By Al Stover
Masks, streamers and balloons of all colors were scattered through the PUB’s MPR as students danced to songs such as Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” and Werner Thomas’ “The Chicken Dance.”
Pride Week ended with a masquerade ball hosted by the EWU Pride Center on April 28.
Patrons wore masks ranging from a rubber skull mask to one mask of the goddess Demeter from Venice, Italy.
Fira Ballew, who had been looking forward to the masquerade since winter quarter, wore a black and gold cat-like mask inspired by a combination of steampunk and the three Egyptian goddesses: Bastest, Sekhmet and Wadjet.
“Because Sekhmet is often referred to as the Eye of Ra, or in ancient Egyptian Wadjet, thus the Wadjet eyes,” Ballew said.
Evan Knudson was one of the students who spearheaded the process of putting the masquerade together. According to Knudson, the reason for a masquerade ball as opposed to other dances is because anyone who is there wears a mask to hide their identity.
“That’s how people in the LGBTQ community live, they have to cover up who they are all the time to conform to society,” Knudson said.
Although the fundraising for the event did not quite go as well as planned, Knudson had a lot of support during the planning process. The only difficult part was getting everything approved by Eastern.
“Once the ball started rolling, it was really easy,” Knudson said.
For Knudson, seeing everyone in masks come together is what he enjoys most about the masquerade.
“They don’t know if you’re a part of a fraternity or a part of a sorority, … if you’re a part of Eagle Pride, they don’t know if you’re a part of the math club. All of them having a good time together. I love that ideal,” Knudson said.
In addition to the music played by the disk jockey provided by Eagle Entertainment, there was also food and tarot card readings.
According to Sandra Williams, Pride Center coordinator, the Pride Center has been trying to put together a dance since she started working at EWU.
“I walked in and there’s people dancing and happy,” Williams said. “It’s really exciting for me that they finally made it happen. [Eagle Pride members have] worked really hard and the campus is supporting them.”
Aside from the masquerade, Williams added that the other Pride Week events had a lot of attendance and support from the campus.
The Pride Center also plans on holding a masquerade for Pride Week in 2013.
“I’m so excited that we had so much activity this year,” Williams said. “It is the biggest Pride Week we’ve had since I’ve started working here.”