On most college campuses, Senior Week is simultaneously the most exciting and the most stressful time of the year. Between completing final projects, studying for exams, and preparing to enter the “real world,” graduating seniors have a lot on their plates. For many of them, balancing academic and career pursuits with a little bit of fun in their last weeks of school is the key to avoiding burnout.
Since 2014, Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, has given its graduating class a proper send-off with an exciting night of dancing, refreshments and activities, all in a very familiar setting: the university library.
According to a Rutgers blog post, students have had a longstanding tongue-in-cheek joke about Alexander Library being a nightclub, especially during finals: “Sorry, I can’t go out tonight,” they’d say, “I’m spending the night at Club Alex.” Three years ago, the university brought Club Alex to life by turning the library’s reference room into a fully-functional nightclub – and they’ve been doing it ever since.
Hurricane Productions – whose co-founders Vincent Velasquez and Strato Doumanis are Rutgers alumni – has been involved with Club Alex since its inception. On May 11, they returned once again to help the graduating class of 2017 celebrate the end of their finals.
Under the guidance of producer and MC Robert Padovano, Hurricane pulled out all the stops for this year’s Club Alex with multiple rooms and DJs, each with its own unique flavor. As guests entered the library, they were greeted with music in the lobby played by DJ Alvin. From there, they could choose to party in the reference room with DJ Eddie for Top 40 dance mixes and early 2000s throwbacks, or in the room under the stairs with DJ Nate for Hip Hop and R&B. For students who wanted to relax and enjoy a drink, DJ Strato played upbeat lounge music in the Scarlet Lounge, a new addition for Club Alex 2017.
To set the mood in each room, Nick Nittoli (Scarlet Lounge) and Thomas Bishop (reference room) provided the lighting and sound elements, including a bliss lighting for the entrance and a variety of colored uplighting throughout the library. The lighting team even set up geysers that synced up with the music – whenever the beat dropped, Nick or Thomas would make sure the geysers went off, which enhanced the exciting nightclub environment.
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