With flashy lights and roller skates, Vandal Entertainment took the university back to the disco era in its Back to School Roller Rink Bash Friday.
Vandal Entertainment Board Chair Shelby Burkhart and her team transformed the International Ballroom of the Bruce Pitman Center into a scene straight out of a ‘70s disco movie.
Skaters circled around a makeshift roller rink placed in the center of the room.
Those without skates danced, mingled and enjoyed various pizzas in the dark room illuminated by disco lights and neon glow sticks provided by organizers.
To the right of the entrance, the line to pick up skates extended across the entire room.
Burkhart said Vandal Entertainment had anticipated the headcount to be around 60 to 100 people based on responses they received on Facebook. With a supply of 75 skates and a turnout of 600 people, skates quickly became scarce.
The DJ periodically reminded everyone to return their skates if they had been skating for 20 minutes or more, so the line could continue to move.
Freshman Timothy Malm, who attended the event with his sister, said they brought their own pairs of skates so they didn’t have to wait in line.
While people waited for skates to become available, groups of students played games of checkers and giant Jenga, set up by organizers beside the rink.
The opposite side of the rink was occupied by a group of students swing-dancing. Selina Caren, an anthropology and sociology major, attended the event with her friends from church. While they waited for skates, the group decided to dance and make the most of their time.
“I like that there were a lot of space to have fun even if you’re not skating,” Caren said. “I expected a lot of people clumping around on skates and running into walls, specifically me. I sucked at skating.”
Caren said she had probably waited around 50 minutes to get a pair of skates. Despite the wait, she had enjoyed herself and had lots of fun.
Alondra Biberos, an arts and design student who sported a pair of glow-stick glasses, said she saw fliers for the event, so she came with a friend who loves roller blading.
“This is one of the best events on campus that I’ve been to,” Biberos said. “It was well orchestrated and the setup was awesome. I’m honestly terrified (of skating). I tried something new and it just wasn’t for me.”
Among the students who attended was ASUI President Mckenzie MacDonald, who went with some of her sorority sisters. MacDonald said it looked like a fun event, and she wanted to see the product of Vandal Entertainment’s work.
“I skated for five minutes and found out that I was not very good at it,” MacDonald said. “It was really great. I really had fun.”
Burkhart said Vandal Entertainment’s goal is always to bring free, fun events for students.
She said they previously hosted movie nights, but the turnout has been disappointing so they decided to switch things up.
This semester there are many different events planned, ranging from comedy shows to concerts.
“I’m happy and proud of the way this event turned out,” Burkhart said. “People can come here feeling comfortable and safe and have fun — who doesn’t like glow-in-the dark and a DJ? I’m super proud of my team and the street team too.”
May Ng can be reached at email@example.com