The Gala brings campus together to celebrate autumn

The Gala brought out all kinds of Denison students in masks, costumes, and finery. Through the efforts of the University Programming Council (UPC) and the Campus Leadership and Involvement Center (CLIC), the student body came out in its best on Saturday night.

There were feathers. There were sequins. And there were many, many masks, as bright blue butterflies, delicately wrought wire curls, feathers, and animals covered the faces of Denison students. This year’s theme was a masquerade, and even the familiar Slayter Hall was disguised, covered in yards of green and gold tulle and dressed up with black tablecloths and curtains.

And all this was the careful work of the students on the UPC, who worked as a committee to plan the event. Esther Pacheco, the co-director of special events and a sophomore from Chicago, said, “It was good to work with CLIC on the Gala. We put in a lot of work and hours, making orders and going shopping for decorations.”

Celeste Acosta, a sophomore also on the UPC, said the planning was collaborative: “So many different ideas came together.”

UPC worked with Denison’s catering service, who provided a feast of hors d’oeuvres on the first floor. Lori Green, the catering director, said that “working with students was amazing. The girls organizing it were nice, and they knew what they wanted. They were very organized.”

As the students lined up to taste the Cajun shrimp, pita slices, and chicken tenders, another defining aspect of this year’s Gala became clear: the attendance. Laura Beckerley, a sophomore from Granville, Ohio, said, “There are more people this year. It’s more social.”

Not only was attendance high, with more than 1,000 students and faculty, but many different portions of the student body were represented. Green said, “I’m excited about the turnout, it’s a very diverse group of students.”

Bryan Margaria, a sophomore from Allison Park, Penn., said, “It’s cool that Denison is putting on an event that reaches across all boundaries, to bring all kinds of people together. There aren’t many of those on campus.”

And from the packed audience of DJ Todd on the third floor, to the array of chocolates from Goumas Confections on the second floor, to the students smiling for pictures at the door, it seems fair to say that a good time was had by all.

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