Union After Dark Event Brings Halloween to Campus


(Courtesy Graeme Christensen)

By Caelan Roberts, News Editor


Union After Dark, the Union Programming Council’s Halloween-themed celebration, drew a crowd of over 200 students to the A. Ray Olpin Union Building on Thursday night. The attractions included a haunted hallway, tarot card readings and a watch party for the Utah Utes football game directly following the festivities. 

“Union After Dark is one of our only events that we do past 6 [p.m.]; most of our events are usually 10-2, which hit a lot of the demographics coming in and out of the Union during the day, but we noticed that a lot of people aren’t always free during them,” said Graeme Christensen, a second-year biology major and associate director of the Freshman Ambassador Board.

This is why the UPC put on Union After Dark — to reach the students who are unable to attend daytime events due to class or other obligations. 

“The goal of the Union Programming Council is to make the Union a place where anybody can come and find a community and find something interesting, fun or engaging,” Christensen said. “I think it’s important to give that opportunity to as many people as possible, not just the people who happen to be free during the middle of the day to stop in at the Union, but also people that are busy doing classes all day and then can come to the Union and get a tarot card reading or go through a funky little haunted house.”

In addition to reaching those students, the UPC wanted to give students a fun opportunity to celebrate Halloween on campus with their peers.

“I think everyone kind of knows what Halloween is,” Christensen said. “It’s a pretty ubiquitous, pretty all-encompassing holiday in the U.S.; everyone knows the vibe of Halloween, so it’s a very specific thing to go for.” 

Ashton Pelley, a second-year international studies and Spanish major, said she enjoyed the Halloween theme of the event.

“I thought it was so cute,” she said. “It’s super fun just to go walk through a little haunted house type thing, and then there was also the tarot card reader, which is always super fun. It’s something you don’t normally get to experience on campus, and so it’s always fun just to have, whether it’s a study break or just something to do on a Thursday night, and then go watch the game.”

Christensen said his biggest contribution to the event was putting the haunted hallway together with his team of freshman ambassadors.

“My team put together the haunted hallway in a little less than two weeks,” he said. “We planned it out, got the decorations, made a bunch of decorations and got it all set up and put together. It took a lot of effort, but I think it turned out really well.” 

Though Christensen said this process was fun for him and his team to work on, it did not come without its challenges. Directly before the event, they could not get the lights in the Union to turn off, and they couldn’t draw the blinds to shade their haunted hallway.

“So the light was pouring into our haunted hallway, lighting everything up, not making it spooky at all,” he said. “We got these huge pieces of butcher paper and just put them up in front of windows to get a little more darkness, and I think that really made a difference, but it was really stressful.”

Despite the stress, the hallway turned out to be a success.

“I think it did exactly what it needed to do; it was a haunted house put on by college students, and we got genuine scares,” Christensen said.

It was also popular among students at the event, even if it wasn’t for the scares.

“It was super fun to see all the decorations,” Pelley said. She referenced a faux gravestone that read, “Here lies USC,” in reference to the Utes recent high-scoring win over their Pac-12 rival.

Directly following the event, the students gathered in the Union to watch another football game against Washington State University, which they ended up winning 21-17.


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