BYUSA connects campus with pandemic-friendly experiences

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COVID-19 hasn’t stopped the BYU Student Service Association (BYUSA) from holding events. Some activities this month include the On-LINE Halloween Dance and Cougar Coloring Contest. 

The On-LINE Halloween Dance will be held over Zoom on Friday, Oct. 23 from 7-9 p.m. Volunteers — including Cosmo — will teach line dances to participants with prizes for costumes and dance moves.

BYUSA is also hosting the Cougar Coloring Contest where students can color one or both student-created line drawings, with a Cosmo and general BYU category. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the club to take precautions and make some of its events virtual. “Everything’s kind of up in the air,” BYUSA advertising consultant Kaleigh Ma’ake said, adding that the club is trying to plan activities that will connect and include students. “We’re constantly posting. We want students’ feedback and input.” 

The purpose of the On-LINE Halloween Dance is to promote campus unity and fun while getting into the Halloween spirit, Ma-ake said, referring to a BYUSA Experiences promotion statement.

“Our main goal as a team for this event is to foster some form of connection in the midst of such a trying time,” said Andrew Brindley, the event’s student lead from BYUSA Experiences. He added that his team wanted to come up with a way for students to have a creative outlet and connect with others.

Brindley said the team will be teaching two line dances at the event — “Monster Mash” and “Thriller” — using pre-recorded videos. Everyone will then dance together for a chance to win prizes for different categories. Some of the categories include “best dance moves” and “best costume.” For the best dance moves, the prize is a Nintendo Switch. There will also be random prizes for participation.

Campus events like this one can provide a hope and a light for people who are struggling or longing for something normal during the pandemic, Brindley said. “I think it’s a cool opportunity to be able to make new experiences and serve other students as well.”

Students can register for the dance here.

Another opportunity for students to get involved is the Cougar Coloring Contest. There are two parts to the contest — line drawing and coloring. The line drawing winners were announced on Oct. 15. The coloring portion has students color one or both of the winning drawings for a chance to win Visa gift cards. Coloring submissions are due Oct. 28.

Brandon Beltran, a junior from Temecula, California, was one of the line drawing winners. His picture of Cosmo won him a $100 Visa gift card. As a pre-animation major, Beltran said he likes any excuse to draw and put himself out there.

This is Brandon Beltran’s drawing of Cosmo. It won him a $100 Visa gift card in the Cougar Coloring Contest. Students can color one or both of the winning drawings and submit their work by Oct. 28. (Brandon Beltran)

“I actually just really like drawing Cosmo,” he said, adding that if BYU ever needed an official Cosmo artist he would be “so down.” 

Beltran said he used a drawing app on his iPad to create the image and studied pictures of Cosmo, trying to figure out how he could make the mascot fun to look at. 

More of Beltran’s art is found on his Instagram.

BYUSA just announced another event, “Spookify the Y,” on Instagram. On Oct. 30, there will be a costume contest, socially distanced activities and trick-or-treating. The post adds that this event will comply with BYU COVID-19 safety guidelines.

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