, freshman exploratory major, assisted Smith Jr. in a trick where he cut celery she was holding in half by throwing a playing card.

“I was nervous,” Wisniewski said. “He could have sliced my hand off, he throws fast!”

Some students sang along to the Piano Jammers, a dueling piano act.

“They knew all the songs we were yelling out!, Andrew Serafin, freshman visual communications design major said. “It was awesome to hear them.”

Many students joined in when the duet played songs from Grease and the song Sweet Caroline, no matter where they were in the gym.

The Black Squirrel Radio high roller room became popular as the night went on and students earned more money.

“I’m a high roller!” said Brent Oani, junior hospitality management major, while wearing a suit and sunglasses entering the room.

Josh Toot, senior physical education health major, said, he felt like he was on top of the world in the high roller room. Toot also went on to win three out of the five prizes Black Squirrel Radio had to offer.

Cedric Mims, junior integrated health major, acted as the bouncer for the high roller room. He said it was an honor to protect the room. Mims had to turn many students away when they didn’t have enough money to enter.

Freshman business management major Jesse Ray said, he came to Vegas Night for a chance to win awesome prizes.

Students crammed into the prize vault to turn in their tickets for a chance to win many great prizes. The grand prize was a digital camera prize package. Other prizes were a Cleveland Cavilers gift card, a tailgating set and an iPod prize package.

Christy Jeffrey, senior athletic training major, got her picture taken in the Chapel of Love.

“I got my picture taken by myself,” she said as her friends around her laughed. “I’m going to be single for life!”

Student Recreational Council president JJ Wray deemed Vegas Night a success. He said it’s always a good time and it’s great to see such a good turn out.

When asked how Vegas Night was treating him, Tony Reif, junior visual communications design major, replied shyly, “What happens at the rec, stays at the rec.”

Contact Student Recreation and Wellness Reporter Melissa Sidebotham at [email protected].