Rowan After Hours (RAH) celebrated its ninth birthday on Thursday with its first ever “Birthday Bash” in the Student Center Pit.

The organization, which provides students with activities every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, came equipped with activities common at children’s birthday parties that night. The event featured a bouncy house, a piñata room, goody bags, party games, a magician and birthday cake.

RAH first began as an idea executed by Constantine Alexakos, the current director of the Office of Student Activities. The first RAH was held nine years ago on the first Thursday of the spring semester in 2008.

Originally, the program was only on Thursdays and was run by volunteers. Some RAH staples started at the first event, like the food bar.

Since then, the program has expanded and now has a much larger budget as well as a professional staff. According to Alexakos, his work helped jump-start RAH, but the ideas and hard work of the staff over the years have shaped the organization into what it is today.

Sam Josephs, the marketing coordinator for RAH, wanted the event to be a reminder to students and staff alike that RAH is a positive, engaging program.

“Rowan has a very unique and very positive activities program,” the junior mechanical engineering major said. “I think a lot of times when we put on activities, we don’t really think about what we’re doing. I think it’s important for not only the people putting on the activities but also the students attending the activities to stop a bit and appreciate the programs we offer to our students. It’s also fun to celebrate the anniversary of an organization. We in the Office of Student Activities like to do things in the most fun and stylish way we can.”

At the event, students were given party hats and tickets to enjoy the activities around them. Throughout the night, games were played in the Pit, including musical chairs and pin the candle on the cupcake.

Like many parties students attended as children, they were presented with goody bags filled with candy and had the opportunity to get even more by breaking open a piñata.

The night’s food bar featured chocolate and vanilla sheet cakes, lights were dimmed, candles were lit and people in the Student Center sang happy birthday to RAH.

RAH’s “Birthday Bash” brought up feelings of nostalgia for some students as they remembered attending birthdays as a child.

“Tonight was awesome,” said David Miller, a senior mathematics major and RAH employee. “Students liked everything about the theme. People have been saying, ‘This is just like my birthday party when I was nine.’ It’s great to see everyone loving it and smiling.”

Sam Pedre, a junior music industry technology major, was one such student who felt nostalgia during the event. She said she was recently reminiscing about the parties she used to attend as a child.

“I love the RAH events,” Pedre said. “I always have fun. [My friends and I] were just talking about the other day how we miss going to parties.”

RAH has grown significantly in its nine years and will continue to expand in the future, much to the satisfaction of Alexakos.

“I can’t take any credit for RAH is now (sic) because all I’m doing is looking at it from the background and being the proud parent,” Alexakos said. “If you think about where it’s started and where it’s at, and to see the growth year to year with the new students, I think the future is whatever the students make it. That’s the beauty of it. There’s a couple set parameters we have to fall within, but beyond that, it’s up to the creativity of the staff.”

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