By Will Keffler
Calling all Ken Bone, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump look-a-likes, Halloween has returned. Thursday is the seventh-annual Youngstown State University Halloween party and costume contest.
The party is hosted by Inner Circle Pizza on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Elm Street and will run from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. The event, which is sponsored by the Department of Communication, is free admission and all proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society.
Inner Circle will provide a buffet of pizza and punch for $5, and a karaoke contest will begin at 8 p.m. with an entry fee of $2. Along with pizza and karaoke, there will be raffle tickets for sale to win an assortment of prizes.
The costume contest begins at 10:30 p.m. and will feature a special guest judge, President Jim Tressel. For $5, anyone can enter the costume contest and have a chance at winning prizes donated by various student organizations, including YSU apparel and gift cards from many Youngstown restaurants. Along with President Tressel, Ty Landis of WFMJ and Alex George from WKBN will help to decide who has the best costume on campus.
The event began when Jeff Tyus, a communications professor, wanted to find a way to get his students involved and give back to the community at the same time.
“One Friday night I stopped at Inner Circle after work, and I was expecting it to be packed, but I was the only one in there,” Tyus said. “Then the idea hit me that we could scratch each others backs by hosting an event at Inner Circle. I was looking for a fun event that students might get excited about, so we came up with the idea of the costume contest.”
Tyus showed some concern about the construction on Lincoln Avenue affecting attendance numbers, but he has confidence that it won’t deter people due to the promoting that his students have done.
“I appreciate what my students in that class have done as far as helping to develop this event,” Tyus said. “I look forward to seeing how everything will turn out, and I want them to feel as though the work that they’ve put in will pay off.”
Bill Glenellen, the manager at Inner Circle, said that the past six parties have been a great success and he attributes it all to Tyus and his students.
“Jeff and his students are the reason that this has been possible for seven years,” Glenellen said. “They’re the driving force behind the success of this event. We pretty much just provide the venue and food, and let Jeff and his class take care of the rest.”
Adrianna Phillips, a student at YSU, said she has gone to the party in the past and enjoyed the night. This time, however, she is part of Tyus’s class and has helped to organize the event.
“There are always a lot of people that end up going, and I think President Tressel being a judge is a big selling point,” Phillips said. “The costumes are definitely going to be interesting this year due to what a wild year 2016 has been.”
For last minute updates on the campus Halloween party, students can follow @YSUHalloween on Twitter.