With Halloween days away, the Intercultural Affairs Council has not sent a campuswide email about costumes as it did just over one year ago.
In 2015, the council’s Oct. 27 email marked the beginning of a series of campus protests about racial inclusivity at Yale. But this year, the only communication about Halloween from the administration has been an Oct. 18 email from the Yale College Dean’s Office reminding students to behave with care and respect during the coming weeks. The YCDO briefly touched on Halloween costumes in this year’s email, asking students to “don a costume that respects your classmates.”
“We wanted to encourage people to be thoughtful in decision making and to look out for each other,” Howard said.
While the IAC did not send an email regarding Halloween week at Yale, IAC Chair and Afro-American Cultural Center Dean Risë Nelson Burrow said that the council nonetheless supports the message from the dean’s office.
Howard and Dean of Student Affairs Camille Lizarríbar co-signed the YCDO email earlier this month. Howard, who also serves on the IAC, told the News that the YCDO email was sent out prior to Halloween because the celebration is a time when students often make bad choices.
The IAC’s email last year referenced previously insensitive costume choices while advising students not to wear costumes including blackface and feathered headdresses.
“While students, undergraduate and graduate, definitely have a right to express themselves, we would hope that people would actively avoid those circumstances that threaten our sense of community or disrespects, alienates or ridicules segments of our population based on race, nationality, religious belief or gender expression,” the IAC email from last year read.
The IAC has helped fund several intercultural campus events this fall, including the upcoming Ivy Native Summit on Nov. 4 and the Asian American Student Alliance/Asian American Cultural Center Night Market Friday night.
Nelson said the IAC is focusing its broader efforts to bolster programs and initiatives to support a more aware and inclusive community in all ways.
Students interviewed speculated about why the IAC did not send out an email similar to last fall’s Halloween email.
Patricia Licea ’18 said conversations between students last fall about race and inclusion were heated, and that many conversations on campus remain so. Licea added that she can understand why the IAC would not want to cause more controversy by sending another email, though she said she thinks the overall campus attitude toward these topics has slightly relaxed since last fall.
Anthony D’Ambrosio ’18, the coordinator of the student cabinet at Dwight Hall, said that since last October, students have become more sensitive and aware of the feelings and needs of underrepresented campus groups.
This year, just as the IAC approached Halloween week differently, students are entering November with new perspectives on race and inclusion, D’Ambrosio said.
“Last year, I think you had a situation where a couple of events on campus really opened up some larger issues that lots of Yalies were dealing with, but there was some time where people had to figure out how they were going to organize to respond,” D’Ambrosio said. “This year, I think a lot of campus groups are already ready for that.”
The IAC was created in 2008 by then-Dean of Student Affairs Marichal Gentry.
During most nights of the year, Woolsey Hall’s 2,650 seats remain unoccupied. But the Yale Symphony Orchestra will likely be playing to a full house Monday night for its annual Halloween Show.
As in past years, the Halloween Show will feature a student-directed silent film with the orchestra accompanying with both classical and pop music. But while in past years the event has been a largely YSO-organized affair, this year marks the first time that the orchestra has invited non-YSO students to write the film’s plot and script. After soliciting student ideas, the YSO chose the concept — kept a secret until the performance — of Film and Media Studies major Connor Szostak ’17.
This year’s film will be a comedic parody of a recent popular movie, with some romance sprinkled in, said YSO French horn player Morgan Jackson ’18. Jackson directed this year’s Halloween Show film and compiled the accompanying orchestral music.
“This is the first year in which we’ve had a separate editor and director of photography,” Jackson said. “This let us spend much more time on each scene to make it better, and means that we don’t have a frantic rush job at the end as in past years.”
Because Halloween 2016 falls on a Monday, rather than on a Friday or Saturday as in the past two years, ticket demand for the show was lower this year. Tickets sold out this year in 10 minutes, which Jackson described as a “slowdown” compared to previous years. A policy limiting one ticket per person also slowed demand, Jackson said. In previous years, people were able to purchase more than one ticket per order.
Ticket sales went live at 10:31 p.m. this fall, a shift from midnight in past years, in an effort to make tickets more accessible for students who did not want to stay up late.
The show will consist of 28 musical pieces, three-fourths of which will come from the classical tradition and one-fourth from contemporary pop music, all adapted by YSO students. Jackson said the pop segments will play important roles at key moments in the film.
“I think it’s so ironic and funny for a full orchestra to be playing pop music,” said YSO bassist Arvind Venkataraman ’19. “Especially for us bassists, we usually have really subdued lines in classical music, but in these pop pieces, we have lines that are usually for the electric bass guitar and are really driving and almost like rock music.”
For members of the orchestra, the idea of performing in front of a full Woolsey Hall never loses its appeal, no matter how many times they have done it before.
“The Halloween Show is so awesome, because when else are you going to have thousands of people screaming at you as a classical musician?” said principal percussionist Adrian Lin ’18. “We as an orchestra definitely feed off of the energy of the audience — in our minds it gives us a glimpse of what it is like to be a rock star for a few moments.”
For students who were unable to purchase Halloween Show tickets this year, the show will be streamed live online with a link on the YSO website.
Student musicians said the Halloween Show attests to the value that the whole undergraduate body places on performing arts.
“I don’t think you can find any other college where people want to go to a concert on a Halloween night,” assistant concertmistress Annabel Chyung ’19 said.
The orchestra will rehearse three times before the final show — on Friday, the orchestra will learn their music for the first time, and then on Sunday and Monday they will practice matching the musical performance to the screenplay.
This year’s Halloween show was produced with a budget of roughly $500 over eight weeks.
In a pinch? WKND knows just the thing — simply take this quiz and find out which quick, easy and minimal-effort costume is right for you!
1. Choose one:
a. Black cat
c. Black eye
d. Black nail polish
2. In your dreams you find yourself most often:
a. Naked in a public place
b. Falling in love with an object of fixation
c. Running away but unable to move
d. Shining in conversation
3. Your biggest Halloween turn-on is:
c. Extremely lifelike gore
4. What is your Halloween activity of choice?
a. Drag show
b. YSO concert
c. Liquor Treating
d. Costume Party
5. What is secretly your biggest fear?
a. Being forgotten
c. Death by fire
d. Making a bad joke
6. What’s your #1 reason for going to see an R-rated movie?
a. Partial nudity
b. Milk Duds
c. Disturbing images
d. Thematic elements
7. Name a sound:
8. Pick a phrase:
a. Beauty is only skin deep.
b. Clothes make the man.
c. Live and let die.
d. I love big parties. They’re so intimate.
9. Pick a Shakespeare play:
a. The Merry Wives of Windsor
b. The Tempest
d. Troilus and Cressida
If you answered mostly a), you should be an Eroticized Animal. Bumblebee, lady(love)bug, sex kitten, Playboy Bunny – the options are limitless. These costumes can be purchased at a store near you. Alternatively, make them by hand: just get a headband, some felt, pipe cleaners and a little glue and you can whip together bunny ears or antennae in no time!
If you answered mostly b), you should be an Unexpected Object. Examples include: box of cereal; bag of Cracker Jacks; Tide to Go; retainer case. Here execution is key — so long as you really make yourself look like the thing that you are attempting to be, no one can really make you feel bad about your outfit. And that is what Halloween is all about.
If you answered mostly c), you should be a Gruesome Phantasm. The tried and true example of this is the ghost that, paradoxically, bleeds at the same time. You can either buy a gory costume with blood dripping down it, or you can just throw a sheet on and splatter it with red paint. Alternatives include monster mask, rotted corpse and zombie.
If you answered mostly d), you should be an Obscure Cultural Reference. Examples include: the guy from “Spirited Away” who floats around and says nothing; Courage the Cowardly Dog; Mrs. White from Clue. Some people will say “Aha!” and nod knowingly when they see your costume; it is for these gestures of approval that you strive.
If you answered equal parts a), b), c) and d), and/or in case of emergency, you can resort to a Pun-Dependent DIY Outfit. Examples include: forklift (you holding a fork up in the air the whole night); peacoat (coat with many peas on it); a blanket statement (blanket with the word “STATEMENT” on it). Beware: these may involve lengthy explanations to people who don’t understand what you’re “supposed to be” (that most dreaded of Halloween questions).
Today is Halloween, and unlike those gold-star overachievers who nabbed their costumes weeks in advance, you’ve found yourself all alone in a spooky place. Plus, you didn’t get YSO tickets, so going out’s not worth it anyway. Luckily, I have a solution. Here are some Yale-themed costumes that don’t require you to see other people, but do require some social media.
1. Section Asshole — email your class’s panlist during the YSO show, asking your professor for clarification on the details of your upcoming midterm. Sign your email, “regards” or perhaps “best wishes” if you’re feeling extra precious today. Add a signature with your full name (include/invent a middle initial), class year and GPA. If you’re feeling really on it, throw in a quote from Burke.
2. Fratstar — text your friends at 15-minute intervals that you are at [insert frat here] and “come come come so we can RAGEEE.” When they arrive at [insert frat here] tell them you’ve left and actually gone to [insert other frat here] but also “come come come It’s SO GOOD.” If they catch on, tell them you’ve gone to DKE. They won’t follow.
3. #onbrand — turn off the lights in your room and spin in circles while making a Snapchat video. Play your favorite song in the background (suggested: a single from Taylor’s new album). Caption “HALLOWEEN” with a few brand-appropriate emojis. Send the video to all your friends and add it to your story. If anyone replies back, reply with the same video. Tomorrow morning, upload a screenshot of your Snapchat to Instagram (recommended filter: Rise). No one will remember your costume; everyone will remember your brand.
4. The troll — prowl the internet for a provocative article to post on Facebook. Share with the line “worth a read,” preferably in a widely used group. Reply to every angry comment with a more obscure, even more inflammatory article. Let the adrenaline flow through you with every new like and comment. This is what matters now. This is what you do.
5. G-chatty — change your Gchat status more than three times in a 12-hour period. Warning: Some people find this scary because they are afraid of change.
6. FOOT – tell people that you can’t go to their parties because you “have a FOOT thing.” Specify, as necessary, with a random series of letters and numbers (“it’s for all the TK5 people”). Send Snapchats with a Nalgene and some fancy granola as necessary.
7. TUIB member — see above (even/especially if you never did FOOT).
8. YDN reporter — text a friend about a seemingly innocuous subject (dining hall selections or their thoughts on their TF). Print their reply in the next morning’s paper.
By the way, [name redacted] ’15 thinks that Silliman’s dining hall is “idk. totally lame.”
9. Career-oriented — You’re not on campus for Halloween. You have interviews. Text a couple of friends this to remind them that you have interviews. Casually ask if they even know where OCS is.
10. Senior — don’t go to any parties. Don’t give any excuses. You don’t owe anyone anything.
R u totally mad because u wer 2 busy/lame 2 leave ur suite 4 Halloween this year? It sux 2 miss out, especially ur missing out on The Campus Event of the Year: Halloween. Every1s out with their friends n family havin costume fun, and where were u? Inside, probly. So u don’t even kno wut happened at all on Halloween. Luckly, we hav friends hu DID go out and have had fun. So we hav them writing Here, right here and now, so u can find out all the fun u did not hav.
// Ghost-edited by Cody Kahoe and Caleb Madison
Your Presence is Not Requested
// by Andrea Villena
Following numerous hospitalizations and destructions of property, the Yale Symphony Orchestra has decided to cancel the annual YSO Halloween Show.
In an email sent out to the student body on Friday morning, YSO officers cited “rowdy” behavior and eight hospitalizations as the reasons behind the cancelation. Despite a YDN op-ed by producer Joan Rhee begging students to put down their flasks and listen to the music, co-eds donned ostensibly not-racist costumes and downed at least three full flasks in the minutes leading up to the show. In the words of one student, “HURRY UP MARK, OR YOU’RE GOING TO BE SOBER WHILE YOU WAIT IN LINE.”
The students weren’t the only thing messed up during the show, however. People stumbling out of the show complained loudly of audio and visual problems. Fake Name, ’14, said, “Have yu sene my friend? She’s drsed up as Khaleeeesi. I wAnt to og to SAE but I cunt findher!!?!”
This year’s Halloween Show bore many similarities to past events canceled because of alcohol use, like Safety Dance and Pierson’s Inferno. One unidentified student, dressed as campus celebrity The Poopetrator, shat off of first balcony, paying homage to both his costume’s inspiration and the student who also shat on the floor during last year’s Safety Dance. “Some of it splattered into my piccolo,” said a YSO freshman whom now no one will kiss.
Dean of Student Affairs Marichal Gentry expressed concern over the high number of alcohol-related hospitalizations, saying that eight students sent to Yale Health is “too high” a number. This means, Gentry explained, that a shocking total of 0.001886% of students in Woolsey were hospitalized. “We will definitely have to email out another one of those handy alcohol surveys,” Gentry said, “Those really help someone somewhere do something important, I think.”
The YSO has yet to say if they will replace their most popular and dangerous event with a safer alternative for next year. Gentry suggested a Spooky Halloween Tailgate Village, where students would gather on Beinecke Plaza for a performance by the Yale Precision Marching Band, which, if you can believe it, alcohol actually makes worse. “Sorry in advance,” said a YPMB spokesperson.
Brought to You By Your Dean
// by Emma Brennan-Wydra
Dear Students in Yale College,
The Yale College Dean’s Office is thrilled to present the following Halloween-themed events for undergraduate students.
Faculty Research Presentations: Real-World Terrors
Monday, Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m.
Start off Halloween week with a real scare! Professors from the Environmental Studies, Astronomy and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration departments will be giving brief talks on their most terrifying research findings. Topics include global warming, the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy that will someday engulf us all and genocide. A representative from the American Studies department will sit in the corner dressed as The Ghost Of Modern American Media Culture.
Avant-Garde Pumpkin Carving
Tuesday, Oct. 29, 7:00 p.m.
Faculty members and graduate students from the Art department will be leading a hands-on experimental pumpkin carving workshop. Whether you choose to channel Andy Warhol, evoke Salvador Dalí or create an aesthetic all on your own, you can be sure that your Jack-O-Lantern masterpiece will be truly one-of-a-kind. All pumpkins will be destroyed immediately following the carving, so that this performance cannot be replicated.
Roundtable Discussion: The Ethics of Halloween
Wednesday, Oct. 30, 6:00 p.m.
Are you still feeling bad about egging your FroCo? Wondering about the moral implications of Ding-Dong Ditch? Just looking to have an all-around fun, safe and ethical Halloween experience this year? Join Dean Marichal Gentry, Professor Shelly Kagan and the Communication and Consent Educators for a roundtable discussion on classic Halloween pastimes. Seating is limited; please reserve a spot in advance.
Skull and Bones’ Haunted House
Thursday, Oct. 31, 9:00 p.m.
Join Yale’s Halloweeniest senior society for a super spooky, totally terrifying tomb tour. As you trek through the hallowed halls, your ghoulish guides will tell tales of bygone Bonesmen. Think of a regular haunted house, but with more prestige and elitism. Be sure to BYOBones!
Tour of HGS Basement
Thursday, Oct. 31, 11:00 p.m.
Self-explanatory. Fucking terrifying.
Stay safe, and have a happy Halloween!
Dean Mary Miller
It’s Our Party
// by Jake Dawe
Halloween is difficult. We’ve been at this for around 20 years a pop, and it’s hard to keep your parties as fresh as the day you dressed up as Charmander in second grade. If you’re struggling, check out my list of possible party themes. Fear no more. Papa’s here for you.
Dead Pets Party:
Most of us grew up with pets in our house. Some people (me) witnessed horrific deaths involving freak accidents with a parakeet whose wings were supposed to be clipped and a ceiling fan. At this rager, everyone dresses like one of his or her dead pets — mode of death included. For example, I would dress as a parakeet with a hemorrhaging gash under my right wing where the ceiling fan blade struck me like a baseball bat.
The Donner Party:
You know the story. An 81-person wagon train heads to California. Winter hits a little early. Susie’s down and out. People are getting a little hungry. At first Susie was buried but then people start wondering how Susie tastes. Is she lean? Stringy? Fatty? Why not give her a try? What’ll it feel like to have her stuck in your teeth? What’s the worst that can happen? Oh, Cousin George froze to death, too? We wouldn’t want to leave him to waste, now would we? And Aunt Mary knows just a splendid little pâté recipe. Aunt Mary! Come on over here! Just dress up as a pioneer, lock the door of your party and start nibbling.
This one requires some preplanning. Figure out who’s coming to the party. An even number of guests will work well. Assign each person attending someone else on the list. No two people should have each other. Everyone will stalk their assigned person for one week and is required to take photos of them unseen. For example: Jessica sleeping, Jessica blowing her nose in Bass, Jessica crying on a bench, Jessica spraining her ankle as she falls off the stage at Toad’s, Jessica vomiting into an A1 french fry tin. Those sorts of moments. For the party, everyone prints out the most compromising photos of their assigned guest and tape them all over their own body. It’ll be a great conversation starter and everyone will be closer because of it. There won’t be any lawsuits.
Bill it as a normal Halloween party. Wear normal costumes. Play normal music. You, the host, will dress as a pro-Communist radical reverend. Depending on the size of the party, have about a quarter of the guests agree to collapse on the floor at a prescribed time. When talking with uninformed guests, slip the question “Did you try the Kool-Aid?” into conversation whenever you can. As people answer, walk away faintly murmuring “good, good” and “soon.” Leave canisters labeled “rat poison” throughout the party. At the prescribed time, the guests in on the joke will collapse wherever they’re standing, except for you. As the uninformed guests freak out, ask again about the Kool-Aid. Walk upstairs laughing and murmuring “good, good.”
Go have a blast. You’re welcome.
// by Ryan Bowers
Who was what now?
Your Section Asshole: This year, your section asshole is going as the protagonist of Virginia Woolf’s “To The Lighthouse for Halloween.” He knows that everyone was only assigned Mrs. Dalloway, but he feels like he can make some really interesting party conversation about “To The Lighthouse,” so he’s going to, damn it.
President Peter Salovey: This year Peter Salovey is wearing his full inauguration regalia and praying that a lightning bolt will strike Harkness Tower precisely at the twelfth strike of midnight, thereby fusing the robes to his skin and making him the “Supreme University President of Eternal Darkness” for the rest of time.
The Pundits: Probably something naked. What the f*#@ else do they do?
The Person Who You Haven’t Actually Hung Out With Since Freshman Year: This person was in your friend’s common room that one night three years ago, and you’re only 85 percent sure of their name (Is it Alex or Luke? Luke something, right?), but they’re still suggesting that you should go as the Thing 2 to their Thing 1. They will continue to make this suggestion until you awkwardly run into them at a party wearing different costumes.
Chief Ronnell A. Higgins: He’s definitely not going as a campus robbery. Those never happen, okay? Blue phones.
That Girl You Think Is Really Hot: You don’t get invited to the kinds of cool parties she does, but you’ll find out what her costume was when you Facebook creep on her next Monday.
Your TA: You’ll see them wearing something a little revealing on the way to GPSCY, which will force you to come to terms with the uncomfortable reality that all TA’s have genitals.
Unoriginal People: Walter White or Miley Cyrus. They’ll think it’s still funny, so just let them have this one.
By the time you read this, Halloween will have passed, and hopefully you enjoyed a nice fright or two. After all, the popular point of Halloween is to scare the hell out of yourself. And what better way to scare the hell out of yourself than to watch a scary movie?
Some of the greatest films of all time are downright terrifying, though they’re not horror films per se. To be fair, that’s probably a good thing, because when you start thinking about it, horror films don’t stick around long. Sure, you can find and watch them, but after you’ve seen them once, the dark magic is lost. Or maybe I’m just being a little biased to relatively recent films — “It” and the entire “Texas Chainsaw” series come to mind.
I wrote a column two years ago that was a countdown of my 10 favorite horror films, and “Paranormal Activity” was right near the top of the list. My reasoning was straightforward: “Paranormal Activity” is one of the scariest films I’ve ever seen in my entire life. (Katie and Micah’s home in that movie reminds me far too much of my own.) But after you know when to expect the demon, you’re not quite so scared anymore.
The same goes for pretty much most of the horror movies you’ve seen — from “Paranormal Activity” to “Saw” to every single Japanese gorefest and their American remakes. Simply put, their quality as a genuinely scary picture diminishes rapidly after that first viewing, though I don’t think most of us care that much. Horror films, after all, are something you tend to watch with other people, with the group collectively inhaling and exhaling and gasping and nervously laughing. The experience makes the movie.
The problem comes when we try sitting down to evaluate these works. Scary films should be scary, and if that scariness does not hold up well over time, were they ever really scary to begin with? In other words, were these films actually any good?
“Halloween” has always been my favorite horror film, but mostly because I was about ten or eleven when I saw it. I got to test its long-term scare appeal last year, when a buddy of mine and I caught a late-night screening at the Criterion. The audience was literally laughing for an hour and a half, and there I am sitting in the back of the theater, uncomfortable and uneasy. I wanted to be terrified, but the truth of the matter is, “Halloween” just isn’t all that terrifying — anymore.
And don’t get me started on horror films that predate Hitchcock’s “Psycho” — itself a classic example of when a scary film ceases to be scary and simply becomes an exercise in psychoanalytic over-examination. Basically, it’s not even worth trying to work out the demerits of a film like “Nosferatu” or even “The Night of the Hunter” — these movies are just too old. Audiences today openly laugh at “The Bride of Frankenstein,” though I bet if you took an audience from 1933 and screened “28 Days Later,” half a dozen patrons would die of heart attacks.
I don’t think any horror film stands up well over time, and that’s a shame. I’d love to feel the same awe today as I did when I was 10 or 11 and watching, for the first time, Michael Myers chase a young Jamie Lee Curtis all over Haddonfield, Ill. with a butcher knife. But it’s just not going to be the case.
Even so, what you ultimately can’t take away is that initial experience of excitement and fright. It seems, then, that what’s really at stake in these movies is whether or not you’re actually entertained. Like I said before, if you’re sitting down to watch a horror film with a group of three or four friends, it’s of no consequence that you’ve trained yourself on when to expect the blood and gore. At the end of the day, you’re having a good time. The actual horror is just an added bonus.