The Utica College Programming Board and the Residence Hall Association (RHA) teamed up to present Fall Fest on Friday, Oct. 4 as a way for students to unwind. Fall Fest has been an annual RHA event that would usually provide a buffet in the Dining Commons and a blow-up bounce house outdoors.
This year, the event took place beneath Pioneer Tent on the back lawn of Strebel Student Center. Students swiped their IDs to enter the tent and partake in fall-fun festivities. The first ten groups were given a free jug of apple cider and a few apple cider donuts individually packaged.
“We were very excited to partner up with UCPB and we were grateful for their help with things,” said Gabrielle DeRocher, a junior and the RHA president. “I believe that it is very important for campus organizations to work together because even though we are in different organizations, we are all here for the same reason, and that is to make campus an enjoyable and accepting place for all our students.”
Upon entering the tent, students had the opportunity to choose a monster to stuff: purple, brown, grey or black. Each color represented a different monster, each packaged in an individual box. Students were required to open their own box and stuff their own monster to stay socially distant.
“I think they worked with the COVID restrictions well,” Junior Grace Broadbent said.
Broadbent is a mathematics major and was one of the event’s first attendees.
“I know that they complied with only having 50 people under the tent at a time, and they had hand sanitizer available.”
The tables were spread at least six feet apart with a minimum number of chairs for each setting and each table was sprinkled with Halloween candy and stations for different activities. Small pumpkins could be painted and balloons could be filled with flour for DIY stress balls.
“My favorite part was probably painting a pumpkin,” said Abby Whitt, a freshman nursing major who attended Fall Fest with her friends. “I haven’t gotten to do anything artistic since I got to college, and even though it turned out very ugly, it was still fun to get the opportunity to paint.”
Right outside the tent, there was a set up for a giant corn-hole game. The nets and beanbags were up-scaled to allow for more space among players. An axe-throwing station was situated next to the exit of Strebel towards the back lawn. Students were able to take inflatable axes and test their strength against the targets.
“The smaller events we are having may not be something that everyone makes time in their schedule for, but since I do enjoy going to them, I feel like they lessen the blow of not having a homecoming,” Broadbent said.
Future fall semester events will entertain the Halloween spirit, such as pumpkin painting on Oct. 16 sponsored by the ASA Gray Biological Society.