On Oct. 25, from 6:30 to 10:00, the bombastic echoes of pop music, laughter, and conversation reverberated from the first two floors of student housing. This year’s Halloween dance, the first major event of the year organized by the International Student Association, was the Vampire Ball. Participants were encouraged to dress up before attending.
“I organize the Halloween dance each year,” the coordinator, Elvira Altynbaeva, commented. “It’s kind of a long tradition. It’s our first big event of the year.”
The main attraction of the Vampire Ball was, of course, the dance. On the lower floor, next to the speaker system—churning out high energy pop music—and the strobe lights, a wide-open space was provided for people to dance. On the floor, illuminated solely by moonlight and whirling neon lights, surrounded by the crooning tones of Ariana Grande and costumed dancers having the time of their lives, attendees let go of real-life worries for one night and partied.
Next to the dance floor, food and drink was provided. At least 15 full-sized pizzas with various toppings were laid out for attendees to enjoy, along with a myriad of fruit, vegetables, and nachos with dip. To the side, dispensers of fruit punch, water, and lemonade were available, along with plastic cups.
The other main attraction of the night were the four virtual reality systems set up on the second floor. In collaboration with the VR club, the International Student Association had them set up for anyone to try. For most of the night, horror games and movies were available to be played and watched by attendees courageous enough to brave the challenge.
Throughout the night, various competitions were held for attendees to vote on. The first was a pumpkin competition. Around ten carved pumpkins were set up for participants to vote on. Among them was a pumpkin riddled with abstract shapes, an R2-D2 pumpkin, and various jack-o-lanterns. The winner was a jack-o-lantern with impressively carved eyebrows and nostrils.
The next competition was a costume contest between various attendees. The approximately 30 contestants were called up to the front to showcase their costume, with an assigned number for other attendees to vote on. As with the other competitions, a prize was given out to the winner.
Third place was a tie between a couples cow costume and a priest, numbers 6 and 16. The tie was broken by a hype contest where the priest eventually proved superior. Second place was awarded to number 31—a young child dressed as a stormtrooper. And, finally, beating second place by one vote, the honor of first place was given to a man with an anglerfish mask made of construction paper over his head.
The last event of the night, 15 minutes before the party officially ended, was a raffle among all attendees. Ticket numbers were drawn from the entirety of the 181 tickets sold that night. In the end, ticket number 53 was drawn.
Overall, the Vampire Ball was an impressive outcome of the efforts of the ISA. The end result was a party designed for people to let loose. “We put a lot of effort into [the Halloween dance] in hopes that people will enjoy it,” the coordinator enthused. “People get together, make more friends, meet new people: just go out and have fun!”