To end the year on a joyful and communal note, the USF Residence Hall Councils (RHCs) of both Gillson and Hayes-Healy put together “Neon Nightz,” an evening of food and entertainment that brought first-year students together to celebrate the completion of the academic year. Held in the McLaren Conference Center on May 5, the event featured live music by both bands and DJs, a photo booth, party games like cup pong and, of course, food by Bon Appétit, thanks to $3,000 in student Flexi donations.
Students came in and out throughout the night, enjoying platters of fruits, pigs in blankets and other finger foods. A combination of well-known songs remixed by student artist and senior DJ Dean Williams and covers by student band Circus Season kept the audience energized. Most attendees were decked out in neon glow sticks.
The RHCs were particularly stoked about the turnout of the event and participation in the theme. “Over 80 people came to the event. I felt very proud that our team was able to execute such a large event,” said freshman Kenneth Cacacho. He and freshman Mark Gravador from the Hayes-Healy RHC were integral in the production of “Neon Nightz” – they both worked incredibly hard to pull it all together for the Class of 2021. The event was created by the two RHCs, but was open to all students in freshman residence halls, including transfer students. Cacacho came up with the idea for the event to bring together students from different residence halls, then partnered up with Gillson’s RHC to make the event bigger and reach more people.
This is the first time either of the RHCs have put together an end-of-the-year event quite like this one, so it was a new experience for RHCs and first-years alike. Freshman Sage Stefanick said, “I loved the live music, I’m a huge Circus Season fan. Plus the free food was great, because I’m about out of Flexi.”
Many of the students who attended “Neon Nightz” had a great time with friends and strangers alike, playing cup pong, dancing to ridiculous covers and indulging in lots of potstickers and cookies.