Slot machines and craps tables replaced the Oak Room’s usual salad bar and napkin dispensers during Union Board’s Casino Night.
Knox College’s last Casino Night was during Freshman Orientation. The Union Board was so pleased with the event’s reception that they wanted to do it again, this time for the whole campus, and they were not disappointed.
“For a Friday night competing with Off Knox, it’s good,” said sophomore and Union Board member Dan Moriarty about the Casino Night crowd.
One of the members of that crowd was sophomore Gabe Ayers who said he was on a poker hot streak.
“I’m ruling the table,” said Ayers, who attributed his hot streak to self-confidence. “The other players aren’t confident in themselves, but I’ve got it.”
When asked what she wanted for the night, Assistant Director of Campus Life Jil Gates said she wanted students to make memories.
The night certainly made memories for junior Shayna Hargraves. She had just taken a two-term break and had returned to campus feeling refreshed and with a new appreciation for Knox, which inspired her to be a Casino Night dealer.
“I like being a part of the campus,” Hargraves said.
When the time came to give away a Wii, the evening’s grand prize, Hargraves got more and more excited as each number was called. Finally, the last digit was announced, and she let out a shriek of glee.
“If you go into the student lounge, you’ll see me playing the dance game on their Wii every night,” Hargraves said, grinning and holding her brand new Wii. “I love Union Board, I love the events and I can’t wait to win something else.”
Although not everyone went home with a Wii, other students left with DVDs, old Flunk Day t-shirts, stuffed bunnies or a little more gaming expertise.
Freshman Ajoura Gwinn didn’t plan on going to Casino Night, but she heard music coming from the Oak Room, went in to see what was going on and stayed playing blackjack until the night was over. Although she only vaguely knew the game when she started playing, Gwinn had already developed a strategy.
“When you’re at 12, stop,” Gwinn said. “I’ve been at this table the whole time, and I’ve lost every time I hit on 12.”
She didn’t follow her own rule, though, and the next time she hit on 12 she got a nine, which added up to 21 and a win.