Gatsby Gambling Night
With its crimson carpet and grand staircase, the Greer Garson Theatre lobby is the perfect location for such a classy night. Gatsby Gambling Night is a recurring event put on by the Student Activities Board (SAB) and a favorite among the SFUAD student body, who turned out for the Jan. 30 event. Who doesn’t love winning prizes and gambling recklessly? Luckily, none of the money is real. Students simply give their names at the front and receive $200 worth of gambling chips to spend however they please. Games such as Blackjack, Roulette, Texas Hold ‘em, and Bingo can be used to either increase fortunes or lose everything.
SAB is known for putting on most of the student-run events on campus, from dances to arts and crafts functions. Each member of SAB plays a part in every event—setting it up, taking it down, and everything in between. The dealers play the biggest roles of the night. Each one is dressed to the nines in flapper dresses or snazzy suits and tuxedos and each one must be able to keep up with the chaos of gambling. It’s one thing to throw money on the table, but it’s quite another to know where to go from there. “I knew a little bit about it,” says Digital Arts and Animation major Elva Arroyo on how she runs a Roulette table. “I knew…how simple it was but I had to watch a lot of YouTube videos to get it down.” After watching her toss back the winning chips and slide the losers smoothly into her own pile, it’s clear those YouTube videos have done the trick.
By 8 p.m., gamblers and partiers fill the lobby, sipping on sparkling apple cider and betting on black. Most of the guests dressed up just for the occasion, but even if they weren’t quite feeling up to that, a photo booth set up in the corner lets them really get into the spirit of the time by dressing up as 1920’s characters. With wigs and props and elegant feather boas, it’s hard not to feel glamorous. Campus events can tend to receive a lackluster reaction from some students. Whether that’s due to scarring from boring high school dances or just an apathy for anything on campus, it’s difficult for many to pull together the energy to attend such an extravaganza. But everyone at this Gatsby gala seems to be filled with the partying spirit of the 1920’s. When I ask junior Digital Arts major Trae Perry if he’s excited to learn more about how to gamble, he laughs and nods. “Yeah, get my hands dirty, you know?” he says. “I won a few dollars so I’m feeling good.”
Upstairs is the table full of prizes, roped off until later when people will be able to buy goodies with what money they have left. Next to the prizes is another Roulette table run by sophomore Meg Colburn, SAB volunteer and Development and Assessment Chair. “I’m an acting major,” says Colburn, “so this is, like, perfect.” She gestures around her to the extravagancy of the night and her beaded white flapper dress. All of the dealers seem to be immersed in the character of Professional Casino Dealer and Colburn is no different as she announces the table is closed and elegantly tosses the ball onto the wheel.
When the clock strikes 9 p.m., the prizes are finally open. Whoever hasn’t gambled all their money away is free to trade out their plastic chips for fake green paper and buy anything from Starburst candy to Amazon gift cards to a brand new printer. By now the crowd has begun to filter out. The snacks are running low, the chips have been won and lost and turned back into money, and most of the people left are upstairs scoping out the prizes and hoping no one snags theirs. Overall, another success by SAB and a great night had by all.