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Highsmith ushers in new tradition to replace annual homecoming dance

By Peyton Sheehan 
News Staff Writer
[email protected]
This year’s Homecoming and Family Weekend concluded on Sunday, with this year’s Highsmith After Dark event located throughout the Highsmith Student Union here at UNC Asheville.
In the past, following the homecoming game, there was a homecoming dance. This year, Fred Tugas, the associate director of the Highsmith Student Union, and Christina Jaeger, the associate director of Highsmith Operations, decided to do things differently.
“This event is actually replacing the Homecoming Dance. We are hoping it will draw a larger crowd of students. We also hope it will be more appealing and engaging,” Jaeger said.  
Tugas and Jaeger both said there was a lot of time and planning over the summer in finding vendors and finalizing various details.

The usual homecoming dance was replaced with Highsmith After Dark, which lasted from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Photo by Holly Goswick

“I don’t usually attend many events on campus, but once I heard that there was ThinkFast Trivia, I figured that I would go. It is my senior year after all,” Logan Ponder said. 

On their social media platforms, Highsmith Student Union released a promotional video to inform UNCA of what to get excited for before attending. The celebration closing out homecoming spanned all three floors of Highsmith Student Union allowing students and family members to wander around, participate in all the different activities and socialize with others.
The first level of Highsmith Student Union featured a caricature artist, balloon animals, a midnight bingo game and ThinkFast Trivia with a $500 cash prize. During the ThinkFast Trivia, there were about 15 different teams with five team members in the group. Each team were asked a series of questions in which they earned points.
“The most stressful thing was coming up with the best bingo prize packages for the winner,” Tugas said.
There were four different games and four different prizes for midnight bingo. The first game winner won a $25 dining voucher. The second game winner won a bookstore package. The third game winner won a $150 grocery store package. The final game winner won an Amazon Echo.
The second floor had psychic readings and a dry erasable photo board. Each student who made the photo board was able to email up to four or five pictures that they wanted to be on the board, or choose one for a dry erase calendar.
On the third level, students were able to take a cupcake decorating class with a professional decorator, making their cupcake creations with fondant and different toppings.
Each student earned 3,000 NowPoints and the first 100 students received a free smartphone camera lens, if they stayed at the event until midnight. Around 215 students attended the event with the most popular events being competitive games of  ThinkFast Trivia and bingo.

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