Love or something like it in air at Valentine’s dance
February 15, 2010 —
If there’s a better excuse than the Student Association’s Winter Formal to get dressed up, share a meal with a date and get down on a dance floor that glistens with spilt beer in the glow of flashing disco lights, SVSU students haven’t heard it.
Love was in the air Friday night at the Horizons Conference Center in Saginaw Township, where the annual Valentine’s Day event drew 110 movers and shakers from the dinner table to the dance floor at $20 a pop. (That’s more than you’d pay for dinner for two at Bob Evans, yet easier to pay for than all those times you were nothing like that guy from The Notebook.)
The atmosphere was ripe for romance. Red rose petals surrounded floating candle centerpieces. Students shmoozed, snapped photographs and clanked their silverware to glasses despite the absence of a wedding.
Cocktail hour began at 7 p.m., followed by a hot buffet at 8 p.m. that was every buttered-noodle enthusiast’s dream. Chicken and Salisbury steak were the main cuisines, accompanied by vegetables of class: green beans and mashed potatoes à la gravy.
“It’s fantastic,” said Kyle Miller, an elementary education senior. “Although the alcohol is a little expensive.”
Miller’s date, biology senior Amanda Hupfer, agreed.
“It was like five ... five-dollar ... five-dollar rum and Coke,” she sang in dismay to the tune of a popular Subway commercial.
The gravy achieved some of the lower ratings across the dining room.
“The gravy was kind of weird,” said SA representative Ashley Kraft.
Weird indeed, agreed Sylvia Banka, a diner who likened the aftertaste to the waste product of a certain farm animal.
But the chicken saved the day, she said, giving high marks to her overall dining experience.
Freshmen couple Matthew Wolf and Christina Winkelman nabbed seats near the buffet table and dance floor. They enjoyed a relaxing night out with friends sans textbooks.
“The service is great,” Wolf said. “Everyone is really nice.”
“The dessert was the best,” Wilkelman said over an empty plate of apple pie.
Graphic design senior Derek Rudel joined his friends at a table near the rear of the hall.
“You got pie?” Rudell asked.
Due to the floor plan, approximately 86 people cleaned their plates by the time Rudel found out what was on the menu.
The downtime, however, gave him a chance to think long and hard about the music he wanted to hear once the dancing commenced.
“Billy Joel, Neil Diamond: they get me in the mood to dance,” he said. “I am more than hopeful.”
Rudel would get his Neil Diamond.
Is it necessary on such a special occasion to refrain from ad-libbing expletives into the chorus of “Sweet Caroline”? Maybe at a $30-a-plate dinner. Neil’s college audience got it right.
The DJ catered primarily to rap lovers, although at one point he dug deep into his iTunes library to pull out a compilation track of some of the very best Jock Jams of the ’90s.
As far as Kraft could tell, most students considered Friday a night well spent.
“It was really beautiful and I was really happy with it,” she said.
All those who attended perhaps share secondary education sophomore Melissa Mccully’s take on Valentine’s Day.
“I don’t mind it,” she said. “It’s a Hallmark holiday.”