In a previous post, I mentioned the number of student clubs and associations we have at this college. Booths were lining the walkways to entice new members to sign up, paying a fee of 20 yuan (roughly $4.50) per person. These fees allow the clubs to hold parties, contests and other activities for the members.
The more members, the more money and the bigger and grander club-hosted events can be.
When I left off a month ago, the English Association numbers were a sad 25. The year before had been 300. The new club president, Anna, was worried and had voiced her concern during the entire week, asking Zuri and me to hang out at their booth in the hopes of drawing more new students.
As it turned out, the final count ended up being 260. Down 40 from last year but not at all anything to be ashamed of. With 260 newcomers, Anna reported around $1,250 for their club funds. This would be used for the full year and, hopefully, would be enough for some excellent activities.
Below, you see all the new members, coming together for the welcome party.
First Major Event: Halloween Activity Night
Saturday, October 28, from 7 – 9 p.m., marked the first big event for the English Association — Halloween Activity Night.
With organizational help from me, over 25 volunteers manned our 4 rooms: costume wearing, mask-making, carving Jack-o-lanterns combined with bobbing for apples and our Trick-or-Treat room.
I gathered the crowds for 10 minutes in the larger lecture hall for an opening introduction via power-point to room activities. We had a countdown before all were released (probably around 200) to scurry off and freely visit the rooms.
I had arranged the volunteers to announce this in Chinese on our faculty housing’s whiteboard to invite children and their parents.
Through WeChat (like our American Facebook), I also made sure our teachers and others on the campus knew to bring their kids, or just themselves, to have a nice evening.
What a huge success!
Over 300 college kids came and went during the evening. We had some visitors from the Medical College campus next door. These were the international students, studying at the Medical College were there are over 600 from different countries: Nepal, India, Pakistan, and numerous African countries. They also added to the fun.
Aside from the college students, about 16 children came with parents or grandparents. Our costume room was their favorite as well as the pumpkin carving. (Parents used the knives with the kids giving directions.). Pumpkins that were finished and lit were displayed in the room for picture-taking and were not to be taken until the end of the evening. However, exceptions for made for kids. If the children were leaving early, I told the volunteers to make sure they could choose a jack-o-lantern to take with them.
After all, Halloween is really for kids.
When it came to bobbing for apples, the volunteers ran out of apples in the first 30 minutes so had to send more outside our front gate to purchase several more pounds.
A Fantastic Night Closes Off
It was one of our best Halloween events we’ve held for several years. Many thanks to the volunteers for all their help. Hope you all enjoy a few more pictures below. Now it’ll be on to planning for Christmas!
Here’s wishing you Ping An (Peace) from Luzhou