By DOMENICA A. LEONE
Asking if there’s anything to do in Miami on a Friday night is sort of like wondering if the Pope is Catholic.
From the world’s best night clubs to renowned lounges and restaurants, certainly Miami is a place of many guises when it comes to talk about nightlife. Students do not fall short of options for enjoying a VIP weekend. The problem is this vibrant, sexy and exclusive lifestyle might not be for all.
“When I first got to Miami, I was so ecstatic to hear that celebrities frequent the city all the time. Unfortunately, my age won’t let me in to the places I’m most likely to encounter them,“ claimed Jehanne Aghzadi, an international student from Morocco.
As Aghzadi, there are many other underage students that not yet can enjoy what this hectic city has to offer. But is it the nightclubs, they could risk themselves in to with the famous “fake IDs” their only parting option?
The Hurricane Productions (HP) committee of Canes Night Life (CNL) has managed to come up with a Friday that now everyone can enjoy. This year CNL continues sponsoring UM’s monthly late night tradition, Canes After Dark (CAD).
All events run 8 p.m. to midnight and are free of charge. CNL Chair Robert Renfro claims this new initiative, which was brought just last fall to offer students alternative programming, is also a unique opportunity for responsible socializing.
“The purpose behind was to keep students around campus, providing a healthy but still fun environment.” said Renfro.
Last Friday night, the semester’s calendar took off with the theme of a Hawaiian Luau Party. For the purpose of celebrating the first anniversary of ongoing successful events, the Student Activity Center (SAC) was completely transformed by the most truthful representation of the Pacific Islands. Bright colors splashed the three-story building with lei garlands, ceiling decorations, banners and cardboard cutouts of tiki and totem poles.
A line of people that went from the entrance to the Rathskeller’s corner was just as exciting to pass, as the things that waited inside. Hula dancers greeting at the door welcomed visitors with a warm “aloha” and adorn them with beautiful leis. Soon after, you could proceed to go for some “Pollo Tropical” and fresh cut fruit being offered by a “bikini bombshell”.
On the second floor, crowds of people waited impatiently for the opportunity of constructing their very own lei. Native islanders were there to help if your choice was to go for a traditional palm leaf Lei. Colorful plastic flowers were also available for a much more conventional look.
Also, on the same floor, students had the option of designing and constructing their very own sand art in a glass container. A wide array of flasks, shaped as seahorses, seashells, corals and palm trees could be filled up with 14 different pigments of sand.
But It was as from early in the esplanade of the second floor that the line for the major attraction of the night started. The possibility of doing your own tie-dye t-shirt convinced several that it was worth the wait.
Nicole Leventhal, a sophomore, was particularly fond with the craftwork for its usefulness reasons.
“I think it’s amazing they were able to find something for everybody, but I think the tie-dye is the winner; I am making mine green an orange for next week’s game,” said Leventhal.
Alfredo Portaluppi, also a sophomore, showed nothing but excitement and astonishment.
“It is amazing how they can come up with all these crazy ideas and actually make them work. I think that if they were going for the ‘safe’ it wouldn’t be as great,” claimed Portaluppi.
The night featured freshly blended smoothies, a photo booth and hula dancing from student organizations. Renfro emphasized CAD offers student involvement opportunities.
“When planning these events we contact performance groups in campus that could potentially go in hand with the theme to bring them in,” asserted Renfro.
Bottom line: The night was a success.
“Going into it we expected a large number because it was our first event of the semester and they are usually pretty well attended,” said Renfro, “but we had no idea that it was going to get to the point of how long those lines where.”
The building was certainly packed but also of satisfaction and approval. An estimated 1,100 people attended the Luau that night.
The next event is scheduled to take place on Sept. 26, featuring a “Blast from the Past: 90’s Night theme.”
“We still are in the process of planning but we have pretty cool things prepared so far,” said Renfro.
He also went on to reveal that among the upcoming activities they are featuring a black-light mini golf, laser tag and tie-die socks.