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Saturday, September 23, 2023


Fall festival entertains, promotes awareness

Octobefest Courtesy of-1-2

The annual festival, OctoberFest, hosted by the University Center, brought crowds of students to engage in Halloween activities. | Courtesy of Christianna Burwell

Halloween spirit possessed UH this month as Cougars danced to music, dressed up in scary costumes and decorated pumpkins in honor of the ghoulish holiday.

The University Center hosted its annual OctoberFest with the purpose of raising awareness about different organizations and departments inside the UC, promoting student involvement and getting everyone excited about Halloween.

“OctoberFest is something that everyone anticipates and looks forward to every year and something we started planning three months ago,” said UC Marketing Program Graduation Assistant Christianna Burwell. “It’s an important event because it exposes students to different departments on campus and promotes unity and cohesion of the student body.”

Many games and activities were planned for the event, but a favorite for Burwell is the costume contest.  For this “Project Runway”-style contest, students were provided with materials and encouraged to create unique costumes. The winner of the contest will be given a brand new Schwinn bicycle.

“Once everyone has made their costume, they will show it off to other students, then get their picture taken,” Burwell said. “Their pictures will be uploaded to the Internet, and the winner will be chosen through social media.”

Many other prizes were available for students, such as $50 gift cards for winning a skeleton-assembly relay race and a $100 Kroger gift card for guessing the total weight of three large pumpkins.

Students were also provided with information from various organizations inside the UC, including Health Information Peer On Demand, the UC Games Room and the Council of Ethnic Organizations.

“We do events programming for students to promote diversity and other aspects on campus in hopes of creating a sense of community,” said Erica Tat, director of the Council of Ethnic Organizations. “There’s lots of traffic here, which is great so we can promote our organization, and we also get to see students having fun and decorating pumpkins.”

HIPOD is part of the UH Wellness Cougar Peer Organization and provides information to students, enabling them to make healthy, informed decisions on and off campus. It set up a ping-pong game in which students earned points and won prizes as well as information on sexual and partying-related issues.

Media productions senior Elizabeth Jimenez didn’t get a chance to attend OctoberFest last year and made a point to attend this year so she could enjoy the Coke floats, pretzels and sausages and begin decorating the mini-pumpkins.

“I find it fun to decorate the little pumpkins — they are really cute. I plan on using the goggle eyes, a hat and giving it a name,” Jimenez said. “Once I finish, it will sit on my desk at home for the fall festivities.”

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