ParaNoma: The disguised ‘dance’

It’s the night before Halloween. The sky is dark, drizzly and the air feels chilly. All is quiet and ominous, as a hint of mystery and surprise awaits. 

Sonoma State University’s Associated Students Productions Event Committee put on a haunted Halloween festival named ParaNoma on Thursday at the Cooperage for games, face paint and dancing. 

The event was free for all students as long as they had their Sonoma State University I.D. on-hand. 

Although the turnout was far from what the ASP Events Committee was hoping for, a lot of time, effort and planning was put into making the event worthwhile for the students who decided to attend.

Upon entering ParaNoma, there were decorations galore to give the event a true haunted Halloween-like atmosphere. The doorway was covered with spider webs and tube lights glowed wrapped around the entrance. 

Caution tape and flashing lights were scattered around the room, while DJ beats echoed from inside the building. ASP Security Staff patted down each student before entering to ensure the event was safe and monitored. 

The entry room was covered in spider webs that had all kinds of bugs looking as if they were just about to fall on one’s head. 

To the right there was a henna tattoo artist that provided henna artwork to all who showed interest. 

Along the walls were couches and chairs where students sat with their friends, cuddled with their significant others or stared at their smartphones.

The next room was the dance floor where orange and black balloons covered the ground and colorful lights flashed from the stage. DJ Konik and DJ Nile performed while skeletons and bones hung behind them. 

In addition to dancing, the dance floor had a blacked-out photo booth where those with costumes and face paint were able to show themselves off as a photographer snapped their photo.

Few people were dancing, but the DJs continued to play for the few who were bold enough to shake their butts.

The last room was an art and games room which consisted of pumpkin decorating, apple bobbing and the face painting station. 

There was an orange table that had around 20 pumpkins decorated with stickers and colored markers, giving students the chance to decorate a pumpkin however they’d like. 

There were cat pumpkins, pumpkins with mustaches and others that said things like “Happy Halloween” and “I Heart ASP.” The apple bobbing station was a small blue kiddy-pool with floating apples and rubber fingers to add a creepy effect. 

Four $5 gift certificates to In-N-Out were used as prizes to the lucky few who were able to bob for an apple without a stem. 

The gift certificates were all won within the first hour, and the bobbing remained as a game just for fun for the rest of the night. 

Lastly, the face painting station had two artists who provided quality skills in their art and gave students complete facial transformations.

The majority of the face painting was detailed different renditions of Day of the Dead skulls. There was also a student wearing intricate full-faced Spiderman face paint, plenty of cat faces and students who decided to get only half their face done with a creative design of their choice, mostly flowers.

In addition to the games and dancing, there was also a costume contest that neared the end of the night, where a girl dressed as Russell from the movie “UP” won a gift certificate for In-N-out. 

Although very few people were in costume and few people attended ParaNoma, the ASP Events Committee took pride in their event and strived to receive input from their guests to help them improve for more events in the future.

Halia Daugherty helped put together ParaNoma. Daugherty was dressed as a dead cheerleader and eager to share all about the ASP Events Committee and what they strived to provide for the university. 

“The police don’t allow ‘dances’ on campus besides the occasion event held in the ballroom, which requires much time in advance to be permitted. So we technically couldn’t refer to ParaNoma as a ‘dance,”’ said Daugherty. “We had to advertise it as a Halloween Extravaganza that involved games and dancing, without putting the label ‘dance’ attached to it.”

ParaNoma may have consisted of several fun-filled Halloween-themed games, but apparently the committee had planned for even more that fell through. 

“The Fire Marshalls showed no interest in our event and wouldn’t come to approve haunted maze that we had planned for,” said Daugherty. “They claimed to not have enough time, however we asked them a week in advance when we were just beginning to plan. We wanted to have people dressed as zombies jump out at students as they try to find their way through the maze. It was a great idea but unfortunately it was never approved.”

The ASP Events Committee is a new committee that Daugherty was proud to advertise in hopes to get more students involved and potentially join. ASP Events Committee sets up events on campus paid by student’s tuition. 

“The goal behind the committee forming and throwing these events is to prove to us that we can do an event beneficial to students. We want students to come to us, tell us [what] they want, and have a great time on their own campus,” said Daughtery.

The ASP Events Committee would love student feedback and are always looking for new members who show interest in creating more events to be thrown on campus. 

Currently, there is no ASP Events Committee website, however, if one is interested in joining or looking for more information, email specialevents.asp@gmail.com to get involved.