Fatima Carrasco / The Advocate
In an attempt to create a more festive atmosphere on campus, the Student Life Office and the EOPS Department held a costume contest in Campus Center Plaza to better spread the prizes and fun.
Most events on campus work to blend fun and education, however, holding a campuswide costume party brings together members from all corners of the campus community.
EOPS coordinator Leticia Mendoza said, “One day I just talked to Charles (Ramirez) about having this event and he got it done.”
Mendoza not only helped facilitate the event, she also was a participant in the festivities. The coordinator welcomed students to the event dressed as a vampire.
“I went to the store and picked something that looked cool. My kids said they think it looked OK so I went with it,” Mendoza said.
Events on campus often see sparse participation with the largest draw being some amount of extra credit given for attendance, however, an event totally geared toward fun is something that is likely to draw a larger turnout.
That sentiment was reflected in the way students happily participated.
Contestants ranged in ages from faculty and staff to Middle College High School and Gateway to College students.
Student Life adviser Charles Ramirez said, “We are just trying to do something for faculty, staff and students just for fun. We wanted to do something collaborative outside of the sphere of teaching and to be in the Halloween spirit.”
Spirit was definitely on display.
Costumes ranging from pirates to unicorns to the Mad Hatter from “Alice in Wonderland” could be seen with a crowd favorite being the vampire bride.
Not only did students arrive costume-ready to the event, many assisted others with their attire by doing large tasks like helping to apply makeup to small things like adjusting cat ears or devil horns.
Prizes were donated by EOPS, which offered two $50 gift cards for the top contestants.
Physical education and Zumba class instructor Oscar Solano said, “I’m dressed up as Neo from the ‘Matrix.’’’
The prospect of potentially winning free money was a major enticement as 32 entrants hoped to sway the public enough to earn the top prize.
Voting for the event also worked to boost the social media profile of the Student Life Office and the campus overall.
Signs were posted directing students to vote for the participants at @lifeccc, the campus’ social media handle.
Ramirez said, “We decided to do the voting process through Instagram so we could give awareness to our school’s social media.”
After the contest, photos of the participants were available to view on the campus’ Instagram account, however, information regarding who won the contest is nowhere to be found.
The Student Life coordinator hopes bridging the gap between students and the college’s social media account will offer a way for students to have information about things other than the fun events.
Despite faculty and staff participation, students were the focus of the event.
Ramirez and Mendoza also set up a section in the plaza to offer snacks and beverages to students.
One point of contention during the even were competing themes between the costume contest and the HBCU college admissions expo occupying Campus Center Plaza at the same time.
Ultimately, the HBCU Halloween event, which included a DJ, provided music which served as a backdrop for an otherwise successful contest.