by Martha I. Fernandez
photography by Amy M. Boyle
Junior Brian Richenberger, a diversified major, struts in a purple satin robe adorned with gold trimming as he stands in the night air next to doors festooned with gold balloons anchored with purple curling ribbon.
In minutes, women lavished in shiny, satin dresses and pastel floral prints, begin to arrive. One by one, they are welcomed by Richenberger and directed to gather inside. It is nine o’clock at the President’s Dining Room (PDR), and 38 University of La Verne women anxiously wait for instructions to commence Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s (SAE) Violet Initiation.
According to SAE brother senior Christopher Braunstein, this is the first formal initiation for the women who are inducted into the Club for holding fast to the Brotherhood values. “Actually, we had a meeting and nominated names of women on campus who we believe support us,” he says about the Violet Club selection process.
Silence is called, and the SAE brothers give directions to form a line according to height. The women squeeze into a line; a few run up and down the line looking for the appropriate place in the formation. Some raise their skirts to show their shoes, causing chatter to fill the room about who has the highest heels.
Across the street, sprinklers are on, spreading a slight dew on Sneaky Park. Beeps are heard as night class students dwindle into the parking lots and inactivate car alarms. Car lights in the parking lot paint the streets with lights as students drive away.
Junior Anthony Hayes has made a trip to Circle K. He gets in line to pay for a Snapple and peruses the candy racks under the counter, picking up a pack of Trident gum. It is 9:55 p.m. Hayes claims he only makes late night runs to the store “every blue moon.” As for his plans for the night, he says, “I’m going to go back to my room and lounge around.”
While Hayes walks back to Brandt Hall, Richenberger and his fraternity clean up the PDR and carpool to the SAE House on Garey Avenue in Pomona. Richenberger has exchanged his shiny robe for some casual clothes. The rest of his night will be dedicated to celebrating with the new initiates and “hanging out.”
At 10 p.m., crackles and pops resonate on campus when the Los Angeles County Fair releases its nightly firework show. An array of green, white, yellow and red sparks create abstract art in the night sky.
Junior Reginald Miller misses the fire works show by five minutes. His Introduction to Mass Media class had a tour of the Wilson Library facilities. He exits the library and jokes with Campus Safety Officer Tom Pokorski, who is locking up the Landis Academic Center, to give him a ride to his car. His plea is unanswered, Miller makes his way to his car. “I’m going to In-N-Out and grab a burger,” he says.
Inside the library, study activity is winding up for the night. Freshman Steve Gomez shelves books behind the check out counter, while sophomore Paul Divincenzo files microfilm in cabinets. “It’s all right,” Divincenzo says about working the night shift. “It works around my schedule better.”
Behind the shelves, Elizabeth Anghel, circulation reference librarian, is locking up the seminar rooms. She then walks every floor, turning off lamps and making sure students studying are still not in the library. Anghel is the only library staff member who works tonight’s shift. But you won’t hear any complaints from her about the late hour. “It’s only 10:30 p.m.,” she says. “It makes it easier driving home-no traffic.”
Anghel rounds up the work study students to shut down the facility for the night. “Is the journalism professor gone?” she asks.
The student workers turn to each other and shrug. She relights the building and walks back in. After a few minutes, she appears with Rick Danenburg, part-time communications instructor, with Naoko Yokota, an international student, lagging behind.
“I needed to have a little one-on-one with Naoko,” Danenburg says. “Naoko has to work a little harder than my other students because she has to translate the assignments. She sits there with a dictionary and looks up the words as we go along.”
Yokuto reaffirms his observation, “I can’t live without my dictionary.”
As Danenburg exits the library, he commends Anghel for the presentation she gave the class. “Libraries are not boring,” she answers. “Libraries are fun; you just have to look for the fun.”
A light flickers on in the Landis Academic Center. Maricela Hernandez, housekeeping employee, pulls her yellow cart, equipped with the tools to clean the classroom, at the end of the building. Her shift began at 7:30 p.m. Before she left her home, she fed her children and started them on their homework. “I take them to school and sleep while they’re in class,” she says in Spanish about her schedule.
By the end of her shift at 2:30 a.m., she will have cleaned the seven classrooms and faculty offices housed in the Landis Academic Center, as well as the archives of the Library.
Across the campus, dryers are also busily working through the night. The sound of clothes tumbling is heard down the halls of Stu-Han Residence Hall. In the hall lounge, women do homework as they watch “ER.” Among the television watchers is sophomore Karina Precioso, who comments that an actress on the screen has a “boob job. They can’t be natural,” she exclaims while books lie shut on the table.
At the side of the room, an intense match of ping-pong is taking place between senior Maria Minasyan and sophomore Jamie Corley. “I got out of work at 10, and I’m tired,” says Minasyan. “It’s making me more tired so I’ll have a good night’s sleep.”
Across the University Mall at Brandt, the activity is not inside the hall, but outside. Junior Kyprian Harasymowcz, senior Lawrence Rogers, and freshman Jeremy Collins walk on the wet grass to go to Circle K. It is 11:03 p.m. “We just finished volleyball practice, and we’re going to go get something to drink,” says Harasymowcz with his 64 ounce Thirstbuster cup in hand. Hawaiian Punch with water is exactly what he has in mind.
Inside Brandt, the halls are warm and stuffy from clothes dryers and steaming showers. Freshman Joe Dominguez watches “Married with Children” in his room. “It is the only thing on at 11,” he says. “It’s that and ‘Cheers,’ and I’ve seen all the ‘Cheers’ episodes.”
The volleyball players are back from their outing.
In addition to a refilling his cup with Gatorade, Rogers bought a Weekly Grand Lottery ticket, “just because.”
Across the street, junior Vivian Carter prepares to shut down the computer labs for the night. She works her longest shift of the week tonight, 6 p.m. to midnight. “Somebody needs to get the night shift,” she says. “Mostly at night, there are telnetters, who talk to people all over the world.” Carter is waiting for security to come and lock up so she can go home.
As for Richenberger, the gathering at the SAE house has transformed to a party with dancing. He says he is not much of dancer, so he “just talked to people,” the rest of the night.