Vegas Night rocks the rec

Katelyn Luysterborg

Freshman counseling major Jessie Abretski and Kayla Geller, freshman nursing major, pose for a Vegas-style wedding photo. Caitlin Prarat | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

Watch video of Vegas Night.


While freestyle and break dancing, Nicolas Wheeler, freshman visual communication and design major, stole the show at Vegas Night with his impromptu dance number in the Student Recreation and Wellness Center on Friday.

Students took a break from the scheduled attractions as they gathered around Wheeler, spontaneously moving to the music of the Pussycat Dolls and other hip-hop artists.

“I just wish everyone would dance,” said Wheeler, who attributed his dancing to expression, life and love. “I want more people to be more enthusiastic.”

Students were lined up outside at 11 p.m. just to enter. The event reached maximum capacity at 850 people said Jason Hawk, interim marketing assistant for the rec center.

One of the more popular attractions was the oxygen bar. Students lined up to breathe in scents, such as calming, sugar candy, uplifting and Zen – therapeutic scents flavored with extracts such as vanilla.

The casino tables were also packed with students raking in the dough.

“I just doubled $30,000!” junior nursing major Stephanie Hillenbrand said after playing roulette. Not all students were quite as lucky, and some even resorted to stealing.

“This kid came up and stole my chips off the table,” Hillenbrand said.

Starting with $40,000, gamblers played poker, blackjack, craps and roulette for prizes, including gift certificates, movie tickets, Kent State apparel and free massages. Students played with fake money that they turned in for tickets. Each ticket cost $10,000 and was put into a bag for the drawing, which took place at 2:20 a.m.

In true Vegas fashion, couples had their picture taken at the Chapel of Love. Standing in front of a picture of Elvis, the “wife,” dressed in a veil, held a money-stuffed bouquet while her “husband” wore a top hat.

“It was pretty romantic considering the line,” joked junior biochemistry major John Hwangi after “getting hitched” to his girlfriend Katie Poinski, sophomore biochemistry and pre-med major. “It was a good experience.”

Magician and illusionist Rick Smith Jr. drew a crowd for his magic show, which ended up making some audience members look ridiculous.

“Don’t try this at home,” Smith advised after stuffing a deck of cards into his mouth. “Go to a friend’s house or something.”

“It was funny,” said freshman psychology major Nicole Klasa, who assisted Smith with a card trick. “It was a good time. I couldn’t stop laughing at him.”

Vegas Night turned out to be a success.

“Everything’s going extremely well,” Hawk said during the event. “(It’s) running smoothly.”

Klasa agreed.

“It was a lot of fun,” she said. “They should do this again.”

Contact Student Recreation and Wellness Center reporter Katelyn Luysterborg at [email protected].