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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

SBA hosts annual Casino Night

NIU law students partake in a game of craps. The SBA hosted a Casino Night at the Marshall Gallery in Swen Parson Hall. (Gabby Crabtree | Northern Star)

DeKALB – NIU law students and alums dressed up and came together to gamble fake money, win raffles, eat snacks and raise money at the annual casino night event.

Friday’s Casino Night was put on by the Student Bar Association, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Marshall Gallery at Swen Parson Hall. 

Jacob Garcia, a junior law student, said Casino Night is one of the nights when the School of Law is able to come together as a law community with students, alumni and professors. 

“It’s our annual night out for law students,” Garcia said. “We usually host events to relieve students of law school because law school is very demanding from students.”

Casino Night had a $30 entry fee for the early bird price and a $40 buy in for the price at the door. When guests first entered, there was a table to greet them with an entry list, poker chips and fake money. Each guest received roughly $1,500 in fake chips to gamble.

The Marshall Gallery turned casino had games like blackjack, craps, roulette and poker for guests to play. Different professors in the School of Law were the dealers. All guests were dressed in their best attire and ready to gamble. 

“I have played a little bit of roulette, I played a little bit of craps and I played a little blackjack,” said Matt Donahue, a sophomore law student. “Roulette has been by far the best one tonight; the red 18 was a big win.” 

Roulette is won by correctly guessing whether a ball will land in a red or black space or what number the ball will land on. 

Blackjack is a traditional card game where you try to add cards up to as close as 21 as possible without going over.

Omni McCollum, a sophomore law student, said she won $600 in chips at blackjack when she had never played before. 

“I had no idea how to play blackjack, but the dealer was really helpful,” McCollum said. “He’s also a professor here, Professor (Evan) Bernick. He explained the game to me, and I was able to catch up really quickly, and I did well.”

There were around 100 law students, professors and alums filling the well decorated and prepared casino. There was pump up music playing in the and a colorful photo backdrop to capture the glamor. Guests conversed lightlyheadly and relaxed with each other. Gamblers sat in thought about what their best move was.

Jacob Priewe, a first-year law student, said although he lost in Blackjack, he had a good night.

“It’s just like a nice break away from all the studying that we do and all the homework, and it’s just fun to come out and see everyone kind of let loose a little bit,” Briewe said.

Once the casino guests were satisfied with their earnings, they could exchange them for different raffle and auction items in the prize and snack room. 

Some of the wide variety of different prizes included a dinner and Family Feud night with Associate Professor of Law Robert Jones and Director of Clinics and Clinical Professor Wendy Vaughn in the silent auction. As for the raffles baskets, there was a wine and Reese’s basket and an NIU merchandise basket. 

Caesar salads, sliders and cookies were served at the night’s events, along with drinks including soda, water and alcoholic beverages included with the entry fee.

Donahue said the night’s proceeds will go towards student organizations for the College of Law and especially the college’s Barrister’s Ball. 

“It’s kind of like a formal at the end of the year, so this goes mostly to that,” Donahue said. “And then other student organizations, we have about 30 student organizations that we fundraise money for every year.” 

Casino Night happens every year and is one the biggest fundraising events SBA puts on along with a trivia night in the spring. To see more of their events and information on them, check out their calendar.

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