It was a night of laughter, screams of delight and good music. At this year’s Matador Nights, sponsored by the University Student Union (USU), students at California State University, Northridge time traveled to the year 3017.
This year’s theme was The Future Starts Now. For one night, the USU’s Plaza del Sol was transformed into a futuristic soirée.
“We were really focused on the lighting and the setup of the stage this year,” said Pero Akinbohun, USU event supervisor. “We wanted the lights to reflect our futuristic theme in color and movement.”
Approximately 3,600 students attended Matador Nights, and many stayed until 1 a.m.
On stage, DJ Mal-Ski and DJ Baby Yu kept the crowd dancing. Matty the Matador interacted with students the whole night and challenged them to dance battles. A ferris wheel and a spinning roller coaster were some of the many attractions.
Business management freshman Kayla Bolton expressed her excitement after both rides. “They were so much fun,” she said.
What would Matador Nights be without a laser game? The lines were long, but the wait was well worth it, students said. Once participants made it into the playing arena, they ran and hid behind fake rocks, trying not to get tagged by competitors.
Another futuristic experience offered by the USU was a 5-D simulator — an enhanced 3-D experience. A movie was synced with the riders’ moveable seats, and at some scenes, they had water and air coming at them.
“It felt like we were actually in a scary house,” said kinesiology freshman Yeseniah Beckles, after the ride. “It was fun. Zombies were walking around and water was splashing on our faces.”
Those who preferred a more relaxing night unwound at an oxygen bar or ate at the food stands that served popcorn, ice cream and hot dogs.
“I didn’t know that all the food was free,” said Martha Emvula, a special education graduate student. “I loved it. Everything was lit up so nicely, and the USU was glowing.”
More than 100 students, staff and volunteers chaperoned the night to create a safe and fun evening. Jesus Perez, a USU student assistant employee and English creative writing junior, said he was happy to help anyone who needed assistance.
“I like to be a part of the community by being involved,” he said.