On Tuesday, October 28, Student Organization, the full-time undergraduate student government, and the Student Organization Junior Class of 2016 transformed Downs Hall from a modern atmosphere into a blast from the past. Kean University students and faculty came out to #ThrowBackTuesday [#TBT] in their best 80s and 90s attire, ready to embrace a night in the past. Tables were periodically dispersed throughout the room, each holding diverse items that were free for the taking, such as candy, glow-in-the-dark jewelry, and t-shirts. Attendees were encouraged to decorate with every color marker imaginable. The music dating back to the 1970s took over the atmosphere, and the lights persistently changed from blue to green to red; these features added to the retro-chic aspect of the event in Downs Hall. Kean University students and faculty enjoyed themselves thoroughly.
Keyanna Harllee, secretary of Student Organization Junior Class of 2016 and junior marketing major, noted that the goal of #TBT was “to bring people back to the decades…music [nowadays] is profane.” Melissa Cash, lead graphic designer of student government and graduate of Kean University, agreed with Harllee on the goal being to converge older decades with the students of today. “[We] wanted everyone to get hyped about the older times,” Cash elaborated.
Once a popular song came on, students crowded the dance floor, and in unison, they performed well-known dances from the past.
When the classic “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” song begun to play, majority of the ladies in the room screamed with excitement, put their hands in the air, and sung along. Girls do just want to have fun according to sophomore education major Megan Greene, who wanted to escape the stresses of midterm season with a night out with her friends. “It was a good idea for the event to be during midterms…students can relax with friends and just have fun,” Greene commented.
Samantha Cook, a senior majoring in communications, found out about the event through Instagram. Cook and her friends decided to go to #TBT because it is a unique theme for a Downs Hall party. When asked what her favorite decade of music is, Cook said, “I’m going to have to go with the 70s because I love the big hair.” Indeed, big hair was a popular trend 40 years ago, and Cook is not the only person to favor the decade of big hair. Emma Smith, a freshman undecided major, prefers the 1970s music for the fact that “afros are awesome! You don’t see them very often anymore, and having such big hair is fun.” For some attendees, their favorite decade of music had no underlining meaning. Degara Cobb, sophomore business major, favors music from the 1990s because “I was born then, and that’s when some of the best music [came out].”
Kicking off the activities of the night was a dance competition, where one lucky student had the chance to win a free, all tuition paid semester. Competitors had to make it through four rounds of the competition: Michael Jackson, old school reggae, old school club, and old school hip-hop. Bystanders were overcome with the music and attempted to enter their way into the competition when “Apache (Jump On It)” by The Sugarhill Gang came on.
Attendees got hyped when the rap battle, labeled by the DJ as “The Freestyle Circle of Fire”, begun. Contestants were given a topic to rap about, and to ensure contestants free-styled and did not perform written works, they were required to incorporate Kean University into their rap. Audience members cheered the rappers on as they surrounded them in a circle, oohing and ahhing when rappers were creative with their lyrics. Pure creativeness and taking a different approach to lyrics is what won the rap battle for one particular student. The last event of the night was a fashion show. Student organization members nominated attendees—unbeknownst to them—they deemed to represent the past decades the best through clothing. Each nominee was given a song to walk down the makeshift catwalk to as the audience cheered them on.
Bringing it back to the last 30 years of the 20 century, to a time when music was less provocative and more good-feel, which is what the Student Organization Junior Class of 2016 was aiming for. Students and faculty members who attended #TBT enjoyed the unique theme that separated the event from other events hosted in Downs Hall in the past. To stay in the loop and know of any upcoming events student organization will be hosting, visit https://Kean.CollegiateLink.net/Organization/StuOrg.