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Students look forward to Halloween festivities and costumes at UCLA

(Ashley Ko/Illustrations Director)

By Jessica Son

Oct. 26, 2023 10:20 a.m.

Correction: The original version of this article misspelled Eli Whitaker’s name in a sentence.

This post was updated Oct. 27 at 2:09 a.m.

The month of October spells fall leaves, cozy sweaters and trick-or-treating for many people across the United States. For students at UCLA, the weekend is also synonymous with parties.

Halloweekend, or the weekend before Halloween, is known for parties and wild costumes, and many students look forward to the festivities of the season. Fraternities and student clubs host events throughout the weekend, and students often attend parties for multiple days of celebration in a row.

Eli Whitaker, a second-year mechanical engineering student, said students take the decision of what costume to wear for Halloween very seriously, including by varying their costumes throughout the weekend.

“I did go as a tourist because I’m not from Los Angeles, I’m from Sacramento,” he said. “I looked like a safari guy, but I had this nice hat on and a little disposable camera that I had with me, and I had a map of UCLA.”

Whitaker also said he was surprised to see the scale of parties surrounding the Halloween season at UCLA. Although he said he is not generally a party person, he makes an exception for Halloween.

Whitaker added that he enjoys being able to see people’s costumes and socialize with them while waiting in line outside of popular Halloween parties.

“Halloween parties last year were really absurd – it’s so busy,” he said. “It’s actually preposterous how many people are there.”

The costumes during this season range from niche pop culture references to the run-of-the-mill witches and devils. Nicole Schwartz, a fourth-year sociology transfer student, said that after transferring from another university, she is excited to experience the Halloween party season at UCLA.

Schwartz remembers dressing up for every Halloween in the past before coming to UCLA, including a SpongeBob-themed costume and a ninja outfit.

“I was Patrick Star with heels,” Schwartz said. “I printed a Patrick Star shirt and I got his shorts, but they were boxers from Target.”

Schwartz said she feels that dressing up is a key part of getting into the Halloween spirit.

With costumes ready and sometimes even handmade, students have the option to attend a number of Halloween-themed events. Vedant Bhargava, the vice president of Eurobruins, a European student organization, said his organization plans to host a small Halloween fashion runway, with points given to those with the best costume.

Many Greek life organizations, such as sororities and fraternities, also host parties over the Halloween weekend.

Some Bruins also take Halloween traditions into the classroom by dressing up during instruction. Whitaker said one of his favorite parts of the Halloween season is when students dress up to go to class, including by dressing as their professors.

“I think the best part about Halloween is not even the parties but like classes, lectures when people show up in costumes is really funny,” he said. “They’ll show up dressed up as the professor, which I think is really funny.”

Bhargava said he also feels Halloween partying is an essential facet of student culture at UCLA.

“It certainly runs deep with the UCLA culture. I feel like everyone wants to go out on Halloween weekends,” Bhargava said. “Everyone likes Halloween.”

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