With the slogan "Take it to the limit," Saint Mary's students will unwind at the Angela Athletic Facility tonight and let the free food, contests and prizes of the eighth annual Midnight Madness take over for four hours of spirited games.
In an office filled with the balloons and prizes for tonight's event, Athletic Director Lynn Kachmarik said she came up with the idea to offer students a way to celebrate school spirit at Saint Mary's.
"We are really fortunate because not only students but the administration love and support this event and do everything possible to keep it going," Kachmarik said.
The event's popularity at the College has spread in recent years with three-figure cash prizes, vouchers for free restaurant dinners and a trip to Chicago up for grabs.
But students told this year's organizational committee that they felt they did not always have a chance to win prizes, prize committee co-chair Julie DeMaio said Monday.
With more donations, however, from the community and campus groups - including the Board of Governance, Sodexho Food Services and the department of Information Technology - and local businesses and faculty members, more than 200 students in each class will be eligible to win prizes, Kachmarik said.
"I would go out on a limb and say that everybody that wants to participate in an event is going to be able to and will walk away with some kind of prize, and that is probably the biggest change we've had," she said.
Besides more prizes, students at Angela tonight should expect participation by the alumni board, entertainment from Chicago City Limits improvisational comedy group and the presentation of popular communication professor John Pauley as this year's master of ceremonies.
The event will carry on the tradition of color-coded class T-shirts, a tug of war, obstacle courses, relays and musical chairs - but it will also incorporate less traditional games, including rounds of "Fear Factor" challenges and a big surprise for those who stay all night, Kachmarik said.
"I want it to be about Saint Mary's and I would say for the majority of women that come, that is what it is about," Kachmarik said.