For those of you seeking an alternative to Sigma Alpha Mu’s annual beach party, you may want to seek refuge at SALSA’s 15th annual Tropicana dinner and dance.

Tropicana,held on Saturday night at Frederick Douglass Cafeteria, is a culmination of a week of activities headed by the Spanish and Latinos Students Association in attempts to acclimate pre-freshman students interested in UR with its community.

Tropicana week began on Sunday Night with tunnel painting in attempts to publicize the week’s festivities. It continued with a talent show on Tuesday night and will include a stand-up comedy routine tonight.

500 people attended last year’s tropicana and even more are expected this weekend. “We expect Latino students from New York City, Hobart, University at Buffalo, and SUNY Geneseo to be in attendance on Saturday night,” sophomore Leah Welsh said.

The main goal of Tropicana is to show minority students that there is a place for them socially on this campus. Members from SALSA said that eighty pre-frosh students attended the event last year and that they provided the admissions office with 110 tickets in the hopes that 100 students make an appearance this year. “It was definitely the deciding factor for me when I was looking at schools,” SALSA president senior Jessy Sepulveda said. “I had a blast at Tropicana and from then on I knew that this was the right place for me.”

Tropicana is also not limited to students of a latino background. “Our main goal is to get a large people from many backgrounds who live off-campus and attend other universities to be a part of our biggest event of the year,” Sepulveda said.

Tropicana starts at 7 p.m. with a catered dinner in Wilson Commons. Tickets for the event are $14 and can be purchased at the Common Market on flex, declining, or block meal plans. There is an hour break between dinner and the dance, which begins at 10 p.m. and lasts until 3 a.m. Tickets for just the dance are $10 per person.

Members of SALSA treasured their first Tropicana experience and felt that it provided a good harbinger of life on a college campus. “I had tons of fun at the Tropicana dance when I was a pre-frosh”, sophomore Teresa Cruz said. “It showed me that there were a lot of people like me on campus and a lot of people who were different from me on campus. I was able to interact with all types of people.”

When asked why a common student should attend the Tropicana dance instead of the party at SAM, Welsh responded, “This is something different. This something exciting. Every once in awhile you have to step out of your box and do something new.”

“A live band will perform rap and reggae hits,” Cruz said. “One of the band members even wore a dress last year.”

Although that member of the band might have confused Tropicana with the Big Gay party that will also occur this weekend, you will be sure to have fun if you attend the dance on Saturday night.

Rybaltowski can be reached at

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