Alpha hosts 21st annual Candyland

Alpha residents and SGA overcame budget concerns to keep the tradition going.

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Alpha hosts 21st annual Candyland

Haven Luper-Jasso

Haven Luper-Jasso

Haven Luper-Jasso

Sophia Silvester, Freelance Writer

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On Halloween night, residents of Alpha Hall transformed the building into a collage of Candyland-themed sections, like Jolly goes to the movies, Grandma Nut goes to Hollywood and Mr. Mint goes to the art gallery. Residents dressed up too —the RAs came as crayons, Captain America supervised the jump house and Vanellope from “Wreck-It Ralph” helped run the fish toss. There was also a Campus Safety officer handing out candy at the entrance.

“We’re out here for the safety of the entire event but also for community engagement,” said Officer Eric Antonucci.

THE EVENT

Parents and children streamed into Alpha at 5 p.m. and spread out over the three floors. Some went directly to trick or treat, while others visited the common room. Volunteers ran a face painting station at the counter, a popular station evident by the many colorful faces running through the halls. Princess Elsa from “Frozen” supervised as children jumped around trying to eat donuts dangling from strings. The coloring table in the corner was quieter, but was interrupted periodically by the sounds of balloon animal-making at the nearby counter. 

Parents either followed their kids, stopped at the parent table to get Panera coffee and other baked goods or sat with their kids outside to watch “Zootopia.” Both the lawn and building were filled with an assortment of superheroes and princesses, with a few notable exceptions including an iPhone, Frida Kahlo, a lit-up projector and a crowd favorite: baby avocado twins. 

Senior business major and Alpha senator Betsy Amanuel said seeing the kids in their costumes is her favorite part of the event, along with the general Halloween spirit that Candyland brings every year. However, this popular event was almost canceled this year.

“We had budget cuts this year so our contingency money has gone significantly lower than the previous years,” she said. “But [Student Government Association] loves the community, and they want to serve the community, so even though we had a significant amount of money that we lost, they still were nice enough to give us the opportunity to serve the community again.”

THE COMMUNITY

Amanuel estimated that there were about 1,500 kids this year, an amount on par with attendance from previous years. She said SGA had an advertising committee this year, which went around to different churches and schools to invite people to come. There is also already a large following since the event has been around for over 20 years. 

“I love that Biola gives kids a safe place to go during the day for Halloween. It’s a fun alternative,” said freshman biological science major Abigail Jordan, who handed out candy at her dorm. “I think it’s a great plug for Biola too, because why wouldn’t you want to send your kids here later on if their students are involved in this?”

Amanuel agreed, noting that SGA took time out of their senate meeting so that they could be directly involved with the community.

“This is actually the biggest outreach that Biola does for the community,” she said. “Anyone that lives around La Mirada or anyone else… is more than welcome to come and take part in it. We get to be present with people that live around us and I think that goes such a long way.”