A speaker was booming music, but you could still hear the sound of cards hitting the table and people talking junk to each other.
“Throw some more tickets on the table,” said John Ingram, a junior computer engineering major who was playing Uno.
“No, you knocked it over man – stop cheating!” yelled Brianna Snipes a junior mass communication major, while playing Jenga.
“Can I get another cupcake?” shouted Cathea Hardaway, a junior mass communication major, referring to the assorted cupcakes – chocolate, red velvet, vanilla, strawberry. “And some more lemonade over here please.”
All this was coming from upstairs at the MLK Student Center, in an event called Casino Royale. Held Sept. 28, it was one of the first events hosted by the Campus Activities Board (CAB) as part of their effort to liven up SAU’s campus.
The CAB is in a rebuilding process this year. Responding to student complaints that there were not enough interesting activities on campus, the board reorganized and came up with a plan for more activities in the current academic year.
Other events planned for this semester include a Spook Fest, Thanksgiving Basket Drive and a Masquerade Ball.
Judging by the Casino Royale event, the effort is off to a good start.
“I definitely wasn’t expecting this many people to show up,” said CAB Treasurer Bobby Hill. “All of the games are full!”
Besides Jena and Uno, the casino included Connect 4, Blackjack and – the main attraction – a Spades tournament.
No actual gambling took place. Campus Activities Board members gave out 15 tickets as students signed in so they had something to bet.
Students were able to trade in their tickets for a number of prizes such as shirts, pens, cups, flashlights and calculators.
The highlight of the evening was the spades tournament going on throughout the evening. The tournament began with 16 teams but, in the end, Anthony Gaskins and Davonte Kornegay were the tournament champs. They walked away with a bag full of goodies including two chargers, two cups, two lanyards, two shirts, and two St. Aug pens. They also got to keep the bracket board from the tournament.
The event took a lot of planning and work.
“We were up for the night before hours mixing, baking, and frosting cupcakes,” said Nakia Brown, a member of CAB. “I remember waking up the next morning with frosting on me”
But it was all worth it, according to Roy Garrison, president of CAB. The group may have a similar event every semester, he said.
To wrap up the evening, students along with members of Campus Activities Board enjoyed doing a number of line dances as well as popular dances from the past and today. As the evening ended, students agreed that it was a success.
“When is the next one?” one shouted. Another added: “Y’all should do things like this more often.”
— Anthony Dixon