College Night continues its tradition

College Night at Michaelangelo's in San Dimas pulls in crowds of students from ULV, Cal Poly Pomona and surrounding colleges every Tuesday night. Former La Verne student Mike Barreiro and ULV sophomore Gayane Gradzhyan dance at the second College Night at Michaelangelo's. / photo by Natalie Fowle
College Night at Michaelangelo’s in San Dimas pulls in crowds of students from ULV, Cal Poly Pomona and surrounding colleges every Tuesday night. Former La Verne student Mike Barreiro and ULV sophomore Gayane Gradzhyan dance at the second College Night at Michaelangelo’s. / photo by Natalie Fowle

by Tom Chambers
Staff Writer

Tuesday’s College Night held at Michaelangelo’s in San Dimas, has taken off with success said Dan Ehler and Raul Mena, both University of La Verne seniors and co-creators of Ho-Train Productions.

This is their second year hosting the popular college night, with last year’s being held at the Claremont Inn. Cover charge is $5 at the door and alcohol is served to those who are over 21.

College Night is open to students of the University of La Verne and their personal guests. This solution is to reduce the number in attendance, reducing the potential for problems.

The average attendance for College Night has been approximately 200 students. Ehler and Mena have experimented with the hiring of an off duty San Bernardino County Sheriff to monitor underage drinking and to facilitate the handing out of wristbands to those 21 and older.

Each student who enters the establishment is stamped on the hand with a logo reading “Ho-Train Productions.”

“The stamp is done for security reasons. It lets us know who has been in and out of the building and that they are students at the University,” said Mena.

Security has been an issue at College Night. Last year’s party was the center of a fight (not caused by students of the University) and underage drinking was a serious problem. These are all issues that Ehler and Mena have taken into consideration. Added security and more strict rules have been applied.

With a new year comes a new location, along with new plans to spice up the event.

Mena and Ehler are adding themes to various College Nights. Seventies Night, Pajama Party and Hawaiian Night are just a few of the ideas they are juggling.

“We want to make it better,” said Ehler. They are also considering with the idea of checking school ID’s and having two for one cover before 10 p.m.

Mena says that these are just ideas for the time being and that they are open to any suggestions to help improve College Night.

Michaelangelo’s is no stranger to La Verne students. Last year, Phi Delta Theta held a party there, and two years ago the Associated Students Federation (ASF) Forum held a karaoke night there.

“The place was perfect for our College Night. We were looking for a big place that knew how to handle serving beer,” said Ehler. The idea of finding a location that would serve the alcohol for them was a deal closer.

Both were apprehensive about the consequences they could face if things got out of control while they were serving alcohol. When asked about the issue of underage drinking they said they try to do all they can to prevent it. Drunk students are not admitted and ID’s are checked at the door.

The marketing and business side of College Night is simple. They advertise through word of mouth and the reputation of the production company.

“People know we throw good parties,” said Mena. Perhaps this is a factor to the success of College Night. The speed with which word gets around coupled with College Night being the only party on Tuesday nights, practically ensures a positive showing.

Another marketing idea is the name Ho-Train.

“We got the name from Mena dancing in front of a limousine while wearing a Ho Train wrestling T-shirt,” said Ehler.

With a name of chance and word of mouth taking care of advertising, it seems marketing College Night has been a snap. The business side of the event is splashy. The $5 cover goes toward the reinvestment that Ehler and Mena make in each College Night, which includes, the disc jockey, currently under contract with McMurphy’s, a popular bar in Pasadena, an off-duty sheriff, a few undercover security agents, a small sized student staff, rent of the establishment, and are liable for all damages that occur during College Night.

Regarding the revenue, Ehler said “It varies from night to night. There have been several nights that we lost money and there have been nights that we have made money. It’s tough to tell when people are in the mood to go out, so each night is a risk.”

Ehler and Mena refused to comment on specific numbers, but were firm in their statement that they are not in this for the money. They are eagerly looking forward to the rest of the year with College Night. It seems that the rest of the student body is looking forward to Tuesday nights as well.

Junior Andreis Karafotias said, “It’s nice to have a place where you can go with your friends to get away from campus and unwind.”

Karafotias clearly speaks for the majority of the students that attend College Night.

While it may have seemed extremely crowded, there were mostly smiles on the faces of the students and many have given positive reports since.

Michaelangelo’s is happy with the success of the event as well. On the first night they ran out of six of the eight types of beers they had on tap.

“It’s definitely our busiest night of the week and has really helped my business,” said Gregg Griesemer, the owner of Michaelangelo’s.

“As long as the students are happy and no trouble turns up, I could see us doing this for a long time,” said Ehler.

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