Family Weekend was ripe with events this year, and the ALANA Cultural Center made sure to be a big part of the action. The festivities began with style on Thursday evening in the COOP TV Room with Project Runway, a student-run fashion show. Models were teamed with student designers and competed with each other to weed out the best from the rest. Designers were charged with making their own garment combinations entirely from scratch. Once fitted with their outfits, the models strutted along the candlelit catwalk. A panel of three judges determined the winner.
But even though the event was structured as a contest, it became apparent early that there was more to it than that.
“I liked that it was less like a competition and more of an opportunity to meet people,” sophomore and model in the showcase Alyssa Arnold said. “I thought it was going to be intimidating in a more intimate setting like the COOP, but I enjoyed being able to see the faces of the audience.”
Though the turnout was a little sparse (approximately 35 people attended), everyone agreed that Project Runway was a great experience.
The Halloween party featured the DJ work of sophomore Tom Cuppernull and ALANA Staff member and Colgate graduate Shevorne Martin. Following the LASO Haunted House, hundreds of students made their way down to Donovan’s Pub to dance the night away in an event sponsored by WeFunk, LASO and ALANA. Midway through the party, the best costumes were selected, and the winners were awarded with ribbons. As has become the standard this year, the party welcomed a diverse blend of students to the Pub. And though the party was scheduled to end at 2:30am, some students did not leave until well after 3am.
On Saturday morning from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., ALANA also sponsored a tailgate in collaboration with the Dean’s Office. The event was originally planned to be a cook-off between Director of the ALANA Cultural Center Thomas Cruz-Soto and new Vice President and Dean for Diversity Keenan Grenell. Unfortunately, Grenell was injured a few days before the two were expected to face off and was thus unable to participate.
A rematch has yet to be scheduled, but one can be certain that Grenell is anxious to get back into action. In his absence, Cruz-Soto wowed students with a deliciously marinated assortment of shrimp, chicken wings, ribs, sausages and veggie burgers. There was also a large chili platter.
Situated in the middle of the parking lot behind Tyler’s Field among the rest of the tailgates, ALANA’s large banner coupled with the smoke climbing from the grills beckoned more and more visitors as the day went on. When the game started at 1p.m., ALANA closed up shop for the weekend.
In the coming weeks the center will welcome Eli Thomas to campus to talk about the significance of the banner shown in the Center. There will be a mixer with Syracuse University Students on Friday night at 8 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room. Next week, Frank Frey will be presenting on the Coca Plant Project in the Center as well.