The University Programming Board (UPB) held their annual Casino Night on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 to gather students together for a free evening of mock gambling, dancing and food.
UPB Executive Chair, Yana Jones said that the UPB holds events, such as Casino Night, to enhance the quality of Francis Marion University’s student life on campus.
Jones explains that the UPB organizes social and educational events on campus. The Casino Night has been held since 2003, and all of the UPB events are free.
“Our mission is to bring the campus community together,” Jones said. “We want to give the students a chance to interact with each other, and we feel that the best way to interact is through programs—whether it be social, educational, or any other way–to bring the students together.”
Jones explained that the Casino Night was one of the more popular events of the year that the UPB threw for FMU students. Casino night adds to the line-up of festivities during Homecoming Week every year.
Upon walking in the door to the Smith University Commons, guests were greeted at the sign-in table with free coffee mugs and green tickets, which would be turned in at the gambling tables in exchange for gambling tokens.
According to Assistant Dean and UPB Advisor LaTasha Brand, students with the most coins at the end of the evening received prizes from The Patriot Bookstore.
“The prizes include Francis Marion University logo T-shirts, mugs and other items from the bookstore that students always enjoy.” Brand said.
Just past the sign-in table to the right was a buffet of food for the students with UPB members handling the serving. Music filled the air as the DJ played dance music.
The gambling tables to the left of the entrance were quickly filled with students ready to play their hand at the variety of games including blackjack, craps tables, Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, and the Money Wheel.
The event company hired for the UPB Casino night was Your Event Source based out of Charlotte, NC. According to one employee, Casino Night was always a favorite event that the company threw for the employees.
As the gambling took place, so did a line dance that on-looking students Raven Gaillard, Junior at FMU and Dorian Yeadon, Junior and UPB member, pointed out was called, “Can’t Wang Wit It.” by Khia.
“If the weather was better, there would have been a better turn-out,” Yeadon said when referring to the slight drizzle outside.
Yeadon and Gaillard have attended prior year’s Casino Night and both expressed that this year’s Casino Night was a hit with the students at FMU including themselves.
According to Brand and Jones, the attendance was 203 students, which was just above the number of students who attended last year. Both agreed that Casino Night this year was a success.