The Multicultural Center will hold the annual Octoberfest event throughout the Halloween weekend on Oct. 24.
“Octoberfest is a time when different multicultural organizations are brought together in the same setting,” Jerry Wilkins, head of Octoberfest Committee and Events Chair of Brothers On A New Direction, said. To start the events, Wilkins said that organizations will be selling bracelets in the Memorial Union for Ebola, as well as starting a photo challenge for best Halloween costume.
The first and largest event of Octoberfest is a pep rally taking place in Edwards Auditorium. There are nine organizations participating in the pep rally, including B.O.N.D., Powerful Independent Notoriously Knowledgeable, the Cape Verdean Student Association, Uhuru Sasa, Exposure, Latin American Student Organization, Native American Student Organization, Student Alliance for the Welfare of Africa and the Asian Student Association.
During the pep rally, the participants will perform a three to four minute skit to represent their organizations with a Halloween theme. The performances will be judged by the dean of students, the assistant dean of arts and sciences and the student involvement coordinator. The pep rally will cost $1 on Wednesday Oct. 29 and will begin at 7 p.m.
On Thursday, Oct. 30, CVSA, NASO and Exposure will present a party, entitled “Nightmare on Elm Street,” with music by DJ Lefty. The event will go from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. SASA, SAWA and ASA will present “Fright Night” on the night of Halloween from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. with DJs to be announced. Lastly, the final party of Octoberfest, “Dark Night,” presented by B.O.N.D., P.I.N.K. and LASA, will take place on Saturday Nov. 1 from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., with music from DJ FB. All three parties will take place in the Memorial Union Ballroom and will have free entry for all students.
Octoberfest was started in 2009 by Jason Almeida who wanted to “bring something new to campus,” Wilkins said. Wilkins also explained that since then, Octoberfest has occurred annually, with some years more successful than others.
“I hope that Octoberfest will be really successful this year,” Wilkins said. “This is the first time all of the organizations decided to participate in the pep rally.”
Luckson Omoaregba, president of B.O.N.D. and member of the Octoberfest Committee, Â said he hopes this year will have a better outcome. The three parties are free and the organizations are trying to advertise as much as they can to get a bigger crowd, Omoaregba said. He said the Memorial Union Ballroom can hold up to 500 people so their goal is to get at least 450 students to attend the parties. Glow sticks will be given out and one of the parties will be costume themed to boost morale, Omoaregba said.
“There’s usually a stigma that goes along with Union parties,” Omoaregba said. “But these parties never have problems, and there are never any fights going on. It’s a safer environment to party in, and afterwards, you can walk right back to your dorm instead of driving like you would for an off campus party.”
Omoaregba said that if a larger number of students attend the events, Octoberfest can be taken to student senate for potential funding.
“Our goal is to get more non-multicultural University of Rhode Island students involved with culture and our organizational events,” Omoaregba said.