White Keds, neon glow sticks, Nirvana T-shirts and fanny packs were all the rage Sept. 16 as the University Student Union (USU) took California State University, Northridge students on a trip back in time to the 1990s for its bi-annual Matador Nights.
“With a theme like the ’90s, it’s so real and a lot of people relate to it, which brings everyone together,” said Nod’Keya’ Grace, a freshman theatre major and first-time Matador Nights attendee. “People love the ’90s.”
The USU was packed with students ready to have fun and take a break from upcoming paper deadlines and tests, even if only from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Students got “jiggy with it” on the dance floor at the center of the USU, indulged in free hot dogs, pizza, orange soda and candy, and got photo-ready for the selfie booth — all free when they presented their CSUN identification card.
The Max Diner, as seen on the cult classic TV series Saved By The Bell, made a rare appearance at Matador Nights. Students took a break from dancing, grabbed some food and relaxed in the booths from the hit show.
The line for vintage roller skates was long, but that didn’t deter students from hitting the roller rink in the Northridge Center, which included a disco ball and two large projectors showing music videos from popular 1990s artists such as the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC and Nirvana.
For something a little more low-key after burning calories at the roller rink, students waited in line to get glitter tattoos and have their names drawn by calligraphy artists.
Matty the Matador was spotted in the arcade shooting hoops with students, while others opted for classic games of Tetris, Pac-Man, Dance Dance Revolution and Skeeball. The miniature golf course set up near the Student Recreation Center also encouraged competition.
Giggles and screams could be heard from outside as students whisked down the giant slide or took a ride on the Ferris wheel, where the whole campus could be viewed from the top.
DJ Mix Master Mike of The Beastie Boys spun a mixture of the hottest tunes from the 1990s through present day until it was time to say “Bye Bye Bye” and return to 2016 at 1 a.m.
“The themes just get better and better, and the interactions that students have [at Matador Nights] build more of a connection with the campus,” said senior kinesiology major and four-time Matador Nights volunteer Guillermo Perez. “They’re super pumped and excited.”