Night of Chocolate celebrates 10-year anniversary Wednesday


Fountains of chocolate. Champagne glasses full of chocolate mousse. A quartet of jazz musicians to set the mood. Ten years of tradition.

Must be Night of Chocolate.

Night of Chocolate is a semi-formal event designed to give students a classy night full of sweet treats. These treats include fountains of white, dark and milk chocolate with an assortment of dippable items including strawberries, pineapples and marshmallows.

The event will be held from 9 to 11 p.m. in the Alumni Memorial Union ballrooms. Tickets can be purchased for $8 at the Brooks Lounge.

The program, first put on my MUSG in 2000, has become a tradition at Marquette. MUSG adviser Jon Dooley said via e-mail that he suggested the program, which was modeled after a similar event held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign while he was working there in the ’90s.

The early Night of Chocolate events were much different than more recent programs, however. Dooley said elements like the semi-formal attire, jazz music and multiple varieties of chocolate were added several years later, around the same time MUSG began to charge for admission.

Since then, the program has steadily grown in size and popularity. MUSG Program Vice President Erin Shawgo, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said the event’s elegance is a draw for students who tend not to have many opportunities to eat fancy.

Shawgo added this year’s event would be about four times the size of the earlier Nights. She said most of the expansion would be in the quantity of food provided, with MUSG ordering more platters of fruit and fountain refills than in previous years.

“We’re hoping we’ll be able to keep it running a little longer,” Shawgo said.

Special events co-commissioner Sarah Hodges, a junior in the College of Education, said they would also be increasing the amount of chocolate mousse glasses ordered, since they were a big hit last year.

The downside of this, of course, is an increase in price. Tickets this year are $8, up from $5 last year. Shawgo said the difference in price is directly correlated to the increase in food.

The biggest change students will likely notice, however, is the date. Traditionally, Night of Chocolate has been held in November, but because of scheduling conflicts, the event had to be moved to December.

However, Hodges said the week might stick, depending on student reactions.

“If students like it, we might keep it in December,” Hodges said.

Meagan O’Hara, a junior in the College of Nursing and the other special events co-commissioner, said she thinks the change to December could be helpful because it will serve as a stress reliever for students before they have to start studying for finals.

Jordyn Nevers, a junior in the College of Communication, said she wasn’t planning to go to Night of Chocolate this year, but it had nothing to do with the quality of the event or the price increase.

“It’s not overpriced,” Nevers said. “I’d just rather spend the money somewhere else.”

Nevers said attended to last year’s Night of Chocolate and had no problems with the event itself.

O’Hara said she has attended Night of Chocolate since she was a freshman, which was part of the reason she was excited to become a special events commissioner for MUSG.

“It’s an integral part of Marquette social life,” O’Hara said. “You can relax … enjoy chocolate, enjoy each others’ company.”