By Brandi Aguilera
When planning for the 2022 Fall Formal on Oct. 28, Fresno Pacific’s student activities team chose a venue close to home: the new Warkentine Culture and Arts Center Theater and Atrium. That way, students who wanted to attend the dance did not need to stress about transportation.
Students felt relaxed in a familiar environment and danced all Friday night long. The new building, spacious and beautiful, is also a location that “added to the mysterious ambiance of the dance,” said student activities representative Brooke Barham.
“Mystery Masquerade” was the theme for the dance. “Since Halloween is just a few days away,” Barham told The Syrinx prior to the event, “we have envisioned the theme … to be a spooky, mysterious event that is formal enough to where anyone can come and enjoy it.”
About 100 students attended.
“Masquerade” comes from the term “masquerade ball.” Attendants usually dress in ball gowns or suits and ties, with a mask as an accessory to the outfit. The “mystery” part alluded to the spooky nature of Halloween.
The organizing team said they were most excited to see everyone’s masks, considering the masquerade theme. Although masks were not required, students fit the theme as they wanted. Residence director and head cheer coach Rayna Harris, who has supervised student activities since 2019, said she encouraged attendance over attire.
“We always think it is fun when students dress formally and find a way for their attire to fit the theme,” Harris said, “but even your Sunday best is welcome.”
The Fall Formal is a longstanding tradition at Fresno Pacific. The most rewarding experience of planning the dance was the aftermath of setting up, said Aryanna Guzman, the planning lead for the 2022 event. “Seeing everyone having a great time and seeing how much everyone is enjoying the work that student activities put in,” she said.
Barham encouraged students who might compare FPU’s dances to experiences from high school dances. “I promise that college dances are different,” she said of students who may recall unpleasant experiences at high school dances.