Aztec Nights are back and in-person

Cristina Lombardo and Ryan Hardison

Students+gathered+to+dance+under+a+light+show+in+the+Conrad+Prebys+Aztec+Student+Union

Jayne Yutig

Students gathered to dance under a light show in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union

by Ryan Hardison, Arts & Culture Editor

Aztec Nights are officially back! Yes, you read that correctly. 

Event policies for Aztec Nights required attendees to mask up. However, students enjoyed the evening’s activities with and without masks. 

The long-standing San Diego State tradition is about as good of an opportunity as any for incoming freshmen and transfer students to become acquainted with campus and make lifelong friends. As for sophomores (who let’s face it, are pretty much just freshmen 2.0 at this point) and other returning students, it’s never too late to reconnect to campus life.

Aztec Nights began with SDSU’s inaugural First Night Fest, which offered students the chance to mingle, grab free cookies, stickers, water bottles, play inflatable games and dance under a light show in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union. The SDSU cheer team also performed and led the crowd in a spirited recital of the “I Believe That We Will Win” chant. 

For students like elementary education sophomore and Gamma Phi Beta member Emily Mixon, Aztec Nights provided students a chance to party together before school starts. 

“So far my favorite part of Aztec Nights has definitely been being able to come here with my chapter and getting to dance, the music is really awesome,” Mixon said. “It’s a really lively environment, it’s really fun.” 

Mixon is also ready for the chance to attend classes in-person for the first time at SDSU. 

“This school year I’m excited to go back to in-person classes. I’m a sophomore so this will be my first time on campus and I’m just really excited to see everyone’s faces again,” Mixon said. 

Along with the other festivities, over thirty recognized student organizations tabled at the event. One of the organizations at the event was Andrés Bonifacio Samahan – a Filipinx cultural organization at SDSU – and the club’s treasurer, chemistry junior Kayla Vale-Cruz, said her favorite part of the event was the number of people who showed up. 

“Honestly, it’s quite crazy because I haven’t seen so many people in so long and it’s kind of nice to see everyone back on campus, especially new people who have never set foot on campus before because of our current situation,” Vale-Cruz said. “So, I’m honestly very excited to see how the school year starts.” 

With so many new students starting their collegiate path at SDSU, many of them are expected to get involved with clubs on campus, something which Vale-Cruz is especially ecstatic about.

“I’m honestly really excited for people to join new organizations, I’m excited to see people get involved with A.S., people involved with cultural organizations and find their own community within SDSU,” Vale-Cruz said. 

Night two of Aztec Nights was the Moonlight Maskerade Welcome Back Dance. Besides getting the chance to dance the night away in front of Hepner Hall, students had their caricatures drawn, did decorative arts & crafts and had their pictures taken in a photo booth using a table full of accessories. Last but not least, a rock wall was brought out for students to climb up and ring a horn. 

Cellular and molecular biology junior Sakshi Pradhan enjoyed the photo booth the most. She’s also anticipating the start of the semester on Monday. 

“So I’m very excited for the photo booth here at Aztec Nights, that’s one of my favorite things to do here and I just did it so I’m very happy about that and this is my first time on campus so I’m very excited for the new year,” Pradhan said.   

Aztec Nights are off to a rockin’ start and they’re not quite over yet. The next Aztec Nights event is the Barnyard Bash on Thursday Aug. 26, which promises line dancing, BBQ and a country-filled evening.   

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