By Kathryn Flippin
and Elizabeth Oakes
This year’s annual Costume Coffee House contest hosted by Residence Life may become a little more competitive than in past years.
A new rule requires a panel of judges, made up of students and staff, to judge which costumes should win prizes rather than judging by popular vote, which was determined by the amount of applause in past competitions.
The contest will take place Wednesday in the Bowld Student Commons.
Although the event may fall during some students’ Wednesday night church services, the planning team decided to stick with tradition and host the event on Halloween night.
“We did discuss another night, but we wanted to keep the actual holiday,” said Amiee Brassart, resident director of the Grace 1 building. “We considered that it is a crazy night on Union’s campus and that some people may not be able to participate, but we are so excited that it will be on Halloween.”
Ashley Jackson, resident director of the women’s quads, said many churches in the area host “trunk-or-treat” events early in the evening as a substitute to traditional trick-or-treating, so students who attend church will be able to participate in Union’s events, too.
Event changes include more food options, an ice-cream coffee punch and live music.
Prior to hosting a Costume Coffee House in Barefoots Joe or in the Bowld Commons, the university held “Mocha-fee,” an open mic night at McAfee Commons. The event would typically include free cheesecake and an ice cream-based coffee drink, Jackson said.
The drink that will be served this year is a throwback to the “Mocha-fee” days.
“We are looking forward to a different feel for this year’s Costume Coffee House,” said Elyssa Strand, junior accounting major and resident advisor in the female quads. “We are hoping to implement a more comfortable appeal with more opportunities for students to participate beyond just the costume contest.”
Four live bands representing diverse genres will perform, said Resident Advisor Julia Marshall, and Residence Life staff will prepare the drinks and maintain fire-pit stands around the building.
Made-to-order coffee drinks also will be available.
Strand said Residence Life staff members are striving for a fall-themed, made-to-order kind of feel where students can find a variety of things going on while still maintaining an intimate, comfortable setting.
“We are hoping the bands will make the event more entertaining for students this year,” said Kayla McKinney, assistant resident director for the female quads. “We have a lot of great prizes for the costume contest participants. Everyone should think about dressing up; it is not only fun for us to see, but it adds to the whole atmosphere of the event.”