Mole Day Spooktacular began with a social time where ice cream, punch and a periodic table of brownies were served. This social time was a great time for not only older chemistry students to interact with younger prospective chemistry students, but also to interact with the Parkland community members that attended. After a short introduction about the chemistry department from the department chair, Dr. Justin Lytle, the demo aspect of Mole Day began. There were six student led demos that featured a large number of different concepts in chemistry. Whether it was the boo bubbles demo, the use of liquid nitrogen, or the smoke coming out of the pumpkins, all student and attendees enjoyed the opportunity to walk around and to experience chemistry in a fun and informational manner. Once the students had finished the open demo time, the big professor led demos were ready to start. Five faculty members completed around eight demos, including a demo performed by Dr. Neal Yakelis where a material created by the CHEM 487 inorganic chemistry lab that fluoresced under black light was painted to spell PLU and had the PLU rose window in the back. After some more faculty demos inside, including a rather exciting hydrogen balloon combustion by Dr. Dean Waldow, it was time for the grand finale. Outside on Foss field, Dr. Jon Freeman and Dr. Justin Lytle prepared a thermite explosion, one of the most exothermic or energy releasing reactions known.
Kit Yan: Queer Heartache
The event “Queer Heartache” was a two-part event presented by Kit Yan and supported by the Diversity Center, MFA Program in Creative Writing, English Department, and SAB. Kit Yan is a poet, playwright, and activist whose work encompasses his identities as a transgender, queer, Asian American from Hawaii. The first part came in the afternoon where Kit offered a slam poetry workshop. During the workshop we worked on writing poems and fleshing them out throughout our time together. This was a great space for community and creative work. Kit offered advice and tips for writing and performing slam poetry. This was very beneficial for the students in attendance and everyone enjoyed the experience.
After this workshop was the main event, “Queer Heartache,” which is the solo slam poetry performance that Kit Yan gives. It is a slam poetry show of a collection of poems. During the show he performed sixteen poems. We had a good turnout with about 50-60 guests. These included current students, community members, and staff from the university. Afterwards there was a merch table where people were able to purchase some of Kit’s merchandise as well as speak to him afterwards. Many people purchased his tote bags and his book. Overall, it was a great success. Numerous people commented on how necessary and needed it was for them especially in a time where trans rights are being questioned. The event was healing and restorative for people. The creative aspect was able to revitalize people.
Feminist Student Union: Drag Show
On Wednesday November 7th from 7-9:30 PM, FSU’s Second Annual Drag Show occurred and seemed to exceed the expectations of even those who planned the event. In total over 150 people attended (at least, that was the amount that signed in to our sign in sheet that only had 100 spots to fill in). This crowd largely included PLU students, but also became home to PLU faculty and staff, Tacoma community members, and even students from the University of Puget Sound. Five performers performed, all of whom identify as transgender, three of whom identify as people of color, and one of whom is a PLU student.
The night was full of celebration, mourning, and resilience as the performers and host took the audience on a journey through their personal journeys through song and performance and artistry. Though the whole night was utterly astounding in the centering and uplifting of trans experience, two moments in particular stood out. The first was when the student performer, in drag as Freddie Mercury and whose identity had been largely kept a secret until the host announced their name, performed Don’t Stop Me Now. The moment their name was called the audience erupted into thunderous applause, by far the loudest of the night, and stood up on their feet. This community moment of coming together to support one of our own was an amazing feeling. The second moment(s) was the panel at the end of the night where the performers answered questions pertaining the importance of their artistry in relation to their identities, mainly their gender and race. Here the audience really developed some insight into the meaning behind the songs and performances they had just witnessed. Overall, the night was a success and succeeded in centering, celebrating, uplifting, and giving a voice to trans and trans people of color as well as educated the PLU community on the importance of drag/performing in the transgender community.
Delta Iota Chi: Turkey Baskets
On Monday November 19th, students and faculty came together to drop off completed turkey baskets or to help create turkey baskets. Each basket contained a turkey, foil pan, 3 cans of vegetables, stuffing, butter, cranberry sauce, potatoes, dinner rolls, and a non-perishable dessert. Each basket was then placed into an 18-20 gallon tote with a lid. On Tuesday November 20th, students came together to help deliver baskets to the community. Some were delivered directly to families and some were delivered or picked up by different agencies throughout the area. This year we were able to go above and beyond with 206 baskets.