Students discuss violence at murder mystery dinner

Jazz. Murder. Meatballs.

On Thursday night, about 80 students filtered into the Four Deuces, a speakeasy set up in Akers cafeteria to participate in a murder mystery dinner.

The event was part of the NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education “Enough is Enough” campaign to stop violence, specifically violence on college campuses and schools.

Josh Radtke / The State News

Samantha Alexander, complex director for Akers Hall, coordinated the event. She said the event is not in response to violence in Akers Hall, but rather is used as a way of educating students about violence before it happens.

“I don’t want to wait for something to happen to do a program like this,” Alexander said. “It’s more preventative than reactive.”

Interdisciplinary studies in social science and political science junior Ellis Johnson said campaigns against violence are something needed at MSU.
“It’s good to talk about because it’s something we don’t necessarily talk about often,” he said.

For the event, Akers cafeteria was reverted to the 1920s speakeasy with a piano, mocktail bar, “Wanted” posters and a bouncer.

Suspects, who mostly were current and former mentors in Akers Hall, dressed in flapper dresses and suits.

Before the murder, performers entertained the dining crowd by reading poetry on the effects of death caused by violence, as well as singing and dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal.”

After the “death” of one of the performers, evidence was presented and suspects for the crime were interviewed by students who then had to “solve” the mystery.

“I thought it was creative,” Alexander said. “It brought the community together.”

Hospitality business senior Emilia Franciosi, an “owner” of the Four Deuces, said she did a murder mystery last semester with a group of friends.
“It’s fun getting to be someone you’re not and acting their character for a night,” she said.

Besides solving the mystery, students could choose to play cards or have their picture taken by a photographer.

Finance and telecommunication, information studies and media senior Sarah Ballman said the event gave her a chance to interact with people from her dorm.

“It’s a fun activity to close out the school year with,” Ballman said.

Zoology freshman Marirose Sanborn, a resident in Ballman’s hall, said she attended the event with her roommates.

“The event sounded very interesting,” Sanborn said.

Alexander said that although the turnout wasn’t what she had hoped, she was pleased with the number of students who attended the event.

“A lot of people had class conflicts at this time,” Alexander said.

“A lot of students don’t know what a murder mystery is, so hopefully this sets a precedent.”

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