By Kai Jackson
Despite a chilly and wet evening, continuous but mild rainfall couldn't stop the Students of Caribbean Ancestry (SOCA) and attendees from taking over the Stood and having, as one attendee described, an “epic night.”
Last night was the second event hosted at the Stood this semester. The Stood staff and some attendees arrived at Friday night’s event aware of an incident that occurred at the previous Jump Off event involving an attendee and a member of the staff, leaving some attendees shaken.
Eyewitness accounts of the Jump Off event described the student engaging in a physical altercation with a Stood staff member, before University Police arrived and put an early end to the event.
Last night turned out differently as SOCA and the staff were able to host and monitor the event without a single incident occurring.
Many attendees appeared to enjoy themselves as well as the Stood staff and DJ Bombitz, who agrees it was “a good time” at Purchase.
As the event was going underway, The Stood was quite empty but definitely not quiet as DJ Bombitz began kicking off the music with mild tracks easing into the groove. By 11 p.m. students and campus guests began arriving at a steady rate. Some attendees came with a friend or two, but most came in groups.
For some attendees, it seemed their intentions were to not only have a good time, but to also show out, especially since Friday’s party was a “Red Carpet” event.
A highlight of the event was when the dance circles began to form out of the blue. Another memorable moment was when members of SOCA, the stars of the show, stormed the stage as the DJ dropped one electrifying track after another. SOCA members showed no hesitation to show off exotic dance moves, fashion and attitude and the crowd was absolutely loving it.
Aside from the good vibes, dancing and fashion, it was perhaps the abundance of diversity in last night’s crowd that Nekiyah, head of SOCA, and the rest of the members were happiest to see. Encouraging diversity is one of the organization’s main goals, as well as promoting the Carribean culture that everyone received a glimpse of last night.
Campus police were present last night as they monitored inside and outside the venue.
It appeared that the aftermath of heavier incidents last year affected how the Stood staff and campus police prepared for SOCA’s event. The staff seemed prepared and were able to check in attendees in an organized manner, even as the night got busier. The staff was also able to do the same with the attendees exiting.
According to SOCA, more students attended this year’s Red Carpet Affair than last year. Looking ahead this semester, SOCA is looking to do more outreach and volunteer work. Interested students can attend meetings held every Wednesday at 10 p.m. in room 16 Campus Center North.