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Black Student Association hosts ‘Haunted Hangout’

After the sun went down Friday night, a party was just beginning in PSU’s Dellinger Underground.

On Friday, Oct. 22, the Black Student Association (BSA) hosted a late-night lock-in event they called the “Haunted Hangout” from 9 p.m. to midnight in the Underground of Dellinger Hall. The event included a wide variety of optional activities such as glow-in-the-dark tag, pumpkin painting/carving, board games, video games, music and more, all with a Halloween theme.

“From nine to ten we are having tag in the Oval, like the whole area of the Oval,” said Tiara Hill, senior in psychology and BSA vice president. “From ten to twelve we are having a lock-in with board games, karaoke, singing, music, carving pumpkins, painting pumpkins, eating candy, the whole nine yards.”

The concept of a “lock-in,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, was first used in the 1920s to describe a protest where participants lock themselves inside the building where they are protesting. Since this initial usage, the term become connotated as an event for any purpose (usually entertainment) where the participants are locked in a building for a specified period and of their own volition.

“Not a lot of people have heard of a lock-in before,” Hill said. “We (BSA) were bouncing ideas back and forth about what we could do at a lock-in. We started to think about a spooky theme where everyone could dress up as different things. We thought about doing tag for an hour, then the lock-in, then we combined those ideas into one.”

“I don’t know if elementary schools still do this, but my elementary school used to lock us in the school until like 10 p.m. (as an event),” said Khadija Ceesay, junior in English and BSA event coordinator. “This event started off as that (idea), then we decided to make it like a ‘hangout’ for everyone until midnight on a Friday. Those ideas are kind of what inspired the event. The actual event kind of turned into something else, but it was based on those ideas.”

While none of the participants at the hangout chose to leave the Underground for the tag portion of the event, several of the other options were well attended.

“At every table there are games of different kinds,” Ceesay said. “We have ‘Carve a Pumpkin’ and ‘Paint a Pumpkin.’ There’s Freddy’s—we actually got Freddy’s for free since one of the (BSA) members knows (the business), so that was pretty cool. We have pizza, we have soda, we have music. There’s a fog machine outside. That (TV) is playing music videos, and there’s a game station set up.”

BSA has several events planned for the rest of the school year, including “Friendsgiving” (in combination with the Office of Student Diversity and other organizations) and a philanthropic event where BSA members help people in-need within the Pittsburg community learn how to do their children’s hair, among others.

“We will be having a Kwanza pop-up,” Hill said. “There’s going to be information centers at different places. It’s a pop-up, so we can’t be giving out exactly where we are going to be, the time, the place, but it’s going to be for education purposes and to have a good time.”

Anyone interested in learning more about BSA can visit the organization’s Gorilla Engage page or visit the Office of Student Diversity.

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