Monte Carlo hosted despite of Saddleridge fires


Photo by Alex Steinhauer- Reporter

Alex Steinhauer, Reporter

This fall’s Monte Carlo took place on Friday, Oct. 11. The dance was at The Vineyards in Simi Valley and included appetizers, casino games and a photobooth. Despite the Saddleridge fire burning near Simi Valley, Associated Students of California Lutheran University decided to proceed with hosting the dance. 

Monte Carlo was coordinated by ASCLU Programs Board Junior Representative Alyssa Frausto. 

“I was honestly just in shock on how great [Monte Carlo] went considering with the fires,” Frausto said. 

The event was free of charge and open to all undergraduate students of Cal Lutheran, but tickets had to be reserved online before the event. Students had to have their Cal Lutheran ID on them to get into the sold out event. 

Frausto said the event has gotten positive feedback so far. 

“I posted on all my social medias for feedback and so far I have gotten nothing but positive reviews thus far,” Frausto said. “I think with everything that was thrown in my path, like with the fires and the wind and the power outages, I think it went really well.”

There were strong winds in the days leading up to the event and the Saddleridge fire was burning in Porter Ranch, not far from the venue.

“Luckily the venue had power the whole time. We were really scared that we would lose power in the middle of the event and that was my biggest fear,” Frausto said. “The way the venue is shaped it kind of cocooned around so the wind wasn’t too bad for the casino tables,” Frausto said.

Frausto said the staff at The Vineyards were great to work with. 

“It’s really nice to work with people who truly love to work with Cal Lu students. I say if you are going to do an off-campus event, go with The Vineyards,” Frausto said.

Students shared their thoughts on the annual dance.

“I think it is a lot of fun- they could play better music but for the most part it is really fun,” junior Ashley Khacheryan said.

Frausto said Monte Carlo is one of her favorite Cal Lutheran events. 

“I love to see everyone get dressed up,” Frausto said. “I think it is a great opportunity because most times in college you don’t get to get dressed up and take pictures with your friends for free. That usually doesn’t happen in college. That’s more of a high school thing.”

Several students were removed from Monte Carlo due to substance abuse. Programs Board Director Chelsea Dunmire was overheard calling for security at approximately 9:47 p.m., as “white substances” were observed in the girl’s bathrooms.

ASCLU President John Basmajian said in an email that they “removed multiple students for a variety of reasons.” 

Basmajian said a conduct report is then submitted to the Office of Residence Life and Student Conduct, and the conduct process is followed.

Assistant Director of Residence Life & Student Conduct Christina Hanna said she was “unable to discuss any of that information due to FERPA and confidentiality.” 

Students were also removed from the venue for being excessively intoxicated. 

After looking at how the event this year turned out, Frausto said it is important to have backup plans for the next Monte Carlo. 

“I think the only thing that I would have done differently is have more of a backup plan. I wasn’t expecting like a fire to start, I wasn’t expecting power outages. It is always good to have a plan b and a plan c,” Frausto said.