Prospective students often worry that F&ES is all work and no play; the masters program is two short years and between class, school work and research there’s an awful lot to fit in. While that is certainly true, ours is nevertheless a very social group of students with a strong sense of community. This is thanks, in part, to the Forestry Club; a student run group tasked with organizing social functions on campus that are open to the entire F&ES student body. The club consists of 23 F&ES students who are elected by their peers. Elections are held at the start of the school year and representatives serve on Forestry Club for the whole of their time at F&ES. The group puts on weekly TGIF (“Thank God I’m a Forester”) mixers, as well as hosting several parties. Last weekend was one of the highlights of the F&ES social calendar; the Forestry Club Halloween Party. Organized by newly elected Forestry Club reps Kate Heller (pictured) and Phillip Kunhardt, this year’s theme was “Dia de los Quercus” or “Day of the Oaks.”
As you are all no doubt aware, Halloween was a tricky holiday this year because it fell on a Thursday. Midweek holidays often increase the risk of people not committing or losing interest; a mid-week party is generally out of the question, the Saturday before is too early, and by the following weekend people have already mentally moved on. But the Forestry Club took a gamble and opted for the latter. The party was held on Saturday November 2nd at the Forestry School’s Sage Hall and not only did folks show up, but tickets were sold out nearly a week in advance. Attendance was limited only by the fire marshal’s 180 person cap.
Forestry students have a reputation for going above and beyond with creative and elaborate costumes and this year was no exception. There were a number of fantastic individual efforts, including a remarkably authentic Abraham Lincoln, a pharaoh, Flo the Progressive agent, and an abundance of fauna including pandas, penguins, elephants and a lure fish. Several people banded together for phenomenal group costumes. Two girls dressed as factory smokestacks, which was F&ES appropriate enough to begin with, but they really committed by remaining joined at the hip all night. The full cast of Avengers represented on the dance floor, and both Waldo and Wenda were spotted throughout the night. My personal favorites were the animal rappers, including Nelly Fish, MC Hammerhead and Pony Pony Pony.
At midnight, the bar was raised on an already great party by the Thriller flash mob. In the weeks preceding the party, several F&ES students, myself included, learned the whole choreography to the Michael Jackson classic. At the stroke of midnight, a horde of undead pirates, USO show girls, and crayons took over the dance floor and zombie stomped to the cheers of the party-goers. This dance is a favorite tradition for everyone and personally, I am delighted to add this to my list of life skills.
It has barely been a few short days since the cobwebs and streamers were pulled down, and already Forestry Club is looking to the future. Signups are now open for the school talent show and the Holiday Party is not long afterwards. If you are planning to be in town for the Admissions Open House on the 15th of November, be sure to stick around for the talent show that night at 7:00 in Bowers Hall. I can only imagine the level of talent on offer here at F&ES. I will definitely report back.