Monday, November 19

Bruin Bear Security Force event returns after a year’s hiatus

It’s 11 p.m., and Bruin Plaza is flooded with people.

Some are throwing darts at a board adorned with pictures of smiling Trojan football players, while others are aiming Nerf guns at pyramids of red cups emblazoned with the USC logo.

A table heaped with pizza, popcorn and churros draws a crowd of people, while others gather around a whirring cotton candy machine.

Shouts of victory from a root beer pong tournament set up in front of McClure Stage travel intermittently through the air.

The crowd has gathered to attend Monday night’s carnival-themed Bruin Bear Security Force event.

Revived after its absence last year, Bruin Bear Security Force kicked off Sunday with a movie night and concluded yesterday with a series of Amazing Race-themed activities.

The original purpose of the tradition was to protect the Bruin Bear from pranks or vandalization by USC students, but Monday night’s event was more like a celebration than a defense.

Many students came directly from the bonfire and rally, already hyped with UCLA spirit.

Second-year student Chelsea Halprin, the blue and gold T-shirt in her hand still wet from the event’s tie-dye station, said she is a big supporter of the USC rivalry and attended both the rally and Bruin Bear Security Force to show her school spirit.

“It’s a great event, it’s a lot (of) fun,” said Halprin, who participated in many of the night’s carnival games and activities.

Upon their arrival, first-year physiological science student Thomas Dao and first-year biology student Sheynie Vo stopped to pop their faces into a cutout featuring UCLA and USC football players. Vo, posing as the Trojan, frowned comically, while Dao, as the Bruin, put on a smile of victory as someone quickly snapped the picture.

The two first-years came from the bonfire and rally and said they were impressed with the Bruin Bear Security Force event.

“We’re definitely going to stay and check out all the games,” Dao said.

The event organizers, members of the office of Undergraduate Student Association Council General Representative Thach Nguyen, were very pleased with how their event turned out.

“We had an even greater turnout than we expected,” said third-year sociology student Elaine Daneshrad, co-director of Bruin Bear Security Force. “It’s exciting to see it come together after five months of hard work.”

In addition to the many games and activities set up, the night featured performances from a number of UCLA student groups.

The a cappella group Random Voices gave the first performance of the night in the middle of Bruin Plaza, decked out in UCLA attire with a crowd gathered close around them.

A few minutes later, dance group NSU Modern prepared to perform on McClure Stage, followed by a second vocal group, Cadenza A Cappella. A crowd gathered close to the stage to hear the group’s voices over the noise of the event, giving their performance an intimate feel even in the midst of all the people gathered in Bruin Plaza.

For many, Bruin Bear Security Force was an especially meaningful event at a time when fee increases are a source of great worry for students.

“It’s really cool, especially with all the fee hikes going on, to have something like this that people can do for free and just have fun,” said third-year psychobiology student Jennifer Farzam.

First-year psychobiology student Rudas “Rody” Gebregiorges echoed Farzam’s sentiments.

“It’s a time to get away and just indulge in the ‘SC rivalry, without any financial worries,” he said.

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