Costume contest in Student Union invites colorful competition

Kansas State students and faculty participated in the costume contest hosted by Union Program Council at the Union in Manhattan, Kan. on Oct. 31, 2017. (Photo by Alex Shaw | Collegian Media Group)

A dark elf, a wizard and Daenerys Targaryen walked into the Student Union to meet with Frozone, Kylo Ren and many others to compete in the second annual costume contest hosted by the LGBT Resource Center and the Union Programming Council on Tuesday.

The contest was originally planned to take place in Bosco Plaza, but it was moved inside the Union due to inclement weather. Beth Bailey, assistant director of the Union, said 30 people took part in the contest.

Judges ranked contestants’ costumes on creativity, craft, authenticity and originality for the Best Overall category. Other categories included Spookiest Costume and Cutest Costume.

Kylee Norris, Best Overall winner and senior in English, described the contest as “small, but pleasant.”

Norris dressed as a gaster blaster, a monster resembling a floating skull from the video game “Undertale.” She wore the same costume to Denver Comic Con in 2017 and the Little Apple Renaissance Festival last weekend.

“When [my cousin] said she wanted to cosplay characters from ‘Undertale,’ this was the first thing that came to mind because it was so simple, and you could do so much with it,” Norris said.

“Cosplay,” a combination of the words “costume” and “play,” is a popular slang word. It refers to the practice of dressing up as a fictional character and attending a fan convention, either for competition or just for fun.

Norris said she estimates she spent 60 hours crafting the skull portion of her costume. Her roommate and mother helped with the rest of the costume. Norris won a candy cake for getting first place in the Best Overall category.

“I’m loving the costumes,” said Charlsie Fowler, senior in apparel design and costume contest judge. “A lot of homemade costumes this year, which I love to see.”

Marcelo Ambrosio, post doctoral fellow in physics, said he was impressed by the craftsmanship on display. Ambrosio put together a plague doctor costume, which won the Spookiest Costume category.

“There were many interesting costumes,” Ambrosio said. “The [other] two that won didn’t look homemade, but they were homemade. I acknowledge all the work and time and talent that they put into their costumes.”

Elli Archer, graduate student in counseling and graduate assistant at the LGBT Resource Center, said the event promotes inclusivity.

“Halloween is a chance for people to dress up however they want and express themselves in whatever way they want, and that’s kind of what we promote in the LGBT Resource Center,” Archer said.

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