Stanford came to life over the weekend in celebration of the dead, with parties and events abounding as students and faculty donned costumes and makeup for the night (or multiple nights).
Three junior class presidents — Marie Caligiuri, Cody Sam and Isabelle Wijangco — spoke to The Daily about the end of Stanford’s first official “Traditions Week.”
“Traditions Week was born to make Mausoleum Party and Full Moon on the Quad more sustainable events that contribute more to the Stanford community,” Sam said. “It’s not just a party. It’s also about philanthropy, trying to help balance the budget by selling T-shirts and getting people more involved in the Stanford community.”
By encompassing Mausoleum and Full Moon in something regarded as “tradition,” Caligiuri said the junior presidents could emphasize to students and faculty that these events must happen every year.
“It’s a really important part of our school,” she said. “Sort of like a landmark event that we always want to have.”
The three went on to explain what Traditions Week entailed. Tuesday began the pre-orders for the Mausoleum Party T-shirts that read “Party with Leland.”
“At first we thought it was just a cool phrase, and then we figured people might actually buy these tanks,” Sam said. “It hadn’t been done before, so we were really excited about that.”
On Wednesday, students could write notes and send candy and postcards to their friends abroad. Wijangco said a major goal for the junior presidents is to keep their class unified, especially because so many juniors go abroad at some point during the year. An activity like the note-writing, they hoped, could strengthen the unity of the junior class.
Thursday brought philanthropy in the form of 20 pumpkins, donated by Trader Joe’s, in White Plaza, where students could paint them. Caligiuri said the pumpkins, along with additional unpainted ones, were sent to the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital for the children to decorate.
Friday was a pump-up day for Saturday’s Mausoleum Party.
“We had the Sea People playing in White Plaza during lunch,” Sam said. “We also distributed all the T-shirts, just to get people in the mood for a big party we’re investing so much into this week.”
Finally came Mausoleum. Sam was excited that this year marked the fifth anniversary of the return of Mausoleum after its hiatus from 2002 to 2006.
“So, if you saw Mausoleum on the posters with a 5 in place of the ‘s,’ it’s because it calls attention to the fifth anniversary of Mausoleum’s return,” Sam said, “which is why it should mean a lot to the campus.”
Before the weekend, the unanimous concern voiced by the class presidents was the threat of rain. But they said they were certain the party would be at the Stanford Mausoleum regardless of the weather.
“That was kind of by popular demand,” Caligiuri said. “Our freshman year, when it rained and the party was held in Old Union, the general feedback was that it just wasn’t the same.”
New to Mausoleum this year was the chance for students to take pictures of themselves and others in costume on the dance floor and have their pictures projected on a screen at the party, thanks to the Palo Alto-based startup Cooliris.
At the party, the costume variety was expectedly diverse. From Greek deities to bananas to The Coon from “South Park” to Ken from “Toy Story 3” to superheroes to burlesque dancers, it seemed all beings — dead, alive, fictional and inanimate — were in attendance.
On Sunday, the junior class presidents expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the event. Sam said changes to the bus system, which included security and ID checks at each stop, was one issue that was not completely resolved but was still an improvement upon last year.
“We were actually told by the administration that this is the smoothest the bus system had ever gone,” Wijangco said.
Student reception was also generally positive, though some expressed a slight disturbance at the scene at the Mausoleum.
“I found it odd that there were Halloween decorations on the Mausoleum itself,” said Susan Haynes ’14. “But as a whole, it was a great party.”
“To me there was something disrespectful about 1,000 college kids grinding next to a 16-year-old’s grave,” said Konstantine Buhler ’14. “I think Jane’s intention was to have a place where Leland could rest, not a place for kids to put a tacky plastic skeleton on his gate and blast house music.”
Some students also drew comparisons to Full Moon on the Quad, which took place Monday of last week.
“Strangely enough, the Mausoleum Party seemed less restrained than Full Moon,” said Linus Mixson ’14. “Perhaps being in costume made people feel bolder and less connected to their actions.”
Halloween options were not limited to student parties, as a few events were designed for the kids of Stanford. Geoffrey and Patti Baker, resident fellows in Larkin, held a mass pumpkin carving in the Larkin courtyard on Saturday, and Arroyo hosted a trick-or-treat party on Sunday with activities for small kids.