This year, Sunway University Student Council (SUSC) and Sunway College Student Council (SCC) joined forces to revive their annual flagship event formerly known as ‘Freshies Night’, bringing to life the neon and glitter-filled world of the hit TV show Euphoria in the form of ‘Afterhours’. Thus, for those who possessed tickets to one of the hottest parties of the year, the 4th of July was a far cry from a typical Tuesday night, thanks to the non-stop entertainment the student councils had worked tirelessly to put together in Jeffrey Cheah Hall, Sunway College. From special appearances by local content creators and DJs to exciting performances by our very own Sunway students, this was bound to be a night to remember for everyone in attendance.
The doors to Jeffrey Cheah Hall were officially opened at 7 p.m., greeting the excited students who had dressed themselves in their most eye-catching and sparkling outfits, going all out on a Tuesday night, before they had to school themselves for a long week ahead. Students streamed in to be greeted with a Jeffrey Cheah Hall completely converted into a hall accentuating disco vibes, with the space shrouded with dim lights and colourful spotlights.
A few small round tables were arranged at the back of the hall, where students could mingle with each other while enjoying light snacks of doughnuts, curry puffs, popiah and drinks as a pre-party warm-up. A photobooth aligning with the Afterhours theme was also set up at the right end of the hall, allowing guests to snap some cool yet goofy pictures with the props provided.
The hosts for the night, Hari and Shurti, Director of Academic Affairs of SUSC greeted the attendees enthusiastically, building on the feverish excitement that could be clearly seen among the crowd. The President of SUSC, Charmaine later took to the stage, to extend her appreciation to those present and expressed her gratitude to the rest of the committee members of the event who had worked tirelessly to produce a night to remember. She concluded her opening speech by wishing everyone to celebrate and have fun by relinquishing all their inhibitions and worries.
As revealed earlier through SCC and SUSC’s official Instagram, After School Teatime was set to perform for the event, as the opening act! After School Teatime is a band made up of a few, brilliantly talented Sunway College students who kicked off the night with TikTok’s most recent hit, Cupid by FIFTY FIFTY. The song immediately captured everyone’s attention as they started singing along to the chorus while cheering on the band. The K-pop cover was followed by Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen, proving to be another crowd favourite. And of course, a song by one of the most swoon-worthy boy bands of all time, couldn’t be missed out – What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction drew in a lot of cheers from the attendees.
Wrapping up with a Japanese song, After School Teatime was followed by a performance of one of Sunway Student Ambassadors’ Sunway’s Got Talent Season 5’s semi-finalist, Akbar and his band, Redclipse who were greeted eagerly by the audience. They performed a medley of three sensual songs, Creepin by The Weeknd – where they dived right into the chorus, with the audience registering it and going wild, Heat Waves by Glass Animals and Beggin’ by Máneskin.
The attendees were then greeted by the winners of CIMP’s Neon Nights, Paraless, who were immediately recognised by the crowd and were met with raucous applause and hollers. The quartet performed 3 songs as well, some being Skeletons by Keshi and Treasure by Bruno Mars. Exuding charisma and charm, the band captured the attention of the audience, truly cementing their title as champions.
A lucky draw soon followed, as a break in between the line-up of spectacular performances. As a sponsor of the event, Sunway Pyramid Ice sponsored vouchers for the lucky draw, where each participant could win a pair of tickets for the ice-skating rink. Up to 10 participants had the wonderful opportunity to win free tickets from Sunway Pyramid Ice.
Resuming the performances, the next act was introduced by the hosts as a person who embodied or was described as ‘Bruno Mars’ and ‘Shawn Mendes’. Izmeer, one of Sunway’s many talents, began his performance by serenading the audience with Shawn Mendes Mercy. Later, he switched up his performance completely, with his friend joining him on stage for an exhilarating rendition of Bruno Mars’ Billionaire. The both of them even stepped down from the stage to interact with the crowd, which made it all the more wholesome!
Of course, we couldn’t be without a dance performance by the Sunway Dance Club! As a pleasing finish to the list of performances, the Sunway Dance Club first performed a contemporary dance to Lady Gaga’s Hold My Hand. Furthermore, to the crowd’s delight, they even did K-pop dance covers of Feel Special by Twice and Don’t Know What to Do by Blackpink.
As a cherry on the cake, the committee members of Afterhours had organised a ‘Sip n’ Spill’ session with none other than Ming Yue and Graeme, popular local content creators, who even presented gifts to those who came up to spill ‘tea’. Many were eager to share their concerns or ‘spill’ on some interesting events; however, time was only gracious enough to four lucky students. The ‘tea’ or concerns ranged from a varying degree of interest piquing topics – from situationships, funny texts with friends to difficult group members. Nevertheless, the audience was highly entertained by the pair of influencers with their witty sense of humour and spontaneity.
Before diving into the highlight of the event, the President of Sunway College Council presented her closing speech, thanking everyone for making the night a memorable one and hyped up the crowd for the last yet most awaited event of the night. Yes, you guessed it; the DJ rave session with Perry Kuan!
The moment he stepped foot on stage, the audience became elated and surged forward. Many were feeling extra pumped when the DJ session finally came on, something the students were looking forward to. With their flashlights on and their glow-in-the-dark wristbands, the hall had become a whole party exclusive to students, dancing and jumping along to the thrilling remixes. Some of the tracks played by Perry Kuan were Golden Hour by JKVE, STAY by The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber, Cupid by FIFTY FIFTY and numerous other popular tracks that had the crowd singing at the top of their lungs.
Naturally, K-pop songs were crowd favourites as well. Being a DJ rave session, BIG BANG songs made the best tracks to be played – BANG BANG BANG, Fantastic Baby was followed by 2NE1 and NewJeans songs as well, enlivening the crowd. More tracks followed with a few tiring out but many getting more energised with the music thrumming through their nerves. As Perry Kuan slowed to an end, he started playing more melodious tracks, with the audience gently waving their flashlights. The DJ even took a selfie with the attendees, which he later posted on his Instagram.
Exclusive Interview with SUSC’s President
Now that we’ve taken a look at the incredible performances lined up by SUSC and SCC for Afterhours, let’s pull back the curtains and find out what transpired behind the scenes of one of Sunway’s hottest events of the year! And who better to give us a glimpse into this than the 2022/23 President of SUSC and Afterhours Project Leader, Charmaine Oon, who graciously agreed to an exclusive interview with Echo?
Previously, SUSC and SCC’s annual flagship event was called ‘Freshies Night’. Why was it rebranded to ‘Afterhours’ this year and how do they differ?
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, ‘Freshies Night’ has always been the annual flagship event of both student councils. However, when COVID-19 struck, our annual flagship event was put on pause. Three years later, as Malaysia entered a state of endemicity, we decided to rebrand our annual flagship event to signify the start of an event that encourages more inclusivity, as it is made clear that ‘Afterhours’ caters to all students, not just new students from Sunway University and Sunway College.
Why was the theme ‘Euphoria’ chosen?
We chose the theme ‘Euphoria’ as we wanted something that is trending and able to grab the students’ attention. ‘Euphoria’ combines fashion and student life, which we thought many students would be able to relate to.
What were the main inspirations for the event?
As part of my presidential manifesto, we wanted to organise more social events after the COVID-19 pandemic so that students have a chance to interact with peers from other courses and expand their social circle. Hence, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring back our annual flagship event with a brand-new look.
What were the objectives of the event, and were they achieved?
The student councils were eager to provide students with an outlet for the academic stress that they face daily. Hence, the idea was to let them kick back, relax and dance with their friends to let loose at the end of the day. Moreover, we wanted to give our talented Sunway Students a platform to showcase their many talents & skills, which gave rise to the idea of performances by Sunway Dance Club, Afterschool Tea Time, Paraless, and more on the night. With these two objectives in mind, I think it is safe to say that it was a successful event, as our students ended the night wishing that they could stay longer.
What were the challenges faced in the planning and execution of the event, and how did you overcome them?
One of the challenges that we faced during the early stages of planning was securing the venue. It was really tough for us to secure a booking of the JC Hall as it was being booked concurrently by other clubs and societies as well as other organisations. Nevertheless, through many back-and-forth meetings, we were able to finalise the date according to the availability of the venue.
What was the best part about working on this event?
The best part about working on Afterhours would probably be the fact that we were constantly bombarded with new problems. Although all of us did complain and ranted a lot about some of the problems that arose, we still put in our full effort to solve them. Every event has its unique issues and obstacles, and so did Afterhours. However, we were able to learn something new and make the best out of the problems we faced.
Do you have any interesting anecdotes from behind the scenes of the event?
As the project leader of the event, I think it was a steep learning curve for everyone as we encouraged our general members to become subcommittee leaders, allowing them to guide a team of their own. It was also our first time handling such a large-scale event, and there were so many unprecedented issues that came up along the way, which pushed us to make judgement calls. Nevertheless, we still had a very fruitful experience and grew as leaders. All the late nights that we had, brainstorming how to improve our ideas, outlining tasks & delegating to-do items, all paid off in the end, granting us a great sense of satisfaction. All in all, it was tough and forced us to adapt to certain situations but we all enjoyed the process and grew as a team.
What were some of the highlights of the event?
The highlight of the event was most definitely the rave session by the renowned DJ Perry Kuan. As the most anticipated segment of the night, our attendees danced the night away to the performance, ending the night on an energetic note. Since Sunway students thrive on tea and gossip, another highlight was the Sip & Spill session by Ming Yue & Graeme, where students were invited on stage to share some stories, which was a relatively new and refreshing experience for everyone.
If you could change one thing about the event, what would it be?
It would definitely be the date of the event, we wanted the event to be held on a Friday but due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to conduct it on a Tuesday, which raised a concern about whether or not students would want to attend the event since the next day was still a weekday. However, thanks to our team and strategic promotion methods, we were still able to convince students that ‘Afterhours’ was an event that they would not want to miss out on.
Will you be holding similar events in the future?
Definitely! In fact, this event was put on pause only because of the strict pandemic regulations implemented by the government. Now that things are transitioning to a new norm, the student councils are eager to ensure the continuity of Afterhours, especially with the positive feedback that we have received thus far, to bring our students an improved experience at Afterhours for the many terms to come.
Clearly, the event was a massive success, drawing in students from not only at Sunway but from other colleges and universities as well. Due to the pandemic, many haven’t had the opportunity to truly go out and experience social activities. Hopefully, Afterhours had proven to be a way for students to just kick back and relax while mingling with more people. We look forward to more events such as this in the future and congratulations to SUSC and SCC on this marvellous initiative!
Written By: Poorani and Priyanka
Edited By: Ruby