By Kourtney Husnick
As the clock stroked eight, the third floor of Fenn Tower swarmed with students dressed in costumes. Mermaids, pirates, an assortment of animals and even a personified Brexit sipped orange punch and danced along to the music.
The ballroom — now transformed with “Peanuts” themed Halloween decorations — offered dancing, photos, a candy bar, prize raffles and a pumpkin-shaped board of balloons to pop with darts. The lights by the DJ’s booth changed color with the beat of the music. Students modeled colorful hats, masks and animal ears as they entered the photo booth. An artist quickly sketched caricatures in the third-floor lobby just past the check-in table.
Strobe lights flashed in the darkness of the game room as students moved through the haunted house. From 8 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 27, a mixture of screams and music could be heard coming from Fenn Tower of Terror and the Monster Ball.
The event planning was split between Residence Life and the Campus Activity Board. In the past, Residence Life ran the event alone.
“ResLife usually does the Monster Ball and the haunted house part of Fenn Tower of Terror,” Resident Assistant Tyler Hobel said. “Because we have very limited funding as ResLife, we went to the CAB to take over a part of it.”
Focusing on the haunted house portion of the event, Hobel explained how the RAs volunteer to work these events and stay on budget.
“We do this on a $300 budget,” he said. “We do it as low budget as possible, but we still try to make it fun. We put in as much work as we can.”
According to Annemarie Jarachovic, who planned the Monster Ball, partnering with Residence Life was a replacement for the Run Zombies Run event that CAB planned last year. After taking over the dance, she decided to make some changes.
“We got a professional DJ [because] last year they just used an RA. We did some really cool food. We made the candy bar, which is kind of creative, and I’ve never seen catering do that before,” Jarachovic said. “The photo booth is a common dance thing.”
Sophomore, Rachel Zvara, took time to see what both groups contributed to the event. After walking through the haunted house, she spent some time at the Monster Ball and had her caricature drawn.
“I was impressed by the decorations in the haunted house,” Zvara said. “[But] I thought they should have another person doing caricatures because the lines are so long.”
As the night progressed, many students were not staying in one place for very long. Groups headed back and forth between the dance floor, their mugs of hot apple cider and the other components of the event.
The students who dressed in costumes migrated toward the third-floor lobby later into the event to be judged for the costume contest. Out of approximately two dozen entries, three students — dressed as an owl, a mime and Raven from “Teen Titans” — were declared winners.
One freshman, Jeremy Biello, could be seen moving through the crowd for the majority of the night. Dressed as Bob Ross, he was prepared for the costume contest and full of Halloween spirit.
“I think [the event] was fantastically put together,” said Biello. “[But] the music choice could definitely be improved.”