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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Fall Festival emerges as another chance to build community

SFSU student organizations and Student Life Division host an afternoon full of pumpkins, costumes and treats
Andrew Fogel
People watch a pumpkin fall during the pumpkin drop at the Fall Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023. (Andrew Fogel/Golden Gate Xpress)

Garfield, Cupid, Batman –– these were a mere few of the several costumed attires seen at the pumpkin spice fall fair held at San Francisco State University on Tuesday afternoon.

The fair was hosted by the Student Life division on campus and featured organizations such as the Fashion Network Association and Students of Physics and Astronomy — a Community For Everyone.

The event featured several vendors, a pumpkin patch, a costume contest judged by FNA and a pumpkin drop hosted by SPACE.

According to campus community coordinator, Sonia Getz, the fall fair was initially inspired by Getz’s co-worker.

“My co-worker really likes pumpkin spice lattes, and he burst out of his cubicle saying ‘I need a pumpkin spice latte now,’” Getz said.

Those words birthed the effort to launch the first of several attempts at establishing ongoing campus events.

Jessica Phung and Kelly Buong carve pumpkins during the Fall Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023. (Andrew Fogel/Golden Gate Xpress) Andrew Fogel 

“I want to give students the sense that SF State has more of a sense of tradition; things that can be repeated year after year,” Gertz said.

For some of the groups involved, plans for the fall fair came while planning their own events.

SPACE is a club for people interested in learning about physics or astronomy, which has in recent years opened membership to the general student population.

According to SPACE President, Samarth Pandya, the university reached out when the organization was planning its own Halloween event; the decision to join campus celebrations was easy.

For SPACE, which is trying to create a more inclusive learning environment, the fall fair was a welcome opportunity for exposure.

“There are many people [on] campus who want to know about astronomy and space but they don’t like to study physics,” said Pandya. “So if we open the club to everyone and have some study clubs going on for [the] general public, they would be interested to know more about space.”

Similarly, getting to judge the costume contest was an opportunity for the FNA to reach out and engage with the SFSU community.

“The turnout’s been amazing,” said social director Angely Alas. “People love Halloween so the spooky spirit is up, people are dressing up, people are active, everyone’s in the spirit and it makes me excited.”

According to Alas, the FNA has traditionally been marketed towards fashion majors, or those studying business and marketing-related fields.

Two people pick a pumpkin to toss during the pumpkin drop at the Fall Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023. (Andrew Fogel/ Golden Gate Xpress)            Andrew Fogel

The fall fair marked the first instance the FNA has involved itself with a campus event –– another chance to build community. The costume contest alone contained between 10-15 contestants.

“People like to see themselves represented,” Alas said. “[On campus there are] little cliques, niches, and clubs. So if we can represent the fashion-forward people in this organization we make them feel represented.”

For Getz, the drive to establish a stronger presence on campus is rooted in her time as an SFSU student. Getz was part of the graduating class of 2022, and was an orientation leader on campus for several years. After graduation, she took on a full-time job with the Division of Student Life. Her time as a student informs her desire to provide more campus events in the future.

“SF State needs more traditions,” Getz said. “Things that are important to me are giving students new experiences, ways to connect with each other.”

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About the Contributors
Sunthi Jong
Sunthi Jong, Co-Copy Editor
Sunthi Jong (she/her) is a copy editor for the Golden Gate Xpress and is a member of the editorial team. She is majoring in journalism and minoring in Asian American Studies. She was born in the East Bay and grew up both there and in Sacramento. Jong currently lives in San Francisco and is in the final year of her degree. In her free time, Jong enjoys reading, baking and exploring the city.
Andrew Fogel
Andrew Fogel, Photographer
Andrew Fogel is a photographer for Golden Gate Xpress and Xpress Magazine who’s majoring in photojournalism and minoring in labor and employment studies. If he’s not taking photos, Andrew can be found rooting for the various Philadelphia sports teams. He aspires to be either a staff photographer or a sports photographer in the future.

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