This article was published in The Appalachian.

Whether they prefer buying a brand-new outfit or recycling an old prom dress or tux, students will have the opportunity to dress up in formalwear at a Masquerade Ball Feb. 12, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. in Legends.

Tickets can be purchased for $5 in advance or $7 at the door, and will be sold in Plemmons Student Union from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. until Feb. 11.

The ball is being hosted by Hillel, Appalachian State University’s Jewish Campus Ministry, and the Pagan Student Association (PSA).“Last year, both Hillel and the PSA hosted their own separate masquerade balls as fundraisers. This year we decided, why not do it together? It came about as a fun way to combine Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras, and a good excuse to reuse our formal [and] semi-formal attire,” junior chemistry major and PSA president Ashley D. Gay said.

Tiara E. O’Neal, senior forensic chemistry major and PSA librarian and historian, pointed out the ball is one of the only formal on-campus events that is open to every student.

“As college students, we don’t get the opportunity to dress up and dance like we did in high school,” O’Neal said. “This is a great opportunity to break out that old prom dress and have fun.”

This is the first time Hillel and the PSA have hosted an event together.

“I think it puts out a good message for tolerance as we are both religious groups,” senior creative writing major and PSA vice president Mary K. Fonvielle said.

In addition to the opportunity to dress up, the event will offer food and dancing. In keeping with the masquerade theme, students are encouraged to wear a mask. They can either bring their own or make one at the ball with materials provided by the two clubs.

Both groups will split money raised through ticket and use it to further their unique goals on campus.

PSA started in 2003 as a group for students with pagan beliefs, but it has evolved into something more, Gay said.

“It has morphed into a religious diversity organization,” she said. “It aims to educate the public and promote religious tolerance for all.”
For more information on the PSA, visit asu-psa.yolasite.com.

Hillel is a national foundation for Jewish campus life. In addition to events like the Masquerade Ball, Appalachian’s chapter hosts films and speakers, promotes awareness and holds celebrations of various Jewish holidays such as Passover, Purim and Sukkot.

For more information on Hillel, visit hillel.appstate.edu.

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