Covered in neon paint and glowsticks, students danced their way into the new semester. Throwback hits and new modern songs had students jumping and singing at the top of their lungs throughout the night. The crowd-favorites, shave ice and pizza, were also served to those who attended.
Students agreed one of their favorite parts of the night was the shave ice booth. A long line was seen as students waited for a bowl of the cold refreshment. Aniela Santoso, a senior from Indonesia studying psychology, said she appreciated the shave ice and said it was a nice addition to the event.
The Aloha Ballroom and surrounding areas were packed with students during the night. Delphia Lloyd, a sophomore from Idaho studying hospitality and tourism management, said the best part of the night was getting to talk to other people.
“I took a semester off, so it was nice to come back and have this event so I could just have fun with everybody as the school year started,” said Lloyd.
Jensen Bilan, a senior from Hong Kong studying TESOL, added she had fun as well. “It was packed, and I thought people were having a lot of fun since there was other stuff to do as well, like painting your face, taking pictures and everything. The ambiance was nice.”
When asked what the main challenges were for the team of Seasiders Sports and Activities, Sam Clayton, a junior from Colorado studying marketing, said it was the communication across departments.
“We were worried we wouldn’t have enough blacklights, but it ended up pretty well. I think people had a lot of fun. I guess going back with the lights, it took a while to get them up, but once they did they worked really well,” said Clayton.
Volunteers from the New Zealand and Philippines chapters were also present at the event. Many of them were tasked to enforce the Honor Code rules towards attendees as they were coming inside the venue. One of the volunteers, Mark Eyo, a senior from the Philippines studying political science, shared he was grateful for the opportunity to serve.
“It feels good because the chapter is going to get a grant because of this, and at the same time we can help serve. We feel happy after serving.”
Some students had comments regarding the music during the dance. Haydn Klein, a sophomore from Nevada studying biology, thought the style of music encouraged dancing that was not appropriate.
“I think they let dancing go that is not appropriate here. I think that it’s just something that everyone overlooks, and they shouldn’t,” remarked Klein.
Bilan also asked if students could request for songs to be played beforehand. She said, “Sometimes when everyone knew the song, it was so lively, and when the song they played wasn’t very well-known, people were just indifferent.”
Despite the comments, students still expressed their thanks over the event. Lloyd said if it were not for activities like these, “the stress would kill us all. It also wouldn’t help us get to know others. We wouldn’t have as many activities set up by the school to bond with our friends and meet new friends. We’d be very separated.”
Clayton added, “When students want to get together and do things, it’s hard to find a place on campus. There are not really spaces provided conducive to having students get together and have fun. So, this is I think one of the only ways I see students can have a more organized activity to get together.”