Under the Tent in 1980s Miami


Under the tent at Under The Tent on Martyr's lawn. (Courtesy of RHA)

By Jack Regan

A DJ, neon lights and Fordham students dressed in their Saturday night finest can only mean one thing: it’s Under the Tent time.

Each year during Spring Weekend, which takes place the weekend prior to the last week of classes, the Fordham Residence Hall Association (RHA) organizes the Under the Tent dance on Martyrs’ Lawn.

This year the dance’s theme was “Ocean Drive ’85,” which allowed for many extravagant decorations. The decorations were one of the best elements of the dance along with the music, according to Executive President of RHA Sara Chesnos, GSB ’19.

“I think some of the highlights were the neon light boxes surrounding the DJ stage, which highlighted the fun elements of Miami in the 80s,” said Chesnos. “Our DJ himself always loves the event and keeps our dance floor alive.”

Chesnos said student attendance at this year’s dance was high, regardless of less than ideal conditions.

“Over 90 percent of students who bought tickets attended the event, which is consistent with years past in spite of the rain,” said Chesnos. “We are so grateful a lot of students still came out with their umbrellas.”

For Shea Williams, FCRH ’18, the tunes at the dance made walking through the rain worth it.

“This was my favorite Under the Tent I’ve been to,” said Williams. “The music was great; my friends and I didn’t stop dancing the entire time.”

For seniors, this was the last Under the Tent they would attend as students, and, according to Michael Campbell, FCRH ’18, it was a good one to go out on.

“Under the Tent is always the highlight of my Spring Weekend, and this year’s Ocean Drive ‘85 dance was a great opportunity to spend quality time with my fellow graduating seniors,” said Campbell. “The ticket collection was efficient, the DJ played all the songs I wanted to hear and the food was a nice touch when my friends and I wanted to take a break from dancing.”

Kimona Dussard, FCRH ’20, will be taking the mantle of RHA Executive Programmer next year, which means she will have a large hand in planning the next Under the Tent. She said she is optimistic for coming years.

“This year’s Under the Tent was definitely a success, so I can only see it getting better in the years to come,” said Dussard. “For the future of this event, we will continue to use systems that speed up the time people wait in line, both for ticket sales and entrance to the tent, and generally aim to keep our events fun and efficient in the future.”

The next Under the Tent will find students at its usual time and place – Martyr’s Lawn, Spring Weekend 2019.