It’s after school Wednesday, Oct. 14, and freshmen student class presidents Gwen Kaliszewski and Nick Paesler have been dashing around Cleveland helping their team accumulate all the materials they’ll need for their very first hall dec experience. Hall decs marks their first big project in student body government for the freshmen duo and with next to no prior knowledge of this Cleveland tradition and an additional guest appearance of Pepe The Sad Frog, the two aimed for high results.
Paesler, who is aware that upperclassmen usually win hall decs, has decided to challenge that stigma, stating, “Freshmen you know don’t really have much of an idea of what we’re doing because we’re new and I am sorta, kinda going against that. I think we’re all very confident and so am I that what we’re doing is trying to incorporate what we’re doing in these years that we’ve been given.”
Kaliszewski expressed that it was only after she won the freshman elections that she found out hall decs existed, and since then, she’s been very busy preparing as much as possible. She has so far been enjoying Cleveland. She loved glitter day during spirit week and says while she knows other schools do hall decs, she thinks Cleveland’s “is more unique and more spirited.”
Paesler said the freshmen, who are covering the years 1992 to 2016, don’t have much of a step by step game plan. Rather, everyone has been helping out and finishing projects where they need to get done. Kaliszewski, who was initially trying to micro-manage the other students, soon discovered that everyone seemed to be very confident and were hard workers. While none of them were well prepared for hall decs in the beginning she said, “I think it’s going well. Tonight will be the night we’re going to see if we have everything we need, but I think it’s been going great.”
The freshmen have decided to focus their decorations on pop culture instead of a specific theme or topic. Music, movies, and art will all be featured. While the Generation Y classic Titanic, starring beautiful Leonardo DiCaprio will appear on the Homecoming parade float, there will be a particular focus in hall decs of two major events of our lifetime: 9/11 and the legalization of gay marriage. “We’re gonna try and highlight those because they’re so important to what’s happening now,” said Kaliszewski, who is also looking forward to getting to dress up as Taylor Swift.
Hall decs has certainly been different than Kaliszewski was expecting. “It’s definitely more intense than I thought it was going to be. Everyone’s more competitive about it,” she said. Nevertheless, she still has high hopes for her class and plans to do hall decs in her following years at Cleveland. She’s also hopeful to be president again in the future too.