NIU PRISM, University Plaza host ‘Masqueerade’ dance

By Hailey Kurth

As dance-goers walked through the doors of Cafe 900 in the University Plaza (UP), they saw masks, balloons and a decorated wall that read “Masqueerade.”

People from the DeKalb community attended the PRISM-hosted Masquerade Dance Friday. PRISM is a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) student organization at NIU.

The room was filled with masquerade masks adorned with feathers and sparkles. Danielle Campton, events coordinator for PRISM and freshman art major at Kishwuakee Community College, said her mask was from New Orleans, and she spent most of the day making masks for her friends. She made a half-faced mask, inspired by the Phantom of the Opera, for PRISM President Marc Romero Jr., junior business major. She said she was very impressed with all the masks everyone made for the event.

“I think that’s why I like masquerade so much,” Campton said. “Yeah, it’s a masquerade and yeah, you’re supposed to be wearing a mask, but there’s so much more that you can do with it. You can put feathers or rhinestones on it. It’s just really cool.”

Romero said the Friday event was PRISM’s third dance of the year, and like every PRISM dance, it was open to everyone. Romero said 100 or more people usually attend. PRISM tends to do themed dances instead of creating a dress code, Romero said. Campton said she was glad to see everyone getting into the theme.

“When we were talking about it, there was some dispute as to if people are actually going to get dressed up for the dance,” Campton said. “But if they’re not dressy, they’re still dressed for the part and have masks on.”

Loretta Slowik, PRISM co-education coordinator and senior nursing major, said the $5 entrance fee was to help fund the dance. PRISM has used many venues for their dances, but this is the first year they used the UP, Slowik said.

“We had an alumni panel earlier this week and apparently most of their dances were in the basements of whatever restaurants that would tolerate their presence,” Slowik said. “Now we have the wonderful UP, which is huge.”

Romero said PRISM has held dances since its start in the ’70s. He said he likes the dances because they are a good way to unwind and hang out with the community. Campton said the executive board enjoys the dances because they don’t have to be “just the E-board.”

“It’s just one of those things where we all can forget about our titles and have a really good time with each other,” Campton said.