Wicked Weather Moves Fall Fest Indoors

South+student+Francesca+D%27Agostaro+sells+cotton+candy+to+raise+funds+for+cosmetology%27s+student+club.+In+spite+of+heavy+rain%2C+over+20+organizations+participated+in+the+festivities+Oct.+30+inside+the+South+campus+gymnasium.

Holly Galvan/San Jacinto Times

South student Francesca D'Agostaro sells cotton candy to raise funds for cosmetology's student club. In spite of heavy rain, over 20 organizations participated in the festivities Oct. 30 inside the South campus gymnasium.

A zombie doctor, a baby ninja turtle, and even Dracula were spotted hanging around San Jacinto College South Campus Oct. 30 as part of Fall Fest 2015.

Fall Fest, an annual event organized by the Office of Student Life, came together with the participation of many campus clubs and featured food, craft tables, a petting zoo, a costume contest, and even a train. Student clubs use the opportunity to fundraise for their organizations.

Margaret Peterson-Harvey, the administrative assistant for Student Life, said every year she believes Fall Fest continues to get better.

“Even if the weather didn’t cooperate with us and we brought everything inside,” she said, “it’s still great because people showed up and dressed up, and they’re playing games.”

Deborah Smith, Interim Dean of Student Development, said the event offers fun fall and Halloween-themed activities meant to appeal to a broad range of attendees.

“The purpose of Fall Fest is to build community by inviting students, community members, and their families to come to the campus and participate in a carnival atmosphere,” Smith added.

Initially, the festivities were scheduled to happen outdoors until bad weather arrived and organizers quickly moved the event inside the gym. Jessica Tello, an education planner at the South campus said the festival had a large turnout despite the last-minute location change.

“It was a great success,” she said. “We even ran out of activities we had prepared.”

Fall Fest’s main event was a costume contest featuring several age groups with multiple winners. Brittany Bonds, Interim Program Coordinator for Career and Employment, said the judges were looking at many factors when choosing winners.

“They are especially looking for creativity; kids that interact with the judges. If they are being cute, silly and fun is what they are looking for in the winner,” she explained.

Furthermore, Bonds noted, many South campus administrative offices contributed to the fun and even participated with a booth of their own. “Educational Planning, First Year Experience, Career and Employment, and Student Life especially help put together this event,” Bonds added.

Over 20 student clubs and organizations participated by selling food items, or providing games and activities for visitors.

Although, at one corner of the gym, among the amusement park atmosphere complete with gypsies and ghouls, one organization showcased a simple but significant theme. Matt Arrington, president of the Student Veterans Association, highlighted patriotism at his group’s booth as part of a timeless Halloween tradition.

“If the kids love America they get a piece of candy,” Arrington said. “That’s all they have to do and that’s all we are talking about at this booth.”