Halloween Party to be held in either the Science Center/LPAC parking lot or Upper Tarble/Paces

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Three weeks before the Halloween Party, its location remains undecided. As of last Wednesday, the party was going to be held in Upper Tarble and Paces, but Student Council President Joella Fink ’07 worked to come up with another viable option. There is currently “a very real possibility” that the party will be held in a large tent in the parking lot between LPAC, Lang Music Building, and Martin. SAC, which is co-sponsoring the party along with Student Council, was reportedly “very supportive” of the idea at last night’s meeting.

Under Fink’s proposal, a large enclosed tent with lighting and heating would be erected in the parking lot for the night. The extra expense of an outdoor tent, which could range from 1200-1800 dollars, would hopefully be covered using discretionary funds from SBC. Outdoor parties are often problematic because they can antagonize town residents and attract the attention of the police, but the parking lot is a good space for such a party because it does not face any residences. “We’re not trying to antagonize anyone with our big tent,” quipped Fink.

The bathroom situation has not yet been figured out, because “it’s up to Facilities whether they want to open bathrooms in the surrounding buildings.” Although Fink’s plan has been approved by most of the administration and many of the Facilities staff, “we still need to talk to a few people on Facilities to make sure this can happen.”

Fink is working to make the party to happen in the outdoor tent because she feels that for the Halloween Party, “part of what makes it work is the novel space and just the sense that things are different and unusualÑweÕre taking it pretty far this year, but hopefully to good places.” She stressed that if the party happens in the parking lot, “it will be a one-time event. I do not see this becoming an annual tradition, simply because next year we’ll have more planning time to find an alternative space or throw a more innovative party in Upper Tarble.”

Student Activities Coordinator Jenny Yim stressed that if the outdoor tent plan falls through, “with some creativity you could really jazz Upper Tarble up and make it not look so much like itself… Halloween’s a great time for decorating.” According to Yim, some of the activities being considered for an Upper Tarble and Paces party include a costume contest, a haunted room, and apple bobbing.

Yim stated that “SAC made a concerted effort to find an alternative space.” Some of the other locations considered and rejected included the Field House, which had an athletic event that ran late on the same day as the party, and a combination of Olde Club and the WRC, which was impossible because Drama Board had already reserved Olde Club for a play that night. Another option was the Swarthmore Community Center, which is located between PPR and ML, but which had been reserved by the town a year in advance for a children’s haunted house. All dorm spaces were out, said Fink, because “we agreed that this is probably too big of a responsibility for a residential area, and particularly for RAs to have to throw themselvesÑ-it was unfair that ML had to do it for so many years.”

Both Fink and Yim agreed that the debate over the party’s location highlights the fact that there are no ideal spaces for large-scale parties on the Swarthmore campus. If the party is held in Upper Tarble and Paces, extensive decorating and interesting activities will be needed to keep it from seeming like any other Swarthmore party, particularly the Fall Formal being thrown by SAC in Upper Tarble the next weekend. If the party is held in the Science Center parking lot, the outdoor location risks police attention, inadequate bathroom facilities, and inclement weather, but should make for a “big weird Halloween,” said Fink, who promised that “there will be surprises in our tent, but most of all there will be a party.”

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