Monte Carlo: A Cherished Tradition

Five students dressed up for Monte Carlo
Savannah (far right) with her friends before heading off to this year’s Monte Carlo

Every college has that one event on campus that is everyone’s favorite. At K, that event is Monte Carlo. For one night during winter quarter, the Hicks Student Center is transformed into a multi-floor casino. Students, faculty, and staff arrive in their most glamorous attire to spend the night playing cards, eating delicious food, and taking pictures. The tradition dates back to the 1970s, making it something that both current students and alumni can share.

What is special about Monte Carlo, and all of the events hosted by OSI, is that it is largely planned and implemented by K students. “OSI set up a Monte Carlo Committee comprising of students from different class years and varying backgrounds,” Riya explains. “They were tasked with advising us on everything related to the event, even the minutest of all details, like what shade of white or yellow we should use for the lights.”  This committee met twice a week for several weeks leading up to the event to make sure that everything would be ready for the big night.

Four women in a photo booth photo
Photo booth pictures from Monte Carlo are a must!

One of the tasks for this committee was to recruit faculty volunteers. As is tradition, faculty members serve as dealers for the Craps, Blackjack, and Poker tables. “It’s fun to interact with your professors in a more personal way outside of the classroom setting,” Karina Pantoja ’20 comments. President of the College, Dr. Jorge Gonzalez, not only attends the event but has become quite a skillful Craps dealer over the past two years.

As a senior who has attended four Monte Carlos over the years, I can safely say that this is the most highly anticipated event of K’s academic year. In the weeks leading up to the event there is a buzz around campus as students ask each other about what dress they are going to wear and wonder about what food will be served. I am a personal fan of the spinach artichoke dip and chocolate fountain – and this year there was even sushi!

While the glamor and excitement are certainly part of the draw, the real value of this event lies in the community aspect of it. “It’s always fun to see everyone dressed up and enjoying a K tradition!” Elyse Tuennerman ’18 says. In a campus climate that deeply values academic success, it is refreshing to have a fun and fabulous event that everyone can enjoy together.

Savannah Kinchen ‘18