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Westminster students say ASW Casino Night gives a glimpse into adulthood

Three Westminster students in black tie attire sit at a Blackjack table at ASW Casino Night as the dealer reaches for cards.
Senior psychology and justice studies major Gjertrud Hope, junior English major Maria Comp and junior chemistry major Sarah Walker try their luck at Blackjack during ASW Casino Night in Westminster on the Draw Nov 18. Students could trade in their black chips at the end of the event for raffle tickets and the chance to win prizes, such as AirPods, a HydroFlask and a record player. Photo courtesy of Maddie Cushing.

What screams “adulthood” louder than gambling and mocktails? Attendees at ASW’s annual Casino Night Nov. 18, located in Westminster on the Draw, said they thought the event hit the mark when it came to giving students a glimpse into life after college.

Casino Night has consistently been one of ASW’s most popular events over the years, according to ASW Events President and sophomore neuroscience major Ashlee Szwedko.

“I think students are just excited to get dressed up and do something different than they normally do,” Szwedko said. “And [they] get to pretend that they’re adults for the night.”

Szwedko said the COVID-19 pandemic has affected turn-out rates at ASW events this year, but ASW is working to make sure their soirees are as accessible and safe as possible for students. 

With over 30 students in attendance only 15 minutes after the event’s commencement at 7:30 p.m., safety protocols were in full swing, including masks at check-in for students who didn’t have them.

When asked what had students so enthusiastic to attend Casino Night, Sydney Jones, a sophomore music studies major, said the chance to be a part of something upscale and out of the ordinary for a college event was a huge selling point.

“[Casino Night] is all swanky,” Jones said. “I really like old 1940s and 1920s things, jazz, free food [and] I get to dress up.”

Two students, Noah Jenrich, a sophomore history major, and Baily Prince, a junior finance major, said they were persuaded to attend by advertisements around the Westminster College campus, which promised the opportunity to get dressed up and have a unique college experience.

ASW Senior Events Coordinator and senior public health major Carla Arancibia said she hopes the student excitement garnered by Casino Night and other ASW events encourages the Westminster community to continue to show up.

“We’d encourage the students to come back next year,” Arancibia said. “We have a lot of events planned, and we’re just excited to see everyone again.”

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Maddie Cushing is a senior at Westminster College studying communication and psychology. When she’s not busy cracking down on her schoolwork, Maddie can be found exploring spooky spots around the Salt Lake Valley and trying out new coffee shops with her dog, Arya.

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