"Casino Night" at UAFS
On the first Thursday of Fall 2023 classes, August 24, the UAFS Campus Activities Board (CAB) held their annual students only Casino Night event as part of the wide variety of Welcome Week activities during the first week of classes.
The event was held at the Boreham Library from 7-10pm. Students could play a variety of casino games such as Blackjack, Poker, Craps, and Roulette in exchange for credits that led to prizes such as desks, streaming boxes, and speakers. Alongside the casino games, participants were also presented a Super Smash Brothers room and Escape Room activities sponsored by Fort Smith Chi Alpha.
In addition to the games and activities, students were provided free food in the form of brownies, carrots, cheese, chips, and drinks. Dr. Peppers and Sprites were served alongside non-alcoholic cherry and orange cocktails, complete with fruit. Attendees were allowed to take as much as they wanted.
Don and Terri Bailey from the UAFS music department played Jazz throughout the event with singing provided by students Josie Martinez and Carolyn Anne Young.
Casino Night has been a UAFS tradition for nearly 20 years, beginning in the fall of 2006. Initially consisting of just table-top games like Poker and Blackjack, the event has since expanded to include slot machines as well as non-casino activities such as horse racing and grocery bingo.
Associate Dean of Students Stephanie London says Casino Night began as “...a welcome event for students to connect to their peers and UAFS, while winning practical prizes they can use.” She also states that, “The overall goal is for students to meet other students and I think we’ve succeeded in that aspect… Sometimes we choose a topic like alcohol awareness, or even something like gambling addiction, as a way to incorporate some learning into the event.” For example, pamphlets were passed out at this year’s event that explained to students the consequences of gambling addiction, potentially sparking conversations about the topic as students played and thought about what they were engaging in.
Numa Nation coordinator for CAB Dyllan Newell thinks Casino Night is a great opportunity for students to better acquaint themselves with university staff as they act as casino dealers. By having a friendly environment to interact with staff early in the year, students will be more comfortable with their interactions as their courses progress.
Newell and the CAB team are “...always looking for suggestions for improvement…” and would “...encourage [students] to join our general assembly of CAB and help us plan events all year long.” Fraternities and sororities around campus are also credited with volunteering to make Casino Night what it is.