Asa Daniels, Campus Carrier staff writer
Last Saturday KCAB presented its annual Casino Night event. It is one of the most popular events on campus during the year and normally features blackjack and poker tables, as well as raffle prizes and other activities for students to participate in. This year, there were a few adjustments, along with the old traditions.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the casino games such as poker and blackjack were moved to the Ford Gym and Ford Dining Hall. Students also had to sign up prior to the event for one of three 45-minute slots during the night to play in one of the casinos. This was done to ensure physical distancing during the casino games.
Originally, the other major events of Casino Night were supposed to be outside in the Ford area. However, the potential for inclement weather on Saturday led to a change in plans by last Thursday in which these events were moved to Krannert. Students did not need to sign-up for these events before going to them.
Events in Krannert included a wedding chapel, lounge area, photobooth and psychics, as well as prepackaged food and water for students.
For junior Sydni Byerley, KCAB vice president of operations, the challenge for planning this year’s event was figuring out how to accommodate for the event’s popularity.
“The biggest challenge was trying to accommodate the amount of people that we normally have because we usually always break fire code in the ballroom and just in the building and I think, just knowing that it’s always a big event and knowing that people look forward to this event every year and trying to … have similar aspects but make sure that we can [be] socially distanced and make sure that people have time in the casino [was a challenge],” Byerley said.
Byerley added that hosting the event later in March was a major deviation from past years.
“It is usually hosted in about the first weekend of February, which, it turned out okay, but then you run into weather, because this is when rainy season happens because it’s spring,” Byerley said.
Junior Becca Weaver, vice president of promotions for KCAB, said that another challenge unique to this year was contacting and bringing in the outside contractors that bring a number of tables and workers for Casino Night because they needed to make sure the workers were comfortable with Berry’s COVID-19 guidelines.
Byerley believes that this year represents a change in some of the sanitary practices of Casino Night which will carry over into future years.
“Going forward, I definitely think that how certain things are handled as far as like tables being wiped down, how food is handled, like catering, those will definitely be somewhat changed in the future,” Byerley said.
Weaver hopes that next year can take place in Krannert and the ballrooms as usual, but said that it depends on the overall COVID-19 picture by that time.
“I think it all depends on how many will get vaccinated and like how the numbers of COVID go around, but hopefully we’ll be able to have it in the ballroom like normal next year,” Weaver said.
Byerley said she was excited to have Casino Night again and seeing how it would turn out with the changes this year.
“We had it last year and then all of a sudden, a month later, like everything just got shut down, so I think it’s exciting that we get to actually host it and I’m excited to see how it turns out, as well because I’ve seen two years of Casino Night in Krannert and I’ve never thought that [we’d need] to change locations so I’m excited to see how it turns up at Ford,” Byerley said.
Weaver was excited to spend time with her friends and to dress up for the event.
“We haven’t had an opportunity for students to kind of dress fancy, you know, hang out with their friends like that,” Weaver said.