By Madison Lewis
WHAT do you call a homecoming dance for a college with no football team? The “Cranberry and White Affair!”
The event is an annual tradition at Rider where students can mingle, unwind and dance to music like nobody’s watching.
The event is sponsored by the Rider University Greek Council (RUGC) and the Office of Campus Life, and co-sponsored by Student Government Association (SGA), Student Entertainment Council (SEC) and Residence Hall Association (RHA).
On Feb. 18, students and guests sauntered into the Cavalla Room, showing off their most impressive suits and dresses they owned, as they were visually transported to a Las Vegas casino.
The party-goers filtered in and were met with music provided by DJ Iron Mike. They passed purple, yellow, red and green dice at the entry way.
Some guests used the oversized game pieces to their advantage as they posed in front of the die, hoping for the perfect shot.
Other guests made a break towards the left side of the Cavalla Room, as there were chocolate fountains, a hot chocolate bar and a table full of baked goods for the taking.
After the party-goers had their photo-ops and retrieved their poker chip shaped cookies, chocolate covered fruits and other delicious casino-themed delicacies, they went to their tables, which were embellished with large, decorative feathers.
It took a while to motivate people to migrate to the dance floor; however, when the first notes of “No Scrubs” by TLC started playing, a crowd formed.
The attendees continued to dance the night away, participating in line dances, and even performing their own unique moves to their favorite songs.
One of the most memorable moments of the night was when Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” provoked the start of a dance circle where students passed around a fedora, took turns in the center of the circle and replicated some of Jackson’s renowned dance moves.
The event was a smash hit, as party-goers raved at its success in all aspects.
Senior marketing major Jade Hodgkiss said, “This is the best year yet; better food and a good mix of music for everyone.”
Some students compared this year to previous one’s, noting some positive changes.
Senior elementary education major Angela Rizzo said, “My freshman year there was no seating, it was all standing tables which was kind of hard … but this year they had food. The DJ was really good, they had nice seating … they stepped up their game a lot in terms of overall atmosphere.”
Rizzo made a suggestion for the next “Cranberry and White”, as she mentioned that at last year’s event there was an outdoor tent where students could get fresh air and listen to jazz music.
Some attendees appreciated the event, as it provided them with a much needed outlet after managing the inevitable stresses of college life.
Freshman health sciences major Dylan Sack said, “[“Cranberry and White”] provides community engagement. It gets more people to come out here and it … gives people something to look forward to after a stressful week.”
The event coordinators took a gamble when hosting this year’s “Cranberry and White,” but this long-awaited celebration was one to remember.
Tristan E. M. Leach is an editor for The Rider News and an executive member of RHA. Leach had no part in the writing or editing of this story.