#tbt to the ‘90s

Aaron Lai/HIGHLANDER
Aaron Lai/HIGHLANDER

Another great quarter began with ASPB’s “We Love the ‘90s” event. What better way to represent our inner ‘90s wild child than to throw it back on a chilly Thursday evening? Dressed in my denim overalls and choker, I strolled over to Hub 302 at 6 p.m., following the beat of NSYNC’s “Tearin’ Up My Heart.” Just as everything seemed better, brighter and grungier during the ‘90s, so was the atmosphere of the event as some students arrived decked out in neon scrunchies and edgy flannels.

A few of ASPB’s staff greeted guests by the entrance. My attention immediately darted to the piles of pizza boxes to the immediate left of the door. I dashed over to join the quick-moving line of Highlanders as they signed their names on a clipboard before receiving a slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza. I compensated for the toddler-sized slice of pizza by grabbing a bag of chips and moving on to the candy station.

Handed a rather teeny goodie bag, students were allowed to shove however much candy they could force into it, while surveying the wide variety of sweets that were presented. Going along the lengthy table, they displayed candies from Nerds and Pixy Stix to mini Snickers and Kit Kats –– I personally took advantage of the white chocolate Kit Kats they provided by strategically stuffing them into my goodie bag.

Attendees were scattered all across the carpeted floor of the HUB, enjoying their slice of pizza and snacks, while reminiscing on their ‘90s childhood to wistful songs such as Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name.” A large projection of “The Fairly Odd Parents” assumed the role as the evening’s backdrop as others gathered around to inspect an intense game of life-sized Jenga. An echo of disappointed “Oohs” reverberated through the small crowd as the massive rectangular blocks finally collapsed upon each other.

Others were too busy scoping out the remainder of the stations to pay any attention to the undefeatable game of Jenga. Clusters of students surveyed and surrounded the Pac-Man, Dance Dance Revolution and Ultimate Arcade stations, while waiting their turns to challenge the games that they played in their youth.

The main event of the night was clearly the flip-book station though, as a lengthy line of guests eagerly filed behind another to capture the throwback night of their college lives in a miniature keepsake booklet. A couple began to shuffle and scuttle about before a green screen with a variety of props as a camera caught their every action. The selection of props included toy saxophones, electric guitars and an assortment of the most flamboyant costume pieces one could want, ranging from bright pink feather boas to outrageous hats. To the side, one could observe the skilled booth manager speedily gathering the pictures from a complex printer to quickly assemble the flip-book.

Not wanting to wait in the endless line for the flip-book, I proceeded to the DIY stations. At one of the stations, guests were allowed to decorate their own slap bracelets –– I remember earning a ton of these from Chuck E. Cheese –– with glittered construction paper, stickers and neon markers. The other DIY setup consisted of a button-making machine in which students could either design their own, or use one of the premade prints.

After Highlanders felt satisfied with their collection of free foods, goods and fun, they left with a stress-free attitude even with the dread of midterms approaching. With one of their more small-scale events, ASPB accomplished their goal of allowing the Highlanders to “relive their childhood,” over this nostalgic decade of groove and grunge.

Aaron Lai/HIGHLANDER
Aaron Lai/HIGHLANDER
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